Oh My Stars

jimmy swaggart astrology matthew currie(I recently came across this blog entry, which I wrote in 2012, while Neptune was still in the first degree of Pisces, but was unpublished until now. I looked it over and I believe what I had to say still stands. I’ll come back at the end with one final follow-up comment.)

Addiction in a person’s birth chart can be tricky to spot, in much the same way that addiction can be hard to see in a person who is right in front of you — until it’s incredibly obvious. And frankly, once it is obvious it can be pretty hard to see anything other than the addiction.

The actual indicators of addiction, astrologically,  seem pretty straightforward. Neptune rules drugs and delusions, and Jupiter rules having a good time. So: when you see a birth chart with a prominent Neptune and a lot of aspects to Jupiter, let’s say, it’s reasonably safe to say we’re probably looking at someone who probably drinks or smokes pot or whatever more than the average person. Make those aspects “difficult” ones and add some stress, and you’ve got a potential addict.

See? Nice and straightforward.

Or is it?

Consider the case of Jimmy Swaggart (March 15, 1935, 1:35 AM, Ferriday LA). Born with a strongly aspected Jupiter and a largely unaspected Neptune in the sign of its detriment (not to mention being a cousin to Jerry Lee Lewis), Jimmy should be a prime candidate for alcoholism and/or drug abuse — and yet this was a man who insisted that all the references in the Bible to wine were, in fact, referring to grape juice. When it came to drinking and drugs, Jimmy was the straightest of arrows, and there have never been any indications that he’s ever been the tiniest bit hypocritical about it.

Of course, when it came to extramarital sex and the frequent employ of twenty-dollar prostitutes, things turned out a bit differently for Jimmy.

As with so many other things in life, it turns out that our simple, one-size-fits-all approach to addiction in the birth chart may very well be missing the point. Addiction may be the state of being where ingesting a substance becomes a driving force in a person’s life, but we may have to broaden our definition of “ingesting a substance.” It’s easy enough to look at someone who smokes meth on a regular basis and see an addict. But what about someone who numbs themselves with their religion, philosophy, politics, or hobbies to the point where they’re able to ignore the parts of their life that are clearly (to an outside observer) going to hell in a hand basket?

We ourselves can be convinced that because we aren’t drunk every night, or shooting anything into our veins, we aren’t addicted to anything. But: how much time do we spend on the Internet? How much money have we spend on the Home Shopping Channel, or on Amazon? How many levels did you clear today on your XBox? Or maybe you just go to church every single chance you get.

It might be easiest to say that an addiction is the place where we are most comfortable hiding from the rest of life, and that the more time we spend there, the more likely we are to be “an addict.” We even joke about it: chocoholic, shopaholic, Facebook junkie. It’s always easiest to judge these things in others rather than in ourselves, it seems.

We all know what an addict looks like. And we all have a Neptune and a Jupiter in our birth charts. But when it comes to having the strength and wisdom to not take any of it too far, how easily do we see the addiction in ourselves… all of us?

In other words: is Jimmy Swaggart a “sex addict,” or is he addicted to a philosophy and a world view that blinds him to his own flaws and hypocrisy? And how different is that than you or me?

UPDATE: Consider what you just read. Now, go to your Facebook or your Twitter and look at all the opinions and news stories and people that you are agreeing or disagreeing with. Now look at these things objectively, as if you had no opinion one way or the other on these matters. Find a few things you agreed with and do a little more research than you normally would to verify whether what you agreed with is really true, or what you disagreed with is really false.

So now… still think you’re immune to Neptune?

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