Sunday, October 31, 2010

Triangle LGBTQ

The Triangle Hosts Our Sky Astrology
After visiting the Triangle LGBTQ  page for the first time and seeing the link from my add, I think it is time for a new post.

I've been busy the last two months recording chart readings for old friends and new.  As of this weekend I have completed three recorded readings and one live.  Though the first live reading was a bit of a disaster, I was still high as kite by the time it was all over; further convincing me that I am finally ready to work publicly as an astrologer, I just need a lot of practice.  Thanks to Karen I am getting the best practice any astrologer could have; the opportunity to write a monthly horoscope column.

I had placed an ad in The Triangle for a very reasonable fee, but then my car died and I panicked about money.  Karen offered to trade a horoscope column for the ad and just like that I was in way over my head!

I had written one installment of a horoscope column for GreenPages years ago, so it should not have been as frightening this time.  But it was as scary as a first jump off the high dive.  The first version I sent Karen was a list of times for about 25 days of November and a brief description for each astrological 'event.'  The problem was, she had asked for a horoscope column, which is one paragraph for each sun sign, in the tradition started by Dane Rudyar in 1933.  So, I sent a paragraph for each sun sign, but most of them had nothing to do with what would happen in November; they were basically a rant about astrology and a critique of my generation; until I got to Sagittarius and suggested that this November was a good month to 'take down a pompous person...'

Luckily Karen recognized the column for what it was and suggested a further rewrite, apologizing for asking me to do more 'work.'  She was too polite to call it what it was, an out of control rant.  I did finally set to work and write the column that will appear this week.  So, not only am I learning how to teach astrology; I am also reconnecting with the gay community through The Triangle, and enjoying the opportunity to work with a very cool publisher.

Coming Out as an Astrologer
This blog started out as a place to talk about how much I have literally grown up in the houses of my cleaning customers.  But, as was evident from the very first post, there was an astrologer in me bursting at the seems to come out.  As I get further into this new career I am enjoying looking back on all the people and groups that have shown me important stuff about life; Al Dash, the priest at NC State when I was a student, had his office in The Nub, a cluster of offices for chaplains of various campus religious groups.  I still remember going to his office to discuss a paragraph I'd read in Time or Newsweek Magazine; it was about a lesbian couple in a legal battle to keep their child.  Al was in a meeting, so I perused the printed material in the common area.  There was a brochure for St. John's Metropolitan Community Church, a new gay christian group, which at that time was meeting in the church on the corner of Wade Ave and Dixie Trail.

Within a month I had attended my first gay christian liturgy.  It was the first of many 'coming outs,' which over the years would continually open doors to the wide and amazing world of humans helping other humans.  There was The Raleigh Women's Coffee House, where I learned about the politics of feminism; Triangle Area Lesbian Feminists in Durham who hosted fantastic women only dances; Dignity of Raleigh for gay Catholics and then, when I had left my partner and decided to explore the 'straight' world, Thursday Night Open Poetry Reading, which wasn't very straight after all.

Of all the nonconformist side trails I have taken, astrology has been the most challenging and the most rewarding.  I set it aside for several years and discarded cherished books to make room for other interests.  The fact is, I have never internalized more shame about any of the many taboos I have broken, than the shame I carried many years for being so dedicated to astrology.  I didn't even realize how much that shame was holding me back until I had completely rejected what I knew to be true: there is no beauty greater than the poetry of what we know about the universe.

I could not enter a church without feeling a really maddening anger and lack of respect for the congregants.  It irritated me immensely that these people could hold their heads up and sing that a man was tortured, killed and rose from the dead, but the philosophy of time as systematized in the Hellenistic period was considered superstition.  I had finally come to an understanding of the politics of astrology and realized I had allowed myself to be a victim.

Dane Rudyar used a pen name for his column "What's Your Sun Sign," and you'll not see it referred to on any of the sites dedicated to his many and varied works.  I think he was not completely comfortable with this fragmented but immediately popular form of astrology.  Like all astrologers, he wanted people to have some taste of the power of the system.  His hope was that people's curiosity would draw them in and they would recognize the value of such a philosophy to bring order to the chaos of the mind.  I don't think he envisioned astrology as a priesthood as much as a system that should be made accessible to all people.

Astrology is part of our heritage and there is nothing superstitious about curious minds studying the language that informed the works of our most revered writers, from Plato to Kepler to Chaucer.  We strengthen our society when we propagate philosophical systems that incorporate real knowledge of the real universe we all live in.