Saturday, July 14, 2012

Astrology Slut

Sorry, for the offensive title, I'm super bummed.  Just had a great day exploring astronomy sites, ancient history- getting to know the difference between a Philistine and an Amorite.  It was such a great day of study.  I had stumbled onto a really cool astronomy site called Bad Astronomy.  I was looking for more info about the Vela C region.  The European Space Agency just published some beautiful images of this region 2,500 light years from our sun which was referred to as a star nursery.  The Bad Astronomy blog didn't have additional info about that but did have a neat video showing water drops in slow motion, forming craters in various substances (to illustrate how peaks formed in craters on the moon).  I was so excited.

After reading the most recent posts on the Bad Astronomy site I clicked on an archived post about astrology.  Heart break.  It seems that astronomers respect astrologers about as much as Christians respect atheists.  So I did leave a very brief comment.

I guess it is just these awful moments that remind me why I devote so much time to astrology.  It has made me whole.  It has made me feel that I am not crazy for feeling lost in a world of clocks and calendars; that time is holy and not something generated by a mechanical device, but something spun out of the same miracle that gave birth to the stars and planets and me.

In the last 18 months of writing a monthly horoscope column, I have gained a better understanding of why astrology is so reviled.  Some of the comments posted on the Bad Astronomy blog provided even more insight.  In fact in my studies today I came across a Christian site about Armageddon that was astonishing in the depth of detail and number of posts and followers. Religion really is powerful stuff!  So powerful I don't see it going away any time soon.  I think the best approach is to marry religion with what we know about the real world. 

I will continue to enjoy the Bad Astronomy site.

But I think that dose of disrespect calls for some serious poetry.  Here is one (of five) by Adrienne Rich which was reprinted with original date of publication, in The Nation magazine, on the occasion of her death in March 2012 at the age of 82.  She had contributed twenty one poems and several essays to The Nation over her lifetime.  I have no idea what Ms. Rich's attitudes were about astrology; I do believe she had a deep love for humanity.

At Willard Brook
November 18, 1961

Spirit like water
moulded by unseen stone
and sandbar, pleats and funnels
according to its own
submerged necessity-
to the indolent eye
pure wilfulness, to the stray
pine-needle boiling
in that cascade-bent pool
a random fury; Law,
if that's what's wanted, lies
asking to be read
in the dried brook-bed.

I feel like such a feeble and inadequate champion of such a worthy cause.  But then I am reminded of Boethius and my eyes are lifted from this dull earth to the starry heavens.  I know of no better faith than that which bows in reverence to the real firmament.  The stars, conscious or not, gave birth to us.  They do not need me to speak for them.  It is other humans, longing for some sense of life's purpose, that need to be acquainted with their real origins, their real home, the real flame that they carry within their mortal selves.  We did not create the stars and planets.  We come from them.  It is right and proper that we follow them and seek to feel at home among them.  Clocks are mere inventions of humans, crude imitations of earth's relationship to the sun.  Astrology follows all the planets as though they are our neighbors, as though they matter to us, as though they are something more than objects to mine for minerals or water.  The other planets in our solar system are extensions of earth just as electrons and protons cohabit atoms.  Astrology helps us feel as snug in our corner of the Milky Way as an electron in a carbon atom.

Good astrology fosters reverence for the real universe.