Heaven is a Place on Earth: We Are the Starmakers and the Stars Themselves

Upvote if you roller skated to this song back in the 80s.

I don’t tell people what I do in the woo closet, unless they already know.

I am comfortably ambivalent with my own spiritually. For the sake of efficiency, if you were to ask me what my religion is, I will say I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in a god, or a universe engineer, or whatever as a deified human being who is playing games and playing favorites on Earth from a safe vantage point up in the aether. I think modesty calls us to question the idea that there is an omniscient being who has a special thing for humans on this one planet, in this ever-expanding universe, as if there are no other planets with life on them, as if this spiritual paradigm, based entirely on the limits of human experience, is the rule of existence.

And I reject the idea that there is an eternal reward that is either having all your senses satisfied or merely being relieved of the needs of the body, and that there is an eternal punishment in which all the senses are assaulted and the needs of the body gone unfulfilled. I’m a loner who loves people in her own way, but the idea of spending an eternity surrounded by billions of people making noise kind of makes me want to go to Hell and be alone with my anger and bitterness.

Because I am a human, in a human body, who is having a human experience. This is what I know; this my experience.

Astrology Isn’t in the Sky, Either.

The departed Dave Roell, who became what I guess could be astrology’s most polarizing figure, was the publisher and owner of AstroAmerica.com, a bookseller that supplied the libraries that most of us built while learning. He really wasn’t the first person to think of this, but I like the way he put it. He wrote that astrology is on Earth, subject to the Earth and the forces of the Earth, because people are on Earth, subject to the Earth, and the forces on Earth. We are part of a cosmic system of forces in the universe. For example, it isn’t the Sun entering the sign of Sagittarius reflecting down that makes YOU a Sagittarius; it’s the seasonal cycle on Earth that has its subtle effects on you, the unborn or born, that will mold you. We happen to notice that this coincides with what appears to be the movement of the luminaries and planets around what appears to us to be a circular 360 degrees of the sky because we live on a round, spherical planet (yes, we do.). When Venus is in Capricorn, it’s not Venus itself having its effect on the person, but our experience of Venus in Capricorn that we’re reflecting up, we’re interpreting, when we look at that 360 degrees. Astrology is in the Earth, and then, when you’re born, it’s in YOU.

I don’t want to add to the articles about Roell, because I really only got to know him through a brief email exchange. We had a lot of past life karma, so it was probably good that the exchange ended as abruptly as it started, as you do with relationships that are mostly regressive and less constructive. But basically, I probably knew this soul before he incarnated into the composer Ferdinand Ries, which was the past incarnation he was fixated on. I hope he reunited with Beethoven. I figured that wasn’t me. Or maybe it was, or I was part of that circle in some way?

I have written about karmic talents before and about karmic fears. You can see these in the chart. However, there are karmic talents we sometimes refuse to indulge or stop indulging all together without hesitation. I was a good artist as a child. I also had an ear for music and could understand music theory well enough as a child. I was, however, averse to learning to play an instrument. Try as I might, I can’t do it. It’s not laziness, or lack of time or interest, but rather that it just feels wrong to do it in a way I can’t entirely describe. I have Neptune and Venus at the top of my chart, both squared to Saturn. Saturn is hard teacher, karmic lessons, and The Great Closer of Doors. When Saturn makes a hard aspect to a planet in a natal chart of a planet that is otherwise prominent or by placement or aspect blessed, it can mean that for someone reason, in this life, you’re not going to express certain of that planet’s energies for certain activities. It’s not a cosmic lesson (because I’m not even sure that karma exists, or at the way we think of it. More on that later), but rather a choice you made before you incarnated to Close the Door.

Though, when I listen to my favorite soul singers, I really wish I had learned to sing. Honestly, I’d rather be the reincarnation of Otis Redding or Sam Cooke than Ludwig van Beethoven, but it’s good that I’m not, because I can’t really sing.

So my Neptunian expression is not going to be artistic so much in my adulthood – though I still adore art and artists, and long for the days I could draw and sculpt all day when a pile of written discovery is sitting on my desk, asking the same interrogatories over and over – as it will be of humanitarian and spiritual service. That’s a different story.

Because There Isn’t Any Karma Either. At Least Not Karma Karma.

I’ve come to the conclusion that karma as a law doesn’t exist. Don’t cry. There’s lots of laws people think exist but don’t actually exist. For example, an undercover police officer is under no legal obligation to reveal their status as a police officer if asked while they’re under cover. And it’s not entrapment if the officer arrests you if you’re caught in the act because the officer was undercover. Also, Facebook and other social media platforms have nothing to do with your First Amendment Rights, so stop spouting off about getting your post taken down. Hm, what else? Oh: I’m pretty sure there is no jurisdiction in which you have a right to use a deadly weapon to protect the property of another person when you do not have any possessory right to that property.

Anyway. But the story is: karma doesn’t exist. There is no righting of wrongs in the universe. Bitches don’t get what they have coming to them through cosmic forces. This is all entirely subjective, based entirely on the person perceiving what’s happening.

I also reject the New Age/Wiccan idea that people die, go to Summerland, look at their lives, see what they did “wrong,” and then go back to live to right those wrongs so they can have a better soul. Look: I’m a lawyer. I don’t like to take circuitous paths to conclusions. If you go to Summerland and then you figure out all you did wrong and what you should have done in order to be perfect and reach a higher state of being, then…you’re done. You accomplished the objective when you died, and you don’t need to relearn the thing you just learned.

And that also means that Becky, that bitch from Accounts Receivable, is not going to die, go to Summerland, realize that she’s a tacky bitch, and then try to reincarnate as a person with a personality you find more palatable.

Because karma’s not a bitch: you are.

And Becky is probably sitting around thinking the same thing about you.

So don’t sit around wondering when what goes around will come around. It will, maybe, but it doesn’t mean a thing if that person doesn’t know it, or if they have the mojo or magick to deflect it, or if they’ve changed so much since then that it doesn’t really seem fair for that person or their loved ones to suffer. Suffering requires some perception that you’re suffering. Sometimes, it’s obvious to everyone else, like if you’re sick, or starving, or homeless, or abused, or subject to institutional injustice. Sometimes, it’s really a matter of how you perceive it, like only be rich enough to afford a house three blocks from the North Shore, not right on the beach. And sometimes, it’s complicated, like when you’re a love-lorn teenager. Sometimes, you learn. Other times, you don’t. There are things that maybe were my karma coming back that didn’t really bother me that much because it just doesn’t bother me. Does that make sense? Like maybe I don’t get something I want, but mutable me isn’t that put out by it.

Because karma’s entirely a perception of things to help us reconcile a vast, complex universe, not an actual law. Consider psychopaths, who are not capable of appreciating the consequences of their actions, even when they are suffering from them, because they have no sense of accountability, morality, or need to get along with others. Diane Downs doesn’t feel regret for killing her children. She isn’t suffering from that, even though she’s in prison and will likely die there. Even though she’s locked up and away from society, is she actually suffering? After all, isn’t that the point of karma?

Because even though she’s experiencing the most humane limits of our justice system as should be allowed, she has no remorse, no insight into her behavior, lies like she breathes, and can’t understand that other people aren’t fooled and don’t like child killers. Even if she’s experiencing justice, she’s not experiencing karma.

Karma is not actually justice. Justice is impartial and rights wrongs and deters other future behavior. Karma is subjective.

There is no weighing of the souls, but there is choice.

The thing that makes the most sense to me is that people die as the people they were: they have all their baggage, all their limitations, all their gifts, all their wisdom, all their essence. They don’t get more of it. They don’t shed their humanity at death. After all, if they did, why reincarnate? Why choose what we choose? Albert Fish’s last words were “I don’t even know why I’m here.” I can’t believe that this guy is going to enter the aether, look at his life objectively, and then reincarnate into a completely different world, different and strange circumstances, in order to learn to be someone he is not in order to fix what he did wrong that can’t actually be fixed.

Most people’s astrological charts show some pattern to the life choices. Moist people reincarnate into the same situations they were in when they left Earth. They go into the same cultures, the same countries, same regions, same religions, socioeconomic statuses, same ideology, and more importantly, the very same unfulfilled wishes and same unresolved fears. The last one is really what makes us reincarnate into what we choose because the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. Hopefully, through life, one resolves these issues, gets away from toxic relationships, and finds the things they want to do and becomes the things they want to be such that when they reincarnate again, they’re making happier choices. However, I don’t think the broadstrokes, like “the reason you incarnated as a battered wife was because you were a battered wife in the past and don’t know any better.” It’s more likely that you reincarnated into the safety of the social structures you knew, because I really don’t think anyone knows who they’re going to marry before they incarnate.

What About Soulmates?

I’ve written about this before a few times. I don’t think that soul mates exist the way we’re lead to think. We don’t actually reincarnate specifically to catch up with a friend or lover or relative from another life simply to be happy with them again. That’s not to say that I don’t think souls don’t chase each other, but rather that that “soul mate” connection you have with someone is more complex, and yet, not nearly as cinematic.

Though there are soul mates of a sorts. Broadstrokes: there are three kinds of soul mates: those who are very much like you who are a comfort, but not necessarily a challenge, and those who are a challenge, but not necessarily a comfort, and those who are both a comfort AND a challenge whom you have sex with.

Let’s break them down:

Soul mate friendships: You probably did know each other in a past life. However, you come together because you are so much the same, and there is so little tension between you, that it is as if they are a part of you. They reflect back in you what you see in you. They understand you, they like you, and you have fun together. You’re best buds, if you’re the kind of person amenable to long friendships. You’re likely on what appears to be the same, possible even a parallel life journey. You likely have a similar background, similar struggles, and similar hopes and similar tastes. You are completely sympathetic to each other. This is Plato’s “platonic love,” the Ancient Greeks’ “philia,” the friendship love that you have with someone you choose to be around. There’s no sex; in fact, the idea of having sex with this person seems odd, or wrong, like incest or like tearing down something beautiful and putting in its place something mundane and ordinary. People may think you’re in a romantic relationship though. Some people understand.

This is especially the case when men and women are platonic soul mates. From my experience, there’s usually nothing in the charts to indicate that the two were ever married, or if they were, came together out of romance or erotic desire. However, there can be reason to believe that the two were once siblings in the past, perhaps even twins. Yet, there really is no sexual attraction in these relationships. My ex-husband had a female friend like this. She’s just like him. Actually, looking back, she was like him but less arrogant, and with better manners. In fact, my current boyfriend has a female friend who is a platonic soul mate, who had been his friend through two marriages, now perhaps three, through their ups and downs, successes, failures, struggles, and celebrations.

She’s my friend, too, and she has reminded me for three years that I owe her an astrological reading, and I do need to get to it. I love her; she’s in a way a part of my boyfriend, or so much like him that it would take effort to not like her. Also, she has more integrity than just about anyone else I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, and with my Venus in Capricorn on the Aries Point conjunct the Midheaven in my chart, you know that that’s what I admire in women and think is beautiful in women: integrity and doing what needs to be done, even if you’re the only one willing to do it.

She’s working a really wonderful endeavor for young models to help disrupt a modeling industry that has been for decades rife with exploitation, abuse, dehumanization, and a culture of silence. If you know any girls who are looking into modeling, I suggest checking out Boss Babe Models for a model scout and modeling coach who puts you, the person first (and if you’re also a knight errant like me, hit her up and see what you can do.) This is dear to my heart as a lawyer and an astrologer, because as I have mentioned before, astrology is about personhood and making one’s own destiny.

Can’t live with them, can’t live without them soul mates: Plutonic types have/create/attract a lot of these. These are the types of relationships where they are both drawn to and repulsed by each other. Consider spouses who kill the other. That’s an example. Or, frenemies who never actually try to get away from each other. Siblings who hate each other. Even the people in your community you love to hate. Sometimes, if there’s a celebrity you love to hate, you may have a remote astrological connection to them that indicates some tie. Most of the time we feel this way about people we are around all the time is because we are fascinated with them, want something from them, or want what they have…but we can’t admit it to ourselves. Think: if a wife who kills her husband could just admit that she’s jealous, admit that she doesn’t trust him, and in the end, it would be better to get divorced, she wouldn’t kill him. She wouldn’t have to justify the murder to herself. She wouldn’t have to remind herself every day of his sins, real or not, against her, validating her reasons for taking this man out of existence.

When you have a relationship like this, the good news is that you can resolve the karma by figuring out what it is you want, what it is you fear, and what you actually need that has nothing to do with this person. In way, this is the easiest karma to resolve. If you don’t, you will probably go into the aether, justify reasons to follow your loved-hated person into the next life, and begin the cycle again.

That’s the important part: figuring out what YOU are getting out of this. Then, figure out what you’re trying to get from this person, and whether or not you’ll actually get it.

These relationships also manifest in dysfunctional families and in situations in which you’re stuck with a person, because you can’t get away. Essentially, children cannot live without their parents, and yet cannot live when they have bad parents. They cannot choose their siblings, either. When you’re in a dysfunctional family, you’re trapped…until you’re not, or until you realize you’re not.

When siblings really don’t like each other, and when they can’t get along, it’s usually because they’re two people following a soul into incarnation and bringing the tension from previous lives into this life. Two men competing for the love of one woman die, then they come back as her sons, and in this life, she chooses an obvious favorite who can do no wrong. This is a signal to the unloved son to stop chasing this woman through the universe. I’ve had it suggested to me that, based on my prenatal epoch, my natal chart, and my childhood, that I spent a lot of time as a nun, or a religious person, forced into the company of women whether I wanted it or not, with no choice or opportunity to choose what I do, living in fear of punishment by the patriarchy and surrounded by women all too willing to throw each other under the bus. There is physically getting away. That’s the easy part. Then, there’s the psychological unraveling of so many knots, of learning to trust your own senses, your own observations, and your own feelings, and then using that string with your chapped and blistered hands to weave a new tapestry.

You may not finish in this lifetime. You may be lucky to hand that tapestry to your children. I don’t know if I will get to experience the mystery of motherhood. But most of us take that tapestry into the next life regardless and we’re free. We incarnate into our soul families: the people we loved and who loved us for real that we met in previous lives, regardless of biology. Usually, that means breaking old patterns, and going bravely into new lives.

Erotic soul mates: This is the stuff people like and the stuff they like to ask me about. There is a difference between erotic and platonic soul mates, and it’s this:

Sex is for resolving tension, not for maintaining harmony.

The person, or people, you marry, aren’t going to be your best friends forever. No one actually wants to marry their best friend. They want to marry someone who fascinates them and augments their world — just enough outside their comfort zone — so that they can be something else.

After all, who you are in the bedroom and who you are when sitting around talking to your friends are really not the same people. If they are, then I’d imagine you have a really hard time getting laid. Unless you’re Prince, you’re not likely the same person in the bedroom that you are on the street. And in order to be aroused, there has to be a thing to arouse you. Harmony and having a good time with the friends you’re comfortable isn’t psychologically arousing. But looking around the room and seeing just how the light illuminates that beautiful woman or man that you have noticed for the first time because they’re not just like you is entirely different. We can chalk some of it up to biology and genetic diversity. Genetic diversity makes people more attractive, but there’s also that special something there when two people who are different enough, and the same enough, happen to be bobbing along the tide of life and bump into each other at the right time.

And that right time is NOT right after a lifetime when you were already married to this person. If it is, then there’s a good chance there’s some serious issues between the two of you that you need to resolve. But moreover: the person you were married to in a previous life is more likely to be a relative or non-lover in this life strictly because of timing. If you’re the first to go and come back immediately to be with your paramour from the previous life, more likely the only room for you is to be that person’s child or niece or nephew or even grandchild. You’re not coming back as their lover because that would be really fucked up for you to be like, 13 and your paramour like 80.

I also don’t think that couples who go through a long, successful marriage and both die in old age actually reincarnate to be together again as lovers and do the same things over again. I’m not that idealistic anymore. I don’t think that anyone who manages to go through a successful marriage until death really needs the erotic part anymore to reconcile the tension because that would likely be resolved.

Now, onto the next question: why do you think this? Other than just musing, there are certain karmic connections in charts. The more I practice, the less I use asteroids or certain points, but there are some I use. I use Juno, Eros, Psyche, the Vertex, and Ceres when it comes to synastry. Now, I have feelings about synastry, because I think people rely on it too much, way passed its expiration date. Once the relationship commences, then the synastry chart becomes less and less important.

Anywhoo.

There are connections between charts that draw people to each other or make people affiliate or associate with each other. This doesn’t mean you’ll actually even meet: if you were to cast a chart for every celebrity crush you have ever had, you will notice, quite a few times, that you will have a personal connection to them astrologically even though they have no idea who the fuck you are and you don’t actually know them as a real person. Limerence actually does have some sort of cosmic purpose, it seems, or at least it happens to grease the wheels more than we realize. People don’t fall in love with the person they know everything about already. Children act out the sexual tension by attacking each other. Unfortunately, we excuse it when boys do it and perpetuate rape culture instead of teaching them that it’s okay to be fascinated with girls but that they are people who deserve respect, and are not blank slates for males to dump their unarticulated desires upon.

But you can see limerence in a synastry chart. It usually involves the admirer’s Mars, Uranus, or Pluto in aspect to the other’s luminaries, personal planets, angles, and Nodes. Sometimes Venus, but only really in aspect to one of those planets, because unlike Mars, Uranus, and Pluto, Venus is not a planet of tension. It smooths things over. It extends the olive branch, looks over and glosses over flaws, and compromises. If there will be a love connection or a possibility of an actual meeting, Venus will be involved. It really doesn’t matter whose Venus, either. Traditionally, we tend to favor aspects between a woman’s Venus and a man’s Mars, because those expressions seem to come out in the most socially acceptable way. Really, that’s it. If it’s the woman’s Mars and man’s Venus, the woman tends to be the chaser or the one who initiates contact. Of course, this gets a little more complicated in same sex relationships or relationships with gender fluid individuals.

But, basically: Mars initiates action. Uranus causes change and wants to come to a consensus on what to do. Pluto wants to meld, burn in a sweet sexy fire, and rise up like Phoenix from the ashes. And yes, you’re right: these tend to be hard aspects. But a relationship without tension is a friendship. Friends love you just as you are in the world. Your paramour loves what the world doesn’t see, draws it out, and maybe it scares you. Maybe it inspires you. If it’s good, they can see both the adult and the child in you, love them both, and reveal to you both the adult and the child in them. That takes action (Mars), or a willingness to do something new (Uranus) or an obsessive longing to go in deep (Pluto).

As you age, you start to recognize your soul mates, and hopefully you recognize that you aren’t obligated by the universe to pursue and fuck each one of them, and hopefully, you eventually learn that sometimes, it’s better to say goodbye in this life than to meet again in another.

What about Disability and Disaster?

Well, what about it? Suppose you got shot in the eye as a soldier in war in a previous life, so you what, you return in this life blind? Why the fuck would you do that? Think about it. So, you spent your entire life seeing and experiencing the world through sight, and you’ve never been blind before, and then merely because you lost your sight moments before death (if you were even conscious of it), you just chose to spend another lifetime without sight, because….? That’s weird, and that’s really not in line with the way I notice how people make life decisions.

By the way, I’m pro-vaccination, pro-modern medicine, pro-education, pro-science, pro-empiricism, pro-choice, pro-democracy, anti-oligarchy, pro-free college, anti-Trump and anti-conspiracy theory. I don’t have reason to fear GMOs. I think homeopathy doesn’t work, but the power of suggestion is fucking incredible. If you want to eat twigs and berries and fool yourself into think it’s gonna cure your lymphoma, have fun with that shit. But you six year old kid? She doesn’t have a say, and part of the reason we live in an advanced society is based on the idea that we have some people who are good at some things do those things exclusively for the benefit of others. You know, like the way doctors do medicine, lawyers do law, farmers grow food, and struggling actors maintain prolific Instagram profiles. But when it comes to things like vaccines where the simplest solution is yes, it’s a good idea to vaccinate everyone, and no, it’s not a conspiracy, because they’re relatively cheap, do not cause autism or whatever thing you think it does, and there’s no reason to believe it does something other than stop terrible illnesses, because even if you think there’s a megawealthy puppetmaster controlling the vaccine industrial complex, that puppetmaster probably has children, and all the money in the world cannot stop the spread of illness without immunity.

Being rich gives you access to clean water and healthy food, but it doesn’t change your genes. Case in point: all of Donald’s Trump’s children before plastic surgery. Weak chins, wonky faces: these are primal signs of a weak immune system. There IS a correlation between facial symmetry and immune system health and genetic vigor (which, actually, comes from ethnic- and race mixing, not ethnic and racial exclusivity). If the puppetmasters existed and wanted to control the world, they would make vaccines only available to a select few and let the rest of us die in infancy. But, as it is, no one can control airborne viruses, and you can’t quarantine sick people fast enough to keep illness from spreading, and if it means vaccinating everyone to keep your own scions from dying at four weeks old, then what’s the problem?

Oh, and all the basic chemistry stuff that most of us learned in high school that explains why vaccines and GMOs are actually not an issue.

But, despite my strong opinions, I don’t like doing medical astrology for people; my advice is to go to a license doctor in good standing with the health board of your state. I also don’t think people need to be “cured” of things people think are disabilities, and they can decide for themselves what to do. While I am pretty well acquainted with medical negligence claims and how prevalent medical negligence is, how destructive it can be, and that there are probably more people practicing medicine than ought to be, you have a better shot getting that abscess on your foot under control by 1) taking your doctor’s orders and eating a low carb diet, 2) taking your diabetes medication, 3) using antibiotics and keeping the wound clean than by putting a crystal on it or asking people to send you good vibes. Most people send half-hearted, complicated, nuanced, conflicted vibes, and that’s not really helpful. That’s like taking a random handful of medication from the cabinet and hoping for the best.

Being differently abled means different things. In some cultures, people we’d consider schizotypal are considered wise spiritual intermediaries who can cure people. Dyslexia is common in children who are brilliant in non-academic ways. There is a Deaf culture in America of people who don’t want to be hearing and get along just fine without it. Autistic adults wouldn’t trade their autism to be neurotypical. Hundreds of years ago, we forced left handed children to right with right hands, which set them up for disaster, but now, we give the lefties their desks on the end, and I personally could never imagine wanting to be right handed because it’s not even an issue. We perceive ability through our own experiences and then we project them up to the Heavens. Sometimes, though, you CAN see certain things in a natal chart.

I have found it’s often just easier to let people volunteer what has happened to them or what ability they have or don’t have. I have read CEO Carter, Judith Hill, William Lilly, and I kind of stopped with medical astrology after that, because I can’t really determine with any accuracy what disability a person may have. I can predict what disability a person may have from birth, but unless I sit down and do transits and progressions, I can’t tell what will manifest later on. I can tell what someone has a predisposition for from the natal chart. I can’t tell if that will manifest. For example, I can see things like reproductive problems and infertility, but I can’t necessarily say that I see obesity and diabetes co-morbid with PCOS because there are a few ways that certain planetary placements can play out.

But moreover, if we’re talking about physiological differences, here’s kind of a quick way to (help) determine if the effect is physiological (external) or if it’s psychological/neurological (internal):

The represented planet is harshly aspected by a malefic: Mars, Saturn, Uranus, or Pluto when the manifestation is external or exclusively external. If the manifestation is internal, then it’s more likely because the planet is either extremely debilitated by dignity or because it is unaspected.

This is not foolproof, but little is.

I do think that some people however, may reincarnate into differently abled bodies because 1) the different ability is familiar, and 2) they want to be with the people who are there, and that’s the genes and circumstances available. After all, if it’s not familiar to you, why choose it? If you consider that people choose to be with people for internal reasons, regardless of social mores, in this life, it will make sense that people would choose it in the after life. We love who we love, regardless of whether we marry them. We marry across religions, countries, cultures, languages, races, generations, genders, socioeconomic classes, and all the other imaginary structures that are supposed to guide our mating choices. We create families, kinships and communities, and those ties that bind fulfill a primal need that would probably override a desire to say wait for a chance to incarnate into a oil-rich sheikh with a 14-inch cock.

Then, there is a third possibility: some souls are so eager to be born that they don’t care about anything else, like if they will enter a body that will be typical, or they don’t even know what the human experience is really like.

Enter my brother. He’s my Irish twin, born 11 months and 16 days after I was born. He is one of the redheads in the family. I was the first, then he was the second, and then my oldest-youngest sister was the third and final. We three look the most like each other and like our father, and less like our mother. In fact, we look nothing like her at all. The other children have brown hair and beige skin and actually look like they could be her children. My brother is not the only one assigned male at birth, but he is currently the only siblings who identifies as male. This is his chart. He’s largely the reason I really want to let go of the idea of karma and reincarnation:

But I should believe in it all anyway. My brother and I are quite astrologically tied, and some of those ties are karmic. My Moon is conjunct his ascendant. His Jupiter conjunct my North Node, his Venus and Pluto conjunct my Saturn, his Sun and Uranus conjunct my Mercury and Uranus, his Mars conjunct my Midheaven. Like a lot of siblings, we could have been spouses in past lives, but I don’t think we were. I’m pretty sure, for reasons I wrote later on, that he was either my son (if I ever had children in a past life, not likely legitimate ones) or my baby brother. It seems that my brother was born to experience childhood, creativity and joy (5th house North Node), equal relationships and partnerships (7th house emphasis), personal transformation (8th House Sun conjunct Uranus), spiritual action (Mars conjunct Neptune), and to not fear being seen as different (the Moon in Capricorn in the 10th house) or independence.

My brother has an IQ of about 65. He is also mildly autistic, and may have central auditory processing disorder. From what I remember, he’s been diagnosed with everything from food allergies to ADD. Yet, his life is not material for the inspiration porn that people who don’t have disabled loved ones share all over social media. He grew up in the same family I did. Same limitations. Same fight for the same limited resources. Same bad neighborhood. Same ignorant people. Same ignorant extended family. Same dysfunctional family. Same problems. He has done nothing to inspire inspirational porn, and neither has his parents. He has done nothing in his life that I may immediately predict for someone else with this natal chart. Granted, the dependency on others, as shown by the third-quadrant emphasis, is obvious. But I don’t see him experiencing joy, or creativity, or equal partnerships, or transformation, or spirituality, or independence, and not in his chart, but in real life. Actually, I think his life sucks, and right now, I can’t do anything about it other than wait and start a special needs fund for him.

Notice my brother’s un-aspected Mercury in early Scorpio in the 7th house. It could be making a very wide opposition to Chiron in the 2nd house, and to the North Node in the 5th house, but I would not consider this a T-square, or Mercury to actually have any Ptolemaic aspects to Chiron or the North Node. This is where I think the difference is between a neurological (Mercury) and an aural (also Mercury) difference in ability.

So, I see this chart as something of an enigma. He could be a soul completely starting over again after having completed a cosmic cycle, perhaps an avatar, a bodhisattva warrior. I have an astrologer relative who thinks he may be a brand new soul. I think that perhaps this is my brother’s first incarnation where he survived infancy. I mean, if he stuck with what he knew, if he incarnated repeatedly into harsh environments and social structures as someone disabled and extremely dependent, he may not have had a chance to become an adult before, so in this life, he’s sticking to what he knows. This might makes sense in light of the Mars/Neptune conjunction in Sagittarius in the 9th house, that this is a bold voyage into brand new spiritual territory, and his Sun/Uranus in the 8th house, which, in a past without modern medicine, he would have probably died early.

Now, you may say “well, perhaps his purpose is just to show people the error of their ways and to suffer for the rest of us,” and to that, I say:

Go fuck yourself , you selfish, selfish, useless, shallow asshole.

Everyone incarnates for their own purpose, for their own selves, for their own needs, desires, and fears, and that’s just as it should be. Every soul has a purpose unto itself, distinct from all others. No one incarnates to be a scapegoat because you can’t actually be a scapegoat in the actual, Biblical sense.

Every man and every woman is a Star.

Every one of them with their own light, their own will, their own love. No light eclipses the other, nor should it, as to do so does not enhance one’s own. There is no purpose to igniting and then extinguishing one’s light.

That’s why Jesus, Agape Incarnate, probably doesn’t really exist, and if he did, absolutely had to be a god to do what he did, cause no one actually chooses something they know will hurt them or chooses it without a reason to do it.

What about Agape?

The love of god for mankind, and the love of mankind for god, as the highest love. Bluntly, I think it’s imaginary, but it is no less powerful. In fact, if god could take any form that I could understand, god is the endless human imagination.

But as a Neptunian type, this is kind of my territory, and maybe it seems offensive to equate god with the human imagination, but if you are offended, I’m kind of impressed that you got this far, because there’s a lot of other offensive things I wrote before this. Anyway, thank you for your patience.

Neptune represents the dissolution back into Oneness, which may be god, in the pantheistic sense. It also represents martyrdom, deception, and glamour, delusion, illusion, imagination, music, poetry, and deception. It’s all these things. There is probably a lot I could write about this, but ultimately, the love of god and love of god is a reflection into the heavens, just like astrology. There are some differences: astrology is not a religion, and it requires no religious belief or even “belief” in astrology itself.

Venus is love, basic love, augmented by whatever planets aspect it. It’s also pleasure, and it’s the kind of love that get a rush from. It’s affection, it’s flirting, it’s playfulness with people you are comfortable with, and indulging in pleasures or inactivity or self-care. It is the part of us that wants others to love us. We seek our Venus in the world.

Venus is like Michael Buble. Neptune is like Van Morrison.

Neptune, the higher octave of Venus, is different. It’s the kind of love we feel when we empathize with someone and do what is good for them as opposed to ourselves, and our pleasure is vicarious and shared. We don’t know where one’s emotions stop and another’s begins. This can be terrifying or liberating, depending on what’s going on. Being one with the universe? Cool. Letting Charles Manson put ideas in your head? Not so cool.

It’s the Neptune, a generational planet, comes through us and overwhelms us eventually, like a very slowly rising ride. It feels like it’s coming out of you, but it’s coming through you. You’re not the origin of this divine light; you’re the prism, and whatever your colors are, let them shine. We project our Neptune to others, even when we don’t realize it. We are affected by our environments and absorb them. We lose our egos. We hope to become one. We hope to be rescued.

We call out in the dark and a voice does not answer back. Some people get an answer. I think that’s fascinating, because a child and as an adult, whenever I prayed, I thought I was talking to myself. God never heard me, never listened, never fixed anything, never rescued me. God never even sent me the dopamine rush that he sends the other devout. Neptunian as I was, I thought you had to fake it to make it. I grew up around a lot of posturing, not actual faith in a god. I was taught that worship was a tit-for-tat with a fickle being who could be summoned to give permission to punish, hurt, or squash a person’s soul. I was taught that god is miser who loves to torture some people. especially when they’re doing what he wants, and gives the best to others who don’t deserve it. But, in public, you had to put on the show, because what would people think? And you don’t want to go to Hell, do you?

I can fake it. I can be as outwardly sanctimonious and the next phony and satisfy everyone with my lip service. And for a while, I actually believed that it was true, in a way. I believed that I wasn’t good enough of a person to actually have a relationship with a god, or to have the nice things other people take for granted, like peace, and a home life without fear, because I was bad at my essence, even though the god seemed to just give other people stuff they didn’t even appreciate.

And I was told the god takes pleasure in my suffering, and that’s why it won’t make it stop. It needs my suffering to help the poor souls in purgatory. I mean FUCK MY SOUL: what about the other people who nearly blew their chance?

But as I got older, the more interested I was in other religions, and the more I was punished for that, and the more I realized this actually just may be a dog and pony show I may have to attend for the rest of my life because of the terrible misfortune of not having been born to atheist parents.

I have a distinct memory of church that I think was the first time I was able to accept that maybe the problem isn’t me:

During the Eucharist, which mimics the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, who turns his body to bread and blood to wine, it reminded me of the Aztecs I was learning about in school who would sacrifice a person on the altar and give their flesh and blood as food to the gods.

As I watched the priest hold up and bless the host, I thought to myself “how primitive.”

Well, let me warn every Catholic child living now: even if you think that, don’t chirp that in the car ride home.

My father is an atheist. My mother couldn’t accept this. She would actually make him lie to her; she would try to tease out some belief in a god from him. She even volunteered him for our parish council even though he was a alcoholic who didn’t give two shits about it. That didn’t matter to my mother. Most people’s boundaries and autonomy don’t matter to her. But sometimes, he went to church with us, sometimes a few months at time, sometimes a few years at a time depending on what emotional melodrama was going on at home that required his lip service at church. I hated those times, because his behavior was worse, and with all eight of us crammed in one pew, there was discomfort, boredom, and a crack in the head or a tug of the hair from the one person who wanted to be the least.

I will tell you something about my father and karma: about ten years ago, he got a very rare cancer on his back, one that usually only happen to workers in a specific industry. Not that it couldn’t happen otherwise to a man who lived on a steady diet of beer, cigarettes, and the adrenaline rush of rage, but it was unusual, and he ignored it. Well, it grew, and he had surgery. He had a few of them. He had radiation. He thought it was gone.

And this was a time in my life where I was taking the horrible advice to forgive and make peace with your abuser because his sperm made half of you. Civil? Yeah. I mean, by that age, if he hit me, I would have called the police and pressed charges. But this was also a time where I was realizing something else, something really important: he didn’t love me. I mean, all my life, he didn’t like me, and that was obvious all my life, because he started slapping me when I was about ten months old, I believe, and yanking me around by the hair when I was old enough to stand up, and I don’t remember the last time he actually struck me as much as the times he threatened to do so until I was 18.

My mother, who wants to pretend our family is normal, would say fucked up things when I was a kid like “well, he loves you, but he doesn’t show it, but he tells me.” “He hits you because it’s the only way he knows how to show he cares.” “You just have to stop making him angry.” “Well, sometimes love hurts,” and other horribly fucked up things you should never say to a scared and traumatized child. And I used to think it was my fault that I was treated that way, and that my mother wouldn’t protect me, and that god wouldn’t save me no matter how much I prayed. Was it the hitting, or was it knowing that it was happening because you weren’t loved, and no one cared about you enough to help you, especially not your god?

It wasn’t that god didn’t love me; it was that god wasn’t there. It wasn’t part of his divine plan to have me live in fear and despair, and to learn that I am supposed to let people, especially men, treat me poorly. It wasn’t part of his divine plan for me to fruitlessly pray for my father to develop some sense of basic human sympathy until one day, it was just magically work and he’d be cured. And god certainly never answered my prayer for my father to divorce my mother, go away, die, whatever.

One time, I was pretty sure he was cheating on my mother with a co-worker of his, and I was delighted at the possibility of him moving out someday. Never happened.

It was the fact that my mother was fine with this, because if his anger was directed toward the children and not her, she could live as she wanted. She didn’t have to risk being a single mother, having to get a job, having to do things she didn’t want to do. If he was hitting her, I’m sure it would be a different story, but it was us, and that was okay, because it was not her. She actually thought the fact that I hated my father was funny. She would make jokes about it, tease me about hating him, as if we’re schoolchildren, as if that’s normal or going just go away when I grow up.

And she was the religious nut. She was the one who demanded the performance and the outward display. She was the one who demanded spiritual obedience to her religious ideas. So, what I actually realized some time in my twenties is that I never had a relationship with god, because everything I experience relating to a god came through the distorted interpretation I got from my mother, to the point that I wasn’t actually trying in vain to connect with and appease a god, but to appease her. The god was her, and that’s what she wanted.

Now, back to my father’s cancer. I felt terrible guilt that I was pleased that he was suffering, because what kind of person delights in someone’s cancer? My mother insisted these feelings I was trying to stifle were tears (not a twisted smile I was trying to choke down) because I was so sad my dear father was in so much pain. But that was a lie. I have never been conflicted about my feeling about him. I have never loved him. There was no reason, there was no opportunity to develop any loving feelings for him. There was no way for me, as a child, to engage in the kind of intellectual acrobatics required to pretend you love someone you desperately want to go away. When I first heard he had cancer, I was very upset for my siblings who were financially dependent on him, because he was the breadwinner, and what would they do without his income? But then, I thought about how interesting it is that he developed a rare cancer in an area of his body that would prevent him from being able to lift his arm up.

Prevent him from lifting his arm in anger or hatred at another person.

The cancer that came back spread to the bone, and he had to have a portion of his shoulder blade, shoulder, and clavicle removed. They put a rod in to give the arm some structure, but it just hangs. But last I saw, he was a shell of a human, drinking and chain smoking, waiting for death, resigned to a lift dependent on a wife and family he never wanted and now can’t escape.

I stopped talking to him years ago. Maybe his cancer came back. Maybe the alcoholic dementia is taking the toll. I don’t worry about it. I’m free. I have never introduced my boyfriend to him, and I never will. If I have children, I’ll never worry about the risk of having him around them.

Was it karma that fixed this man? I don’t know. Supposedly, his special hatred for me came from the fact that I look the most like him, and moreover, his mother and a sister that he especially hates, and supposedly am personality-wise the most like him. I crack jokes. That’s really truly all we have in common as adults. I am not like him. I hope not. But if this is the lifetime that I finally escape my karma with this particular soul, it would be an accomplishment.

And truly, I’ve never been happier.

So, I actually don’t think I can write about agape in any way but an intellectual one. I don’t think I have actually ever experienced it. To tell you the truth, I don’t think anyone else in my family has either in the actual sense, because I know people who really believe a godperson exists, and they’re not like my family, which makes me wonder if there is a genetic component to believing in a god. I also think that at this age, I’m too old, in that my brain is too old, to be shaped by religious or spiritual experience to actually feel as if there is a god and love that god and feel loved by it.

I’m pretty sure I will live and die and never actually experience agape. This is not to say that I haven’t had very spiritual moments. When I lived in Seoul, I would go hiking on Sunday morning, when it was quiet, and stand at the top of the mountain, and look down at the city around me, marveling at the fact that I’m standing on Earth pushed up over millions of years of slow activity, and yet, around me is a metropolis raised up in 60 years, and that really, there is nothing we can’t do, so long as the sun is shining, the air is there to breathe, and the earth is beneath us. All things are part of a complex, and I have a place in it too, and it’s beautiful. And Yahweh had nothing to do with it, but that’s okay.

And the former friends and the former boyfriends all my life who had criticized and guilted me because they thought my spiritual journeys and longings were superfluous, distractions to me satisfying their needs, who wanted me to think there was something wrong with me for questioning and longing: they were gone; not a single one on the mountain with me.

I still go out and look at the Moon. There is comfort knowing that it is there. My brother? He’s been a prolific moon watcher his whole life too. It’s the closest I can imagine having something benevolent watching over me, and it’s female. There’s the water, too. I have never lived somewhere landlocked before. I have always lived near a river, a lake, the ocean. I can see the Chicago River from my office. I can go down to the river walk and listen to it rush by knowing that those water molecules have probably taken a trip around the world, many times over, have been parts of so many things, so many bodies, so many storms, so many other bodies of water.

And when I was back in the United States living in more rural areas with less light pollution (how I miss a starry sky!) Lying in the grass, standing up in the dark, looking up at the night sky: the stars, the planets, the constellations, even the satellites on an especially clear night. That light took millions of years to travel to hit my eye. The source may even be dead. Somewhere out there, there is a new star in our galaxy. There are new planets, new solar systems, and perhaps even new life. And it’s almost as if, when you’re lying there, looking up at the stars, that the Earth is so small, so far away from everything else. It’s a small planet, in a small solar system, with only one moon, revolving around a medium-sized star, and life evolved here because….why not? And it’s beautiful. It’s constant reinvention, it’s destruction and creation. And somehow, for some reason, I’m here right now, at this time, and so are you, and we have bodies that we can do amazing things with to affect matter and use it and communicate with each other and create entire worlds around the geography and call them “religion” or “culture” or “tradition.”

But there is no god guy who made this happen, and certainly not for my benefit, but that’s okay. I love it anyway, and I hope that in this lifetime, I continue to have the opportunity to keep experiencing the wonders of being a human being.

San Junipero

One of my favorite things about not being a law student, not studying for the bar exam, and not working all the time to make ends meet around it is that I can do things, like watch television again. I replaced my televisions with Smart TVs. I finally saw Fargo, probably one of the best written shows ever, and if Mr. Wrench doesn’t get his own season, I’m marching on Washington. I know I will not be alone. Seriously. I would like to one day write screenplays and teleplays, and this is inspirational and awe-inspiring, and the soundtrack is a gift from The Muses. I also watched the first season of Goliath, and it’s not bad; it’s as real as you can get without boring everyone to death. I saw Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and I’m amused by the hullabaloo over it, but I think it IS true that Church of Satan has copyrighted their Baphomet and Child Statue, and I’m interested to see how this case progresses, since I have very little exposure to IP law except for writing some basic articles about it and having a couple friends study IP in law school. I have seen episodes of Sin City on Youtube (highly recommend. Same director as Murder on a Sunday Morning. You want to go into criminal law? Watch a couple episodes about real prosecutors and real defense attorneys and public defenders.) I saw Castle Rock. I saw Black Mirror, and I had to stop after the episode San Juniperio, because I just don’t want to risk disappointment with any other episode.

If you’re like me and years behind the times and mostly disinterested in popular culture anyway, you may not have seen this show. Apparently, there was a few of us. Just from a craft standpoint, this is a perfect sci-fi/fantasy episode in my opinion. You watch it once, then again knowing everything and realizing what you missed, and how the pieces fit together, and then maybe a few more times, and then when you want to feel good, a few more times. Not to spoil it for you, but the story is about a simulation of previous decades that the elderly can consciously enter in order to be young again and keep living life, even permanently when they pass on, a type of Heaven if you will, right in a virtual cloud.

I wonder: if I died and went to Heaven, or if I died and went into a cloud server, would I know the difference? Would I care?

But is that it: stagnant nirvana, bliss, stillness? Would I be able to love, to make friends? To experience things? To keep learning about myself and the world around me, about the people around me? Would I ever get a chance to find the answers to the questions I’ve had, like if karma is actually real, or will we simply just know everything, no fun, happy know-it-alls with harps and halos?

Because I don’t want that. I am too limited I guess by who I am and who I want to be to imagine happiness without exploration, and wonder, or change. I don’t understand what is satisfying about never having curiosity or sense of accomplishment ever again. How about knowing you helped someone in need? Will I never experience that again? Can I ever produce something beautiful when everything is there already? That’s who I am, here on Earth, projecting my desires up into the Heavens. I call those things the Sun in Sagittarius in the 9th house, Mercury in Scorpio in the 8th house, Mars conjunct Jupiter in Virgo in the 6th house, and Neptune in the 9th house, Venus in Capricorn in the 10th house. They come from here, and I project them back up into the Heavens, in the circle I see from my vantage point on Earth, because these things all come from right here.

Heaven is a place on Earth, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

One thought on “Heaven is a Place on Earth: We Are the Starmakers and the Stars Themselves

  1. Pingback: Fugitive Umbrellas

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