The Shy Astrologer

One day, she’ll become a mighty doe whos runs straight into your car one winter night.

I start draft after draft of posts on various topics. Some are purely about astrology. Some of them are purely about my problems. But what always seems to linger is that feeling of being soft and vulnerable.

Astrologically, I can chalk this up to Neptune transiting my ascendant and opposing my natal Saturn. I can throw in that Uranus is transiting my natal Chiron. I can add that these planets are currently retrograde, making yet more passes over these natal points.

And while I don’t look at myself and see vulnerability, I know it’s there. I spent weeks saying yes to everything, to work around other people well passed the point I normally would. I have been hesitant to say what I think, to ask for what I need, as if some part of me suddenly became very young and found herself on the street with no one to care for her and no place to go. Some part of me is a foundling who cannot account for her past and has no way to know her future.

But practically speaking, I experienced trauma and underwent a major life change during a global pandemic. Trauma has a way of resetting clocks. It undoes the patches in the mind’s foundation, allowing all those other things to seep in.

It’s not like humiliation. It’s more like shyness, but a renewed shyness, like the shyness I felt as a child anticipating things that I hadn’t quite experienced, not like adult shyness in which one anticipates a repeat of things that have come to pass time and time again.

And I suppose it doesn’t help that friends, family, and even strangers are actively avoiding me, as I am avoiding them, because we have to, because now everyone in the world is having a shy season and not just me.

And since April, I have remembered other things that have hurt me, things that can’t hurt me now anywhere except my own mind when I recall the memory.

Because you can’t forget, and you certainly can’t stop feeling. You will always remember one way or another. It’s just very hard right now not to react to everything and be unsure of what is coming, because this is jarring. Rick’s death alone would have been jarring enough, but for it to happen now, in these circumstances, makes it all the more surreal, strange.

Because maybe he died at just the right time, just before we all had to confront the fact that America is a failed state, though I wonder about all deaths like that, because the thing that holds me back from accepting the idea of my own death (everyone else’s, for some reason, is easy to accept) is the idea that I could possibly miss something amazing.

That’s what I think about when I think about the departed that I know, that I wish they had been able to actually see and experience the things we’re seeing and experiencing now, especially the ones who took their own lives.

Because when people take their own lives, they’re not just suffering a terrible pain that feels neverending, but they have lost all curiosity for what’s next.

Despite everything, I am still terribly curious as to what happens next, and thirsty to experience it, even if it means that once again I leave everything and reinvent myself.

Oh, I also said yes to things I did intend to agree to do, in case some of you were wondering.

I’m hoping my ankles are healed in time for my vacation. I decided to take one, for the first time in what, seven years? I think I have figured out how to maintain my distance from people the entire time and manage to get out of Chicago, to get out of Illinois, and go somewhere that terrifies and excites me on a journey in which I can’t honestly think of anyone else I know who’d want to go on it with me anyway, including the living, including the dead, including just about every ex I have.

Because it’s time for me to have my Jack London-esque adventures, should this turn out well, or my Little Tramp-esque disasters, should it not turn out so well. So long as I get to see a clear and magnificent full night sky at least once, it’s okay if the rest sucks.

And the thought of doing this thing, the mere fact that it’s possible now, is what gets me up in the morning.

I also recently rediscovered how much I enjoy being an astrologer. Sessions are going well, and I didn’t expect them to because of my born again shyness.

But I’m not the center of attention then, am I?

And I recently thought to myself, “What if, as a gift to myself, I simply honor my shyness and stop forcing myself to do things that involve public speaking? Would I still have seasons of shyness?”

While it would be nice to make videos and to post more on social media, or to do live readings for an audience, I would really just rather write.

And study.

I am, for the first time in 20 years, seriously getting into Uranian astrology. Will that be something I can offer? I don’t know yet. Transneptunians seem possible to me, perhaps even plausible, and it makes sense to consider the heavens as an unending sphere/as mirroring the sphere that is this planet.

And well, if quarantine has brought me anything, it’s hours and hours of time at night when there’s nothing else to do but read and then attempt to blog about it, and then lots of time to lie around and think of chicken-and-egg scenarios, like this:

Is my shyness the result of Neptune’s transit, or did Neptune cause the events that led to my shyness?

No, I’m not high. Okay, maybe a little. My question is whether this would have come with a Neptune transit over a Pisces ascendant and opposing Saturn, regardless of the circumstances in the outside world, or if Neptune’s transit brought the shyness that would not have existed unless certain things were already happening in the world and to me. I’m not inclined to think that Neptune carries shyness with it and then just plops it onto the ascendant like a throw pillow with cat pee on it. I’m inclined to think that Neptunian energy, when pressed through the Play-Doh Fun Factory that is all the things in the native’s environment, can come out in many different shapes, and one could be shyness.

******

And I am staring at the above paragraph, minutes after I have grown tired of typing, deliberating whether I should post this post, if there is something both delightful meta and foolishly stupid if I struggle with my shyness to post about the shyness keeping me from posting, because there are other things I could be writing about.

There are so many terrible things going on in this world — in my country alone — that maybe I ought to be writing about instead, as if I have something unique to contribute, as if my perspective has value?

I am starting to forget what happened back in April. I am starting to wake up and go about my days fully engaged in this space and time, to feel as if I belong where I am, to engage with the world without either one mentioning it at all.

Maybe it’s a good thing for me, ultimately, if I don’t think I have anything to say. Maybe shyness was the most concise way that I could describe feeling guilty because I’m healing from loss.

And damn, like that, I think I figured it out. Neptune (guilt) transiting over my ascendant (who I am in a relationship) opposing Saturn (loss) in 7th house (partners) conjunct the descendant (identity of partner; what I project onto partners/want from partners).

I really get to hope I live a long time so I can experience all of it, all of things that can happen to me and because of me, to live so long that I get to experience all the things that happen in the world, good and bad, mundane and insane. Maybe next time, I will fall head over heels in love the way teenagers do to someone really meant for me. Maybe next time I move, it’s to a brand new city in a brand new part of the country (or the world). Maybe if I lose my job in a recession, I will just go into business for myself. Maybe if COVID comes back in autumn, and we have to shelter in place again, I’ll just have more time to indulge in all my solitary hobbies.

Or maybe we are heading to a civil war, to a depression, to future in which the environment kills us if the other humans don’t get to us first.

I don’t know. But I really want to find out, and I’m glad that I do, even if it’s horrible.

Sometimes, I wonder what I would do in the most dire of circumstances. For example, I used to wonder what I would do in the face of certain horrific death. It could be the end of the world. It could be Armageddon. It could be a civil war in which the enemy is upon us and taking no prisoners. It could be because someone in a cabin in a haunted forest plays a tape recording of chants from the Book of the Dead. I don’t know.

And I don’t mean certain, quick death. I don’t mean that nanosecond after a nuclear bomb goes off when you get an inkling something is wrong before you’re toast. I don’t mean being shot in the head, or cyanide poisoning, or being pushed into a vat of acid. These are the kind of deaths in which you have no time and no agency, but also, no prolongment of pain and anguish.

I mean like Ebola but with a 100% infection and death rate. I mean like aliens invading killing all humans with not only the primary intent of removing every single human from Earth, but to do it in the most gruesome, torturous fashion in order to send a message to the alien races on other planets not to fuck with them or else this shit happens to them, too. I mean like being trapped in an elevator with Donald Trump Jr. for so long that he starts to get comfortable and jerk off to pictures of his Dad and it’s one of those small elevators with mirrors all around.

I mean things in which the alternative — suicide, and in some instances, murdering the ones you love most — is preferable to whatever the future holds.

Would I do it? Would I kill myself, or would I bravely face a future that I know is not only the painful death of myself because of what it will do to my body, but part of the painful death of all the other humans who would have ever loved me and whom I have ever loved, the death of my memories of all of them and their memories of me, the death of the entire collective of human knowledge and gnosis, snuffed out forever? Because then I am truly dead.

But if I do it myself, I save myself from the pain, from the fear, from the helplessness of being delivered to death by a set of hands not my own, right? At least I know (for a little bit at least) that I was not extinguished by the same breath that blew out the rest of humanity, right?

And you know what I like about thinking about what I would do in a situation like this? I like that there is no courage and no cowardice. I like that there is no room for a god to intervene (because he abandoned this project, because he was never the architect at all?). I like the idea of a moment in time where all the things we think matter just don’t matter any more because people are being killed like grass being mowed, and they’re not there to judge your decision. No one remains to know, to remember, no one to tell.

The only catch to this is whether or not you think suicide is a sin, because it comes down to whether after all of this, after all of what has happened, and after all of what is certain, you still have any doubt in your mind that there is no god.

Because when I think about it, I immediately think that as an atheist, I would choose suicide, no question. Out on my terms. Right?

But when I remember what happened three and a half months ago, I remember someone who might actually have doubt in her mind.

And now I actually know what I would actually do in a situation in which I would face certain horrific death but I had the time, resources, and ability to kill myself first.

So now I don’t have to be too afraid if I’m so lucky to live long enough to experience the Apocalypse.

Do I have to be shy about that?

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