The Leo/Aquarius Paradox: Persona

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Yesterday, we celebrated the lunar new year and the beginning of the year of the Ox, which isn’t supposed to be so great for the Goat, which is what I am.

But I don’t think it’s going to be such a great year for a lot of folks.

But you could already guess that.

This is a wait and build year for me. Again. Fine. Next year should be better, and my life will likely have changed a lot between now and then such that whatever is or remains by next lunar new year is the foundation for the year of the Tiger, and whatever I reap that year can be enjoyed in the year of the Rabbit…which can be corroborated by my Western horoscope.

And I’m appreciating Eastern/Chinese astrology more because it’s foundation in generations and age cohorts is kind of up my alley.

Mercury is retrograde in the Aquarius stellium.

I like it, but you know me.

The previous Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius:

The last time this retrograde occurred was in late January of 2015, and from what I recall from a scant six years ago was that my country was steeped deeply in the controversy of same-sex marriage, which turned out to be kind of a ideological double-edged sword: now that all adults of sound mind can get married to all willing adults of sound mind regardless of sex, the pressure is on to get married. You gained a legal freedom and lost a philosophical one, because now if you’re a gay adult in a long-term relationship with another adult, it’s only legitimate if the government says it is, and you can only reap the legal protections of a long-term relationship if you get married.

But there is something to be said for domestic partnerships and civil unions, which still exist in a handful of states: they’re not recognized in a whole lot of other states, so if you have a civil union in Illinois, California doesn’t give a fuck, and your personal property in California wouldn’t be communal property even if acquired during the civil union. Perhaps there’s another lawyer out there who knows how this can be used to the fullest financial benefit of a long-distance couple, because I have to say that I’m curious: as I’ve advised many of you, in the 21st century, geography is the most easily surmountable obstacle when it comes to love…especially if you fall in love with a lawyer who took out federal loans to pay for her law school education, seeing as how the IRS doesn’t recognized civil unions and therefore doesn’t let you file jointly so only the borrower’s income will be used to determine the amount they have to pay each month, and think about how that compares to the financial advantage of communal marital property or filing jointly should the couple marry instead….or think about how this could be used to a couple’s advantage when it comes to health insurance and what property is subject to debt and what isn’t…

[I’m putting that on my dating app profiles.

Just kidding. I’m never using a dating app again.]

…because getting married isn’t romantic unless you think it is: it’s politics, the ideological alignment of two individuals who wish to live as a unit and be treated as a unit for all public purposes.

The most romantic wedding event I can think of is simply eloping, and unless that’s on the table next time, I’m not getting married.

But enough about me:

But we wouldn’t have had to fight over the right to marry people of the same gender if we didn’t have marriage as such a powerful political institution that offers exclusive benefits and protections to people willing to give up some of their freedoms and do something for the sake of others — primarily the spouse but also the government itself.

If we could wrap our minds around it, we could easily have adults register and un-register long-term partnerships without the formalities of divorce, if we also didn’t insist on financially rewarding married couples, because I still don’t understand why, if I’m willing to pay for it, why I can’t add another adult to my health insurance who is in my home but not my husband or civil partner.

But then again, at least I’m not at all responsible for the financial mess and trail of creditors Rick appears to have left behind.

Welcome to the Aquarius Stellium.

Right now, Mercury is retrograde in Aquarius and square my natal Mercury retrograde and Uranus in Scorpio, and I’m just going to have to roll with the changes in schedule, the cancellations, the no shows, the egos, and the fact we’re not really sure where we stand (Mercury retrograde) ideologically (Aquarius) with other people.

And that’s because now more than ever in the past few years, social media (Aquarius) is the mantle over which the plate of persona and the plate of the person are crashing into each other and causing quite the earthquake.

It’s wokeness AND anti-wokeness, but not in their infancies: more like the awkward teen phase for both, when they’re trying to find their identity and are testing the boundaries of everything because they’re not old enough to have to actually have real responsibility yet, even though both are actually in the most stressful parts of their lives. I wonder about the young people have their Saturn returns right now, in the pandemic, during a very culturally confusing time, and all of the ones in their mid-20s or thereabouts having Uranus square their natal Uranus.

But every revolution is important, even if they lead to a period of cultural complacency years later, because even though the 1980’s came from the 1960s, there were things we couldn’t have had if we didn’t have the 1960s. I’m not convinced that we could have sidestepped liberal feminism or the tokenism of people of color, or that without the sexual revolution we could have had recognition of gay rights and legalized abortion in every state. And I don’t think that we could have had the digital age if we skipped the cynicism of the 1990s.

And during this stellium we will accuse the other of being confused, and we will lie to ourselves about how much of the person is in the persona and how much of it is real, and we will be confused as to where our personas stop and we begin, and how enmeshed we need to be in other people’s personas in order to matter.

Stay with me.

The new moon joins the stellium in Aquarius, and we will continue to live in two competing realities. With Mercury retrograde in Aquarius, I’ve casually observed more people confusing their feelings for facts, and I don’t mean that in a Ben Shapiro kind of way (although asexual robots fall under the rulership of Aquarius, so…), but strictly within the context of reading comprehension. Now, Americans who haven’t had it trained out of them in college will do this and think it’s justified, that they will think that how they feel about something they read is the actual content of what they read. This is why we don’t do well with satire, and why American satire isn’t really so subtle as it used to be, but also why we allow underground hate and alt-right groups to proliferate under the guise of art or free speech.

When most of us speak of free speech, we’re not talking about the First Amendment, but the philosophical, the ideology of “free speech,” and it’s close cousin “all opinions are equal, no matter where they came from.” For example, did you ever have to write a “what freedom means to me?” essay in school? I fucking hate shit like that. This teaches kids that the concept of freedom, that our collective idea of what freedom is, is weighed, or should be weighed, against the opinion of some random person. Even though most children don’t say weird things like “to me, freedom means outlawing abortion so that fetuses have full rights, and then freedom also means expecting the fetus to pull itself up by its bootstraps and get the fuck out of my sight and my taxes forever because now their existence interferes with my sense of freedom, whereas before, forcing a woman to have an unwanted child didn’t matter because it didn’t affect me, because freedom only matters when it’s me we’re talking about.” But that’s kind of what it does when you teach children that freedom in civilization enforced by law is a personal and not a collective idea.

You are the individual are completely free if you wash up on an unclaimed island by yourself using only your skill, wits, and lucky to survive. You the American citizen on American soil, however, are as free as you all decide you are free.

This flies in the face of what we generally think, and it’s no wonder that Aquarius represents the future, the collective, and freedom, because freedom is a relative term: no one is completely liberated so long as they’re in this mortal coil, and if we are together, there are freedoms we can only have if we also are willing to give up other liberties. Americans simply cannot wrap their minds around the fact that despite our rhetoric consistently telling us otherwise, we must cleave to material reality, and sometimes, you have to simply grow up and do things for other people. For example, if no one pays taxes, there are no free roads and no free road upkeep, and then the freedom to travel is greatly inhibited, and so is commerce, and then the only people who can buy necessities are the people who can afford to pay a private service to make the dangerous trek through the wilderness to bring it to them.

Leo Needs Aquarius: Persona

You may be surprised, hopefully pleasantly, that I don’t actually talk in snarky rants all the time, and you won’t really get those in a session, because I genuinely want to help, not perform.

The me that has a direct relationship with the paper or the word processor isn’t the me that is trying to make relationships with people and to care for them, because like I’ve said, all my clients are endearing. That’s what happens when you analyze charts: you discover what is vulnerable and loveable about a person, and then it’s just natural that you want to help them. And while my vision as a writer with a parasocial relationship with the audience and as an astrologer creating a bona fide relationship with a human are not entirely the same, they do come from the same person.

But so what? Who cares?

We live in a country with two competing realities. There is one that says that despite the popular vote that put Biden into office, there is no way that all those people actually exist, because “we the people” who agree with me are the only ones who actually exist. The only way you can justify believing the bullshit that the election was rigged is if you can’t really see that all these other people, the ones who voted for Biden, and can’t believe we actually exist in reality and not just in concept as a mass intent on blocking you from feeling more powerful and in control of your life.

And we need to stop with the bullshit cry of “oh, they can’t accuse so-and-so of being a fascist or white supremacist or chauvinist or Nazi sympathizer because they’re black/Jewish/Latinx/Canadian/gay/a woman,” because it’s the 21st century, and it’s America we’re talking about, and even if the right is still impressed with tokenism despite the rest of us long being over it, it’s not unreasonable to think that people who aren’t heterosexual cis-gendered European-American men buy into a certain rhetoric. This is not 1950’s America; this is Star Trek America without the technology or idealism. The only way something could be impossible is if it’s actually physically impossible. For example, it’s not impossible for an Orthodox Jew to not only support Donald Trump but support or condone all the extremist and/or hate groups that he panders to. Jews are people, actual real life people, and they can all think individually, even if we’re still as a culture grappling with the idea that The Jew as Other isn’t a giant mass of eating and breathing groupthink dedicated to various acts of villainy on a world scale. On the other hand, it is actually impossible for Abraham Lincoln to have been an Eddie Money fan because Eddie Money’s musical career came over 100 years after Abraham Lincoln died. The sad reality is that this is a byproduct of the melting pot doing its job: you will have people other than the usual suspects supporting the usual suspects because we have made progress.

For example, the Irish and Italians, two groups of people who weren’t considered white at the turn of the 20th century, are now among those supporting build-the-wall Trump, the terrorist attack on the Capitol, and this irrational hatred of anti-fascism (which is logically pro-fascism). There was a time when Catholics were all eyed with suspicion because it was believed that their allegiance is to the Pope and not the country, and if the Pope told them to say, storm the Capitol, they might, or if the Pope had the audacity to say something like “don’t support dictators,” they might actually start not supporting dictators despite what their neighbors would think. As we can see, many American Catholics are more obedient to their conservative neighbors than to their Pope, the Vicar of Christ, who is Christ’s megaphone on Earth in all religion-related matters, so if you were to say “well, he can’t be a fascist, he’s Catholic! That would against the living word of Christ!” then you can’t really be correct, can you? Because clearly many American Catholics have abandoned the Eternal Word of God for the Infernal Tweets of Trump. It’s just as silly when you say people of different identities can’t be x or y because of that identity. America has solved that problem for the worse.

You can so be a fascist and be a person of color, or female, or gay. You can so be a terrorist and be white. Fuck, my parents had two white friends who were anti-choice terrorists and served time in prison, and everyone of them knew about the attacks before they happened, and that it was an neglected teen mother who sent to the do the actual dirty work. There’s nothing that will make a bunch of white, entitled, Boomer right-wing fanatics abandon their hero fantasies and scatter like roaches faster than the FBI knocking on doors, I can tell you that, and I’m waiting to hear more about the stories of the family and friends of the psychos who attacked the Capitol and of the people who know Kyle Rittenhouse because I think we may have a lot in common.

But people will judge you based on the things you do and say, and if what you do and say all the time is the same thing, it’s a really hard sell to get someone to believe that some part of that is just persona. This is difficult now, and recognition is a trap like: there was a time when there was an offstage, and there was a time when there was no stage for anyone who wasn’t actively trying to be on stage. There is something seductive about living out the persona all the time, because there are rewards. I don’t mean merely for money or recognition, but for the assurance that you matter in the world, which is very much Leo/Aquarius. If Aquarius truly didn’t care what other people think, like Capricorn, it would mind its own business like Capricorn and let its work speak for them, or shrug and go home like Pisces because we’re all going to die someday and the puppet masters don’t care what the puppets think so long as they move when needed to move.

But the very fact that someone can build a career on social media for being black and a Trump supporter, or being fascist and Latinx, or racist but also gay, or sympathetic to white supremacist groups but also Jewish is a paradox of persona, not a negation. And it’s not even an old paradox: for example, the Jewish Ghetto Police. But specifically, the very fact that someone can be part of a group but also have politics that seem to negate the interests of the group is the byproduct of progress, and radical conservative minorities is the most Aquarius thing I can think of.

If your defense of someone is that, despite what they do and say all the time, that they’re excused from identifying with their own politics because of a pre-existing identity, or that you just don’t understand their sense of humor, I encourage you to try stepping out the bomb shelter and seeing what we’ve been up to as a nation for the last seventy or so years.

Did you know that television is in color now?

Welcome to the Fun House (Mirror): To be colorblind

It’s easy to say that someone’s job can be separate from their personal beliefs. Most of the time. I couldn’t do that. If I had contempt for the people I served, and then I went on social media “joking” in a way that demonstrates that contempt, I would be fired, and rightfully so, regardless of my plea to understand that it’s just my sense of humor. My job is important, my employer is important, and the work we do is important. My sense of humor is actually not that important, and unlike my job, I have a lot more flexibility in how I use my sense of humor to convey an idea. If I thought that the stereotypes and harmful ideas and harmful past events were amusing, I don’t think I could do this work. It’s a sacrifice, but not a big one, because I don’t want to tell racist jokes anyway. I don’t need that kind of freedom.

A long time ago, I used to work in a very seriously liberal, rarified part of liberal atmosphere where the company had a very seriously liberal persona, and most people were white and middle-class or from old money. There was a definite rank-and-file behind closed doors, There was misogyny. There was racism. And they know that because for a place like that with no industry secrets to keep, there sure were a lot of non-disclosure agreements between the company and people who “quit.” I work in public interest now, and most of the people I work with are people of color, and most of my superiors would be considered minorities, and that’s just the way it is. We don’t come to work and pat ourselves on the back for being diverse because there’s no reward for being a reflection of the population of Chicago. And unlike the phony liberal bastion I used to work for, we actually get shit done for real people in need.

And I learned way more about race, and how I thought about race at this job just by doing the job than I ever did behind the doors of the liberal plastic castle.

And yes, I think harmful stereotypes and demeaning entire groups of people are bad, but most jokes about race aren’t actually funny because they’re predictable. The definition of a stereotype is a belief that people share about a group of other people. Jokes about racism as a concept, however, is amusing to me, especially when told by a persona that mimics or points out the deep unawareness or indifference of white people. I find gender jokes too predictable to be funny, though I do appreciate one that is a true and complete misdirection. And that’s just me: I prefer silly and absurd things, and particularly dark humor that is absurd or silly, and I’m not angry enough anymore for humor that is woke or anti-woke, because it’s all the same tedious thing, and if you want me to applaud because I agree with you, then why waste my time by luring me here under the guise of promising to make me laugh? If you want to give a lecture, give a lecture and let me decide if I want to see it. I get why you’re doing stand-up or Youtube comedy instead of lectures: I mean, we expect way more intelligence-wise from people who give lectures than people who tell jokes. You can be a high school dropout and tell jokes successfully, but if you’re giving lectures, you better have credentials, even though to do the latter well, you need to be smarter than the person giving the lecture.

You know what I do find funny? I’ve recently come across this again, and I feel as if the stars were aligned. I love it when I find these things in the wild, and it’s one of the reasons I just can’t get off Facebook. It’s like panning for gold in a port-a-potty: even if the risk-to-reward ratio is greatly skewed against my favor, it’s sometimes worth it just to get a look at how strange people can be when they’re not even trying to be weird. They just are. Zero awareness. I love it.

I like old white women on social media calling other people racists because the other people acknowledge that race as a social construct exists. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s a bad thing to do, and I think it’s a bafflingly stupid thing to do, but whereas I already know all the stereotypes you could joke about, the old white lady fumbling around Facebook and calling people racist for things that aren’t racist is just so meta I can’t sit still.

I think it’s funny when the old white women refer to themselves as “colorblind,” which is not only not true, but impossible, because if they were, they wouldn’t have wandered their way to that particular comment section in the first place. And it’s exclusively old white women, someone’s grandmother or great grandmother, and she only comes to a comment section to say the same thing: to call other people, no matter who they are, racists, if they’re talking about race. Black people talking about race? Racists! White person telling them that that’s not what racism means, racists! Telling them that trying to shut down a conversation about race is an act of racism, no! Not me! Racists all of you! Racist, racist, racist! Especially you black people, because you call yourselves black, and black is a race, so you’re a racist! All black people are racist! I am the only person in the world who is not racist!

And this is not a joke. It’s not (always) a bunch of Gen Z’ers pretending to be Boomers for the lulz. These are real old white women, and you know this because they put too much information about themselves on social media to be fake.

I mean, if you’re commenting on an article about police brutality against a black teen, and your comment is that blue lives matter, that you personally colorblind, anyone who mentions race is a racist, etc., you’re not colorblind, and I can prove it.

First, you need to know the context of thearticle and understand what the writer is saying, so you have to be functionally literate to know the words and how they’re strung together in word and paragraphs, which means that you have to know what race is and why someone would write about it, thus, you must be able to “see” race in some context. Second, you have to be able to see enough of “race” to comprehend what is being written. You don’t even need good reading comprehension skills; you can still be like many Americans with poor reading comprehension skills and assume that your feelings are the Rosetta stone to determining the point of a piece of writing. You just need to know that the words and phrases can trigger emotions in people, and that there are words, like “white,” “black,” “African-American,” and “race” and others that are meant to convey ideas that American share about race.

We take this collective knowledge for granted all the time. If I say “my day sucks,” I am taking for granted that you know that I don’t think my day grew a mouth and began sucking on something like a baby. If I say “those buffalo wings are hot,” I’m taking for granted that you know that I mean that they’re spicy, not hot temperature wise, and that these are certain recipe of chicken wings, no the body part of a large bovine. If I say “WTF Chicago. Buffalo called. They want their snow and their wings back,” I’m taking for granted that 1) you know how much it snows in Buffalo, and 2) buffalo wings are from buffalo, and that I’m not talking about a giant bovine who had wings like a bird and wants them back, and 3) you were alive in the 90s when saying something in this manner was actually a zinger.

If you actually don’t see race anywhere, you couldn’t see the cultural clues that tell you race is an issue here and therefore, you couldn’t participate in the conversation on Facebook and start calling a bunch of black people racists for saying that police brutality has to stop. If you couldn’t see the racial breadcrumbs that led you to the comment section in the first place, then you may actually truly be colorblind, but by virtue of saying that you’re colorblind, and that’s better than what someone else is and you expect them to understand what you mean, then you’re not actually colorblind.

Football Blindness

For example, I am bona fide football blind. Not completely blind, more like blind as in 200/20 vision right now. I understand that basic concept of football and how points are scored and the main objective. This was pretty much Rick’s doing. I asked him, and he would tell me things during games. When we lived together, I learned to be comfortable in the house and near the living room when the football games were on. He was the first boyfriend I ever had who liked sports, and he wondered why I stayed away from him when the game was on. He even invited me to sit down with him, and one day in the recent past, I sat down next to him.

Before that, I didn’t like to be in the room when the game was on because the sound of the game gave me anxiety.

I was conditioned to stay away when sports were on television when I was a kid.

As a kid, football was one of the things my father used to escape fatherhood, and you were unwise to be in the living room when the game was on, and crazy if you sat down on the sofa next to him, and surely harboring a death wish if you talked to him during the game. It wasn’t just because the Buffalo Bills were losing, either: football was his, not yours, and he did not share this with you, and don’t you try to have some sort of relationship with him as if you’re a person or something, as if you’re family, as if you’re his child, as if you live in the same house. He’s doing his part by not leaving your mother and allowing you to stay alive despite his endless threats to change his mind. He specifically needed football to be child-free and not girl-free, and I know that was the reason because he actually taught my mother what was going on and she would watch the games sometimes, but he never shared with my older sister who then was identified as male as a child, nor my younger brother, either. Football was as precious an escape as his alcohol, and it was a time to be vigilant, but not for the game, but vigilant to not interfere with the game, because a slap in the face lands harder when the person who hit you is trying to watch a football game.

Girls didn’t play football in school, and I didn’t like playing football with kids in the neighborhood when I was little because I was usually too busy nursing an injury to understand what was going on, so I never really learned how the game worked as a kid. I attended football games in middle school largely as a way to be allowed to roam freely at night instead, but I never watched them. I never went to a football game in college, either. I never spent time with any guy who ever played football a lot or even really liked sports until met Rick. He was not taken aback that I didn’t really know anything about sports, but he was marveled that out of all the seemingly random things I knew, none of them were sports-related.

I’m not completely alienated from sports though. I watched GLOW when I was a kid. I also went to baseball games in Korea. I would get drunk and get involved. I would yell in English at the outfielder and the Koreans would laugh. I have a Doosan Bears jersey that I have never worn. I can watch baseball. I saw the World Series that the Cubs won. I don’t think I’ll be watching baseball this year though, because that requires me to pay for television subscriptions I won’t otherwise need.

But football was like calculus: people dumber than me seemed to have an understanding and a working knowledge, even a love of it, but I couldn’t approach it. The older I got, the harder it was to try to approach it, because the older I was and the less I know, the meaner people were about it. But like higher math, there was a time in which I was so nervous about it I couldn’t seem to learn it, and the less I knew, the harder it was.

Football became a source of anxiety for me for years. It was not only a stress trigger from my childhood, but it seemed to me to be a kind of gatekeeping, because if you didn’t know, you weren’t allowed to know, and woman and non-Americans could be kept permanently on the other side of the cultural gate. When I had just started work at the liberal plastic castle, I was asked to join a football pool. When I asked what a football pool was, the head of my department scoffed and said “go ask your husband.” And I got made fun of that year for not knowing what the football pool was, but no one would tell me, either.

But football:

I will say I do enjoy the company of heterosexual men who like sports because they don’t have the same chip on their shoulders as heterosexual men who don’t like sports. That chip is fucking tiring. I get it: you’re not like other guys. You like cartoons and cats and you hate exercise. You’re upset that you don’t fit in with the guys when they talk about sports instead of some other thing you like. Now, when are you going to stop demanding that women all across the world applaud you for this? So, while I will not be able to converse in any meaningful way about sports with a man, I think next time I will definitely be on the lookout for a man who likes sports.

Although I do acknowledge that violent men, like my father, seem to have a penchant for football, which has the appearance of a violent sport.

Rick did actually help me be comfortable with the game though. I realized it was, at it’s core, just a game, and that it actually had some sort of order and method that you could understand it even if you weren’t trained as a small child to understand it. But he was so enmeshed emotionally with the Chicago Bears that he wouldn’t even watch games until they were over, and usually only if the Bears won or at least didn’t lose by a large margin, and only up to a certain point: if it was too disappointing, he would turn it off, and I never asked him to leave a game on strictly for my edification, or so I could figure out why he’s so upset. But he didn’t want to talk about why he was upset: we both knew it had nothing to do with the Bears.

And I didn’t put the game on myself because hearing the game would have bothered him, and I don’t think I would have be able to follow without his cues that something is good or bad, without him saying “did you see that? did you see that shit?”

It wasn’t until recently that I realized it wasn’t even so much the game as it was all his broken dreams coming in on the tide and washing up on the shore of his old age, including his dream to have been a professional athlete. He had a football scholarship to University of Illinois, but he didn’t make the team, so he came back to Chicago. They didn’t offer scholarships for basketball and track and field the way they did for football, and he wanted to pay for college. If they did offer those scholarships, he may have actually become a professional basketball player, maybe have gone to the Olympics for track and field. But football was the game of glory for him. And yet, despite all he did otherwise, all those vainglorious dreams never went away, pulled out with the tide of day and the pressures to think about the present, and coming back in the quiet of night, the quiet of old age, and that’s what football meant to him those days: an escape back to a time before all the things, like his marriage, his kids, his career, his mistakes, his failing body and his regrets. Perhaps this was an escape much like it was for my father, but tinged with the sorrow that there was a real shot in Hell that it could have been him.

If he had been bigger, he said, he could made it. He had the height back then — 6’3” — but not the weight, and those guys on the team were big.

But I knew about the 1985-86 team because Rick was obsessed with that. I have a football with all their signatures kicking around here that I don’t know how to sell. Anyone interested, by the way? He would say to me “imagine being on that team. Imagine playing football with these guys…” which I couldn’t do, because I couldn’t imagine playing football, but he wasn’t talking to me, and I don’t think that he really felt that being on the Chicago Bears as a winning team was a childhood dream he would have realized if-only because it’s so specific, nor do I think that he really spent his entire life wanting to be on this team.

But I would imagine going to the East Bank Club and working out next to these guys might have had some impact on him.

And I have seen the Superbowl Shuffle, reluctantly, more times than I care to share.

That might have been at the foundation of his bodybuilding obsession, at the need to take steroids, even in to his old age, to go to great lengths to hide them from me, even though anabolic steroids probably accelerated his death and didn’t do anything for his physique but make his hair fall out faster.

The football game was always on at his brother’s house on Thanksgiving. But I wasn’t supposed to ask questions about the game at Thanksgiving because then I’d get made of, too, and by people I didn’t even know. Thanksgiving was always awkward because of the age gap and the lifestyle gap, so I used to sit next to Rick stare intently at the football game when I ran out of things I was willing to talk about, not having any idea what was going on during the game, in order to not stare at the clock instead, although I had a better understanding of how the clock worked.

Perhaps we had more in common at Thanksgiving than we knew: perhaps when he staring at the game at Thanksgiving on his brother’s sofa, he was also trying to figure out what was going on, but existentially, and I guess if that’s what happened to me when I watched a football game, I don’t think I could handle the anticipation of my team possibly losing, that I would need the reassurance of the knowing the outcome before I watch the motions that led to the outcome, that I could watch someone fumble and fall without realizing how fucking lucky he is to be young and out on the field that day. And maybe it wasn’t that he didn’t want to answer my question so much that me asking the question yanked him forcibly back to the present, the point in time he never wanted to experience: the point in time in which is own fallibility and belief in his supremacy was challenged by everything, especially nature.

But regardless, because of him, I had a sliver of an idea of what was going on, but not enough to be roused by anything happening, not enough to have any loyalty to a team or to take a particular interest in what any one man on the field was doing or why the team chose a particular course of action. But at Thanksgiving, instead of avoiding football because of anxiety, I was staring at it to cope with anxiety, but as welcoming as I tried to be, the blossom of football would not open to me.

I am now 41, and I think it’s too late, because when I was 28, I was able to teach myself enough math so I could take and pass calculus at a community college so I would not fear math, but I really don’t think I can learn football without being immersed in the community, but that gate appears to be rusted shut. Or perhaps it only appears that way because some part of me is still afraid to be in the house when the Bills game is on and I’m terrified to discover if what is on the other side of that gate is just a bunch of men like my father who don’t want me to be there and wish I didn’t exist, and that they’ve been warning me all this time. Or rather, that it’s still my father on the other side of the gate, and that I have wasted all these years trying to figure out why he has always hated us, particularly me, but there he is, still wishing I never existed.

But I went from 20/400 vision to 20/200 vision, so now I just have an idea of what I’m missing instead of not knowing at all. Still legally blind, but having enough vision to see blobs and shapes and guess what they might be. However, because I am still legally football blind, football does not show up in my life otherwise, and it hasn’t for going on…over ten months now, and it didn’t occur to me until right now. I don’t think about it. I have no need to think about it. I don’t react to it if I hear about football or see some football-related thing. It triggers no thoughts or feelings because there’s nothing in my brain that can attach to what I see or hear that’s football related. There are no memories to be hooked by football. However, it’s not bad: football has gone from an anxiety trigger to mostly neutral non-thing that occurs in the world. I do bristle sometimes if someone at a bar is too passionate about the game, but I don’t feel unsafe or need to leave.

However, I could read football article after football article, I could go seek out football related social media and read football Tweet after football Tweet, and not have Clue One about what is being shared or what the writer wants to convey or get me to feel or think. I can read it, but not comprehend it in a meaningful way. Thus, I have never found myself on the Internet at a comment section where I would use the collective understanding of football that everyone in the comments takes for granted to disparage football fans and elevate myself above them, because I wouldn’t even know what to say even if I somehow got to that place.

I can’t see the trail of football crumbs that would lead me there because I am blind to those things.

So, if you’re an old white Boomer lady calling other people racist because you insist you’re colorblind, you’re not. You can’t possibly be, or else you wouldn’t understand what’s going on or have the language to accuse people of color of being socially noxious because they’re not just like you. That, by the way, is the very baseline definition of racism, so congratulations, stupid: you made it public, albeit you took your time outing yourself.

But I love this because in some area of our lives, we are doing the same thing. Yes, projection, although I hate this word now because it’s a little too buzzy, because it’s getting bandied around like a sophisticated form of “whoever smelt it dealt it” by people who really need to just a breath and realize that you’re not exonerate because you didn’t like it when someone reacted to your bad behavior in a way to prevent you from continuing to do it. But we are all, in some way, the clueless old white lady from Upstate New York who personally knows one black person, puts them on the spot by asking that black person if they think she’s racist, and then goes on Facebook to brag about being CoLoRbLiNd, because if the first house is what people can see, behind it in the shadow is the 12th house, which is what everyone can see except for ourselves, and behind that is the 11th house, the house of collective ideas of which Aquarius is the natural ruler.

And if you want to get an idea of how a person might present themselves online, check their 12th house.

What the fuck are we going to do with this stellium in Aquarius now?

Good question. For me, it’s all in my 12th house, so I’m going to avoid outing my inner Karen online except on my own blog. This is a time in which I have to start recognizing the things about me that I don’t see, both good and bad, and I’m taking advantage of the four-day weekend full of snow to hide away and write. This blog has been reduced from 40 pages because I could not end it, so I’m going to give myself a structured assignment to channel the hypergraphia after I post.

Be on the lookout now, and be resilient. Aquarius is a fixed sign. It is still. It stays and does its thing, even if it mobilizes others. This is a time to retool who counts, who belongs, because loyalty to old ties (Leo) isn’t the thing. We dodge a bullet here in America, but that’s just one bullet, albeit a big, loud, stupid orange one. It may be brother against brother, father against son, daughter against mother, but that’s okay.

Unfortunately, this is also a time of breaking ties and creating new alliances based on hope and ideology. After all: the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.

And I have a lot in common with many of you.

When some of you talk about your family dynamics in our sessions, and I don’t blink an eye, know that I’m perfectly okay with what you choose for yourself in that department because I innately understand that the rhetoric is not the truth. Usually it’s in the chart anyway, too.

I am estranged from my family, and I think you can tell that it’s for good reason.

I enter this life with one persona, one affiliation, and leave with another.

But the positives? Well, should anyone ever want to marry me again, I’m perfectly happy to elope, and there’s no mother- or father-in-law for him to worry about.

But as far as other advice goes?

Stay away from D.C. They just acquitted Trump, so another terrorist attack is probably going to happen again. They will be encouraged by the personas who insist they’re just “fed up with the lies,” or “saying it like it is,” whatever that means, or using humor as a veil, and these months with the planets passing through Aquarius and then secretive Pisces could mean a big surprise when people take action during Aries season. Be on guard, and do not place stock in any false sense of security.

Including a false sense of security that you’re in control of how the world sees you, and that you can have conflicting personas. You can’t. You have to mean what you say, and say what you mean, and own it all.

2 thoughts on “The Leo/Aquarius Paradox: Persona

  1. 31 here. Going through these 12H Aquarius transits. Initially your words were grating but the authenticity of them makes the message easier to digest. I’m struggling with allowing people to feel how they feel about me; I feel like I lack decorum in a sense. I rebuke it even. Of course this doesn’t lend to people having great perceptions of me.


  2. Wow. You make me realize I’m lucky to have my first Saturn return during the Clinton years, a relatively unpolarized, optimistic era for me. I realize this can’t have been true for everyone. I’m sure Saturn return circa 1990 could have been terrible. But It was good for me. I honestly don’t think I was tough enough at 28 to weather a storm like the one going on today. Kudos to anyone having a Saturn return these days. You always make me think!


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