Years ago, I had a bunch of small children under foot and their father’s mother and her husband living with us, too. We all got along very well and our lives were full with commotion, little people’s giggles and for me, new ideas that the grandparents brought to me.
Having been raised in a typical, somewhat conservative family, being exposed to fringy sort of ideas of energy was uncommon, or better said unheard of. Most of the time, our family dialogs about our activities centered around hygiene, homework and swim practice. Rarely were the conversations about how we felt, or what we believed and nothing about spirituality or energy was talked about. Ever.
My parents were educated, Protestant and of the upper middle class. My mama was the daughter of highly educated, Danish immigrant parents (her father was a dean of English at Northwestern University and her mother a teacher in the public school system). My father’s parents were Scottish immigrants and his father became a millionaire in the candy business, after starting out a lowly salesman. He and my grandmother, who had been a nurse in Canada before moving down to Chicago, became a part of the nouveau riche. They worked hard to keep up appearances.
Manners were important to both sides of the family. Our behavior was far more important than how we felt. Church was to be attended, but religion was more of a social expectation, not so much about communing with God.
Looking back on their roots, I can understand both of my parents adhering to strict protocols of behavior. Immigrants would feel compelled to belong, right? This background would insure that we were raised so that none of my sisters or I stuck out as “weird”. The timing of my birth meant my awareness of the world occurred during the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. The ‘60’s & ‘70’s were a time where radical thought was becoming more acceptable, but not completely and definitely not inclusive of the ‘energy conversation’ in my house.
Still, we did have an intelligent upbringing and conversations around the dinner table (nightly, formal affairs where I was seated to my father’s left so he could try to control me [he was a lefty]). The conversations tended to be penetrating, if not expansive… depending on how you looked at it.
During those meals I understood that people of color were just like me, that war was a waste of money and financial independence and self-sufficiency were far better than government involvement or ever receiving charity.
My parents were “true” Republicans; people who believed in less government, rather than more (not like many Republicans now who base their politics on religious beliefs). They also valued the very Democratic, President Kennedy and sincerely mourned his death. They also supported Martin Luther King and his fight for equal rights. Civil rights were more than acceptable and the ongoing war in Vietnam a travesty in their eyes… At least that is what I recall.
They showed me tolerance and the importance of using my heart and mind to define my beliefs instead of popular limitations. Still, an alternative method for understanding life was never the content of my upbringing; positions about race, religion or what happened in history were.
It was when I was no longer living at home that I found a whole new world of possibility regarding expansive thought and our energy bodies. Given that my mind always wandered into those realms, even as a child, being out of the limiting structure of my upbringing was pretty amazing. In college I started practicing yoga and learned about religions such as Buddhism, Islam & Judaism as well as Pagan beliefs and the Goddess. Astrology, the science, was introduced to my life because my mother in law’s husband was an esoteric astrologer.
With a house full of little humans, I literally had a laboratory to study astrology. Each child’s astrological chart was drawn up, literally, at the moment of their birth and Bob would explain it to me while I nursed the new baby.
Once, while in labor, he poked his head into the birthing room to encourage me to hurry up, or my baby would be a triple Gemini… which I assumed meant more work for me…My sweet daughter, obliged and came quickly …
Bob was probably right about the triple Gemini thing, as a double Gemini was plenty to contend with!
Astrology opened up so many avenues for understanding how people operated and it didn’t take me long to see how accurate it was. Where my family of origin believed astrology was something “woo woo” and not scientific, I slowly learned that it was not only definite, but gave me an ability to translate what I already knew about people and their energy into something more explainable.
What I mean is through all the years of growing up, I had a sense of things. I knew about people and what they felt, thought and even what may be about to happen to them. But, that particular gift was not a gift in my opinion, but something to hide. When I “heard” something I kept it to myself, only writing it down somewhere and never telling anyone. In time, when whatever I had sensed actually became a reality, it genuinely freaked me out. My knowing things were NOT something to be excited about and created a distance in me from others.
Most people want to fit into their community and I was no different… my family of origin had a particular structure, but my chosen family (my husband and my children) possessed a different one. There was just a tad more leeway there.
Learning how to read astrological charts was easy for me. Once I learned the properties of each planet, what the “houses” meant, how the planet’s movements affected us and how to relate or connect planetary movements, I could interpret the charts of all kinds of people.
For each person in my family, I drew up a chart and then compared each person’s with other family member’s charts. That exercise was just one of many that taught me the art of astrology. Because I was so incredibly curious, I used my sleepless nights of nursing my babies to learn about the stars.
One day, about 3 years into my study of astrology, my first-born son was banging around with his toys, launching into new kinds of play and interchanging between total tenderness with a teddy bear, to the violent attack of a block structure inside of a few moments. Bob looked at me and said, “He’s showing you what Mars AND Venus in the first degree of Aries looks like.” He was not a man of many words, so I listened when he said something. I knew he wasn’t wasteful.
It was never quite clear to me why he started to pay attention to me in relation to my curiosity about astrology. Maybe because I did so much studying on my own and asked so many questions he thought it was more than a passing interest for me. After a couple of years, he started to point things out and always related it to actual people, rather than the abstract imagery that astrology books provided.
He was a bear of a man; well over 6 feet tall with long blond hair, a beard down to his chest and hands the size of Frisbees. Bob could never sneak up on people or disappear in a crowd, but he was as kind & gentle as a lamb. A complete dichotomy to see and a rare human being… and my mentor in one aspect of my ‘becoming’.
To be honest, I do not feel that I’m really all that skilled as an astrologer but my knowledge of it and the practical education I was given (kids growing up, showing me what this or that looked like in real life), was a kind of decoy for me. Reading a chart meant I could take that container and input the vast knowledge or awareness I was wired to receive and then translate it. Made for some good readings, but as with all things I’ve done, I didn’t believe much of what I said to people and often was discounted by those whose charts I read. To this day I use astrology to understand my own life and navigate rough seas much more easily because I know it.
Lately, my life has changed – again. Now, rather than a houseful of people it’s just me most of the time. My lover is off again with our Red dog, this time, helping a friend in another town. Maddie, Kitty and I are alone in our new house, on a huge property with no one in sight. If someone drives by, it’s an event! I’m here with the tall, tall sky and a lot of time to feel my own unique feelings.
This is not easy, even for a person who thrives on time alone. Being isolated, with my only contact faulty Internet or intermittent cell reception (I can’t even get a land line here!), it’s forcing me to go deep into things, rather than be distracted.
Nothing happens in life without some deeper current of growth available. As a teacher, I HAVE to be willing to go through the stormy ocean of life with my eyes wide open. Because I absolutely trust the influences of spirit I am graced with, I follow what I feel guided to do… even if most people I have relationships with discount it. Simultaneously, the energy of the solar system is pushing on me HARD and it’s forcing me to see how vulnerable I’ve felt and move through it.
Because I am in business for myself I have reached out to others to share it. This has made me been more available to my old friends, fostering more connection with them. And there are many ‘friends’ who have gone radio silent, been unkind and some who have completely left my life.
My daily activities are life building, I read more about how to be a better person and I am actually dreaming again. I’m seeing why I was guided to do what I’m now doing in all kinds of ways. It’s hard for me, but what a gift it has proven to be. Just like learning how to read an astrological chart. Not everyone thinks that’s cool, especially when I started doing it. Now, people get all funny when they hear I’m able to read a chart. In the 80’s – not so much.
When I was a young girl, I had to discount my gifts to be a part of my family. As a young woman, I had to squeeze into further notions of who I should be to belong in my broader community. Now, it’s not possible to consider doing anything other than what I know to do. If it means my motives or intent are completely misunderstood and my person.. my very self… is discounted by others, then that’s the cost of serving the truth of my being.
It would be a lie to say that it’s comfortable that some of my closest friends are the ones who believe that I’ve become something I’ve never been; selfish, grasping and an opportunist. Even when you know that you aren’t the negatives, it’s still important to make sure. That’s the rough part… the self investigation. That’s really what makes it so hard. If I was imperious and not willing to be accountable, this journey would be a lot easier.
There’s a story about crabs in a crab trap. When one of them tries to get out of the trap, the other crabs will tear their arms off in an effort to keep them in the trap. People are just the same. People may not want you to grow, or change. Maybe it threatens them, maybe they just want their life to remain consistent with people who are like them, so finding ways out of the traps we have holding us back is not always supported.
So, what’s all this ‘talk story” about…
You are SUPPOSED to do what you are guided to do. It will take you to places that you desire and help you expand AND it’s really hard to do, even when you have a conscious, direct line to Source.
Just don’t give up on anything that’s important to you… and don’t let anyone else have a say in your actions or life. What you desire is meaningful and important, but know that there may be a cost …
Just never give up… no matter what!