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Part 3 - The Future is a Scary Place

Disclaimer: In writing this particular article, I had no grand expectations (or desires) that readers would (or should) "swallow whole without thoroughly chewing" any of my personal conclusions and/or reflections on the very difficult and controversial matter of astrology and the ability to peer into the future. (Heck, I can't even get my Virgo Rising "significant other" to agree with me on this issue.) My only remote hopes were that it might serve as catalyst for folks to rethink and reexamine their own philosophical and practical stances on the matter.

"Meaning makes a great many things endurable - perhaps everything." C. G. Jung, "Memories, Dreams, and Reflections"

Fear Factor
I suppose that it's always a shock to the system when you wake up and discover that you're "only human," after all.

You see... as much as I hate to admit it... and as much as I've preached against it... when the rubber met the road - and my mother was given a diagnosis of 6 months or less to live - operating out of fear, I attempted to gain control over the situation via my knowledge of astrology.

Yep... that's right. Operating out of a place of fear I believed that I needed to know the exact course and progression of my mother's disease. I needed to know so that plans could be better put into place that would enable her to die in her own home rather than in a nursing home or hospital.

Caught up in the intensely felt fear and panic of the moment, I thought that I needed to know and to be in control of the situation for any number of practical, rational, and/or well-intentioned reasons.

As I was to soon discover, I didn't need to know.

Denial Isn't a River in Egypt
Astrologer Liz Greene once made an obviously unplanned, off-the-cuff remark during a 1980s seminar with Richard Idemon, "The Hero's Journey." For some strange reason it left an indelible mark that I've never forgotten.

Ms. Greene's rather discomforting statement was (liberally paraphrasing) that most people originally get involved in the study of astrology because they're control freaks.

Due to the resultant undercurrent of mumbling and grumbling, it was easy to surmise that the astrologers present weren't exactly comfortable with her indictment. Who me? A control freak? Not me! I don't think so... she's barking up the wrong tree. (Or as we say in the South: "That dog don't hunt.!") Watch out Liz, your shadow is showing!

Yep... denial is definitely not a river in Egypt! While Ms. Greene was likely projecting her own very long shadow (don't ask, don't tell)... most of us do like to tell ourselves that we originally got involved in astrology for all the right, honorable, and/or noble reasons (whatever those might be).

Most of us didn't - but admitting that sort of thing (or admitting that we're control freaks) is not going to be part of our "comfort zone."

The Latest and Greatest
"New and improved" astrological forecasting techniques are devised on (what seems to be) an almost daily basis; and older, more ancient techniques of forecasting are now constantly being dug up, rediscovered, and resurrected.

For the past 2500 years or so, Western astrologers have continually striven for what many have thought to be the Holy Grail of astrology: the perfection of our craft in the ability to peer into and forecast the future.

The idea that astrology can (or even should) be used in a manner where one is able to gain a sense of control over the situations we encounter in life is an elusive "pipe dream." Yet… still we try and we try and we try.

We try, because of a couple of simple facts...

We astrologers are "only human," too. And the unknown future can indeed be a very dark and scary place. We also try, because we are indeed closet control freaks.

Heck... it can also be greatly affirming to the old ego to hear the oohs and aahs of mystified clients during a successful forecasting "dog and pony show."

However, the idea of predictive astrology being used to gain a sense of control reminds me of the wonderful Scottish astrologer Isabelle Pagan's (1867-1960) comment, in her classic 1930 book "From Pioneer to Poet." She shared that as a rule she avoided making predictions about such things.

"Few have the fortitude to face predictions of calamity without loss of energy; while many, assured of coming luck - especially financial - are inclined to take things easy." Pagan

The Really Big Picture and Predictions of Death
Looking for and identifying potential indicators of physical death in the astrological chart - and the accompanying astrological configurations that might or might not be present - has always been an emotionally charged and controversial subject among Western astrologers.

Certain cultures fully expect death predictions and even demand it from their astrologers; and yet many other cultures are horrified by it.

As such, I early on came to the determination that it would not be ethical (or smart) to share here any sort of analysis regarding my mother's death and/or the specific configurations that were involved. I will however share with you a little of what I discovered.

Taking a Closer Look and Saying Goodbye
When I finally did take a closer look at all of the various charts involved in my mother’s circumstances, it ultimately didn’t help much in the way of all my more practical purposes of planning and controlling the logistics of the situation.

Looking at the charts did help by painting in broad strokes the bigger picture as to what was going on... that, in turn, helped provide me with a quiet sense of meaning.

What I did discover was that together we were encountering a significant period of our lives that was potentially a time of letting go and a release of the karma that existed between my mother and myself.

Granted... in the "really big picture" the resolution of karma with another person is most assuredly a positive thing - however, it can also potentially mean that the other person will soon, in some manner or another, be exiting your life. So in the "really small picture" (where most of us live on a day to day basis), it can - nevertheless - be a very emotionally painful and fearful time.

In the end, having a better understanding of my own soul connection with my mother’s circumstances helped in my better realigning my focus onto saying goodbye during the final weeks that my mother and I had left together.

Did I do it perfectly? Not even close.

Did knowing it shield me from the pain and fear of my mother's inevitable departure? No.

Did I learn something about myself? Yes...

"Meaning makes a great many things endurable - perhaps everything." C. G. Jung, "Memories, Dreams, and Reflections"

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