Life

What I believe: Making sense of tragedy

If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.  –Viktor Frankl

finding meaning in life

This week a friend of mine went to work and never came home.  His car was hit by a joyrider driving over 100 mph and he died of his injuries in the hospital, leaving behind a beautiful family with two young boys and a loving wife.   He was active in our community and left a wide swath of grief as we attempt to make some kind of sense of this tragedy.

Perhaps my friend’s wife, who in the span of 36 hours became a new widow, will experience a great blessing from this horrific event – I certainly hope that this is the case.  One of my clients who lost her healthy husband over a year ago after a short illness struggles to understand how this could have happened.  What about the parents of the children who have died in these school shootings?  How can we find meaning in this?

Some will say “It’s all part of God’s plan.”  I don’t know if that is enough.   I do believe that some things are fated and beyond our control.  I do believe that we have a contract for our life and we do come into this life with an astrological chart that describes our psychological tendencies and a path that we are likely to take.  Our free will helps us to make some choices along the way, but when a car hits you from behind at 100 mph there is no choice involved there.  That is fate.  How to […]

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By |2019-11-10T19:04:58-05:00January 20th, 2019|Fate, Favorite posts, Inspiration, Life|17 Comments

Social media, depression and Pluto in Sagittarius

Recent news articles have warned of a growing epidemic of depression, loneliness and isolation due to social media.  While social media ostensibly makes it easier to connect with others, online contacts do not have the same quality of connection as face to face communication.  In addition, we often forget that our online presence is carefully curated to show only the highlights of people’s lives and not the backstory, and our lives pale in comparison.  This is especially true of Instagram, where professional influencers use carefully crafted images to sell products based on an idealized lifestyle.  This of course is nothing new – advertisers have been doing this since time immemorial.  But with Instagram we can potentially spend hours and hours each day in envy of the idealized lives of beautiful people and gorgeous glossy photos.

The rise of depression is especially notable in teens, who were born while Pluto was in Sagittarius between 1995 and 2008. Pluto moves through a sign approximately every 12 to 30 years, and each sign that Pluto moves through marks a new generation with a new set of issues and priorities (other posts on generations can be found here).

Sometimes called “Generation Z” and described by social scientists as being born between 1995 and 2009 (Pluto was in Sagittarius between 1995 and 2008 making this a very close fit),  this generation is finding it difficult to live in today’s Capricornian world, with both Saturn and Pluto traveling through Capricorn which is more about success and achievement.  Sagittarius bestows an open mind and an eagerness to explore other cultures – it often tends to be fascinated with the media, philosophy and religion.  Sagittarius is optimistic and needs the freedom to adventure and […]

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By |2018-11-28T09:01:38-05:00November 28th, 2018|Generations, Life|0 Comments

Musings on hate, violence and healing

In the early days after I started this blog in 2005 I found it interesting to profile people in the news.  Primarily this was for my own interest in order to explore the motivations of people who do weird things, but also to illustrate in real life the value of astrological understanding.  In attempting to understand the minds of criminals, I would often profile individuals who committed appalling acts of violence.  But over the past few years, the number of mass shootings has increased to such a degree that I can no longer bear to analyze the charts of those who commit such heinous acts.

In reflecting with dismay and horror at the synagogue shootings this week I realized that it’s more than just guns that are the problem, at this point.  Yes, America has a gun problem as I have written about many times including here.  But the real problem is the level of hate that has been unleashed in this country and in other countries as a world that has become too small for the 7.2 billion people that reside here.  The globalism and loosening of borders when Pluto was in Sagittarius between 1995 and 2008 encouraged immigration into countries such as Germany and England which needed workers.  Under Pluto’s trip through Sagittarius, the sign of travel and embrace of other cultures, globalism brought a rich new tapestry of music, food and culture into nations whose cultures, unlike the US which is famously a “melting pot” of different nationalities, were already well defined and well established.  Additionally under the Sagittarian influence the spread of social media (Sagittarius is associated with both media AND social interaction) took a secure foothold in international culture.  By […]

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By |2018-10-29T15:05:31-04:00October 29th, 2018|Crime, Life|12 Comments

Sunday inspiration: Waiting for the storm

I’m at the beach right now, waiting for Hurricane Florence to hit the North Carolina coast.  We know the storm is coming, but we don’t know when or where it will make landfall, and whether or not we will be able to stay out our week.

It struck me that this experience is very similar to the anticipation those of us who know something about astrology feel when we are waiting for a big planetary cycle to hit.  We know that something is going to happen, but we don’t know what.  Pluto has not budged all year from an intense transit to a sensitive system in my chart, and when I was watching the approach of this Pluto transit I was a little overwhelmed, wondering what it would bring.

Like hurricanes, planetary cycles are unpredictable and follow no prescribed pattern.  A Pluto transit will bring a health crisis for one person, death of a spouse to another, a burst of personal empowerment to a third.  Some of this depends on other aspects in the chart and how well an individual internalizes the energy of the transiting planet.  Someone with a lot of Pluto and Scorpio in their chart, who has learned to manage the intensity of these Plutonic energies of total destruction and regeneration, may have an easier time with a Pluto transit than someone who has not had to deal with those energies throughout a lifetime.  Individuals with heavy Saturn placements have likely had years of stress and difficulty and have built up the internal reserves to sail through the challenges and tests of a Saturn transit without a lot of resistance whereas someone with a lighter chart will find Saturn extremely difficult.

Like planets, hurricanes and tornadoes strike […]

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By |2018-09-09T12:49:06-04:00September 9th, 2018|Inspiration, Life|10 Comments

Low esteem and materialism go hand in hand

updated from 2007. 

Researchers have found that low self-esteem and materialism are not just a correlation, but also a causal relationship where low self esteem increases materialism, and materialism can also create low self-esteem. The also found that as self esteem increases, materialism decreases. The study primarily focused on how this relationship affects children and adolescents. Lan Nguyen Chaplin (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and Deborah Roedder John (University of Minnesota) found that even a simple gesture to raise self-esteem dramatically decreased materialism, which provides a way to cope with insecurity.

“By the time children reach early adolescence, and experience a decline in self-esteem, the stage is set for the use of material possessions as a coping strategy for feelings of low self-worth,” they write in the study, which will appear in the Journal of Consumer Research.

read more here 

This is no surprise to astrologers, who place self-esteem and material needs in the second house of the birthchart. The second house, associated with Taurus, deals with our material needs and our desire for wealth and financial security, but also with our values and our sense of self-esteem, our talents and skills and how we feel about them. Clients with a challenged second house often find that their ability to achieve financial security is tied closely with their self-esteem.

The article goes on to say:

In the book “Happiness: Lessons From a New Science”, Richard Layard exposes a paradox at the heart of our lives. Most of us want more income so we can consume more. Yet as societies become richer, they do not become happier. In fact, the First World has more depression, more alcoholism and more crime than fifty years ago. This paradox is […]

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By |2019-11-10T19:09:05-05:00July 18th, 2018|Life|1 Comment