Astrology is a fundamental way I understand the community organizing process on a cosmic level. How are we to create places that are meaningful to us without drawing on our own innate beauty? How are we to learn to embrace the rhythms of highly variant energies, especially with the state of the World at current, if we assume things exist in a stagnant and unchanging universe?
We are in dire need of coming together to Remember we live within a strong network of interconnection, to come into conscious balance with our planet, and ourselves. I have seen first hand that community can only function efficiently when individuals within the community are empowered, supported, and encouraged to do what makes them come alive. There's great news found within this because the need to come together and enjoy life again is a directive completely worth devoting our energy to! It also requires us to honor the feelings of grief, anger, fear, and shame that may come through us when approaching these growing edges; we can Heal these wounds by committing to them, understanding them, and letting them pass though us.
North American popular culture does not prioritize understanding what makes us happy or how to grieve, what our natural skills are, and how we may work well with other people and under what circumstances. That's where Astrology has come in for me, because while there is much written history and popular press about violence and problems, simultaneously there has existed a vast universe of diverse energies - unending alternative stories - to pay attention into. Even the Madrona tree behind me through the open door on the porch has been growing peacefully before this house was here, and it has something to teach me if I am attentive to it. In essence, this is Deep Democracy - when all voices are heard and valued, not just the loud ones, not just the majority.
The design practice of Permaculture teaches us to "use and value diversity", and astrology invites us to consider the divine within us, to value our word, and to consider others' in the same spirit.
For those of you who know me personally, I've probably collected some information from you at some point and pulled up a very strange looking chart that looks something like this:
Learning Astrology is a bit like learning another language, so I won't go very far into the details of reading the chart in this post. You can notice there is a lot going on, even if you have no idea what you're looking at. Coloured symbols on the outside, black symbols in the inside, interior lines, exterior lines, the angels made between the symbols. Simply noticing these distinctions is enough to start. Maintaining curiosity will keep you entertained forever.
Imagine an inclusive world where the values of children and elders were taken into account equally, with equal curiosity, and equal power. With all people, no matter their gender, age, or orientation, and of people allowed to give voice to landscapes. An array of experiences, opinions, feelings, and work styles as complex as the starchart above. This has already begun. Projects implemented at a home scale, to transforming local and national government structures.
What is your personal place in it?
We create places that are meaningful to us by drawing on our own innate beauty. Astrology is one way we can begin to learn how such beauty reflects itself in Us.
“When you drop on the planet and you take that first breath, that moment, the structure of the solar system is infused into you. Your spirit comes into the solar system… there’s billions of stars in the galaxy, and there’s billions of galaxies, why’d you come to this one little star? And when your spirit comes in here, it’s like a sponge wiping water off the cabinet, it soaks up the essence of it and squeezes it out it into your life! And at that moment, the pattern is injected into you.” ~ Kelley Lee Phipps
1. ever continues to help me get to know myself
2. has been a compassion-building tool for me, to see how other people genuinely function and experience the world differently than me
3. has helped me speak to others about their life in a beneficial and healing way...
... I don't believe astrology to be an end all be all. Even if everything about astrology is completely misinterpreted, thousands of years of observations and wisdom are utterly folly, and us crazy astrologers were never tapping into anything True... the magic of this universe and the infinite level of unique dimensional pattern in each person is still incredible. Even if there is no meaning in Life whatsoever, it is still beautiful, and beauty is worth replicating in the physical world.
Last month I told a client before our astrology reading, "We are always responsible for our lives. Always. Life happens for us, and always to support us. Like a garden, there is no end point, another season will come, another plant will grow, and will we look at it as a weed or medicine? Astrology can give us a little bit of a weather forecast, but it is our own choice whether we embrace the rain. That is why people who know nothing about astrology (or any 'one' particular study) can lead extremely balanced and happy lives simply by adopting an understanding of the basic flow of Life from whatever metaphor they choose, based on what they notice through first hand experience. The flow of Life is an essentially neutral energy that runs through all things whose source is of Infinite Love. You co-created the design of your life for you highest and greatest good. You can feel that creative impulse whenever you are willing to commit to it completely. Then you're free. Free to do whatever you want, because what you want is good and pure, at its core."
A very simple example:
Earlier today I came inside from the garden, made lunch, and opened the window and the door to the porch. About when I finished eating, a couple of buzzy flies came around. I noticed them and immediately stopped my work on the computer to clean up. I didn't just "wish" the flies away, or get annoyed at their buzziness. I moved on my desire to be rid of them, and as soon as I started cleaning, they went back out the window and five minutes later I was back to work, feeling better about things being cleaned and not distracted by the noise. I co-created the experience with the flies, dishes, compost, water... by taking direct action in the moment to change the circumstance.
We can choose to cultivate our spirits in the very same way, by getting to know our internal landscapes and paying attention to those little 'buzzy flies' of feelings that come up for us, taking responsibility for them, and doing what Healing work is necessary to - "do the dishes" - so to speak. The steps needed to fill the dish rack and the steps needed to do Placemaking projects are not so different. Then, the process of Placemaking becomes a direct reflection of our internal landscapes, enacted on the external landscape. In the mind, the body, the spirit, there is no separation. As our Souls are growing, we are changing the physical world. We are Placemaking.