• Caroline Naughton

Evil is not beyond redemption. I am convinced that when Eve ate the forbidden fruit, it was simply unripe. Now that it's Cancer season, I am being asked to contemplate my own prematurity; my own (un)ripeness for certain projects and projections. Am I truly committed to tend the seeds I've ingested, to chew them bit by bit and get on the grind? Am I willing to give my seeds ample time to sprout, to be pollinated and reproduce themselves in my image? What is that image?

Moreover, am I willing to compost and take responsibility for the soil from which my seeds came? The seeds are in the fruits of our labor (read: poop), and we determine the quality of these seeds based on our commitment to let the fruit ripen before consumption, that is before deciding to give birth to a new plant. The fruits are our reproducing bodies and we must allow them time to mature before raising a child in our likes. Seeds from unripe fruits don't produce nearly as dense offspring.

Since no evil is beyond redemption, I'll confess that my Cancerian vanity - eating premature fruit - has developed a cancer of abusing astrology. Our sacred art and holy science can only be likened to itself; there are infinite storylines and yet we choose to see it as it is. As artists, it is our responsibility to humble ourselves before the inspiration of our work, before our mysterious or not-so-mysterious creator. To honor the hierarchy of Great Mystery is to accept our human otherness and cultivate our metaphoric agility in trying to understand what makes us naturally Other in relation to Self. This is the alchemical opus that astrologers refer to when they speak of “distilling the essence” of a birth chart, that which is composed of universal motifs yet incomparable to whence it came.

Let me be honest about the work I do as an astrologer. My work is idol worship. I bow to the feet of the gods that dwell without - in time and out of space. Of faith dismembered. The original intent of my work is to serve the intelligent, self-serving desires of the world that is our body, to the extent that we can possibly comprehend the language of form. There is a lot of hype in the astrological community to re-nature and embody our astrology, but at what cost do we make this transition? What happens when we invite the gods into space, when what they really want is to be lifted up and out of our grasp? How do we remain connected to the instinctual desires of our soul, yet assist our longing in its longing for what is not currently here, not presently incarnated in form? To respect the integrity of that which is Wholly Other is to gaze in awe at the wonderful, lovable projects of the mind. The original intention of my work is to render the unconscious conscious by elevating and revealing the gods that animate this grounded, quasi-mysterious force of Nature.

Contrary to popular belief, unearthing the gods actually revivifies them, even if removing the possibility of a formal meeting. It brings each god to life unto itself, as an individual whose autonomy is ineffable, yet mysteriously acknowledged. To decolonize the holy land, that which our ego has tried to gentrify with its pristine cuts and edges. But by projecting holiness onto any land, we effectively kill it. By making the god’s presence known to all, its presence can be known by none. To be individual is to be indivisible, incapable of dividing and sharing that otherness with the whole. When the gods descend from Mount Olympus, they are no longer gods, and we must acknowledge that which is above is that which is above, and not merely a reflection of that which is below. To accept our projections and let them be, otherwise the power of their image dies and is no longer capable of achieving its own autonomous agenda, that is to point beyond itself toward the Mystery it seeks so closely. To allow our projections to be is also to allow the gods to hide in flesh, without seeking the elevation of meaning from soul. To see the Other as containing that which one will never understand, for it does not belong to just one. The evolution of number is to entertain the possibilities that would not be possible had they attached to any one given body and its limited movements.

The sins of my astrology lie in the belief that some archetype must manifest a certain way, to prescribe content to clients rather than reveal underlying intent. The archetype is headed in a direction and as astrologers we would be privileged to get a glimpse of what one’s soul is intent on accomplishing in their name through this lifetime. To allow the spontaneous revelations to come to the astrologee, to empower them to glean their own insights, to actively participate and co-create with the archetypes rather than merely through them, is magic. For magic is co-operation with Nature. To conform is to stick to form, whether it be through ritual, tradition or religion, and astrology is a religious act so long as the gods are deprived of the privilege to worship themselves in their own image. My religion dictates that each of us must have the liberty in our astrological practice to cultivate unique revelations, understanding that the mysteries of each archetype are yet to be revealed. This does not negate the value of following a teacher, but know that to follow is to fall low, and to outsource authority is to incarnate again in form and bring the gods back into hiding.

I don’t know how to make astrology a profession without professing that I don’t have any secrets to share. My work is not a mystery, but it may seem that way to the magical Other. My fear (and my desire?) is that my transmissions will be lost in translation and that they will go back into hiding once so courageously expressed. The mystery of otherness is my cynical fear, as I tantalize the wannabe sage within that knows not how the Other will receive my faithful craft. That I shouldn’t take my own word for it, haunts me too. What if my word shows up, but it’s not really there? What if the projects I bear in mind for the Other are caught and held, but not brought up in my image? How can I possibly tolerate the infinite permutations of otherness which the Other never ceases to amaze? How can I take flight from my Self, loving that which is Other and unique unto its Self’s own otherness? That is the work of the individual, who shall not bear or share any project called astrology on her plate, lest she count the number of sins she may eat. Lest she agree to fall-low the path into form. Lest she commit to compost her cancerous meal.

We all have our special relationships to food, but they're not so special when we cut through the "mysterious" veil that prevents us from seeing our eating rituals for what they truly are. That's okay; we don't need to be so special. We have more in common with our food than we might think. So, how does one get initiated into these mysteries in the first place?

The Aries Mystery School teaches you that food is to be fought for. It is to be conquered swiftly and honorably. To eat the Aries way is to be on a mission to do it best. Quick pro-tip: Blend up a smoothie to go so you can get back to serving your purpose on the battlefield. Plus, you don't even have to take the time to chew.

The Taurus Mystery School teaches you expert culinary skills so that you can craft an intricate display of art on the dinner table. You must savor every flavor on the tip of your lips before chewing, and when you do finally use your teeth, go softly. To eat the Taurus way is to be seduced by your food, allowing yourself to receive each note of the sensational chorus in your mouth.

The Gemini Mystery School teaches you that nothing tastes as good as it seems in this world of duality. If it's sweet, at least it's not sour. Or perhaps the only reason it's sweet is because it's not sour. To eat the Gemini way is to make everything in pairs and arrange them in dialogue with one another. If you're cheffing up a Gemini meal, you can't make one thing without the other. Oh, and make sure humor has a seat at the table.

The Cancer Mystery School teaches you to prepare meals for the entire tribe. You'll learn to serve your family and children their food first, like a good mama/papa bear. You might draw on recipes reminiscent of childhood, or even food that smells like your mother's perfume. Papaya is nostalgic of the womb; just be careful not to scrape out the placenta with the seeds. And if you're feeling up to the task, drink enough water with your meal so that you'll bloat and get impregnated with a food baby! Oh, and don't be afraid to put your cold-pressed orange juice in a sippy cup, child.

The Leo Mystery School teaches you to play with your food. Have your partner take a provocative photo shoot of you eating bananas; throw cotton candy grapes into one another's mouths and applaud each other's powerful brilliance for every time the cellulose crumbles beneath your canines with a submissive pop. Wear a golden robe and glass slippers to the grocery store and be on the lookout for a dish that's named after you.

The Virgo Mystery School teaches you that the most exciting part of eating dinner is doing the dishes, lest you make something that requires no dishes at all. To eat the Virgo way is to be a minimalist, perhaps sticking to one or two ingredients per meal. This way, you can track the digestion of each food through your intestines, and can even monitor their presence in your poop! And if Virgo's really feeling the rhythm, she might do well counting the number of chews in each bite...extraordinary therapeutic value. Oh, and don't forget to wash both hands for three minutes and thirty-three seconds before each meal, shaking off the water precisely thirty three degrees north of west.

The Libra Mystery School teaches you to prepare something easy to take on a sunset stroll with your beloved. That park bench sure looks cozy to snuggle up with some Lady & the Tramp style spaghetti. Try eye gazing while you eat, and notice how synchronistically the two lovers chew. Always split meals in half, and make sure it's something your partner could never make so that they'll depend on you for more.

The Scorpio Mystery School teaches you how to bless your food with sacred ritual. You may bewilder the dinner table as you channel Shakti and send each guest kundalini life force energy before beginning the meal. Not your average grace. To eat the Scorpio way is to get off on cooking just to watch life die and be reborn again in your guts. You may be turned on by the mere act of boiling water, for it feels like an exorcism and you love going to the edge in extreme heat. Too bad you accidentally exorcised all the good demons. But hey, what's wrong with a little shadow play? Oh yeah, and when your guests ask for your thriller recipe, you can't share it with them.

The Sagittarius Mystery School teaches you how to host adventurous, daring dinner party conversations that completely distract everyone from the process of eating itself. Try making something that has never been made before and offers ready debate as to its contents. Don't be afraid to entertain the whole "certified organic" conspiracy that the cult's raging about these days. And don't forget to summon each dinner guest to eat what your Ayurveda guru told you is best for their individual constitutions.

The Capricorn Mystery School teaches you how to make grocery lists and follow step-by-step recipes so that you can blame yourself (read: take responsibility) if something goes wrong and respect yourself if something goes right. Those who eat the Capricorn way complain about the tedious grocery run, but for some reason they never ask for help unloading the car. They'll carry the weight of the world in their reusable bags, but they'd never eat scapegoat's cheese.

The Aquarius Mystery School inquires as to why you even need to eat food in the first place. The teachers of these mysteries will shatters mainstream misconceptions about how much we really need to consume to feel satiated. To eat like an Aquarian is to live without much physical sustenance at all; that is to receive energy from the more subtle dimensions of reality. It is a challenge for Aquarius to eat like an average human being, and when they do try, it's a challenge for them to be fully incarnated and take delight in the denser fruits of life. If you're signed up for this mystery school, you might try inventing new cutting-edge technology that renders caloric requirements obsolete, something that enables you to lucid dream your calories into being.

The Pisces Mystery School teaches you to endure the pain of giving birth to a food baby...the bloating, constipation, and eventual release. Students of these mysteries are asked to grieve the loss of their food, having faith that they'll feel ecstatic when they finally eliminate the last remains. To eat like a true Piscean would be to swallow something poisonous just to purge all of their own shit they ate in days past...or those nasty leftovers they just couldn't resist. A master student of these mysteries embodies the essence of, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food," as they learn to alchemize medicinal elixirs and serve humanity. Don't forget to make enough medicine for yourself now, Pisces.

All my life, I’ve suffered from the disease of unrequited love. I figured it was just my karma, with my natal Saturn on the descendant and Neptune disillusioning and dissolving my fifth house. Until my most recent Neptune transit, I was a hopeless romantic who had accepted her fate of unrequited love for food; her fate that no matter how much she loved what she put into her body, it wouldn’t dare love her back. My bemusing question for us all this week: How does Venus being in Leo relate to food, considering her glorious inconjunct to transiting Neptune in Pisces? Oh, and let's not forget it's Cancer season.

The essence of the Leo mysteries is to practice radical, radiant self-love, and the student of these mysteries must learn to recollect and remember all that which she has projected onto food as Other. As much as food may be otherized, our relationship to it is a direct reflection of our relationship to ourselves. Giving food the power to hate you, make you feel tired, unproductive, shameful to estrange ourselves from the pure love our bodies originally came here to receive.

We constantly outsource authority to food. We allow it to affect us in ways that we would never allow from our kin. We tolerate its abuse in ways that would infuriate any good mama bear. We must stop outsourcing work to our food; asking it to supply us with the resources needed to digest life and even ourselves, as we begin to eat ourselves away. We must stop (ab)using food as a convenient excuse for underworld journeys, from which we may never return. We must start insourcing this digestive fire, utilizing the resources we have within our bodies in order to assimilate life and its attendant load. Because the truth is, to love oneself fully is to realize that nothing outside of you can or will agree to do the work on your behalf...not even the seemingly easy work of pitying you. It will gladly accept your hospitality, but it will not move any weight for you which you could not move yourself.

Think about it… When you invite guests over for dinner, do you force them to do the dishes, or do they volunteer out of sheer will and kindness of heart? Well, depends on the type of guest. More often than not, I’ve demanded that my food play custodian in my temple, and end up frustrated and angry when it refuses to comply to my terms. I have to ask myself… Why would a house guest obey my requests, when it never agreed to come here in the first place? It’s not like my food is a refugee seeking asylum. I’ve effectively deported them from their own homes, and now I’m asking them to do my dishes against their will? Of course I’m going to be upset when the results come out sub-par.

There’s an alternative scenario to the above, which I’m currently activating upon my Venus return. What I’m seeing is that it’s possible to choose food that has already signed a tacit agreement to love us unconditionally, so long as it’s permitted space within us to love. By doing my own dishes, I get to eat food that doesn’t even require a dishwasher.

Leo is getting herself ready for a tremendous fast during Virgo season. Virgo hastens our willingness to surrender to self-discipline and reclaim the immense Eden project for ourselves; that is to weed our own gardens rather than rely on the Great Mother to do it for us. Virgo shows complete devotion to manifesting the image of their beloved fruit, and they do this through their own integrity and self-possession. They take accountability for themselves, which is indeed onerous, but at least it’s perfect accounting and there’s no more burden on the fruits.

To go raw is to bow in humility to the sacred flame within, the ability to digest life without resistance, to eliminate the pain and dis-ease. This fire will burn so brightly that it may express itself fiercely and unapologetically through the porous nature of your being. Don’t be surprised when these symptoms show themselves to you. They are heralding you for your courage to show up and sit with your Self, not out of obligation but out of autonomy. To respect the autonomous nature of Nature is to allow our bodies to speak to us, and the more we load its lungs with extra weight, the weaker its cry for collaboration.

With Neptune in Pisces right now, there is a naughtorious glorification of addiction to punishment, as we bind ourselves to our food (or rather bind itself to our image, resulting in body dysmorphia). We eat food that is no longer rewarding; it does not give us lasting satisfaction, and sometimes it doesn't even give us a glimpse of ecstasy.

Neptune in Pisces shows us that the way in which we relate to our food is the way in which we relate to ourselves. If we choose to eat food that doesn't make us suffer, we lift a burden off our Self so that it may assume responsibility for that which it does not yet know it is responsible. Then it may maximize our collective potential, allowing our energy to flow freely through us, with us expecting nothing in return, other than its unconditional love.