• Caroline Naughton

Seven Astronaughty Sins

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.

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