I’m asking my dear readers to indulge me in a brief, new agey digression. We all experience them from time to time, right?
Astrology is one of those things that intrigues me but never holds my interest. It’s very involved. Many who dismiss it outright are only familiar with the Sunday newspaper variety. It wasn’t until my old friend Katrina did a workshop on making a natal chart that I realized how much work goes into it! Put aside any thoughts you have on the validity* and just look at what astrologers put themselves through! All their charts, longitude, latitude, angles, etc… Okay, my own ignorance is probably showing and badly. I’ve never been a mathematical person (despite what my rising sign seems to say), so astrology will probably always be one of those things I appreciate as a curiosity but never seriously practice myself. I acknowledge it and sometimes feel its influence – especially when things go retrograde.
There is evidence that the ancient Druids knew about and even practiced astrology (Ellis). They were known for being talented and knowledgable with the ways of the stars and planets. (Here’s a short but interesting essay by Ellis about it:http://www.radical-astrology.com/irish/miscellany/ellis.html) Their astrology was certainly not the Celtic Tree Calendar that Robert Graves popularized in The White Goddess (Blamires). It really is amazing how many people still think that’s authentic… Anyway, I am very interested in learning about the Irish names for celestial bodies and perhaps gardening according to their movements. As a side note, I came across this website about creating zodiac gardens according to one’s sun sign. I was intrigued that two of my favorite trees, birch and oak, were associated with my sign as well as my spirit animal, deer. Deer makes sense considering Sagittarius’ association with horses and hoofed animals. I don’t know about the other correspondences… Might have something to do with fire and strength? At the moment, I’m slowly working on gardening according to the moon using the methodology suggested to me by local herbalist Sue-Ryn Burns. I enjoy it purely as a way to better connect with and experience the energies of the lunar cycle.
Today I went to dinner with a couple gal pals. One of them, Corinne of F that S, is interested in astrology so it occasionally comes up in our conversations. We were talking about sun signs and how natal charts are made up of more than just that. She admitted some surprise at my being a Sagittarius and was curious how my chart actually looks. I dug the old chart Katrina helped me with using http://alabe.com/freechart and found that, in addition to having my sun sign in Sagittarius, Uranus, Venus, and Saturn are also there. While Neptune is in Virgo, Pisces and my moon sign are in Aquarius (which is also my rising sign). I have something called the N. Node in Cancer (which is apparently what makes me very loyal and somewhat introverted). The rest of my chart, Neptune, Pluto, and Mars are in Scorpio (my husband’s sign). Looking at my chart, it’s very top heavy and a good mix of fire and water with a dash of earth and air. It’s fun to think about…
Do you ever tinker with or think about astrology?
Some resources: Blamires, Steve. Celtic Tree Mysteries Secrets of the Ogham. Llewellyn, 1997. Ellis, Peter Berresford. A Brief History of The Druids. Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1994. Ellis, Peter Berresford. "Early Irish Astrology: An Historical Argument." Réalta vol 3 no.3 1996
* I once took a critical thinking class in college (philosophy 101). The professor made us pick from a list of topics, then research and write about why they are not logical. I’ve a healthy dose of skepticism, but the limited choices available were pretty insulting. I ended up choosing to “debunk” astrology purely so I could learn more about it!