Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Your Relationship with Astrology

Article © 2013 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

For many of you reading this article, your relationship with astrology is a long-term love affair. Mine, so far, has been life-long, except for the brief time I was not exposed to the subject in the earliest years of my life. That was, at most, my first 10 years, give or take a little. I think I’ve known since puberty that I have Virgo Sun. (Funny how hormones always enter in, even to this affair! And, no doubt, knowing I had the sign of a Virgin helped me stay that way during the days when Catholic School converged with awakening sexual chemistry.)  My curiosity and reading about astrology piqued from that point forward. It started with how I resonated to descriptions of Virgo, especially in Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, until I began formal studies in 1981. Astrology has been part of my life in one form or another ever since. 

Like any long-term relationship, astrology needs to be nurtured and its place in your life is likely to change over time. 

Sometimes you and astrology will get along famously. Other times, your relationship will be rocky, when your brain doesn’t feel like it can grasp what the stars are trying to tell you in this technique or that. Another stage may include an Astro-fast, because all that analysis is fogging your brain. You may have times when your star watching is mostly private and possibly quite introspective; others where you crave astrological community and will thrive on the common language, world view and friendships astrology provides. You may crave to be a teacher, leader or contributor to that community, or you might be content to be a perpetual student. Some people prefer to be an occasional partaker or even a toe-in-the-water sideliner.

Before I go much further into the care and keeping of your long-term relationship with astrology, I’d like to share why I think it’s such a great partner. First, it’s fascinating and a great conversationalist. It speaks to you from the vast variety of charts you can cast. It’s always got something to say like a chatty Gemini.

Second, astrology is so multi-layered and deep. You can know it from a passing interest to inside out, from dabbler to student, to student at ever higher levels, to professional continuously reaching for more layers of understanding and sharing them. Your range of possible participation is vast, and astrology will not be upset with you if you don’t propose marriage. It’s just as happy to be studied as taught, to be with you in the getting-acquainted stages or in depth. Since astrology explores human behavior, it can be as light as it’s deep. Astrology has a great sense of humor as long as its lover has the eyes to see it and the ears to hear the cosmic jokes.

Third, because of its multi-layered and complex nature, astrology has the capacity to keep you intrigued and interested as long as you want it in your life; at whatever level you want it.
I don’t know about you, but many people would give their right arm for a lover with these qualities.

The heart of this discussion isn’t for dabblers; it’s for those who can’t live without astrology—or at least those who don’t want to. With that desire to relate to it long-term, here are some tips to bear in mind to make the relationship happy, productive and seasoned with joy.

Ten Astro-Tips for the Long-Term

  1. Reassess, periodically, where you are in your relationship with astrology. Is it comfortable? Does anything cry for change?
  2. Know that shifting the level at which you participate is not throwing out the baby with the bath water, especially when you opt for something less intense for the time being; you’re simply responding to where astrology fits into your life now.

  3.  Let astrology enhance your life rather than living for astrology—or living your life so much by astrology that you shut out other helpful perspectives. Fanaticism leads to burnout and estrangement, just like the man or woman who comes on too strong and causes you to back off or even run. If you don’t want to lose astrology; give it some space.

  4.   Don’t waste time or energy trying to sell astrology to others, especially when you’re in a more zealous stage of working with and living by it. There are plenty of people who already embrace astrology who can parlez star-talk with you. Let others see how astrology works for you and come to you with their curiosity.

  5.  It’s OK if your boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, wife or husband doesn’t give a rip about astrology. (My husband is barely curious.) All that’s important is that those who love you support you and respect your beliefs. As in #4, there are plenty of people willing to communicate about the sky-to-earth interface. Couples don’t have to do everything together—unless you both have stelliums in Libra! (I take that back. In that case you need to give doing everything together a rest more than anyone.)
  6. Vacations from astrology are healthy. Just like all relationships, it’s good to get away from each other once in a while. Absence is likely to make the heart grow fonder. (It has on my breaks from astrology.)

  7. Some of the best astrologers I know are happy being perpetual students. They know as much and more than many teachers, yet they often have no aspirations to teach or lead. While there’s nothing wrong with encouraging them to step up to share their knowledge in community, don’t push it. (I’ve certainly done that almost to the point of being that wonderful Yiddish word for pest, a noodge.)  Student may be the relationship with astrology that’s right for those individuals. I remember as a kid; I quit Scouting before I “flew up” from Brownie to Girl Scout. Yet my husband still calls me a Girl Scout for my tendency to play by the rules (in his opinion, too much) and God knows I overlearned the motto “be prepared” between Scouting and Virgoing! Not everyone has to “go higher,” or what others perceive to be a runged ladder to learning or achievement. Some people get the principles they need to know at the earlier steps. Give people the space to have whatever relationship with astrology that’s comfortable for them. Do the same for yourself.

  8.  Keep the romance in your relationship with astrology, as in any other love affair. (That may or may not mean literally finding love at astrology events!) When it comes to where and how you relate to astrology, mix it up a little, just like a variety of activities and approaches keeps love fresh between couples. There are so many ways you can court this particular lover: reading, attending classes, going to conferences, enrolling in a more formal astrology school in person or online or participating in virtual or live discussion groups. NCGR and other organizations have certification programs, if you’re really ready to “get engaged.”

  9. Find some rituals that keep your heartbeat in sync with astrology. It may be looking at your chart in a bi-wheel with transits or checking your ephemeris every morning--or reading a bit of an astrological article or book every day. I say this because close relationships revolve around rituals, which are habits, brought to a higher level of whole-i-ness. I’ve observed something that rocked my world for the big aha it gave me. I noticed the people I know whose marriages occurred under Virgo Sun often have long-term, happy relationships. What does Virgo do, probably better than any other sign? Habits. Marriage revolves around habits and rituals—the good morning kiss, sharing meals together, dividing the housekeeping duties—in my husband’s and my case (married under Virgo), saying I love you at least once a day. Taking joy in a habit raises it to ritual, the same thing we call repeated activities in a religious or spiritual context. Now going from the sublime to the ridiculous, this brings me to my final tip:
  10. Always have fun with it. Do you want to have a relationship with a sourpuss? With someone who always takes things too seriously? I know them and you know them; the people who don’t have an ounce of humor in their approach to astrology. Remember that your relationship to astrology is reflective of you, probably even more than relationships with live people. A humorless approach to this lover will make your relationship dull and dreary—and over time, tedious. If you don’t already know this quotation by the wonderful memoir writer, Anne Lamott, you might want to post it on your computer or create a bookmark with the quote to use with your astrology books: “Laughter is carbonated holiness.” Combining this idea with #9, the best habit you can bring to your relationship with astrology is a good sense of humor.

A Few Case Studies

Here are a few instances where I’ve seen some of these principles at work:
  • I’ve known astrologers who have given it up because of a new religious or spiritual path they were exploring, where the tenets of their faith considered astrology wrong. (In the cases I know of, they all came back to astrology.) 
  • An excellent astrologer friend of mine is in a phase of life where he has to focus on making a living. He’s working so hard; he has no time to follow astrology except for an awareness of the planetary positions related to his own chart. He’s a professional who hasn’t done readings in some years, because he simply has no time for it. I’m sure he’ll be back at a different level when he retires.
  • Like my friend above, I spent a number of years doing astrology primarily for myself and those closest to me for tending other areas of my life. My relationship to astrology was much more private during that time, not public. I’m entering a phase now where, because of many other priorities, I want to be more a learner than a teacher and leader. In the past, this would have made me worry that astrology and I were falling out of love. Now I know that it’s just another phase of our enduring relationship.

Off to a Good Star

Just as comedian Stephen Colbert doesn’t pronounce the “t” in either his surname or in the second word in the name of his political satire show, The Colbert Report, I hope this article gives you a good star—and start—on your periodic review of your relationship with astrology. Where are we? is a question we have to ask in our human relationships to give to and get the most from them.

Same goes for this wonderful art/science that so often guides us in optimizing our own growth and expansion of our relationships.

Photo Credit: © Denis Zaporozhtsev -


Lana said...

Dear Joyce
Hugely enjoyed this piece - I love the way you write.
I was especially tickled by tip number 5. My husband is a Gemini Scientist, and is respectful towards my chosen path but would not dare endorse it wholly! In the second year at University (1970) he was a passing visitor to my room in halls, and snorted at the astrology poems on my door...That was in the first year of my relationship with Astrology (and reader, I married him).
Thanks again, Joyce,

Joyce Mason said...

Hi, Lana! It's always wonderful to hear from you, and I'm so glad you enjoyed this article. The story about how you met your husband is great,indeed the perfect illustration of #5 at its best! When I was younger, I used to dream of having a partner who understood astrology. I imagined our astrobabble at the breakfast table. Now I'm even more grateful for a husband who's my oasis from astro-overload. Maturity teaches us that the recipe for relationship has a few parts each of in-common and in-complement. Same goes for friendships, of course. I've always been astounded by how many interests we share. I thank my lucky stars for being the source of knowing you!