We always picture the entrance to Heaven as a golden gate on some clouds, and Hell is a burning cave of devils prodding sinners with their pitchforks. What if they both look like the pictures below? What if it’s all a black hole?
Heaven is when the gods use a little of their mermaid magic to open the black hole as you cross the event horizon, so you enter a starry rainbow spiral of goodness. When you get there, the god who sponsored your ascendance is waiting to take you into their fold. Because let’s face it, one might please Ceres by planting a lot of flowers, but maybe Hera’s not happy because they cheated on their wife. (And where does that leave Thor?) Anyway, the divine sponsor is there, and takes you on as an apprentice, a sort of Maiar to their Valar if you will, spend eternity learning from them, enforcing their will in the afterlife, basking in the glory of the gods.
Purgatory? Well, that’s just when the gate is never opened, and your soul is driven into the black hole slowly (I mean like, eternally slowly) yet painlessly, and so you’re left to ponder the mistakes of life until driven mad with loneliness. The only hope for reprieve is if one of the lesser gods takes pity and lowers their standard to include you as the humblest of their pupils. I’m referring to someone like Chinnamasta or Sheela Na Gigs.
And then Hell is like purgatory, except cursed with the pain and disfigurement as if you entered a black hole with a physical body, but without the ability to die and relieve the suffering. Your very atoms are perpetually torn apart until there’s nothing but a one-dimensional line of quarks extending from the event horizon into the center, and then excruciatingly compressed into the smallest, densest bit of matter conceivable.
Consciousness of the Condemned
Imagine myself then, as an ambassador from this hypothesized celestial afterlife, plagued not only with uncertainty regarding my ultimate fate, but the perception I have accrued among my peers which led me there. I speak to you as a prisoner banished to an undetected shadow somewhere within the orphaned constellation of Ophiuchus, ruminating on the minutia of my past, struggling to convince myself I’ve done anything worthy of a positive legacy on the world I left behind.
From my vantage point I trace new constellations in the void, relying on a pantheon of fiction and the fading memories of my old life for inspiration. In my infinite boredom, I ponder the many arbitrary designations we place upon our own heavenly objects on Earth. As an example, consider how the morning star came to be associated with Lucifer asserting his dominance by rising above the other angels (represented by the stationary stars) only to be “overthrown” by God (represented by the sunrise obscuring all other objects in the sky) as one example. I wonder why we assumed the morning star to be a malevolent entity when, for all we knew, it might have been trying to spread as much light as possible to keep its comrades’ spirits up in the absence of the sun. Who’s to say? I wonder how different our history would have been due to the butterfly effect if just that one piece of our cultural heritage, the arbitrary designation of constellations and their respective meanings, were altered.
Unfortunately, my sentence is endless and this distraction could only occupy so much time. Eventually my thoughts returned to those whom I felt I had done wrong, or failed to show the proper love when I could have. The ideologies and hobbies which I had been so proud to devote time to in life now turned from a pedestal propping up my ego to a cage entombing the unknown soul, patron of a forgotten people, the odd one out in an assembly. In penance, I consider those who have had the most profound impact on me–and not always for the better–and come to terms with the nature of our time together. I encourage all of you to consider the people who are important in your life now while you still have the chance, and make the most of the time you have together.
(Really, I just wanted a framing device to aggregate the posts I’ve made using astrology inspired pseudonyms. And then it turned into a self-assigned writing exercise to describe what they meant to me in terms that could also apply to their ascribed planet. Once that box was opened I just ran with it.)
Sometimes, the greatest strength is the willingness to be vulnerable. Sometimes the best leader is the one willing to stray from the wishes of the pack once in awhile. Sometimes the ultimate selfless act is to do what makes you happy. (After all, it could inspire others to do the same and follow their dreams, and you’ll be a more pleasant person to be around if contented.) Sometimes doublespeak paradoxes are not meant to censor thought, but challenge preconceived notions and push one to a higher understanding than what society programmed them to believe. It’s similar to Socrates and the Oracle at Delphi, where he was told that the wisest man is the one who admits he knows nothing.
We all need to learn to be more vulnerable with each other. We need that honesty, diversity, and trust which comes along with it. When we are more openly vulnerable in expressing our true selves, society flourishes from the freedom of its individuals as well as the breadth of new ideas allowed to be expressed. Relationships are stronger in their tenderness when one can be honest towards their partners and friends. To be conformist is a prison, to be constantly performing at a false identity is a form of suicide. If we force the individual into a mold to please the masses, life would be boring, paranoid, and miserable for all concerned. The problem is, enough people have to take a stand against the status quo and its expectations in order to turn the tide away from forced compliance. That’s why it’s important to be strong enough to be yourself, even if it means risking ostracization, degradation or even violence from others.
The Wandering Stars
It’s crazy how perspective changes things, and how a big ball of debris from a major collision early in Earth’s history, one that’s now a cratered mass of abrasive dust at that, can still be so beautiful when viewed from a distance. Luna is the embodiment of contradictions. With a hidden dark side she never revealed and a shifting face through a repetitious cycle, one can never be sure where her true nature lies. Luna, as much as Gaia herself, has earned the right to be called the Mother of All Sentience, and she epitomizes intelligence as well. Were it not for her tidal effects, there’s a credible argument to be made that advanced life would not have evolved. Put another way, Luna inspired a passion and liveliness that is out of proportion with the small space she occupies in the heavens, and in the grand scheme of my life. It’s not her fault my past trauma, which in this analogy we may think of as the collision with Theia, made me so needy for attention. All I can do is learn from that mistake and be a more self-accomplished person going forward.
Mercury’s namesake on Earth is beautiful but poisonous, with reflective properties that allow one to get a sense of whom they truly are in her presence. At the same time, long term exposure is corrosive to the well-being of the beholder. Her alchemic symbol is that of a horned woman, representing a guarded disposition and predilection towards goth chic. From her vantage point she is blinded by an overwhelming light, symbolic of the obsessive desire for an impossible dream. This comes at the expense of noticing the beauty of those around her. She’s been ravaged by the fallout of being so close yet unable to embrace the long sought out prize. Nevertheless, Mercury helped me make a tremendous step in life and for that if nothing else, I will always be eternally grateful.
[I haven’t posted about my experiences with the person whom I ascribed this identity to. Maybe I will someday if I can think of a respectful manner in which to do so, but right now it seems too personal for me to talk about.]
Venus is in many ways the most loving and protective person I have ever known, and some of my fondest memories are with her. She was my “twin” during my most formative years, standing by me during many ups and downs, helping me find confidence in myself when I really needed someone in my corner. In many ways, she represents a road not taken, a person I may have met and befriended earlier in life if I had just been willing to explore outside my comfort zone. More than that, she is someone I may have had a closer relationship with had I not been so preoccupied with impossible fantasies at the time. While we eventually went our separate ways in life, we remain on good terms and she is among the brightest spots in my horizon.
[I haven’t posted about my experiences with the person I ascribed this identity to. Maybe I will someday, but right now I just haven’t gotten around to it. I did briefly hint at our relationship in this one dream I had, in this post it’s the very last un-numbered “epilogue.”]
Unlike the other wanderers, which represent physical people, Sol is a bright but intangible entity. It is the embodiment of love and guidance without a body, manifesting itself in whatever we choose to imbue with our love and creativity. Where the other wanderers may cross our paths on occasion, some for a longer stretch of time than others, Sol is omniscient. One of the two key steps towards ultimate growth in our development comes from the realization that everyone does not revolve around our own personal wants and needs. Instead, we are all chasing Sol, and striving for the satisfaction that comes from experiencing willfulness, creativity and passion in our own unique lives. If we would all understand we strive for the same goals, and stop putting each other down as a result, this would represent the second key step in our collective betterment.
Mars is like the older brother I never had, the senior partner in an affectionate if somewhat uneven camaraderie. Properly assertive and the definition of cool, he led us headlong into many youthful adventures. His masculine energy was expressed through the many heroic fantasies we played out together, particularly rescuing damsels in distress. More than any other, Mars inspired my imagination and influenced the way in which I see the world around me. As he rules the first house, so too was Mars the first great influencer in my life. Mars embodies a mastery of sexual energy, which manifested itself as a confident way with the opposite sex even when I knew him at an early age. He represents a pure zest for life, one with such exuberance which I have never seen in a person since and am doubtful that I should ever encounter again.
Jove, with his great watchful eye, has always been there for me, shielding me from the path of harmful outside forces. The great shame and irony of my life is that I did not appreciate that for so long, I had a proverbial Sam to my Clarissa whom I allowed myself to mistreat and take for granted. I put up a barrier between us which had no business being there. On the second revolution of Jove in my growth, he made himself known to me again in a profound way. It remains the most powerful rekindling of a relationship I’ve ever enjoyed with anyone. Jove, with Ganymede in his corner, best embodies the values of creativity, free-spirited individuality and open-mindedness of anyone I know. He’s perceptive of the world’s glories as well as follies, but always forgiving towards its individual actors. He encourages those around him to grow and become the better versions of themselves he always knew they could be.
I met Saturn for the first time shortly before my 27th birthday, and we became extremely close soon after. Saturn’s Return coincided with a period of great change in my life: a new job, new home, new social groups, new interests and of course our relationship. With him, I truly feel like an adult for the first time as opposed to a youth in over her head. He’s shown me a new world of hidden wonder I never knew I’d find acceptance in. By doing so, allowed me to discover a self-perpetuating sense of confidence for the first time. Saturn’s status as a student in mathematical precision is denoted on the crown he wears. Saturn’s halo of rings represents a bevy of life accomplishments, while his orbiters represent a war chest of past conquests. His is a position of wisdom and lived experience, a challenge to reach the same status in my own life yet the promise I won’t be alone in doing so.
Anachronistic Astrological Ages
In this section, I’m roughly using the dating systems proposed by Terry MacKinnell.
There is a truth to the basis of the “astrological ages” in that the world’s vernal equinox cycles through the zodiac constellations and it takes about 25,800 years for the cycle to complete. (This revolution is called a “Great Year.”) Astrologists believe that as the equinox lies in each respective zodiac, that corresponding sign in turn influences the development of human civilization and evolution. These “astrological ages” last approximately 2,160 years each (often simplified to 2,100 or even just 2,000 years for practical purposes). It’s a pseudo-science based on a kernel of truth, but certainly an interesting thought nonetheless. It’s kind of cool to think that the gods/universe is collectively giving us lessons or tests every couple of generations which we must heed in order to better our species. I used to be heavily inspired by the concept of the Aquarian Age in particular, and the idea that society was moving towards the enlightening values associated with it.
Just for fun, I’m gonna reiterate some of the popular interpretations of each past and present age–with one caveat. I think Terry MacKinnell’s dating of the cycle is far more sensible at least as far as the beginning of Aquarius is concerned. Traditionally, the Age of Aquarius is said to begin either in the early 2000’s (with 2012 being a commonly cited date) or the future (the 2700’s by some estimation.) The constellations of Pisces and Aquarius overlap on the celestial equator, so it could be said that both are correct and the cusp of Aquarius has begun already but we will not feel the full effects for hundreds of years. MacKinnell postulates that Aquarius actually began in the 1400~1500s. In this century we saw (among much else) four significant events which completely shifted mankind’s view of himself and the world around him. These being the advent of heliocentrism, the exploration of the new world (Americas), Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation, and the invention of the printing press. Since this century, we have seen the emergence of many new ideologies about politics, religion, individuality and the universe. There have been scientific breakthroughs, inventions, medicine and greater tolerance for women and other races. All of this only became possible with the empowerment of the masses with the printing press and the realization that the Bible was not infallible. Accounting for the overlap with Pisces (which based on my limited research is said to encompass about 500 to 700 years) this means we are set to feel the full effects of Aquarius around this century or up to two down the line. I think the spread of the internet could be a worthy indication of the beginning of the Aquarius unfettered by Pisces’ influence.
Anyway, for shits and giggles, I will pair these brief descriptions of each astrological age with an essay from my blog which I feel embodies those same qualities associated with it.
Leo (~11,100 BCE to ~9,000 BCE)
Leo with the Sun on ascendant is responsible for pederasty as a never-accomplished taste, and for sodomy which is instead widely practiced at an adult age. If the Moon was in the first quarter at the time of birth, these tendencies will be manifested in a rather mild way. ~Sexual Aberrations and the Stars
The Age of Leo coincides with the birth of civilization, and rises in sea level.
The melting of the glaciers during this era led to the creation of the contemporary habitable world. During this era, humanity survived as hunter-gatherers using primitive stone tools. The change in climate allowed humans to spread across the planet.
Cancer (~9,000 BCE to ~6,900 BCE)
Cancer with the Moon on ascendant gives rise to necrophilia. However, it’ll never be put into practice and it’ll be replaced by scopophilia. ~Sexual Aberrations and the Stars
The Age of Cancer brought domestication and the rise in moon and mother goddesses (Cancer is a feminine sign ruled by the moon.)
The reason given for the rise of Moon and female gods in the Cancerian Age is that the great flood(s) probably occurred during this time. As a result, people noticed how the Moon affected the tides and sought to placate this potentially destructive force going forward. There are speculative theories that men in this time did not understand their own role in procreation, which also gave rise to the feminine worship and reverence in this era.
Gemini (~6,900 BCE to ~4,800 BCE)
Gemini with Mercury on ascendant will accentuate masochism and sadism. Those born in the early morning, will have a tendency towards masochism with sublimation of sadistic urge. ~Sexual Aberrations and the Stars
The Age of Gemini brought writing, polytheistic pantheons like the Greek’s, and trade.
Gimini brought the development of written language as well as the refinement of its spoken counterpart. It was the beginning of the oral tradition, stories passed down through spoken word retellings. It was also the beginning of dualistic concepts and deities, often representing male and female counterparts, or good and evil opponents. Supposedly this Age is when humanity became aware of the fact that greater consciousness and understanding came with the trade-off of responsibility for the consequences of ones’ choices. In this way, Gemini may be understood as the beginning of human morality, and this manifested in the earliest organized religions and morality tales.
Taurus (~4,800 BCE to ~2,700 BCE)
Taurus with Venus on ascendant will emphasize nymphomania and hypersexuality. If Mars is in Virgo this may manifest itself as a proclivity towards rape and violent assault. ~Sexual Aberrations and the Stars
The Age of Taurus coincides with the first great architectural feats (the pyramids), and bull worshiping cults.
This period is associated with the increased urbanization of Egypt and Mesopotamia, with their pyramids and Sphinx as well as the city of Uruk, respectively. It is also said to have brought unprecedented consolidation of wealth, which in turn corrupted the leaders of religion and community. This culminated in the ultimate example of human individuality subsumed by the desires of the ruling class with human sacrifice. This practice would fall out of favor in the old world only with the coming of Aries, where animal sacrifices became the norm.
Aries (~2,700 BCE to ~600 BCE)
Aries with Mars on ascendant will embrace somnophilia and acrotomophilia. Those born in the late hours of the day may also experience a tendency towards feederism as well. ~Sexual Aberrations and the Stars
The Age of Aries brought the first major conquering empires, the beginning of ram and goat sacrifices in religious ceremonies, the invention of siege weapons like the battering ram, and iron smelting.
The Arian Age is one of contradictions the same as its two successors. Where it is credited with giving us the first written legal codes, including Hammurabi and the Ten Commandments, its militaristic developments ultimately proved that might makes right. The legends glorifying individual heroes originated from this era, in contrast to the revered martyrs and conformity shown during the reign of Pisces which followed. The Bronze Age civilizations rose and collapsed in the span of this era, allowing the known world to be born again in flame and blood by militaristic adventuresome conquerors such as Moses and Alexander.
(While the following post specifically talks about Rome and Pisces, the tradition of destructive imperial expansion dates back at least to Aries’s bronze age empires, as does the symbol of the Eagle, which was also used by the Hittites.)
Pisces (~600 BCE to ~1,500 CE)
Pisces, with Jupiter on ascendant, will display a preference for coprophilia and urophilia. If the moon is in the second quarter at the time of birth, these self-degrading tendencies will be accentuated with a preference for bondage as well. ~Sexual Aberrations and the Stars
The Age of Pisces brought the advent of conformity both in the form of monotheism and the consolidation of power under autocratic kingdoms which merged into modern nation states.
While the societies in this Age largely paid homage to Jesus (whose self-sacrifice is indicative of Piscean virtues) the true overarching figure must be Julius Caesar. Under the MacKinnell dating system, the Piscean Age largely coincides with the rise and fall of Roman civilization, from the Republic to the Eastern Byzantine Empire. All leaders who came after in Europe would imagine themselves a Caesar in essence, and many would even take his name up through the German Kaisers and Russian Czars. Both Jesus and Julius (along with Socrates, whose life also coincides with the beginning of Pisces) were violently put to death for their actions, in each case by a group of stubborn aristocratic councils, and then they became far more influential after their own lifetimes.
I wrote an earlier blog post about how, even if you’re not Christian, we should all be united in support of him given how needlessly cruel his death was, and the condemnation of society which it represents. While Jesus changed the world superficially in that all the West called themselves Christians thereafter, nothing meaningful really changed in the long-term. Men were still tortured, Kings still consolidated power, and the most egregious example came with the discovery of America. It was there that the so-called benevolent and godly Christians treated the conquered Native Americans just as terribly if not worse than the Romans had treated the Jews, including Jesus. If it were not bad enough the way Christian Europe had treated its own people during the Dark Ages, here they mercilessly decimated others and then forced their religion upon them. They were no better than the barbarous Romans who would crucify men for preaching about peace and love, and with this action, the hypocrisy was complete.
Aquarius (~1,500 CE to ~3,600 CE)
Aquarius, with Saturn on ascendant, will display a fascination with bestiality. However, they will continue to seek out intelligent conversation with a human partner. ~Sexual Aberrations and the Stars
The Age of Aquarius is said to bring the toppling of large institutions like organized religion and government in favor of the individual. It is theorized to inspire unconventionality, technology, democracy and free-spirited creativity.
In the Age of Aquarius, it will not be a star we follow towards our salvation. At least, not exactly. In an era of light pollution, the stars will unfortunately be blocked out in the night sky. Almost forgotten. Until one fateful night when a blinding light in the heavenly shadow emerges. Men and women from all around will be drawn to it, as stars in their natural splendor had not been observed for many decades. And upon closer examination, we will see that it was not a star that came to us…but a spaceship. The aliens from the Orion nebula, in their bicentennial examination of the cosmos, saw our planet artificially lit up at night for the first time, and came to visit us as equals. The interstellar commander emerged from the ship to greet a delegation from the UN and said just 3 words: “Let me help.”
And yet, just as Jesus’ message was co-opted and perverted to subjugate the masses, it’s important to realize that the Age of Aquarius may not necessarily be a good thing. It’s as likely as not that the Aquarian “messiah” could have their ideas or movement co-opted in a similar manner and used to strengthen the hold of the ruling class. In some way, the echo-chambering of the populace, blocking out dissenting ideas and sheltering ourselves in safe spaces which affirm our views is an example of this. Digital communication allows for more frequent miscommunication, astroturfing from the powers that be, and anonymity can lead to trolling and bring out the worst in people. It also gives deliberate liars or madmen just as loud a voice as anyone, and there’s something to be said about how everyone having a voice dilutes each person’s significance. The innovations which could make Aquarius so wonderful are a double edged sword.
This is even more ominous when one considers the very different natures of both Saturn (Aquarius’ original ruling deity) and Uranus (its modern one.) While it may be tempting to think of Aquarius’ glyph as representing the cracks in the old way forming, or perhaps a winding road to ultimate victory, the fact that Saturn (representing conformity, limitations) beats Uranus (representing individuality, creativity) in the myths may be a foreboding contrary omen. Only time will tell, but either way it’s important for humanity to take its destiny into our own hands.