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Part of an altar card I made.

I had an astrological conversation this morning with a friend that got me thinking (again) about my own celestial pie. I’ve got quite the messy soup of contradictions in my “top three” astrologically.

There’s a part of me that is inescapably Aries. It’s my rising sign. That’s the part of me that you shake hands with – it’s how people view me. A gal I went to college with even told me that she’d thought I was “formidable” (yeowtch) ….until she got to know me better.

Formidable? Yeah, maybe. I can come on kinda strong. I know that. In recent years, I’ve even tried to temper that with some of the other attributes that I carry around on me. But most of the time, resisting that Nike-like “Just do it” impulse is like swimming against the current. And I’m not sure I should try to temper it as often as I do.

The older I’ve gotten, the more I realize that even though I’ve been perpetually torn in opposite directions by that astrological mish-mash, it’s also been my saving grace.

My Sun sign is Sagittarius – the zodiac’s idealistic, philosophical dreamer (watch out – this zodiacal model comes complete with a soap box, and they’re not afraid to use it!). It imbues me with an impulse to learn, learn, learn, learn…and learn some more (the scholar of the zodiac, I alternate between periods of monkish rectitude and study, and the firey impulsiveness of animal side of the Centaur). It also gifted me with a superhero complex – as in, hey world, I am totally here to save you (um…whether or not you particularly want to be saved).

That kinda meshes with the Aries Rising – it helps me take that tactless Sagittarian energy and impulsiveness and make it, well, worse, actually. It also keeps me believing that I truly can go out there and make a difference for myself, and for others, in the world. Mostly because I don’t always stop to see the logical barriers to my idealistic plots before I set out to make them happen. I’ve gotten my heart broken that way more than once. But the nice thing about Sagittarius is that it figures that even though it may not have worked out well this time, there’s always another opportunity lurking around the corner.

And my moon sign? Pisces. And it’s in my twelfth house. For the uninitiated, that pretty much means that I am among the most ridiculously emotional, empathic, and tender little spirits out there. But no one knows that – not right off. And sometimes they never know it. Moon in Pisces people are so sensitive that they can literally feel the emotions of people around them – and then have to figure out if it’s something that comes from themselves, or if it’s just atmospheric. They have extremely high expectations for others (due in part to a nature that lends itself to extreme idealism and hope), and even higher ones for themselves. On top of which, you’ve always gotta be careful with Pisces – it tends toward illusion and delusion, it tends toward rose-colored glasses and naiveté. So you must perpetually ask yourself if the landscape that you’re looking at represents reality, or if it’s tainted by emotion, delusion, hope, or fear. Yeah, wow. That sounds like a freaking barrel of laughs.

Compounding that, is the fact that my moon is in the twelfth house – the realm of the underground, of death and rebirth, of Pluto/Hades. Of the hidden, the obscured, the murky. The unspoken. The intensely intuitive. The shadow realm. My emotion-based moon sign of super-sensitive Pisces hanging out in the shadow world of deep inner knowing and revelation. Sounds like a blast, right?

It hasn’t been. It has been perplexing, disturbing, contorting, and upsetting. It has also allowed me to become intimate with the unseen, the forgotten, the disenfranchised – and to love that side of humanity.

My outlook on astrology itself is complex (as is everything when you have this kind of make-up). Aries thinks, “What utter bullshit. Get over it and get going.” Sagittarius thinks, “There might be some use in this – let’s learn everything that we possibly can about it, and then we’ll tell everyone about it…whether they want to know or not.” And Pisces thinks, “That is so totally true. Deeply true. All of it. Now, how can I use this to set my personal standards for myself even higher….and to better understand my fellow human beings?”

I’ve learned to become grateful for this particular configuration, though. It’s taken me down some odd back alleys, and into some strange places, but I wouldn’t have ended up there, if I hadn’t had the inclinations that these three signs give me toward those things. And every step has led me here, to this place.

So, I’m happy to keep letting Aries do my blocking for me, and Sagittarius do my learning and philosophical meandering for me, and Pisces to do all of its agonizing and rhapsodizing, beneath the radar. The trick is to just let them all mesh and blend and smear into one another – to temper themselves, essentially. Still working on that bit.

Well, I suppose that’s enough navel-gazing for one day (that would be the Aries talking, just in case you wondered – it gets impatient). I’m off to conquer the world, save the world, and bleed for the world – all in one breath – again.

Come have a look through my kaleidoscope eyes. Come walk with me, as I make my way down the Path of Mastery (complete with fits and starts and pitstops and potholes). Our very impermanence is what makes us burn so brightly, and struggle so valiantly, and feel so deeply – it’s what makes us seize the day, and the moment. Come in, settle in, share a moment with me.

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"Who are YOU?" said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then." (Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 5)