The Dark Side

I started giving astrology readings because it's fun for me, and other people enjoy it too. That's the only reason. This is a form of entertainment. Astrology is not a religion. It's not a belief system. It's definitely not a science. I'm often skeptical of astrological patterns and interpretations, even as I usually find them to be weirdly accurate. It doesn't stop surprising me. My clients, who I've never met, exclaim about the accuracy of interpretations when I read their charts. But why? Because it's true that as it is above, so it is below? Because there is some kind of cosmic pattern, a dark matter, a hidden force that influences events? Because psychologically we're likely to agree with positive assessments of our personalities? Because we all need to apply a system of meaning to a chaotic universe? Because we want it to be true, and we see what we want to see? There is no empirical evidence for astrology. Some astrologers gather data and find similarities in the life events or personalities of people with similar charts, and those studies are interesting. But I don't think that astrology will ever be proven. I don't think anyone needs to believe in it. I don't even think it needs to be legitimized.

I like astrology because it is a language. I like languages, systems of symbols. I like mythology. I like reading and thinking about Jungian psychology and ideas like synchronicity. Astrology is a kind of poetry; it's a story we tell ourselves. Like art, it has value, and it serves a human purpose. But it is not inherently useful. It is not empirically sound. When I read a chart, I start with where I'm intuitively drawn. A shape made by aspects. A prominent planet or sign. I interpret the chart based on the same archetypes that have been used by astrologers for thousands of years, and I use a system of Evolutionary Astrology popular with contemporary astrologers, which is based on the premise that these are the possibilities for you, given your chart in this lifetime. Evolutionary Astrology eschews Medieval, deterministic prophecies of fate in favor of the philosophy of free will.

In the aftermath of an election that represents a complete failure of critical thinking by the American people, an election that has revealed us to be living in a post-factual world, where only storytelling matters and evidence appears to have no relevance, I have to wonder about the point of all this. This is storytelling. This is, again, entertainment. Astrology is not factual. Everything, everything, everything should be questioned. Especially now. The dark side of astrology is it's addictiveness for some people, the easy way it provides an explanation and a system for understanding the world, a siren song of meaning. The dark side is escapism.

Maybe I'm not a very good salesperson for my own products. But I want people to think of these readings as stories. The story may resonate for you in some places and not in others. The story may leave you with an overall theme for your coming year. The story may come in the form of a poem or a song, with a pattern and a rhythm you can dance to. The story is about you, which is fun! Everyone wants to talk about themselves. Astrology mythologizes all of us, places us in a context of possibility and greater meaning. The story will not be prescriptive: that is, it will not tell you exactly what is going to happen to you. You make things happen. So take the story with a side of salt.

When I tell these stories, I focus on your possibilities. I want you to have the opportunity to explore your best self. I want you to celebrate what is working for you and how you could use your strengths to achieve your goals. In short, I always assume the best. I will not shy away from warnings, because everyone has the potential to "go low" instead of "go high." But I work with my clients on the premise that you can go high, and the story is mostly about who you are when you do that. The story is about the complexities of a personality, and the complexities of life, and how to see obstacles as advantages. The story is cautiously optimistic.

And yet, there is a dark side to every sign and every aspect. Our Taurus full moon today has a dark side, too. Taurus can be earthy, sensual, grounded, practical, and artistic. Taurus can be so lovely! But Taurus can also be far too stubborn and bullheaded. Taurus will double down on a decision, even when the outcome looks terrible, because he doesn't want to hear "I told you so." Taurus, overdone, can be hedonistic to the point of outright greed.

I'm sorry to say that the Taurus full moon today falls exactly on Donald Trump's midheaven, the most public point of his chart, and illuminates what we can publicly see about him: the hedonism of gaudy golden elevators, a dangerous and stubborn desire for revenge on his enemies, and most of all the terrifying voracity of the white nationalist "Make America Great Again" movement, which aims to extinguish or silence all forms of the Other to consolidate power and resources for white, cis, straight men. The Taurus full moon, I think, illuminates what we should now publicly acknowledge: Donald Trump is making good on his campaign promises of mass deportation and coded/uncoded racism. Taurus is reliable. Trump's campaign is probably a reliable indicator of what he'll be like as the President of the United States.

The most alarming thing about Donald Trump isn't even the Dark Taurus midheaven, though, it's that he's a Dark Gemini. Trump has no allegiance to the truth. As Michael Moore has said, "he has no ideology, except the ideology of Donald J. Trump." The dark side of Gemini is dirty tricks, malicious falsehoods, duplicity, superficiality, and a lack of moral compass. He is, as Slate has said, a con man. He duped many Americans who voted for him into thinking that he was their populist hero, a man outside the system, when in fact he is a member of the elite that they hate and fear so much. 

When Dark Gemini colludes with Dark Taurus, what you have is a man who will say anything, who will make a decision on a whim, and then double down on that decision regardless of the consequences. What you have is a greedy liar with no moral allegiance. What you have is a wolf who doesn't even need sheep's clothing, because his hypnotic, repetitive words are enough to convince a herd of sheep that he is one of them. What you have is a man for whom facts mean so little that he will empower hate speech outlet Breitbart News.

Or maybe that's just a story I'm telling, making sense of what I already know about this demagogue through the lens of astrology, which is a language made up of symbols that can be strung together like beads and translated into a narrative. You decide. Please, question everything. Take everything, everything, everything, with a grain of salt.