by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fate vs. Free Will in the Kitchen Dynamics of Life

One of my long-time and very dear friends is an astrologer with whom I have a near-daily correspondence. Over the years we have traded joys and problems, cats having their way with him in his household and cattiness doing a number on mine.

It's an excellent friendship. And one which has grown to be as solid as any could be despite the fact we've never met each other face-to-face. I think we've talked on the phone once or twice, but the fact that I can't remember when that might have been tells me it was a long, long time ago if it even ever happened.

A hundred years ago this might not sound so astonishing. Back in the day, pen pal relationship were considered a norm. But then, back then, the ability to write was considered a sign of class and potential - how well you did that one thing often was the key to doors we now think of as being unlocked by degrees, money and connections.
Anyway...this dear friend of mine and I, we come back again and again to questions of whether the natal chart is dynamic or static. He feels that since he brings the same "him" (the natal chart) to any moment, that nothing ever changes. He is always who he will be - that's what's written in his chart.

To some extent, that's obviously true - I was (for instance) born with a Scorpio Moon (conjunct Saturn and trine Sun and Venus, if you must know)...and I will always have that Scorpio Moon and its buddy, my illustrious Scorpio Saturn.

Yes...for all you Saturn haters out there, I do love my Saturn. It gives me endurance and has provided stability in an at-times raucously unstable life.

Does this Saturn+Moon+Scorpio combination also speak to some difficulties? You betcha! And I've had them...and expect [sigh...] that periodically my life will be a bit like a traipse through a sewer system wearing a white frock and 4" heels.

But that's just the point. My life started out rough. Very rough - which I'm beginning to talk about on the sister blog to this one - the Pinocchio Girl blog. The term 'used and abused' seems the genteel way to put it, so for now we'll leave it there - if you want to read more about surviving trauma I hope you'll join me on the other side of the digital wall. But to say that I can't size up what the possibilities are - that I can't say abuse and fear and poverty and sorrow are classical Scorpio Saturn/Moon symbolisms but only one pole thereof - THAT's the point.

And that's one of the great gifts of astrology - in particular, western (tropical) astrology, as opposed to Vedic, Chinese and heliocentric astrology, to name a few of the other formats out there to be explored. I'm not saying they do have their merits - they do. But 'standard' western astrology has come to be a body of thought built on free will, employing a psychological point of view. In other words, every symbol, every sign, every position and aspect and whatnot in a chart - it represents a polarity of potentials with (typically), one being a negative attribute and one being a positive pole.

But even that's not entirely true. I may have been gifted with a childhood which instilled in me fear and sadness and struggle, but those very attributes are what allow me to feel the pain of others, to relate to their problems and to know HOW to struggle. Thus have I found my way to growth.

I still fall down. I still cry. But I have learned how to fall down. I have learned how to cry, and when I compare that to people so fragile that they can't bear to see or feel pain, I think myself incredibly, terribly lucky.

Natal attributes recall a lovely set of lines from the original 'Pirates' movie... they're rather more like a guideline. Yes, they are true and they stay with us for the whole of our life. But they are also ours to expand upon.

Hopefully we do. Hopefully we put forth the effort to challenge ourselves and to here and there, occasionally move out of our comfort zones. We don't have to do it daily. We just have to do it often enough to in time learn that we can do it. The very rhythm of planetary motion - that everything except the Sun and Moon has retrograde patterns, that suggests in fact that we aren't supposed to simply bulldog through each and every day, throwing ourselves against the unknown, bruising ourselves in the attempt to push back the boundaries and broaden our horizons. Retrogrades, planets moving into this sign and that - the whole symphony of astrology suggests that as said in scriptural writings, to everything there is a season. So we venture. We build. Then we take what we have gleaned and gained and we consolidate that within ourselves.

The timing of when these periods of growth - and what kind of growth it's going to be - that's what transits are all about. The transits which occur on your chart individually are the most potent of all - and of course, impossible for us to talk about in general. But we wouldn't want to. You are an individual. And the individuality of your life is your uniqueness, your special assembly of gifts. So if this means anything to you, if you want to know more...then you need to consult an astrologer such as myself. Or you need to learn how to do astrology yourself.

Just never underestimate your specialness. And don't underestimate the potentials thereof. Your makeup - as written in your chart - that may challenge you. Like me, you may have a chart loaded with graces over which you stumble like a goofy-footed drunk dropped into an obstacle course. But that doesn't mean you can't change, grow and make good on many of your potentials. It just takes time, effort and the willingness to confront not just who we aren't (the glass half empty) but who we are - the glass half full which we see we have room to yet pour something into...the life which yet can be fulfilling.

In all this, transits - the other thing my friend remarked on to me this morning in his latest email (yes, we did move to email after years of writing letters) - transits mark a period of opportunity. They are typified by the nature of harmonics: conjunctions are unities - we either have the thing close at hand or we can't see the forest for the trees. Squares are challenges - we can use them to build, as architects use the 90 degree square to set a ceiling atop a wall, or we can run smack dab into our lesser nature as when two cars collide at an intersection.

And make no mistake - though the things we encounter come to us from outside, from others, since its our life the energy of the experience is ours. That other person...they're going to walk away. As I've told many a client, just remember, I can't fix anything. My job is to be a mirror so you can see yourself and make better, more informed choices. But when you leave this room, your chart goes with you. Sorry, but I have enough troubles with my own.

That's the truth of it. We all want someone to 'fix' us. We all want a 'magic pill.' But there is none. The only pill we can really swallow is the somewhat bitter pill that we are our own person and that reality - the facts - are what we have. Dreams are nice, prayers and lovely and optimism is a fine thing to be sure. But in the end, the facts and the effort we make to deal with fact is all which really counts. The rest of it...sorry to say...most of the rest of it is snake oil, though prayer has been shown to work when it's for someone else.

Ah yes...the non-egocentric universe. Another element to [sigh] at. Apparently life is not all about us, even if our experience is. And that such a thing is true would seem to be all about what we have, what our ego is useful for is the harnessing of our capabilities, the recognizing what we can do about something.

But whether we actually DO it? That's up to us.

Transits marking the period of our opportunities in life, what of them? says my friend. I am always the same person and my life is what it is. (I'm paraphrasing, not quoting here.)

The point really is that our life is all about what we make of it. If your natal position is flour, then with that flour you can make bread, pie, can thicken a stew, team up with butter and make a can do many a thing. No, you cannot be the seafood. But you might contribute to a seafood dish of your own in a very crusty, toasty, floury way.

I don't want you to think that my friend isn't a good astrologer. He is. What he does with a simple cup of astrological flour sometimes simply floors me (after which, I have to sweep up).

I learn from him as you perhaps learn from me. But when it comes to learning, like with anything else, the real issue is why such an idea or means or inspiration appealed to you. That's the you of it, and you are your own kitchen larder. Your ingredients remain static.

But what you make of you? That's uniquely you and up to you to choose. As planets move through signs, the world is 'attuned' to certain flavors...this week, month or year the most apt combination may be of the Cajun sort. Next month (or whenever), the combination of tones might be more apt for those who cook Middle Eastern, or Russian, or Chinese.

Whatever it is, sometimes we fit in, sometimes we don't. Easy transits to your birth chart tell you when your 'natural' blend - the spiciness which is you - is in vogue, making it easier for you to open doors.

But you still have to reach out there, take hold of the knob and turn. You have to want to open that door. And once its open, you still have to walk in and do your thing.

Life is not room service.

But it is a full spectrum menu. You may not want to order off every page, but that doesn't mean those pages don't exist. You have free will - and that free will includes the right and ability to say 'uh, no thanks, not for me!' And yes, some things you have to work for. Sometimes you have to be very, very inventive in life. Sometimes the vogues are all not your thing and you have to learn how to adapt without that nourishment which feels so native and comforting to you.

Again, that's just life. In this 'instant-oatmeal' age we have come to think everything is easy - or should be easy. Unfortunately on that one, the head Universal Chef votes no. We either cook from scratch or the plate goes out empty and comes back just as empty and (yes,) unfulfilling.

And with that said, I'm going to dessert you for the day (couldn't resist)...wishing you good cookery and bon appetit!


1 comment:

  1. I like the way you think! And you have hit on an aspect of life that has been on my mind for some time now, which is: do we change or not? I feel like a completely different person than I was ten years ago (a lot! has happened), but I also seem to be more and more what I always was. So perhaps I didn't change so much as wake up, or consciously join my previously scheduled program already in progress?!
    Anyhow, thank you for this. It added a lot of clarity to my thoughts about this.