The Local Weather

An analogy I’ve used throughout this series about re-enchanting the world and meaning-making is that astrology is like a weather forecast for the soul. It isn’t about foretelling the future as much as it is about telling us what kind of energies we can expect to experience over a certain period of time.

I’m agnostic about whether I think this is actually something real, but whether or not astrology can accurately tell me about the energetic weather, there is something about this way of looking at the world that I have found helpful: It is a helpful reminder that there is a lot in the world that is outside of my control.

It’s so easy to get caught up in our own heads — our egos, our neuroses, our psychodramas, our insecurities — that it can sometimes be easy to forget that very little of what we experience in the world is actually about us.

For example, the other day I woke up in a horrible mood. There was no reason I could tell for this. I had had a good sleep, without any unruly dreams that I could remember or stretches of anxious wakefulness in the night. I just woke up feeling sad, existentially alone, and with a feeling of learned helplessness that nothing I could do was going to fundamentally change anything. Not a great way to start the day. Also nothing remotely approaching a reasonable state of mind.

In the past, I might have let my thoughts spiral and been stuck in a foul mood that could potentially last for days. In more recent years, I’d let the scaffolding of my habits and practices even me out and help me get on with things. But, astrology — even just the idea of if if not anything specific — gave me another tool this time: Maybe waking up in this foul mood was just the psychological equivalent of getting caught on the street in a passing rain shower and all I really needed to do is pop into the nearest cafe, grab a cozy coffee and wait for it to pass.

A passing shower, not Noah’s flood. It wasn’t something I needed to dissect and investigate. And this attitude worked.

As I reflect on this, it’s true more generally too. For example, my workplace recently moved into a different building. In month or so leading up to the move, the energies around my work were definitely off: there was a palpable sense of anxiety almost radiating off of many of my colleagues. I’m pretty used to change at this point in my life and wasn’t all that anxious myself, but it was hard not to ‘catch’ their anxiety. But this heightened state of anxiety around the office was always going to be short-term — another energetic passing shower. A week into our new office, and all that anxiety has been replaced by the energies of newness, fresh starts, and laughter at some of the inevitable foibles of the new space.

And so, whether or not the transits of the major bodies in our solar system actually impact what we experience on earth, I’m glad for this insight as one more tool in my psychological arsenal.

Whatever it is we’re experiencing on any given day, this too shall pass and it likely doesn’t even have anything to do us. It’s just the local weather.

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