Monday, February 20, 2006

Uranus transit

Right now I'm undergoing a transit of the planet Uranus through my sun sign, Pisces, an event that happens infrequently (2-3 times in a lifetime, I believe). My healer gave me this information about the Uranus transit. (I'm sorry I don't know the source.)

It is a time when you will try to achieve new means of self-expression and become more free that you have ever been. This transit can clear away limitations that have made your life less meaningful and fruitful - whether these have been imposed by self or others. Your life can become more real. You will be forced to break up old patterns and embark on a new course. The sun [sign] represents your heart, your vital core. Uranus calls the energy of your vital center to break free and express itself. Your own needs will take precedence over the needs of others until you feel free enough to be yourself. You'll be attracted to things new and exciting, such as new techniques in your work or personal development, making changes that allow you to be more truly who you really are and freer in your expression of yourself.

In my birth chart, Uranus is in the sixth house. The sixth house governs work. Here is what Elizabeth Rose Campbell says about the sixth house in Intuitive Astrology:

The sixth house sponsors the space in which to work. It is your day-to-day workplace and your service to community.... In the sixth house, you take the sum of yourself to community and join a group that is your support as you are theirs. Any planets in the sixth house illuminate what talents you may bring to that interdependence with community, as well as what tools you need to make your contribution.... The sixth house [also] encourages teamwork and, like its ruling sign, Virgo, the sixth house explores the delicacy of fine functions, ecosystems, your own body. How does my body work, and how can I help it work better? These are sixth-house questions.

Uranus is about "the instinct to express truth," according to Campbell. Jupiter, which I also have in the sixth house, is about "the instinct to philosophize;" it's "the ultimate optimist, aware that everything is interconnected." Jupiter "also illuminates where the universe supports your growth - not 100 percent, but 200 percent."

What does this all have to do with anything?

Ten and a half years ago, I began a Ph.D. program in (Western) philosophy. I was a very promising student, enrolled at a top program, and fully funded. I was sure that a competitive career in academic philosophy was where my future lay. More than six years ago I had completed my coursework and passed my qualifying exams, thus earning my MA degree and advancing to candidacy. I've been a candidate every since. I taught full time at small colleges for a few of those years, sometimes as a glorified adjunct (health insurance being key) and sometimes as an actual visiting lecturer. (Those fine distinctions of rank will only be meaningful if you've spent some time in the academic hothouse.) I traveled to conferences in my field and gave papers. Very, very slowly, and mostly unwillingly, I've discovered that I don't want a career in academic philosophy. I don't. I still could finish my degree, go on the job market, take a job wherever I find one, move, begin the crawl down the tenure track.... But no. Thank you.

Shit. Now what do I do?

Again, very slowly, I'm realizing that I want to continue to live where I live, have a job I enjoy but that doesn't entail building a career, and spend the rest of my time pursuing my spiritual life and my interests in related pursuits, mentioned here before: yoga, massage, Reiki, depth psychology, or somatic psychology, writing, ritual work, herbalism. My spiritual community at the mystery school and the work we do together have been instrumental in helping me think about what I really want, wandering off the path I set out on so many years ago. It's scary. I'm having to think of myself in entirely new ways and watch myself make decisions I didn't think I'd ever make. (I haven't decided to abandon the dissertation; I'm not ready for that.) Maybe life is just like this. Well, Uranus is calling the energy of my vital center to break free and express itself. Community is central to this passage. A new relationship to my body is one part of it. As for me and my new relationship with Fate? I'm hanging on for the ride.


Pandora said...

As someone who's been down the academic track, my heart's with you.

I myself got through all the hurdles so far, and have tenure; whether I go up for full will depend on whether I'm called to do what I have to do for that.

I think one of the hardest things is that one spends SO MUCH energy and time in the doctoral process, and it's SO DAMN focused on academic careers, that it feels like wasted time and money and effort if one walks away.

But it's just a job. It's just a job. And all the money and time and energy spent on the process isn't wasted, if one doesn't end up with tenure someplace. It's just time and money and energy that got spent in a certain way, at a certain time.

Life's big. You'll always be a philosopher in some way, probably, no matter where the money and health insurance comes from.

One of my doctoral students right now is trying to finish his dissertation, though almost all of his energy is focused elsewhere now, and he's not driven. I think he'll make it, but it is so hard to watch.

He doesn't want to walk away before he finishes the diss.

I understand that.

But if he DID walk away from it, I'd lose no respect for him.

You, too, darlin'.

Inanna said...

Thank you so much, Pandora. That means a lot. You're exactly right about the feeling of time, money, and energy lost. I have to keep reminding myself that, yes, life is big. Life is big. I'll keep saying that to myself: Life is big. Thank you, thank you.


Inanna said...

Also, Pandora: I don't know why it's take me so long to find your blog, but I'm glad I have.

violet crescent said...

Hello Inanna, and like Pandora I want to say my heart is with you as someone who was a philosophy undergrad and then an English literature grad student and adjunct until finally realizing…noo, this is not for me. We're taught to think that if we're intellectual, there's only one appropriate way to express this. But as you doubtless know from your philosophy graduate work, even Gramsci and Chakravorty Spivak et al. wouldn't agree! :o) Thank the Goddess for postcolonial theory…and you're leaving a world where the job market has withered away anyway, so let it go like leaves on the wind, and blessings on you for setting your feet on the path that's right for you. I'll keep reading your blog, and will soon send a link for mine (when my new server's sorted!)…may all beings be at peace, violet crescent