Sunday, January 03, 2010

Pisces 11 and 12

One of my most important spiritual teachers is an astrologer by trade, and I'm erstwhile her astrology student. I used to think astrology was a bunch of nonsense and hokum. But then I met my teacher, Linda, and I couldn't deny the genius expressed in her understanding of this complicated art. I still have only the smallest idea of what's going on or what she's talking about, but Linda's way of doing astrology makes each person the hero of her own life and each life replete with meaning.

I have come to understand myself as an initiate because of two symbols that appear in my natal astrological chart (the snapshot of the sky taken at the minute of my birth from the perspective of my location on earth). First, my sun is at Pisces 11 (in the 11th house). The Sabian symbol for Pisces 11 is: A group of serious eyed, earnest faced men are seeking illumination and are conducted into a massive sanctuary. Second, my north node is conjunct my sun, at Pisces 12, the symbol for which is: A convocation of the Lodge of Initiates has bought the earth's glorious souls in spirit to examine the candidates.

The sun represents the meaning of one's life. The north node represents where one is headed in this lifetime. That my sun and north node are conjunct means that the meaning of my life and where I'm headed in life (my north star, if you will) are in sync. To me, both of these symbols are deeply spiritual. They make sense to me as someone who has sought meaning and the Divine her whole life.

While an initiate has mastered a body of knowledge in order to be initiated, she is also very much at the beginning of something: she us up for examination, she is being ushered into a sanctuary. At first this idea of being a beginner, not a master, chafed my ego: "Well crap, in this lifetime I only ever get to be a newbie?"

But I assume the mantle of initiate with reverence anyway, and I remind myself of the archetypal importance of the beginner (for example, the Fool in the tarot). My life snaps into narrative focus--it makes sense--when I remember myself as an initiate, when I narrate my life as a story of initiations. The story of undergoing an initiation is a way to make sense of and revere difficult times, because initiation isn't easy. Inanna had to give up her very life, her flesh and bones. The old saying that in childbirth a woman descends to the underworld to retrieve the soul of her child isn't an unfair description of my experience in labor.

As for my nom de blog, I chose it before I understood anything about myself as an initiate. But now I think it makes lovely, prescient sense.

No comments: