I love the expression “I know just enough to be dangerous” because it reflects a total honesty about oneself in the determination to know more about any particular subject. While such honesty invariably reveals a boldly naked look in the astrological mirror of the mind, the person who has attained such a responsibly frank observation may be much further along than many of us were in the first decade of our studies. I hadn’t even considered such a possibility when I first read those words about seven or so years ago from someone very close to me; but the expression made me think long and hard about the meaning, its depths and breadths, and its potential for the individual’s future as well as what my having heard and considered it in my life meant for my own.
The words also forced me to do a hard, cold self-examination and hopefully in the process, I was able to begin to remove that self-preening, holier-than-thou ugly side of the ego that made me think surely no one could do a reading like I could. Of course there’s a double-edged sword in that thought: To be sure, nobody can read like you can or I can–or anyone else can! It’s part of what makes this a highly unique field that gives us the opportunity to be tailor-made to each client or person learning/growing or whatever else they’re potentially gleaning from any of us! It also gives us the opportunity to develop the critically important mindset that begins with a willingness to learn more from both other astrologers and the students who come our way through the years.
“A Message To Myself” – Roo Panes
Going to get out of here,
So many voices fill this place,
Society is in my solitude,
Oh find me the corner of this great space!
If I’d heard every word,
If I’d read every line upon the shelf,
I’d still need a message to myself.
A message to myself.
Searching for the elements,
The roots of a fundamental love,
Been reaching out to find my solid ground,
‘Cause I’ve never known peace lest from above,
So up in the clear,
I’ll find the voice that I hold dear,
And I’ll send a message to myself.
A message to myself.
As frequently happens, I had fallen asleep in my chair again the night before last and woke some minutes before 3 AM. Not long after, I spotted a message from one of my clients who happen to be students too. The client has been going through a rough time, so I opened the message at once.
The message said, as so many of them do since countless astrologers have seen the words before–or surely something similar, “…with all those hard aspects in that Solar Return, I wonder what he was thinking when he married me, or when he proposed.”
And I replied in part, “I was a practicing astrologer for 18 years before I learned how to do Solar Returns. I read several authors on the subject, considered how and what they were saying and then tested to see what felt ‘right’ — or ‘best’ — to me. Astrologers I’ve known for well over 10 years and a couple over 20 hadn’t taken the same roads I did in studying them. For them, one or another path in their studies distinguished them from others in this field, and similarly, that’s what has distinguished me in this field as well, or so I’ve heard.
“John Davenport has said in the KISS (Keep It Simply Serious) Astrology Facebook group, for example, that he had tried to understand Solar Returns for years and never felt comfortable in thinking he knew what he was doing because he hadn’t ever been able to get a good grasp of it before. And please don’t take this as an ego tripping statement because it’s most definitely not intended as such: John has actually written to my awe that he never before felt like he even understood the purpose or beginning of what he needed to do and why in returns before I taught him. It’s how we developed a testing of each other’s methods of forecasting by comparing his work with progressions against mine with returns to determine accuracy in that forecasting.
“I’m telling you this for one reason only: Anyone who tells you to fear when you see a hard aspect of any kind in a Solar Return or tries to convince you that you want to find this or that soft aspect to ‘counter’ the hard…please, please, please walk in the opposite direction from that person because they know no more about returns (and I don’t care if they’ve studied them a century before they said it!) than I do about brain surgery.
“While you might fear hard transits as they’re coming along, you want to see the hard aspects in the returns because they’re energy! Without the hard aspects in a return, you’ll have static, the feeling like nothing has happened in the period to come because there’s no energy! It’s dead!
“I love doing returns! Some are easier than others, and I’ve had to learn at times to ask people to avoid trying to get me to tell them what they want to hear from the returns so I can allow the chart to tell me what I need to know from them.
“If you look back at those previous returns in your struggle to understand why he married you or why he decided to propose when he did, don’t look at them and decide he must have had ulterior motives when he did so because ‘look at all those hard aspects!’ rather look at those as the energy that made him know he did want to marry you–whether or not you understand why.
“If you look at Venus and see love and nothing more, you might have some rude awakenings, for example, because all of Venus is not about love! Every planet, every luminary in a chart has many layers, and this is not a field in which you take this ingredient and put it in that house, and that ingredient and place it in this house over here and so on and declare x and y will happen. It just doesn’t work like that.
“Venus is about house buying, shopping, buying jewelry, art, love, beauty, infatuation, romance novels, reproduction, child support, alimony, plastic surgery, redecorating, cheating, falling in love, falling out of love–and I’m far far from being done! When I was diagnosed with those two simultaneous cancers, my solar return that year saw me in the midst (literally) of three kinds of legal battles and I had a Solar Return 5th house Sun-Venus conjunction (a hard aspect) in my chart. And when my life was being saved, Mercury was retrograde as of the night before surgery (and believe me I wasn’t changing the surgeon’s mind for the sake of ‘OMG a Mercury Rx!’ because the cancer that would have killed me had a reputation for being a speed freak with its foot on the gas pedal and no intention of stopping for red lights). There was also a hard aspect of Mars and Saturn in the 2nd and 8th houses. That hard aspect said I had a surgeon who was stepping in with his armor and weapons to stop that dreaded disease in its tracks, and he had no intention of letting me die.”
“Woman” – Lucius
I have no choice about writing this article now while putting three others again on hold. It can’t be helped. “You’ve made me aware I need to do this,” so thank you.
“Don’t fear the hard aspects. Almost everyone loves chocolate but you wouldn’t want to feed yourself or your kids a chocolate breakfast, lunch and dinner. You begin understanding that the well-rounded meal has its points in keeping your weight as healthy a number as all of those numbers your doctor points out to you from your blood pressure to your cholesterol and triglycerides and so on. You want to have the sweet, the sour, the bitter, the crisp, the soft, the texture, the creamy versus the crunchy. In other words, you want your meal as flavorful and as palatable without boredom as possible, and it would be so nice if you could have life to order like that too.
“Our lives are each books, and we’re writing the chapters. And again, Kahlil Gibran comes to mind, nudging me with one of my still favorite quotes: “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”
I must have fallen asleep while writing at this point because this has ended up being written in three parts even though you’ll only see one. And where did I sleep? Where else? At my desk!
“It’s 4 am, and your thought about those hard aspects in a Solar Return woke me up. Just one and a half sentences, and look at what I’ve written! I really want to impress all of these things on you and so many others who see the returns as something more to fear. It’s not. But thank you for saying it!
“In the meantime, breathe. You’re doing fine. Please don’t think this is about you and what’s wrong with you that the marriage is now in the midst of death throes. I’ll remind you that nothing in life is guaranteed except death and taxes.
“You’re rebuilding your life now with new hope, new purpose and a lot of fear for the future because you don’t know how you got here. Start rebuilding ‘YOU’ too, the new you who has taken time to relearn how to love yourself, to recognize the Momma Bear in you who will be the fiercest defender of her children as you can be as well as the fiercest defender of that wounded you too. Lick the wounds in your heart and cry if you need to in looking back at what could have been in that ideal marriage you thought you had back then. And now, as you take this next step forward (including in your astrological studies because I’m so proud of you!) as this new person you’re becoming emerges, don’t allow your wounds to prevent you from having a voice. Don’t allow your tears to make you fearful of one more tear. Don’t allow yourself the thought that the Doomsday approach to astrology based on single aspects ever explains it all to define what happens next. Study more. And above all, if you’re thinking that astrology is all about the saree ‘n’ curry fast food version from the mall in your studies, think again. The more you learn, the more you’ll discover you don’t know and still need to learn. Embrace it and rejoice in the process!
“Thank you for the inspiration and for you, dear student and client. I hope I’ve inspired you in return and have given you hope. I know what you’re experiencing is a lot of pain and wounding that really needs to heal. Don’t be defeated by it. That’s merely Uranus and Pluto: Uranus is loosening the foundations you thought were solid so Pluto can dig more deeply to create stronger ones as you rebuild and renew. You are doing it right because you’re on that path to making tomorrow’s sunshine happen on the inside for you again!”
And as for Chiron’s taking all the “blame” for being the wounded healer, I still prefer to see the charisma and sizzle in performance that David Cochrane points to in his YouTube video, “Chiron: Wounded Healer, Quiet Charisma, Focused Self-Expression, or An Electric Circuit” for musicians. I adopted it as one of the additional tips for seeing what we observe in our own lives as our own recognition of what we call our greatest successes and failures. Don’t just bury the pain. Own it. Embrace it. Become familiar with it so you can understand better who you are on the inside and the outside. There is no harm in doing so as long as you don’t bury it as if it had no purpose for you. This isn’t something booze or drugs will heal. The only thing you end up with then is either an addiction or more to heal before you get to the point that you have to confront it again.
There is beauty in you–all of you–from the weakest point you loathe to the greatest side of you you may not have even discovered yet. But in the meantime, learn more astrology. Study it and own it, allowing your joys and sorrows to teach you through your life experiences, giving Uranus and Pluto and even Chiron permission to assist you in sculpting this new you. I’m not promising it won’t hurt, but there are rewards on the other side of it that you’ll rejoice in having earned. And you’ll know when you get there.
In the meantime, learn more than just enough to be dangerous. It’s well worth the effort!