Astrologers are not immune to their astrological transits.
My own midlife transits have been crazy, traumatic, and heartbreaking, yes, but also wondrous, magical and gratitude-inspiring. If one is living the “examined life” one cannot help but come out of the crucible seeing Self in different light.
During times of major life changes, there are numerous stories of those who discovered astrology, metaphysics or other spiritual practices. But what happens when you are already an “expert” in all things metaphysical?
That’s the question I’ve found resounding in my own mind. I’ve already had 20 years of training – astrology, magic, hypnosis, healing, shamanism and other mysteries for while the books have yet to be written. And in the in-between times I’ve founded an astrology organization, sat on the boards of two of the world’s largest astrological organization, written for the world’s largest astrology publications.
And yet, the perennial questions remain: What’s it all for? Is this all there is? If not, where do I go from here?
When one is at the midpoint of one’s life, lost in a dark wood, it’s easy for one’s thoughts to turn philosophical.
I took the quest quite literally, and found companionship in the classics of Western philosophy. The pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, the Neoplatonics… such have been my bedtime reading for the past months. In my studies, I stumbled across a 6th century work by the philosopher Boethius, aptly named: The Consolation of Philosophy.
Boethius – said to be the last of the classical philosophers and the first of the medieval ones — had been a powerful insider in Rome. Betrayed his political rivals, he found himself condemned to prison, where he awaited his execution. As he wrestled with his abrupt change of fortune, why the treacherous seem to go unpunished, and his impending death, he had a vision of Lady Philosophy.
Sometimes stern, sometimes detached-but-sympathetic, Lady Philosophy’s words were salve for Boethius’ suffering mind, heart and soul. She counsels him that change is the nature of physical existence, and therefore to focus his thoughts on transcendent ideals – toward cultivating the virtues and the good.
Of course, our philosophical classics are written by men from a culture that invented the word patriarchy (literally). While anyone in the midst of deep changes will find something sympathetic in Boethius, I was especially enchanted that it was a goddess of wisdom who appeared to bring light to his dark night.
Over the centuries, Lady Philosophy is invoked in other places in literature. I was skimming through an article on the appearance of Lady Philosophy in Dante’s Divine Comedy when her Italian name leapt off the page:
I’ve known since I was a child that my name means “Lady.” So it was an intense “Of course! Why didn’t see that before?” moment.
Nowadays many think of philosophy as a lifeless and dreadfully dull — piles of boring books, droning professors and intellectual theories which have little relevance to today’s bustling world. Lady Philosophy, however, was a healer of mind and soul. Natural philosophy was the science of the ancient world; the philosophers were the first psychologists. Philosophy was the exploration of all ways to bring us back into harmony with ourselves, with others and with the world as a whole.
In that blazing “ah-ha” moment, I realized I would also realign my life and practice around the vision of Donna Philosophica.
Lovers of wisdom look for clarity, self-understanding, and a sense of purpose – but such things can only be found within oneself. The Greeks called this eudaimonia. Modern translators have rendered this word as “happiness.” But a better translation might be “to unite with one’s higher self, or divine spark.” The Latin word this is genius. So, to be happy, to lead a good life, is to know oneself, and to be able to shine the light of one’s unique genius in the world.
Properly used, astrology, hypnosis, healing, magic, meditation and other forms of wisdom are all amazing tools which may set up the conditions for one to experience his or her own light within. But it’s not about following a guru, worshiping the tool, or becoming a groupie, it’s about your willingness to open yourself, to your Self.
And so a new chapter begins. Over the next weeks and months I’ll be remodeling my business and my website, as well as offering new programs and services.
I’ve recently re-christened my internet radio show, Donna Philosophica, to open a space for you to talk philosophers, healers, psychologists, shamans, psychics and more about your own journey to discover your inner genius. Tune into Paramania Radio live on Thursdays at 7 pm Eastern/4 pm Pacific to join in the conversation, or download the free podcast and see what you missed.
Psyche’s Laboratory is a group exploration of ancient and modern wisdom. Each week we’ll undertake a new experiment, and you’ll have a chance to see how it works for you. (and you can keep what works, and discard the rest.)
And, because changing the world is a collective effort, I’ve also teamed up with a global community of healers, therapists, intuitives and philosophers to create SoulCamp.World, an online gathering spaces for experiential activities to allow you to deepen your connection to heart, mind and soul. Even better, since our activities are all online, you can attend from wherever in the world you are.
All things take time to grow and shift; more changes are sure to come as I readjust my life’s course. Still, I feel my time in the dark wood winding to a close. Once again I want to get out of bed in the morning.
Donna Philosophica tugs at me: It’s time to play. What shall we create today?