• The Proximity Issue

    Astrology Class

    The Proximity Issue
    Personal essays

    A chat room of one’s own.

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    Randon Rosenbohm is an artist from New Orleans living in New York. They currently write and edit articles for Mask Magazine.

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    Personal Essays

    Astrology Class

    “Astrology isn’t something to believe in, it’s something to enjoy.” — Annabel Gat

    Astrology is without a doubt the coolest way to admit spiritual predisposition. It fits perfectly with a mindset that sees multiplicity as an asset and easy answers as being proof of narrow-mindedness. Yes, I am incredibly small, operating in a world of interacting consequences initiated by cosmic activity. No, I don’t think it’s right how religious leaders use our fears to control us. The nice thing about astrology is that no crusades have been waged in its name, at least not for millennia, although The White House definitely had a secret astrologer during the Reagan administration (her name was Joan Quigley).

    When we talk to skeptics, they love to remind us what we already know: astrology is man-made. But I don’t study astrology to learn allegedly indisputable truths about the stars. I use astrology to know myself better, the same way I take Buzzfeed quizzes. Astrology is how I divine my personal brand. In order to bring myself closer to the source of the information I was using to self-reflect, I enrolled in astrology class.

    Everyone in my astrology class is a woman, to my understanding. To introduce ourselves, we go around in a circle and say our name, along with our sun, our moon, and our rising signs. My beautiful teacher, Annabel Gat, feeds us pizza every week. It’s this surreal house party where I belong, and someone will humor me when I confess my natal Mercury is conjunct with my natal Mars.

    After learning the basics of horary astrology I know astrology works best within a framework of intent: you can’t find an answer without a question. Grasping for random meaning is pointless. I have felt manically obsessed, wanting to know all aspects of the universe in order to live my best life, to the point of panic, but that sort of impossible knowledge only comes with practice.

    I expected a Twitter mutual would join me in class, but she never came. On the night of the last class I reached out, asking if she’ll make it to the next installment. She’s taking a break from astrology, she answered, for her mental health, her money better spent in a more grounded psychotherapy.

    If there is a place where people believe there’s a cosmic reason for my inability to think completely before I speak, then I will pay for its sustenance. Within a supportive group offering cosmic advice, we discuss our problems in relation to astrological aspects. It’s like therapy, but social, so I self-censor. Could my psychotherapist explain how my Saturn placement indicates the estrangement from a parent in my early teens? Maybe, if she’s an astrologer, but my current insurance plan doesn’t cover that sort of care.

    After each class ends, we linger in Annabel’s living room, wanting to hold space for as long as possible. The girls who speak in astrological tongues have found each other, at last. We pull cards from different tarot decks. We use astrology to vent about personal failures and shortcomings in relationships – to discuss politics, shoes, and God. We joke and we hug.

    Last month I went to Ikea with my boyfriend. We drew out measurements for my small bedroom. I wanted a desk, a bed, and a bookshelf. He said that my desk needed to go on the eastern wall. My heart sank – my desk needed to face west, but it was not an option afforded to me. Oh well.

    Finding balance between practicality and spirituality is key to an effective woo-woo practice. If you’re not looking out for your own mental health, heaven knows who will. Always remember to stay grounded. We all know what happened to Fairuza Balk’s character at the end of The Craft.

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