Reflections on a Year of Change

I love looking back at last year’s astrology predictions to see how they did. I especially love doing it with Rob Brezsny’s Astrology, because his stuff is evocative and rather open ended. Still, I find his weekly column to have some interesting work in it. This is my bit from my birthday last year.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): We keep million-dollar works of art in well-guarded museums. Paintings created hundreds of years ago are treated with reverence and protected as if they were magical treasures. Meanwhile, beautiful creatures that took nature eons to produce don’t get the same care. At least 5,000 animal and plant species are going extinct every year, in large part due to human activities. Among the recently lost works of art are the Madeiran Large White butterfly, West African black rhinoceros, Formosan clouded leopard, golden toad, and Tecopa pupfish. I’m asking you not to allow a similar discrepancy in your own life, Cancerian. The astrological omens say that now is a perfect moment to intensify your love for the natural world. I urge you to meditate on how crucial it is to nurture your interconnectedness with all of life, not just the civilized part.
– Rob Brezsny’s Astrology Newsletter, July 17, 2013

Basic message, connect more with the natural world.

When I was sitting down to write this article, my mind was filled with all the traveling I’ve done, and all of the events that have passed, but then I stumbled across this article, and it put them all into a certain perspective. Did I connect more with the natural world?

The latter half of 2013 was all set-up, starting a year of immense transformation for me. Honey and I had just settled into our new living arrangement, and while it was a fairly easy transition (have I mentioned what an awesome partner I have?), it was still a transition. We got engaged, initiating a process I never thought I’d experience again. I started a new job, in a new industry, and faced emotional challenges like I’ve not faced since high school– some day I may write about it in more detail, but for now let’s just say it was traumatic– and I faced an enforced lifestyle change that has completely redefined how I interact with the world.

I look at that last paragraph, I think to myself, “Damn! That was a lot of shite, all at once!” And I survived. That’s fairly reassuring, all things considered.

The first half of 2014 was the resolution for 2013’s set-up. The living arrangements are lived-in now and quite comfortable. The engagement transitioned to wedded bliss. I learned the tools I needed to handle the office bully. And I learned how to bake all over again. And the thing is, I do feel like these have all been related to reconnecting with some form of Nature.

Both the engagement and the marriage were/are an exercise in learning how to trust again– not my partner, but myself. I spent a loooong time waiting for either shoe to drop with Honey, and it never did, because neither of us are the same players from my first marriage. I know who I am this time around, what I want and what I don’t want, and more importantly, I have learned to be okay with the idea that Who I Am may not be what someone else wants. I have connected more with my Natural Self.

Related to that is my learning to deal with the bully. My solution is to know Who I Am as a professional. Once I stopped listening to her tell me who I was in the office, I was able to be myself, and through that, to shine. Again, I have connected with my Natural Self.

But perhaps most on the nose is my lifestyle change: learning how to live a gluten free lifestyle– and it IS a lifestyle change, not just diet. Not only do you need to relearn what foods are “healthy,” but also how to interact with people in social situations (which inevitably are loaded with foods you cannot eat and comments on how this “gluten-free thing” is just the current fad and you’ll just outgrow it), and how to make sure you always have something to eat– surprisingly difficult in, say, an airport, or a city/town/neighborhood with a depressed economy.

Hmm. I’ve gone off topic. The point is, in exchange for giving up gluten, I am trying new foods– stuff that I never would have touched otherwise, and for the most part, stuff that has way less ingredients in it than their “regular” counterparts. My foods are, in general, more natural and less processed, because they have to be. That’s what’s available.

I am grateful for all of the above. Well, aspects of the Celiac’s, anyway, although I have certainly gotten absolute proof of how awesome my friends and family are in their easy acceptance of my dietary issues. (OMG! The horror stories I found when I first started researching…) So, yes. I am grateful. And I do think that even if I haven’t necessarily connected with Ma Nature the way Mr. Brezsny’s was indicating, I think I did reconnect myself, in a most important way.

All I ask is that this next year be gentle with me. I could use some time and space to recuperate from all the growing pains.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Mozart debuted his now-famous opera *Don Giovanni* in Prague on October 29, 1787. It was a major production, featuring an orchestra, a chorus, and eight main singers. Yet the composer didn’t finish writing the opera’s overture until less than 24 hours before the show. Are you cooking up a similar scenario, Cancerian? I suspect that sometime in the next two weeks you will complete a breakthrough with an inspired, last-minute effort. And the final part of your work may well be its “overture;” the first part will arrive last. (P.S.: Mozart’s *Don Giovanni* was well-received, and I expect your offering will be, too.)
– Rob Brezsny’s Astrology Newsletter, July 16, 2014

Hmm. That sounds suspiciously like more hustle…

Photo credit