Friday, December 21, 2007

Astrologers Doing Business In A Manger

(It's Christmas re-run season, and here's mine. See you all in the new year!)

Scene: The Nativity. Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar gather around the Christ Child. Mary and Joseph listen intently in the background.

Balthazar: major concern with this birth chart is that it shows potential for conflict with authority figures. You might want to teach him to be a little more respectful of Caesar, just to be careful. At least publicly.

Caspar: Don't be silly. He's a revolutionary, and the world needs more of that. This Jupiter/Saturn configuration, though... could be liver trouble.

Melchior: Look at the stare on this kid. He probably has something we haven't even heard of yet, right on the Ascendant.

Caspar: (chuckling) You and your undiscovered planets, Melchior. Seriously.

Balthazar: I think what we're trying to say here , Mr. And Mrs...

(Looks back and forth at Mary and Joseph, who do not respond, but simply smile as if they know something the astrologers don't)

Balthazar:, Carpenter, is that anyone born into this world has to cope with certain inherent limitations. And a birth chart is like a road map to all of life's obstacles. And emotional issues!

Caspar: And medical problems!

Balthazar: So you see, although it does appear that your boy here is, in fact, some sort of a really special person, the indications are of a shortish life span... like maybe 35 years tops. And it's going to be a struggle. Like with authority figures.

Caspar: No real signs of wealth here either. And possible death by piercing or blood loss.

Balthazar: So we really recommend relocating the birth chart. You should consider a move to Gaul, or Germania, or something.

Caspar: His relocated chart to Hispania puts Venus on the Ascendant. He'd be a lot more popular with the girls there.

(Balthazar and Caspar turn to Melchior, who has fallen silent, staring at the baby)

Caspar: Melchior, you've hardly said a word. By this point you've usually told the parents all about the baby's future marriage and food allergies. What's the problem?

Melchior: It's just... the way this kid is looking at me. It's like... it's like He Knows Something that we don't.

(Balthazar and Caspar laugh uproariously)

Balthazar: You're such a cut-up, Melchior. We're the Wise Men. We're astrologers!

(Caspar leans in close to Melchior)

Caspar (whispering): Besides, look around dude. The kid was born with the livestock. Everyone wants to think their baby is the Greatest Thing Ever... but this one is an obvious non-starter.

Balthazar: Sorry folks, we have to move it along here. The Moon's nearly at the Midheaven, and we have a party to work at Herod's.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Feast Of Chiron

I was sitting around last night contemplating my Solar Return chart in the traditional manner -- over a bottle of cheap vodka -- when the door bell rang. A pizza delivery car was idling outside. Not having ordered a pizza, but with a professional astrologer's keen instincts for a free meal, I answered the door. Much to my surprise, the pizza was being delivered by no less than Chiron the Centaur himself.

"This must be an awkward moment for you" Chiron said.

"You're telling me," I replied. "I didn't order a pizza, and I'm broke."

"I didn't mean that. I mean, you've never written about me, ever. And I rarely hear you mention me in your consultations."

I felt myself blush a little, something that doesn't happen much any more. "Well, you know I prefer a more mechanistic approach to my astrology. You know --"

Chiron interrupted. " 'I'll tell you when you get hit by the truck, you figure out how you feel about it.' I know. It's one of your favourite lines."

I set the pizza down on the coffee table. "Look, I realize that the functions you represent are vital to the counselling process. Really, I do. I just have a hard time seeing the practical use of you in a reading. It's not like a nice solid Uranus transit squaring natal Mars screwing up your blood pressure."

"Isn't Sun square Chiron on the Midheaven one of the tighter aspects in your chart?" Chiron asked.

"Yes," I replied. "And that should make me some kind of expert if there was any sort of observable --"

"And aren't you sitting around in the dark, drinking for no obvious reason, feeling all bad about your existence, right before your Solar Return?"

I glanced around. "I just haven't changed the light bulb yet. Honest. So is this what you do now: go around handing out meals people can't afford and didn't ask for?"

Chiron trotted over to the pizza box and opened it. It had extra cheese, which almost managed to obscure the Brussels Sprouts, parsnips, and liverwurst toppings. I cringed.

"No." Chiron replied. "I go around handing out what people really need, emotionally, whether they know it or not. And it's free."

The delivery car horn honked repeatedly. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lot of stops to make this evening. I have a bucket of deep-fried childhood memories for a Virgo going cold."

He paused to pat my shoulder reassuringly before he left.

"Just remember: where it Hurts, there is Hope."

The car horn honked impatiently as he left. I looked out the window one last time, and in the dark I was barely able to make out the features of my great-grandfather behind the wheel -- the one I never met, but who nonetheless taught me that no matter how bad life feels at times, things could always be worse.

I sat down and started to eat. It was awful at first, but I soon realized just how hungry I was... and, miraculously, I was hungry for something like this. I contemplated the Human Condition: wounded, struggling things making out way through life causing more injury to ourselves and others, and on occasion -- if we're both wise and lucky -- mopping up more pain than we leave behind. And I thought about another year of more of the same, for me.

And I thought about a malformed and misbegotten thing, half man and half horse, who nonetheless taught The Gods Themselves lessons in healing and nobility.

So, naturally, I danced.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Saucer Lands, The Door Opens, And Matthew The Astrologer Steps Out And Says...

Hi folks. I've missed our regular talks: I've been kind of busy. It's been a good thing though... I think I've discovered a lot more about the True Meaning Of Life and stuff. I'll be back in a couple of days with fresh jokes. Thanks, everyone!