How Do You Deal With Allegedly ‘Bad’ Aspects in Your Horoscope?
And why you'll want to avoid psychics in Ojai, California
“Predictions are a mug’s game.” —Nigel Farage
IN MY LATE TEENS AND EARLY TWENTIES, I lived and worked in Hollywood. My job was such that I found myself unwittingly hobnobbing with movie people and pop music stars. (Ask me about the time I snuck into a recording studio storage room and read Stevie Nicks’ diaries.)
Mid-70s Los Angeles, especially Hollywood, was swirling in the fallout from the various pagan and occult arts that comprised the first intimations of the 60s counter-culture movement. The metaphysical bookstore, The Bodhi Tree, was a popular hang-out for all kinds of celebrity types. Big stars, middling stars, wannabes, and the various peons that catered to them.
From the moment the first palm tree was planted, Hollywood has been filled with seekers and hopefuls lured by mysticism—both pseudo and ‘real.’ Consulting with Reiki masters, Bahjai ministers, psychics, and astrologers is a normal part of day-to-day SoCal life for show business types.
As my friend Michael reminded me recently,
“Actors and pop stars are incredibly superstitious. Their unique form of narcissism, catered to by the culture, lends itself to horoscopes, crystal healings, Tarot readings, and especially consulting with psychics.”
A place many of us LA ‘star’ people ventured to, some on annual pilgrimages, was Ojai, California.
Ojai took its name from the Ventureño Chumash word 'Awha'y, meaning “moon,” which tells you something objective about the place. At the same time, the city’s self-styled nickname is “Shangri-La,” which tells you everything you’d want to know about the general vibes of the denizens there.
The place was ‘put on the map’ by the spiritual teacher Krishnamurti who’d moved out there at some point in the 70s. It also became a sort of popping mushroom field for psychics and healers—lots of ‘fringe’ people offering different services and promises of guidance and otherworldly intervention.
One summer afternoon, a group of my friends decided to visit a psychic that was popular with people in the LA music business. I tagged along, not wanting to spend money on something like that, but because everyone was doing it, I said: fuck it.
My experience with the psychic was one of the low points in my life. Not so much in the moment, but afterward (which is the point of this post, so hang in there, I’m getting to it).
The ‘reading’ the woman gave me was sort of garden-variety psychic shit. I can’t remember the peripheral stuff, but what stayed with me and haunted me for the next 30 years were different ‘predictions’ she made about my health and finances.
I’m not going to detail any of that here, it doesn’t matter. But what was so awful about the experience is that suddenly for the next several decades, I had this anxiety about my health and finances always hovering over my head like a sword of Damocles.
Any time my health wavered, I was certain that the psychic’s prediction was ready to unfurl in full fury. Same with the slightest changes in my finances. What started as a garden variety ‘reading’ evolved into a slow-burn curse.
The lesson I took with me, as I began to work with my own astrological clients, was to never, ever lay in someone’s mind a notion that, objectively, I had no way of confirming or supporting, regardless of this or that in their birth chart.
People who do this to the vulnerable are what I call ‘power-trippers,’ and you’re wise to avoid them. Consider the word ‘prediction.’ It’s laden with problems in and of itself. Predict…predicament. Who needs the added angst?
Predictions devolve into unnecessary chaos in the psyche. They linger around like cheap perfume. They pass through time undaunted and often become part and parcel of bad decisions or tangents that people end up committing to. Again: they are awful.
So, in this post for my paid subscribers, let’s talk about the negative aspects in the natal chart. The squares, the oppositions primarily. I mention those because these are the aspects people glom onto and then perhaps obsessive over.
And it doesn’t help that the traditional school of astrology does nothing to counter the negative associations with hard aspects. In fact, some traditional astrologers—as ‘power-trippers’—make the negative aspects part of their schtick, as in announcing: “I’m skilled enough to tell you the bad shit.”
In short, this is bullshit.
What has your experience been with the so-called ‘hard’ natal aspects? How did you work with them, and did you ever feel the need to try and escape them, overcome them? Or did you discover that that square between your Sun and Mars generates the kind of fuel that’s required to keep you moving forward in life, albeit stubbing your toe occasionally against a chair while en route to your next big thing? (BTW: that’s not a prediction.)
Discuss below, and I’ll step in with my ideas, suggestions, and perhaps some unique ways to reframe things.
Opening photograph Wiki Commons, public domain.
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