Astrophobia: Fear of the impersonal nature of personality

phobicDO YOU BELIEVE IN ASTROLOGY? Careful how you answer: It’s a trick question — the sound of a disorientation-phobic mind attempting to induct you into its tidy, dualistic paradigm. My answer? “About as much as I believe in Hunter.” Why must The Mystery be so mercilessly and mechanically nailed down? Because ego feels so desperately ephemeral.

Face it: there’s no such thing as an “outside” mind. There’s only “the” mind. The breeds of anxiety and anticipation that drift through our two-eared fish tanks are anything but exotic. Why do we spend so little time studying and making friends with this outrageously interpenetrating, archetype-enraptured psyche? Here are three possibilities. Take your pick:

1) Because it might reveal how unnatural and downright exhausting it is to uphold our groomed-over-a-lifetime “island of grey matter” status?

2) Because it might render all astro-masks theatrically precious but interchangeably unreal and, thereby, blur the line between the definitively likable and unlikable landmarks (a.k.a. “people”) we so sadly depend on to navigate our sad ship across this sad sea?

3) Because a swashbucklingly separate mind is preferable to a provisional, dream-savvy one?

Do you believe in astrology? Hope not. A conceptually believed-in or disbelieved-in (vs. directly experienced) Leo archetype is nothing short of a cult. Smearing our eyes with belief or disbelief in anything is no different than stumbling around under the influence of a world-dizzying hallucinogen.

From ego’s point of view, astrology is a bummer because it de-personalizes personality. Personality traits we used to call “ours” turn out to be on loan to billions. All the world’s sinister, boring and supremely emulatable body/minds get squeezed, like dishrags, into a humble puddle of being-ness. Our best crack at “special-ness?” Being uncommonly and heartbreakingly aware of the viciously gossiped about and devoutly ignored divine presence.

The Void’s Passing Mood

The most hateful thing about astrology is not that it dares to associate planetary positions with the colors of personality, but how it insults our self-made notions of who we are. If how we show up in the world is a function of the Void’s passing mood (as indicated by constellational mudras), we are either god-spawn spin-offs of a universe-sized psyche or we’re space junk with a flattering self-concept. Either way, we’re screwed. Option one means our hard-hearted, robotic habits will likely follow us from lifetime to lifetime, so we’d better get to work now. Option two means that the kindest gesture and most mystical union we’ve ever known is probably just the Apolcalypse in a good mood.

There. Now you know why the serious study of astrology is so intimidating — and why we will never stop skimming those Sun Sign columns we don’t believe in.

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