My antidote to anxiety, depression, & meaninglessness

The "science of outcomes"

vol. 3 issue 32

Greetings,

Something unexpected happened to me this week. A friend and neighbor, without provocation, went off on me about all the “dumb star stuff that isn’t real and doesn’t work and whatever else you say” and other words to that effect about my recent revelation to you all that I am a professional, consulting astrologer.

It wasn’t yet 7 in the morning, as I was out walking the dog, so I had yet to get in synch with myself with a morning meditation or even a cup of coffee. I just stared back blankly and offered the first thing I could think of, which was to say, “Okay.”

The conversation continued on about other news, and was no longer as confrontational as that brief half moment had seemed to me, but as the day wore on and my faculties of analysis became engaged, I found myself tangled around that part of the encounter and realized I have a clear-eyed response, it just needed some time to crystalize.

Maybe you agree with my friend. In any case, it occurs to me that I haven’t really offered a thorough explanation to my readers as to why I have turned to astrology as a career. I thought I had covered it when I wrote this essay about the connections I had found between approaching life, to the best of one’s ability, with reflexive kindness, and how I have found that such an attitude will knit together whatever one’s fate and fortune happens to be in ways more meaningful than the worrisome ways hierarchy makes us live our lives.

My embrace of this still outré and derided “science of outcomes” (as the third century BCE Greeks who developed and largely perfected astrology, referred to it) is the direct result of feeling called to find purpose in life, to engage in meaning-making not needless worry.

It is the net result of years of working within and around the field of psychiatry, of mental health policy, and specifically this publication where in search of what makes us anxious and depressed, I unequivocally landed upon hierarchy as our true ailment, and the one that our current treatment modalities, and especially our public health and economic policies, are unprepared to address.

The paradigm of hierarchy is busted. It’s incomplete, and it is ultimately lethal to us all, as it necessitates cannibalizing the heart and spirit of the entire human race and everything that supports it. I have written and podcasted about that ad nauseum, but if that makes no sense to you, and none of the archived entries clear that up, let me know. I will find ways to unpack that until it does make sense.

I don’t know why humans ever consented to rely solely on one lens through which to know, observe, and experience life, but I do believe that it’s associated most strongly with the advent of the Axial Age when suddenly, and to me anyway, inexplicably, the many gods packed it in and let only one of them claim the job of ushering us toward a future. And then He bellowed on and on about it until we pretty much gave in and let him have his way.

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I am neither a religious scholar nor savant enough to grasp why the universe delivered us into an age of monotheism, but having to constantly focus on a single reference point for power sure did mean everything else had to fall “in line”.

It is that straight line that has divided and sorted us into lesser versions not only of ourselves, but of God or Source, or whatever impulsion to life we might relate to. I’ve talked about that a lot, too. It’s the antithesis of e pluribus unum, “out of many, one.” I don’t mean to be flip, but check the archives.

I am not stupid. Neither am I silly, frivolous, nor unsophisticated in my appreciation of data and analysis. I stand by everything I ever wrote or podcasted as evidence of my credentials as a clear thinker.

Which is also why I stand by my conclusion that reductionist thinking, the constant push to reduce everything to its smallest unit of measurement so that we can control it, master it, know it, is nothing more than an addiction to subjugation, disguised as a quest for knowledge. And if you’ve ever had an addiction, then you know that it controls you, not the other way around.

Knowledge is useless if it doesn’t result in progress, but progress has depth and fullness, not just length and height. Truly useful knowledge describes relationships, which might be bidirectional, tri-directional, quadrilinear, and circumscribed, but they are definitely not top-down.

A belief in the inevitability of hierarchy assumes that what is beneath the top will never want to grow or individuate, or that if it does have such desires, such an impetus must be quashed. But who gets to decide whose desires are valid and whose are not?

Ah, there’s the rub, mein Führer.

Here’s another way to think of it: hierarchy is playing god. It’s so insanely arrogant.

I am just not dyspeptic enough to get riled up about this any longer. Once I did all this public investigation of why and how I and all the rest of us found ourselves so anxious, depressed, and even suicidal in this country, and concluded that these states of mind were due to our addiction and our entrainment to top-down thinking, such that we were wholly unaware of it as our poison, I loosed the bonds.

Rather than fixate on a god, including the god that is science, I broadened my field of vision so that science is only one of many gods. One of many beautiful, hot stars.

And what is a god?

Well, here’s how I define it: any power I cannot control, but with which I can interact, contemplate, even develop mastery in how I approach, but never contain. And, a power by which when I contemplate it, and develop a relationship with it, teaches me truths about that which I cannot see, but can have faith in and can then, in turn, trust life. It is at that nexus of seen and unseen that I get to infuse my life with meaning, that is to say I get to choose my outlook on this grand adventure and the outcomes of such conscious interactions, and maybe inspire you to do the same.

Thanks, I’ll take it.

I don’t think I am astute nor prepared enough to provide you with an apologia for astrology, not at this point anyway, but here’s what I can say: having a way to study life’s outcomes, that is to say fate and fortune, that helps connect me to a sense of boundlessness and purpose, has replaced any tendency toward anxiety and depression I once had. In their place are wonder and stillness, and best of all acceptance of my life and my place within it.

Also, for what it’s worth, I don’t see astrology as an ends in and of itself, but as a tool for a greater purpose. I can’t warm to religion, even if I admire those who can live accordingly without losing their ability to act rationally and respectfully. But, very much because I have a rational and scientific mind, I need a framework of application for spirituality, and that is what astrology provides.

It’s not the point of my life, it’s the tool kit for meaning making through unification of me with the All. I like it better than hierarchy’s divisive tool kit used to fabricate separation and rank.

The last thing I will say about it as we bake in these Dog Days of Summer (which is how we now refer to what was once known as the days of the constellation Canus Major with its brightest star, Sirius rising) is that the serious study of astrology came to us by way of the very same people who brought us democracy in the West.

As my podcast guest Brian Muraresku asked, why would the Greeks, upon whose notions of democracy, justice, and yes, science, our Constitution was cast, also have been so “silly” as to also have spent so much time devoted to the study and cultivation of fantastical stories of gods and stars?

Maybe because they knew something we have either forgotten or suppressed: that life is not a straight line. And not only that, it doesn’t begin and end with us.

You can believe whatever you want. But if you’re planning on making sure I know you think I’m deluded, at least let me have a cup of coffee first.


Next month, I have a great interview lined up. It’s with author Dax Devlon-Ross about his new book Letters to My White Male Friends.

After that, I will resume with picking up the pieces the status quo made us leave behind, such as with our industrialization of death, birth, and a few other important aspects of life here on earth.

Peace,

Whitney

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