“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
We know very little about William Shakespeare, the man. Most of what we know is hearsay recorded by story tellers long after his death. He left no trail of documents or private journals to confirm, corroborate or deny the stories told about him. All we have for certain are his plays and six signatures. And while each signature differs one from the other it is alleged that the signatures still belong to him, the real William Shakespeare.
In 2007, an actor and a director, each with accomplished experience in all things Shakespearean, published “Declaration for Reasonable Doubt.” The point being made that we scarcely have enough evidence to make a positive identification of William Shakespeare, much less enough evidence for having conviction beyond a reasonable doubt that Shakespeare was indeed who we think he was. Challengers argue that we scarcely have enough evidence to refute the idea. That he was indeed the author of his plays and that unless proven otherwise Shakespeare was, well, Shakespeare. The truth is that its impossible to know one way or the other only because Shakespeare himself isn’t here to talk about it with us.
One of the most relevant insights gained from studying astrology has to do with answering the age old question “who am I?” It’s kind of ironic that we are unsure of Shakespeare’s identity because he seemed especially focused on this theme where he brilliantly illustrates how identity formation is essentially complicated by life experience. We can learn so much about life from studying his plays in the same way that we learn so much about Shakespeare by studying life. The same logic applies to astrology. But even when the astrology is pretty straight forward, life experience can get in the way. And so astrology doesn’t always answer the question emphatically, yet a road map of sorts is suggested. Sufficient clues are given so that seekers can find their way back to the Sun so to speak. And while discovering our identity before breakfast may be an impossible task, we have a distinct advantage over Shakespeare in that we can sit down together and discuss it. Identifying the events and influences that go into “making you, you” and “making me, me” help flesh out patterns in the chart that correspond with life development. And what is most important to understand is that the patterns are isomorphic, or in the words of Noel Tly, “there is an echo.” We see repeating patterns that repeat over and over again regardless of where we live or where we are born. Determining the authenticity of Shakespeare’s signature in real life is at best guess work, but discovering our own authentic selves doesn’t have to be guess work. Some practices might call it self-awareness. Whatever it is we have a say in the process. And with a little self-awareness we can experience remarkable new perspectives. And yes, we can accomplish quite a bit before breakfast.
A word of caution is advised, please be reminded that even people with very closely aligned birth charts will vary in their “lived experience” to one degree or another. The influence of family, school, friends, work, community, relationships, money, education, and environment, etc. can transform the person and the symbolism at work. Together the planets and the environment interact to shape personality, affecting how we relate with ourselves and others. Again, the astrology can be straight forward often enough BUT the “lived experience” complicates matters and affects interpretation, sometimes dramatically.
Still, you probably don’t need to be an astrologer to get something valuable out of your chart. In order to tap into what Martha Graham calls your “vitality”, your “life force,” all you really need are Six Things. And rather than focusing on how to be a celebrity follow Benjamin Zander’s suggestion from his best selling book The Art of Possibility: focus on making a contribution. Organize your thoughts and fine tune your mindset so that your vitality and life force are in alignment with your heart in such a way that you make a contribution. If you’ve followed your ‘horoscope’ online with any regularity you’ve no doubt come to a point of frustration if not down right disillusionment. But while the “Sun Sign” astrology brand serves its own purpose we shouldn’t confuse that brand with humanistic astrology, summed up in a way as only the eloquent Noel Tyl can. [See insert below] Sun Sign and Moon Sign columns can be very entertaining but at the same time I have often wondered why readers would simply stop there. Don’t you see that it is just a small step from there to something deeper? Something more personal? Something more relevant? Why can’t readers see that without much effort they can easily get a quick take on their own chart that is magnitudes above the generalized copy they are being spoon fed by popular astrology writers? And why hang in the balance, simply waiting for the next post or column? As if the next New Moon, or eclipse will be the astrological miracle you were waiting for…
Six Things will jump start followers and readers in an empowering way to get a quick take on your chart and without too much fuss or effort. We will break it all down one by one for you over successive posts to come… But for now, enjoy the glyphs below…just take them in without overthinking them. Doodle in your own hand and trace out the symbols on a napkin. Over and over again… The glyphs, or symbols, will begin to ‘speak’ to you on their own accord if you will. The symbols below represent: 1.) Sun-Moon Blend 2.) Ascendant 3.) Mid-heaven 4.) Pluto Perspective 5.) Sun/Moon Midpoint and 6.) Hemisphere Orientation. Mastering these Six Things will not make you an astrologer, anymore than reading your daily “horoscope” brings you enlightenment. But you will be a better and more informed consumer, and it is my hope that you learn a thing or two that propels you along your path toward fulfillment. And fulfillment can only come from YOU being the Real YOU.