Venus is the beautiful planet. A correspondence with harmony, the voice, the shape of the glyph in fact looks like the larynx. Astrology makes sense. We sing like birds when the spirit moves us, feeling pleasant, joyous, when the sun hits our face. Good music can brighten our mood just like the sun, even when we are feeling dour. So how Venus became associated with the bladder and or the kidney is a bit of a mystery.
The kidneys are a part of the renal system and designed to filter our a nutritional intake so that we can eliminate toxins from out diet and discharge them through the bladder and out of the body. At some point after the 1990’s kidney cancer seems to have been on the rise. For early detection there is a 95% survival rate for patients who stick around for at least 5 years after diagnosis and so long as the cancer hasn’t spread.
The rise in the incidence of kidney cancer, with some 75,000 new cases registering each year, may be due in part to the aging population and as well to known risk factors that increase the likelihood of cancer: diet, environment, smoking, etc. The correlation with obesity is strong and not only is the population aging but people around the world are also becoming more obese on average, so, again a poor diet and a lack of exercise seem to correlate to increased risks of kidney cancer.
I couldn’t sleep this morning. It’s been a problem. Before I was diagnosed with a tumor I just thought my bladder was losing elasticity and that the “urge to go” was just a rite of passage. Well after I got diagnosed I went through a crazy two week period of getting up almost twice on the hour, heading to the bathroom to find relief but knowing the futility. Knowledge is a dangerous thing sometimes. And especially if you don’t know. I never felt discomfort. Just an insane urge to pee and then an accumulating sleep deficit. The insomnia in some ways hurt way more than the kidney disease.
This morning sleep would not return after natures call. I opened my phone and went to reddit. People post their charts and ask questions. A user this morning sent me a private message. He said, “I have cancer.” He lives in Europe, so it was late at night while only 3 o’clock in the morning here in the Hudson Valley. I looked at his chart. Libra on the 12th House cusp, Venus in early Capricorn. Mars in the middle of Libra barely hangin on to the 11th House. Developmentally, Mars is square Libra on the 12th cusp. It just looks portentous sitting there. Like a deceptively mean kid in class, someone who needs to be avoided. And Venus has been under assault by the transiting Capricorn stellium these past few years. Surely he’s been dealing with this “silent killer” for sometime. And now that it has spread and made itself known, when knowledge is a dangerous thing, and no longer silent, the patient knows that he doesn’t have much time left.
We talked. I commented on significant relationships in his life. His identity projection and certain patterns of behavior that seem to correspond with the patterns emerging in analysis. He was amazed but I was quick to share with him that my approach was not some sort of parlor game or some magic trick. I assured him that what I was “reading” was a synthesis of the symbolism, an approach hard won through study but that also ultimately follows a law of naturalness not unlike other disciplines. My observations were measured and phrased in approximations so as to aid discussion not sound like an oracle. Mars was coming to the Ascendant and soon. He was given 6 months to 8 months to live about 6 months ago. He is eager to learn. That’s his most fervent wish now. We chatted for a couple of hours. He has an incredible attitude. Resigned but with a spark of wonder and curiosity for life. Prepared but determined to realize as much as possible on the way to the exit ramp. And curious about whether his condition is “destiny” or not. Our conversation certainly argues the case that the body has specific weaknesses and we can see these vulnerabilities in the chart. But my take is that cancer is not a death sentence unless it isn’t detected early enough. Sadly, in his case he is out of time. In my case, I just don’t know yet.
It was fascinating to randomly connect with a brother in arms so to speak, one dealing with a similar if much more serious issue than the one that had recently taken me to my knees. Pluto rules my 12th House cusp. I have been aware for awhile that Pluto was creeping up to my natal Saturn-Jupiter conjunction which happens to be square Venus. But cancer? Over 73,000 people will get kidney cancer this year and almost 15,000 will die from the disease. But the lifetime risk is 1 in 46 or about 2.02% according to the American Cancer Society’s website. And while that sounds like pretty remote odds, kidney cancer has climbed to #5 on the list of most common cancers, and still climbing. But even after a bout of hematuria, and knowing my chart, I didn’t consider cancer. Pluto is still moving into position on my chart, so I may be in luck to have caught the disease early enough and with the help of Mars hitting my midheaven by Solar Arc, surgical intervention to cut out any cancer is strong. At least that is the hope. And just like my natal Jupiter who time and time again rescues me from situations in the 11th hour. And then perhaps Pluto can represent some radical changes to life in support of more general health concerns as Pluto comes to the important point in my chart where the Great Mutation has just occurred. Time has never felt so poignant. Wasted. And yet full of promised potential.
I’ve dithered and vacillated most of my professional life. Always, I’ve felt more like a fish out of water than someone who was on the right track pursuing their passion. According to the self help literature and the annals of personal development, our success is about accepting our self agency in life, becoming self-reliant and responsible. And a brief survey of social media might convince us that success is not only easier done than said, but it is also pervasive. It looks like the ‘secret’ is out and that if you just align yourself with your best intentions things will materialize. But its not that straight forward is it? Success comes to some easier than others. And failure must be a lot easier than popular sources admit since there is way more of it than there is of success. “Losers” are pervasive for a host of reasons and I can speak to those from personal experience and someday I will because there is nothing more annoying than listening to some knuckle head who doesn’t understand the role luck plays in success. That their self proclaimed triumphs are not entirely due to their own brilliance and massive personal intellect and efforts. That’s for another time, another post. Here we wish to make the point that what we choose to do for a living affects our health either positively or negatively. And that if you do what you love then you are in the minority and that one factor can reduce your risk of cancer dramatically. If you are not doing what you love or do not know what your passion is then it is never to late to find out. We need to explore our options as if our life depended on it, because it may.
Some cancers are sometimes called “silent killers.” Pancreatic cancer and ovarian cancer in particular are deadly precisely because they do not present early or easily recognizable symptoms. On the surface everything could be just fine, but like a nuclear submarine operating beneath the surface, lurking undetected in the unseen depths some cancer remains hidden until its too late. Breast cancer and prostate cancer too, like all cancers, are best treated when detected early. We have the technology and instrumentation, but what we lack even when there are symptoms is the awareness not to shrug off a 2% risk as if it were zero, as if it wee no risk at all. And then, provided we devise a reliable early warning system, we still need access to the modern technology and health interventions to properly assess the risk and make a difference.
Astrology can provide a reliable scan of long range health markers that coincide with lifelong risks (the chance of men getting kidney cancer is twice that of woman; men 2.02% women 1.02% American Cancer Society). I don’t check any of the boxes decisively. I am moderately overweight after a few decades of being an extreme athlete plus 5 years of living a vegan lifestyle. But technically I registered in the obesity classification and that one measure seems to be the to be the most common risk factor as we age. My personal challenge is that I was exercising vigorously just prior to diagnosis and doing some extreme hikes during the lockdown and through the summer. I was averaging almost 9 miles a day. Weight was falling off rapidly and I was getting stronger from a calisthenics routines. I had even begun to run again which I hadn’t done in probably 7 years. I had thoughts of competing again in my age category in the local scene just to have something to shoot for, a goal. So cancer was the last thing on my mind.
I had come back from a brief trail run with my wife when I first noticed blood in my urine. But it wasn’t persistent. Nothing hurt. “Maybe its stones…” Well, no! And this epic Jupiter conjunct Saturn transit hitting a sensitive part of my chart was screaming “call the fucking doctor!” But I was deaf to the signal and lost in the noise. Pluto trailing not far behind promises some personal transformation. Serious death and new birth type stuff going on, and based on the exploratory steps so far this is not going to be easy. Probably the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life by 10. And if I can assist others in early detection or even prevention then that will be a big part of what gets me through this and on to the other side of it. To be helpful. To be of service. And to help save some sorry soul like me from unneccesary suffering.