Gail's AstroWorks
What Is Life? Gail Sandra Klein

A recent conversation regarding astrology has brought this topic once again to my attention. There is a rampant push among modern western tropicalist astrologers to insist that nothing in a chart is all bad.

This attitude is self-delusionary wishful thinking. Most of life can be said to be bad, or problematic, or painful, or sorrowful. Every great religion acknowledges this fact regarding life. It is the same with charts; there will be times when, within a chart (synonymous with life), bad things will happen. Period.

Loved ones will die (maybe a happy occasion for *them*, but not for their survivors); chronic and painful sicknesses will begin; all manner of afflictions to the body and mind will occur. These are bad things. These are sorrowful things. If there is a positive side to them, it has nothing to do with the actual tragedies but rather with any given individual's possible strength and courage in facing, and enduring, them.

This is what life is about: pain and struggle. This is because we learn nothing from ease and happiness. We learn lots, uncover reserves of hidden strengths, and become more compassionate, as we're tried by life's sorrows.

So if you want to say that tragedies are good things, because they may force a show of emotional and physical strength and may deepen compassion, all right. But please
don't tell me that in and of themselves, such things as the suffering and death of loved ones, physical or mental illnesses, grave losses, are "positive" or can be "positive".

They are sheer hell, and anyone with sense can see that.

We Are Not Angels Yet

There is a real movement in the astrological and new age 'communities' to speak as if one sits aloft the clouds, serene and awfully holy. I've seen it amongst colleagues,
and it becomes almost comical to see people trying to out-do each other with the 'I'm so evolved' crap. Remember that song: "Too Sexy"? Replace the word 'sexy' with the
word 'holy' and you've got this type wrapped up in canvas.

Typical tell-tale signs include the insistence that nothing is 'bad'; that if you think something is 'bad' there is something wrong with you -- you are "unevolved".

These people suffer from Pluto envy. They are terrified of their own Plutos (the ability to acknowledge and experience hell, among other things), so they will point bony, accusatory fingers at anyone Plutonian enough to acknowledge that pretty much 75% (give and take) of life really sucks. They will say you are "unevolved". If you behave less honorably than the Pope, on occasion, they will say you are unevolved.

I'm not advocating a free-for-all of badness. I'm not saying it's okay to be nasty or cruel, or to let the inner uglies all hang out. What I'm saying is that they exist within all of us: acknowledge them. Not a one of us is so evolved that we have the right to pass judgment in this matter. If we were that evolved, we would not be on earth. I repeat:

If any of us were so evolved, we would not be doing time on earth.

My Recommendations

Realize that you have an inner bitch or son-of-a-bitch (no apologies if these terms seem sexist). Realize that, unless they've done murder or other heinous acts, you are no more evolved, nor holy, than your fellows. Realize that while it's not okay to treat people badly, it's okay to acknowledge that sometimes you want to.

A Purgatory

It is my opinion that earth is a *purgatory* (a gentle one, with flowers, music, and chocolate) to which we have come to *purge* our imperfections. Earth brings them all to a head; earth is like the crisis of a fever, or a great, painful boil on the butt; its demands upon us to survive bring all our worst qualities (greed, selfishness, cruelties) right to center stage -- the better to see them, my dears, and the better to work on refining these coarsest of human qualities.

Of course we do not accomplish this refinement of all our worst qualities in a single short lifetime. Perhaps we are reincarnated here, or perhaps we are 'sent' to other worlds after our life sentences on earth. But EARTH IS A SOUL REFINERY. And not a single one of us would be here if we didn't have lots and lots of icky stuff to work on within ourselves.

So there's no point trying to win the prize for evolution. If we manage to turn 1% of our greed, or selfishness, or envy, or hatreds into compassion, we've done all right by the time we're through here. Then, who knows. Your guess is as good as mine.

Stay real.

All Rights Reserved; Gail Sandra Klein

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