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AstroPress Blog – Deborah Smith Parker, Author Of Humanus Astrologicus

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March 26, 201412 Comments

“Astrology for the Astrologically Challenged,” by Deborah Smith Parker

I’m an Aries and today is my birthday! So I’m going to write about ME – or at least about a key defining moment in my young life when I fully claimed a still dormant configuration in my horoscope. It was during a five week period in high school when I learned I could leave the well-traveled path patrolled by those terrified of anyone leaving it and I could make my own way because that’s what we Aries do best.

Later, when I became an astrologer, I understood the astrological aspects that had been stirred – poked to be more accurate. I have Neptune in the 12th house that leads me off the beaten path (actually what path?) and it opposes my Sun in the sixth house allowing me, in many cases, to pass for normal. But I’m not. Then there’s Mars. It’s in Gemini in the ninth house in a T-square to my Sun and Neptune.

It’s that ninth house Mars – my writing – that is the setting of this story and why my Neptune/Sun squaring it demanded that I go to war. So I did. First with Mars head-on because my writing process was under Cannonattack. Then I had to retreat and with the help of my Mars square my 12th house Neptune, my Aries Sun shifted its outer directness to more devious guerrilla tactics. I was victorious and the person I defeated never knew the difference. Here’s what happened.

I’ve always been direct. My parents say I came out that way. Well, what else is an Aries child going to do?  The world doesn’t deal well with those of us who talk back to it, thinking us outlaws. But I’m not an outlaw per se. I generally operate within the law, and if I’m not within it I’m at least about it.

From kindergarten on, we are often taught by a numbing, dulling string of rigid process cops that serve to prepare us well for the bureaucratic experiences constituting many of our adult encounters.

My junior year in high school I had an experience with one of these process cops that would forever alter my perception of the law and, consequently, the outlaw. It happened in English class, which I loved. I got A’s on all the themes I’d written until midway through the semester. At that point, we were told we must first outline impromptu themes we wrote weekly in class. It would enhance the creative process, we were told.

At 16 I didn’t know much. But I knew at some level I could no more prospectively outline the progress of pure imagination than I could direct the Mississippi river that flowed just 100 miles from my classroom. Outline term papers, yes. Short creative themes, no. I also knew that once the tap opened from my personal subconscious stream, it had to tumble unobstructed from my brain out through my fingers to the paper —  an exhilarating ride, like running a stretch of rapids in a canoe.

Nevertheless, I tried to outline. I made my first note. I tried moving on from there to other points. Nothing. This block had never happened before. I made a quick decision—to hell with the outline. I wrote my theme as usual and handed it in, sans outline. I’d count on my equity from previous proven efforts. Two days later my theme was returned, graded B. “Lacks organization,” she wrote. “An outline would help.”

So much for equity. I argued with her. “How could discoveries be made without freedom to explore?  What about Columbus?”

“He had maps and charts,” she said.

“Not for where no one been yet,” I countered. “He had an idea.”

Canoeing rapidsI tried the rapids analogy on her. She’d never been in a canoe. Who among us wins an argument about grades or process with a teacher? I was again instructed to use the outline. Twice more I handed in themes without it. Again the pedestrian B, followed by an insulting C accompanied by more nagging comments on how helpful an outline would be.

The following week I wrote my theme as usual. I finished a few minutes before the end of class and then hastily scratched out an outline of what I’d done and handed both in, not the least bit guilty about my deception.

“Wonderful work!” beamed out at me from under a big A. “See how an outline helps?” she wrote.

Indeed. I did see. I saw much. I saw I was in a war I had never known existed until that moment, a war in which we are all unwitting soldiers. We are either defending something or attacking it. Those who are defenders are “in charge.” Those who want change are outlaws, heretics, anarchists. In that instant I also understood, in some broad sense, some of the rules of engagement. Not only that, I had chosen sides. For the rest of my life I was to be, with few exceptions, an outlaw — either storming or outwitting the well defended citadels of status quo.

It felt good. It still feels good more than 50 years later.

Deborah Smith Parker is the author of Humanus Astrologicus, available both in soft cover on this site and on Kindle. To sign up to receive her blog or follow her on Twitter (@astro_logicus) and Facebook click to the right of this post.

About author:

Deborah Smith Parker is re-writing the often impenetrable language of astrology into a much friendlier form. She has spent her 30 plus years as an astrological consultant, writer, teacher and lecturer freeing the rich astrological images and their descriptions increasingly buried under modern clinical and technological descriptions. Her additional work in public policy has provided many outlets for demonstrating her ability to break down highly complex systems into information that’s easily understood.

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  1. Karen E says:

    LOVE IT! Thank you! And happy birthday!

  2. Ethel says:

    I get such pleasure reading anything you write.

  3. You’re great Deborah, I personally really appreciate your writing skills.

  4. Inez says:

    Oh! I so relate to the outline tale. It reminds me of my own experiences with outlining. I found them stunting and ineffective. Mercury in Aquarius. I always did it my way, especially if the teacher’s way was boring.

    Happy Birthday Deborah!

  5. How perfect. Your clarity of writing needs no da*n outline. Your editing takes care of the organization. If you actually don’t edit, then you are the most organized process-writer I’ve ever known. Yes, HB!

    • OMG do I edit! Otherwise no one would want to read me. When I’m on fire I just let it rip and clean it up afterward. Sometimes the flow isn’t there and then it’s just sit w/ my keester in the chair and type. Then the flow starts. That’s the key point for me. You don’t have to have the flow before you write — writing makes it start. That’s when you know you’re a writer.

  6. Happy Birthday, Deborah, from another outlaw who always wrote the outline afterwards. Great essay!

  7. Jill Estensen says:

    A wonderful explanation that can be applied anywhere. I will send this to my Aries son who may or may not read it, but it parallels his life so well. Thank You!!!

  8. Vicki Luquette says:

    Hey Deborah – You were clearly an early bloomer…. I’m just now coming into my “outlawness” over the past 10 or so years… it does feel good, doesn’t it? Keep it up!
    Happy belated birthday!

  9. I love your writing. Words do not so much rip from you but rather flow in elegant fashion to frame your powerful, insightful ideas and concepts. You have a great command of the Kings English. Your creative spirits are able to find in words pictures and images that sharpen our senses to the mysteries in the heavens that enrich our journey on Earth.

  10. Margo Edwards says:

    Happy belated birthday! Your writing helps me understand how my “insanity” and struggling against constraints comes to pass. There is that fine line between self-discipline and being afraid to color outside the lines. This idea of the outlaw – well, it feels so liberating (I sometimes think all we Libras want is just to be free)! Thanks for this entry – I am hoping to learn more as we go forward. TTFN

  11. Sally Myles says:

    Love this and thanks so much for a peek at a creative turning point in your writing career. Glad you are doing this!

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