Sep 7, 2011

"Wow, Baby Stars!"

Antares Nebula - A "Star Nursery"
My partner, Brad, and I went to a show at the OMSI Planetarium recently, “Journey to the Stars.” It had been a while since I’d been to one, and years since I’ve been to OMSI; it seemed a lovely diversion on a hot summer’s day to step inside the cool, dark dome to watch stars being born. Planetarium shows are generally geared toward kids, but Brad and I, who both have Gemini Rising, can easily turn into big kids and enjoy such things.  The show itself was pretty neat – lots of great computer graphics of stars turning into red giants, supernovas, and white dwarfs. We indeed journeyed through the stars and galaxies as the swooping camera took us through several nebulae, the “nurseries of stars.” 

What I enjoyed even more than the show, however, were the reactions of the children in the audience.  Almost every new image on the screen induced a “Wow!” or a “Whoa!” or a gasp of delight. My favorite comment was from an adorable 4-ish-year-old girl a few feet away from me in response to a nebula where, the narrator explained, stars were being born. “Wow, BABY STARS!” She shouted. Brad and I were still giggling about it hours later. Afterwards, I was so glad I went. I was reminded of my own fascination with the actual stars as a little girl, and how that had led me to astrology. And I was reconnected with something that is so easy to lose track of in the business of mundane life – a sense of awe.

In part, Astrology is a science. Astrologers for thousands of years have observed the movements of the planets and correlated these movements to events on Earth. These correlations were made in the hopes of being able to gain power through the art of prediction:  if one could observe the results of a planet’s movements in the past, one could possibly foresee future events. The science and the technical aspects of Astrology became highly developed so that the art of prediction could be perfected. Over time, ancient astrology developed many accurate and reliable prediction techniques.

 But Astrology is not only a science. At its core is a mystical awareness of the natural world and our connection to it. I remember an early astrology teacher relaying a story to me that one of her students, perplexed with something in a chart, had looked up from her paper during their tutorial one day with total amazement and said: “You mean, the Venus that’s here in the chart is the same one that’s out there in the sky?” While most of us are pretty savvy to the fact that, yeah, that’s the same Venus, this story serves as a reminder of how easy it is to get disconnected from what is meaningful about Astrology.  The chart is a representation of our connection to these amazing planets, and to this very real, medium-sized yellow star. When you’re calculating orbs, drawing glyphs, and interpreting the meaning of Venus conjunct Saturn, that connection can be easy to forget.

So, I take my experience at the planetarium as a little reminder as to why I started this journey in the first place. I also intend to spend more time out under the stars, something I’ve been “meaning to do” for too long. And, at least once while hunched over my preparation for a reading, I should remember a little girl’s voice saying: “Wow, BABY STARS!”