My (free) sitemeter claims that no-one has looked at this site for the last week, which is unprecedented, but I've chosen to believe it, and kind of lost interest in blogging. But I've now got proof it ain't true, so I'm back with enthusiasm. Anyway, please email me if you have had a look recently, just so I know you're out there! And if you want an email astro update (at no charge) let me know. Astrology is my favourite pastime. And I think it's time to get another sitemeter.
About a week ago I got a computerised career and vocation horoscope (I'm 12 Feb 1958, 22.38, London). It said some good things, but also got me on the wrong track for a while. I tend to look at the Sun (developmental path) and the MC/10th House (Life direction, calling) for vocation. In my own case, I have Uranus and Pluto in the 10th, and Sun conjunct Chiron in the 4th in Aquarius, opposite Pluto. Finding my path, and my place in the world, is not a straightforward matter with this lot.
It might have been easier did I not have a strong Saturn (conjunct Moon, sextile Sun and ASC). Saturn is determined to find its place in the world and to make its mark, and so when I was younger I was determined to 'achieve' something, even though I didn't know what I wanted to 'achieve' - all I really knew was what I DIDN'T want. So Saturn kind of got in the way of the much more subtle approach to vocation that my chart required.
With the outer planets you have to let them come to you, rather than the other way around, and with Uranus and Pluto in the 10th, this is something I have had to learn around vocational issues. While the computerised career and vocation horoscope I had said many good things, it seemed to emphasise proper training and turning your talents from an interest into a profession. This spoke to my Saturn. I love reading novels - at the moment I've got George Eliot's Middlemarch on the go for the 3rd time - but I started to feel that this wasn't enough. What I obviously needed was a proper training so that I could analyse and criticise and write about literature. Maybe I should do some formal study - after all, I had only scraped through my university degree in 1981 because I had lost interest in that kind of study, and maybe it was time to put it to rights. And so it went on, and before I knew it, I had destroyed the real connection I do have with literature. (Incidentally, I have 3rd House Saturn in Sag.)
Vocation can be a subtle thing. If you are lucky, you can combine it with the need to earn a living. I have a romantic view in my mind of a vocation as an all-consuming passion which one was born to do. Some people do work like this. Vajramala, who I live with, is like this around horses and animal psychology. For myself, I like to do a bit of astrology (actually, quite a lot!), I like to set up sweat lodges, I like to read novels, I like to spend the night in my yurt in my field, and I think that animals are going to appear somewhere in all of this at some point. I am 48 years old, and actually I'm perfectly happy doing a bit of all of these things. And it has its own pattern and meaning, which I wouldn't have the temerity to try and analyse. But because I have a strong Saturn, and because our society and my background demand 'professionalism' and 'achievement', I can easily end up thinking it's not enough.
And I don't think this is just my own 'problem'. It reflects an imbalance in society. Yes, I have Chiron, Uranus and Pluto influencing my chart. But they are outer planets, and therefore reflect wider issues. I think it is enough to find interests and people that we really connect with, that we love. This may take most of our adult life to find, it is not an easy matter, and there can be necessary betrayals along the way, self-inflicted or otherwise. And there's no telling what will interest someone! But it's easy to start then thinking that we need some sort of certificate or qualification that makes our interest more 'real', because that's the way our society works. Of course formal training can be helpful, but the qualification is only a starting point - how embarrassing to be hanging on to those letters after your name 10 years after you got them - and don't let anyone tell you it's the only way.
The Saturn-Neptune Opposition is of course underway, and like I said in an earlier posting, I think it has a vocational dimension: Saturn making its mark in the world, connected to the callings of Neptune. Working well together, whole new genres and movements can come into being, and we can expect to see this. But they are also in opposition: the claims of the world (in a certain sense) and the callings of the soul can be genuinely opposed, and in my own case learning this is still work in progress.