Willow's lesson-giver on how to cowgirl up. Sun in Virgo, Venus in Scorpio.
I don't read astrology blogs often - mostly because I find my own demanding enough as is, and when I've battled out another article, I just want to move out of that world as fast as possible. But the day before yesterday, I was drawn to read astrologer Elsa Panizzon's blog. I hadn't read it in quite a few months and read through the past little while, which I enjoyed.
In one of those odd 'psychic coincidences' (I'm not a Jung fan so don't use the other word typically associated in astrology circles), she then wrote a post about me yesterday detailing her side of an incident that happened on her blog just under two years ago during the Venus retrograde in Aries.
Elsa also wrote a post about it at the time characterizing me as a vicious attacker who came out of nowhere to beat down one of her regular commenters for absolutely no reason other than that I am a horrible witch of a person who has a pitch black heart and no soul (heh), and she basically repeated the claim in this one.
I don't see it that way, of course, and wrote a reply to her post at the time.
Both Elsa's posts exclude details as far as what really happened, so here is my perspective on it from the previous posts I wrote:
"[The poster] made a comment that she agreed with a quote by Yogananda that a "truly enlightened person" has no need for the astrological birth chart.
I begged to differ on that one and rebutted that many "enlightened" people take on very difficult life circumstances and use astrology to navigate them more skillfully than they could without this tool. I also said that I believed the poster had an old Piscean concept of "enlightened." IE. Someone sitting on a Neptunian cloud sipping pomegranate juice...
Sure, I was being a bit cheeky there, but really! Who making a comment like that in an astrology forum wouldn't expect some opposition to that statement?
Apparently, this person.
She launched a four-paragraph, expletive-laden diatribe telling me to fuck off unless I had something "positive and agreeable" to say, telling me I obviously wasn't enlightened and reiterating that enlightened people have no use for astrology. She claimed I was "harassing" her and called me a troll.
I replied that I was not harassing her but rather rebutting a comment that I didn't agree with."
Your standard online pissing match.
For me, it was a case of defending the practice of astrology from the New Age claim that "astrology is not for the enlightened." I find that there are many, many things wrong with that statement, beginning with the New Age definition of enlightened, which I pointed out to the blog commenter in my colourful little way. A little too colourful for that particular astrology forum, it turns out, but I will explain later.
For me, there's a difference between battling an ideological tenet that threatens to discredit my vocation - something I take seriously and value highly - and a vicious personal attack. If we don't defend astrology, we won't have an astrology to defend. Though I used a strong critique of that commenter's claim, I didn't really take things to a personal level - the commenter did in her reply.
I can take my licks, though, so I won't quibble there.
As I've mentioned before, I came up through tribe.net message boards, which were pretty no holds barred. The philosophical battles got heated, and they were meant to. What we're doing here is more than tapping out messages on little machines, and I'm cognizant of that. I wouldn't be doing it if it were not meaningful and effective.
So I've been the lone non-New Age voice being shit-swarmed by ten or more people of that ideological persuasion on many occasions and managed to come out unscathed with my points across. I believe there are righteous battles, and extricating astrology from an invisible (and I would say insidious) merger with New Age beliefs is righteous to me. It's something I do, though it's not always pretty, and it's almost never popular. My methods are not for everyone - especially anyone not willing to get in and get right into the meat of the subject.
I am a Libra Sun, though, and I do understand Elsa's beef on blog social decorum.
In fact, I wrote Elsa an e-mail a little later on explaining my background and apologizing for my fault in breaching the social rules of her blog. As I explained, I was very new to the world of blogging at that time - especially to the social/community aspects, which I barely realized existed - and I wasn't up on the social rules. I blew in there with the charge of 101 throwdowns with the New Age in my words, and it just didn't fit the scene. I can see how this was not the right vibe for a group of people unaware that that battle even exists.
There are people you can take out of the country and put in the city and have them adapt and fit in quite well. Then there are people like me. Social integration is a slow process.
So I breached Elsa's rules on her blog and apologized for it almost two years ago. As far as I knew, it was a resolved matter. I guess not.
Let me take this opportunity to explain some of the dynamics here astrologically:
Elsa has Mars in Libra. She says she doesn't like to fight, but the way I see it, she is fighting in classic Libra style. She's fighting socially, passive aggressively, using her large social platform, her standards for social decorum, and her like-minded following (heavy on the Mars in Libra, according to the comments section) as a shield, all while denying doing so.
To compare, I'm a Mars in Scorpio with roots in a spiritually-guided warrior clan. I grew up on the prairie in the Dirty Eighties when the earth was parched, the grasshoppers were swarming, and the Pluto in Scorpio pressure on independent ranching and farming families was brutal. If rage and battling weren't a big part of your fuel source, you didn't have the snuff to get through it.
Mars in Libra versus Mars in Scorpio. Passive aggressive versus aggressive aggressive. Guess which one is more socially acceptable, especially for women?
Elsa has a stacked southern hemisphere (top half) of her birth chart. This means that she lives a fairly public life. She has a large public forum, a large public following, and has the opportunity to be very visible in her career. She has become known to many readers through her blog and has become known to many astrologers through the AstroDispatch - an "astrology star" if there is such thing. This public realm is a place where her rules go and her perspective reigns supreme, backed up by many like-minded readers, and that's fine.
What needs to be clear, though, is the Mars in Libra wielding of this southern hemisphere public prowess and Libran popularity. Elsa often talks about having Mars conjunct Mercury in Libra, and she is wielding a definite social and public power when she decides to use her blog as a platform to write about someone, especially another astrologer, and especially when she has closed the discussion to that person's point-of-view. This, again, is a classic way of Mars-Mercury in Libra battling. With Saturn just stationed retrograde in Libra, she is using the social structure she has built and her status within it to throw daggers.
In comparison, I have a northern hemisphere (bottom half) stacked chart. This means my life is not highly public. My vocation is not highly visible. I fly under the radar for the most part - purposefully. My achievements and successes are often not readily apparent to others and are often defined in completely opposite ways than they would be for a stacked southern hemisphere chart person. I don't write accessible astrology for the masses - though I could if that's the direction it took. I write complex astrology for a honed, niche audience.
I have a strong influence (for which I do my best to be responsible) and am among the best at what I do - but very few know it. My work is often hidden. So when I write a rebuttal post like this one, let's just say it doesn't have the same public legs as an Elsa post. I'm sure she is well aware of this fact and that it factors strongly into her southern hemisphere, Mars in Libra fighting style.
In vast contrast to someone with ease in the southern hemisphere (public/career life), my opportunities are few and far between, mostly eked out with blood, sweat, and otherworldly determination. If I did not know this was the way I needed to go in life, it would be sheer insanity for me to continue.
I also have a strong Black Moon Lilith influence - meaning, I'm on the edge, on the outside with my creative perspective, interacting from outer limits, expressing things most don't want to hear and causing big reactions, mostly unintentional, through doing so. When I trigger something, it lasts for a while - apparent in the fact that a five-minute incident on her blog has now warranted two fairly over-the-top blog posts almost two years apart from Elsa.
The strong Black Moon Lilith is the 'wicked witch' vibe along with the projected dark feminine stuff - cruel, vicious dog beater and baby eater, etc.
I have never been nor will ever be accepted with open arms by the mainstream - and this includes the pseudo-alternative mainstream. I will never have thousands of followers backing me up on every word. I have to be willing to say what I know is right for its own sake and stand behind it alone if need be, so this is what I do.
I find it unfortunate that as much as Elsa has written about this, she has never acknowledged the underlying philosophical issue and the issue pertinent to our profession - the merging of New Age beliefs with astrology, in particular in this case with the "astrology is not for the enlightened" claim.
I had a similar experience this past summer and fall with another blogger who refused to speak on the real underlying issues. He, coincidentally, also had a lot of Libra in a southern hemisphere-heavy chart and used his considerable platform to speak about his perspective on me without getting into anything real.
With that, I'll leave with this excerpt:
"This might be a controversial assertion, but I don't think the sign of Libra alone is all that skilled in the creation of peace. Libra is the peacekeeper, maybe. But peacemaker? Peace creator? No.
Libra can often maintain, through it's slick social skills and airy diplomacy, a form of peace that has already been established, but getting to a state of real peace often involves getting into it, and Libra is a sign that, especially when squared by Cancer or Capricorn, prefers to avoid that unpleasantness.
This avoidance is problematic because getting to a real state of peace often involves complex and longstanding disputes, injustice, imbalance, hurt, and oppression that have been hidden, covered over, smoothed over, let slide, reinforced - made worse, in fact, by Libra's glossing over of realities and nervous insistence on everything staying nicey nice.
Slapping a Band-aid on it and forcing a phony handshake over drinks without addressing underlying issues is not the recipe for true, longstanding justice or the peace that stems from that. Keeping everything Libra light and pleasant isn't really the goal when you get right down to it - getting to the root of the discord and injustice is, as well as to a mutual understanding of what caused and continues to cause this so it can be addressed and the chains broken.
The drawing up and divining sign of Scorpio, then, becomes instrumental in the process of peace creation. The road to peace might be initiated in cardinal air Libra, but it's fixed water Scorpio that digs in and takes the process beneath the surface, where it needs to go to be crystallized.
It's the catalytic power of expressing the raw human experiences of millennia of oppression on this planet, especially the emotional realities, that starts the process toward real peace, equality and harmony. If we can't get to and express the core realities, we don't get to any real healing, peace or understanding."