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Monday, December 25, 2006

Falling into Astrology

In my previous post Astrology Talk: Being an Astrologer - First Meetings I promised to tell you all how I "fell" into Astrology. The reason I call it "falling" into Astrology is that it was not a planned event, but I feel a strong pull of fate.

Keep in mind at this point in my life, I only knew about the horoscopes in the papers. I didn't even follow them much. I was living in London, England in a Russell Square flat with 4 other people. We all came from the performing arts in some way. Warren (Pisces) was a dancer and recently finished the German cast of Cats. Wizi (Scorpio) was an Australian acrobat, also from the same cast. Christie (Taurus) was German and had something to do with the behind the scenes of some tours.

I had recently returned for a tour in Germany as well. In between performing jobs I became a Jill of all trades. I worked in several places at the same time. I worked in a club on weekends and their Camden Market extension on weekend days. I also put together my own workshops for acting. My mainstay at the time was what should have been a part time gig working at Champion Sports on Oxford Street. I liked keeping busy and hands in lots of pies. It helps stave off my personal boredom, something I always struggled with in jobs. The only thing that ever kept me going at a regular job was the idea that it was a "means to an ends", allowing me to survive between acting gigs.

I ended up being pretty good at my job at Champion because I was continually working more than my 32 hours. One of the managers asked if I would be willing to put in more hours as I got more work done than those who had been there for a few years. I struck a deal. Yes, if they paid me overtime for anything over 32 hours and I gave them the days and times that I needed off due to my other work.

A different manager (Capricorn) did not appreciate this side deal and tried everything to undermine me. He decided one busy day to close all the registers but mine. This caused a huge line to form. It was one of the nights that I had to be off by a certain time to get to the club for my bar tending gig, which I reminded him of. He immediately let everyone else go, but kept me. He walked off the floor instead of ringing in any customers to thin the line.

I ended this frustrating experience deciding I would never take another job that really did not interest me. I wasn't learning anything new and began being treated like the retail cattle that I was. I needed the check to make sure I could pay my rent and survive in expensive London, so it was the difference between survival and personal happiness.

Finally, I walked out, leaving a long line of customers in the process. On the way to my locker, I ran into the manager who abandoned me, chatting and having tea. Other managers begged me not to quit, but I had it. They were great, but something in my life was not working so I cut the cord. I felt spiritually void.

Stressed out walking home, wondering what ever I would do and how long it might take me to find another job, I walked through Covent Garden, as I did every day. Covent Garden is a beautiful cobble stoned area lined with classy stores. One store was Equinox - The Astrology Shop. There was a huge brass zodiac in the window and always very nice star, sun and moon merchandise in the other window. I went in a few times to buy gifts for people, but never had my horoscope done. Nor did I buy any books from the largest Astrology book collection in one place in the world. That was odd for me as I read voraciously.

On my way past, I thought, "Astrology. Now that's something interesting that I don't know much about." I went in, expecting to ask for an application.

I wasn't dressed for an interview. I had a pair of Lycra shorts on underneath my torn in the butt jeans. All this was covered by a long wool coat. I asked at the desk if they happen to be hiring and was told "no". I asked if it was possible to get an application anyway. Through this interaction, out from the back of the shop a sprightly good looking man came out. He introduced himself as Robert Currey, which meant nothing to me.

He took me in the back and I explained that I quit my job today and decided that I would never take another position unless it was something that I wanted to do. He asked me what I knew about Astrology. Now here is where my acting training came in... If you are asked to do something that you can't do, you say yes and learn it before the next audition. How hard could it be to learn about 12 signs? If I could memorize all parts to a 3 hour play in a week, this would be a cake walk.

I think my response was something along the lines of, "I know a good deal, but would need to learn more."

"What do you know?"

"...Uhhh... There are 12 signs." I responded.

"What's your chart like?"

"I'm a Scorpio..."

"Do you want to take off your coat? It's warm in here." And it was warm. And I was very warm. I didn't want to show my butt torn jeans in this impromptu interview, so on it stayed.

Robert called up my chart. Luckily I knew exactly when I was born thanks to good old fashion German anal retentive record keeping.

We spoke for nearly an hour and at the end of it he struck a bargain with me. A trial period to see how I liked it and how I fit in. I would start out in the back and could eventually work my way to the front.

To this day, I have no clue what prompted Robert to hire an arrogant young woman who knew little about Astrology. I am so thankful he did. But I was eager to learn. I was eager for a new challenge. At that time I didn't know it, but my Venus in Libra on Midheaven really enjoyed the thought of being surrounded by so many beautiful objects.

When I reported for work, my first task was to write all the void moon times and details into a desk calendar. I had a list, and had to use a pictorial guide for the symbols. This took me a long time. I also had to allow for time changes. We were in GMT, so it wasn't as complicated as it could have been if we were in another part of the world.

For weeks the only work I did was the back side grunt work. Mailings, reorganizing this or that, but everything had some type of Astrological lesson strategically built in. I would keep my eyes and ears open to what people said and how they explained Astrology. I learn best by osmosis.

I began to read Astrology books so that I could learn more. Equinox at that time had brochures with neon style Astrological glyphs all around. When I closed my eyes to sleep, I was being chased by Astrological glyphs. What I was overwhelmed with in the daytime, I was teaching myself while I slept.

My learning curve was fast. Robert paid for all his employees to take classes, so I took some.

Soon, I was in my element, working in the front of the shop, which meant dealing with the public. This is something that I really enjoy. Besides learning and feeling more spiritually fulfilled, I also liked the fact that every day at Equinox was a new adventure. Learning Astrology is limitless. People always had different questions and there were always different tasks that needed to get done for the shop to function as efficiently as possible.

I was affiliated with Equinox in one way or another for about 8 years in many capacities. Through Robert and Equinox, I have been blessed to meet some of the world's top Astrologers and to learn from the best of the best.

One thing of note, which I obviously did not know when I embarked on my Astrological journey, but discovered later. Pluto was just starting to transit over my Sun when all this began. This is always a life changing experience. Pluto over Sun literally tears away the old stuff that doesn't work and drags you in the muck over and over. When it finally passes, your outlook is completely changed and like the Phoenix, rising from the ashes, you emerge a new person.

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