I never felt much affinity for horoscopes; like how is it possible for one twelfth of the world’s population to have the same thing happen each day? It is transparently absurd. However dismissing astrology on the basis of horoscopes is a bit like eliminating exercise because you don’t like jogging. However it took a dramatic shift in mid life that resulted in me revising my viewpoint. In April 2000 my ex-wife called to reflect on an amazing reading she had received from an astrologer named Shera. I felt curious enough to schedule an appointment and somewhat apprehensively I walked across the Burrard Street Bridge for my appointment on the south side of False Creek. Little could I have realized how my worldview would be reshaped before I made the return trip.
Shera operated out of her apartment; a grey haired septuagenarian greeted me and led me to an area covered in charts; she still drew her astrological charts by hand and all I could see a crisscross of unintelligible lines. She began by making some surprisingly accurate predictions about my family life, my relationship with my father and then began to explore specific time points that showed up on my chart. It was amazing – almost every time point she specified connected with a major event in my life. She was able to look at the chart based on my birth date and tell me in some detail those times in my life when I was experiencing significant challenge or healing or growth. I was quite astonished. Then came one of those pivotal, life-shaping moments that are indelibly stained on my memory. She kept asking me about a major traumatic event that my chart suggested occurred in the early sixties. I could not think of anything. She came back to this particular point three times and it was only about an hour into the session that I remembered that my father had struck me on the jaw with a left hook and knocked me down when I was 17 or so. That would have made it 1961! It had indeed been a pivotal moment in my life eventually resulting in me making a new life in Canada. There were many other amazing moments including some insightful perspective on my two marriages. On the first, “You poor dear you had no idea what you were doing” and on the second, “this was about abandonment and resolving father issues.” Both were unbelievably accurate; my second wife had indeed forced me to recognize that at the age of forty-five I was still scared of my father.
I walked away from the session feeling quite stunned by the implications of the experience. It appears that on the day of my birth the pattern created by the stars at that time created a blueprint of possibility for my life. It confirmed the perspective that I had previously heard that we chose our incarnation and agreed to its purpose before we were born. In ancient Greece there was a belief that we had to drink from the water of the River Lethe to wipe our memories before reincarnation. There were two other major moments from the reading. The first concerned her belief that I was entering the most important phase on my life and that I was to be a teacher. Twelve years ago that seemed a major stretch for my imagination yet here I am a Spiritual Coach, leader of workshops on exploring dreams and intuition and author of Life’s Little Book for Big Decisions. The second seemed almost an afterthought. As I was leaving she mentioned how pleased she was that I had made the major transformation in my life that I had made (from atheist and libertine to truth seeker). At first I thought she was just being kind then I noticed she was still intently focused on my chart. Her finger moved to a point on my timeline in my fifties, “If you had not, I think you could have left the body at this point in your life.”
A startling and sobering perspective reminding me of the many acts of grace that helped me make such a dramatic transition and recalling Dante’s profound words, “Midway this way of life we’re bound upon, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, Where the right road was wholly lost and gone.” How often do we find light out of darkness?