The Shape of Each Soul


February 4, 2019 at 1:04 pm PST / 9:04 pm UT

The Moon and Sun Conjoined at 15°45'Aquarius

two years oldWhen I was a kid, I was drawn to the unusual. At the ice cream store, given a choice between chocolate, vanilla, or something altogether new and different, I almost always opted for the weirdest, most off-beat flavor, even though I had to endure some amount of ribbing from my sister who would sneer over her standard scoop of chocolate chip at my "disgusting" pink bubblegum or strawberry cheesecake.

Food choices weren't the limit of my eccentricities. I also preferred hikes in the woods over trips to amusement parks, and one Christmas I asked Santa for a rock tumbler and science kit, something that — given it was the 1960s and I was a girl — was quirky, at least for my conservative northern Virginia hometown. But probably one of the best/worst weirdo things was the fact that I played the unacceptably geeky violin.

I was forever doing the "wrong" thing, but not in a deliberate, attention-getting kind of way. I was different without even thinking about it, without any effort at all, just naturally, inconveniently oddball. Of course this often led to my feeling like an outcast, the kook who doesn't fit in. But in all honesty, for the most part, I didn't really want to blend in, to do what everyone else was doing. I was compulsively drawn to take other approaches, to answer my weirdo's call. Yet in pursuit of this strange brand of happiness, I often inadvertently rubbed people the wrong way.

I was born with the iconoclastic sign of Aquarius on the Midheaven, which is the "public sector" — that piece of horoscope pie that represents our true place in the world: our public role, calling and life purpose. To have Aquarius here, in the number 10 house, is to be compelled to reject a life that follows easy, conventional lines, and to push against the status quo in some way. But being different can be a lonely experience, even for cool, intellectually-detached, mad scientist Aquarius.

As soon as I left childhood behind and entered the hostile world of junior high school, the pressure to conform, fit in, be hip — to adopt, wholesale, that entire cool package: the right clothes, lingo, musical tastes, lipstick color, was ratcheted up to a painfully intolerable pitch. For the first time in my life the threat of rejection and loneliness won out over such "childish" needs as expressing myself, and I began to hide my unusual tastes and uncool interests. Down it went, all of it, pushed below the surface and buried painfully deep: the pink bubblegum ice cream, the green glitter nail polish, the fascinating UFO stories, the ambitious desire to master Mendelssohn's Violin concerto. It was then I quit playing the violin even though I had real talent and promise, and joined the chorus, literally and figuratively.

And so, all of my delicious weirdness went underground, that is until I hit 40 and these disowned and ignored aspects of self — "the unlived life" — quite unexpectedly rose up out of the depths and would not let me be. It was then, that I started to resurrect many of my old interests from childhood, one of which was astrology. And it was through my study of astrology that I learned that all these quirky interests and tastes of mine, were just my own, very natural way of expressing that free-spirited, Aquarian 10th house.

My Inner Hippie

The soon-to-come New Moon will fall in dare-to-be-different Aquarius, and the Aquarian emphasis on following your own true path, however different that may be, is an important message for all of us right now. Every one of us has Aquarius encamped somewhere in our charts, where our inner hippie/oddball/mad scientist resides, and where the light of our soul wants so very much to shine in all its beautiful, unique zaniness. The Aquarius New Moon marks a month for reconnecting with that funkier, wilder side we all have, that's been waiting so very long and patiently to hear a good UFO story and have a scoop of pink bubblegum ice cream.

* * *

I'd like to leave you with a benediction from a favorite writer of mine, one I've shared before, but so very Aquarian, it bears repeating. Excerpted from an essay, "The Sin of the Unlived Life," this is by the late John O'Donohue, the passage from his lovely book Anam Cara (Gaelic for "soul friend"):

The shape of each soul is different. There is a secret destiny for each person. When you endeavor to repeat what others have done or force yourself into a preset mold, you betray your individuality. We need to return to the solitude within, to find again the dream that lies at the hearth of the soul. We need to feel the dream with the wonder of a child approaching a threshold of discovery. When we rediscover our childlike nature, we enter into a world of gentle possibility. Consequently, we will find ourselves more frequently at that place, that place of ease, delight, and celebration. The false burdens fall away. We come into rhythm with ourselves. Our clay shape gradually learns to walk beautifully on this magnificent earth.

— John O'Donohue


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This is a repost of an article written for the Aquarius Full Moon in 2010.

The black and white photo at the beginning of this post is me, taken in 1961 on my second birthday.

The photo of the "magic bus" is from a fun photo site, Hippie Mobiles: A Collection of Psychedelic Buses, that unfortunately no longer exists.