Dear Friend and Reader:
I had a stunning moment reading email recently. Earlier in the year, I sent out a request for proposals for articles on the theme of “you belong here,” for use in the forthcoming annual edition of Planet Waves, Cosmophilia.
One of the first proposals that came back began: “Humans do not belong on Earth. We are a parasite and mutation which invaded the plant and animal kingdoms.”
I was actually shocked by this statement. I thought about this for weeks — actually, for months. At first I was offended; it seemed like one of the most self-defeating ideas I’d ever heard.
Then gradually, it occurred to me that many people feel this way.
Not only do many people feel like they don’t belong where they are; there is a kind of spiritual movement devoted to the idea that humanity is somehow wrong; that we don’t belong on our planet. There are lots of theories floating around — various shades of “mutation” (by aliens) or “invasive species” that you can hear about on late-night AM radio.
Religious sects have long pushed the idea that “you don’t belong in a body” or that the body is merely bait for the devil. Philosophies have emerged over the ages that put humans in a wide variety of no-win and paradoxical situations — the “don’t think about chocolate cake” kind of thing. (Of course the moment you’re told not to think about chocolate cake, you do.) These are all used as some form of proof that humanity, or its state of mind, or its desires — is inherently wrong.
Can any of this possibly be true?
My summer reading project was the book Biophilia by Edward O. Wilson. The book develops the idea that all species are related and the Earth is one living system. The author, a biologist, shares his lifelong curiosity about all forms of life. The idea comes across beautifully. Humans may be a separate species, but we are cousins with everything else that lives, from trees to bacteria to whales and goats.
Bonding with ‘other’ forms of life is one of the easiest things humans do, if we want to. Anyone who has ever had a kitten or a puppy, or felt embraced by a room full of house plants, knows that. Anyone who has ever loved a child knows that. The resonance is intuitive and instinctual. What we think of as ‘spiritual’ is about developing this sense of contact and empathy with all that’s alive; it’s about cultivating biophlilia.
As I was reading, my mind took the idea further. As an astrologer, I read images in the planets and stars, and translate them into human experience. The fact that astrology works demonstrates that we belong in the cosmos. We are part of the cosmic order. And that is the theme of my 2015 annual readings — Cosmophilia: You Belong Here.
My annual readings are published each year in early January. They offer generous, extended written readings, as long as a Planet Waves essay for each sign and rising sign. I then record an hour of audio for each sign and rising sign, complete with original theme music.
I will be covering all of the astrology you’ve been reading about in my “Top Five Events” series — customized for your sign. That includes the Uranus-Pluto square, Chiron in Pisces, the Jupiter-Saturn square, and the three conjunctions of Venus and Mars.
The earlier you get in, the better price you get. You may pre-order all 12 signs and rising signs, giving you 12 hours of audio and 12 chapter-length readings, for $77.
The signs work as one ‘circle of astrology’, and they relate to your birth sign, your rising sign, and then special situations such as your relationships and your children or grandchildren.
You can listen or read on any device that connects to the Internet. Your access never expires. Many people refer to this reading all year, or in future years. The annual edition — now in its 16th year — also serves as a kind of yearbook, with original articles and art, all focused on the theme of belonging.
The all-12 price will increase in $20 increments until publication. We will offer individual signs starting in mid-December, though many people end up purchasing four or more of those, exceeding the all-12 pre-order package. It really is worth getting the all-12 package — you will love it.
Each year the annual edition is like relearning astrology. I must approach the new astrology with a ‘beginner’s mind’, so that I can relate it to you in clear, positive and, most of all, useful terms. I look forward to being your astrologer, and mapping out these very exciting four seasons for you. And, truly, I value the trust you put in me and Planet Waves.
PS — You may read the three other essays in this series, each with original art by Lizanne Webb — You Belong Here, You Are Held by Existence, and Something Subtle You Cannot Describe.
Yes Absolutely we are part of the cosmic order. Yes we are a separate species only because as the privileged children we are the species which carries “freewill”. (As it is said, Use it or Loose it.) Yes we naturally bond with all living matter as long as we remember where we come from who we really are and remember we are it all (which means letting go of the absurd notion that we are separate or separated – ok….. so this is not easy however freewill is the only way to succeed and doubting does not fit the walking-our-talk shoe).
As for us being parasites… well look around! How many of us are really walking the extra mile, truly honouring our freewill to remember AND express we know we are ONE.
(We/ONE of course includes our animal, plant, mineral, and heavenly kingdoms. Each individual makes a difference. Let us stop invading the natural path of beauty, balance, power, and prosperity).
This is all deeply revitalizing to read.
The rather defeatist, human-as-parasite proposal you had mentioned early in this entry sounded off as something quite familiar to me, as I’ve heard it coming from a lot of people in my personal life. To me these lines of thought are too often subscribed to as a convenient modus operandi by which one may shirk the power of the individual to rewrite the human screenplay, & help the collective push out of crumbling, toxic paradigms, even in the most subtle way. It is so much easier to disconnect, sit back and complain about a world and community we are all very much a part of, here and now. It seems to be an edgy fad that is exacerbated by pop culture, technology, narcissism, garbled esotericism, along with a slew of other things. I find it to be highly unattractive and disconcerting.
Perhaps some are half-getting it — humans made a mess, yeah, but what can we do to help? Something small is better than nothing; or, even worse, perpetuating negativity and defeatism.
“What we think of as ‘spiritual’ is about developing this sense of contact and empathy with all that’s alive; it’s about cultivating biophlilia.”
To me your words couldn’t be more pertinent, what with what seems to be a vast, tangled web of desecrated ‘spirituality’. As puma pink said, “How many of us are really walking the extra mile, truly honouring our freewill to remember AND express we know we are ONE.”
I find it imperative for all to remain grounded and connected with mother, Earth, as we explore astrology, spiritually, etcetera — Planet Waves is quite often a graceful reminder. Cosmophilia will be a beacon for many.
Thank you Eric for the consistent clarity in your writing and for the healing vitality therein.
& to quote Terence Mckenna:
“Our world is in danger by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness. And so to whatever degree any one of us can bring back a small piece of the picture and contribute it to the building of the new paradigm, then we participate in the redemption of the human spirit, and that after all is what it’s really all about.”
or as Edmund Burke says, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
As for the Being Here, in general, I was not aware of the Parasite school of thought. Of course, we’re meant to be here, or we wouldn’t be here. The Universe doesn’t screw up.
What has always been a more important theme/concept to me is the idea of a being in/finding a given place or places, which resonate with the soul, giving a feeling of Home – a place where some purpose is played out, where this life, past/parallel lives, self, and soul do a little dance together.
I’ve only been in 2 such places, so far, in my long, and currently very tired life. Finding that Place resonates deeply. It’s incontrovertible. Not being in such a Place is like the soul is adrift, lost in a fog. *Belonging*, to me, means being where I am supposed to be. And when I’m not in that Place, I feel *out of place*, every bit of me crying out to find that bit of Heaven/Home. It actually vacillates between feeling quite sad and desperate. I need it like I need air. The Universe may not screw up, but these off-places feel like I did.
Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m just too connected to how existence is when not in body, and keep seeking those Heavens on Earth, which ping a chord deep inside.
Thank you, Eric for helping us all to remember and re-connect with what we have always somehow known (but sometimes tend to forget) with your prescient choice for an annual edition theme. Many thanks as well to you and Liz for how the presentation so beautifully complements the content.
Let’s take it a step further- people who believe or propagate the idea that we don’t belong here are suffering from a form of mental illness, or perhaps we can call it a spiritual sickness. It is a perverse form of self-hatred, and a denial of the very nature of being alive. We know the human mind is a devious phenomena, for it to be so separated from the life process of the body to the degree where it will concoct and hold onto such nonsense is the result of the on-going experiment in consciousness embodied in our western culture. Epic fail.
Re: “Do Humans Belong on Earth? The Unasked Question,” my immediate thought is that people who think that humans don’t belong on this once-glorious, living planet are alienated from our natural kinship with all life, which has been given the name ‘biophilia.’ And that alienation likely has its source in the dominant paradigm or worldview of Western Civilization, which is ‘biophobic’ and, along with capitalism, has poisoned most societies around the world.
In response to that alienation and its deleterious effect upon the biosphere, two fields of study have evolved within the last few decades to counteract the dominant paradigm and its effect upon human behavior: Deep Ecology and Ecopsychology. Deep Ecology is philosophical and Ecopsychology is a new branch of psychology.
My website Dharmagaians.org offers vast resources on these subjects, which show that there are a lot of people asking and answering questions about whether and how humans belong on this Earth. But you have to go beyond the conditioned worldview and the inane media chit-chat in conventional American society in order to participate in these larger and deeper issues. Being willing to question the dominant worldview, defy conventional norms, and risk NOT belonging within conventional society is very liberating and quite a lot of fun!
Eric, I just pre-ordered for the 12 signs. If I were to gift one sign to a friend, do I just send them the mp3 or the link to the website with a password?
Catherine — call Chelsea or email her about how to give the gift of an annual reading. If you want to get it done now, it might be easiest simply to give your friend all 12.
But if you think that would overwhelm her/him, you can wait until the individual signs go on sale (I think that happens once the annual is published). Definitely check with Chelsea to get a better idea of the price of individual signs for this year, though.
Thanks for asking! We really appreciate it when our readers/listeners give the gift of Planet Waves.