Queering Astrology

By Amanda Moreno

A week or two ago I attended an afternoon workshop with the Queer Astrology Roadshow — a traveling show of astrological fun that “aims to intervene on western cultural soul-sickness, and foreground the potentials of queers and astrologers to thrive as healers.”

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

I attended for many reasons, the most applicable of which are that while I know “queer” to be a fairly undefinable term, these queer astrologer folks are using embodied practices and trying to re-create and re-imagine myths of gender, sexuality and relationship. I whole-heartedly support this way of integrating and making heady concepts real.

I came across a concrete description of queer astrology in the compiled transcripts from the first Queer Astrology Conference. In summary: “Queer indicates broadly anyone who does not conform to traditional patterns and norms.”

More lengthily, astrologer Rhea Wolf describes ‘queer’ as, “anyone committed to knowing who they are in all their parts without relying on stereotypical, pre-assigned, or socially acceptable notions of gender, sexuality, relationships, time, and space. To be queer is to be open to the moment… to be queer is to focus on the process of creating a life rather than on producing labels, constructing ideologies or manufacturing stability.”

Oh, god. That quote is so good. I have to read it again.

When I come across individuals who recognize the urgent importance of shrugging off labels, living presently and supporting others who are attempting to do the same, my heart flutters. I feel empowered and energized. When I come together with people in spaces where conversations about these concepts are going on alongside embodied practices, I enter a space of active hope — in those moments I know that the world can and is changing for the better and that I am not alone in striving to create that world.

Before I get on a soapbox about the fundamental need we have to break down stereotypes within the astrological community, specifically in terms of gender, sexuality and relationship — trust me, I’ll be coming back to that one in the coming weeks — let me focus on why I believe that focusing on embodied practices within the astrological community is so important.

The summary is: we learn best through experience, and the trauma of the patriarchy combined with the modern paradigm’s over-emphasis on mind have taken us out of our bodies.

More lengthily stated: Our bodies have suffered immensely through the Judeo-Christian paradigm. If we contextualize this in terms of the Age of Pisces and the Virgo-Pisces axis, we see the themes of sado-masochism (self-flagellation both literal and metaphoric), self-sacrifice (to be a good mom I have to sacrifice all of my needs; it’s romantic when we give up everything for each other), and the inherent dirtiness and sinfulness of the flesh.

We can also just take a look at historical trends towards genocide, mass violence, the crusades, the holocaust, and all the other atrocities committed in the name of ‘God.’ These are complex, intersecting themes that play out not only in the way we regard our bodies, but in our mistreatment of and neglect of the physical planet we reside in.

When we view this through a reincarnational lens, these traumas travel with us through lifetimes, lodging in our energy bodies, in our institutions, in our hearts and minds. Regardless of our experiences with violence in this life, we have all been marked by the violence of our system.

About a year ago, when I was in the thick of my own Saturn-in-Scorpio underworld journey, I came face to face with a part of myself I had no idea existed. My energy healer dude was leading me through some kind of letting go, and asked me to lean into mother Earth, into Gaia, telling me to let her help me shoulder the burden, asking me to feel the safety of being in her arms.

My whole body recoiled. There it was: despite my outer persona’s general enthusiasm of dancing upon this Earth, some deep part of me was absolutely terrified of being here. This part knew there was no safety here; even if the land-loving people were peaceful and free, the Earth can shake and move and purge at any time, stealing happiness and leaving grief and doubt. This part of me knew that to think there is safety here is a ruse, and it clenched at my lower spine, my solar plexus and my heart with a stubborn fierceness that brought a somber awareness of just how resistant I am to being here, in this physical body.

It makes sense, of course. I think about my own work in past-life regressions and the number of times my soul has experienced torture, painful and lonely death, and Earth cataclysm — many of which have been in the context of serving as part of one spiritual lineage or another. My soul has experienced the ecstasy of pure faith and belief in god/goddess followed by absolute betrayal of that faith over and over again.

I offer that as a way to connect the dots: we have experienced those kinds of betrayals over and over again under the reign of Christianity — and under the reign of the patriarchy in general. That many words just to say: our bodies don’t necessarily feel safe. There can be a lot of suffering here. We have been categorized, labeled, chained, accused and other-ized into submission time and time again. Add to that our participation in this drama as victim, hero and perpetrator, and the complexity intensifies.

But alas, I do believe we are here to fully inhabit and make use of these flesh suits — these vessels of joy and wonder — and so any time I come across tools that speak to that I pay attention, especially when they involve astrology or depth psychology.

Yesterday I was having another session with aforementioned energy healer dude. I was describing some back spasms I’ve been having as well as my reaction, which has been to freeze and try to stretch it out. His suggestion was that I try leaning into it. Instead of stretching or moving away from the pain, what if I just leaned into it. Just to see what happened, whether it was a release of the muscle, a memory, or an emotion.

The written readings for all 12 signs of Vision Quest are available, and do are the audio astrology and rune readings! Order all 12 signs here, or individual signs here.

The written readings for all 12 signs of Vision Quest are available for instant access, and so are the audio astrology and rune readings! Order all 12 signs here, or select individual signs here.

The next time it seized up, I leaned in. The release was immediate. Seems a fitting metaphor for something — what if we try leaning into our bodies, our experiences and our lives, whether they fit the mold or not?

So, what does ‘queering’ astrology look like? Well, the options are endless, really. In many of the workshops I teach it has to do with spending time at the beginning in some kind of embodiment exercise, be it walking meditation while focusing on a color or element, or just breathing. We sniff essential oils that are reflective of the theme — maybe some black pepper, orange and clove for the optimism of Sagittarius, or some sandalwood and rose for the grounded sensuality of Taurus and Venus.

We talk about relationships in all kinds of forms, rather than just as a hetero-normative binary of “man finds woman; they get lost in each other’s eyes and are bound together forever.” I mean, trust me, I’ve come across those kinds of forever bonds and vows in past lives as well, and they’re not always the best thing.

We also celebrate ourselves as sparks of the divine flowing into and out of manifestation, coming together in community to face the complexities of our current era. Perhaps that’s part of the key to transitioning out of the Age of Pisces and into the Age of Aquarius. There is a way to ease up on the self-sacrifice that honors both the individual and the collective. There is a way to see beyond labels. And there is a way, I hope, of being gentle with ourselves when and if we decide to fully commit to being here, on the Earth, in these weird flesh suits we call the body.

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About Amanda Moreno

Amanda is an astrologer, soul worker and paradigm buster based in Seattle. Her adventures in these forms of ‘practical woo’ are geared towards helping people to heal themselves and the world. She can be found in the virtual world at www.aquarianspirals.com.

4 thoughts on “Queering Astrology

  1. Len Wallick

    I can’t thank you enough for this post, Ms. Moreno. It is the very voice of compassion and sanity expressed with both muscular and sublime artistry. This is one of the best pieces ever to appear on Planet Waves. What you put into it is both clearly apparent and deeply appreciated.

  2. Amanda Moreno Post author

    Wow, Len. Thank you! I’m touched and somewhat speechless. I’m so glad this resonates for you, and hope you know that this kind of recognition — especially from someone I respect so much — is humbling and profoundly meaningful. Thanks for opening the way for me to go back and read it myself and realize it’s a piece of writing I actually like! 😉

  3. Geoff Marsh

    Big round of applause from me too, Amanda. I echo Len’s statement: This is one of the best pieces I’ve read here, and on a subject which is occasionally assumed but seldom discussed in depth.

    Your analysis of the Age of Pisces is agonisingly acute and leads me to wonder what the Age of Aquarius holds in store beneath its cloak of brotherhood; does its Leo polarity mean we all become the leaders of our own lives while meshing seamlessly with the lives of all other inhabitants of our planet? It’s hard to imagine how that might function without the globalisation of soul.

    Thanks once again, Amanda. Terrific piece.

  4. Amanda Moreno Post author

    I wonder about it too. Reading your comment, what came to mind was the absolute privilege of our current situation. As far as I know, this is the first time in history when we can engage a paradigm shift using tools like astrology that help us to see our own shadows in archetypal terms — we get to bring awareness of the Aqua/Leo shadows to the forefront so that we can (idealistically speaking) make the most of it. Huh!
    If that means we all become leaders of our own lives while meshing seamlessly with the lives of all other inhabitants…oh my. What a fantastic vision to strive for, eh?

    I’m inspired 🙂

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