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Why Astrology, Numerology, or Kids’ Books Might Be Your Guiding Light

I’ve always liked to make my own meanings to things. When I was a kid, I decided that Astrology was backwards — as in, my sign was actually Capricorn, even though I was born on July 9th — because I preferred working hard to being a homebody.

And why not? Why don’t we feel empowered to take the tools around us and reassign values to them? It doesn’t hurt the systems we’re reworking, they’ll still be there at the end of the day, untouched and rolling along.

Any system which has endured over 1,000 years is certainly going to be pressing on when you get done with it. You won’t kill it if you get your hands dirty and change things around. And you might learn something about yourself.

Be a Cafeteria Spiritualist

My mother introduced me to the concept of someone being a Cafeteria Catholic. These lucky souls pick and choose which doctrines and traditions to follow, saving their faith for spiritually robust beliefs (such as the omnipotent love of god) while tossing away the dross (Spanish Inquisition anyone?). I thought that was brilliant! Why not mine a rich tradition for the good stuff, and let go of that which no longer works?

I’ve wondered why tarot cards aren’t more popular with writers. Many writers will flounder for plot twists and turns, but can’t you repurpose a tarot deck to lead you through a story? If you use prompts, surely tarot decks have richer symbology to work with, juicier connections than providing yourself with just a prop, a setting, a character, etc., at random.

I think a lot of it is the stigma associated with some of the metaphysical systems. Astrology, for example, has been reduced down to providing matching lipstick shades and similar silly fluff. But look at the original use of the art. It was someone’s head if the future wasn’t foretold!

You don’t have to believe it works as is to find tools within it.

Do or die attitudes about systems of meaning

“Weird Al” Yankovic (ironically) writes in That’s Your Horoscope for Today:

Now you may find it inconceivable or rather very least a bit unlikely that
The relative position of the planets and the stars
Could have a special deep significance or meaning
That exclusively applies to only you
But, let me give you my assurance that
These forecasts and predictions are all based on
Solid, scientific, documented evidence
So you would have to be some kind of moron
Not to realize that every single one of them is absolutely true
Where was I?

In fact, you don’t have to believe a word written about the system you are usurping. I merely recommend these systems of belief because they have a lot of interpretive weight already surrounding them.

Take Numerology. You can choose between a Wiccan frame, a tarot related frame, or sacred geometry. You can choose to assign meanings yourself. And voila, you can begin seeing patterns everywhere in your life concerning numbers.

Why is this desirable? It’s something new, something you probably don’t already do. It strengthens the part of the mind which recognizes patterns. And it’s fun to challenge yourself in private ways.

You don’t have to advertise it. You don’t have to admit it in public. It can be a game you play with yourself, for yourself, to give another layer of meaning to things. But that’s the tricky thing about meaning. No matter where it comes from — a disreputable source or the wisest of gurus — it can create real change.

Why wouldn’t you want that?

A more mainstream example

Let’s talk about children’s books. Sometimes seen as superficial as Astrology or Numerology, nevertheless they have a place as a guiding light for some adults.

Take Dr. Seuss. How many copies of “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” are given to graduates and people moving out of state each year? I don’t know the answer, but with it rating #138 in books on amazon, I’d bet it would be in the tens of thousands, if not more.

Many people attach themselves to favorite children’s books characters their whole lives. I know a woman who spells her name “Anne with an ‘e’” out of deference to Anne of Green Gables. Many people feel a connection to the works of Lewis Carrol in our culture, slapping stickers of the Cheshire Cat or the Mad Hatter on their cars or laptops.

Why? Children’s books, like Astrology, Numerology, Tarot Reading, and virtually any other system of assigning meaning, tell us something about ourselves. And if the message doesn’t fit? Fiddle with it until it does.

Stories

Writer Stephen Moffat says:

We’re all just stories in the end, just make it a good one, eh?

Look for ways to enrich your story. Use all the tools at your disposal. At the worst, it’s a diversion. At the best, you might learn something or make a choice that really benefits you.

This post originated on Medium.

Photo by Michael on Unsplash

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in Culture and Current Events, Faith, Non-Fiction, Opinion Piece, Self-Help

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