When I showed my horoscope to a colleague her comment was: “Oh! this is the worst I’ve ever seen!” Thank God/dess I’d developed a thick skin, because I did not cower under a large piece of furniture.

Her reaction is the reason however, that when I first studied astrology I was very careful to whom I showed my chart. I knew enough to know I had a scary horoscope, so I calculated the possible reactions from recipients of that knowledge. As I learned more I became more courageous, because I was determined to understand if there was a back door to my challenging chart.

Barefoot Beach ©Cucinell 2011

I learned people assume a lot when you have a challenging chart. But parents are not necessarily demons; the child’s perception of who they are tip the scales. Anyone who has parented knows we have our demon moments: sleep-deprived, forgetting, unable to provide something that seems essential. As a metaphysician, I consider this a Sacred Contract; when I was a beam of light, unencumbered by the human condition, I chose my childhood family. But as a parent as well as an astrologer, I do everything I can to support an easier route when I come across a “scary horoscope”… whether that person is still a child or a grown-up.

Please understand, I have very good parents. My mother is one of my most treasured relationships. Yet, I have earned this relationship, having lived through a bitter youth, the eldest of 3 children in 3 years. As an adult, I nearly lost her to a near-fatal accident and through nursing her, we found our way home.

My father is more “complicated”, which even a fledgling astrologer can see from my horoscope. Some time after bonding with my mom, he and I did have a few brief years of blissful co-existence; apologies were made and new conversations forged…. but then his mind started to erode. The irony is I always said he had a “convenient memory”. He would promise things and then claim “I never said that”- devastating to a child with a bear-trap memory. My mother admits now she knows he had that tendency. I think it was the martinis. But whatever the reason, now his memory is as illusive as the landscape of the beach he can see from his window.

My big, strong, handsome father: a god-like statue in my subconscious, is a memory in the flesh. I struggle to recall the imposing man he was- the man I had to talk fast for or duck a question. Now, he forgets the question. I cannot begin to express how sad this is. When he challenged me, I would fight back. Now I drift without the fight and yet, I know it’s my strength, my rudder.

I cannot blame the medication he takes or the martinis he no longer can handle. I have to look within and find the source that fights the status quo. My father the man is no longer the catalyst for my stretch to a new reality. But the man he has become, the shadow of the Trickster is so antithetical to the spark that created me that I have to create a new place in my brain for this.

It is appropriate to rebel against atrophy. As a member of the Baby Boomer generation, I react strongly to nodding into the grave. There is no reason why an 83 year old can’t be cogent and useful. I eat differently, drink differently, exercise differently than my parents… can I be certain I won’t be touched with dementia when I am his age? No. But I can do everything within my power today to be as effective at living my life purpose as I possibly can. And that is the core lesson from “the worst I’ve seen”… is growing up in an environment of fear. When that is your lesson, the antidote is to “do it anyway”. Thank you, my father.

I did learn there is no escape hatch. I have to walk through the front door of “the worst I’ve ever seen” gracefully and to accept all prejudice that may befall me as simple ignorance. Since I have learned that I am the harshest judge, no one else can touch me.

Did you enjoy this post? Get delivery to your mailbox