Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Moses
The Sun is in 3 Gemini (in my 9th house): Holly and mistletoe reawaken old memories of Christmas. (Symbol for 4 Gemini from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)
The Moon is at 3Lib31 (in my 1st house). Lunar mansion (according to Ibn 'Arabi): 15, The Fifth Sky, Sky of Venus and House of Joseph, letter Rā, The Form-Giver (Al-Muṣawwir)
Lunar phase: First Quarter - Action (phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)
Later this morning, the Moon will enter my 2nd house.
It has been a long time since I wrote anything here. We are now a week and some into Ramadan, and it is generally going well.
One of the themes that I am reflecting on this Ramadan is how the last 15 years--the time I have spent in my current teaching/research position--have been different from how I expected they might be. Usually I have seen this in terms of personal failure: why haven't I published more articles, or a monograph? Why haven't I found my way to serving on more editorial boards, etc.? Why has my social life seemed so stalled for most of the time I have been here? Why did I desperately go after spritiual community and friendship when they seemed within reach? Why did those efforts fail? Etc.
As the academic year was winding down, and as I was preparing myself to begin fasting for Ramadan, I began to notice a shift in my way of framing these questions. Yes, it's true that I had hoped for more productivity and for more professional mentoring in the position that I assumed 15 years ago, but so what? I did manage to achieve tenure. I have absorbed a greater range of responsibilities on my job without completely falling apart. On a personal level, I am glad that the people who once dominated my social life so strongly are now gone. There was a lot of "noise" that went along with that intensity (or "magic") and I don't want that now. Additionally, after lamenting that I couldn't find time to practice the piano this academic year, I started doing it again, every day.
I think another thing that changed my perspective is that I went to a presentation on the possibility of changing from my 403b to a hybrid version of the state retirement plan. Even though it may not be realistic to do so, I began to think about the option of grandfathering into a soon-to-be-phased-out plan in which I could be eligible for retirement in 7 years. Previously, I had assumed I would need to continue working for 12 years or more just to be able to save enough for a modest retirement. Once I began thinking in terms of a shorter period of time rather than in terms of trying to save up to a certain amount in order to retire (with a significant amount of those savings being wiped out during the current market "correction"), I began to prioritize certain projects while letting go of a general sense of feeling that I have to "do it all" merely in order to be marginally acceptable.
Among the things that I have achieved in the 15 years in this position are the recordings that my friend and former colleague produced on his private label. Some time ago, I came to realize that these projects were virtually a dead end in terms of distribution, since his label has no distribution strategy. Nonetheless, the recording of Rudhyar's piano music has served as a calling card to composers and astrologers and has helped to enrich my contacts with musicians and authors. One of those authors is Erin Sullivan, whose book on the astrology of midlife and aging was featured on a list of top astrology books on Facebook recently. I began re-reading it, realizing that the last time I had read it I was in the midst of the intensity of my experience in the Amma organization. Now, as I read it, I am ready to accept the ups and downs of that period as a part of my personal story, and not an experience in which my emotions were under the direct control of others (as I had experienced it at the time). Yes, the atmosphere of that time was thick with projection/transference, and yes, that was a necessary component of the processes that were working themselves out at that time. Now things are different. Yes, there is alienation, but I am no longer trying to overcome it in the ways that I did then.
Finally, in addition to salat, I have adopted the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Morning Zikr as a daily practice. It's of an optimal length to do while I'm walking on the trail, which presents a pleasing image of the idea of being "on the path." I find that it is a strong enough practice to effect a noticeable shift in consciousness, without being too much. Perhaps because it comes from a South Asian source, it brings me back in some ways to the times when I used to do my Amma archana on the trail, although it is definitely free of the baggage associated with that organization. I typically then follow up with a recitation of the 99 Names, and then I perhaps seek out an audio and/or video of the same on my phone. Today I found a nice one by a young Bosnian woman.