I also went back to an astrology reading that I had had with this same presenter, back in 2004. This was the first reading I had: perhaps for that reason I preserved the envelope with the chart printouts and the cassette tape it had been recorded on. I found what is perhaps the last remaining cassette player in the house and listened to the tape the other day. This was a time when I had had a dificult summer with the friend who had introduced me to the Amma organization. At his insistence we were in a state of separation, which I found quite painful because I had waited for months for him to come back from India so that we could resume the friendship we had begun the previous summer, only to have him start acting out soon after his return because (supposedly) he was facing his problems with alcohol seriously for the first time. (I think, frankly, that acting out was a cyclic pattern for him, and it was just my turn to be a target of it.)
As I listened to the tape, I realized that I liked who I was then. Although I was clearly still somewhat naive about Amma and her organization (which the astrologer, as an adoptive Californian, did not discourage), I was both emotionally engaged and articulate about my situation. I had, by that time, become active in the local Amma satsang and I was also considering entering therapy for the first time since graduate school. (Astrologically, the time when I was in therapy during graduate school occurred just after my first Saturn return. This time was about a year before the Saturn opposition following that and the work that I did with several therapists and astrologers during that period lasted through the Saturn opposition and extended beyond it.) Among the predictions that were offered during the astrology reading (about which I was somewhat puzzled or skeptical at the time) were that I might be traveling within the next year and that there might be change or opportunity having to do with relationships. As it turned out, I had a paper accepted at a conference in Greece and traveled there the following May. Upon my return I began spending time with someone from the Amma satsang who, for a couple of years, was a close friend. (Uranus had entered my 7th house at that time. Uranus can represent someone who is different, free-spirited, off-beat and who is young or otherwise socially inappropriate as a choice for a partner, but who may be someone with whom one might have an unconventional relationship or an unusual friendship.) Another thing about which the astrologer was fairly clear was that my friendship with the person who introduced me to Amma coincided with Neptune square my natal Neptune, which typically signifies a mirage of some sort. It seems that the astrologer (who is also a professional counselor) was encouraging me to consider that, once the glamor had faded from my friendship with that person, it would be best for me to try to let the situation go.
This was a period of unusual social and emotional involvement for me. Since then I have returned to a more stable and sober approach to life, including a renewed focus on my relationship. (Another change that occurred in the area of relationship, slighly less than 2 years after that reading, was that my partner and I had a civil union ceremony. Although I had not explored relationships with other people during the preceding period, this seemed to indicate that a period of emotional distraction would be coming to an end.) It makes sense that, after the period of the Saturn opposition, in which my usual ways of doing things were being challenged, there would be a period of restoration of normalcy, of focus on technique and professional competence, and of "boring" things like financial planning, etc.
As I think back on it now I can also see a clear trajectory away from the Amma organization following my mother's death in late 2007. By then my friendship with the young man from the Amma satsang had become a source of pain and disappointment, although it still had a few nice moments here and there before he reolcated to California. The satsang, and the Amma organization, turned out not to be a place in which my grief over my mother's death (and the lost opportunities for healing my relationship with her that that entailed) could be held or processed adequately. In addition to the therapy I had been doing, I began Rosen method bodywork. I also traveled with my father to Slovakia in 2009, which helped me connect to aspects of my mother's heritage in a new way. In 2010 I visited the columbarium where her ashes are stored for the first (and only time) since her funeral. Coinciding with that, after a period of trying to center my spiritual practice and my interest in astrology within an Indian context, I returned to Islamic spiritual practices and began to learn about traditional Western astrology. This period signaled a sense of renewal and relief after having striven to stabilize my experience in a context which, ultimately, may not have been the right one for me. While I continued to participate in satsang and to attend Amma retreats at this time--and by this time my partner had begun participating in the Amma retreats as well--the motivating force behind that seemed to be fading. After hesitating for a bit in my commitments, in early 2013--soon after my 50th birthday--I ceased all participation in activities related to Amma. Later that year a major exposé on Amma was published and that confirmed that my curiosity about what it would be like to be closer to the inner circle around Amma was at an end. It was around this time that the interest in Slavic languages that had been reawakened following my trip to Slovakia combined with my renewed interest in Islam and I began to turn my attention toward the Bosnian language and culture.
As I may have mentioned in the previous entry, at the recent workshop the astrologer mentioned that transiting Uranus was opposing my natal Sun. Since then I have looked into that and have noted that transiting Uranus has been aspecting my natal North Node/Mars-Sun/Neptune-South Node/Saturn T-square, beginning in May 2019. This process will continue through April 2022. Meanwhile, in connection with my second Saturn return, transiting Saturn will be aspecting this T-square from February 2021 to January 2022 before moving on to aspect other planets as well. I have been thinking that I may want to contact this astrologer to try to walk through the implications of these transits as well as any other significant timing factors that may coincide with them.