Intro to Solar Return

Today we have another guest blog post by Chicago-based Astrologer and Acupuncturist Dean Scarpinato. I think Dean provides a good overview of my own sense of Astrology and its relation to ego and the Higher/Bigger Self. Many clients ask me about their stars and planets, and I admit that I’m a typical Gemini in this regard: I know a little bit about LOTS of things, and “armchair” Astrology is one of those things. I can hold my own in a general conversation, but Astrology does not fall within my own areas of expertise. Too much math! I do find it a valuable tool for self discovery and understanding of influences, so Astrologers have become some of my most frequent guest bloggers.

A note to readers with “sensitive eyes”: Dean Scarpinato uses some colorful language. Whenever I publish his guest posts, I opt not to edit his occasional expletives, because to do so robs his words of their punch. If, however, you prefer squeaky clean blog posts, then you might want to skip this one. I obviously feel his message is worth sharing, but only you know your own, personal expletive barometer. That said, I hope you enjoy Dean’s lesson:

As an Astrologer I see myself as a teacher. The subject is YOU and so I usually have a pretty captive audience. However, YOU are an infinite being in a material body which YOU needed to put on like a vehicle to wander this here planet. YOU are no more YOUR physical body than YOU are the car you drive.

Big YOU little you. Confusing? The Rasta’s say I and i. There is the God within and then there is the little ego driven insecure paranoid thing who is always wondering “what shall I eat wherewith shall I be clothed,” and “is it nicer clothes than Betty or Veronica, and do you like my new manicure etc.” There is the divine essence that resonates to tears when MLK says “I have a dream,” and there is the petty little ego that says “Go to hell Rahm Emmanuel,” all living inside your body and taking space and substance inside your brain as well as competing for expression within your personality.

“Know Thyself and you will know the gods” said Plato (and everyone else). Clearly then, to know the gods is to know thyself. And so Astrology is the study of the Big YOU and the little you all at the same time. This means that anything I’m talking about in the course of this reading really relates to the little you. It relates to the little you in that the ultimate goal is an integration of your spiritual self with your material self. You will take eternity to figure that out and you will go through no end of bullshit in the process by which karma seeks to teach you these basic truths in a language most confounding and confusing, especially to a “modern” American who lives in a microwave dinner happy ending culture.

This, instead is a long, long lesson in which the first few million years you may not even know you’re in school. Or maybe YOU do but you are asleep because of dogmas and other thought forms put in place (and firmly locked on by those closest to you) by what Bob Dobbs terms a CONSPIRACY or “Cliques Of Normals Secretly Planning Insidious Rituals Aimed At Controlling You.”

In a Natal Chart Reading I often tip toe around things because people come for a number of reasons, mostly curiosity. Religious dogma, cultural conditioning and a host of other human illness blocks the clear channel of communication between myself and my client. One needs to be content with simply entertaining while attempting to slip in a few nuggets here and there and hopefully never offending. This is akin to doing Acupuncture and never zeroing in on the area that hurts. It can be quite effective actually, especially if you can soften the resistance and get the patient to return regularly. If not, well you’ve done no harm and they feel pretty darn good. If so, gradually you can begin the therapeutic process.

And it turns out that this process is little more than helping the client to feel safe while opening him or herself up to the process of change. Then at the appropriate time touching in on the area most in need and letting it begin to dissolve. It requires a lot of patience and a lot of trust in the process. And I, as an Acupuncturist/Astrologer need to maintain that patience and confidence in the face of countless folks who come and go, never experiencing the full value of this work for a myriad reasons that I frankly don’t bother examining. That is because those “reasons” are nothing but leafs on a tree whose root is the same…”they (or I) are not yet prepared.”

The excuses are legion. The root is the same. So it is my responsibility to continue in the face of mad crazy odds to cultivate a clearer core so that in every field of endeavor be it music, Acupuncture, Astrology or whatever, I am better each time I embark upon an act of the spirit. As I continue to mature so do those I encounter. Moreover I get better and better at handling situations and recognizing signs and wonders at the outset. And I gain more and more confidence in the understanding that the problems are many, the root, the same.

But how do you tell a person who just graduated medical school that the reason for their maladies is the very lifestyle that they embrace to make them a doctor (including that big ego boost they get every time they hear the word) as well as the drugs they believe in the way some religious folks believe in the “church” or the “book” or whatever. How do you tell that Type A personality that their problems would disappear if they really learned to relax? The answer is, you need to learn little tricks around their defenses and you need to learn to not take it personally every time your wisdom is rejected. And the best way that I have found is to go into a space where it is the wisdom (the Big “I”) that does the speaking and the healing. Most fortunately that is the greatest reward of this work. I consider it communion with my Holy Guardian Angel and the more I am able to enter into that space, the more worthy I seem to become to bring more and more Light into this world and into the lives of those who consult me.

I preface your Annual Reading with this message because as we go deeper and deeper into your charts more and more of who you are becomes revealed. We can take that right down into the minutia of “Why are these particular things happening to me and what is the best course of action from a physical, emotional and/or spiritual level,” and conversely, “what do you see happening to me in the days weeks months to come, etc.” And that minutia can rise into larger macro type understandings wherein the same set of circumstances can stop always entering your life in the same patterns.

As an Acupuncturist I am often faced with a client who says “when will I be healed?” It doesn’t matter that she’s been through every doctor and every treatment that money could buy for the past 20 years, I have exactly two weeks to fix the problem. The answer that I am prone to give is “when you discover the root of the myriad manifestations and either destroy it with toxic chemicals (thereby giving rise to a thousand petal lotus of new consequences) or lovingly dissolve it thereby coming to know peace.”

Should they persist and say “and when will this occur Dr. Smartass?” I will likely respond “when you truly recognize your own divinity and rest in this eternal peace.” And to those who still don’t get it I respond (though usually not out loud) “when you quitcher fucking bitching and recognize its all perfect right here and right now!” LOL Easier said than done and we’re all working on it. But if you want a magic bullet to all life’s problems there it is.

However, we’re on this road of seemingly endless incarnations either because the Creator is an insane sadist or because there is some greater spiritual lesson to be learned. And actually those two are not mutually exclusive.

And so as an Astrologer the goal is the same but the tools are slightly different. We seek to know thee (Thee). And we do it one step at a time, in little chunks that take a while to digest and sometimes make more sense years later. I am constantly re-reading Astrology texts I read years ago only to glean more and more as my level of understanding increases. The information was there all along I just didn’t recognize its value last time through. The same goes for these readings. Clients re-read them later on and see them much differently than the first time through. For instance, a day may come when you find that the greatest wisdom herein imparted are in the areas that on first reading seem like great digressions from the all important “you.”

But in fact, YOU are one with ALL and therefore the most Universal truths you experience are really of much more eternal value than a consultant telling you which shade of nail polish “you” should wear. And that applies even to seeming matters of “life and death” in this small incarnation. Had MLK shirked his cosmic mission out of fear of dying young a lot of Cosmic Greatness would never have lighted this planet. The same could be said for all of us. Perhaps the reason so many live in darkness is because they are afraid to reach for the Light. And perhaps experiencing the Greater Light is of more consequence than whether or not he said she said approves of what you think say or do. And perhaps the reason for all of our troubles is that we continue to confine ourselves into tiny little boxes to not offend all the tiny little people who promise to love us as long as we don’t upset their tiny little lives.

Lenny Bruce would probably still be alive today if he never said anything of consequence, just kept on telling stupid schmuck Yiddish jokes that nobody laughed at. Instead he laid himself bare for all to see and was persecuted and prosecuted to death for his troubles. But he never backed down even though paralyzed with fear when he didn’t have a friend in the world. And he died young and its all such a tragedy. And 50 years later he was right. He was a prophet, albeit a really messed up one, but then aren’t they all? Look at the folks Jesus chose as his apostles. He didn’t go to the bankers and the pillars of society but to fisherman, whores, corrupt tax collectors and madmen. There is holy greatness in these marginal characters and the Way, the Truth and the Light will bring that out. Every one of them died horrible deaths and today everyone reveres them.

So if the question is “how do I live a long life?” the answer is “keep your head low, never go against the grain of anything, and keep your mouth shut.” If the question is “How do I make the most out of the life I am given?” The answer may be just the opposite. And I guess if the question is “How do I do both?” the answer is “Choose your battles wisely. Strike at the most opportune moments. Do not insist upon recognition and remain forever humble in the wisdom of the Tao.”

And what is the Wisdom of the Tao? What else but “Know Thyself.” And I would add, from the translation by Wayne Dyer, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

(Thanks again to Dean Scarpinato for this peek into Solar Returns. Dean is best reached here on Facebook. If you’re interested in the role of past lives/karma and what you’re manifesting in this lifetime, you might also enjoy my own article, “Past Lives and Law of Attraction.”)

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