There is something to be said about being surrounded by people who understand you. Not quite like how your family understands you or the way a lover might understand you, but the way someone or many someones are on the same channel with you. And when you bring these many someones together in the same space, it creates an unimaginable electric buzz, a palpable feeling of resonance and connection. The United Astrology Conference is just that for any astrologer or would-be astrologer out there.
The Past - 10 of Cups
Before I had committed to being an astrologer, I had no real alignment to my purpose. I had a lot of interests and talents as a kid, but as I grew older the only interests that stuck with me were astrology, the occult, and spirituality. These I perceived as embarrassing hobbies to explore in secret; as an adult I have suffered extreme shame over my occultist leanings.
As I entered the workforce, I lamented over the mundanity and lackluster of living wage jobs. I found myself in positions I hated, completely bewildered that I couldn't find a job I loved. I spent years reflecting and researching possible future careers, but couldn't think of or find anything that excited me until the idea of becoming a working astrologer dawned on me. It both thrilled me and frightened me. On one hand, the idea that I could make a living wage doing something so deeply a part of me was incredible, but on the other, the idea that it required me to identify myself as an occultist terrified me. (Spoiler Alert: It still does.) And so the excuses started rolling in, and with them a lot of my escapist tendencies.
I'm a sensitive person who picks up on signs easily, and as soon as I realized becoming an astrologer was getting the green light, I panicked. I fled towards alcohol, abusive dieting, and emotionally avoidant behaviors. Soon (because I have an extremely indulgent side - thanks Jupiter!), I crashed, and it became evident to me that I was on a moving train (time), unwilling to make a decision.
In the crash, I felt like a void or a vacuum where only nothingness exists. In that emptiness, I realized my path forward was so obvious I had to completely blind myself in order to avoid it. Shaken by the fear of becoming the void, and pulled forward by my love of the stars, I was finally ready to take the leap forward.
As soon as I made a serious commitment to myself to become an astrologer, doors flung open. I saw an opportunity to reduce hours at my day job, to make space for spiritual growth and education. I sought and found teachers who could guide me. I found online community spaces where people had gone through exactly what I was going through. And then all of a sudden, I was on my way to becoming. As soon as I took the leap, there I was landed on my feet. It became apparent that becoming an astrologer was far easier and much less frightening than I had initially expected because I was doing it with love and intention and purpose, and the universe was with me.
The Present - Queen of Cups
There was a point in my studies where I was suddenly able to read a birth chart. That was a lightning bolt of a moment - like a breath of fresh air. It was the moment when I knew I was an astrologer. All these years of reading, studying, living the astrology, and then the concentrated effort to unify the information I had gathered over the years - it all culminated into this beautiful blossoming of intuition and knowing.
That is exactly the same feeling I had at UAC. Suddenly I'm doing it!!
For those who don't know, UAC or The United Astrology Conference is an international conference, the largest astrology conference on earth, in which astrologers known and unknown gather in one space to learn from each other, party with each other, and bask in their shared love of the stars. Many of the astrologers who attend UAC have friendships and community with other attendees. There is a reunion quality at UAC gatherings because so many people are seeing each other after being separated by time and distance. And it is exactly that reunion quality that can make newcomers feel a little isolated initially.
Personally, I didn't know any other astrologers going to the conference (or anywhere else in the world). I knew of a lot of astrologers, and felt some kind of warmth and connection seeing them across a room, almost like spotting a celebrity. But I had no personal affiliation with anyone there - no one to embrace upon seeing - no one to look for or to wait for. I arrived at the conference unnoticed. And that feeling is daunting - it's huge. I was so overwhelmed the first day, that I avoided human interaction at almost all costs. I wonder if that's what stops people from going to these things, or at least causes some pause in the more introverted astro people out there. But I digress... What I'm trying to say is that despite the fear and uncertainty it was all worth it.
Because really, I already knew I belonged even if there was no one who recognized me. I already knew that this was something I had to do in order to become a decent astrologer. It was a gut feeling, something that I couldn't quite put into words, and it only took a little bit of forward motion before my intelligible awareness aligned with the reality. And then, suddenly I was doing it!!
Every conversation I had was interesting - even the most one dimensional ones. Everyone I met, I felt I could trust because they themselves had once been in my position, had once experienced the same uncertainty. And even more interesting were the people who were currently in the same boat: we could share in the raw thrill that comes from doing something you love with people who get it for the first time in your life. And beyond that we all shared this unbelievably insightful knowledge which elevated our capacity to share and connect with others. I felt free to be myself - whoever that was, is, will be. Once I was able to connect with that feeling of freedom, I loosened my grip a little and let the universe work its magic.
I let myself drift, gave myself permission to try anything that seemed interesting to me. To let myself get pulled into whatever direction was pulling me. To my delight, I found the most incredible people and ideas. I discovered that alchemy was a practice I performed often, but something I never had a name for. I learned about aura photography, about my energetic expression, and felt someone really see me. I discovered the incredible and inspiring work of Gary Caton, I learned about secondary progressed mercury from Gray Crawford, I realized that Adam Elenbaas is my neighbor, and I met tons and tons of brilliant young astrologers. I think my favorite was the midnight meditation on Mercury guided by the current president of the Association of Young Astrologers. In the meditation, Danny guided us through a visualization practice after passing around licorice tea to taste and wild lavender oil to smell. It was during this visualization that I received the most incredible downloads and am still seeing the messages play out.
Now that I've returned to my home in the DC area, I feel the incredible buzzing lightning strike of joy start to wear off. And in so doing, I am beginning to articulate all of the experiences that occurred - I'm able to really reflect on how UAC has possibly changed me, definitely inspired me, and reminded me that home is wherever I can be myself fully. I am in the after glow of something incredible, something that I believe (I hope) is only the tip of the iceberg for me.
The Future - Judgement
As I look back to see how far I've come, gratitude wells inside of me. I couldn't have done it without the privileges I've been granted: a supportive spouse who makes an income that can support my part-time hours - an encouraging parent who always believed in me - and the physical time and energy it takes to invest in doing what you love. I also can't help but take pause to reflect on the countless unjust systemic privileges that shouldn't have been but were that got me to where I am now.
As I take in my present, I feel a lot of energetic currents moving around me without knowing where they will take me. I feel excited, a desire to keep engaging with the electricity I've felt and the freeing experience it is to be one's true self.
I can see how being my true self is going to be a challenge for me, and am not surprised by Judgment's appearance here. As I learned at UAC, it's important to let go of the ideal long enough to go out and experience life - to share with others and expand. Fear that I will be ridiculed, harshly critiqued, and even possibly attacked for my beliefs is something that I've had to combat all of my life.
But then I remember all of the lessons I've learned so far, all of the electricity around me, and I have to say fuck it!
Here I am. I am here. See me.
Thank you for exploring my UAC experiences.
With love and gratitude,