2013 Wellness Challenge Week 26: Read your Horoscope
Okay, so this week’s challenge is a bit of a funny one and it’s also much different than you might initially think. Plenty of people read their horoscope, but many people don’t know how to actually use the information in a meaningful way. It’s one thing to read your fortune for the day and another thing altogether to take each day’s prediction as a challenge of observation, strategic decision-making and action. More up-front investment of time and energy for sure, but with an unbeatable long-term return.
The Difference Between Astrological Quackery and Real Good, Practical Star Reading
When I lived in Boulder, there were a lot of people that would chalk up the circumstances in their life to their astrological sign as if things were happening to them simply because they were a Capricorn. The best was when they started talking about some kind of “rising” principle, waning and waxing of the moon and other weird complexities of the astrological chart that had them convinced life was out to get them.
The way they talked about their sign reminded me of my good friend’s monthly high school newspaper horoscope predictions, which often included certain mauling by bears because of the placement of Jupiter in Uranus (followed by the expected immature comment about Uranus). Utilizing literary freedom and a good dash of humor, his wildly popular horoscopes captivated the 14-18 year old crowd and had us anxiously awaiting our fate each month for nothing more than a good laugh. We knew it was a joke and we reveled in how outlandish a demise we could muster in any given month. We thought astrology was a quack because we didn’t know what to do with the predictions. More accurately, we didn’t know ourselves well enough to understand how real astrological predictions could apply to our problem-ridden drama-full lives. What a shame.
I thought astrology was just as much of a quack as the next person, except for the fact that I do embody my sign almost to a tee. I’m a Taurus in just about every way a Taurus is described and I find that quite uncanny. Curious about this, I did a little more looking into things.
In yoga, there is an Eastern astrological system called Vedic Astrology, which is even more complex than the Western version. It was a Vedic astrologer that first foretold my future by looking at my charts and it was this same astrologer and system that encouraged me to transcend my fate rather than let the stars dictate. Fitting, considering I’m a Taurus and love a good fight. I like this use of astrology much better than the more common read-and-obey version most people think of when they read a daily, weekly or monthly horoscope.
If you read your daily horoscope, you’ll be reminded of an issue that is likely to be present in your life based on your sign. Don’t ask me how they find these likenesses to be so damn compelling and true. It’s up to you whether or not it’s useful to live under the auspices of your sign or to do the personal work to overcome your limitations and transcend the life prescribed to you.
In Lissa Rankin’s new book Mind over Medicine, she cites an interesting research study that found what happens when you listen to your fate. The study found Chinese-Americans who culturally were brought up to believe in the Chinese zodiac died earlier. It wasn’t because of their genetics, rather “
Turn out, it could be dangerous to listen to the stars and not do anything about it!
Taking the extra step to transcend their fate, by the way, is what makes people extraordinary. The stars will give you an ordinary life with ordinary human problems that we’ll all experience. But if you try and figure out why those problems are problems and do the work to figure out solutions, you can rise above your fortune. (Unfortunately, I don’t think this is what they mean by Leo rising or whatever the heck that is all about.)
This is how I think the horoscope is really meant to be used.
Why Reading Your Horoscope Can Be The Best, Free Personal Development Tool Out There
This past weekend, I got the opportunity to hear Danielle Laporte speak at World Domination Summit. She said something to me that resonated so much I just have to share it here. Because I’m a Taurus, I have a propensity to fierceness. Over the years, and by years I mean 2 or 3, I’ve learned how to tame that fierceness to live a better, more relaxed but equally meaningful and successful life. This exploration has led me to follow my passion and help you find flexibility, stress relief and contentment in your life amidst busyness, work shit and life drama.
Danielles encouraged us to show up in our lives with both fierceness and flexibility. To be exact she preaches:
“Be fierce with flexibility.” (Click to tweet)
It’s that sweet yogic paradox that rang so true and embodied so much of the personal work I’ve been doing and the message I’m trying to spread.
It’s also the ideal application of transcending your daily, weekly and monthly predictions by the stars.
To give you an example, here’s a look at a partial distilled version of my horoscope last week:
Monday: Ask for what you need.
- Funny it should bring up the fact that I’m absolutely horrible at asking for anything because I’m so fiercely independent. Yeah, I have problems asking for what I need.
Tuesday: Start at the beginning and put one foot in front of the other.
- Great advice, considering I’m such a dreamer, achiever and the most impatient person ever! Again, all qualities of my bullishness.
Wednesday: Honor your instincts and take a chance.
- Nice. Too bad I love plans and fear spontaneity.
Thursday: Follow your whims.
- Again with the spontaneity. I get it already.
On the one hand, I could define myself as the person the stars and the bull want me to be. I could remain fiercely independent and not ask for any help. But I’ve already tried that and it doesn’t work so well.
Or I could learn to ask for help, complete with all the discomfort that will inevitably go along with learning how to receive and transcend the personality traits some people take at face value. Not only will I be better off for receiving help, but I will be a better person with a new skill that will help me for the rest of my life. Better option, and yes, also the harder way. Turns out holding on to my fierceness while introducing a bit of flexibility ends up being a great way to both live and overcome my fate.
Horoscopes can be insanely valuable if you actually take action from them. If you read them and then let that flavor your day, you’re taking the easy way out on life and frankly, giving up on living.
Now you may be asking right about now how reading horoscopes can possibly add to relaxation or wellness in your life if it’s one more hard, time consuming thing to work through.
This is a long-term wellness strategy that will teach you about yourself, show you exactly where you need to focus your attention and help you understand the places in your life that need the most work. Luckily, this exact information is a valuable tool in that it helps you narrow down your problems so that you can take specific actionable steps to solve them.
When you don’t have information, there’s no way you can define the problem and a solution is near impossible to find. So read your horoscope a little differently this week and see what it brings up. You’ll save a ton of time and energy over the long run.
A new way to let the signs guide you
Step 1: Do a little reading on the core traits of your sign and then see how each trait resonates with you. Do you agree or disagree? Do you see these qualities show up in your life on a regular basis or do you disagree with your sign’s basic assessment.
Step 2: Become aware of how these concepts show up in your life on a daily basis. Start with just one week and keep a note in a journal or on a post-it or piece of paper to track your experiences, observations and thoughts about the various themes that show up in your daily life and in your horoscopes. The more attention you pay to any given thing, the more you’ll notice it starts showing up.
Step 3: By the end of the week you’ll have a good idea of the things you can work on more and be able to seek out specific information to help you overcome those particular problems in your life – if of course you think they’re problems in the first place. Just by taking a different perspective on a once quacky habit, you’ll have access to a host of self-knowledge that you can start using immediately to find more happiness, contentment and joy in your life.
I’m not an astrologist, and I don’t even know that astrology is supposed to be used this way, but I do know that I found my experiment with astrology to be incredibly useful when applied strategically and with a little extra thought.
Now that you’re aware of what you need to work on, simply because you paid attention to how you and your sign shows up day in and day out, you’ve got a much easier job refining specific areas of you life rather than floundering around thinking you’re a complete failure because nothing is working and you can’t figure out why you’re so unhappy. You could also hire a life coach, therapist or medical intuitive (all of whom I’m a big fan) and spend thousands of dollars to find the same issues. Your choice.
Based on my astrology experiment, my next steps are to:
- Work on inviting spontaneity into my life
- Practice patience
In fact, you’ll probably see these same lessons show up in later wellness challenges 😉 What are yours?
Do you know someone who loves to read horoscopes or is really into astrology? Send this article to them and give them a whole new way to play with the stars!
- Astrostyle.com (free and paid options)
- Sedona Journal of Emergence (paid magazine subscription with fabulous monthly and yearly predictions)
Image credit: p_chanpie
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