Example essay

How Astrology Helped Me Embrace My Fluidity

“You know,” confessed my former colleague, “you don’t really act like a Gemini.”

It was May 2018, and my co-workers had taken me out for an after-work drink at a Hell’s Kitchen gay bar in honor of my 22nd birthday. I had become particularly friendly with this colleague. On a team of mostly gay cisgender men, we both stuck together. We quickly bonded over common interests that our male colleagues could not understand: Janelle Monáe dirty computervibrators that look like necklaces, and of course, astrology.

I had barely dipped my toes into the daunting vast ocean of astrological study; in comparison, my colleague had the technical astro knowledge of a scuba diver. So when she offered to pull up my birth chart after a tequila soda or two, I almost jumped out of my seat with excitement. She proceeded to show me a circular wheel covered in strange glyphs and explained everything from my rising sign to my misunderstood sun in the 12th house. I gave up the hard stuff for the water and listened as carefully as I could, desperate to memorize its cosmic wisdom.

In this dimly lit bar, my world tilted on its axis. My colleague was right: I didn’t look like a Gemini, nor resonate with all the stereotypical characteristics of the sign, because I had a whole natal chart full of planets and different placements in play. And get this, the planets in the sky were also moving in real time! These planetary movements, or transits, could ping different parts of my astrological chart and reflect key turning points throughout my life.

I felt validated beyond belief. It was as if the universe had given me permission to complicate the stories I was telling myself, about myself. And one complex story in particular had become increasingly difficult to ignore: Like the planets above, my sexuality and gender expression were in flux. I no longer identified with the labels “lesbian” and “butch,” which I had used since my teenage years.

Seeing my birth chart for the first time reignited my passion for astrology, which I now study and practice seriously. As I soon learned, Gemini is one of the four mutable zodiac signs known for their adaptability and flexibility. According to Hellenistic astrology expert Chris Brennan, ancient stargazers called the signs mutable “double body signs.” The phrase refers to the four mutable signs, but I find it particularly resonant for Gemini, the sign of Twins. Us Gemini placements can hold room for multiple truths at once, even when they contradict each other.

Case in point? I am a bisexual fluid person who is attracted to people of multiple genders with fluctuating abilities. I came out publicly as bisexual in June 2018, less than a month after that fateful birth chart reading at a gay bar. It was mostly well received. I worked in LGBTQ+ media, after all. Surrounded by other queer people knowledgeable in the language of gender and sexuality, I felt safe and validated.

But the moment I left my gay oasis at work, I encountered obstacle after obstacle. My parents didn’t understand why I went back to my old identity label and couldn’t “just be gay”; Well-meaning friends thought my bisexuality was probably just a phase and suggested I stop spreading it to the world so I could “get it all.” The message was clear: while being gay was acceptable, fluidity was too much to bear.

I internalized so much biphobic rhetoric – about being “greedy”, about not being able to make a decision – that I started to abandon my principles. I was writing a scathing op-ed for a job on the harms of “gay gold-star” language, only to have a girl I saw brag about her arbitrary badge over a drink. When people mistakenly called me a lesbian, I nodded instead of correcting them. As I indulged in my gender fluidity, the situation became even more dire. I would wear pants to outdoor work events in 100 degree weather for fear of making others uncomfortable with my leg hair and bold tattoos making my gender somewhat illegible.

Worse still, I would fall into a vicious circle where I would feel even more shame when my actions in private did not match the values ​​I expressed publicly. You of all people should know best, I berated myself in my head, afraid to even journal my self-betrayal. And for a word-oriented Gemini, this inability to express my innermost thoughts and feelings was overwhelming.

Research estimates that bisexuals are the majority of the LGBTQ communityyet we are much less likely than other subgroups to come out of the closet. If this sounds counterintuitive, let me explain: being bisexual can seem like an unwinnable game of having to “prove” the validity of our identity, especially if we experience varying degrees of attraction to people of different genders in the world. over time. We embody the nuance, the in-between. In an algorithmic world bent on carefully labeling everything and everyone, fluency of any kind is a threat.

But astrology predates our category-obsessed capitalist society. He reserves room for paradoxes, both ands. You can have a Sun fire sign and a Moon water sign. Neither cancels out the other, and both are part of your unique cosmic plan.

The planets crossed the sky without shame or fear. Why can’t I do the same?

My experience is mine alone, and I’m not saying that all Gemini placements experience sexuality and gender identity as fluid. But exploring the expanses of my birth chart—including, you guessed it, my Gemini Sun—gave me the perspective I needed to free myself from internalized shame.

As astrologer Chani Nicholas writes in his bestselling book You Were Born For This: Astrology For Radical Self-Acceptancee“You are not just a Virgo or a Gemini or a Libra; you are a moment in time, with every sign, planet and point playing a role in who you are, how you move through the world and what you came to do here. By now you know that I am a Gemini Sun. I am also a shy and deeply emotional Cancer Rising ruled by a loud and dramatic Moon in Leo. If my birth chart is indeed a microcosm of my life, then I am a living, breathing contradiction, and I guarantee your graphic paints an equally complex picture.

I became intimately familiar with my “big three,” as we astrologers sometimes call the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant signs, through both study and observation. When I wasn’t greedily devouring Brennan episodes astrology podcast, I kept a diary retracing what certain transits made me feel. I took comfort in seeing how my dominant mood fluctuated as the Moon moved through the signs of the zodiac, and marveled at how my core energy levels matched the movement of the Sun through the 12 Houses.

Over time, it became easier to release the negative emotions that I had long associated with fluidity and fluctuation. The planets crossed the sky without shame or fear. Why can’t I do the same?

I began to assert my bisexuality and gender fluidity with genuine pride, correcting people who portrayed me incorrectly and experimenting with different clothing styles and haircuts to affirm my ever-changing sense of gender. I leaned into my natal Venus in Gemini, which promotes an adaptable aesthetic. It’s really an ongoing process – I’m still figuring out which gender pronouns are right for me, for example – but I feel more comfortable with who I am and how I present myself to the world than ever before.

In the words of poet and fellow Gemini Walt Whitman, I contain multitudes. I also experience fluidity – in my identity, my gender expression and who I want to fuck with. Thanks to astrology, I now embrace these essential parts of who I am as they are written in the stars.

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