Getting Weird With It – Astrology & Travel Privilege

Getting Weird With It – Astrology & Travel Privilege

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If you can’t tell from the title this is going to be a bit different type of post. Even if you think astrology is complete bunk stick around and read this post because you might learn something. Or don’t you have free will. If you want to check out something else here’s something for you.

I got interested in astrology when I was probably 13 or 14. I’d read my horoscope in Cosmo magazine and then got a book called The Only Astrology Book you’ll ever need. While it’s a really good book about astrology there’s more I’ve learned about astrology beyond that one book. I’ve started reading natal charts for some friends, but I’m not doing this for the public for the public, so don’t ask.

I’m not an expert or a professional, and there is a lot to astrology I haven’t learned. Although astrology involves calculations (most astrology websites and apps will do for you nowadays) and ancient astrology did lead to modern astronomy I should state for the record that astrology is not a science and cannot be proven with our current scientific method. Much of astrology is about archetypes and correlations. If you’ve studied any type of science, psychology or rhetoric you know that correlation does not equal causation. Basically the planets or signs or whatever else in astrology does not make you behave in a certain way. As I mentioned earlier you have free will.

I caution people not to use astrology a replacement for medical advice/treatment, therapy, legal services or any other type of professional advice. I see it as a tool of study to help me understand myself and my relationships with other people. Again this isn’t a replacement for therapy, counselling or any other type of psychological or psychiatric service. Some people use astrology for very superficial purposes. Others use it in a more spiritual/esoteric way. It’s up to you how deep you want to dive.

There’s a lot to astrology and this isn’t a post where I’ll teach you a lot about it, but I wanted to speak on Neptune. In a natal chart, which is a chart made the moment someone is born, there will be planets. This includes the planets of our solar system (minus earth since the natal chart is cast from the perspective of earth) as well as the  sun, moon, and Pluto. Yes, these last three are not technically planets but that’s the term they’re given in astrology.  There will also be 12 zodiac signs, and if the person knows the time they’re born there will also be 12 houses.

I like to explain it like this; planets are like energy, the sign the planet is in is how that energy is expressed, and the house the planet is in (if a birth time is given) shows the area of life in which that energy is playing out. Some planets move through a sign really quickly (the moon is the fastest spending only 2.5 days in a sign) and other planets move through a sign slowly (like pluto that can take about 20 years to go through a sign). 

Neptune is one of the slower moving planets. It takes up to 14 years for it to go through a sign. These slower moving planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) are known as the outer or generational  planets because they’re affecting a larger portion of the population. From 1970 to 1984 Neptune was in the sign of Sagittarius. In 1970 some people may have had Neptune in Scorpio (the sign before Sagittarius) and in 1984 some people may have had Neptune in Capricorn (the sign after Sagittarius) so you’d need to check your specific birth date if you were born in those years. I was born in 1984 and have Neptune retrograde at 29 degrees Sagittarius. Each zodiac sign is 30 degrees, and most websites/apps start at 0 degrees. This means I was born when Neptune was in the last degree of Sagittarius. Due to it’s long orbit Neptune won’t be back in Sagittarius until the year 2133. If you’re curious about where Neptune was when you were born you can put in your birth information here.

This seems a little meandering, but there’s a point. Neptune is a generational planet and represents fantasy both in positive and negative ways. Whatever sign Neptune is in is represents something we idealise, which can be good. It’s good to be optimistic and high minded in some regards. But it’s also an area where we can be deluded. I liken Neptune’s energy to driving somewhere new when it’s really foggy and you can’t see. You might think you know what’s on the other side of the fog, but you could be wrong. You might imagine rolling green fields only to get to the other side and find a barren wasteland.

Sagittarius in very broad archetypal strokes is a sign about many things, but it mainly represents expansion and exploration. Seeing the world and travelling, learning about different religious and spiritual beliefs and philosophy, learning about other cultures and customs, attending higher (post-secondary education). Beyond learning for just the sake of  learning or to win at trivial pursuit Sagittarius wants to share their knowledge and experience with the world. This is a very archetypal description and depending on what planets (if any) someone has in Sagittarius and where it is in a natal chart this can be expressed in a myriad of ways. 

For people like myself born with Neptune in Sagittarius we are deluded by Sagittarius things, and as you can see one of those things is travel. This is how I use astrology, not to prescribe to a certain way of thinking or behaving, but to describe, because I have idealized travel (and some of the other Sagittarius traits) to a high degree. In regards to travel part of me still believes everyone should travel and get to meet different people, and if we could all travel and learn from other cultures and other beliefs and share our knowledge the world would be better. We’d all be holding hands singing It’s “A Small World After All.”

Okay, that last part was a bit much. But during the pandemic I’ve distanced myself from travel, not just the actual travel (which has been hard if not impossible to do for the most part) but also from the idea of travel. I stopped reading travel blogs, and looking at travel photos on Instagram. I stopped reading travel memoirs. I stopped researching potential trips. I stopped looking up airfare and hotels for fun. I stopped google mapping random places.

Instead I started to get on TikTok and Instagram and follow accounts that weren’t about travel. And I began to see that my dream of “everyone should be able to travel,” as great as that may seem, is not realistic. Not everyone can afford to travel. Not everyone has access to passports and visas and other requirements for travel. Not every country is open to travel (particularly during the last two years, though I think most countries are starting to lift pandemic travel restrictions and bans). Some people may face discrimination or worse in certain countries. For example this website ranked the top 150 countries for travel for 2SLGBTQIA+ peoples and gave negative rankings to 41 countries. And with what’s happening in countries like Ukraine, and Syria among many others there some places that aren’t safe to travel to right now. Of course with this last example priority and help should be given to the people living there are well as refugees who’ve had to flee to other countries. 

Sagittarius is also a sign denoted by optimism and spirit. It’s expansive and generous, so I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer and tell you don’t travel anywhere ever again. But on previous incarnations of this blog I was very big on the message that anyone can travel if they want and it’s easy to do. A lot more people could probably travel if they wanted to (and it should also be said not everyone wants to travel or to travel in the same way I do), but not everyone will be able to. And not everyone will get the same access to travel as someone else. 

When I lived in Ireland I was looking for a place to live I remember seeing a place in the town of Malahide. And looking for places to live often involved long conversations with your potential roommates. At this one place the guy I talked to was from the Basque region in northern Spain, and our conversation got to travel. And he expressed puzzlement at the idea of a classic American or Canadian style road trip since that wasn’t the type of travel he was used to or preferred. That was the first time I met someone expressed no interest in the idea of a road trip in any capacity. For me growing up on the Canadian prairies the road trip was basically how we did vacations. I couldn’t understand the idea of not wanting to hit the road, blast some tunes to sing along to, and stop to see some “World’s Largest” type of attraction. 

I mean if you’re going through Donalda, Alberta you might as well stop to see the World’s Largest Oil Lantern.

See I even have my idealized types and ways to travel. And I like to think I’m pretty open minded but in the past I’d secretly judge people not because they didn’t travel but for not wanting to or even being open to the idea of it. Like when a former boss didn’t understand why I’d bother going to New Orleans in 2012 since she expressed it wouldn’t be the same since Hurricane Katrina. Like, I’m sorry Diane I didn’t get a chance to go to New Orleans before then. 

The downside to Sagittarius (as an archetype) is that they can be a bit of a know it all (if you couldn’t tell), and can even be a bit dogmatic in their beliefs. If you’ve ever stayed in a hostel you’ve like met a version of a what I call “hostel know it all.” When the conversation of travel and where everyone is going next this person is quick to chime in with their judgements of every place “that place was great and you have to do this, don’t go to this city because it’s boring.”

I’ve done a lot of introspection and mind expansion over the last two years to try to get away from that point of view. I never liked positioning myself as any kind of travel expert, but as just an enthusiast. I don’t want to give some impression that I don’t like travel and think it’s beneath me or anyone else. There are still places I want to visit and places I want to return to, but there’s a lot less urgency to this feeling. There may be places I never get to visit, and I’ve come to accept that. 

Some might think it’s stupid astrology made me realize this. True maybe it was just staying home a lot during these past two years and getting older. Then again I’ve gotten into astrology a lot these last two years. But correlation again doesn’t equal causation. And I can’t say someone else with Neptune in Sagittarius will have this same experience and realisation about putting travel or the idea of travel on a pedestal, but that’s my experience and I wanted to share it.

In keeping with the optimism of Sagittarius I’ll say I’m taking a trip to Vancouver in May with a couple of friends. Not sure if I’m ready for international travel quite yet, but since I’ve been to Vancouver before this will be a nice way to dip my toes back into travel. Plus I’ll get to spend time with friends and to see the ocean. It’s been a few years since I got to see the ocean.

Last time I was in Vancouver was June 2019. This is the view from Granville Island.

Have you gotten into astrology? And are you planning on travelling anywhere this year?

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