Personal Progressions

It’s been a process y’all.  So here it all is in black and white:  my history and evolution.
For as long as I can remember my professional identity has been “clinical social worker.”  I had the loans, the hours of supervision, tomes of books, and CEU’s to prove it.  I reveled in who I was:  the first pediatric medical trauma social worker in the ER at a level 1 trauma center.  We served 5 states.  Our helicopters went all the way up to the Canadian border.  And I was good. I was responsive.  I stabilized families in crisis in their worst moments they could imagine.  At times I swear I felt I was channeling God and angels.  I felt spirits leave.  I was the one who the doctors and nurses called when they couldn’t handle things.  It was powerful.  It was my everything.  But it took a toll.  It also drained my soul.  There was something very intoxicating and alienating when people would say, “I don’t know if I could do what you do.”  You felt special.  You also felt alone.  After 7 years I was feeling worn and tattered around the edges.  And then I moved into management.  Let’s just say the stars aligned and I got an amazing opportunity to lead.  Little did I know, my 10th house was on fire and my first Saturn return was in full swing.  I wanted to revolutionize how family services was done and I believed I could do it.  But then I began dating my future seriously.  He became my focus and I had a choice to make.  Who’s career would dominate?  If I wanted to be with him, I had to leave my professional world I created and thrived in.

I left.  Or should I say, I arrived.  I arrived to my new chapter of my life as a wife and partner.  I was still a social worker.  But I wasn’t medical at first.  I was administration.  But I hated the world of county mental health.  Impulsively, I quit.  The bread winner just quit one day.  And my husband supported me completely.  He said we’d figure it out.  And we did.  My heart will forever be grateful.

Over the next few years we wrestled with fellowships, timing of starting a family, multiple moves, surgeries, and a second masters for me as I searched for another passion.  We landed in Wisconsin and shortly after taking a new job in medical administration, I became pregnant.  And with that came my new role of chief caretaker and stay-at-home-mom.  I laughed off the impact of this huge transition saying that I went from boardrooms to board books.  But I also knew, being the soccer mom with a minivan filled with cheerios and crayons was not my life passion.  It nurtured me in a different way as I learned how strong I was in a way I wasn’t before.  But while it nurtured my little candle in my heart, it did not fire my soul.

Somehow I started returning to the books that I discovered when I was 10.  The small esoteric collection I cultivated and moved through dozens of apartments, houses, and states.  The ones that talked about energy and the universe and synchronicity.  And I was ultimately drawn back to the more precise  art and science of astrology.

After discovering Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs in junior high I analyzed every friend I knew on their archetype and compatability, but I knew there was more.  I remember being devastated that my best friend was a libra and how that didn’t mesh so well with my virgo nature (and boy did it ring true!)  Slowly I began to learn about moon signs and rising signs over the course of 20 years.  But by the time my oldest was 3, I was investing hundreds of dollars into my education.  The fire was ignited.  I had my first professional astrology reading for my 39th birthday.  And it just kept snowballing from there.  Books, podcasts, seeking out a mentor, webinars, etc.  And did I mention books?  Because I have a full on LIBRARY, y’all.   It has all culminated into the day where I was on the eve of my first astrology conference.

It’s not just any conference.  It is THE conference where the top 3 astrological associations combine their resources every 4-6 years.  As luck would have it, the conference will be held 90 minutes from my home.  The synchronicities are everywhere.  I’ve been planning on going for over a year.  It will be the longest I have been away from my children since they were born almost 8 years ago.

I completely fan-girled my way through the week.  I freaked out that I was in the same room and learning from my mentors whose books and podcasts I’ve admired and gone back to over and over again.  I booked a reading with this brilliant astrologer as a client.  Thank goodness she taped it, because I had so much adrenaline I couldn’t hear straight for the first 30 minutes.  Seriously, if I could just download her brain, I’d be set.  But a funny thing happened:  as I listened to her, I realized I knew my basics.  In fact I knew more than the basics; I was truly advanced.  Her insights were the same ones I made years ago.  I was on the right track.  I immediately asked to be her apprentice, which I’m happy to say, she accepted.  (Happy is an understatement…I was doing a jig on the hotel room coffee table.)

Before the conference, I was frightened I would be in over my head.  And yes, there were lectures where I was barely following the math and others I felt I could have taught.  But there were also individuals who had said they had been consulting clients for almost a decade and were asking basic questions.  Good hell!  My radar alarm went off and I then worried about how to protect the profession from imposters.  It was just like social work, only about 20-30 years earlier.  Sure there are tests you can take for competency with each astrological association, but there isn’t one governing body or license.  And the tests are not uniform in their metrics of proficiency.  This eats at me.  I’ve been such a stickler for professional standards my whole social work career, it feels prickly to be in a free-formed avocation.  An advocation, I should mention that is essentially governed by Uranus, the planet of non-conformity.  I didn’t even know “professional astrologer” was a legit career until a few years ago.  At what point in your journey can you even call yourself a professional astrologer?

At this point, I am.  I am a professional astrologer.

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