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A Rare Place for the Head in A Body of Motion

by Joan Dickinson © 2018

I’ve been an amateur astrologer since I was a young child. I was fortunate to have been raised in rural Indiana and Michigan. In those days, light pollution in the countryside was practically non-existent; night skies were pitch-dark and, if no clouds passed over, full of stars and planets, sometimes the moon. I can’t remember a time when I was not enraptured by the presence of stars in my small world so much so that, in order to fall asleep, I’d imagine the bedroom ceiling full of stars and, once their presence was completely imagined, only then did I sleep. Along the way, my family moved to a suburb of Chicago, and with so many street lamps and so much light contamination from the city, there were no stars except those that I imagined.

My understanding of astrology is that it is an ancient, cross-cultural, and collaborative story rising from or created by the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world. This astronomical (monumental) narrative contributes to the development of cultural and spiritual traditions, to math and science, to the development of technologies that support the eye’s function to see ever more deeply into the sky – a function that changes as our species changes – and to technologies that support our species' habit of migration including into outer spaces.     

Astrology is a story told, as well, from within increasingly polluted circumstances so much so that the planets and stars appear far away or even invisible unless ever more sophisticated technologies are employed. While, for many, astrology lost its credibility long ago, it nevertheless continues to experience a growing popular appeal. Why? Because to look up is to see and know wonder. To look up is to be inspired – is literally to breathe – to look up is to know that you are alive.

As for me, I was born on a ferry, the SS Badger, as it crossed one of the great lakes of the upper Midwest – one of the great lakes of anywhere – some watery distance from Michigan, but not yet to Wisconsin's shore-side. The Badger shuttled people, luggage, cars, entire trains, my pregnant mother, and . . . much too soon enough . . . me . . . from Ludington, Michigan south to Milwaukee with my mid-October ferry one of the last to cross before the lake iced over for the winter.

On this planet, the way it works: Breath or die. At my first inhalation, the star called the Sun, the star called Spica, the planets Saturn and Neptune (in a Cazimi degree to the Sun), and the planets Mars and Venus joined forces at the top of the sky while, Antares, the super-red heart of the Scorpion rose in the eastern light of that lake that Earth that sound of lake and Earth together turning oldenly towards the beat of that super-red heart, an echo of the laboring heart beating inside the mother from whom I’d been recently expelled. 11,504 miles away, a waxing gibbous moon at 0º Pisces rose quietly, pinked the Indian Ocean, then slipped away to the other side of the Earth where, three days later, she bloomed a Hunter's Moon. And with Uranus rollicking through my money house, expect my billions to go to the guy with the shiny hat and lost teeth working Larimer Street in Denver.

Please visit my portfolio page where you'll find a selection of original, hand-made and hand-cast, astrological charts representing a small portion of my work. Any and all events can be cast and rendered including births, deaths, weddings, funerals, animals, vacations, well . . . every and any thing in life that happens can be honored, remembered, or marked in this way. Really, anything. I also write astrological narratives. If you have questions or would like information on pricing or a consultation, please contact me at:

Thank you!