More Than an Astrologer


Racking my brain for a compelling opening sentence, I almost began talking to you about writer's block, a phenomenon I choose not to believe in.

That would've been my way of introducing some defensive spiel on why I haven't produced much front-page astrological writing lately (not including, of course, the endless horoscope words I spit out week-in-week-out like a happy zen-robot).

But 'writer's block' (should such a thing exist) is immediately neutralized by the choice to write about the experience of it… a premise that becomes scarier and scarier the closer one gets to disclosing the emotional actualities behind it, though at least provides some narrative grab.

I'm fighting hard against shame as I confess the thinking behind my resistance to composing blog articles, but here it is: I'm not sure I want to write about astrology all the time. After all, I diligently write my horoscopes every week like a good little boy (and, in fact, have lately felt refreshed and reengaged on this front)… and I've had a notable increase in my personal client work (and, in fact, have lately felt refreshed and reengaged on that front, too). On many days, that feels like plenty of astrology for me—and so do I really want to sit down and think about it more?

[Here's where I interrupt myself, just to let everybody know that I am not abandoning astrology. That's because the little voices in my head are warning me not to scare you off, my loyal reader. Will you be mad if I stray further into other topics? What if I don't comment on every last astro-thingie that happens in the solar system? Will I be letting you down? Will you still love me just for being me? Judging from some of the emails I get when my horoscopes are posted a few hours late, I sometimes fear the answer.]

Yet, as I learned from one recent email exchange with a reader who was disappointed I hadn't yet posted a new astrology article this week, the most authentic manner in which I can respond to these worries is to tell my truth… presumably to discover, like I did in the circumstance described above, that I might gain outside respect and admiration simply for being human. (Novel concept for someone like me who often believes my entire self-worth hinges on what I achieve in my outside endeavors.) It's in that spirit I'm choosing to share all this with you, with the hope I can still provide inspiration, insight and entertainment even when I'm not feeling astrological.

My life's dream has long involved being a writer, but I certainly never expected to become known for writing horoscopes. I didn't grow up with astrology, and stumbled onto it quite by chance. I'm thankful for what astrology has provided me, in terms of both professional success and personal development. However, success in one area doesn't necessarily negate ambitions in another. And I still yearn for more: as an artist, renowned for the inventiveness and poignancy of my words, with astrology playing a significant part in the overall cosmology informing my work but not its only centerpiece.

I must admit, there have been times in recent months when I've felt myself 'cranking out' a summary on the latest astro-aspects—a competent product, sure, but not always inspired, at least from my perspective. I may indeed be my own worst critic, yet I do want to feel good about the work I post on a website bearing my name (or an astro-alias, as the case may be). When I know there are countless other astrologers publishing clear insightful commentary on a very regular basis, it can be hard to convince myself to churn out another version of the same material (with that extra Barry charm, of course)… especially if my passions are more actively percolating in other arenas.

Even in my personal client work, I'm coming to realize the astrology itself is not the only important factor. There are plenty of astrologers who know the technical and theoretical ins and outs of our art far more comprehensively than I. But as I always say, astrology does not in fact provide us The Answer. It is merely a tool among many, albeit a fantastic one, used by humans to help us get glimpses of the mystical and/or divine by pointing to a cosmic synchronistic interconnectedness as yet still unexplained by the rational mind. As such, I find that simply being completely present with clients for the hour we're connecting, meeting them where they are (not where the almighty astrologer thinks they should be) and thus allowing the astrology to speak to their actual experiences, is at least as much a part of the magic as the planets and signs and houses themselves.

I trust you will prove my earlier hypothesis correct, dear reader, and continue to find value in my work here, whether or not it's perpetually focused on astrology, simply because I'm daring to share my humanity with you. Part of my own experience as a human is a constant creative striving toward new horizons and challenges. I promise to put my heart and soul into those things I share with you, but I can't promise what they will be.

Meanwhile, we'll be returning to astrology in my next installment, so don't go anywhere…