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Feminist Astrology: Return of the Daughter in Darkness

The Twin City suburbs were still open fields and countryside when I grew up. There were no shopping centers and only one main public library, built with Italian marble and thick oak, in downtown St. Paul. Each section of the library was housed in its own room with at least one librarian who knew every book like a personal best friend.

This was the library where I discovered the sciences of Astronomy and Astrology and read about the ancient astrologers who were usually wimmin.

I've often wondered who she was. The librarian, I mean. I still see her in my memory greeting me at the door of this room, directing me to a table and then bringing me countless resource books about old Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Chinese and Indian gods and goddesses as well as star charts and dusty old books that I only paged through.

The capital letter "M" in Medusa scriptost of them were gray with words. I was drawn to those pages with pictures, and read surrounding text that simply explained what I was seeing. It was here that I discovered the incredible maps of the sky. To this day, I struggle to read land maps that look and work so radically differently from a star chart. I understand the plotting of the skies, the seemingly reverse direction of north being at the bottom of the chart and south at its top. I understand too, circular thinking and still get directionally confused here in Los Angeles about east and west.

It was in these books that I first read about the vast resources stored in ancient Alexandria and how countless wimmin lived independent lives in this Egyptian land. This was a remarkable library housing astrological, philosophical, historical and religious documents reported to number over 500,000 scrolls.

Spellbound by this era, I remember reading the tale of Hypatia, who the stories said was a pagan, an astronomer, a philosopher and a mathematician. She was instrumental in constructing the astrological calculating tool called the astrolabe. Funny, even as I type this out tonight, my heart just pounds when I think of how she was brutally murdered by a mob of Christians led by a group of monks. As you may know, the library was burned and most of the ancient knowledge was lost to us forever.

It made so much sense to me that most of the people working with Astronomy were females who charted their cycles and seasons. It made sense to me that they understood the importance of evaluating, organizing, assessing and using the information to run their lives. What didn't make sense to me is why they kept getting killed or were prohibited from formal education and sharing their skills. None of this history was being taught to me in school and if I asked about it, the teachers got angry as if the information was evil.

The capital letter "M" in Medusa scriptaria Cunitz was a remarkable womon from the 1600s who embodied the continuing saga of wimmin's struggle for education and acceptance in this field. Most people believed her husband authored her work. She could not get a formal education in those times though she mastered seven languages and numerous sciences and preferred watching the stars and charting Astrology to doing housework. Maria wrote one major book called Urania Propitia (Urania is the Muse for Astronomy) which translated Kepler's Astronomy tables for easier calculations. I remember that she was called the second Hypatia. Ironically, a fire destroyed the city she lived in, as well as most of her work and equipment.

Then, suddenly, it seemed to me that history either lost track of wimmin in the field of Astronomy and stopped recording their work or it was simply less accessible for them. All the people discovering planets and asteroids were male. All the people teaching and writing Astronomy books were male. And moreover, the pantheon and descriptions naming constellations and planets were male focused even regarding the female archetypes. The Patriarchy moved in on both Astronomy and Astrology -- and somehow, we let it happen over the centuries.

I didn't notice that at the time. I just kept studying what was available even though most of it made me feel pretty uncomfortable. Over the years, I met remarkable people who taught me volumes and fragments and layers of these absolutely complex, fascinating, yet complicated sciences.

Sometimes it seemed that my brain would burst fighting dead ends. I hated the stereotypes and kept saying to my teachers and people who read my chart that the information was not correct about me.

Where Astronomy was global, Astrology was personal -- and the personal was political.

And then one day, it all made sense. One day I stopped looking at it through the lens of the Patriarchy and the men whose ideas were set in stone. The second wave of the Feminist Movement was all around me urging me to look at everything through my own female eyes.

That same moment in time, Urania, muse of Astronomy, whispered to me and I began to hear the music of the heavens in a way it was meant to be played. I turned to Her and listened.

Feminist Astrology is not about bashing males nor is it exactly about turning against the old traditions. Feminist Astrology is one of the many places that we are seeing the Return of the Daughter.

The belief systems of the age of the Mother (Matriarchy), the age of the Father (Greco-Romans), and the age of the Son (Judeo-Christian) have come and gone, leaving their impact on us.

This current age heralds the return of the Daughter. The Daughter, who will be stronger, wiser, healthier, happier and more spiritually connected to all of life around Her, is coming into Her own. We have yet to discuss how this will look and feel to all of us. We might not really know yet.

We are not willing to take back the ancient system that Hypatia lived under that brought her to a violent end. Nor are we willing to subvert our intelligence in the way that Maria Cunitz did to get one major work published.

Wimmin in the field of Feminist Astrology still struggle for validation in the community. Pop culture sun-sign nonsense seen in newspaper columns only serve to make what we do little less than a joke.

I come from a long line of stargazers and a long line of Priestesses. After almost 40 years of working with these patterns that understand synchronicity between the cosmos and the deeper self, I know that it is more than an art to interpret meaningful content, analyze full potentials and guide each one of my clients through the moment she is in.

Darkness is fading. The return of the Daughter is eminent. She shows Her face in the stars.

Author's Note

This article was written with deep memories I have rather than digging through the usual books. I looked on the web to find sources for those of you who want more to read.

Graphics Credits

  • Astronomy, by Laurent de La Hyre, 1650, courtesy of CGFA..
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