Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Dark Side of Pisces

Astrology is an interesting study. Not only does each person have their own natal chart (the signs at your birth) with 10 planets, two lunar nodes, ascendent/rising signs, and several asteroids, but then there are progressions (how zodiac influences have developed into the current aspects).

On top of that, the current placement of the stars and planets can have an overall effect on the world at large. This is seen more prominently in the outer, slower-changing planets (while the inner, faster-changing planets are more influential on individuals).

Each zodiac sign has it's own personality. Most zodiac descriptions focus on the positive of each sign, but each sign also has a dark side - the negative aspect of that sign.

This series explores the negative, world-effect aspects of each sign. For simplicity, I am assuming we are talking about the Sun in each sign, though most of these analyses would apply to other planetary placements, as well.

Pisces is a mutable water sign, with its opposite/duality in Virgo. Pisces is the sign of intuition and empathy, with a strong leaning towards the betterment of the world and the detachment from the world spoken of by many religions throughout history.

When Pisces shows it's dark side, it can take those characteristics to the extreme. Pisces can turn into the one who drinks too much (escapism) while watching the world burn, commenting on how it's all a lesson that needs to be learned.

To a less extreme, Pisces can be the one who throws out platitudes and even criticisms in the face of an individual's pain. "God works in mysterious ways." "There's a reason for everything." "You had a lesson to learn from this." There are many kinds of privilege that can magnify the effects of this.

This can be painful for an individual facing trauma or real problems, but it is important to note that Pisces truly believes that there is a greater purpose behind these things. These fish are swimming in larger waters than most of us realize.

The Pisces needs to balance their belief in the larger growth of humanity with sympathy for individual pain. This is difficult for the water sign specifically because they may have such strong empathy that they build walls to protect themselves from being overpowered by others' feelings. And, sometimes those walls come in the form of altering substances, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, or other addictions.

As we enter into Pisces in this particularly interesting time, we need to watch for a tendency to embody the dark Piscean characteristics. With the larger perspective that Pisces works in, political turmoil, in particular, may bring these out.

The lesson of Pisces is to prioritize empathy for individuals, even as the greater good and world view may dismiss such things as insignificant.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Gen Hex: Pagans of the In-Between Generation

Caught between the huge populations of the Boomers and Millennials, and caught between their back-and-forth blaming and insults, sits my generation.

Gen X.

While every generation gets pelted by insults from generations before, Gen X is the first generation that endured major media around that conversation. The insults to us were immortalized on VHS, then DVD, then Blu-Ray, and so on.

The technological advances grew hugely during our younger years, and we grew with it, making us the first generation to focus, not on a specialty technological knowledge, but specializing in a sort of fluid understanding of how to learn technology (individual results may vary). The Millennials got that, too.

Gen X had the most under-parented childhoods in history, due to divorce, parents working outside the home and latchkey lives. This allowed abuses to happen in unsupervised lives. Now, Gen Xers over-parent and over-protect, as a whole.

Gen X music and art hugely reflects our mindset: Depeche Mode, U2, grunge and hip hop. Our expressions reflected our cynicism. But that cynicism wasn't pessimism.  It was more of a critical look at how things had been done, how things were presented to us, how things were organized.

We were criticized as a generation, but I've seen Gen Xers jump to defend other generations from that same criticism. We don't accept "that generation" attitudes; instead, we know WHY Millennials hustle, and we will explain it to others.

We are the first to criticize how things are run, from companies to economies to governments. We don't "respect" our bosses just because they are our bosses. You have to earn our respect, the hard way. And our criticisms often have real solutions. We aren't just complaining; we can see the better way to do things.

What does this mean as Pagans?

Because of our lack of numbers, Gen X Pagans have been wedged in between. We are watching as the elders get older, but still lead. And we watch as the Millennial Pagans come in talking about getting ready to "take the reins".

But we've been here longer. Some of us were born to Paganism, in greater numbers than Boomer Pagans. Many of us have decades of experience and learning, which isn't often true for Millennial Pagans.

We walked the Path and many of us broke off and forged our own, embracing the solitary Pagan ways. True to form, we dismissed Traditions as being unnecessary - unless that's what spoke to you.

Gen X Pagans brought in the slow but steady voice of acceptance and tolerance for non-WASPs (white anglo straight pagans). We lead charges of calling people out for bad behavior and we picked up the narrative of triggers and consent within the community.

We are Gen Hex

As Pagans, Gen Xers are more willing to do the dirty work than Boomers and we have more "elder authority" than Millennials. Our over-protectiveness leads us to swoop in and try to save everyone. We point the spotlight and refuse to let hate or abuse crawl back under a rock.

We are too young to be entrenched in Traditions, but too old to be concerned about our place in the Pagan world. We are hedge witches, kitchen witches, solitary witches. We start new covens and traditions when the old ones aren't available or just plain don't work for us.

And, when push comes to shove, we will use our powers for... not good, but the Greater Good.


  1. Yeah, these are generalizations. Obviously. Talking about generations is talking about generalizations.
  2. Of course there are exceptions to everything I've said here. Those would be individuals that do not fit the overall trend. I love exceptions. They make things interesting.
  3. I would love to have numbers backing up what I've said, but Pagans are notoriously hard to get statistics on. These statements are based on my years of watching the Pagan community.
  4. I'm sure many of you have had experiences contrary to what I've said here. That's great, and we could spend weeks debating whether my experiences or your experiences are the norm or the outlier, and we would still never know who was correct. I'm busy, you're busy, let's just skip that whole thing and acknowledge that this is just my experience and opinion. 

Interesting articles on Gen X