All posts here are from sections of the books: "North Node Astrology; Rediscovering Your Life Direction and Soul Purpose" and "Lifting the Veil; Becoming Your Own Best Astrologer" and "Astrology for the Third Act of Life" and finally "Saturn Returns~The Private Papers of A Reluctant Astrologer" All available in paperback, Kindle and Audible on

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

from: "Private Papers of a Reluctant Astrologer"

“Why do you call these “Private Papers”? Peter asked while clutching my manuscript to his chest. I had just left the sun room, leaving scattered chapters of my book splayed out on the coffee table. I took the papers out of his hand, and sat down with our wine glasses.

They’re not so private when I’m going to publish it, eh?”

“Are these really private papers? Or is this an astrology book?” he asked.

“How much have you read?” I pretended a nonchalance I didn’t feel. I wanted him to give me a good first reading, yet looking at him there with my papers and his editorial pen in hand made me feel annoyed, and vulnerable. I better get over that attitude I thought. I handed the papers back to him, and got cozy at the other end of the couch. “Do you like it?” I asked, as I took a long sip of wine.

“I read just enough to get the jist of it—about your reluctance at being an astrologer, and questioning yourself as a wife, mother, writer….”

“So you would you say there are a few secrets there—astrological and otherwise?”

“Yes, it does feel private, as if you were speaking personally to a friend. I like that.” He twirled his wineglass like he was peering through a crystal ball and pursed his lips. So now Peter might end up knowing more than he wanted to know. Peter tended to be a private person, but in reading this he would be forced to see the world from my perspective. Yet that was something I admired about him. He could allow himself to see things from different points of view.

I don’t need to be defensive I thought, but I still went on: “It’s more about different kinds of love--love within families as well as romantic love…and between people we idealize, and the difference between love that endures—and love that doesn’t.”

“And about you being a ‘reluctant’ astrologer?” he asked. “And a former divorced woman?”

“Yes, although I’m not that anymore.” I took another sip of wine and felt such gratitude for having him in my life now, and for having finished the book. And in the writing of it, I had moved beyond my secrets, beyond my reluctance.

“So it’s more than an astrology book—it’s a love story---” He asked again.

“Yes, with an unusual ending. Have you read that much of it yet?” I laughed.

“Well, I’ve only read the beginning of it. I was just wondering if I’m going to find some of this too personal. Me being the Virgo man with the Pisces moon and all that—is this supposed to be a memoir or—

“Fiction. It’s fiction, Peter, mostly. For some readers they’d say it’s about love and astrology, and moving beyond doubt…yes, the overcoming of doubt and skepticism. There is astrology there too—techniques of how to understand the chart in those email letters when I was mentoring Kendra.”

“So does this book fall into the spiritual “inspiration” category?” Peter put his pen in his mouth like a dangling cigarette. He had been such a “skeptic and non-believer” for most of our lives, especially anything that had the whiff of organized religion to it. We had many talks about the difference between spirituality and religion over the years.

“No, it’s not about converting to any belief—it just uses some astrology—I mean, that is what Isabelle is! She’s an astrologer, so the reader has to be open to that. Doesn’t matter if you believe in it or not—the reader just needs to be open to learning a bit of a new language and to move beyond the superficial sun sign astrology.”

“Okay, you don’t need to defend yourself. ”

“—I know. But…are you worrying that I said too much about you?”

He didn’t say anything, but I could see his face softening. It was only a few years ago he would have been closed down to me, to astrology, to too much disclosing about anything. Privacy mattered. Now I was breaking all that with these “Private Papers.”

“You just read the beginning of the story, didn’t you?” I grinned. “Give it a chance. It really is a love story—and it’s not just about us—its more about looking at what love is…and isn’t. You only sound like a “bad guy” somewhere in the beginning…really, you get much better!” I rolled my eyes in jest.

“And you only sound like a neurotic fortune teller for part of it, right?” Touché. He was playing with me now. “But, Isabelle, I still want to know, is this supposed to be a book for astrologers or learning how to love—or us? Because I want to know what’s true here and what isn’t.”

“That’s the essential question here, isn’t it? So what did you think, from what you’ve read so far?”

“Something sounds right. The truth? I don’t know, it’s not the literal truth, so far. It sounds more like emotional truth rather than what actually happened. There’s not so much astrology here that I got put off by it. I liked the part about us visiting Carl Jung’s house and your little studio on Beacon Hill and you and Sophie in the sacred sites in England. And…..” He stopped and put down his wine glass. “But it didn’t happen exactly like that, it was a rough road at times.”

“I know. Do you mind that I wrote it?” He looked up and gently smiled at me while nodding his head no.

“I’ve come to trust you.” It was true, we had somehow learned to trust the process of our life together again. And I had learned to trust the process of writing even when I didn’t understand what was happening. It was a trust I didn’t have before the book was finished.

He leaned back into the cushions. “But I think the question is: who is going to read this anyway? I hate to see you wasting your time. People who like romances will only like parts of it, and people who think they don’t like astrology will shy away, and people who want the memoir of a famous astrologer won’t read it.”

“So you’re wondering who is going to read it? So that’s the question isn’t it?” I said, gazing out the window, my eyes strained and unfocused from yet another long day at the computer. It was a fear of mine as well. I looked down at my wrinkled hands. Why did my hands look so old? “Well, you read it! You weren’t a believer, and you didn’t care--”

“—but I do love you and I am reading it.” Peter took a long sip of wine and put his glass down. Then he reached his hand over to me. “You did a good job, really. You were a reluctant one…me too, I was one of them, and you were even a reluctant writer. I guess you could say I’m one of the others now, I’m your reader. No reluctance.” He squeezed my hand, and I hadn’t realized till then how cold my hands had been.

I took Peter’s other hand in mine, and thought how much more “we” mattered to me than this writing. But still I cared about the story. Was I getting ready to die? Was that what all this introspection was about? Or was it simply that I believed too, that the “unexamined life wasn’t worth living?

I looked past Peter to the framed calligraphy on the wall behind him and let out a long sigh. It was a quote by the writer George Eliot, and said: “It is never too late to be who you might have been.” Was I sighing from acceptance or relief? I didn’t know, and perhaps it didn’t really matter. Beneath this quote was another inscription by Thoreau, written a little smaller:

“We are constantly invited to be who we really are.” This was good: I was pleased we are accepting this “constant invitation”. And we would see where it led….

~ ~ ~(c)  (feel free to comment or to add your name to list for notification when book is released)

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