I’ve finally added the last of the Featured Articles in this year’s annual edition. Please be sure to add your comments! — Amanda Painter
Where Outsiders Belong | Dale O’Brien
Nature-based mythic astrologer Dale O’Brien weaves a tale of chi-ronic outsiderhood and indigenous wisdom to help us see how the wisdom of the outsider is necessary, valid and heard most clearly outdoors. In fact, outdoors is probably exactly where you should head immediately after reading this piece.
The Universe Spoke — And it Was Kinky | Rob Moore
Rob Moore recounts some of his most transformative experiences, including a bout with illness that left his life completely changed. Through seeking inner guidance and hobnobbing with his holy companions, Rob engages paradox, “cones of safety,” and separation to learn where he belongs — here and now.
Nurturing Belonging | Dallas Jennifer Cobb
“Don’t ever have children, they ruin your life!” With this opening statement, said to her repeatedly during her childhood, Dallas Jennifer Cobb shares her intensely personal story of overthrowing the narrative instilled in her by her mother — ultimately healing herself through the process of mothering.
Our Journey Toward Identity | Alison Beth Levy
Alison Beth Levy chronicles her search for her birth parents and her discovery of astrology and other healing modalities in her effort to feel a sense of belonging. She writes, “In my chart I see that I came into this life to experience my adoptee journey, longing for identity and a place in this world, and a desire to assist others who feel fragmented as well.”
Psychovariant Belonging | Greg Macdougall
Greg Macdougall’s poem contemplates “this psychotic plague known as normal / ‘just the way things are’” and the dissociation of not even wanting to belong. Yet he notes that, “when not yearned for / there is that sense of being found / of being in place, right place.”
The Inner Life of the Artist: Honoring the Cycles of the Soul | Jennifer Keltos
Artist and painter Jennifer Keltos dismisses the idea that in order to create art the artist must suffer. Instead, she says, “When I honor myself and provide myself the circumstances that allow me to create to the best of my ability, both I and my work have the chance to thrive.” She invites artists to remember that the inhalation is as important as the exhalation, as is the knowledge that you belong here, too.
Choose Higher | Diana Hay
As a Registered Nurse in the military and an energy work practitioner, Diana Hay is no stranger to bridging paradigms. As she writes, “If an old paradigm is shifting into a new paradigm there has to be a point at which the two are merged so close together that it looks like a convoluted chaotic mess.” Hay explores the difficulties in feeling like she’s bouncing back and forth across realities, reminding us that wisdom lies within.
You Belong Here (Whether You Know it or Not) | Kelley Rico
“We are the mystery we seek to solve,” claims Kelley Rico in this brief and compelling look at the ways the astrological birth chart can be used as a map or blueprint for claiming our place in the cosmos and remembering why we are here.
Dare To Be Happy! | Britta Dubbels
In this upbeat essay, Britta Dubbels divulges her secret to personal happiness and the manifestation of radical self-love, inviting us to celebrate and enjoy life as we uncover the truth of our belonging.
Choose Yes | Cynthia Neil
Lifelong Aquarian Cynthia Neil ponders what she considers to be the most powerful and under-appreciated gift of being human: our power to choose. She writes: “Even in those moments when you feel like a stranger in a strange land, remember the very fact that you arrived here as you is a miracle. Try to visualize the many possibilities, from a peach to a manatee to a banana slug, that could have been your life, and here you are a conscious human choice-maker.”
Cosmological Disenchantment and Feeding the Stars | Chad Woodward
Chad Woodward notes that our lives are meaningless without our conscious collaboration, and that astrology can show us how to engage with that process. He writes, “It took many a healing crisis to wake me up and realize that I came here for a reason, that I do indeed belong here, and that I have to step up and breathe meaning into my life each and every day. It takes a lot of hard work, but what other choice do I have?”
Inside a Community of Outsiders | Amanda Moreno
Amanda Moreno reflects on the experience of editing the featured articles in Cosmophilia: You Belong Here, and on the perspective she has gained over the past year. She writes, “I’m becoming even more aware of just how much we have to do, now that the lightning bolts have hit and the underworld has turned itself inside-out” — yet she also looks forward to figuring it out as she goes.
Madame Zolonga’s Guide to Cosmophobia | Madame Zolonga
Have you ever felt so out of place on this planet (or in your skin), that you’ve wondered if you might be an alien from outer space that landed on the wrong planet? Or that you’re ‘just visiting’ for research purposes? Madame Zolonga offers you her tongue-in-cheek ‘bad advice’ horoscopes: “Behold, the origins of your alienation revealed!”
Notes from the Slow Path | Amy Elliott
When you grow up feeling like “an encumbrance, a clumsy, moody liability,” the road to healing can be a long one. Amy Elliott pledges to honor herself — and others who’ve suffered abuse — along the way to reclaiming her birthright of identity.
Spinsters and Crones…or the Re-emergence of the Healing Wise Women of the 21st Century | Elizabeth Routledge
Using quotes from wise women and personal allegory, Elizabeth Routledge debunks the myth of the spinster. She speaks of the importance of empowering women to reclaim their authority by becoming the mentors, elders and paradigm-bridgers who can inspire and nurture future generations.
Dying to be Called Home | Kemp Battle
Author and hospice volunteer Kemp Battle poignantly reminds us that, as the Buddhists say, we are all burning houses moving toward our death every day. Despite this fact, our culture tends to isolate and alienate the dying. “If we can keep the faith with our dying companions (or those who face the death of their cherished identity), if we can allow them to walk their journey and stay by their side in attention, curiosity and grateful amazement, they can become our singular teachers.”
Be The Light (Body) You Want To See In The World | Donna Boyle
Re-connecting with your Light Body is what you came here to do according to Donna Boyle. Through discussing her own experience re-connecting with her Light Body, Donna outlines keys to remembering that we all belong here, and includes some easy exercises for integrating and awakening.
Belonging Through a Metamorphosis of Identity | Louise Lowrie
Louise Lowrie shares her journey of individuating from her twin. As their paths took them in different directions, Louise explains how the natural process of leading separate lives resulted in psychological upheaval — and an ultimate knowing that witnessing, self-work and healing can happen in many different containers.
A Sampler of Shorter Essays | Various Authors
Audrey Yeardley, Phil Brachi, Bill Harvey and Michael Mayes offer their brief contemplations on subjects as diverse as: being brought back into awareness by an old soul in infant form; the healing power of dance; an adolescent introduction to One Consciousness; the confirmation of belonging in the body brought by sensual, tangible pleasures.
Spiraling Towards the Center | Stephani Stephens
Stephani Stephens provides insight into the ways Jungian techniques have helped her to discover her own belonging, with a commentary on how having so many different ways to know ourselves can be confusing and contradictory. Stephani notes that, “… our visions and our stories are the craft and artistry called living, and I am, in fact, not going crazy. Rather, I look toward embracing my personal madness, my chart, and my Self with love.”
You Belong in Your Body | Maria Jawan
Maria Jawan recounts her personal journey back into her body, through various therapeutic modes (including free-dance) after having dissociated from it for many years. She writes, “I have started to feel more alive, and more active and I keep inviting more breath in, even though it can be hard to navigate through the intense grief it releases.” Maria invites everyone to reclaim their birthright of fully inhabiting their body.
Madame Zolonga’s Astrological Guide to Drinking Your Way Through 2015 | Madame Zolonga
Planet Waves does not endorse the abuse of alcohol. That said, if there’s a musical tone and a day for every planet, don’t you think there ought to be a drink for every planet, too? Says Madame Zolonga in her latest ‘bad advice’ column, “Mix your planets with some jazzy aspects, and what do you get? Cocktails, my dear!”