Taurus 13° (corresponding to May 2, 2016)

(For last year’s meditation on the Sabian Symbol for this degree:  click here)

Two Taurus keywords are Value and Belonging. It’s funny how seemingly disparate things find a connection in the astrological houses associated with any given sign. I was just sitting here meditating on how these go together and I’m not certain I’ve come up with anything earth-shattering but I do have random thoughts I could share.

I was never a joiner. There might have been a time that I wanted to be one. Back where I grew up I was a pariah for much of grade school and surely the lowest level of hell aka junior high where I was only popular for a week at school-year’s end when I would be cast in a starring role in the school musical. Otherwise, I was severely mocked—as a matter of fact, in Wyckoff, New Jersey, the local insult was “a mock”; one would say, “Oh, Billy, you’re such a mock.” Seriously I’m not making this shite up. All this to say that I didn’t even try, though I longed, to fit in, until well after going to high school at the age of 13. If anything, I defied the whole concept of fitting in—careful not to join any band of underground newspaper editors or the a/v club or anything even mildly subversive.

If you’ve read this Blague before and no anything about me I led a sort of adult life from a very early age, specifically in summers where I drank at bars and smoked pot and even had (a form of) sex on the beach from the time my age reached double digits. So that when I returned back to “normal” suburban life I felt that I was in cognito, a sort of Clark Kent, without the bone structure or muscle tone, pretending to live as a child going through rights of passage that I had already been speeded through arguably prematurely. So I hung out with people two or three years older than myself. Not like pot-heads did. Remember pot-heads. They were their own counter culture. And a girl or boy would enter high school as a freshman but he or she might have been one of those kids that lived a pot-head lifestyle with absentee parents and older siblings whose houses always seemed a bordel with sticky floors and broken screened backdoors and mutliple siblings all taking care of themselves like they do on Shameless; such that said “child” would enter high school and already be hanging with pot-head seniors in a designated location—in our high school it was “the wall”—although there were two walls: one wall where the popular mainly senior population plopped themselves like gods of a pantheon on a concrete dais; and the other wall which separated our outdoor courtyard from our playing fields which were a good six feet below the courtyard such that crouching and smoking bowls somehow went unnoticed? Well, in the late 1970s early 1980s they did. I’m off track. I’ll get back…oh right…Value and Belonging.

So, I never cared about belonging. I had no natural belonging in my family, my one sibling being a hostile nightmare that tried to make me feel that I didn’t belong and then again I didn’t want to belong to my family, really, because my father struck me as a Neanderthaal for the most part, despite his good qualities, and my mother, though genius, was too weak to leave and take me with her which would have been my fantasy. To me: belonging would have been she and I playing out some Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore fantasy which would have made for a much better reality than liviing with my mostly horrible father and my only ever horrible sister. But you know, my mother never had to work. She had summers alone. She had house cleaners and frozen food you popped in the oven and a new Buick every other year so she wasn’t going anywhere. Again with the digression.

Okay I had no self esteem as a child. And nobody really telling me how great I was on the homefront. My mother would tell me I was smart but she eyed me with a desire to perform plastic surgery. I think she was happy my junior year of high school when my neighbor friend drove me to school in his open topped Jeep with the “roll bar” the concept of which was put to the test when, Jeff yelled “I think we can make it” gunning the Jeep from the side street leading to the entrance/exit of the school with school busses, full and empty, coming either way only to find he didn’t (make it) and we got hit by a school bus and the Jeep did indeed roll over and when we were upside down for that split moment I (thankfully?) banged my head and face into the roll bar—people said the roll bar saved me that if i hadn’t hit it i would have been crushed underneath the rolling car because, remember the dates, nobody is wearing seat belts—such that I emerged with a gashed head, amnesia and a broken nose that needed immediate repair…once I remembered who I was.

I imagine the glee my mother would have secretly felt. She had the excuse to bring me to a plastic surgeon (an at least locally famous one with twelve children a half dozen of whom I knew by sight and a few I was friendly with) and “repair” the damage. But she had other things up her sleeve. That will have to wait for another Blague, perhaps the next one, because I’m talking about Value and Belonging. Am I talking about it here? Am I saying that my mother would have a stronger sense of belonging toward me her son if she could alter my face a bit surgically. I might be saying that. But it isn’t what’s driving me. Must keep on theme

Value and Belonging. So imagine you’re me. You’ve already been through something of a ringer by the time you enter high school. You have secrets. A sort of secret life maybe. You’ve been mocked by the preppies in pink and green, LL Bean duck boots and you could give a shit. You have two art classes back to back first and second period. Typically you wake and bake so you’re super chill and detached. Yes, you’ve continued to at least be “featured” in every musical and experienced waves of recognition. And still the “middle management” of your school is married to you’re being not only “a mock” or or worse sling you’re already bullet proofed against, knowing full well, if push came to shove, and somebody called you out to physically fight, you’d be more afraid you’d kill said person with the strength of your pent up secret than if they gave you a fat lip or bloody nose. Meanwhile you’re just the weirdo trying to keep his head down, not a pot-head, but smoking a lot of pot, hanging out with adults in your spare time, going into New York, to clubs, getting drunk on champagne poured into bathtubs, having Chinese food in the village, seeing Broadway plays in matinee, and not giving a shit. Until one day…somewhere during the last few weeks of your junior year in high school…you’re like..

Fuck this. I’m missing out. I’m in high school. I’m not only my outside cached world. I’m here. I’m here now. And here and now totally sucks. I am not Valued. I don’t Belong. Something needs to be done. And so I did it. I was online in the crap cafeteria chosing some semblance of something I could call food—I was already “this person” when it comes to diet—and exiting the line, instead of finding some remote corner of a table where I could sit alone and read without having anything thrown at me or anything stolen off my tray (yes i was that lowly guy), I beelined for the elite table filled with the uber pantheon residents of the wall. There were no football players. Here, there were soccer stars, all swarthy, and not all cheerleaders but only the select upper echelon of cheerleaders who were raised by hippie single mothers and, though they ran the squad, they weren’t “of” the squad. These were the untouchables. In New Jersey, at this time, when everyone was prepped out and listening to Bruce Springsteen, this bunch, like me, was not. We drove our cars up Skyline Drive to find rare records by Buffalo Springfield and the Doors. Stuff I later found out after: I walked over and plopped my red tray down and wiggled my bony ass into a space between this supposed god and goddess and I just started eating my lunch. And they scarcely noticed. That was the best part, learning about Value and Belonging. It was as if they didn’t notice I hadn’t been there alll along. And I listened to them talk, admittedly self-conscious, and then suddenly one girl, making a point about something that happened in class earlier, punctuated by saying, “Billy knows, Billy was there”. As if somehow I had entered into this scene, yes, seemingly unnoticed, but right on cue.

So I made myself belong? I didn’t know I didn’t belong. Others assumed I did already. When you come from a family of shifting sands it’s very hard to know where you stand in a landscape of people who maybe have been on teams all their lives or they don’t come from dysfunctional families but from familes where twelve siblings all love and respect each other or they don’t feel downtrodden so they have no understanding of those who do and perhaps they don’t even view themselves as some sort of pantheon but that’s something others put on them and they are as easy, as a group, to infiltrate as any, provided you have the confidence. Because it was confidence that plopped me down at that cafeteria table and yet that was the last time that plopping was interesting. I’m still friends with many of those high school characters. Turns out the most loving people live at the top. It’s mister/mistress in between you have to look at for. I write on this subject all day. Must shut myself down.

Copyright 2016 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.