The oracle for 2° Leo, An Epidemic Of The Mumps, is about the spread of individual actions, thoughts and attitudes into the collective. On the negative side, which this symbol is mostly about, we are all guilty of causing such infections from time to time, and some of us are more susceptible than others to what certain individuals give off. I have long been aware of my own hypersensitivity, which is the down side perhaps of my empathetic power if not my sometime psychic one. I am engineered to focus on others, surely, to a fault; and if people are giving off a strong vibe, especially a negative one, I pick up on it way too easily; to the point of infiltrating my own moods and attitudes.

I’m not good in crowds. I naturally stay on the periphery at parties, quickly dipping in and out, making a “French exit”; and I’m terrible with tight groups or cliques, their collective energy being overwhelming, and, mostly, negatively so. At times, my need to avoid certain people or groups of them has overriden my affection for individuals and I’ve had to sacrifice relationships to save myself from the effects of such negativism.

Recently, as often happens, I was gathering together a group of people, some of them close friends, for an occasion where the focus was on showcasing the one person’s talent. Others, one character in particular, who is used to being showered with attention bordering on worship, entered into the scene with an attitude and behavior they have exhibited before: attempting to set themself apart from the rest, taking an exalted position, instead of just participating in the same way all the rest of us were. Apparently just being one of the crowd wasn’t good enough for them. I’m taking license here using the third person plural.

Immediately I felt infected by this person’s vibe and it infiltrated my being. It’s near impossible for me to shake, which I’m loath to admit—I wish I had a better filter. For the same reason, I seem to get lost sometimes, even here in this blog, in what seems to be complaining about society at large. I just don’t understand why it is we live in such a selfish world, everyone driven by greed. Greed for money and greed for attention; I’m not even sure which is which. Self-reliance is a wonderful thing. Self-serving-ness feels, yes, like a disease. And I think most people give in to it, probably, initially, as a means of combatting it. It’s sad to me. And I hate when I fall into it, myself, which I sometimes do in my own attempt to get some sugar, an exclusive diet of which so many around me seem to live on. The irony is that those most in need of worship tend to give off what seems to be charismatic air, drawing others in, when in fact it’s not charisma, it’s narcissistic need.


When narcissists aren’t given the bulk of the air, they will suck the oxygen more and more out of the room. And they will often do so by telegraphing to the rest of us that they are doing you some kind of favor just by being there. You know what, don’t do me any favors. Why not just sit and listen for a change. Take in what others are saying. Just this past year I sat and wrote out a list of people I call friends; and then I aimed to put a check next to the names of those whom I thought were good listeners and truly interested in what was going on in my life. There weren’t many checks. I realized—holy merde—that most people I had listed had the same metaphoric mumps: it was always all about them: If I met them for dinner or at an event, I was mainly in for a running monologue consisting of self-aggrandizing events and anecdotes and posturing and it terrified me at first. People are supposed to have friends, right? Everyone else seems to like these people. In fact many people worship them. That was the problem. I’m the problem. I don’t worship anyone. I’m incapable of being the person that carries your purse. I will only do that for one person in my life and you can probably guess who. And she isn’t someone who seeks worship and she’s the best listener on the planet.

So I’ve made a conscious effort to ghost, quietly removing myself from relationships and, guess what, most people, the check-less from my list, scarcely noticed. People with metaphorical mumps will easily and quickly replace you with a willing devotee. This symbol is ruled by Taurus in a twelve-fold sequence and it does speak to the shadow side of that sign. The sign is fixed-earth and it is akin to a garden or a flower, and the main archetypes are the nymphs and flower gods like Adonis, Hyacinth and Narcissus for whom the -ism is named. The energy of Taurus is subjective and there can be an obsession with self and the image in the mirror—how we are seen by others and what worship we can amass. This also speaks to the choice of mumps, being a child disease. Taurus rules the ages 7-14, the age of innocence leading to certain temptation. The mumps affect the glands in the throat and neck, the body part ruled by Taurus. And, secondarily, it affects the sex glands. The female nymphs and the male flower gods are innocents who, like flowers, attract attention and then certain seduction.

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