memory jealousy

The Constant Battle

“I had a dream,” I begin, shifting in my seat trying to get comfortable in a chair that was not to my liking. She waits for me to settle down with practiced patience.

I finally concede to folding one long leg over the other and not meeting her eyes because I’d probably get indignant at her even expression and lecture her about her choice of furniture – a distraction, she would point out, and an argument would prevail.

“I had a dream where I was minding my own damn business and I suddenly spy a tattoo. It’s an elaborate rose and the petals are little lines of a script. It catches my eye for two reasons: it’s brilliant in terms of skill and art, and it seems familiar, even from afar.”

My hands let go off my leg at this point and wave about for emphasis and to help eloquence find its way out of my mouth. Sometimes the words get stuck between my teeth and spurt out as a garbled mess.

“So, I ask the owner – is that the right term for a person who has a tattoo – are you the owner of the tattoo?”

She looks at me, starts to form an answer, and changes her mind. She knows if we get into this, I will never get past this point of the session.

I clear my throat and continue, “anyway, so I ask the person for permission to examine this gorgeous tattoo and he’s proud to show it off anyway. It’s on his tanned forearm and there I am, holding his arm as if holding an antique book and reading the script of words within the rose, and guess what?”

She raises an eyebrow.

“It’s a poem. MY poem. But it’s not credited to me. It’s credited to someone else.”

She makes the effort to understand the surge of emotion in my voice and the struggle to stay even-tempered.

“It’s my fucking poem, it’s tattooed permanently on some punk’s skin, and it’s not even credited to me. This was scandalous to me on some godawful level. I felt this liquid fury form in the pits of my stomach and I lashed out. I hacked the tattoo off. I ripped the canvas of his skin off. And it was bad. I mean, horror movie bad. Horrific.”

I shake my head and readjust my feet. But the restlessness is too much and I leap up and start pacing.

“Suffice to say, it left me shaken. I’m not violent in nature and all that blood - yeuck. But the whole episode felt so savagely bizarre. Who was that ‘me’?”

I run my hand through my hair, as chagrin pools at my ankles.

“You have to understand that I’ve been plagiarized before. I mean, literally. Poems taken from my blog and posted as their own. And I’ve just been meh about it all. I’ve tried to keep myself from being too emotionally invested in my work such that if it’s good or it’s bad or it’s deleted or it’s stolen or whatever the outcome, it does not, or rather, it should not have an earth shattering, globe shifting effect on me.”

“But it has,” she surmises.

“Inevitably. I think that it hasn’t bothered me before because it’s been inconsequential. No awards or rewards given to the thieving bastards. But, in my dream, where there was a permanent effect, recognition, concrete evidence that something once mine no longer is…that bothered me to no end. That bothers me.”

She nods her head and taps the pencil against her pad in a rhyming tat-ta-tata-tat. The clock ticks serenely in the background, an accompaniment to her tapping, and my shuffling feet. I move over to the window, looking down at the marching ants of humans and crawling maggots of cars.

She interrupts my silence with: “I detect shame within your narration. Shame that you too feel possessive over what’s rightfully yours. That you too feel such a basic and wasteful emotion such as petty jealousy that someone tattooed the words of others on their skin, and not yours, but essentially yours, but not correctly accredited to you. Shame that you feel slighted by the denial of experiencing the flattery of such a tribute, such an honour.”

She pauses to let her words sink in past my armoured psyche. And they do. I bury my face in my hands and grunt.

Her voice takes on a kinder tone, “you’ve been conditioned to see these negative emotions such as jealousy and dismay as petty emotions. Worthless and not becoming of you. Someone set the standards very high of what you should be and what you should not be–”

“We all know who!” I interject. But she doesn’t let me get away with it.

“You are your own person. You let yourself be defined by the choices you make.”

“Yes, I get all that, but wouldn’t you agree that jealousy is a bad thing that has no cure an if you give in to it there’s no escaping it?”

I think I’m wearing an eager expression on my face – I so dearly want her to agree with me – that she breaks into a smile. It’s almost sympathetic.

“But this is always the thing with you. Afraid of your natural instincts; you fear that if you acknowledge that you are jealous, you’ll turn into a monster and no one will like you.”


“You need to have more faith in yourself. In your goodness and your sensibility. And to pull a leaf from your own book –” she glances down at the words I told her to write down in a previous session, and looks up with a winning smile “– just be.”

“Human. Flawed. And all that.” I sigh. “Just be”

astrolodew's "Astrology 101" series: The Planets
  • Rising/Ascendant: also your 1st house. just as important as your sun sign. the face you wear in public, your first impression. influences fashion style (along with Venus) and mannerisms as well as personality. this is how strangers see you. your rising sign manifests as the first personality traits you exhibit. it eventually blends with the traits your sun sign endows you with, and that acts as a shell for your moon sign (outside layer: rising, inner layer: sun, deep inner layer: moon).
  • Sun: your ego, the broad strokes of your personality, who you are. the side of you that is seen by acquaintances. rules Leo.
  • Moon: just as important as sun. your instinctual self, your inner emotions, the unconscious side of your personality. the place comfort, peace, childhood memories, anger, hate, jealousy, and fear may be found. even if you don't relate to your Sun sign, you will almost always resonate completely with your Moon sign. the side of you that is typically seen by only close friends and relatives. rules Cancer.
  • Mercury: your center for communication, reason, intellect, awareness. mercury can influence if you're extravert or introvert (or ambivert - in the middle), how you study, what your handwriting looks like, if you enjoy reading and writing, if public speaking is easy or difficult for you. a natal retrograde mercury can indicate issues with outward communication and learning, though it may also bestow you with a great propensity for introspection. rules Gemini and Virgo.
  • Venus: influences how you love, how you act in relationships, where you find beauty. contributes to your own personal style. represents sensuality (Taurus, ruled by Venus, is one of the most sensual signs), culture, romance, beauty, social appeal (Libra, ruled by Venus, is one of the most socially charming signs). in a man's chart, influences what kind of person you're attracted to. rules Taurus and Libra.
  • Mars: your animal instinct. how you approach sexual encounters, how you fight, why you fight, how you go after your goals. influences whether you're aggressive or passive, detached or intense. gives you energy, both negative (rage) and positive (passion). how enemies and sexual partners see you. in a woman's chart, influences what kind of person you're attracted to. a natal retrograde mars can mean that one must turn inwards for motivation rather than send their energy outwards into the world to achieve their goals. (example: Sigmund Freud was born with a retrograde Libra mars. he spent his life studying what went on internally to create the motives and sexualities of others.) rules Aries.
  • Jupiter: associated with luck, good fortune, optimism. can influence how you view new people, cultures, ideas, and passions. the planet one should look to when deciding whether or not to go with fate (as opposed to going your own way, relying only on yourself). rules Sagittarius.
  • Saturn: represents restrictions, limitations, authority. the parent figure of the planets, throws challenges your way to make you more responsible. shows you where you need to apply determination and willpower the most. this could be in a financial, material, or spiritual area. seen as the force balancing out Jupiter. rules Capricorn.
  • Uranus: represents change, innovation, technology, discovery, general progression. represents enlightenment, ingenuity. an entire generation can fall under the same Uranus sign due to how slowly it moves. most Millennials have a Capricorn Uranus, while most Generation Z (the group after Millennials) kids have an Aquarius Uranus. this is why you'll see a lot of Millennials working hard the way their parents worked hard...going to school and working lots of jobs, while their younger siblings take alternative education routes, push for social change, push out inventions and humanitarian programs (think Ahmed Mohamed, Malala Yousafzai). opposes your natal sun at about age 40, hence the mid-life crisis. your Uranus sign will tell you where you defy the rules, break traditions, refuse to follow. rules Aquarius.
  • Neptune: represents illusion, fantasy, dreams, visions, imagination. works mostly in the spiritual realm. can push you towards mysticism, magic, the occult, experimental drugs, delusion, deception, guilt if its influence is strong enough. also can add compassion, sensitivity, and a marked love for the arts (especially music) to a person. can soften the hard edges found elsewhere in your chart. another generational planet. rules Pisces.
  • Pluto: represents transformation, challenge, death, renewal. brings hidden/secret information to light, changing everything. often considered to rule the masses more than the individual. throws challenges your way to force you to change, to make you stronger. Pluto pushes for self-empowerment. the ends justify the means to Pluto when it comes to this. rules Scorpio.
  • Midheaven: also your 10th house. your Midheaven gives you some insight into where your place in life is, especially when it comes to your career. also relates to your social standing, your reputation as it often influences your public face (not the same one your rising gives you, though. this face is for teachers and bosses, people you want to impress). can also be used to gain insight into your spiritual and personal goals.