I wrote about spirituality the other day because as part of the three tenants of a healthy life, mind and body being the other two, having a spiritual belief system can help you gain a better understanding of your wants and needs as well as form a community of those with similar beliefs. There is also an enrichment of having conversations with those with opposing belief systems because it helps to strengthen your own as well as giving you a better understanding of other’s doctrines.
My birthday is June 12. According to astrology, I am a solid Gemini. Geminis do things in contradictory to each other and they do those things with intensity. Geminis can be both introverts and extroverts; loving and aloof. They are curious, sociable, and the life of the party. In turn, they can be distant, serious, and restless. Geminis are creatives and really into sex.
I am also bipolar. Bipolars can be introverts and sociable, the life of the party; loving and aloof; curious and restless. The most famous of creatives, Vincent Van Gogh, Sylvia Path, David Foster Wallace, Anne Sexton (who all died by their own hand it should be noted)—the list goes on— were bipolar. Aggressive and assertive sexual health is related to unmanaged bipolar as well as those with borderline personality disorder.
So, are my moods related to my mental health or to my star sign?
When I was younger, before my diagnoses, I believed my personality traits were attributed to my star sign. OF COURSE, I was angry and then joyful, my star sign was in full bloom. My sexual prowess? Totally related to being a Gemini and not being unmedicated. Every once in a while, I will do something “typical” of Geminis and forget for a minute that same thing is attributed to my mental health.
Even though science shows me my traits and personality are derived from my mental illness, I still have a belief in astrology and the metaphysical. Mental health has a stigma attached to it. You talk about being mentally ill and people’s perceptions of you change and often not for the better. Finding a community can often be triggering. No one wants to discuss mental health because it could be catchable, dangerous, or full of bullshit. You just need to pull up your bootstraps, stop fucking around, and do whatever it is you need to do. Your anxiety/ depression/addiction is just all in your mind (literally). But astrology? Oh, people love discussing astrology and the esoteric world. It’s easier to believe your issues relate that your star sign is mutable or that your ascension into a particular time and place is the reason for your faulty handling of money or your overactive sex life or why you can’t get the perfect job and it’s even more fun to argue against this belief system. Having an interest in astrology is cute while being mentally ill is dangerous.
But let me be very clear while I like to believe in my star signs, it does not and should not replace the diagnosis of my mental illnesses. This is where belief systems like astrology can get perilous: some will attribute their quirks or personality traits to where their star sign is located or what their palms tell them or how the tea leaves fall and forgo their mental illness help or treatment putting their lives in danger. I know it’s hard, there is fun to believe in mystics and the relation of the sky on a particular day, but it does not nor will it ever replace an illness that is treatable or at least managed.
Be mindful of the blurring of the two and seek medical help when you’re in a crisis no matter how intriguing it can be of the sun falling into Jupiter on a particular day predicts the abundance of money in your life.