Fare Thee Well


Time's up, y'all.

I'm done writing weekly horoscopes, at least for the foreseeable future. Perhaps forever. Who knows? I only know now.

If this news comes as a shock to you, I admit I'm pretty unnerved by it myself. I hadn't necessarily seen it approaching. An eventual expiration-date was inevitably part of my work as an astrologer, for nothing that's alive is eternal, but I'd left the timing undefined in my forward-thinking consciousness. Then came the split-second epiphany, a spontaneous realization that this end-time had come. There was no turning back from there. A switch had been flipped. I couldn't un-know what I now knew as true, nor could I pretend it away: I was just done.

I've never wanted to overstay my welcome as an astrologer… to allow these inspired passions to deaden into rote mechanics, as I grapple to spin inspirational-seeming one-liners (albeit really long ones, with too many adverbs and ellipses and awkward syntactical structures) from my depleting stores… to watch as my heartfelt practice corroded into an excuse not to further evolve myself, not to take any new creative risks for fear of letting this duty drop.

I believe I succeeded in catching myself before that happened. I'm walking away while still happy with the quality of my work. Now that the alarm in my soul has sounded, I'm not dragging my heels. Also, I am riddled with anxiety about what happens next—what I'm doing with this precious career I've built from the ground up and now leaving behind, how you'll judge me as I abandon my end of our unspoken agreement, how to fill the empty spaces in my schedule and my heart, what will become of me once divorced from this identity. Sifting through these anxieties is my primary task in the weeks ahead. Still, I do not doubt this is the right decision.

As these things often go, there was a precipitating event which led me down the path towards this decision. A week and a half ago, while traveling on business, my rental car was broken into. Though the car was full of merchandise for my shops, the only item stolen was my backpack, which held my computer. As I stood on the dark street, discouraged, surveying the smashed window, waiting on hold with one customer service rep after another, I couldn't, at that moment, imagine mustering the resilience to rewrite those now-missing horoscopes before my Sunday morning deadline. And just one modest line-of-thought beyond that loomed the epiphany. I couldn't imagine any more of the same. I craved a letting-go.

To be clear, the theft of my computer is not the reason I'm stepping away from my astrology work. Hell, it wasn't even my most traumatic happening of that week. By this age, I've grown quite skilled at handling life's typical disruptive snafus with sturdy aplomb, at least under normal circumstances (whatever those might be). But after my past year's relentless stream of life-altering changes and the corresponding emotional consequence-ripples which have continued to sweep over me, the simple shock of that event ('broken glass! missing valuable! now what do I do?!?') served as the final push over a precipice I wasn't even aware I'd been perched so precariously upon, much like you might bear lengths of silent uncertainty about a long-cherished relationship ('should I stay or should I go?') until some unremarkable remark or glance or touch comes along, speaking volumes more than its superficial meaning would otherwise carry, and, in that striking moment, your heart has its answer.

I've only been separated from my backpack, a security-blanket holder of my intimate everyday items, once before in my life… at the tenderest of critical self-development junctures, in my early 20s, when I lost not just my belongings but my whole sense of self, both a defining trauma and one of the best things that ever happened to me. At that time, transiting Uranus had recently finished conjoining my natal Capricorn Moon and moved into conjunction with my natal Aquarius Sun. Everything I'd thought I was had suddenly been called into question. With the deeply-self-doubting ego of a pre-Saturn-return youngster, I muddled through the next few years of my life without the security of those former life-plans which no longer fit, a journey of distresses and delights that eventually led me, so surprisingly even still, to become a professional astrologer.

Two decades later, as transiting Uranus now makes its last of three squares to my Moon before heading on to square my Sun, I'm once again walking away from a secure identity and headfirst into another open-ended journey of self-discovery.

I look back on my recent writings, and I spy the foreshadowing clues sprinkled everywhere. Those who have followed my personal story, woven in alongside the astrology all these years, might've suspected this was coming. My writerly ambitions extend beyond the astrological sphere, and these 'midlife-crisis' transits I've been going through are an unforgiving reminder that life is too damn short for indefinite postponements or procrastinations.

Last April, I described how my life was falling apart. Then, at the last eclipses in August, it really did seem like my world (at least a certain version of it) was coming to an end. And now, at these latest eclipses, the time's-up energy I described has had its way with me, just one more in a long line of instances when I wrote something about the current astrology only to later discover how it applied to my own life (at which point I'd utter the standard 'damn you, astrobarry!').

I've always strived to be transparent with you, dear reader… to be a fallibly messy human, in addition to the astrological poet-oracle behind the magic curtain. I'm extra-messy lately, folks: sad, scared, angry, guilty, still in shock about some of what's happened to me, grieving losses and purging the past, keeping myself afloat with stabilizing habits, working overtime to better understand these complex feelings and find healthy ways to express them. I need more attention for myself, for the self-care attitudes and practices that'll sustain me as I pivot my life from here to somewhere else.

I don't want to write this to you. I'm afraid of disappointing you. My care for you has motivated me to provide this service nearly every week for more than fifteen years. What will my value be without this work? Will I still be serving the betterment of humanity? How can I justify my blessedness if I'm not counterbalancing it with my free-of-charge astrological labors? I truly hope you understand, even as I take away something that perhaps has been useful or enjoyable to you, I have to do this in order to nurture my future wellness. I ask for your grace in this parting.

I'm grateful for any well-wishes you feel like sending me (barry@astrobarry.com), though please know it's likely I won't respond, as I need this time to focus unapologetically on myself. Similarly, I lost a bunch of recent emails in the computer theft, so if you're waiting on a response for me, you probably won't receive it. I apologize for that. I aim to retool this website (as I've been meaning to do for years now), but since I don't know what the future will bring, I make no promises.

If you'd like to stay in touch with me, please make sure to join my mailing list and/or follow me on social media. (You can do so on my homepage.)

I'm not blowing smoke when I tell you I love you. I really do. The support you've shown me since I first became 'astrobarry' in 2002 has been palpably felt, absorbed, and appreciated. Thank you so much.