A funny thing happened on the way to NORWAC. . .
I've done enough travelling to be pretty good at it. Despite having Saturn in Pisces, I've managed to hold on to my passport, bank card and laptop (I could lose everything else and not be that bothered--that'll be Venus in Gemini for you). I'm also pleased to say I can master the public transport system of any city (except in India!) and I like to use buses and trains to get to know the local residents. I'm pretty friendly and easy going and I like to chat to people about their city. So imagine my alarm when I was warned by a life long Seattle resident of something called "Seattle Freeze". Apparently, people in Seattle just suddenly shut you down without warning or reason.
"Gosh," I said to my short term travelling companion. "Really?" I was a bit jet lagged as well as a little nervous as I was due to lecture a few hours later. I just couldn't imagine such a thing.
"Oh yes," she said. "Everything seems OK at first and then. . ." She shrugged, looked out the window and didn't say another word.
Blimey, I thought. Am I getting the Seattle Freeze? I was seriously worried. How would I cope if people ignored me?
But the good news is "Seattle Freeze" seemed to be a one off occurrence and I found the residents of Seattle and the area around Seattle to be absolutely beautiful. A couple days after the conference when most of the out of town astrologers left Seattle, I was trying to break a hundred dollar bill by buying a bottle of diet coke to get change for the bus. The cashier was adorably apologetic and told me she just didn't have enough cash in her register. I thanked her anyway and left the diet coke behind.
"Excuse me!" someone called as I opened the door. "I'll get that for you!" I have never been the recipient of a "pay it forward" gesture but I was really touched. London needs to get into this!
But I still had the problem of not having change for the bus. So the next place I went to had a massive line of people. So I joined the line, fully intending to wait for my turn.
"Excuse me," (yeah, polite or what?) said someone at the front of the line. "You can come up here if you only have one or two things to buy."
"Oh I couldn't possibly jump the queue," I responded before remembering to speak American (travelling hazard). Everyone was looking at me and smiling and motioning for me to go to the front of the line. So with enough change to avoid spending $100 on a one way bus fare, I resumed my mission of finding Rick Levine on the other side of Seattle.
So you know how I said "I can master the public transport system of any city (except in India!)" Well I normally do very well. Except when there's a fight on the bus (what happened to this Seattle Freeze? I wondered). After a few punches were exchanged, everyone jumped up and got off the bus to leave these two to it. Even the driver got out of the bus.
Which meant I was in the middle of a big city without knowing where I was or how to get to where I wanted to go. I checked my watch and it was at this point, I realised I was trembling a little more than I should have been.
Oh no, I thought. Not now.
People who have never suffered (there is no other word) from an anxiety attack just don't understand how debilitating these attacks are. I've had them off and on since I was a young adult and have taken quite a few courses of cognitive behaviour therapy to keep them under control. Usually I can talk myself down fairly quickly by reminding myself there is no imminent danger. But the thing was there was quite a ding dong of a fight happening not too far away from me, I was running late and I was lost. Remember how Harry Potter described an encounter with the Dementors as feeling as if nothing would ever be good again? Well that's exactly how I felt--of course it's totally irrational but that's the beast of anxiety attacks.
I was a wreck.
I wanted to lock myself away in a dark room until the Dementors went away. Luckily, I did manage to calm myself down enough to figure out alternative arrangements to get to where I wanted to go. I was still a little shaky but I could cope. So I got on another bus--and wouldn't you know it Seattle has this massive underground bus system so we spent a lot of time in tunnels.
Tunnels. On a bus. It seemed totally crazy to me--what would happen if a fight broke out now? Just as I was working my way towards another anxiety attack, the bus got stuck.
In the tunnel.
"Driver, I need to get off," I was shaking and sweating and I wasn't confident my lunch was going to stay where it was.
"Can't let you off here," she said as she tried for the millionth time to manoeuvre the bus out of its tight position.
"I think I need some fresh air," I managed to groan. "I feel faint." You would think a Londoner would have been better prepared for such emergencies.
Thankfully this very nice (and handsome I noticed) man came to my rescue with a bottle of Gatorade, a warm smile and a comforting manner. I could almost forget I was several hundred feet underground with people I didn't know, in a strange city and really running late. And with no way to communicate with Rick who must have been waiting for me impatiently (there's no such thing as a patient Aries).
Anyway, we finally got out of the damn tunnel, I finally found where to get the next bus and was able to tell Rick I was on my way. And I can't tell you how happy I was to see Julija's smiling face when I got to my destination!
With all of us together at last, it was time to get to some local wineries (they grow grapes in Seattle? Oh yes they do!) and do some wine tasting. I remained quite badly shaken up and it took some time to calm down but of course, the wine and laughter helped enormously.
Here's us before. . .
And after. . .
We also had a marvellous meal together that was just out of this world (and thank the Great Goddess Rick dropped me off to my hotel afterwards!!). I don't know what turns the attention of the Dementors to my direction but I was very grateful they released me so I could enjoy this wonderful evening with my friends. I"d like to be able say I have control over them but that isn't how this game is played at all: the second I claim to have any sort of power over them is just inviting them to show I don't.
It was a great honour to have been invited to Rick's the next day (this time I was collected by the marvellous Gemini Brett who was blissfully unaware of my earlier meltdown) for an evening of hanging out with Seattle astrologers and to watch Rick in action for his regular gig. Always a pleasure to watch a master in action. And how awesome to realise the next time Julija, me and Rick will be together is in India!!
And oh yes, I got to sit in the wizard's chair. . .
I really enjoyed my time in Seattle. It always makes me happy to cover expenses and plus have time to hang out with other astrologers. I don't like fights on buses but hey, that shit happens all the time in London too.
More news in my June 2017 Newsletter.
About the Astrologer
Alex Trenoweth was voted Best International Astrologer, 2015 for her dynamic presentation on her innovative and original research into Astrology and Education. Her book, "Growing Pains" is an exciting development in astrology as it combines classroom teaching experience, sound investigation and the potential to have a positive impact on struggling adolescents, parents, teachers and those who have been labelled "at risk". She writes the weekly and monthly horoscopes and other articles for the Cosmic Intelligence Agency, one of the largest astrological social media groups on the web and was also a speaker for the AstroSummit, a guest lecturer for the London School of Astrology and has spoken at several UK local astrology groups. Past international events include ISAR, State of the Art Astrology conference, the Kepler Conference, Congresso Internacional de Astrologia (Portugal), Kepler College, the Mercury Internet School of Psychological Astrology, Astrology Restored in Cape Town, the International Academy of Astrology and NORWAC. Upcoming events include San Diego, Las Vegas, the San Francisco Astrology Society and the Scottish Astrological Association. Alex is also Vice Principal and Secretary General of International Affairs for the Krishnamurti Institute of Astrology and will will be taking up her residential post in India 2017. For queries, consultations or syndications, please contact Alex via www.alextrenoweth.com or leave a message in the comment section.
"Growing Pains" can be purchased in paperback or kindle format on Amazon or can be signed and posted directly to you by Alex.
About the New Book
There are two wolves fighting inside of me, the old story goes, one wolf is good and the other is evil. “But Grandfather,” asked the child, “Which one wins?” The Grandfather answered, “The wolf I feed.”
We might like to think that being good is a natural instinct. In fact, doing the right thing takes a conscious decision. Every day, we are met with temptation to get ahead at the expense of someone else, to get away with something we know is wrong or to cut corners if we think no one is watching.
Following on from her powerful book on astrology and Education, “Growing Pains”, Alex Trenoweth explores the benefits of using “the bad guy” of the solar system: Saturn. Often avoided and seldom understood, if we understand our own Saturn then we can help others to understand theirs. Using case studies of highly successful people contrasted with convicted serial killers, Trenoweth deftly demonstrates the dire consequences of feeding the wrong wolf.