Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Embracing the Chaos

I still think we need a few more early nights!
Well. . .if one is going to invoke chaos (as only someone with Saturn in Pisces can!), one had better learn to love it.

And I don't know, I must have been walking around with a chaos magnet these past couple of weeks.

But it's all good. Honestly.

Gopal Bhattacharjee, his lovely wife Churni and I finally got to celebrate our successful conference together last night. Now we know not everything was perfect, we understand a few things could have gone better but we're pretty sure about one thing: we met our objectives in helping East and West understand each other a little more. We're building a bridge, we expected a little (snork!)  argy-bargy and we're enormously grateful for all the support we've received and continue to receive as already we're planning our 2020 conference!

I decided I needed a little time away from Kolkata immediately after the conference. I did
First time as a bridesmaid with my beautiful Ana in Cape Town
question my sanity as I packed for a week long tour because all I wanted to do after the conference was shut myself in a quiet room with the lights off for a few days. I hadn't really even recovered from the jet lag I had accrued during my very brief visit to Cape Town just before the conference. But once the shock of being on yet another plane wore off, and with the support of my fabulous travelling companions, I really had a wonderful adventure. Hanuman ki jai! I'll write more about this in a future blog.

Planning and organising the conference was so intense that I really did put my life on hold. I don't say this to gain sympathy
With Dorothy and Ra: Number 1 travel companions!
(although I wouldn't mind a little) but just to point out that WHOOSH I suddenly have a lot of things to put back together. So as Gopal and Churni and I clinked our glasses to our successes last night, a few things started to dawn on me.

I just remembered I have a blog that I'm supposed to be maintaining. I'm so far behind. I suddenly remembered this as I frantically was trying to plan a few articles (including one for Dell Horoscope about the IVC/KIA conference!) I'm supposed be writing whilst I was simultaneously preparing for an interview with the good astrologers of Athens.

At 3:00 am this morning. I mean I thought I was doing well keeping my Western astrology class going this week.

And then I discovered I didn't actually post my Christmas blog when I got to my office this morning. And I came across a note to myself that read : "Don't forget to book flights to Serbia". And then I remembered I have lectures to prepare for the Johannes Kepler Institute of Astrological Research and Education in Belgrade next month.

My website still has 2017 yearly horoscopes up. I'm not even going to put the link in until I fix that. Yikes.

I have three books that need to be finished. And several requests for interviews that I need to chase up and a few webinars (one for the Organisation for Professional Astrology) that I need to pull together. All of which needs to be done before the United Astrology Conference in May.

Of course there's also the conference in Italy in June

Oh and my teaching agency back in London is on my case.

So all of this is to say, it's been a little crazy. 

I like some craziness. I love the chaos of craziness because I work well without too much structure. Actually, I dislike structure altogether but I know other people need it so I just try to roll with it most of the time.

But I honestly think today is just one of those days that I look at the mess and think: "OMG, I need to spend a little time fixing up."

So I went for a good run at the gym. I'm getting better and I like it a lot better too. I organised my desktop (I can always tell when things are getting the better of me when my desktop is LOADED). And made a plan for catching up that included looking at my diary and making a commitment to clearing some of that massive to-do list.

It's just one of those days I need to take a bit of time to put the pieces back together.

But in the midst of the chaos, I found out another one of my articles will appear in Dell Horoscope!

So you see, it's all good!

I'll sign off with a photo of yours truly dancing at our Astrology Mega Party in Kolkata. Why am I posting a photo of my klutzy self dancing? Because I have NEVER been to an astrology conference where everyone danced with such abandonment and merriment. No matter what we disagree about or who we disagree with, today I am going to remember that astrologers laughed and danced together like never before in India. For a few hours, the astrology community boogied together and enjoyed each other's company whether they used the sidereal or the tropical zodiac.

I hope we will remember that it is totally possible to put our differences aside and just boogie with the chaos. I hope we can do it again in 2020.

A true riot of colours and sounds and there was even a drone hovering around to take more photos
How they set up a party in India!
Lynn Bell and Maurice Fernandez letting loose!
Everyone was dancing!
I think it's fair to say they had no idea what they were getting themselves  into

I may not be much of a dancer but yes, even I got up to dance
Now THIS is a proper DJ!!

Christmas in Kolkata

When I got on the plane (during Mercury retrograde AND a super full Moon) to come to India in early December, I had pretty much accepted there would be no "Hark the Herald Angles Sing" for me. The Christmas season in the UK had just about started in earnest and to be honest, I really wasn't all that fussed about not seeing any reindeer. To me it just seemed like a small price to pay for the adventure of a lifetime! I could sing along with the Christmas carols on youtube.
Churi and I rocking around a Christmas Tree in Kolkata
But as Christmas loomed closer, I started to get little pangs of missing the ho ho hos, the excitement of the children and that two week break. It didn't last too long--we've been working very hard here and I just got into the swing of things to the point I kept forgetting the Western world was starting to shut down for the holiday. And then one evening, I noticed there WERE Christmas lights starting to appear. And Christmas trees!
On reflection, my surprise is pretty silly. We celebrate Diwali, Chinese New Year, Eid and Hanukkah in London so why would I think Christmas wouldn't be celebrated or at the very least acknowledged in India? I mean globalisation, right?
In my own defence, it is abundantly clear that East and West view the world in completely different ways. The biggest difference? The West looks at the East as its poorest relation I think. Westerners look at every day life here in India and feel a sense of pity because of the poverty.
Just hold that thought for a moment.
A sense of pity because of the poverty.
Churni, Gopal and I with a reindeer or two
My experiences in India have taught me that there are two kinds of poverty: a material one and a poverty of the spirit. It's like the West is trained to look at the outside and the East is trained to look past outward appearances. I see the Western perception of "poverty" here but I also see tremendous joy and gratitude. I love the way nothing is really broken and thrown away: anything can be fixed here. I like it that life if seen as inter-connected: astrology, palmistry, gemology and yoga are just branches of the same discipline. Life is "modern" here and I can't think of a single thing that I miss (other than people which something different altogether).

Of course with the conference coming up, it's all very hectic and as a first time organiser of such a major international event, it's a very steep learning curve. My laptop sure is getting a workout. I hope it lasts! So from me to you, the Merriest Solstice how ever you celebrate it!

More Christmas lights than Oxford Circus: Park Street, Kolkata

UPDATE: 21 February 2018
Oh great goddess, you mean I forgot to publish this! Busy times. . .Trying to catch up with my blog this week.