Family, Fate, and Two Astrologies
The Eastern Zodiac is one area of mysticism my family can all agree on.
My birthday, perched on the opening edge of Leo season, has come and gone, and in its aftermath and the gentle cooling of the season I’ve found myself marveling at not just this recent nexus of my own astrological signs (Eastern Monkey, Western Leo), but also a haunting and hypothetical one: If I’d had my daughter, she would’ve been a cusp child, caught between not just Aquarius and Pisces, but also Horse and Goat. Every birth date is a product of astral ordinance and sheer luck; you can try to predict and plan it, but chance will generally tip the scales toward one Western Zodiac sign or another. It’s another thing to be born between lunar years, those ruled over by the Eastern Zodiac: Your non-calendar birth year is almost always known ahead of time unless you’re to be born in the liminal space between late January and mid-February. Though my abortion took place years ago, I find it fascinating that my first child would’ve been born on the edge, one that so cleanly illustrates my own preoccupation with astrological fate.
But even saying that in jest ties a knot in my gut, connotes a certainty that I both welcome and am wary of. I am already familiar with sudden and debilitating nausea, the kind of tiredness and sickness that wrings you out. Sometimes I wonder what my mother might have done in a world without me. I am grateful to be hers, and I want my own children to feel the same way about me when they come. If they come.
What do you want to do? Where do you see yourself in the future? How are you going to get there?
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“If I’d stayed, I could have protected him. That’s what I believed. Maybe he believed that, too.”
“I realized I had to change or I was going to lose you,” my mother told me. “So I did.”
Before I visited the Partition Museum, I had a sense that all the years of self-erasure could be undone if I just heard, watched, read enough. Now I’m beginning to rethink that strategy.