Sage-ing While Age-ing.
I have no need to introduce you, the reader, to Shirley MacLaine. She is known the world over, not necessarily just for her entertainment career, but even more for her books about spirituality. This book continues that journey.
In her New York Times bestseller Sage-ing While Age-ing award-winning actress Shirley MacLaine invites readers to join her on the most powerful, provocative journey of her life. Over the years, Shirley has firmly established herself as a fearless, iconoclastic thinker and seeker of truth. Now, as she confronts the realities and rewards of growing older, she reflects on the greater understanding of her own place in the universe.
Looking back across the remarkable and personal milestones she has experienced so far, she discovers the invisible threads that stitch together the seemingly random events of her days and explores the questions that have always interest her most: What is consciousness? What is the purpose of our lives? Are we alone in the universe? Have other beings visited us here before? And perhaps the greatest mystery of all, what happens to us after death? She also shares practical personal insights into nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathy, and alternative medicine.
Filled with Shirley’s trademark wit and candor, Sage-ing While Age-ing will inspire, delight, and captivate her legions of fans and fellow travelers everywhere. (Blurb from back cover)
First Encounter with her Spirit Guide
As we saw with yesterday’s post about Sylvia Browne, Francine (her spirit guide) had been her companion for her whole life. This seems to be true for Shirley, too.
“I had never been a religious person. I had gone to church a few times, and I think it said ‘Baptist’ on my birth certificate. But at an early age, I was aware of another dimension. It was invisible, but real to me. I had dreams of being guided from another place. I knew there was another, larger truth than what I had been taught.
“When I was ten, I asked for a telescope for Christmas — a telescope and a gold cross on a chain. I used to sit out on the lawn, gaze through that telescope, and ponder on life out there, What was happening on those other stars? Were there star people who gazed down on me? I wanted to know them, feel them, ask them questions. There was never any doubt in my mind that they were there. Maybe one of them was the angel on my shoulder.
“The gold cross on a chain (which I still have and treasure) was with me when I went to New York. One day I felt it missing from my neck. It was gone. At that moment I heard a voice in my head say, ‘Southeast corner of Fifty-seventh Street and Seventh Avenue.’ A voice? In my head? I took the bus to that location, got off, and there, gleaming in the sunlight, was the cross. ‘What’s going on here?’ I thought. ‘What…or who…is talking to me?'” (page 11)
Ms. MacLaine credits her ‘angel on her shoulder’ for the continuing luck that she had in show business.
I cannot attest to the birth time of this chart, but according to most astrological sites, it’s accurate, At first glance, her ‘angel on her shoulder’ is probably Neptune, conjunct her Moon. But that Sun conjunct Mars link is nothing to sneer at, either. And because these four planets are tied together in a trine, the best of them is accented.
So what about the Finger of God (Yod) pointing at Virgo Rising?
Mars Inconjunct Ascendant
The difficulty with this aspect is to find a balance between getting what you want in life and getting along with others. More than most people, you will have to learn the necessity of compromising to get along with people, especially because you often seem more aggressive than you are. While you are young, the need to compromise may be frustrating, because youth is a time when your own needs seem especially urgent and demanding. At times you may feel that nothing is going your way, that you continually have to give in to others and put your own wishes aside. However, it is not really this bad. You do not actually have to compromise any more than anyone else, but you are more reluctant to do so.
Learn to work for the good of others by making their objectives your objectives, whenever possible. This aspect can signify the ability to accomplish a great deal, as long as you do not spend all your time and energy feeling angry or resentful about seemingly undeserved defeats. When you have a real goal to work toward that you can share with others, you will be able to attain that goal.
I looked at Shirley’s only Oscar win, for Terms of Endearment. It seemed a very stressful shoot, with her co-star Debra Winger being in a conflict with her.
‘In her autobiography “My Lucky Stars” Shirley MacLaine re-enacted some of the very combative and hostile moments between her and Debra on the set: “The result was a bracingly complex mother-daughter bond onscreen, if not a pleasant set.” “We knew what we were doing a lot of the time, sparring back and forth,” Winger said. “It was a very gritty way of working. People at Paramount thought we were crazy.” MacLaine didn’t appreciate Winger’s method. In her 1995 autobiography, “My Lucky Stars”, she wrote that her demanding costar yelled at her to “get over here,” when it was time to hit her marks on set. “‘I heard you,’ I said. ‘I know marks when I see them,'” MacLaine wrote in her book. “‘Good,’ [Winger] said. ‘How’s this for a mark?’ She turned around, walked away from me, lifted her skirt slightly, looked over her shoulder, bent over, and farted in my face.” “I can’t deny that we fought,” Winger told the New York Times in 1986. “We’re not having lunch together today. We challenged ourselves, and when we got tired of challenging ourselves, we challenged each other. But I think there was always a respect between the two of us.”‘ (From IMDb)
Uranus Inconjunct Ascendant
Your need for freedom may interfere with your close relationships. When you are with others, even those you like, you feel very restless but you can’t get up and leave because you want to be with them. This is typical of the ambiguity that comes with this transit. Certainly, the more others try to restrict your freedom of movement, the more you try to get away.
The restless energies of this aspect should be given some kind of release, because otherwise they can turn inward to create the kind of rash and compulsive actions that lead to accidents. If you have accidents, it is not because you are unlucky, but because you are not careful at critical times. Learn to avoid any kind of dangerous activity when you are nervous, upset or feel that your energies are scattered.
Shirley has had a great many adventures in this life. What prevented her from crashing and burning was her relaxed attitude about them, and her level of ‘trust’.
“When I was younger, I innocently trusted nearly everyone and everything. I think I still do. I’m proud that I haven’t become jaded or cynical. Instead, I’ve become a more sophisticated questioner. Given some of my traveling antics, I don’t know how I survived. I was caught in a coup d’etat in the Himalayas (Bhutan). I got smuggled illegally into Leningrad University in the Soviet Union and had my passport stolen. I lived with the Masai in East Africa and birthed a few babies inside of a menyatta (village) who were named after me. I took a women’s delegation to Communist China (before any other foreigners were admitted) and promptly, along with everyone else, got pneumonia. I traveled alone across the United States and took up with an Indian medicine man in Arizona, who taught me the ways of the Great Spirit while driving around in an old Dodge with $50,000 worth of turquoise jewelry he tried to sell me. Once after a trip through Romania and Czechoslovakia, I came back to Los Angels but never returned to my house. I turned right around, went back to the airport, and flew to Mexico. I never wanted to stay in one place except to make a movie. In fact, I canceled two movies in order to trek the Santiago de Compostela Camino alone for a month, while my agent back home wondered if I’d ever work again. I went to India for a week and stayed for a month and a half. The wanderlust was an elixir for me. I always went alone and splashed up against totally foreign environments. I learned about myself. In North Africa I studied the Koran outside of mosques with friends I met. In India I studied the Bhagavad Gita while wondering if I had lived there before. Always I was in the search for this ‘other’ truth, this ‘other’ dimension I knew was there. Perhaps in the older, ancient cultures of foreign lands I could find a hint of something besides stardom, success, materialism, and the action of Hollywood and America. In Brazil, I had a friend with a private plane who took me to many of the psychic surgeons and healers in the Amazon. I saw that they were working with the ‘other’ dimensions. I saw them take out human eyes to restore sight to a blind woman. One psychic surgeon removed a human heart, fixed the four-part bypass, restored it to the man’s cheat, and with ‘energy’ closed the wound without stitches.
“I went to Machu Picchu in Peru with a man who said he had had a love affair with an extraterrestrial. He said he was still being guided by her and could call on that guidance anytime. He proceeded to do just that. The Peruvian roads are steep, narrow, and dangerous. He took his hands off the wheel, closed his eyes and the car was ‘driven.’ I don’t know by what. People don’t believe me when I tell them this story. They suspect a trick of some kind, but I saw none. What was even more shocking than the invisibly driven was the fact that it was okay with me. I trusted that what he said was true. I believe now that I never got in serious trouble or a life-threatening situation because I trusted whoever I was with. Even if some had been life-threatening, I chose to regard them as adventures. Why did I do that? Why wasn’t I more left-brained suspicious about so many events? Was I totally gullible? If so, why wasn’t I ever really hurt or seriously threatened? Was there really an angel on my shoulder from the beginning? And was the real lesson in life to trust that each of us has one or maybe more angels and guides? Was I talking about religion here, or was I talking about the ‘other’? Real spirituality did not occur to me until I was forty years old.” (pages 15-16)
The South American trip is featured in the TV series Out on a Limb.
Saturn Inconjunct Ascendant
With this aspect you probably have a rather serious attitude toward life and other people. It may be quite difficult for you to simply go out and have a good time. You want to be serious and to spend all your time performing significant tasks. This attitude may have developed because you were discouraged from enjoying yourself when you were younger. You may have been made to feel that only work is important, that play serves no useful purpose. This is not true, however, because playing has a positive and useful function in the development of the adult mind and body. Not only does it serve to release tensions, but it also actually helps train you in social and physical skills that will be useful in any work you do later.
You need to be encouraged to believe in yourself and to recognize your personal strength. You have to be helped to realize that you as an individual are worth a lot and that you need to get some satisfaction from life as much as the next person does.
It seems that her parents did a very good job in helping Shirley realize her dreams.
“Neither of them ridiculed my questions, my expanding beliefs, or my tendency to expound on such things in public. They used to say, ‘Well, it could all be true.’
“Daddy told me he secretly always wanted to run away and join the circus. He was a good musician who played the violin, but turned down a scholarship in Europe because he didn’t want to study hard to become a professional musician only to end up playing in the pit of a Broadway musical eight times a week. Hence, later on, he became a real estate salesman. I think I’m good with the value of real estate because of him. My agent used to say that because of my investments in real estate, I have lived rent-free my whole life.
“Mother was an artist, an actress, and loved to read poetry. Her mother was the Dean of Women at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. And Mother’s father was a brain surgeon (one of the best in Canada, I’m told) and as I found out later, going through the attic after they both had passed on, her father was a thirty-three-degree Mason! I found newspaper articles that she had saved attesting to that fact, but she never told me herself. Maybe she didn’t even know.
“She did tell me, though, that she was at her father’s side when he died (she was seventeen), and at his passing he said to her, ‘Oh, it’s sooo beautiful. Don’t be sorry, it’s incredibly beautiful.’ So I suppose I got my spiritual and metaphysical leanings from both my parents.” (page 5)
And one inconjunct that may be modifying the rest:
Venus Inconjunct Jupiter
This can be a positive aspect if you learn to control some of its negative possibilities. You are likely to lack energy and to be rather passive. You may wait for opportunities to come to you, rather than go after them. You may not have enough energy to pursue your ambitions, or you may not have much ambition. Or you may love your comfort so much that you are unwilling to make any effort or put up with any pain that could help you grow and develop. However, if there are any indications of energy in your chart, they should overcome the passivity.
On the plus side, you need love and affection, and you can usually be very warm and affectionate as well. However, it very important that you choose your close friends carefully, because you may attract people who are difficult to get along with, who order you around or act as if they are better than you. Avoid such people, for they will do you no good.
“As I look back over my life, as my mind wanders freely over how I’ve lived and loved and protested and questioned, I realize that aging well isn’t about the search for happiness, but more about quietly feeling content with what I’ve experienced. Loving without caring too much, you might say. And more than anything, I’ve come to appreciate the value of conflict. Everything isn’t always meant to be light and love. The dark times, the conflicts, that’s where real learning can happen.” (page 6)
The Final Word