Sunday, January 23, 2011

Aggressors

from astrocenter.com:

Your horoscope for January 23, 2011

Jump into the ring with your arms up, STEPHANIE. There is an intense aggressiveness today that is right up your ally. If there is anything you need to tackle with a great deal of physical strength and power, this is your day to do it. Action is the name of the game for you. Don't hold back in any way. Make sure you do have a positive outlet for your energy today, otherwise you are apt to start world war III with all the power you have built up inside.

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Funny, but I was just thinking the opposite -- how very desperately I needed to learn to "go with the flow" rather than constantly head-butting against things! I have absolutely NO water signs (Pisces, Scorpio, Cancer) in my natal chart, to my detriment. My only chart fire sign is the main one, Leo. With a ton of both earth and air signs in the rest of the chart. I often feel that I lack subtlety. Not so much intellectual subtlety as, rather, emotional subtlety.

Speaking of aggressiveness: I've been watching the History Channel's "Third Reich: Rise and Fall" for 4 hours tonight. Lots of home movies of German citizens during the Hitler years. My mother's German, born in '41. She remembers the British and American air raids (her small town was right next to an industrial center, Wolfsburg). There's also a family photo album picture of her older sisters, born 10-15 years before she was, with Nazi flags on their bicycles. My grandfather, a civil servant, was a member of the Nazi party. (Government officials were "strongly encouraged" to join.) He was born around 1895, so didn't immediately fight in the war. But at the end in 1945, desperate, Hitler was calling up older men and teenaged boys, and my then-50-year-old grandfather went to fight. At the very end of the war, when it was clear that all was lost -- but not officially declared yet -- he was, making his way home by foot, almost shot as a deserter by a zealous officer. (His father-in-law, on the other hand -- my German grandmother's father -- was an avowed Communist who was forced to leave the country for America in '33, when Hitler came to power.) So watching this personal look at the German citizenry during the war years has been very powerful and emotional for me.

The question is often asked: What would YOU have done? In my youth, I boldly thought that I would have protested Hitler... But that was just me speaking from my cozy modern-day position in democratic America. It's one thing to protest against Bush or Obama... quite another to protest against Hitler. You got killed for the latter. My Commie great-grandfather was hard-core, and willing to abandon his wife and kids, and so got the hell out of the country. My grandfather, on the other hand, was middle-class and mainstream and had nowhere else to go. So he stayed and watched some of his neighbors disappear and didn't say anything. I probably would have taken exactly that latter course (assuming, of course, that I hadn't been so bold as to have come out as a lesbian beforehand, which I probably would not have done. It was hard enough to come out in America in 1989).

I've been "confronted" twice for having German ancestry. Once in the '80s by a roommate's Jewish friend. (I'd mentioned in passing that my mother was German. The friend said, "I'm Jewish." I didn't know what response was expected of me.) And then, while I was in grad school in San Francisco in the mid-'90s, I again mentioned in passing, to my thesis advisor, that my mother was German, born during WWII. The advisor said, "Oh, so your family were Nazis." She didn't want to hear any sort of complications to the story; when I started to tell about the civil servant grandfather and the Commie great-grandfather, she cut me off with a condescending, "Isn't it funny how Germans are always in denial." One of the reasons I disliked the residents of SF so -- the stereotypical knee-jerk liberal black-and-white response to any gray-shaded situation. I was from "The South," which I got plenty of shit for. My mother was German. End of story, as far as the PC professors there were concerned. (I never brought up what would have been my "Third Strike" -- that my father had been a military recruiter during the Vietnam War! Oooooh.)

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