HOME IS OTHER PEOPLE: ON HOME VOL. 6
You might remember Diana Rose Harper from her first piece, Digital Covencrafting for POC Mystics. Creating real and conceptual homes is as important to her as it is for us and she’s offering a monthly musing on what home means to her, to people, and to the world. Expect to see anecdotes, words of wisdom, and tidbits of witchy knowledge peppered throughout.
HOME IS OTHER PEOPLE
Home exists where care happens. We are home when we are cared for; we create home when we care for. When we care for ourselves. When we care for our friends and our family and our lovers. When we care for our houseplants and our rock collections and the bathtubs we bathe in. When we care enough to vote. When we care enough to donate time, money, skills, privilege. When we care enough to reduce, reuse, recycle. When we care enough to speak in defense of those who are at risk. When we care enough to speak up for ourselves.
Home is literally that which cares for us enough to create a container for us to thrive within.
Home is other people.
BUT WHO IS PEOPLE?
With each act of caring, we are creating home. With every act of care we receive, we are being given home. And every act of care, every act of home-making, requires other people, be they human or otherwise.
The otherwise matters here. There’s this thing that happens when you start looking at the world through a more magical lens: the lines that define sentience blur; the boundaries between self and other go a bit wavy; “people” no longer assumes “exclusively human.”
This shift is important, because as I’m learning, home is not a static thing, not a singular place, not a box with a lid on it.
Home is a context, a relationship, and while some relationships depend on location, most are conceptual things, facilitated by how we are currently interacting — internally and externally — with the world we’re in. The place where we sleep is not automatically home: a hotel room is not the same as the warm nest we’ve cultivated into perfection over the years. A party in your hometown with new people is not home, but a gathering of beloveds on far-off shores can feel more familiar than your favorite sweater.
And your favorite sweater? That’s home, too. You might very well have a longer relationship with that sweater than any romantic partner or any rented apartment.
Imagine outwards a bit. What landscapes feel most like home to you? Does a forested hill have to be one you’ve visited before to hold your heart with tenderness? Can the infinity of a desert horizon soothe homesickness in a way actually going home never does? What of your precious possessions — your books, your boots, your black eyeliner? Can your consider your cactus a beloved who gives you home?
THE CALL TO CREATE HOME
This month, a whole slew of astrological shifts takes place. You can read or listen about them here on @holistic_astrology or this awesome podcast. Right now, we’re only talking about one of those shifts: the Lunar Nodes moving into the Capricorn/Cancer axis.
Quick astrofacts lesson:
The Lunar Nodes mark the places where the Moon’s orbit around the Earth crosses the line of the Sun’s path on the surface of Earth (also known as the ecliptic). These two spots are called the North Node and the South Node, and they mark where eclipses happen. The Nodes are always exactly opposite one another, and they change signs every 18 months or so.The Nodes have been in the Leo/Aquarius axis since May 2017, including the epic total solar eclipse from last August.
The Nodes are sometimes called karmic gateways: the North Node is the gate towards our karmic evolution and growth, while the South Node is where we’ve already been and what we’re ready to move on from. For the past 18 months, the North Node in Leo has called us towards individuality, sovereignty, and often-solitary recognition, with impacts both good (thank you, Dr. Blasey-Ford) and horrible (ahem).
Capricorn and Cancer are cardinal signs: their mission is to do, to act, to initiate. The South Node in Capricorn carries echoes of Saturn entering that same sign back in December 2017. Consider what shifts have occurred in the structures of your life over the past 11 months; consider the shifts that have occurred in how we understand the structure of our society, of our nation, of our world. What has broken? What has been rebuilt? What new construction has been established? Everything we’ve demolished, built, or remodeled is important now; the skills we learned are necessary. The structures we’ve crafted and the knowledge of how to make more are foundational containers.
We need those containers to integrate what’s coming. With the North Node in Cancer, we’re being asked what actions we’re willing, able, and excited to take in order to properly tend to and nourish the emotional connections we have in the world. Without a riverbed to follow or a lake to rest in, the Cancerian imperative to care, nourish, and protect can too easily shift into fearful, forceful smothering. Left unchecked, Cancer’s cautiousness can morph into defensive, nationalistic xenophobia: you who are not already in my home cannot be anything other than a threat.
But given the right container, the right bones, the right focus (all gifts of Capricorn), Cancerian caretaking is the fountain of strength-in-softness that will fill our bellies and slake our thirst as we do the ongoing work of creating the world we wish to live in.
That work is creating home.
As we stare down an ecologically and politically difficult future, our home-creation will be benefitted by Jupiter’s time in Sagittarius, should we choose to accept the challenge of expanding our existential philosophies to include more of that which is “other” to us within the categories of “people” and “beloved.” Our home-making must be big enough to care for the creatures we cannot see but who are drowning or drying out within more extreme weather patterns. Our home-making must be big enough to acknowledge the sufferings endured by those our political system deliberately erases, deliberately silences. Our home-making must be bigger than what is already known; we must conceptually adventure ourselves into a familiarity with ways of being radically different from our own.
We are given the gift of Venus in Libra at the beginning of this journey. The relational waters frothed by Venus’s retrograde time in Scorpio has helped us see which metaphorical compost heaps needed tending, which dark-rooted weeds needed pulling, which heart-wounds were still bleeding even as we believed ourselves to be beyond such things. Now, with Venus in Libra (there until December), we can rebalance ourselves, re-enter the subtle dance of lived and enlivened harmony. How might we take the lessons from our personal lives into public space? How might we embody greater integrity, carrying lighter emotional burdens and glowing with truer loves?
A TINY SPELL, A SMALL REMINDER
Cancer is love in action. While the North Node resides there over the next 18 months, I invite you to ask yourself, over and over again:
What is the most loving thing I can do?
Create a talisman if you wish, a piece of paper taped to a mirror or carried in a wallet. Make it as simple or ornate as you desire. Etch it in copper, paint it on leather, embroider it on the inside of your sleeve cuff. If you read tarot, ask your cards.
Expand your concept of loving. Expand your concept of people. Expand your concept of home. And then act from a heart grown larger than you could have ever imagined.
Interested in learning more about Diana? Find her on Instagram at @ddamascenaa and on her website at ddamascenaa.com. Look out for more of her writing next month.
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