AU Summit 2020

On the weekend at the AU Summit, an image of George Floyd’s murder was used in a presentation. From listening to QTBIPOC folks, specifically from Black communities, many have voiced that the image was retraumatising for Black audiences. The stark power imbalance in the image was also reflected in the lack of forethought and awareness on the part of the presenter. This situation could have been prevented and in this I appreciate the continuing conversations with Astrology University about how this unfolded and the steps they’re taking toward accountability and minimising harm in the future.

This, and innumerable situations like it, highlights the need for QTBIPOC voices to be amplified in all spaces, specifically in the astrological community. The importance of equity to be in practice and not only in concept cannot be overemphasised. It is the responsibility of organisers and astrologers collectively to recognise how white supremacy permeates everything from institutions to relational dynamics, society and politics, and to actively make ongoing changes and be accountable for harmful actions.

Systemic racism has not sidestepped the astrological community.  Astrology has been handed down to us through a white, cis-heteronormative, patriarchal framework. The books that we learn from have been written with a severe lack of intersectionality. As a gender-queer person, I have had to insert myself into astrology texts from the moment I picked one up 20+ years ago. For astrologers reading this, can you list off the top of your head 10 BIPOC astrologers who wrote books between 1900-2000? There is an obvious lack of representation of diverse voices. As organisations are pressured to diversify, the true test will come when marginalised voices become centralised, when those voices are heard, valued, and sought after.

The intergenerational dynamic at play will also take great dedication to find points of connection and healing. The test facing the Boomer generation is to remain receptive and open to being challenged, and then being open to change. The younger generations have inherited a world with an expiry date, where everything from toothpaste to ancient wisdom is available with the click of a button. Online naming and shaming can send an alarm out beyond the scope of our community but it can also narrow the opportunity for healing.

Up until now, it has primarily been marginalised communities highlighting injustices while simultaneously taking the brunt of violence. The work it requires to undo, unlearn and unpack the ways in which we consciously and unconsciously contribute to violence and oppression is a lifetime dedication. As our collective consciousness transitions, the more we engage with inherited power dynamics the more we can see how insidious white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism are. It’s often uncomfortable, but it’s also where the greatest learning can occur if we can remain open.