briyana d. clarel

writer. performer. educator.

Filtering by Tag: nature

#virgotendencies: toward green, grounding, and growth

photo by Briyana D. Clarel 

photo by Briyana D. Clarel 

When I read my horoscope as a kid, the virgo descriptions sounded nothing like me. The internet said I was supposed to be uptight, methodical, clean, neat, and tidy. But I was messy and I procrastinated. Astrology didn’t resonate with me so I didn’t give it any thought for years.

However, the queers I’ve met in Austin have pushed my attention up to the stars and planets. I finally looked up my birth chart on multiple websites and after checking it over and over, I’ve finally committed most of it to memory. My skeptical self found truth in the descriptions of my sun, moon, and rising signs, as well as the rest of my chart. I’ve gotten a little hooked. I check my horoscope and pay more attention to the moon.

A friend recently looked over my chart and described me as “a soft boi who needs a lot of attention.” She’s not wrong. Astrology has helped me better understand myself and more importantly, accept myself. There are parts of my personality that I’ve tried to stifle or hide, but somehow if I think of it as a #virgotendency, it feels more acceptable. I wish I felt this way without the aid of astrology, but we (black/queer/girl/human living in a capitalist society) are told to be only one way. But, I love lists. My google calendar and gmail are color coded. My bookshelf is organized into a rainbow. I need things to be scheduled, clearly communicated, and intentional. All of that is okay. 

A few weekends ago, I finally got out into Austin nature. The lake, the Greenbelt, a park at Mueller. The colors are what let me know I’m in the right place. All the green. The green of the leaves, the cactus buds, the grass. The sunshine. The flowers–the wildflowers and the ones that were landscaped in. The baby peaches.

I remembered I need to be outside more. Not just walking down the street texting half the time, or sitting outside a coffee shop staring at my computer, but really outside–surrounded by the growing living things humans bulldozed and dug up and knocked down, my phone used only to save these moments for later, actually appreciating what’s around me. Understanding myself as an earth sign has reshaped how I see myself as a human. I love nature, plants, and the earth (my favorite ride in Disney on our senior trip was Living with the Land), and I need to feel grounded.

My mom recently reminded me that I didn’t handle change well as a child. I spent the whole summer before ninth grade anxious, up all night stressing about leaving my Quaker school and starting at the public high school down the street. Change terrified me. While I’ve traveled and switched jobs and generally kept life moving, I feel better when I feel rooted, grounded, and connected to something bigger than the changing landscape.

As I’m learning to embrace my #virgotendencies, I’m also remembering to seek what and who grounds me and can help me grow. 

My succulent lost a limb a while back. Usually this kind of plant tragedy would elicit tears, or at least me sadly texting everyone about it. But I discovered another tiny bud on the other side of the plant. I migrated the plant from outside my front door (maybe the elements were too much) to the windowsill in my bedroom, where the most sun enters my space. My sadness faded. I thanked the succulent for reminding me–sometimes you need to lose something and let it go, so you can move on and grow.

I’ve been growing through a big transitional period over the past few months as I back away from the graduate program that prompted my cross-country move, focus more on writing and performing, and plan my next steps. I’m keeping grounding, growth, and the color green in the forefront of my mind. What will make me feel most stable? Closest to the earth? Less like I’m flailing in the wind or being swept away? What will allow me to grow? And where can I be surrounded by cute happy plants?

May we all make time for the green, grounding, and growth we need.

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