Life isn’t always fair. In the movie classic Some Like it Hot, Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (the character played by Marilyn Monroe) bemoaned her fate in this way: “Story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop!”
The fuzzy end is that space where bad things happen to good people. Here we’re keenly aware of inequities in the system and chafe at the apparent double standard that has some of us dealing with more challenging or catastrophic issues than others – with mixed results
Linda Furiate had been studying astrology for about a year when her ordeal began, triggered by an auto accident that left her reeling. After the crash she was diagnosed with cervical dystonia, a painful and incurable condition in which contracting neck muscles cause uncontrollable spasms. She wasn’t able her to maintain her balance and experienced hideous jerky movements and abnormal posturing that caused friends and onlookers alike to recoil in horror. Her neck was twisted at an angle that made it impossible for her to look forward when she walked, so she found herself tripping over her feet and running into walls
Things in her personal life fell apart. But Furiate wasn’t ready for a pity party.
“I never asked why me?
“But I did ask why this?” she recalls.
This, all things considered, is the better question for an astrologer to ask. Furiate didn’t see the accident coming but hindsight was revealing.
“Researching my chart revealed layer upon layer of evidence pertaining to how I was feeling physically, emotionally and psychologically. I noted the timing for the accident and saw that a transiting planetary configuration was in fact interacting with a stressful Mars – Saturn alignment in my natal chart; in a challenging way that related to my health and to the physical structure of my body and the muscle spasms I was experiencing,” she said.
At the time of the accident Furiate’s interest in astrology was enthusiastic but halting. However, seeing how the planetary patterns played out so dramatically in her own life changed all that.
“I was hooked,” she said
In analyzing her own natal chart, Furiate focused on the stressful Mars-Saturn opposition that was “triggered” at the time of her accident. An opposition means the planets are roughly 180 degrees apart, usually but not necessarily in opposite astrological signs. When lined up in this fashion the Mars-Saturn opposition can indicate a crisis in action related to impulsiveness and the overweening need to control it.
Furiate began researching astrological medical books and found they confirmed Mars as the traditional “ruler” of the body’s muscular system and Saturn its skeletal structure. Once she was able to rule out the possibility she was dealing with a brain or neurological disorder, she was able to develop a series of neck exercises, breathing exercises and posture improvement techniques that have helped her function symptom-free for extended periods of time.
Those demanding proof for astrological influences in human affairs might check out the compelling evidence in Furiate’s on-going battle with cervical dystonia.
“Over the years I came to realize that when the planet Saturn changes signs and interacts with my natal Saturn or Sun there is a shift in how my body responds to my current treatment plan. There are times when I am mainly symptom-free and other times my neck is in such spasms – and my body so twisted – that it’s hard to look at someone without moving my entire body towards them. Fortunately, I understand the rhythms of planetary motion and can adjust my life and treatment plan accordingly,” she said.
Furiate completed a four-year training program with the International Academy of Astrologers (IAA) and has a growing list of clients. She also has picked up on the marketing career that was cruelly interrupted by her medical ordeal and works with both marketing and astrological clients from her home office in the Baltimore area.
In her practice she balances gritty stoicism with a calming spiritual acceptance of the fact that life unfolds the way it does for a reason. In an interview with the Astrology News Service (ANS) she provided these insights:
ANS: What do you believe adversity is attempting to teach you?
Furiate: Most of us tend to be blessed with multiple astrological aspects of either challenging or flowing energy. In my case, I find it is the challenging configurations that move me off the couch to do something about whatever the adverse situation might be. Everyone is born with troublesome issues to some degree. It’s all a matter of how we choose to respond to life when something happens that throws us off course.
Adversity provides us an opportunity to peek beneath the depths of our psychological make-up with the hope of finding revealing insights – or awakenings that may offer a newfound sense of wisdom or wholeness.
ANS: What’s the most important advice you have for people who have lost all hope of having the life they planned on?
Furiate: When we lose any part of ourselves or fail to achieve something we planned on or hoped for a part of our identity may feel damaged or lost. It’s always possible to get caught up in defining ourselves based on the roles we play – wife, boss, whatever. But these roles do not define our underlying purpose in life, they merely are the things we do. Our true purpose lies much deeper than that. When we haven’t achieved something we’ve planned on we owe it to ourselves to reflect upon these desires and ask if they are truly what we want in the first place.
ANS: Can an astrological reading help?
Furiate: An astrological reading may be helpful in determining why someone might long to be in a particular relationship only to find out that their behavior or attitude is pushing opportunity away. Or a reading may offer insights regarding the potential for obtaining something the client desires. For example, one may dream of being a great motivational speaker and have hopes for sharing their insights and wisdom with the world. Only the placement of planets in their chart may suggest they are better suited to working behind the scenes. Astrological insights can help a client decide how to realistically pursue their desires.
ANS: Has coping with difficulties in your own personal life made you a better astrologer?
Furiate: Yes, definitely. Or I would like to think so. I’m motivated to offer clients the kind of advice or guidance that will help them better fulfill their higher soul purpose. I think my personal challenges have made me a better astrologer and, perhaps more importantly, a better person. I’m better able to listen to clients and learn of their struggles without making judgments or affixing blame.
Philosophically, I believe each of us has taken on an earthly presence to learn, to grow and to experience love at its deepest level. The reason for intelligent life is to understand the purpose and complexities of the universe. Astrology is a great tool we can use to better define our existence and serve others.
ANS: You manage your own marketing and astrological consultation businesses from your home. How is this working out?
Furiate: It seems to work out well. I often turn clients from my marketing business into astrology clients – or vice versa.