A Stoic's astrological analysis on saying goodbye.
“A little wisp of soul carrying a corpse.” - Epictetus
I'm sitting here wanting to type something eloquent and beautiful, but that's not how this works, is it? We're never ready. We can try to prepare ourselves, so pompously thinking that being highly aware means being braced. The death of a friend, a family member, a teacher, or a guardian is never easy; Amina was all of those. This post is meant to be a catharsis, a release, an analysis, an ode. My intention is to use her passing as a teaching moment, both Stoic and Astrological. I hope that through my release she may return to where she belongs...the wild.
Amina's Wild Origins
Amina was a true wild dog, literally. She was a Carolina Dog which is basically an American dingo. When I first started my search for a second dog I didn't want a girl and I wanted it to be darker in color. Clearly Fate said "bitch you thought". When I saw the posting for Amina 6 years ago I simply had to have her. She was everything I never wanted, but everything I needed.
If you've ever applied to adopt an animal you know the stress of the waiting process. You've already fallen in love and now your potential new companion is in the hands of people who take 7-10 business days to reply to emails. Once I found out I was approved I also learned the backstory of this golden girl. She had been locked in a house and abandoned to starve to death. Despite the mistreatment she endured, she never lost her love of human interaction. It's actually what saved her life when she was in a kill shelter in Texas. She walked up to a volunteer and pawed at them, showing her desire to interact and not be given up on. A foster mom in Tennessee dedicated to Carolina Dogs took her in and 3 months later I was applying for her.
After braving a 12+ hour roadtrip, I finally got to meet my girl in the parking lot of a Flying J gas station. The people driving the caravan of dogs handed her to me and that was it, I officially had my very own Dingo. The next 6 years held lots of laughs, discoveries, achievements, and heartwarming love. Originally billed to be three years old, when I took Amina to the vet they said..."I hate to tell you this, but this dog is more like 7-10". Why the adoption people shaved a few years off her age, I'll never know, but it didn't matter because Amina was always meant to be with me.
What's in a Name?
Names have power. When we name something we're giving it a moniker and imbuing it with that energy. Amina's name when I got her was not Amina, it was "Aimee". This did not suit her, nor was I going to be in my backyard yelling "Aimee" anytime soon.
I distinctly remember sitting at my favorite sushi place with my bestie (Brandy) and her parents. We were all so excited for me to be getting another dog, and we brainstormed names while we waited for our food. I wanted to keep the name similar sounding to "Aimee" so she wouldn't be totally confused, especially because everything would already be so weird and new. So it definitely had to start with an "A", that much we knew. We sat there for what seemed like hours, slinging back sushi rolls and laughing about the silly names we'd come up with, but then taking pause when we'd hit on a good one. It's a memory she gave me before she was even here with me, and for that I'm so grateful.
At one point in the conversation I brought up the Jungian term "Anima", which is Jung's word for the feminine part of a man's psyche. It also means "soul" in Latin. This was SO CLOSE, but it still didn't sound quite right. Brandy and I played with the word a bit and we ended up switching the "n" and the "m" in the word, which gave us "Amina". When I looked up what that name meant (and if it was even a name) the results said "trustworthy, brave, safe, reliable, and faithful"-- that was my girl.
Releasing the Wild
I think you know by now that Amina has passed. In fact, she passed today at 9:20am. Being an astrologer means having to analyze the good and the bad events in life. Being a Stoic means knowing good and bad are relative and that nothing inherently embodies either one. Below is the chart for Amina's appointment of being released back to the wild: