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:
Before we analyze this I want to say that I did not make her appointment around astrological timing. If you've been following me long enough you'll know that I think electional astrology is super cool, but I don't personally use it. Like a true Martian I trust my gut and instincts more than anything else. My intuition rarely falters, and this chart is an example of how it was time. Let's start by laying out the chart:
Mercury in its Joy in 1H
Mars in its Joy in 6H
Moon in 8H
Sun in 12H
Moon ☍ Saturn
Mars * Chiron
Moon △ Sun
Sun * Saturn
You'll notice the majority of that list is between the luminaries and the malefics. That alone speaks to the nature of the appointment and how the day was going to go. The luminaries are our Soul, especially the Sun. Having the Sun in the 12H speaks to towards the Soul being trapped, imprisonment of the mind. This is extremely on the nose, as Amina was slowly dying of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, otherwise known as dog dementia. While she was phsyically there, her mental faculties had been slipping for awhile. She'd pace the house, become anxious for seemingly no reason, forget why she went outside, and even forget to eat. Her inner light was becoming dimmer, as it was trapped in the place of bad spirit.
The Moon in the 8H likely speaks more to my portion of the appointment. I am crushed. Saturn is opposing the Moon and I know I have an extremely difficult decision to follow through with. My emotions are in upheaval and Death is knocking at my doorstep, only it's not for me, it's for my companion. Letting go of Amina while she still had some dignity was important to me. I didn't want to watch her deteriorate to the point of her slowly starving to death because she kept forgetting to eat, or having to watch her go through the uncomfortable moments of going to the bathroom in the house because she could no longer recognize the urgency to go.
The house that governs small animals, including pets, is the 6H. This house is going to be an important one to examine whenever you're looking at anything that has to do with your animal friends. Mars is in the 6H. That's very cut and dry (pun) for this situation. The appointment was absolutely going to result in releasing Amina back to the wild. The ruler of the 6H, Mercury, was in the 1H. Mercury being in the 1H gave me some comfort in knowing that her spirit would be ushered away safely. Mercury is a psychopomp, and when placed in its house of Joy (the 1H) it can span between the spirit and the physical with ease. After Mars did its job, Mercury was able to take Amina's Soul out of the 12H imprisonment and release her into the wild ether yet again.
Overall, this chart is one with a lot of malefic juice, but this is a malefic job. Mars and Saturn are given the dirty jobs of the cosmos. Both destroyers in their own right, they reveal avenues of growth laced with seeds of malefic wisdom to begin anew. I won't overlook that Jupiter is in domicile, and the goodness that brings. Amina's passing was a ritualistic release, both for her and our family. I went home today and hugged my remaining animal friends with ferocity. The greatest thing I can do to honor Amina is to love deeply and expansively every single day.
Final Thoughts From the Tarot
In the week leading up to my decision I consulted my tarot deck. I needed a sounding board for my emotions. This is my personal deck and it has proven to be a trustworthy and straightforward confidant. When I asked if putting Amina down was the right decision it gave The Sun. When I asked how everyone, including her, would feel about being released it gave The Sun again. The deck could not be more upfront and honest with me, which my Sagittarius self always appreciates.
As I sit here with my final thoughts on this, I'm left feeling no better than when I started typing. The Stoic in me knows that this is part of the Logos, part of Nature. My time with her was a gift. It's a miracle we had any time together at all. The world is so vast and time so fleeting, to think we even found each other in the first place is awe-inspiring. Six years seems so small, and she lived a whole life before we even met. I'd like to think that last 6 were her favorite.
If you've made it this far, thank you for reading. Thank you for giving my Chiron in the 10H a place to share its pain and an avenue for healing. I love you all, stay wild.