Wednesday Journal Entry, Week 32
March 29th 2023 – Karina Lafayette
Earlier I was watching the movie Divergent, and it got me thinking about my own life, and how if I were to live in that type of society, divided by factions, I would have been just like Beatrice, or Tris- divergent. A rebel. An embarrassment. Someone who has the audacity to not belong, because my mind simply isn’t wired in one direction. The younger me would’ve tried to do what she did, blend and fit in in order to please and pander to the masses. In the scene where she picks Dauntless at the Choosing Ceremony, I think of all the times I did something just to appease others, to not rock the boat, and ensure peace was maintained.
Luckily I’m not that young anymore. I’m thirty, the age where you give less of a shit what society teaches you, or at least, you get better at pretending just enough that people have no choice but to stop telling you what to do. And if they try, you get ready for war.
A few months ago, I took a break from doing readings, and now it’s about time I finally express why that is. Part of it is because like Tris, I’m not just an astrologer. Never have been, never will be just that. Because the best way to be a success is by being as authentic as possible. I don’t regret doing readings at all- in fact, I just put the services page back on my website, but right now, it’s necessary to speak my truth.
It all started back in 2019, when my life basically fell apart. The year prior, my ex and I broke up. He was toxic and abusive so it was a painful but very necessary decision. Fast forward to me and my dog living in a shelter, lost, no job, and just processing the fact that I wasn’t able to get the funding to direct my first feature film. I was devastated, having always been a passionate artist. Life couldn’t get any worse. I was also experiencing my second nodal opposition. The nodal opposition is basically when the transit North Node is in the sign of your natal South Node, and during this period, themes from the past come up before you can really move forward.
In my case, my South Node is in the eleventh house, which has to do with networking, social circles, and friendships. Being surrounded by people had always felt like a happy place, till it eventually gave me resentments. Friendships have often been fleeting and despite knowing a lot of people, only a handful really know me. On social media, anytime I’d join a group, at some point there would be conflicting values that caused me to eventually leave the group altogether. I never really felt like I belonged anywhere. I could even be in a room full of people and still feel invisible.
Growing up, I studied in a French-speaking elementary school, where 99% of the students were children of immigrants, which means I had friends from anywhere and everywhere. Often there were fights with the nearby English-speaking high school, so not only was there a lot of racism, there was also the language conflict that Quebec is infamous for. And being bilingual, I also didn’t fit in anywhere. Because the problem with humans is they love keeping people in categories, so in order to survive as a child, you learn how to mask and adapt, but people sniff you out eventually. They always do. It’s a survival instinct from way back where people would do this to sniff out enemies in tribes. Masks only work for so long. Eventually you slip up by going against one of their unspoken rules or forget an important social cue, and you’re back to being that kid in the corner again.
I don’t miss my childhood.
During my stay in a shelter, I met a lot of amazing people and spent time writing a memoir about my time there. In a weird way, I found myself. It felt like I could do whatever I want, because I had little to lose. I began writing more on my blog and even slowly started looking at people’s charts anytime they wanted some fast insight. Finally a fated moment came where I published two articles on Medium that changed the course of my path. One about the eighth house and the other about moon in Capricorn. A friend sent me a screenshot from a group he was in to let me know an article of mine had been shared. According to my stats, thousands of people had seen my blog. I was walking on air. After years of being a writer, my hard work began paying off.
Meanwhile, on another Facebook group that I used to moderate, they made me an approved reader, so I decided to start offering services, as a way to expand my skills as an astrologer and to also make extra money, since at that point I was still looking for work. In June 2020, several months into the pandemic, the tables turned: I went from living in a shelter to being a staff member in one and not long after, got my own apartment.
For about the next year, I felt like I reached the pinnacle of success. I was doing readings while balancing a job that I loved. I would also post astrology-related memes on Facebook and Instagram and it gave me joy because other people found joy in those memes. After awhile, I remembered that I also write poetry and movies and went back to sharing more of that content. Crickets.
And it’s not that people who followed me didn’t like my poetry or films- not that it should matter, because what really matters is whether I’m being true to myself- the problem is the social media algorithm. I wish someone had told me this a few years ago, but the more you post a certain kind of content, the more social media classifies your account under a certain theme. Seems logical right? After all, if someone mostly shares workout videos, they’re account is classified as workout page; If someone mostly shares music, then they’re classified as a music page. However, what about the jack-of-all-trades like me who has several passions?
I can’t stress enough how close I was to throwing the baby with the bathwater. Because social media, especially Instagram and Tiktok, got so familiar with my work in astrology, anytime I’d share something unrelated, I felt invisible, insignificant, like somehow I was a one-trick pony and that’s all people wanted. In reality, it didn’t really matter according to my stats, people did want that from me. The problem really was the algorithm. It’s almost as if some invisible hand came along and tried to fit me in a box that I never agreed to being put in, and now I was being made to choose between astrology and my art.
My first reaction was to freeze and not post at all. My second reaction was to consider giving up astrology or at least, put it in the background, but even when I talk about a favorite movie or TV show, somehow astrology is always referenced. I’ll try to guess the characters zodiac signs or spend time looking at what in an actor’s birth chart gave them the ability to play their role so well. I just couldn’t help it. It was like choosing between eating and drinking, we need both to survive. I needed both art and astrology.
To be honest, if there’s one thing that held me back for awhile, it was seeing how many famous artists started out in one genre, only to cave in to what’s popular. Avril Lavigne started out as a rocker chick, and then recorded “Girlfriend”. Lady Gaga is originally a jazz singer but become known in pop, and yet ironically, even her pop songs don’t fit any genre. No matter how much some people wnet to great lengths to box her in, she came out on top. Then you have Pink who went against her former producer LA Reed just so he could grant her permission to co-write songs with Linda Perry, because she was more interested in making music that’s personal than being just another pop/RNB girl.
I also think my main problem is that I used to care a bit too much what other people think, because remember, my South Node is in the eleventh house (a.k.a. other people). Yet all my favorite celebrities are the ones who provoke, who make people think and make them angry. Sometimes I’d catch myself not wanting to post a video or share an article or poem, out of fear that it might “offend” someone, or that people will decide to unfollow me if I share something different. I’ve seen it happen a few times, my viewership would decrease if I didn’t post more of the usual content pr for sharing related to politics, but at some point, you have to choose between doing what makes you happy and doing what makes you likeable.
And trust me, as the girl who got bullied throughout elementary and high school, I’m used to not having some people like me. After being rejected so many times, it gets to the point where you realize that really, the only approval you ever need is your own. That’s not coming from a perspective of arrogance, it’s coming from learning tough lesson after lesson. The most important person to support your work is you, regardless of how many others cheer it on.
What the algorithm doesn’t realize is that my North Node is in the fifth house, which has to do with creativity, passion and self-love, which means that I wasn’t put on this planet to be defined or understood. I was put here to be happy. I was put here to make art in every way imaginable, whether it’s through writing, film, astrology- even if it doesn’t always make sense to everyone else.
I also think that social media has a huge problem with niches. While a niche can seem like a good thing, it limits self-expression and prevents people from posting out of fear that no one will see your work anymore. Recently, I had a bone to pick with Tiktok, because anytime I’d share a video with one of my poems, it wouldn’t get more than fifty views, yet if I shared something related to spirituality, it would get hundreds of views. And it wasn’t just me. A friend of mine said she couldn’t see my videos unless she looked up my name. I was livid. It’s almost like in an indirect way, social media has really been trying to insist that I’m not a writer, storyteller, filmmaker and astrologer, that I’m just an astrologer, and that it’ll punish me for being out of line.
I recently deactivated my Tiktok and have barely been on Insta, and whether I start posting there again in the future, I still have my own platform Persephone’s Forum that got launched in late February. And for what it’s worth, at least on there, you’re not expected to fake it till you make it.
And luckily, that kind of mind game doesn’t work on a stubborn Taurus like me, since I’m gonna have my cake and eat it, too. The more you tell me not to do something, the more I’ll want to do it. Slowly, I found a way to somehow merge both, by going into my vault of poetry and finding pieces that reference the stars. I also have to keep in mind that there are many creators like Dossevia who do both art and astrology, and finally understand that there’s no reason to go against my truth in order to get seen. I also think that the worst thing you can do is take social media seriously, it’s really just a game of numbers and not to mention, Tiktok recently admitted that their staff can choose who goes viral.
Despite the fact that we live in a society that tries to put people into boxes, the ones who become successful are those who break those boxes, those who break the boundaries. No one would’ve remembered Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho if he had changed the movie to suit the studios, and no one would care for Pink or Lady Gaga if they only recorded what the labels want. As the saying goes, “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Do I really sound like the kind of person who behaves?
To get a reading or learn about my other projects, scroll to the menu. If you haven’t already, sign up at my new social media site Persephone’s Forum.
If you enjoyed this, you may want to read If You Love Art, Astrology, or Just Need a Different Platform, Check Out my New Website, as well as Don’t Feel Bad for Not Going Viral, Tiktok Staff Admit Social Media is Rigged, and The Secret Life of the Bilingual Canadian
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