The May/June 2012 issue of Archaeology magazine has an article about past herding nomads titled “Rethinking the Thundering Hordes.” In the article there is a 1907 quote attributed to sociologist Jerome Dowd where he says, “Nomadic people are generally the invincible opponents of civilization.”
What is civilization?
Dictionary.com defines “civilization” as “an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached.”
Wow, that’s a subjective definition. What’s “advanced?”
Nomadism doesn’t exist in our society because all land is owned. If you do not own (or rent) land, at some point in the day you will be loitering or trespassing.
But does everyone desire a sedentary life? If we had a choice, how many would reject it?
What sign of the zodiac would be most interested in a nomadic lifestyle?
Chatwin was a novelist and traveler writer. In one of his works titled “The Songlines,” Chatwin walks the dreaming lines of the Australian aborigines.
Publisher’s Weekly in its review (via Amazon.com), “praised Chatwin’s ‘entertaining’ and ‘resonant’ reflections on the distinctions between settled people and wanderers, and between human aggression and pacifism, as he searches central Australia for the pathways along which aborigines travel to perform their cultural activities.” Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“. . distinctions between settled people and wanderers,” the review says.
I smell a nomad.
Chatwin had Saturn, Mercury, Uranus and sun in the fixed earth sign Taurus. Moon was probably in Leo with Pluto hanging all over it.
That’s an awful lot of fixed signs.
Taurus is a materialistic, grounded, practical earth sign.
What’s an earth sign doing wasting time with dreaming nonsense? Why wasn’t Chatwin at home balancing the checkbook and building a bookcase?
His moon/Pluto in Leo squared Saturn in Taurus.
Chatwin, a man of the earth, probably felt material existence was both a sensual delight and a mud-brick prison.
Chatwin may have turned dreamy-nomad in reaction to his own material addictions.
I’m guessing that no matter how far and long Chatwin traveled, he had some comfort item that he carried with him at all times like a gift from a grandparent or childhood toy or comfortable bed item.
Moon in Leo is about attention and needs an audience. Nomadism is quite contrary to establishing a famous and known “self.”
Again, the square of that Leo energy with the Taurus energy makes me wonder if Chatwin wasn’t trying to escape from himself or simply lose himself through nomadism.
You may not recognize the name but there was a book and movie based on McCandless’ nomadism – “Into the Wild.”
McCandless openly rejected sedentary life and traveled across the country in search of adventure, mostly physical.
McCandless donated his money to charity prior to setting out to become a modern-day “drifter,” doing odd jobs to fund wandering, rafting and living in the wild. McCandless’ goal was to spend a winter, alone, in the Alaskan wilderness.
McCandless fulfilled his dream but did not survive it.
McCandless had sun and Mercury in Aquarius and moon probably in Leo.
Leo, again. Fixed signs, again.
Aquarius by nature is a rebel. McCandless may simply have chosen the wandering life because it is 100 percent contrary to what every single parent in America wants for his/her child.
Leo, once again, needs attention so at some point, had McCandless survived, he may have documented his experiences. He wanted to experience solitude, but I’m guessing he wanted to share his experience of solitude post facto.
McCandless was born during the Uranus/Pluto conjunction that brought hippies and “anti-establishment” sentiment. He definitely carried that energy.
Mars in Pisces opposed the Virgo energy making McCandless by turns a dreamer and at other times a picky critic.
As Jon Krakauer writes in his book, McCandless did make it through most of the winter, an awesome feat. While we don’t know what happened, McCandless may simply have misidentified and eaten a wrong plant.
Who is the nomad of the zodiac?
For me, the physical wanderer of the zodiac is Sagittarius and the emotional wanderer of the zodiac is Pisces.
Sagittarius wanders off in search of meaning. Pisces wanders off emotionally and imaginatively when life makes too many emotional demands or just for fun as imagination can be much more fulfilling than daily life.
Neither Chatwin nor McCandless had much Sagittarian energy (unless with rising sign which is unknown) but McCandless had Mars in Pisces.
Our modern day nomads had moon in Leo and a lot of fixed signs in the chart. It may not be that the moon in Leo created the nomadism but that because of moon in Leo we know about it.
These two nomads may have had a “stick it to the man” mentality that made them opponents of civilization.
Chatwin was famous by his own effort but McCandless could have been a truly unknown nomad had Krakauer not written about him.
To be a nomad today, like Chatwin and McCandless, you need dogged, persistent fixed-sign strength in which resist pressure from all of society to conform to a sedentary lifestyle.
The nomads, then, of the zodiac are the fixed signs who have the strength to reject civilization.