More than a Place

Bernadette Judaea
5 min readOct 26, 2022

On this happiest of birthdays to the Steward at The Stoa, we ask ourselves, what benefit does this virtual place bring into our consciousness?

I was pretty lost when I went through my Saturn Return. It seems to me that Mars in Cancer manifests as fear being a main motivator in my life. Fear is a primal instinct, which relates to Mars. Mars is in the Moon’s sign of Cancer in my chart. My natal moon is in the sign of Aquarius and in the Ninth House. The traditional ruler of Aquarius (Saturn) is also in my Ninth House. I am facing my fears with philosophy. I have the virtue of discipline driving this approach.

At first, I looked to my elders by blood. I tried to determine what they could help me learn, and then would ask questions regarding their respective expertise. With my mom, I would ask about soil, electrical and plumbing, and anything to do with electronics. I’d ask my grandparents about their experiences living during The Depression. I was asking my dad about fear. My dad has been a solider, he’s hunted, and he’s been in some pretty dangerous situations. I asked for his scariest memory, the worst situation he’d ever been in. He told me the story of a dive he’d been on, which I wrote about in this post. At the time, I was building archetypes of all of them. I was trying to plunge through the process. I slowly realized that instead of asking questions, I could just spend time with them. I started to merge with them.

This is what The Stoa became. I wanted a big brother archetype. It is worth mentioning that I found this place the year my cousin with cystic fibrosis passed away. He was the closest thing I ever had to an older brother. In my childhood, he gave me a different perspective. A strong perspective that was informed by his world. From the time he was a kid, death was right around the corner for him. He wasn’t meant to live to his twenties. He lived into his thirties, thanks to a young boy and his family that donated a pair lungs.

The Stoa allows me to engage with other people that explore the thought realm at its outer limits. The places that most Consciousness will deny exists, outside the boundaries of intellect; the subjective mind (as far as I can tell). A collective unconscious that can inhabit us. Just like any other mind virus, but this one is curious… like me. This collective mind scape feels methodical and mapped. These word clouds are the line cookies of cave diving. Non-directional markers are provided and connections are made. Its become a cave that continues to grow.

I know I’m relatively safe if someone else has been there before. This has even been my winning case every time I prepare to do something I am afraid of; I know its not the noble thing to think, “Other people have done it”, but its true. If someone else has done it, I’m much more likely to do it than going out on my own. However, now I must mention a memory that’s come to mind, that now seems quite fated.

Alvaro. A blip in my day; at first he seemed like just another experience, but its lasted. It probably is part-to-do with his Spanish accent, I will go ahead and admit. “Oh, so you’re a healer?” I heard from behind me, as I struggled to pull sacred items out of my parallel-parked lemon of a car. A man in tight shorts and a t-shirt continued to walk in my direction. Normally, attention like this would cause me to feel extremely uncomfortable. Or at least it felt that way at the time. Not with this guy though. He was so sure of himself, that he exuded confidence. I wasn’t sure why yet, but I was -in no way- turned off by him. I was intrigued.

I looked over at the drawing I had on my whiteboard of a Zodiacal Wheel leaning against my bumper, and realized it wasn’t just a random question. “Well, I’m doing the Astrology Forecast at a New Moon Circle tonight,” I responded, realizing how whimsical that actually sounded. “Did you just leave a class?” I asked, assuming yoga was the reason for the tights. “No, I’m going to a flower shop because my friend will be performing tonight! I’m in the middle of traveling.” He went on to explain that he was taking his jet ski and circumnavigating the world. Although, I have to be honest, I am not sure if he told me the details or if I read about them just after I got home and associated that with the memory. All I know is, he seduced the hell out of me. We exchanged information and then he was on his merry way, as if that was just an everyday experience for him. I distinctly remember being dazed after meeting this man. He called me elegant. It was an energy exchange and he filled me with pleasure. I went to that meditation looking like I’d just transcended.

Feelings like this are accessible in the right company. They are contagious. Thoughts are like bugs we can catch. Pick your poison. Mine is a dry red; cigarettes when I want to write more poetically. And choose the company. That’s the most important part. Will it be okay to explore the belligerent way? Probably never, but the right company will unconditionally incorporate whatever it is you are channeling. It has to be pure here. It has to be from an Observed place. At some point, in the right company, we begin to assume the role. We take on a stage of character development. It never has to be stagnant. It can remain ever-evolving. There’s room for that. There’s space to play. We do not have to be known, we can stay safely unpredictable. One foot in the known and one foot in the unknown.

A thought today: How lovely an idea it was to take on the likeness of Hestia (Vesta). To be keeping the hearth. To be carrying the beacon of light. Not in a way that is possessive, but only to be protective. I can take pride in that feeling of knowing I am genuinely doing something that seems so small. Mapping out the leg of this cave and illuminating a path to innovative thought. She was the first and last born to Cronus and Rhea. She remained and kept the fire. The archetype of this goddess is needed. We need to have safety checks. We need responders trained for crisis on standby. We need to know we can rely on someone.

Originally written in Collective Journaling at The Stoa