Sagittarius 21-22 A Chinese Laundry

by Alice

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A day of seemingly unrelated events, or were they...?
Those days where random events converge into a seamless story appearing very unrelated to the logical world around you.

Who are people, really, beneath the clothes they wear?
We judge, criticise, agree and disagree most of the time with the external view of which others want to give us.
You know the drill:
He has a suit on, that is neatly pressed and clean, he must be trustworthy and have control over his life.
He is disheveled, malodorous, and shabby so of course he is shifty, irresponsible and dishonest.
Of course, this is sometimes true, but as I have found today,
not always.

The story:
At work this Saturday morning the computer system failed for half an hour, leaving a gap in the day for idle chit chat and story swapping.
The two girls I had the tete-tete with were fellow colleagues of mine, both born on the same birthday 21st March. (My Saturn - 29 Pisces - The Great Stone Face)
We mused over the vagabond who lives in the front of our workplace, wondering who lives beneath the mask of this unsettling character.
I explained where he sits at times through the day, enacting his posture: relaxed and in charge of his surroundings, arms outstretched, head up and nearly kingly in his nature.
Is he a rich man, whose life has dealt him a catastrophic blow, so he opted out of every day living and took to the streets as a way of protest?
Or does mental illness keep him from joining in with the rest of the community?
With these reflections I narrated two stories of years earlier.

One:
Of an unkempt character who each day fed crows at the bus stop, outside the shop in which I worked.
He was notably vagabond material. He kept to himself and was virtually transparent to those around him, while he wore a 'detached' facial expression.
Each day at the same time he would arrive, and waiting, would be his fellow companions, the crows, as if he were having morning coffee with old friends, catching up on gossip.

I ventured down to the local coffee shop like clockwork, predictable and ready to indulge in our morning ritual of warm milk-coffee and chit-chat.
Who should be there?
But Him!!!
Ordering his daily brew, amongst the ‘normal people’.
Understandably, customers gave him a wider birth than most people and tried to avert their eyes so as not to appear overly disgusted, disguising their abbhorrence to his intrusion in their daily life.
Just prior to leaving work for the coffee run, I had read an article on the blessings of the ‘Divine Mother'.
So of course I sent one his way through the spiritual telegraph, with no particular sentiment attached but as a gesture of goodwill to a fellow struggling human being.
He took his coffee, I took mine and back to our places we strode, same as every morning.
Arriving back to my associate, we began, as today, discussing the in and outs of whats normal acceptable behaviour, appropriate attire and the reasons for this poor unfortunates life story.
Followed by astro-prattle about my Mercury - A Rush of Blood to the Head (the original symbol is A Case of Apoplexy).

A shadow appeared across the doorway, and there he was, ready to enter...

Calmly, pausing only slightly, inward he ventured, down the back, leaving his unique scent trailing behind.
My friend and I glanced at each other and thought "what's he doing"?
He never comes in the shop, only ever feeds the birds then takes flight, vanishing into thin air.
He is changing the routine...!

With the rustling down the back, my friend and I nervously start questioning his motives.
Suddenly he was not a "poor unfortunate"...
Was he a thief?
Was he looking for a new squat?
Was he planning to pull a knife?
It was as if the air became electrified with nervous tension.

He came back with something in his hand.
Standing
he delicately placed a Mexican Madonna altar candle on the counter.

"How much"? he said
Ummm, $30 I replied,
"If I light it will the lady stay on the front" he asked
"because I like that picture" he said with genuine affection.
"Yes, I think so" I stammered.
"OK ...I’ll have it."

He bought the candle and moved toward the door, nothing more, nothing less.
Abruptly he stopped, turned round,, stared me in the eyes and said "How do you feel about a Rush of Blood to the Head?". I could literally feel my cheeks flush, my Mercury symbol exposed, the one I had been discussing in private before he entered the shop.
Had his crows whispered in his ears, like I had done getting our morning coffee, about the 'Madonna blessing'.
Was he reading my thoughts and condescending attitude toward him?
Was he a messenger sent to reveal an inward sensibility, that has no logical explanation in my ordered life.
Was he now in fact, most importantly, judging me, in my clean washed clothes, coupled with my matching sensible attitude to life.
As they say "never judge the bum on the street, you never know who he might be".
I had become in that moment,
‘The Watched'.
I fitted into societies groove, but now I was being made feel uncomfortable with him ‘the vagrant’ peering at me.
He was in his element, the mysterious unknown, just as his image portrayed.


The second story was 2 years later:

Similar, in that I worked again in an alternate "new age" shop in the city. Across my view came another character of the same ancient lineage of vagabonds. He was across the main street attempting to light a cigarette in flooding rain.
My partner and I watched with amusement, like an audience admiring a magician. There was an aura of mystical stature surrounding this performer, one that could only be perceived through indulging your sixth sense.
My comment to my partner, "that's an old shaman there", hiding under the covers of his wet bedraggled soaked skin.
With this he motioned suddenly across the road and headed toward the shop.
In he came, dripping, staggering, purposeful.
On the back wall was a bookshelf loaded with Self Help, Chakra/ Reiki,Healing modalities, Oracle Decks etc. He studied these for a while and then decidedly picked up a soft cover book on "Shamanism".
It was as if a conversation had been between us on a different wave length, at the level of between the worlds, through the veils.
Again some type of extra-sensory communication had taken place.
I, once again had been put in my place of understanding the world around me.


Back to today:

Work finished and the homeward journey began. A little shopping, my belly rumbling and the wind behind my back, all relaxed, until I turned my head and
There he was,
The ‘Homeless Man’!
The one I had been discussing in the morning, sitting exactly as I described, staring straight at me, sitting in the glass shelter with at least 6 other 'street guardians’.
A convention was taking place, with waterfront views and lunch provided.
History repeating itself,
Was it that these men had been sent to teach me a lesson in the ways of the world in which I live?
"No, you're imagining it" I thought, he didn’t hear you through the ethers, its your over-active imagination.
Just keep walking and act nonchalant.
But still regardless of my posture I could feel his eyes watching me thoughtfully, looking, viewing my hidden secret self that only a man showing his could do.

A man who hadn’t laundered for some time.

Tattered clothes, showing his tiredness of civilisation and its manners.
His nearly fatherly tone whispered, across the pavement
What makes people tick?
His eyes alive with curiosity under the cloak of darkness.
Could he view my dirty secret thoughts of him and his fellow companions?
The ones I didn’t have time to wash before he saw me?
Was he as amused as myself about me hiding them, as I was as amused by him for showing them.
Still uncomfortable, I started down the gang-plank toward the ferry, where, sitting on the pylon, was a crow, crowing loudly as if trying to give me a message, trying to make me understand before it was too late.

Were these crows and men connected?

Birds of opportunity, scavengers, with an appetite for living life on the edge, navigating the dark recesses of our world.
Have they a tolerance for being human in all its ways, as "The Chinese Laundry" has a tolerance for the dirtiness of our cloaks.
Maybe.

Three Vagabonds and me, years apart but all connected, through 'The Chinese Laundry'...
Yes they could all have done with a bath, hair cut and toenail clip but still there was an air of freshness surrounding these three musketeers, they embodied their disheveled selves with a grace that only men of high spiritual stature could attain. The Shaman, The Father and The Keeper of the Divine Grace. I feel honoured to have met and seen these three men in my life.
On the outside sometimes you cannot judge a book by its cover or a vagabond by his clothes.

Interestingly, when I arrived at work, in the alcove was a $1.20 laying on the ground. The amount you put in a laundromat washing machine.
I thought about picking it up, but left it there.
Much later, on leaving, a $1.00 gold coin remained, beckoning me still.
An 'easy take’, it’s only a buck, another quandary
A moral dilemma,
But I knew it wasn’t left for me - it was left for our 'night doorman'.
I abstained
Would he have picked it up?
I will never know
Probably not - it appeared that he left it when I came back the next morning.
This poses the questions:
Is it monetary gold I mine for this life?
Or is to try and keep my slate clean so I don’t need the Chinese Laundry?
Stay true to myself, like these men, regardless of how it appears.

The Vagabonds' Great Stone Face.

Does any part of the symbol resonate with you?

Share your experiences of this Sagittarius karma!

Do any of the astrological bodies (Venus, Jupiter, Chiron etc) fall on this symbol for you? What has it meant in your life?

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Comments for Sagittarius 21-22 A Chinese Laundry

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May 29, 2016
Social duty as a barrier to self-actualisation?
by: Bek

Wow, I loved your story :) This kicked off many ideas for me - the Sagittarian desire to go into the wild and find inner truth, opportunism, freedom. I imagine these men living on their instincts and observations, in tune...

Thank you for your perspective and wonderful turn of tale :)

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