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it’s time to recalibrate our understanding of the concept of community

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

we use the word “community” a lot, and it has become very apparent to me that we do not all mean the same thing when we use this word, and we do not all understand the same thing when we see or hear it.

“community care”

“the astrology community”

“the human design community”

“my community / this community”

a good amount of conflict and grievances that i see displayed within the context of community, i think, is a result of many instances of obscurity in regards to the use of the word “community,” itself.

often times when i see the word used it is in the context of pointing out a way in which a community has “failed” or “is failing,” its members, or isn’t doing “enough,” to XYZ. sometimes we use it to distinguish ourselves from a group of people with whom we have a lot in common but want to set ourselves apart from, often in the interest of saving face.

i have a *lot* of thoughts to share on this, shaped and fortified by my personal experiences in community especially this last year as well as by my understanding of the relationship houses, and especially the 11th house, in astrology.

i am excited, scared, and ready to share these expressions at my talk on 1/23. in the meantime, here are some thoughts that came to mind this morning:

i would like to see more of:

  • community as a resource to amplify impact

  • community as a container for specific visions

  • community as a reminder of what we have in common

  • community as a space where more intimate relationships can begin and be incubated

i would like to see less of:

  • community as resistance to individuality

  • community as an authority on homogenized integrity

  • community as a justification for ostracism

  • community as a replacement for meaningful intimate connections

community is about having something in common. community is not about having everything, or even most things in common.

community is the frontlines, but not at the core, of our experience of belonging.

some personal context:

i am a person who used to identify as a “community builder,” and whose life and identify was lately shaped by belonging to a very specific community for a decade of my childhood. through a handful of twists and turns in regards to my life trajectory and work in the world, community has been the throughline - always at the center of everything i involve myself in, everything i create - whether consciously or not.

but, i have been very mindful of my use of the word community lately, and have in many instances refrained from using it in as descriptor of my work in an attempt to not be faced with external demands that compromise the integrity of my personal visions.

i have been reevaluating my ways of engaging in community as well as initiating community experiences for about a year now, as i have navigated stepping away from a community that i took large part in initiating and building five years ago. i was extremely turned off by the concept of community in general a few months back (during the painful time that was libra season with merc rx in libra - my 11th house) when two people in the “astrology community” were attempting to nonconsensually hold me accountable for harm that was not caused. one of them asked me to define community, with the clear subtext i was not holding up to their standards for someone worthy of creating community experiences. i did not provide a definition in response, but i am ready to revisit that request now, on my own terms, and outside of the frequency of defensiveness.

that request to share my definition of community accelerated a process of unpacking of my relationship to the concept of community that had begun months earlier for me. and a season later, i have come to a good amount of clarity around what community means to me, as well as how i’d like to invite others to consider and perhaps recalibrate their relationship to the concept of community.

my brain operates through a lens of astrology and human design. a lot of my own processing was supported and shaped by considering the 11th house in astrology - the house where community lives. the 11th house is one of the relationship houses, and i would suggest it is the one with the least amount of inherent intimacy, and also potentially the least proximity. the 11th house is about shared interests, visions, and creations, and opposes the 5th house which is home to our personal interests, visions, and creations.

i live largely in the 5th house, with an aries sun, mercury, and venus there. venus is the ruler of my 11th (and my 6th), mercury is the ruler of my 7th and my 10th - and both of these planets are conjunct my sun in the 5th house. my work (6th, 10th), and my experiences of relationality and community (7th, 11th) will always be intertwined, and will always be a part of my own personal visions and creations.

i am in a 9th house, sun ruled year. saturn is in my 3rd. the 3rd/9th house axis trines and sextiles, aka supports the 5th/11th house axis - where my natal sun lives. i have been called this year to focus more intensely on how my beliefs and practices can effect and shape my experience of the opposition between the 5th - my personal joy, initiatives, visions, creations, and the 11th - the experience of creating and envisioning with my allies and community members.

i just realized that some of my greatest recalibration to the concept of community was brought about via some interpersonal conflicts during the last mercury rx in libra, in my 11th house, and i’ve accidentally elected to share my takeaways during this next mercury rx in aquarius, and my 3rd. CUTE.

the workshop i’m offering on 1/23 is an expression of my reconciliation, my recalibration. there are a lot of stories, insights, contexts, questions i’ve been wanting to share over the last season or so, and i’ve been in a fortification process to prepare myself to give these expressions some light. i will be bringing the heresy. i do not expect everyone to agree with or like my perspective. i am going to share it anyways.

perhaps you will join me.

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