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The planets are our ancestors; the stars our kin

It’s a simple concept that nonetheless still evades our modern, western understanding. “We are made of star stuff,” Carl Sagan famously instructs, “…We are their children.” Indeed, we are related to all life in the cosmos.

Not in some remote or metaphoric or poetic way but in a reality that is immediate and elemental, made of flesh and bones, blood and sweat, water and minerals. We are related to the planets and stars in the same way that we are made of the food we eat – the plants and the animals, the sunlight and rain, rivers and rocks and wind.

This reality is inconvenient to our modern human identity, in which we ostensibly have dominion over all life – an idea we have used to justify bending the earth to our will in order to satisfy an unrelenting greed. If only we could see that greed for what it is – an attempt to fill an empty hole in ourselves where the field of our belonging once was.

Though we seem to have forgotten our place in the order of things, there have been and are people who never left this wisdom behind. Can you imagine a world in which “first world” people consulted those wisdom keepers – those indigenous to the lands they inhabited – and actually centered their ways of knowing in decision making, city planning, food distribution, and community building? We could do this now.

I remember a conversation with my college professor who attempted to convince me that my (long held) viewpoint about a need for return to older ways of knowing and living was naive. Likely trying his best to protect me and help me regain footing in the world of abstract thought, this professor warned me that returning to such a “primitive state” would be going backward. Yet it was self evident to me that this kind of return would be moving forward, since all life is cyclical and that endings and beginnings happen in the same place, only with different awareness. In this time of massive Earth endings, a return to indigenous ways of knowing is exactly the wisdom our world now needs.

In an interview with Rosie Spinks of the “What Do We Do Now That We’re Here” substack, Tyson Yunkaporta, author of the book, Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World, suggests that what keeps us from moving in this generative direction is fear of regressing to a past that never was. Tyson is a member of the Apalech Clan in Queensland, Australia, and a senior lecturer in Indigenous Knowledges at Deakin University in Melbourne. He describes the return to other ways of living and knowing like this:

It doesn’t mean running around in animal skins going “ooga booga” and eating bugs off the floor. It was never like that. It’s about being embedded in a landscape and having access to land. . . .We’ve been told such a horrendously wrong story about what our past is as human beings. That story is so terrifying, that anytime we think of doing anything else, we’re immediately terrified into compliance again. 

What if we have been conditioned to think that modern conveniences and consumption and excess are what will make us happy, when in actuality the lifestyle this thinking has led to is at the root of our collective suffering? What if our happiness actually lies in turning in the opposite direction, in being embedded in a web of relatedness with land and life that requires we voluntarily simplify our movements in order to restore balance with all our relations? Tyson frames this return in this way:

Indigeneity is not defined by the category of tools that we use. It’s about our relationship with each other and our relationship with place. That’s what “indigenous” is. That’s what everyone is seeking a right of return to. 

From this standpoint of knowing our belonging to each other and to the places we call home, we are free to notice our relatedness, our deep entanglement with every aspect of creation. Needing water for our gardens, we pay attention to the rain. Needing shade on hot days, we approach the trees with reverence and gratitude. Needing pollination in the ecosystems around us, we get curious about what we can do (or not do) to keep bees from disappearing. Needing togetherness, we gather for meals. Needing guidance as we raise our children, we turn to the planets and stars – those vetted wisdom keepers with no political agendas.

Like every good gardener, we yoke our efforts to the seasons, signaled by our proximity to the Sun. Yet we also notice how all the planets work with us. We notice when the Moon is dark, and new, above ground plantings root more easily. We notice when Venus appears to move in retrograde fashion and how that instructs us to take inventory of our resources like our seed stores. We notice when Mars and Saturn come together and take precautions in our labors, because we remember the injuries that alignment created in the past.

Since our existence is quite literally dependent on the motions of our planet Earth through our sun (solar) system, our matrix of belonging extends beyond the edges of the Earth’s atmosphere, out toward each of the stars and planets and moons and asteroids that comprise our solar system. Yet our matrix of belonging doesn’t extend just to the edges of our solar system either. The same ancient logic of embeddedness draws the circle of our belonging infinitely outward, beyond our solar system, into the furthest reaches of space.

We do however have a very particular and immediate relationship with the celestial bodies that we know for millennia now. The planets in our solar system are ancestors to the human family in the same way that George Washington is an ancestor to United States citizens, or that Billie Holiday is an ancestor to blues singers. Any being on Earth with a beginning (a moment of birth) inherits the observed behavior of the planets in our solar system. After all, science tells us that the minerals in our bodies originate in exploded stars. The ancient way of knowing called astrology is based on the observation that we carry the imprint of the planets that were present at the moment of our birth.

Such a view of our relatedness within the cosmos could be called “kincentric.” Justine Huxley and Anna Kovasna of Kincentric Leadership define kincentric ecology as being “both an emergent and ancient worldview and field of practice. Rooted in a deep sense of our belonging with all life, it places humans as part of nature and recognises the more than human world as bestowed with intelligence, sensibilities, subjecthood and intentionality.” To be in right relationship within this field of relatedness, they say, “requires a deep acknowledgement of our interbeing - and requires us to act as kin.”

Now here’s a slightly trickier piece of ancient wisdom that seems to really offend our modern sensibilities:

The planets are alive, sentient entities, just as planet Earth is.

Just as our Earth is a sentient, living organism of which we are a part, so is every planet in our solar system. Our Sun is a being. Our Moon is sentient. Jupiter is not only an ancestor, but has living wisdom to share if only we had the ears to hear, and Venus bestows her blessings much like a beloved relative might. We are in relationship with these planets, our living elders, just as we are in relationship with any of our human “kin.”

Kincentric astrology acknowledges our human significance from within a complex web of cosmic relatedness. It places us differently in the family of things than scientific materialism does. When viewing astronomical phenomena through the kincentric lens we are compelled to make astrological meaning of our decisions and actions from within this wider web of relatedness.


Marga Laube is a counsellor, author, educator, griefworker and cultural evolutionary assisting a global client base in navigating our collective evolution.   As an astrologer, she translates the language of the earth and the planets, offering stories for healing, and is the author of, "Agents of Evolution," published Aug. 2021, New Degree Press. She describes herself as a lifelong apprentice to the Earth, interpreting emerging stories as told by the physical world.  Marga has been immersed in the ancient system of yoga since 1992, a student of Adyashanti since 2001, apprenticed to vedic astrology  teacher, James Kelleher, for four years in the early 2000's, and holds both Jyotish Visharada and Jyotish Kovid certifications with the Council of Vedic Astrology. She is also a graduate of the Kincentric Leadership programme and part of its global Community of Practice and integrates a kincentric approach into her vedic astrology practice. She lives in Miami with her partner and their two beloved more than human companions.

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