How To Decide What To Keep And What To Leave Behind

Recently, I wrote about purging and/or repairing old posts on this site – Old Posts Stir Old Feelings.  There are a lot of comments on that post that are pretty interesting. I was working on a chunk of content that contained 730 posts.  It’s two months later and I have 91 to go.

I have to decide if something is still interesting, ten or more years after the fact.  Things have changed a lot in the last decade. Practically speaking, there is no sense retaining content no one cares about. That people cared deeply at the time, is irrelevant today.  If that sounds as if I’m butt-hurt or even wistful, I’m not. A lot of it is irrelevant to ME today.

I am talking mostly, about the personal stories on this site.  Conversations. Anecdotes. While this is a great way to teach (and learn) astrology, people just don’t have the focus or stamina anymore. There are “stories” everywhere. We are inundated with stories. Which little molecule are we supposed to pay mind to?

Search has evolved as well.  Anyone trying to maintain a site like this has got to stay on top the trends the best they can.  Information that is “machined” is popular now. Generic, cookie-cutter stuff. People with wild hairs and/or wild minds do not mesh well with the algorithms that run the show.

One of the reasons I’ve worked on this so slowly and methodically is because I know I need to think everything through.  I feel pressure with Saturn in Capricorn to plot a course that will sustain this site over time.

Is anyone else out there, sorting like this?  Talk to me.

29 thoughts on “How To Decide What To Keep And What To Leave Behind”

  1. I’m not trying to sort out things to keep a blog visited by so many people of so many different ages & backgrounds, just stuff pertaining to my own life, which is overwhelming me as it is. (And my life has nothing exceptional)
    Concerning your blog, I’d just say that up until now you have done things the way they feel inportant to you, and the people who come here will relate to that. If not, then they will have moved on, and you will/might attract other people for other reasons, relative to their present questionings. It is having to do with your energy, which attracts people. (So conserve your energy well, but you know that, I think.)
    Isn’t astrology about 5000 years old already & keeps on morphing? And you are a great astrologer.
    So perhaps just be true to yourself and keep on going with what is true/important to you. This blog is not a marketing thing, it’s very gutsy human, reflects and represents you. It has been very successful until now, so I think your original personality will sustain this over time. If you were trying to go with the 90% (more or less?) superficial (mostly, I think) mile-a-minute Iphone crowd, I’m not sure that would sustain you, unless 15 Minutes of Fame is considered a Capricorn thing.
    In other words, remain like yourself. I think you have always come up with astounding ways to present human problems, and that will keep on working.

      1. Perfectly said, Satsun, and I would like to second it. Elsa, you do indeed have a wonderful ability to present very human problems and also offer solutions we can consider – or not. As for sorting – I need to figure out WHAT needs sorting first ?

  2. My 22 yr. old son is enduring a backseat ride in his buddies car for 4+ hours to visit me for the weekend. He is bringing his girlfriend and I don’t know how it will go because she is not exactly crazy about me. I sold the house I used to have while raising my son in high school, it was a big house that I could never afford. Now I live in a very small house, and my fear is that he will ask me for some of his old stuff. Stuff that I have gotten rid of due to absolutely no room whatsoever to store. Once he went away to college and he lived abroad in Europe twice, I moved into this house and went thru every item I have with a fine tooth comb. I kept only what I wanted to keep and sold/donated the rest. I had been hanging onto the belongings of 4 people in addition to my son and it was a process.

    I think that anytime you deal with getting rid of other people’s items or posts weighs heavy. You want to be considerate. You want to be sentimental, yet you only have so much storage. I guess that is why stories exist, like photos or artwork they record a moment in time. Even our brains can only store so much memory. If you meet up with someone from your past that you have not seen or spoken to in a long time, they always mention something that they recall that you had forgotten about.

    Speaking of memory, I had a dream recently where I was holding my then infant son in a blanket. I was feeding him his bottle, and I remember the bottle held soy formula which is what I used to give him. I had forgotten exactly what his face looked like, but the dream was simply a stored memory that had been released and came up to the surface. I mention it because Alzheimer’s or dementia sufferers revert back to their once powerful memories which usually are built during the ages of 30 to 45. That is the age span that adults usually accomplish the most and are the most actively engaged with life’s responsibilities. My dream reminded me that the memory is still there, it is just filed away in my brain somewhere and randomly, like a piece of paper falling out of a file cabinet, came to the surface.

  3. I’m trying to sort out what I might need when we decide to move. I feel overwhelmed by the task, but I know it’s smart to start doing it now so I won’t be rushed when the time finally comes. I’m also trying to concentrate on money and saving more for our retirement. Not an easy task for a Sagittarius with Libra rising. Saturn in Capricorn has me thinking about these issues constantly.

  4. I’m in the thick of sorting what to keep, how to keep it and what to just let go. Remember I started blogging (and first met you online) in 2008? I was literally building a new life and a small wagon to live in. Back then no one with the illness I had knew how to do what we were doing; to keep track and keep sane I learned to blog. Haven’t stopped since and we know a few things about living in a wagon for going on 9 years.

    What I’m sorting through now is the writing I did before I became ill when I wrote a regular column. What you said about ‘where being so many stories now’ and people not having the interest or attention span to read: that comes up a lot for me. I have a box filled with old newspapers and a decade of old columns. Slowly I am making my way through how and to whom I could distribute these writings in ways that are meaningful to me and possibly (cause I can’t really KNOW) other people.

    My family has not been excited or communicative about their interest in my work or the art. Too hard? Not interested? Tired of hearing it? Or is this all part of old personal patterns of self-sabotage (mine) that comes from a natal Mars-Saturn-Pluto square to a Scorpio Sun??

    It’s a hard one to swallow, but there you have it. Saturn in Capricorn works through my 12th House all the old sh*t rises up like phlegm with a deep cough; and the stuff just keeps coming! Hidden but no longer. Literally I’m dealing with this process as the flu complicates other health issues and phlegm is the messenger. (what a funky-assed spelling that is:/) Gotta be a cartoon or graphic novel in this.

  5. Stuff in my house- getting rid of stuff all the time. It makes me anxious to have stuff I don’t want taking up space. Nice metaphor! Because it also applies to my thoughts and feelings- it’s hard to swallow but I’ve invested in the wrong people literally my whole adult life. I’ve made relationships my focus and I’ve made terrible practical decisions because of that. It’s like realizing you’re an alcoholic. Years of not acting in your own best interest, not being aware of danger. My veneer might not look as bad as a drug addict but underneath, what’s different? It’s very sobering to assess the damage- emotional, financial, and in doubting your ability to protect yourself. Sadly, it’s not enough to have this big realization and then everything’s fine. There are many examples of people not bouncing back. Serious stuff.

  6. i seem to be in a sort of snow-globe lately ;I am not sure how my sphere is shaken, triggers tripped;stuff is raining on me?I am trying to burn out certain images because they damage my heart.I believe more and more in reincarnation,and I feel like there is a bird on my shoulder,I wish it was cooing not cacawing.I am feeling punished?I am thinking to buy a new book as a vacation from me may be the best remedy for these feelings.I pride myself with busy but it may be smart to try and free-fall in the coming weeks?Retracing my journey or drawing out my next season is just not necessary,for me any more,I think I need a bus ticket down to town,a white winged dove to drink and a late nite dance,it is the fear of the carnivorous wolves that lurch in the dark of the moon that push on this desire.
    It is just Friday so ,time will tell.

  7. I recently moved and gave away/threw away a bunch of stuff. I love getting rid of things but things like baby clothes take some emotional prcessing so im taking my time. When i feel up to it, ill go through a box.
    Im struggling with one piece of memorabilia, for some reason. I was heavily involved in cheerleading in high school, and its a cool memento of that time (which was actually very difficult. Pluto was transiting my 12th). It would be like throwing away a yearbook, but its big and awkward. Im leaning towards getting rid of it. But it makes me wonder how many of the other girls still have theirs. Then i start thinking about them. See, it brings up internal stuff to sift through too.

    1. No regrets throwing that big ass memento away. Its not like I want to run away from who I was, but its like carrying stuff around that you dont need. Its not practical, even on a spiritual journey.

      Now, I have thrown away stuff, in the past, because I wanted to escape myself. But that doesn’t work, in my experience. That unresolved energy will catch up with you one way or another until you get the lesson. Theres no moving on from anything until you get the lesson, at least for me, who is heavy Capricorn.

  8. I consistently ask the question now “How long ago was this the case?” I do this because you shouldn’t even listen to much advice anymore without considering this question. An example would be people talking about the process of publishing, online dating or any number of things. Everything has changed. And some things can now be a waste of your time, irrelevant or non-existent at this point.

  9. I don’t really know what you’re doing. Are you deleting old posts from the page?

    Personally I would pick the interesting ones (enlighting ones or the ones I feel an emotional connection to) and put them somewhere on an external drive and store them somewhere. I’d get rid of the rest.

    It’s like Saturn vs Moon vs Uranus

  10. Elsa, I agree that paring down, streamlining, purging, or whatever one wants to call it, is a wise move at this time. There is a glut of content out there, including stories (though we humans are storytelling animals!), and you are right in observing that many people no longer have the patience or inclination to wade through texts anymore. But I would approach it more as a curatorial exercise, as it seems you are doing, separating out and showcasing the pieces that still resonate, but nonetheless saving and archiving the rest rather than eliminating or leaving them behind completely. Trends and fashions change, and ideas or stories that no longer resonate now inevitably circle back around and become meaningful again in the future. I’d keep them in a memory bank, and preserve them somewhere. Capricorn with natal Saturn in Capricorn speaking here! 🙂

  11. I lost most of my life about 4 years ago (not the first time either). Then I tried rebuilding, in stages. This proved to be a failure, in stages. (Again: not the first time either.)

    I have now abandoned all attempts at rebuilding. After the latest loss/failure last fall, I have been steadily purging. Everyday, I tackle what I can, and purge. Out. Out. Out. All the failed attempts of the last 4 years: out the window.

    I am paring down my life to the bare essentials. Bare bones.

    When I am done, there will be no more tangible evidence of my existence beyond my bed, my towel, my soup bowl, my rickety car (not sure how much life is left in it) and my cat (in need of health care I cannot afford). (And the Internet for as long as I can manage to keep access, somehow, somewhere.)

    At that point: freedom. To stay or to go. The choice will be mine. (Unless of course Outer Forces intervene, as they are wont to.) Whatever. I am getting lighter and lighter.


    Late Baby Boomer at Second Saturn Return which by the way is NOTHING compared to the Pluto transits that have mauled me, over and over, and OVER. I am actually quite enjoying this crag by crag mountain goat Saturn in Capricorn / Second Saturn Return phase. I am very disciplined and accomplishing much, even if it is tearing down / paring down / chucking everything out the window. (Is attaining quasi-oblivion a paradoxical success, perhaps?)

    My new boundaries will be tight and well defined.

    It will become easy to decide to stay within them, expand them, or simply leap into the Land Beyond Boundaries, the Land of No Boundaries…

  12. Avatar
    James Slattery

    I’ve learned some important nuances of chart reading that you won’t find covered in any cookie-cutter astrology book. That’s the charm of your site Elsa. Real life interpretations.

  13. It is funny how recently your posts hit home with what is happening around me. What about a person who refuses to let go of things that really need to be released? This person just lost her dad last month but she is hoarding everything and sits daily wallowing in her loss. She can’t even throw a piece of paper that he touched in the trash simply because he touched it. I know it is her own business, but she refuses to truly accept that he is gone and that is so unhealthy for her, not to mention her five year old son. She has a live in boyfriend, but she is only focusing on the loss of her dad, whom she calls her best friend. She really needs to start letting go of things that keep her sad but I don’t think she ever will.

    1. She just lost her dad ~last month~? That is very recent and rightfully very fresh. I hope the people around her can respect her enough to give her the time needed to process her loss, at her own rhythm, in her own way.

  14. Same here. I have overhauled my whole set of possessions, wardrobe, you name it. I’ve probably thrown away a dozen or more large garbage bags filled with old work papers, receipts, bills, forms, etc. Donated probably an equal amount of clothes, unused items, books. It feels good within my psyche to get rid of outdated, worn out, lingering energy that has no bearing on my life anymore.

  15. Mom just shredded up bag after bag of old receipts and other dead paperwork that had spent YEARS in the attic.

  16. My 80some year old dad was just showing me last week his pay stubs from his first job. He also has all other pay stubs after that. And receipts for this and that and that – basically receipts for his whole life. Etc. Etc.

    He and my mom started going through their stuff and purging, a few years ago, at my suggestion. It’s proceeding at a snail’s pace. It is a very difficult process for them (and I understand).

    They see the why (it needs to be done): all their generation is dying around them, every week another one goes. To the ‘other side’, or into a nursing home.

    The other why is that (sadly) no one will want that basement-ful and closets-ful of mementos – at least not ALL of it. I mean, imagine if every generation left EVERYTHING to the next who would then leave all the previous (plural) to the next-next. There’d be no room or time left for living one’s own current life!

  17. I always end up with a strange peace after reading posts like this and many others on your site. You and your followers often speak for my soul at a deep level.
    Thank you for your work and everyone for their sharing.

  18. Revisiting this, 18 months later….

    Last year I let go of about half our stuff after I lost Shiny Taurus. This year I’m living in a room in someone’s house, with 90% of my remaining things in storage. I’m still purging. Mom and one of my sisters wants to help me go through the storage unit and help me purge more stuff.
    Saturn and Pluto are about to enter my 2nd house, so I guess I’d better get used to traveling light and holding life with an open hand. It’s freeing–to a point

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