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Why Are You Here?



What? What do you mean, why am I here? To make a good life, of course.

Maybe not. Maybe it’s time to think in larger terms.

It’s funny how coincidences can challenge you to think a little deeper. Just recently, in a casual evening chat with friends on my sister’s front porch–and I can’t remember the context–one turned to me and asked, “Why are you here?” It wasn’t like, “Why did you drive up to spend the day with Kate? It felt like “Why did you incarnate to be here in this time in history?”


Maybe that was an imaginative leap into metaphysics. A few days later, an email seemed to confirm my interpretation. It was a report from Mark Borax, Soul Astrologer, on the subject of Jupiter and Saturn going direct. Now, before you hurry off the page, let me say that I’m not deep into astrology; this was just a coincidence.

Jupiter and Saturn Conjunction

Anyway, going direct means that the planets align on the same path and at a certain point appear to be very close together. This upcoming moment with regard to Jupiter and Saturn will occur on December 21. This happens only every 20 years.

So this is kind of an astronomical wrap-up point in a year that we know has become extremely important. Borax explains it as follows: “Saturn provides meaning by holding each of us to our prenatal vows, the reasons our soul chose to come back again. Jupiter provides meaning by aiming us at the optimal destiny we signed up for.”


An image comes to mind. A man sits in jeans and T-shirt at a desk he has hauled into the master bedroom. This was so he could have the privacy he enjoyed in his spacious office on the top floor of the corporate high-rise. The man has paused from his work to think, chin resting on palm.

This is not fair. He did everything right. He got the grades, the degrees, and the job. He got married, had a family, and has provided for a very good life. He toed the line all along the way, made the grade, and had a career on the rise. He has been teaching his children to do the same. At the dining room table, his wife is helping them with their online courses. Her voice in the distance sounds a little strained.

The man’s hand rises to rub his forehead. “I didn’t sign up for this,” he thinks. “I didn’t sign up for this.”


How many people all over the country are struggling with an experience akin to betrayal? They did everything right, embraced the conventions of our culture and the terms on which they might enjoy approval, recognition, prosperity, success, and financial security. Now everything is totally screwed up.

Day by day, the return to “normal” seems less likely because how can we forget this experience? How can we trust that it won’t recur? After all, those in power, who have played major roles in shaping our culture, have so far been pretty safe from disciplinary consequences.

The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

The experience of feeling like a victim, of having been misled by the expectation of rewards for “being good” is not comfortable, so maybe it’s time to consider a possible truth: You did sign up for this.


This is the matter of going back to Borax’s idea that, in a soul state, we foresaw the current landscape and chose to be born into it to fulfill a chosen destiny. I don’t know if this is true or not; it’s an idea tenable to those who are open to the possibility of reincarnation. It’s also a view that lifts one above fear and anger and encourages thinking out of the box that has confined us all.

Anyone to whom this idea appeals may benefit from a sense of being more important than you knew, bold and courageous in a soul state aware of great potential. In life, you have probably already brought something important to the table on terms you trusted; perhaps it is time to bring something larger–your authentic rather than inculcated self–to a much bigger table where the groundwork for some kind of collective lift can be done.


When I think about this possibility, I wish I were decades younger so I could get involved in some way besides posting on a blog. However, the elders in my cohort have the advantage of the long view. We remember warning signs along the road that have brought us to this troubled place in time. Later generations have not had the benefit of as large a map of personal history.

The young must be really confused and disenchanted in the moment. Before we are engulfed in pity, however, we have to give them the same due we may access for ourselves. Even though they may start acting out, consider the possibility that the young entered this world as even more daring souls than we were. Be nice. We’re all in this together.

And as we watch over them in ways available, we may consider the questions with which Mark Borax closed his brief piece: “Who are you really? Why are you here? How much longer are you willing to wait?”

Right. All of us.

5 Responses to “Why Are You Here?”

  1. Maggie

    Excellent article that I would liken to an iceberg; at first blush it seemed fairly straightforward (above surface)…..but there was so much more to it as I thought about it. Likewise you see from Les’s comments that he gave it much thought and explaiaed his views and life experiences.
    I was struck by two phrases : optimal destiny we signed up for.” (Pertaining to Jupiter) and then “collective lift”.Without much elaboration, I find the first very troubling and the second very hopeful.
    Still pondering the theme of the article. Thank you, Ellen.

  2. Liz

    You are really going deep here, Celery! And you are tapping into a mindset that is shared by many. Well, at least those who THINK as well as act/breathe. I’ve been all around the mulberry bush with these questions and have landed on “to be connected to others” as the raison d’etre for my existence. As the matriarch of my family, I enjoy being connected to the younger folks coming along and asking me questions about those who have preceded us. And I am grateful for that joy. That’s all I know… all I need to know. It’s what keeps me from wallowing in the despair of the current awfulness that surrounds us.

  3. Les F

    Thank you, Ellen, for another thought-provoking piece. You have added another perspective to the apparent funk our Nation is in now. Many, out of work, or ill, feel abandoned, depressed and even useless. For them and our World, I pray for healing, restoration and peace.
    Reincarnation – what would be the purpose of that unless we learn from our past life/lives? My life experience and sharing those of others, shows absolutely no memory of a past life on this planet. Of course there’s an occasional Deja Vu, which is simply a feeling, I have no recollection of a past life. Am I simply daft?
    Our world situation now reminds me of the Casablanca quote, “it was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” Hah! We RARELY EVER make changes until something is so bad we’re forced to consider another mindset or life style. This C-19 pandemic is just such a Casablanca moment for many to reconsider questions like “Who am I? Why am I here?”
    Fortunate I am that “all is well with my soul.”. I have considered those questions long ago. What I’ve learned, in my case, more has been revealed as I’ve passed certain developmental states. You understand.
    * First there was, “It’s all about me”, when I perceived the world as a place for me to explore, learn, sense, suffer, grow & achieve.
    * Then there was the “whooee,! Ain’t this a great ride?”, when I hit my stride mentally and physically. That stride enabled a reasonable career and family.
    * Then one day, I hit the Whoa! It’s not all about me” moment. Right! I WAS created for a purpose (what?) I NEED to give back. No, I MUST give back and share my gifts – resources, including education, experiences, talents & available resources..
    * Finally, I realize I am a “child of God”. My purpose is to love/respect that Love as best I know how. And I believe that is achieved by loving/respecting others as myself. So that’s who I am and my purpose/why I’m here. Now, my daily, no my moment-by-moment challenge is to recognize opportunities to fulfill that destiny.
    Ellen, you continue to bless me by “listening”, considering, affirming and challenging.. Thank you, my dear friend.

  4. Carolyn Skloven-Gill

    Dear Celery Ellen,
    Yes, it is our time to dig deeply into our mere being. What are we? And why are we here? I don’t think the answers will be revealed in this life. Let’s hope there’s another one.

    But I also don’t think we should go too far into the abyss . It may, at least for some, be a one-way path with no way back to the sun. Keep the light shining in your life, however you can. As always, love, Carolyn

  5. Connie Jarrett

    Very interesting piece, Ellen. Some deep thinking…
    Hope all is well with you and your family.