Buddy was a rescued, fierce-looking, lovable Labrador-Great Dane cross. Friends adopted a Cane Corso mastiff responding in kind to love given. Buddy was left as nature intended. My friends’ dog has clipped ears and docked tail, man-made ‘improvements’ previously done.

My mother was advised to dock our dog’s tail by a hunting relation. I hated hunting but when boys called to the free-roaming village dogs from the woods, they would joyfully respond. I felt sad and guilty, I knew Rowdy missed that expressive tail.

Dogs evolved and adapted beside us. The coccyx aside, our body parts have a purpose, so has a dog’s tail, the shape of its ears. Humans will butcher a girl’s genitals for masculine selfishness, unafraid to ‘improve’ on God’s creation if they are believers. Were women given the ability to enjoy sex equally during intercourse by divine mistake or by evolutionary wisdom to make the act of procreation enjoyable?

Do humans who arrogantly disfigure dogs that suffer from ‘designer’ defects due to this interference believe their ‘aesthetics’ are superior to tried and tested evolution? As our survival skills advanced in a dangerous world, did we store away unneeded instincts, perhaps even telepathic alerts to fear, danger or loss?

On a moonlit swim in the sea the brush of seaweed on my legs triggered a heart-jerking predator alarm. Hairs bristled on my arms when a friend told me she woke in the night and knew for certain before the hospital called that her husband’s life had ended. Other family members shared that sensation. When my husband died, before the phone call, I strongly felt his presence, those closest to him also sensed his final breath.

Animals retain that hair-bristling reaction to danger. Astrology states that the moon has positive (sensitivity, practicality) and negative (loss of contact with reality) influences on us, its pull influences tidal movement. In life much depends on balance, our negative presence on earth that melts ice caps and creates warmer, sluggish oceans may interfere with that ancient duality.

Blurry stars observed with my glaucoma eyes bring Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings and his sad life to mind. We say, thank your lucky stars. Yet neither Vincent’s oil-crafted ones nor his heavenly bodies were lucky for him. His horoscope shows genius status but planetary positions at birth brought bad luck.

Faux horoscopes draw disdain, yet astrology is considered the most cerebral of the occult sciences. The ‘true’ tropical Zodiacs and the star groups ‘constellational’ ones differ. Often ridiculed as idiocy and superstition now, sigils and symbols abounded in ancient times. And 13th-14th century builders were influenced by highly sophisticated Arabian astrology entering Europe.

Notre Dame and other historical constructions bear sculpted witness to the importance of astrology over time. Our planet established a perfect seasonal balance that our induced climate change is altering to the detriment of many species, including us. The sky stays the same but we can now read it better than the ancients, or can we?

In his Secret Knowledge Charles Walker writes about the wisdom of antiquity in the I Ching, one of the few books allowed to survive destruction by Emperor Hwang-Ti in 213 BC. “In simple terms, a yin represents the dark, unyielding feminine element in the world. This by its very nature is striving to become its opposite, the yang, which is light, unyielding and masculine. Just as Yin strives towards its opposite polarity, so the yang strives to become the feminine yin.”

If primordial, meteorite material helped life evolve here perhaps that stardust ingredient draws us spiritually to the universe as ancient, buried earthly instincts still activate in spite of us. Astrologers may have stars in their imaginative, studious eyes but space scientists also have them in their heads. Ultra smart, Irish-Briton astrophysicist Rosemary Coogan was chosen from thousands for a European Moon mission. We explore our future in space, but we stem from a past that has always wanted to reach for the stars and ask our questions of them.