“Hello, my name is Daljeet Peterson, and I’m a Gemini.”
And so began my first meeting at Gemini’s Anonymous. I would go on to explain that I wasn’t always Daljeet Peterson. I was actually born Peter Robert Ochs, at 8:33 pm on May 29, 1970 in Pittsfield, MA. But after 50 years of being Peter Ochs, I now find myself in the process of becoming Daljeet Peterson. I had always been Peter, and I guess in some ways I will always be Peter.
But by the same token, I had always been Daljeet, I just didn’t know it. It represented an aspect of myself that existed at a much deeper layer of my psyche, patiently waiting for its time to emerge into my conscious awareness. That awakening began back in 2007, when I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program and earned my certification as a Kundalini Yoga Instructor. As part of the six-month training, we were offered the opportunity to receive our “spiritual name”—a Vedic tradition of determining your name based on your astrological birth chart and aligned with your deepest soul purpose.
I was given the spiritual name Daljeet, which means: “a spiritual warrior who is blessed with the gift of group consciousness and leads the team to victory.” To be honest, I didn’t know what to do with this new name at first. It felt at once aspirational and intimidating. I was suddenly consumed with an inner self-doubt, secretly fearing that I wasn’t up to the task that this new spiritual name was calling forth.
In hindsight, I can see this for what it was: the opportunity to move from karma to dharma. Peter was my past, my karma. Daljeet represented a doorway to a new path, my dharma. But apparently I wasn’t ready. It was a glimpse of what was possible, but I was still too subsumed in my ego identity to take that leap of faith.
Besides, I already had an alter ego. As a DJ and active member of the Burning Man community, I had assumed the playa name “Saadhu”—itself inspired by my travels to India and Nepal and my encounters with what I discerned to be the “original dreads”—the Saadhus: a sect of chillum-puffing, Shiva-worshiping, holy men who wandered the lands in search of enlightenment. Again, armed with hindsight, I can see this now for what it was: a transitional archetype. Saadhu was serving as a bridge from Peter to Daljeet. I just didn’t know it at the time.
The years went on, and, rather than pursue the spiritual path, I continued my hedonic pursuits as Saadhu. But the party lifestyle eventually lost its luster. By 2011, I felt hollow and burned out. As I drove away from Black Rock City that year—a magical place that had become a beloved second home for a decade—I realized it was time to move on. I cut off my dreads, hung up the turntables and went into a self-imposed exile.
This was all a part of a necessary phase transition. I had reached midlife: a time of crisis when we come face-to-face with our own mortality, realize that our lives are half over, and are forced to take a deep, soul-searching account of our accomplishments and the contributions we’ve made to society. Deep down I felt that I was not living up to my potential.
I revived my career as a media professional, returning to work as a freelance writer, producer and editor for television shows. And in the solitude of my exile, I also revived my yoga practice. During the many silent hours of meditation, the deeper calling of Daljeet began to ring in my ears. So I began listening. And the message became clear: you have a calling to be of service, and astrology is the medium for you to deliver your gifts. This is your dharma, this is your path.
OK, I said to myself. Now, I’m ready.
So I’m choosing to mark this transition and officially “rechristen” myself with a new name, one that feels more appropriate for the person I am becoming and more aligned with my dharma. And I just need to get this off my chest, to stand here before you today and say: “I’m Daljeet Peterson and I’m a Gemini.”
And this is where it becomes clear to everyone in the room why I am at a Gemini’s Anonymous meeting.
“Ah, but there is no such thing as Gemini’s Anonymous,” you say.
“Correct,” I reply.
Which is exactly why I have chosen it as the title of my inaugural blog post as Daljeet Peterson here at astrolab21.com.
Because if Geminis know one thing, it’s that change is sexy. And the creative process requires and open mind and willingness to grow and evolve.
My hope for this website—among other things—is that it shall be a kind of Gemini’s Anonymous: a safe space to express oneself freely, share thoughts and insights, hopes and dreams, setbacks and failures, and commune with other like-minded individuals who seek to make sense together of a seemingly irreparably divided and bi-polar world. A site where there is a commitment to hear both sides of any issue and recognize there are two sides of every coin. A forum to embrace the seemingly paradoxical, enjoy the ambiguity of the unknowable and seek to reconcile differences of opinion, approach or lifestyle. A setting to explore the sacred and profane, the magical and the rational, the profound and the absurd. And most importantly, a venue where it’s ok to change your mind after being presented with new ideas or new information, because that’s where the opportunity for real growth occurs.
And best of all, you don’t even have to be a Gemini to join. For all the signs of the Zodiac are welcome here. All Suns, all Moons and all Rising Signs. All aspects and polarities and elements and modalities. Not only welcomed, but encouraged. This is my vision for astrolab21—an astrology laboratory for the 21st century. Let’s experiment together and see what elixirs we can concoct, what solutions we can synthesize, what metaphysics we can master.
So it starts here with my confession: I’m not who I said I was. I’m who I’m trying to become. I am a work in progress. I am human. I am flawed. But I am conscious, I am awake and I am alive. I am dedicated to my own process of self-actualization. And I support everyone else who ventures to walk that path. So I am committing myself to the mission of sharing my insights into the amazing art and science that is astrology—this powerful technology of the ancient future, this incredibly versatile tool that is uniquely well-suited to help us navigate these unprecedented times.
In the days, weeks, months and years ahead, I will endeavor to build this website into a vast resource for those interested in the modern practice of astrology. I plan to write articles, create videos, conduct interviews and share resources on a wide range of astrological topics that will hopefully inform, educate and inspire a growing community.
Astrology has proven to be one of the greatest tools for self-understanding that I’ve encountered in my lifetime. I truly believe that the world would be a better place if more people took it upon themselves to learn to read their own birth chart and work with the powerful symbols it encodes. Learning astrology is akin to becoming your own oracle. It will inform you, inspire you, motivate you and enlighten you.
I believe people around the world are hungry for this kind of insight. So many institutions that we’ve relied upon to help us make sense of the world are failing us in our time of greatest need. Many people are turning to alternative methods and ancient modalities of wisdom for answers. Interest in astrology is on the rise. It is my hope that this website can help serve that interest, catalyze its growth and help shape the future of humanity.
So welcome to astrolab21.com. And welcome to Gemini’s Anonymous. You are now free to rejoin the program already in progress: becoming the best version of yourself.