Early in director Mike Cahill’s “Another Earth” we meet Rhoda, a young teenage woman who is clearly coming to the end of a night of drinking and partying.  While driving drunk, she slams into a car carrying a family, killing the wife, son,  unborn child and leaving the husband  in a coma. Four years later, we meet Rhoda again as she leaves prison, having served her sentence for the accident. During that time, an amazing thing has happened: scientists have discovered “another earth”, which appears to be exactly like ours, carrying all the same people with the same histories. The rest of the film follows Rhoda’s attempts to receive forgiveness from the survivor of the accident as well as her dream to travel to that other earth.

The film, which is both poetic and mysterious, treats its story seriously, as it should. The idea of another world, much like ours, is an old one that has its source in Sufi tales, and has also turned up in science fiction. Throughout the movie, people ponder these “others” who are also ourselves. Are they different? How different? Have they chosen different paths? Can they choose different paths?

In terms of astrology, these are interesting ideas. The birthchart is often described as a set of potentials. How well those potentials work together, whether they are at odds with each other, is part of what is examined in a reading. As one spiritual teacher put it, the question is not whether you have an opportunity, but whether you can see your opportunity. At the end of the day, the only thing you really know is what you turn out to be. But that “turning out” is always in process and depending upon our intent, has the flexibility to change.

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