For 25 years I have lived with death sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear.
And it was the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Cancer at 18, right when my adult life started, forced me to look at and live with what many of us don’t even want to think about – my own mortality.
But why do I think this was a blessing for me and why is it important for you to think about your mortality?
- want to live a life with as few regrets as possible
- want to feel fulfilled in life, now and later
- want to align your life with your own endpoint, not someone else’s
- want to avoid societal traps
- don’t want to waste time trying to please the wrong person or version of yourself
…then contemplating your own endgame can be life-changing.
I want to break down why thinking about your death is healthy.
I want to teach you how astrology is a tool that helps you do this better.
And, I want to show you how you can weave habits into your daily life that ease your fear of death (or really – your fear of not living).
Meet Your Deathbed-Self (The ONLY Person You Need to Impress)
For two decades I have asked myself “What will I think when I’m on my deathbed?”
When faced with tough decisions, or when I’m considering whether I should take a risk or not, that is always the question that pops up.
This may be something many people do, but for me, this constant thought of death came from having a real fear at an early age that I wouldn’t live long.
Moments after hearing that I had cancer these are the two thoughts I had:
- How will I say goodbye to everyone?
- If I live I promise I will never take anyone I love for granted again.
I remember where I was exactly.
I remember the feeling in my stomach.
I remember knowing that from that moment on my life would not be what I had envisioned.
And I was right.
But, for me, it wasn’t the physical leftovers from the disease or fighting that disease, that changed my future the most.
It was the moment (that happened to be in the backseat of my parent’s sedan) when I first met my deathbed self, looked it in the eye, and began my decades-long relationship with it.
The Buddhism Connection
I am not a Buddhist, which I think is important to say because I don’t want to give the impression that I have any authority in it. I don’t, but I do have respect for it.
Years back I stumbled across the Buddhist concept of maranasati, which is not only the awareness of your own death, but also the deliberate contemplation of it.
The idea is that thinking about the fact that our death is inevitable and frequently acknowledging that once we die our bodies are no longer “us,” merely elements that return to the earth, we can live a life with more freedom and less fear.
So, this idea of using thoughts of dying in a healthy way is not new or radical.
It is ancient.
Who Is Your Deathbed-Self?
When trying to figure out how best to frame my thinking when it comes to my own mortality, I had a realization.
Every time I seek fulfillment and take action to avoid regret, I am actually working to please my “deathbed-self,” – the future version of me that is, not only moments away from leaving this Earth, but is also aware of it.
At times when I am thoughtlessly hurrying through my day, I rarely consider my deathbed-self.
But when I am in a state of metacognition – thinking about my thinking, or in any kind of meditative, reflective headspace – that is where I connect with this version of me.
And it is there, when I am aware of my thoughts, that it dawns on me how much of my life I am really dedicating to this deathbed-self.
I’m probably not alone in this.
I suspect that many people do this, just using different terminology or framing it another way in their mind.
If this weren’t the case, why would anyone strive for “their best life”?
Why wouldn’t we all just indulge ourselves in the pleasures of the moment and only worry about paying our bills, not about fulfillment or purpose?
I suspect that most people often consider this near-death, future version of themselves without realizing it.
Here are some thoughts on the deathbed-self:
- All roads in life point to it
- It is non-denominational
- Why else would people be good when they could be bad?
- There is a reason a near-death experience shakes a person, there was a close connection with their deathbed-self
- For some, this may be the meaning of life
Benefits of A Relationship With Your Deathbed-Self
Buddhists haven’t practiced maranasati – thinking about death – for millennia for no reason.
There are many life-altering benefits that emerge from a relationship with our deathbed-self that can leave us happier, more content, and filled with purpose.
Here are a few:
- Putting everyday things in the proper perspective
- Not getting hung up on trying to please others or society
- Helping us to clarify rights and wrongs quickly – “What would our deathbed-self say?”
- Stopping us from only seeking comfort, but rather seeking fulfillment
- Lowering risk aversion
- Giving us direction in life when we feel lost
- Feeling less fearful when thinking about death
Things That Get in the Way
Everyone may want to live life in a way that brings fulfillment to their deathbed-self, but it may not be easy.
There are some barriers, and society is one.
Of course, this depends on the collective beliefs of those you live around, but there can be pressure to uphold society’s expectations of you rather than what you know is right for you, and your deathbed-self.
There can be a feeling that we need to use our lives to please our family or friends in an attempt to “earn” their love – doing what we think they want us to do.
And internally, there are a couple of obstacles.
Thoughts like, “I have more important things to worry about right now, like paying for everything.”
“Thinking about death is scary or too unpleasant.”
We are conditioned to see thoughts about death as something inappropriate.
Even in the “Barbie” movie, when does the good-time-party come to a screeching halt? When Barbie says “Do you guys ever think about dying?”
We also may be very now-oriented, living to please our current, present self by always settling for comfort over growth – “You should just go with the flow and not think about tomorrow.”
There is merit in that line of thinking, but as with everything, it needs to be in balance.
Another obstacle is that we could be confused about what our deathbed-self needs from us to feel content.
Luckily, we have tools that can help translate its wishes.
One of them is astrology.
Your Deathbed-Self and Astrology
The birth chart is the manifesto of the deathbed-self.
This is a document detailing exactly what the dying version of you wants and the way you can use your life to get it.
Astrology can help us see what makes our deathbed-self satisfied.
Your North Node
One place in your chart where you can get a sense of what your deathbed-self wants is your North Node of the Moon.
Your North Node is a reaction to your South Node – karmic baggage, destructive patterns you have lived out over and over (and over) again.
How do you get out of the tendencies that have been ingrained in your behavior for lifetimes?
The house and sign of your North Node offer clues about what kinds of habits your soul wants you to pick up, and what areas of life it wants you to lean into more (in a good way) to break those damaging karmic patterns once and for all.
What could make your deathbed-self happier than to know that, in this lifetime, you made strides toward evolving its soul and leveling up?
In your chart, your Sun is always important, of course.
But, it is exceptionally important when we think about its impact on the happiness of your deathbed-self.
This planet is your spark of life.
You should live your life as your Sun, not your friends, not your spouse’s, not your parents, not a politician’s – your Sun.
All energy on our planet comes from only one source.
And the energy that powers you also comes from that source.
Expressing the sign of your Sun through the experiences of its house, and feeding the planets it is in aspectual relationships with, helps you put the right kind of energy into the world.
And this will please your deathbed-self much more than radiating an energy that isn’t authentic to you.
What is your big contribution?
If I tried to answer this question astrologically and could only use ONE placement, I would look to the Midheaven.
While not every astrologer agrees on the exact location of this angle, it points up like a beacon.
Some believe it to be the cusp of the 10th House, the house of career, reputation, and biggest achievements.
I could be called your destiny – or at least as close to the idea of “destiny” as I’m willing to go.
The sign of your Midheaven, planets sitting near it, aspectual relationships – these details offer you a set of possibilities about what you are here to carry out and who you can be for society.
I would like to think that my deathbed-self would be glad to know that I tried to leave a legacy, and not just any legacy, my legacy – that was right for me.
And maybe whether you succeed or not is less important than the effort and intention.
The example charts I used in this section were made using my favorite, Solar Fire astrology software. If you’re interested in a discount on it plus exclusive bonuses, click here to learn how to get them.
The Rest of the Chart
Once you look at your natal chart in the context of your deathbed-self, what placement wouldn’t help fulfill its wishes?
I feel as though they all do.
Every placement details a different part of the map for our planned experience which your deathbed-self could look back on and appreciate:
- Moon: Found emotional peace, resolved inner conflicts, felt a sense of emotional completeness
- Mercury: Shared wisdom, passed on knowledge, felt mentally satisfied
- Venus: Experienced deep and meaningful connections, appreciated life’s beauty and pleasures
- Mars: Pursued your passions, took risks, felt truly alive
- Jupiter: Lived an abundant and expansive life, found meaning
- Saturn: Built a stable life, a sense of achievement and wisdom gained through challenges
- Uranus: Was true to yourself, broke free from limitations, contributed to progress and change
- Neptune: Spiritual connections were made, inner peace or enlightenment was realized
- Pluto: Underwent profound personal transformations, released wounds from the past, embraced the cycle of life and death
The deathbed-self inserts itself into every planet and every angle.
Pleasing My Deathbed-Self IS My Life’s Work
I realized that there is only one person in life I need to impress – my deathbed-self.
And going about that doesn’t have to be hard.
Here are some daily habits that we can start now to help build a happy and healthy relationship with our deathbed-self:
- Use astrology (or the practice of your choice) so that you can fully step into the person you’re meant to be.
Start with your North Node, Sun, and Midheaven, and then explore each of your planets through this lens.
- Meditate on your death. Buddhists call this maranasati and you can seek out specific maranasati meditations online, or simply add visualizations of your last moments (and after) into your meditation practice.
- Reframe your thinking. Consciously remind yourself to consider your deathbed-self’s opinion or perspective when making decisions, big and small.
- Include it in your daily journaling. Try to tap into your deathbed-self and listen to what it wants to tell you.
12 Questions to Ask Your Deathbed-Self to Get Your Conversation Started:
- How would you like me to treat the most important people in my life?
- How would you like me to treat acquaintances?
- How would you like me to treat myself?
- How would you like me to treat my body?
- What thought would you like me to focus on the first few moments every morning?
- What experience are you hungry for me to have?
- How or where would you like me to spend the majority of my time?
- Which of my strengths makes you the most proud?
- Which of my current habits makes you feel the most regret?
- Which of my memories makes you smile the most to recall?
- What risk would you like me to take?
- What mistake do I need to forgive myself for now rather than hang onto it?
I wish having conversations with our deathbed-self was totally mainstream and something everyone saw as normal and healthy.
But it’s not.
If you are a subscriber to Happy Mystic Weekly – The Woosletter, I am betting that this isn’t something that bothers you as you know that “group think” doesn’t necessarily lead us in the right direction or has our best interests at heart.
So spark up a conversation with your deathbed-self.
Use tools to help you such as journaling, meditation, and astrology.
If you need help understanding astrology and how to wield its power, our Astro Toolkit: Astrology 101 course can get you off to a good start.
Find the way that feels right for you to insert the habit of contemplating your own death into your daily life and reap the rewards of a greater sense of purpose, fulfillment, and freedom.
Make your deathbed-self proud today.
Have a fantastic day and sending love,