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  • Suzanne Casamento

What Does Home Mean To You?

A couple weeks ago, someone told me she had chosen to move to a place based on an astrocartography reading. I had never heard of it. So, when I asked what she was talking about, she told me that an astrocartographer will take your birth chart and then map where the planets were in certain locations at your birth. From there, they are able to map locations that are good for you in terms of love, money, career, relationships, and other aspects of life.

Considering my nomadic journey, I tried it. Years ago, I had my birth chart analyzed by an awesome astrologer, Mimi Truong. The first thing she said was, “You were born into chaos.” When I met with the astrocartologer a couple weeks ago, she also said, “You were born into chaos. It’s no wonder why you have challenges feeling ‘at home’.”


The astrocartologer analyzed 11 different cities worldwide. To two of them, she said, “Don’t go there.” To others she said things like, “This could be good for love,” or “This could be good for career.” But can you guess which city was the best all around for me? You guessed it! LA.


She kept saying, “Everyone has a mothership,” referring to that place that always pulls you back. It’s true, for me that place is LA, but the thing the conversation made me think about most was the concept of “home.” I have friends who’ve lived in LA for decades and when they say they’re planning to visit family who still live in the town they grew up in, they say they’re going “home.” Up until recently, I have always called LA “home.” But when I reflect, I realize that LA as a city, feels like home to me, but in other ways, having a home in LA has been evasive.

When I first moved to LA, I lived in on Mansfield Avenue in a slightly shady Hollywood neighborhood with a bunch of girls from the east coast. Those girls had more east coast friends who wanted to move to LA, so when the house next door was available to rent, we rented it too. There were 10 girls between two houses. We shared a pool and a hot tub and we nicknamed the place “Mansfield.” Over the years, some of the girls moved out and some guys moved in. We had a rotating cast of hilarious, creative, warm characters. Mansfield always felt like home, but in 2004, I decided I should invest in a house and I moved a few miles away to the Hollywood Hills.

I tore out doggy, poopy carpets, knocked down walls, installed hardwood floors, planted a garden, designed and installed a new kitchen, and had fabulous dinner parties. I loved that house. In 2008, I was working for a giant homebuilder and I lost my job in the housing market crash. A few months later, I was unable to pay the mortgage and I lost my home. Typing this, I realize that I never use the words, “I had to do a short sale, because the value of the house was less than I paid for it.” I always say, “I lost my home.” I’m going to have to stop saying that. If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that words matter. Thankfully, a former Mansfielder offered me a job at his pub and his extra bedroom. (The waitressing job was so freakin’ hard. I dropped a burger on the first day and it didn’t get better from there.) I purged 90% of my belongings and moved into his extra bedroom. I lived in his place for almost three years until he made it clear that it was time to go. My next home was a beach shack in the same neighborhood where I’d lived with the former Mansfielder. It was not every nice, and in hindsight, it had a weird smell, but at the time it was what I could afford. Plus, it had an ocean view. A few months later, I started getting infections. Urinary infections, kidney infections. Candida infections. I felt run down and tired all the time, but I kept on keeping on because that’s what we do, right?


I started going to general practitioners, naturalpaths, homeopaths, and gynecologists to try and figure out why I was constantly getting infections. I spent years feeling awful. Then in 2015, a Chinese herbalist was muscle testing me and she said, “There’s mold in your home and you have to move immediately.” I laughed. I didn’t have the money to move and I didn’t believe her about the mold - until I started seeing it on my clothes. First, I pulled a black top from my closet and it had a white film on it. Then I found the same film on jeans. So, at 44 years old, I had to call my father and ask him for money to move.


It was demoralizing and depressing. Meanwhile, I was accumulating a mountain of medical debt and not getting any answers. I was seeing a somatic therapist who combined physical and talk therapy and seeking out any healing modality I heard of. Some helped, others didn’t, so I kept on trying. I purged the belongings I had accumulated from 2009 – 2016. I couldn’t risk bringing something that might be contaminated with mold to my new apartment. Not even clothes. The only things I took with me were glass, metal, or ceramic glazed. I had the new apartment tested by two mold companies before I moved in. They gave it the “all clear” and I slowly purchased furniture and clothing. I was still sick and constantly seeking out new healing modalities. In my research, I learned that mold can reactivate Lyme disease.


That’s when it all started to make sense. Lyme attacks your weakest systems, which for me were excretory and digestive systems, hence all the kidney and candida infections. I found a western Lyme specialist in the Bay Area who put me on antivirals. My daily fevers subsided. My bowling ball head started to feel more like a helmet and I was able to work a little bit, but it wasn’t enough to even begin surmounting the mountain of medical bills. In 2017, I had made $31,000 and spent $20,000 in out-of-pocket medical costs. In January 2018, I decided something had to change. That’s when I googled, “Best energy healer in LA” and found Garz Chan, who has helped me shift my whole life. I also asked my western Lyme specialist if she knew anyone who’d used an ampcoil and she said she had a patient she no longer saw because they had healed themselves with the ampcoil.

So, I called a dear friend and asked to borrow money for the ampcoil. Thankfully, they said yes. And in 2018, through energy healing and the ampcoil, I began to heal from Lyme disease. By June of 2019, I was completely healthy. But then, I found mold on my clothes. Instantly, my latest home no longer felt like home. It felt like a threat to my health.


I thought I should move out of Santa Monica, away from the ocean to dryer areas. I found a beautiful apartment near Sunset Plaza. It was so beautiful that I woke up every morning and thought, “I can’t believe I get to live here.”


Until The Terrible Man Upstairs moved in and the apartment no longer felt like home. (Pictured is the empty apartment on the day I moved out.)


All of that led me to the here and now and a conversation with an astrocartographer who assessed that LA might just be the best place for me. And that may be true, but how can I make sure it will feel like home?


When you think of “home,” what does “home” mean to you?



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