Friday, June 24, 2005

Love the rock.

The other day I'm hiking around the World Famous San Diego Zoo (right? you folks in South Africa, weigh in: have you heard of this zoo? Is it really world famous?) and on my way to visit the lions I pass some bears. The weather's nice, I'm in no particular hurry, and I haven't really taken any time to look at the bears before, so I slow down for a little visit. They all look - you know, big, brown, bearlike. I drift along and find myself standing in front of the habitat of the Alaskan Brown Bear.

She's hanging out in her little bathing pool, washing her beautiful little face with paws that are surprisingly dainty, given her general dimensions (huge). Eventually she considers herself, apparently, suitably gorgeous, and emerges from the pool, like Venus on the half shell. This dame is enormous. She sort of lumbers around, shifting her girth from side to side; she stands directly in front of me, yawns, and shakes the water from her fur. Then she settles herself down next to an absolutely huge boulder that's been placed in her habitat. She lays both paws, and then her head, on the smooth, cool, gray rock. She looks as comfortable as if she's lying on a feather pillow.

This morning, absently perusing my Pocket Astrologer, I noted that tomorrow evening - right about the time I hoping to be cuddled up on the couch with my sweetie, eating Thai food, drinking champagne, and watching a DVD of "Kill Bill Vol. 2," - Venus will conjunct Saturn. And my initial reaction was, "Damn! There goes my lovely weekend, my sweet date." The restaurant will be overloaded and our food will be late and cold; the champagne flat; the movie a disappointment.

Well, maybe it will, maybe it won't. And if it is... maybe it's not a punishment, but a gift. Maybe there's something better we could be doing, something more satisfying (although it'd have to be pretty damn good to trump that little Thai/DVD date scenario), and Saturn might roll some huge boulders out into our path to try to divert us to something different, something marvelous.

And that's when I thought about that bear, snuggling up to that big old, hard-looking rock. That bear was the picture of Venusian pleasure; I think if you'd offered her a Sealey Posturepedic at that moment, she would have declined. She was enjoying her Saturnian rock; it was something cool and comfortable to lean on.

And that's when it hit me. Ah... it's simply a question of attitude, isn't it? When you're trying to have a good time and the world rolls a rock in your path, well, there's only one thing to do:

Love the rock.

Venus will conjunct Saturn at 27 Cancer, July 25, 2005, 7:57 pm PDT.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Summer newsletter posted at Big Sky Astrology

The Sun enters Cancer tonight at 11:46 pm PDT, marking the summer solstice. So put on your sunblock and sandals and paddle on over to my website, where I've just posted my summer newsletter, entitled "Slowing Down, Turning Around":
If the beginning of winter is the time of determination, of buying new calendars and drafting bold resolutions for a year of success and prosperity, then the summer solstice marks the year's reevaluation point. Even if we've been underachievers in the first half of the year, there may still be time to reach our goals. But we can't speed our way through this transition. Just as the sun at the summer solstice appears to stand still in its movement across the horizon, then turn around and move the other way, that is our job at midyear: to stand still for a moment, look around, and take stock of where we are.....

Article here.

Friday, June 10, 2005

In which I join Zach Braff's writing group.

Zach Braff is an engaging young actor. I've enjoyed his joyful goofiness on the television series Scrubs, and found his Garden State movie reasonably entertaining. Other than that, I've never given him a second thought.

Until last night, when I was forced to consider The Braff in a new light. You see, he invited me to enjoy his weekly writing group, which meets on the back patio of a semi-seedy coffee house in L.A. Except in this dream, he wasn't actually Zach Braff, per se - just some random guy who took an inexplicable liking to me and invited me to join his group.

Now, I don't usually remember my dreams, and the ones I do remember are rarely peopled with celebrity cameos. (Although I remain traumatized by a semi-romantic dream I had many years ago featuring - and, with all due respect, *gag* - Neil Diamond. Further proof that we are not, indeed, the casting directors for our own dreams.) So when someone completely off-the-wall, from an entirely different generation, practically from another planet - say, a Zach Braff - shows up in one of my dreams, I can't help but think it means something. Perhaps even something... astrological.

So I look him up on IMDB and find that The Braff is an Aries, and writes his own screenplays. And immediately, his guest appearance in my dream makes sense. My fifth house (creativity) is ruled by Aries, and I'm currently having a devil of a time with this book project. This isn't the first time a younger man with an Aries infuence in his chart has appeared to help me jump-start my creative career when I've hit a wall. True, these creative interventions don't usually take place on the astral plane or whatever, but hey - you take what you can get.

But the thing is, I didn't know Braff was an Aries. Maybe I read something, somewhere, about how we writes his own movies, but I have no conscious memory of it. How in the world did my subconscious manage to Google a database containing the millions of people and faces and images collected throughout my lifetime... and deliver up a Zach Braff search result? It's mystifying. And what was Dream Braff trying to tell me - to join a writing group? Drink more coffee? Cast Natalie Portman in my next dream?

I haven't got a clue. Maybe he'll tell me next week, when we go pick up our dry cleaning together.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A fresh stream.

The Friggin'Book is unfolding at the rate of about fifteen badly written pages per week. Several mornings each week I hie to my office, fire up the laptop, and crank out some dreck. It's painless work, because I'm not trying to write well; I'm just trying to get a lot of stuff written down so that I can imagine a little more clearly what its final form should be. The painful process of making it all worth something will come later.

Elsewhere, the flow of my words is absolutely drying up. This blog is languishing a bit, I realize it, and I haven't written anything new for my website in a month. I'm even procrastinating about answering my email, which for years has been one of my life's great satisfactions. Used to be, writing felt like a dip in a reflecting pool of feeling and meaning. But lately, I'd rather do almost anything else than try to write well. It's as though my keyboard were subjecting me to aversion therapy, sending out little electric shocks every time I put my fingers on it. And as the textbooks would suggest, my stomach (ruled by the Moon) is a wreck, jumpy and upset, a bit like seasickness or that inner-ear disturbance that animals get before an earthquake.

I was born when the Moon was in Gemini, a lunar sign that finds comfort and refuge in words; for as long as I can remember, I've never really known how I felt about anything until I wrote it down. But now, with transiting Uranus squaring my Moon, I'm rather stereotypically cut off from that source of inspiration. I don't want to write about my bloody feelings, I'm bored with the narrative of my life. I'd rather move to a new house, learn the piano, practice conjugating Spanish verbs. And aside from bloodless technical manuals, anything, anything but writing.

Well, what a perfect moment to be writing a book, right? I suppose if a client came to me with this transit, and this particular dilemma, I would suggest a Uranian approach. "Keep changing your schedule," I might advise. "Make a little altar to Uranus, with a radio and a big old crystal and some aluminum foil on it." Or, "Move your furniture around." I think I would have, perhaps short-sightedly, advised courses of action designed to bring a sense of order and stability to what I would have assumed was a chaotic inner life.

I see now that while that's not strictly bad advice, neither is it strictly helpful. I think if I were to sit myself down in the client chair, my wiser astrologer self might instead say something like this:

Go ahead and run wild; be a bad, wicked child. Break some pottery and use the chips to make a mosaic. If you must write, try fiction for a change. Do something weird to your hair. Shake out the cobwebs of your old personality. The keynote here is change: you can't outwit it and you can't control it, so embrace it! Your old sources of knowledge and inspiration are fast drying up - so if you want to stay alive, be a wise animal and go looking for a fresh stream to drink from.