Friday, April 28, 2006

Cosmic muffin

In honor of the Taurus New Moon - and ever hopeful of increased prosperity and other cosmic bon-bons - I decided to perform the Venus Santeria ritual that Dana wrote about this month. It sounded so simple; a piece of bread, a smallish candle, a running body of water. But it took me a bit of running around yesterday to collect the right size candle, the right shape roll. Finally, I had everything. My thought was to actually perform the ritual today, Friday, which is Venus' day.

So just before lunchtime I wrote out my wish list and prepared my little roll (although just as I'm writing this, I realize I left out the nickel - dammit!), and lit the candle. And it took forever to burn down, so I had a good lunch and then changed my guitar strings, which seemed kind of Venusy. Finally the candle burned itself out, and we were ready to - well, roll, so to speak. The question was, where to release my Venusian offering into the wild? I had been thinking of taking it over to Coronado and tossing it into the ocean, but then I reread Dana's article and realized salt water was out of the question.

Finally we remembered a spot down in the Valley where we might be able to get close enough to the bank of the San Diego River to surrender my cosmic muffin therein. We parked in a nearby lot, trundled down the street a piece, and found a likely - if rocky - spot. We picked our way cautiously a few feet down, where I perched on a rock and hurled the bun. At first, I was dismayed; the roll fell just at the edge of a kind of breakwater thing and just sat there for a minute. And then I noticed that the wind was blowing the water toward the breakwater, and despaired of my little offering to Venus getting very far at all.

Then, I was rescued: a group of four ducks descended on the roll, pushed it into the river, and began eating it. "That's... good, right?" I asked Jonny. "I mean, nature participating in the ritual, and all." "Well, think of it this way," he pointed out. "That roll is going to get a lot further down the river in the stomach of that duck than it would have on its own."

Now that I think about it, I guess maybe it's a good thing I forgot that nickel.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

No costume, dance or song.

The New Moon today was exact at 12:44 pm PDT, at 7.24 Taurus - the Sun and Moon square Saturn in Leo. Which sounds about right. Because when you're all up in your own petty dramas, strutting and fretting your hour upon the stage - Leo-style - Taurus is the big old hook that suddenly appears from the wings to drag you away before you can really make an ass of yourself.

Taurus is the tenth sign from Leo, and so is a sort of natural parent to our most flamboyant and self-celebratory urges. The down-to-earth mentor who let you know - hopefully without crushing your spirit - that even though you were indeed funny and talented, you might be getting just a little too big for your britches. The snarky but affectionate friend who never let you get away with your pretensions, because she infinitely preferred the real you. The loving mother who praised your talents but reminded you that there was more to you, too, if you would only buckle down and do the work that was necessary to uncover it, and then relax and enjoy it. And who assured you that, no matter what a glorious thing you made of yourself, you would never be any more beautiful than you were on the day you were born - perfect, unspoiled, equisitely unexceptional as the good earth itself.

Salt of the earth, Taurus. Rock of Gibraltar. Tender spring grass, verdant hills, and all the most luxurious treasures of the planet, unadorned and useful and utterly ravishing. No, we can never be anything better than that; no costume, dance, or song is the rival of earth in bloom.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Does anybody really know what time it is?

Mercury is careening enthusiastically, if not always consciously, through Aries. Perhaps this explains a recent spate of rather retrograde-ish scheduling bloopers around here. It goes like this.

We had planned a small dinner party for Saturday night with a few friends. On Friday evening, one of the invited rings us up. "I'll be there as soon as I can," he apologizes. "I'm running a little late." My husband informs him that he is, in fact, running about 23 hours and 30 minutes early. We all have a good chuckle and go about our business.

Saturday morning. The spouse and I leap from our bed at a thoroughly unacceptable hour, lash up some coffee and a couple of bagels for the road, and head over to a friend's house to lend support for his yard sale. We arrive to find only a yard. Puzzled, we skulk home, where a closer review of his email reveals that the sale is, in fact, next Saturday.

Saturday evening, 5:30. I'm in the boudoir performing pre-party ablutions when the spouse pops his head in to let me know a guest has arrived. "But we said 6:30!" I whine, mid-coif. Except, as the friends who show up a half-hour later remind us, we actually said 6:00.

But who's keeping track.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Well, I'm happy to report that the Pluto Monologues went over pretty well; I truly had no way of guessing which way it would go, since it was kind of an unusual talk. But my friends and colleagues at SDAS were, as always, warm and welcoming, and endured my 90 minutes of hyperpersonal yammering with aplomb. Thanks, guys!

In any event, what a relief that it's over with. Now I'm working my way through the mountain of work that's been stacking up on my desk in the past couple of weeks, when all other activity more or less ground to a halt while I worried my lecture to death.

Meanwhile, Venus and Uranus engaged in an illicit tryst early this morning, 2:42ish PDT. Venus and Uranus often present as the irreconcilable tension between affection (Venus) and independence (Uranus); sometimes, though, they join forces and manifest as fabulous friends who bring delicious treats from foreign lands. Exhibit: decadent Easter bunnies from our neighbors, who just returned from Switzerland:


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Passion and Prudence

In honor of tomorrow's Full Moon in Libra, I've posted a new essay at my website entitled "Passion and Prudence":
Each year at the Aries New Moon, I imagine the great mass of humanity bursting out of the starting gate like the bulls running in Pamplona – highly charged with vim and vitality, impatient to get on with the business of … what, exactly? At the New Moon, we’re not exactly sure. We’re long on energy, but short on perspective. And Aries, of all the signs, exemplifies this New Moon spirit. At the Libra Full Moon, our task is to cast the cool eye of appraisal over the ideas and ventures that were initiated at the Aries New Moon. Two weeks down the road, do they seem revolutionary and creative, or merely impetuous - even reckless?.... (read the article)

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Pluto Monologues

If you're in San Diego and would like to listen to me blather in person, drop by the San Diego Astrological Society's monthly meeting this Friday, April 14 at 7:30 pm. My lecture, on Pluto transits and ethnographic astrology, is cunningly entitled "The Pluto Monologues." God knows how the thing will turn out, since I'm still writing it. Given the topic, though, I'm sort of tickled to note that the Moon will be Scorpio that night and that it's Good Friday... fits the death and resurrection motif pretty well, doesn't it?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mano a mano

Mars in Gemini opposes Pluto this weekend; and when the irresistable force of Mars goes mano a mano with the immovable force that is Pluto, Pluto comes out on top every time.

The way it works is this: Mars stomps its feet and demands to have its own way, while Pluto remains singularly unmoved. Eventually, confronted with such implacable coldness and impersonality, Mars stomps away or curls up like a plant that's been flash-frozen.

Mars is finishing up his transit through Gemini; Mars and Gemini are a voluble combination, creating an atmosphere of busyness and a dissipation of Mars energy as it splinters in a hundred directions at once. If you've fallen under its spell (since mid-February), you probably find yourself finishing up this transit with more projects than you can possibly complete, more ideas than you can conceivably document, and more stacks of paper in your house than you can shake a file folder at.

The appearance of Pluto looming in the doorway, then, takes the shape of a stern figure who demands to know why: Why is your desk such a mess, why is the project two weeks late, and why didn't you return his phone calls?

They're fair questions. It's time to focus your energy, to recapture all the little shards of it that are floating around your life like dust mites.

Sounds like a splendid way to spend your weekend, eh? If you need help, you'll find me cleaning my office, finishing up a couple of projects, and catching up on my phone calls.