the end of evil

Every person should go read Sarah’s Ted Bundy piece, right now. She and I spent days over Christmas discussing it and dog sledding, Stevie Nicks, Titanic, astrology, our/human shadow selves, attachment theory, toxic masculinity, patriarchy, and she made me watch (finally, finally) The Godfather Pt, I and II, which I’m still collecting my thoughts on… it’s currently at 8000 words and still growing.

This is the first year I have accepted in my bones that I’m an Oregonian. Sarah is a native Oregonian, from Sauvie Island. She’s (and many friends, tbh) made it easier for me to understand and accept what it can mean to be an Oregonian. In fact, while I’ve always been fortunate to have many friends, and move easily socially, especially when I was younger and desired to, I know in many ways I have the friendships of my life here. Which has been surprisingly wonderful to discover in the last couple of years, since I spent a decade head down, ceaselessly working and caregiving, and without being a very attentive friend.

My standoff with Oregon has been due to the greater tide of Portland culture. I generally find it precious, hypocritical, malignantly white and myopic, touting of phoned-in, barely considered knee-jerk liberalism, thriving on sophomoric judginess and gossip. It generally looks emotionally immature to me. A bit silly. In larger cities, there is an attitude of shared experience… ‘Even if we disagree, we are all in this together.’ Or ‘We’re being mistreated by this city’s governmental machine, but dammit, they’re our abusers.’ …a weird sense of loyalty, tradition, and honor that pervades, despite disagreement. Proximity to others is so constant that a mutually witnessed instance or even an observation is shared easily with a stranger, as if you have always just been mid-conversation, with everyone. Two connecting sentences shared on a train and then your day goes on as it was. I think a lot more about this that I’m not getting into now. I always feel alien here. Sarah is just showing me how to use that and maximize it.

A thing that’s interesting is that if you spread your natal chart out over a map of the world, a map is made of longitudinal lines that correspond to the planetary positions in your birth chart. So of course I did this, for North America first and then the world. And my Pluto line – Pluto, the planet of death and rebirth, transformations, loss, coercion, extremity, undoing – runs directly over Chicago. And, Portland is almost directly under my Jupiter line. Jupiter, which is the ruler of Sagittarius and planet of tolerance, knowledge, and expansion, purpose, morality, humor, and growth. It’s interesting that I pushed to move here, when the options were NYC, Philadelphia, Portland. All I knew was I wanted to live somewhere beautiful and green. More proximity to nature.

It explains *a lot*. And it explains partly why my Uranus opposition was so cataclysmic. (I’m not going to explain Uranus oppositions here, basically ages 39-42 or so are the Uranus opposition or mid-life crisis. Each one looks different depending on the individual. If you are way off your path, you are going to get set back on it one way or another. And if your aren’t far off and nothing significant changes, choices made in those years can set up your next decades for continued fulfillment or steady stagnation. It’s one of the major personal transits, like the Saturn return.)

It turns out that in North America, the place where the majority of my planetary lines meet is a town in Canada called Yellowknife (!<3). And if you don’t think I haven’t already checked out land and housing prices there, you don’t know me too well… Sarah wants to go visit with me. And to teach me more about dog sledding.

 

super full eclipse blood blue

This eclipse was an echo of the solar eclipse last summer, both in Leo. I have the longest post about yesterday’s lunar eclipse extravaganza (because of course I do), but it will never see daylight because I just read this and sat back down and shut my mouth. Damn, that’s some writing. Gala Mukomolova is a heck of a poet and astrologer. I’m going to print this out so I have the joy of highlighting the whole thing. I mean, look at some of her sentences and diction. (also this makes feel very seen and called out in the best way possible. and I couldn’t take it and went though and bolded things because holy moly, that writing.) 

“…let the demons who dog you in your sleep and know your name eat your sorrow so that every living thing is fed.” -NYLON

…What precious parts of your life do you keep burning down and what do you refuse to hear so that you might keep that pattern going? Have you pushed away those who got too close so that you might not have to see yourself so clearly? Have you stood between yourself and your own promise, ditching deadlines, dreading intimacy, avoiding the inevitable knock of opportunity lest you are called to live up to your own potential? Own your disasters, your coping mechanisms, your bullshit. What served you once won’t serve you now. When you know it’s yours, you know how to let it go. The universe stays difficult, sweet one, it’s you who gets to learn when it’s time to lay a burden down.

Say you are wiser than you’ve ever been because life gave you teachers. Admit that some teachers give you books and some give you the kind of apples that show you what paradise can never be. Outside of the paradise, we are taught to imagine is the world we must learn to love and everything in it, where death presses tight against birth until there is no separation. This is how we move through grief, this is how we enter joy. Outside the paradise we imagine, our moon blushes red sliding close to the Earth and grows large as if struck with the eros of darkness. Remember the Solar Eclipse? The corona a gold ring, a vow. This Lunar Eclipse asks you back to the altar to renew your commitment. Surrender, and this afterglow is for you.

The illusion of control isn’t freedom, it’s alienation. Reacquaint yourself with yourself.

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one day i’ll have a real camera, and take real pictures, like a real person, but it is not this day!

Let the Leo Full Moon teach you self-love the way only a Leo can. Make your room your temple. Put on whatever makes you feel beautiful, and if nothing makes you feel beautiful, then take everything off. Your mirror is a well to drink from, so stare into your own eyes longer than feels comfortable, let yourself feel vain, feel like Narcissus, but keep looking. All the planets of the universe, their dust and grace, live in your gaze. Welcome them home to your body, the bones and flesh of it, a body that protects the stars in you. You can touch yourself, you can touch yourself toward no destination, as if you’re waking to find yourself in bed with a lover you have been missing for months. Fan your fingers over your ribcage and thank it for protecting your heart, press your palm to your face because your face is precious, press your fingers to your lips and acknowledge their power. Your lips that open gently and break unbearable silences.”

 

 

Niblet from last year this time when I realized my body no longer had the ability to chemically differentiate.

 

i slit my length 

button to hollow 

search the shatter 

hotwire it right: 

excitement to excitement 

fear to fear

the nether week

not the holiday, not the new year, all of these queer days feel like the moment a skyscraper elevator goes weightless at an apex and before gravity pulls back — just floating, disoriented. it seems like a string of days which should be a mass, formal recess, held for processing the previous year, intending for the following, grounding, being in nature, laying to rest, welcoming, resting a second before the next everything.

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the finest time of year is everything covered in ice

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gifting…

i’m doing small, four card readings for the coming year for anyone who would like one. all twelve of you who read this (unless it’s term paper season, which means many visitors per day for the Betty Draper paper… {and all of you are welcome to this, too!}) are welcome to reach me in your preferred way and i will do a four-card spread, write it up for you, and even keep it wallet-sized so you can easily refer to it throughout the year. These are simple spreads: 1) theme card (personal theme of the year), 2) don’t do this (actions, mindsets, stances to avoid), 3) do this (how to foster what you want, growth, progress) 4) it will lead to this (outcome).

i’m doing larger readings for folks for the next two days, which is a dream, especially because it’s for four of my very, very favorite people.

simple 4-card tarot spread
here is a 4-card from last year. (this actually got five cards because an extra popped with that fourth card.)

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i have a little to say later about saturn in cap, a little to say about the images that occupied me last year (and therefore symbolize it), a few new projects, but for now it feels like such a quiet time of taking inventory and being outside, enjoying the winter.

 

 

 

 

happy new moon…

the last new moon of the year.

Chani Nicholas – New Moon in Sagittarius

Chani is not generally my favorite writer, but the last few paragraphs of this make my tender little sagittarius heart sing, like I’m standing alone in a bright, snow-filled clearing.

I will probably write more about Saturn going into Capricorn after so damn long (Dec 2014 to now), because that has been such a tough transit for me. Saturn, all beige-y, mothball smelling, and like eating a steady diet of raw kale and cooked liver… all good for you with a side of misery. It taught me extremely hard, extremely good lessons, but damn if it didn’t obstruct so many of my inherent gifts. Sort of like the difference between when the Wizard of Oz goes from black and white to color, but in reverse… like having all the color taken away. I’m glad to be getting my colors back.

 

 

 

 

 

chiron direct

(Was I this insufferable when I was studying wine? Aesthetics of hunger? Buffy? Probably. Probably. It’s only thoughts on Chiron and recent astrology beyond this point, folks… )

Here we hang, Sun sitting in Scorpio still, at the edge of sidereal Sagittarius and feeling the last scrapes and thorns of the season. But Chiron just went direct after retrograde, and these sorts of shadows are deeper reflections than Scorpio alone tends to deal in.

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I circled Chiron for you and its aspects. Generally, for the non-astro folk, red lines are difficult, blue more harmonic.

Chiron is the wounded healer asking us to heal ourselves, and its natal house placement indicates where our deepest personal wounds and painful narratives reside.

Even though Chiron went direct, it’s not having an easy time, with tough aspects to Sun, Mercury, and Saturn. And when Chiron goes direct, it seems to sort of grind in its lessons from the retrograde. (If you can’t parse what lessons Chiron tried to impart through the summer and fall, check your charts to see what houses Pisces and Aquarius occupy.) Retrograde started June 30th in Pisces. Chiron went back to Aquarius, and then went direct on Dec. 5th.

Chiron asks us to do the hard work to transcend our deepest pain and what we have come to believe about ourselves or our lives because of it. Even when you do the work Chiron dredges and presents, there’s more. And meanwhile, the fears we have about ourselves create deep neural patterns in our brains, scripts we play, sometimes on repeat. That’s what Chiron wants us to fix,  the narrative that says, “I’m too ___________ to ever be / have ____________.” It’s also about the lies we tell ourselves, about ourselves — the fictions we’ve created and locked into that prevent us from growing, all born out of deep pain.

We are not meant to be static creatures. Like all living things we are meant to express natural cycles, and our environments. Whether we subscribe to faith, a greater creative force, or nothing at all, most people feel life is to be lived and encountered, and that there’s a path organically unfolding that we are to walk along.

We all know people in our lives who seem to be stalled or stuck in time, looking and being much the way they were at a certain point in their lives, unwilling or maybe afraid to change their views, and no longer growing with those around them. This is the extreme opposite of what Chiron asks us to do throughout our lives. It’s a sort of spiritual fingers in ears, head in the sand way of being in the world that causes us to never confront ourselves and our pain, and that can rule us if we let it. And when the fears and destructive narratives turn circles in our head, we simply fall to them, stuck, the same.

Chiron wants us to find all of the ways we have been lied to about ourselves and kindle old pains… how we prevent our own healing and growth and what beliefs we have about ourselves that prevent us from the wholeness we long for.

To have Chiron station direct during Scorpio season feels like a little extra salt in our wounds and pointing at the blackboard and saying, “This will be on the test.”

Be kind to yourselves and others — it’s the end of a tender season. Sun moves to Sagittarius on the 16th, followed by the new moon in Sag on the 18th. Use the courage, thoughtfulness, connectivity, and honesty Sagittarius provides to heal the cuts and stings Scorpio dealt, and to value the reflection of ourselves Chiron provided. We are worthy of love, we are worthy of our deepest wishes, we are worthy of the liberation gained in healing our pain and dismantling fears, even if we don’t feel it.

(Don’t forget that Mercury is retrograde so take extra care checking schedules and details and in communications with one another!)

 

 

 

(notes on joy

 

…taken during thanksgiving dinner, generated by two former ministers – one a writer, an architect, a retired healthcare worker, and myself.

i’ve been mulling the concept of joy for years, trying to parse its parameters, definition, edges. So luring one end of a table into this philosophical discourse was like a balm for my brain. it’s not a great holiday until you have to take notes…)

joy
notes on joy, with my natural conclusion at the bottom.

I have such a long post about Scorpio season, which we just passed out of, and the move to Sagittarius season, but I find my devotion to personal essay is perpetually drained. I have so many essays sitting in ‘drafts.’ After so much ceaseless work to understand and repair, it seems like I have finally reached the end of looking and working inward to try and fix the whole machine.

And Scorpio season is gone, with its stings and realizations, true colors, and transformations, sharpened desires, hard feelings, clarities gained the tough way. Everyone is a bit banged up after, as we enter the season of mutable fire now. Sagittarius’ truth and clear aims, philosophy & knowledge-seeking, connecting, enthusiasm, curiosity, affinity for the natural world, and healthy, loving boundaries that support freedom, its bluntness, its need for adventure – both internally and externally (says your resident uber Sag 🏆).

Now that I’ve started studying astrology, my working theory is this: we manifest our (closest?) cusp signs more, the older we get. For instance, my Sidereal rising sign is Aries (pushing through, forward moving, fighter, focused, clever, fearless, leading) making my Tropical ascendent Taurus (calm, loyal, cautious, sensual, persistent). As I get older, I’ve watched myself manifesting more Taurus – increasing calm, passive up to a point, seeking comfort and the Aries becoming far more mellowed. So far, I see this as true for most, but I’ve only just started thinking about it. And of course, planetary aspects would heavily influence this theory. Maturation obviously happens, but I’m curious how maturation happens to the character… what blueprint it utilizes.

Neptune has finally come out of retrograde and gone direct. And as such, the dreaming has returned. In retrograde, it’s like losing a sense — so much less information and knowing presented. Dreaming has been barren for months, a dark, void box. But, now it’s populated again, like a switch was flipped and like losing your place in a book and then opening it too far ahead… nothing is where you left it. The dreams are so vulnerable.

Chani has some thoughts for this week… read your rising signs too, peeps! Mercury Retrograde and Full Moon Tropical Gemini / Sidereal Taurus

And timely: Sailor J released her take on Aries today… minus the judgy-ness, this is too real.  (I’ve probably watched this 12 times. All of these are perfect and you should watch them.)