Month: March 2015 (page 2 of 2)

Not Ha-Ha Funny?

So here we are, March 22 nigh on 2° Aries and the Sabian Symbol for today is A Comedian Reveals Human Nature. I have to say I’m pretty darned happy to discover—and I do mean discover, because I am largely unfamiliar with the individual symbols in this system—that comedy has already reared its head in this process. For this Cosmic Blague is meant to entertain (the notion of humor); and it’s a wee synchronicity all its own that day two brings a little co(s)mic relief. Or is it something else? If yesterday’s first Sabian Symbol is about the emergence of new forms and potentiality and “the impulse to be”, then today’s symbol is hinged on our initial awareness of nature, the human kind specifically, which seems to be something of a joke that needs ‘splaining to us by some kind of funny man. One can’t help but think of the jester or the fool, one who, at court, can point to the ills of the realm, and even the shortcomings of the king, to be laughed off and away in self-reflection and self-realization. We have just emerged, full of new purpose, and yet we have to immediately check ourselves, first, by having a sense of humor about our intentions and our actions. We mustn’t take ourselves too seriously or be too rigid. The jester is a mercurial character in every sense; most significantly, he is versatile and adaptible. Perhaps what he reveals is that All is subject to change. We set out with goals in mind but if we aren’t willing to compromise, negotiate and navigate a variable nature—that of our environment, others’ and our own—we mightn’t succeed. We cannot control everything, nor should we want to. We should only meet our experience half way. Thus , we allow for serendipity and blessed synchronicity. To do this we might immediately have to let go of that which is unnecessary, as one discards in gin or poker, life likewise being a game of chance where retiscence or rigidity can be a recipe for failure. So, in some way, today might be about killing our darlings, already letting go of best laid plans and accepting the way life is unfolding, lotus-like. It begs the question: What do we gain when we lose, let loose or let go, whether it be by choice or design, and can we play it as it lays? I’m thinking about people born on this day in Aries and if they portray any such interpretation of this Sabian Symbol, just as I try to laugh at the cosmic blagues that have been played on me and what I’ve had to discard to get, what obstacles I’ve had to remove, or the sacrifices I’ve made, whether intentionally or not.

I’ve certainly experienced greater loss in my life than I have of late; and yet this past year I did see certain key relationships fall by the wayside. The cosmic joke about this experience was that it had the nature of a set up. That is to say that I had set my intention on having healthier relationships, less dysfunctional ones, overall. I was determined to represent myself more truthfully in certain bonds and to say no to invitations I might’ve accepted in the past for f.o.m.o. or fear of not doing enough to foster these so-called friendships. But the upshot was ostracization from such quarters for not being totally available, all the time, as I might have been, detrimentally to myself, in the past. Here I was trying to establish healthy boundaries and to rid said relationships of any codpendent residue; and that was perceived as a problem. I was accused of being parsimonious, unavailable, even erratic. To wit, I found my inventory being taken, dating back nearly a decade, by those who needed more ballast for their argument that I was ripe for the discard pile. In simple terms: Assuming I was dumping them, which I wasn’t, they had to beat me to the bunch and ditch me but good so it could be their move. You know how that goes. It’s sad and it’s painful but there is naught to do; and I am not without ego, and am way too proud and principled to dignify such situations with an attempt to disentangle the labyrinthian disinformation that characterized them. I simply walked away. But, not made of stone, it bothered me for months on end; and I wrote endless emails I never sent getting it all off my chest, which worked quite effectively to a point. I do indeed believe that I posses the plots of several plays in draft form, and some pretty Albe-esque dialogue to boot, should I ever want to manifest these thoughts and feelings and literally see it played out before me, not to mention devise the endings of my choosing.

Then this winter I lost my wedding ring. I’d lost about thirty pounds since I bought it and it was my own damn fault for not having it resized. There were moments of foreshadowing when I’d wake up with it not on my finger only to find it had been flung across the room when I turned abruptly in my sleep. But on one of the blizzard days in Boston a month or so ago I returned home from a walk with it gone from finger. I couldn’t quite feel my fingers because it had been so cold—it may have come off with my glove, or just fallen from my super shrunken frozen digit. I was very upset. Very upset. Despite the fact it wasn’t one of the set of rings we actually exchanged at our wedding, it had more significance still. I mean, we were married in 1989 so our first rings were what you’d expect: wide silver Robert Lee Morris jobs; mine was so thick i couldn’t bend my finger for years. If I didn’t have an allergy to it, I had an energetic repulsion. It never felt good on me and I stopped wearing it not many years after marriage. For more than a decade we didn’t wear wedding rings until one day…yes it’s about to happen, folks!: a big synchronicity is making it’s way into my storytelling, albeit not unheavy-handedly:

When Stella and I graduated university we moved to Paris where we established a group of friends with whom we are still quite close. Jo was one of that number and just over a decade later she would begin publishing a slew of books under the name J.K. Rowling. In 2005, she was already world famous of course and though we had been in touch with her, recently-ish, it had been a year or two; and so when we had a two-night trip planned to Edinburgh for the first time, from London where we were staying with our friends and godchildren, we weren’t about to let Jo know that we were coming, as it was going to be a quick thirty-six hours; and it would have taken some doing to reach her as her lifestyle had changed a bit to say the least. So we didn’t try. As it was, we had just one full day to explore the whole city and I was resolved that we shouldn’t even stop to eat—we should just keep moving and grab snacks and streetfood along the way. So, of course, being the Libra I am, by noon I was famished and wanted a sit-down lunch. We had stopped into Harvey Nichols—I think I needed to buy socks—and we thought, let’s go upstairs to the cafe. Well it was a crush. The place was jammed and the host pointed out that he only had one small table for two free, which was smack up against what looked like a univeristy student, scribbling away in her notebook, head down, and I asked: Is there not a more private table opening up? There wasn’t. So off we trundled, my left upper lip in a sneer, to sit down next to the scribbler twisting her hair. Stella didn’t sit but dropped her bag and beelined for the loo as I sat down, with my attitude, harumph. I noticed the scribbler was dressed all in shades of acquas and blues as I swivelled my eyes left and down. Nice boots for starters. And as I started to scan upwards, planning to sneak a peek, if I could, at the face, she was doing likewise, and our eyes met in a dead on stare. We both gasped or at least we thought we did. In fact we screamed, and Stella came running back thinking I’d had some sort of seizure or attack. Then we all three screamed more, quite audibly, which drew over the host and waiters who thought perhaps that the two Americans newly seated were accosting this lady customer whose identity was not unknown to them. While, in truth, the Universe had simply arranged a surprise lunch for Jo, Stella and me in so wonderfully easy a manner that we could never have planned for ourselves. We slammed our tables together and sat and ate and chatted for hours. Jo asked why it was we didn’t wear our wedding rings. We told her. And she said we had to go directly to her jeweler on George Street, Hamilton & Inches—she had just come from there as she was having a real golden snitch made for a charity event—and we were to tell the head clerk that “the golden snitch lady sent” us, and that we did, to which he, replied, “yes well, let me sharpen my pencil,” meaning let’s see what kind of discount I can offer on the two rings we’d picked out. I loved my ring. It looked like the ring. As in The Lord of the…but I lost it this winter after nearly exactly a decade.

But here’s the weird thing. First, since I lost my ring, it made the loss of those aformentioned people pale in comparison and it completely cured me of any pangs or angst on that subject. The second thing that happened was that I kept getting the phrase in my mind: The ring is a Horcrux. Now I’d like to say I know so much about the Harry Potter world that I could immediately rattle off to you what a Horcrux is, but I couldn’t, and I didn’t bother to even look it up until this morning, despite the fact this phrase has been being repeated in my brain since my ring’s loss. What I did have the greatest sense of, though, without knowing what a Horcrux really was…was..that somehow the ring being flung out there into the snowy world amplified a certain spiritual power and connectedness. I can’t quite put it into words but I’ll try: It has something to do with my mother who passed around the time I purchased the ring. Okay, however strange this sounds, my sense was that the ring, flung out there somewhere, instead of being on my finger, was taking on the form of a remote receiver, like a power station, and that it is actually functioning as a transmittor between not only me and my mother, but me and whatever powers from which I draw my own brand of psychic ability. And that the loss cum sacrifice of this ring, which I came to possess in the first place by way of a very lovely and entertaining cosmic joke, not only provided healing and closure on some pretty serious emotional pain, but it has become far more a source of strength and power than it ever could have been in my sweaty-palmed possession.

So, as I said, I looked up the term Horcrux this morning and it does serve a similar function to what I sensed my ring was providing, in that it is an object of power in which is hidden a fragment of the soul of the person who created it. The Horcrux anchors one’s soul to the earth if the body is destroyed and the more one makes the closer one gets to immortality. The upshot is they’re evil and only created by a Dark witches or wizards. Any opinions on my person from certain quarters not withstanding, I am a very white warlock and so I believe my ring to be the Light version of a Horcrux, designed not for some future immortality but for a very present sense of divinity. Interestingly, the Greek root hor- has two meanings: the first being boundary, as in the word horizon, which seems to define J.K. Rowling’s Horcrux, being that it is bound to its creator, and it binds him or her to the earth; the second meaning of hor-, however is hour, as in the word horoscope, something not unfamiliar to me. I cast my horoscopes as I cast my ring.

I’m a Homo Sabian Too

Okay, so, the Sabian Symbols. I can’t say they were invented, but rather perceived by a Libran astrologist by the name of Marc Edmund Jones (1888-1980) with the help of a clairvoyant called Elsie Wheeler. Stella and I first came across Jones in our formal astrological study through the London Faculty, but he’s an American, from St. Louis. To paraphrase that substitute for our own brain we call Wikipedia: Jones was interested in formulations he observed in nature and in the environment—as a fellow pattern queen, I totally relate—and he developed his own systems of thought. He was influenced by Christian Science and Theosophy (me too—the latter not the former) and set out to reformulate astrology. He devised the seven (Libra number) patterns in astrological chart interpretation we use everyday—and he published The Sabian Symbols in Astrology, “a book that renders a specific symbol and interpretive character for each of the 360° of the zodiac” and then, of course, he’s a Libra renaissance man, he wrote screenplays for early movies, became a Presbyterian minister and got his PhD from Columbia. You know, as you do.

So the Sabian Symbols: It’s fairly esoteric stuff. But here it is in a nutshell. There already existed a symbol system, associated with astrologer Alan Leo, that derived from occult divination, via meditation, and “intermediaries” (ooh, scary) working with an early Egyptian schema, from which the zodiac is originally based. If you didn’t follow that it doesn’t matter. Jones wasn’t into that existing system. So he and Elsie Wheeler, who had become his student and turned out to be pretty wildly mediumistic, headed to San Diego for energetic reasons—okay‑and he basically numbered 360 index cards, one for each degree of the zodiac, from Aries 1° through Pisces 30°, and kept shuffling them so neither he nor Elsie actually knew which was which when they were set before them; and she got pictoral interpretations via her spidey sense and they wrote them on the card. I think it all happened in a day. I hope you’re getting this…

Each degree on the astrological wheel was thus assigned an interpretation. For instance, the interpretation for today, 0-1 degree Aries is: “A Woman Just Risen from The Sea; A Seal is Embracing Her”. Seriously, that’s it. And, actually, this one I get (and to think Elsie didn’t know that this was 0-1° Aries is totes cool; because we have just left the mega watery womb of the sign of Pisces, ruled by Neptune, whose trident is that of the Great Triple Goddess of the Sea, and “emerged” into the sign of Aries, associated with birth and life, a pretty bloody affair—Aries rules the blood, governed by Mars, the war god, life being the ultimate fight. And, so, okay, this Sabian Symbol suggests that the energy of this day is about the birth of the new—something real, tangible, perhaps even if just a thought or emotion. And there’s that seal. I immediately hear Donovan’s “Celia of the Seals”. From what I know, seals are symbolic of inner guidance, privacy, insulation and protection—they are slippery and don’t like to be pinned down— while they are also emblematic of an amorous nature, as this animal is fervently driven on that score. This makes sense too: The sign of Aries is about individuality and being true, if not just plain old keeping, to oneself; and of course, Mars ruled Aries is about lust and libido, as well. I read somewhere that the seal was also approval. But I find that just too punny for words.

If I were to embrace the noble lie that the Sabian Symbols are “true”, which I’m going to do, for the most part, for the purposes of this year-long exercise, to see what doors of perception doing so might open, then my own Libran psychic take on this image would be thus: Today is a day of emergency. We are stepping into a new life, dripping from our past experience, perhaps, even refreshed by it. So much so that we needn’t go back. We must seek to stand on solid ground today; we must be delivered from the murkiness of our past experience, having let any primordial soupiness form a new directive. On this day, we are one with a new mission—tell me about it—and we are reminded by the seal, who does indeed inhabit both the inner (water) and outer (land) worlds, that we can go forth “trailing clouds of glory”; for, yes, the water can also symbolize our original state of divine being which we mustn’t lose in our earthly pursuits. I find it wonderfully paradoxical, too, that the first moment of Aries, the premier masculine sign, is mainly characterized by the female experience. But that has some pretty primal significance too, as all life begins as female, doesn’t it? And we all come from the mother. Perhaps, we are more that seal, slippery and heavy lidded, fresh from the womb. Perhaps we are clumsier on land than we are in the sea. That is to say, we are bound to stumble and make mistakes in our terrestrial endeavors, a bit out of water—we aren’t from here per se, and we inhabit this planet but for awhile, bound to return to the sea of vast divinity. And hopefully we can avoid being clobbered and skinned alive by stupid, venal, brutish people driven by profit and greed. So maybe today we are meant to reflect upon and embody these thoughts. Just as we enjoy a more banal understanding that we have just emerged from winter and we can let ourselves be, like the season, fresh and new, full of promise and burgeoning growth. Are the notions of emerging from some divine womb or our winter cache really so dissimilar. Is winter not better viewed as a time that incubated us anew, rather than something we were dragged through. What was bred in us this winter that we can now activiate, what purpose can we now personify? Is getting where we want to go not generated from a deeper sense of coming from somewhere utterly divine. If we can embrace our own divinity, would that help us seal the deal of fulfilling our worldly destiny. Are we not the intersection of the inner and outer world made manifest—are we perhaps the seal that can open between the two.

I can do this all day. And in fact I have, off and on. I’m wont to explore how people born on this day might personify this particular Sabian Symbol. But Facebook tells me I don’t know many people born on this day. In any case that provides me an excuse not to compare and contrast the humans in my life with my own interpretation of this symbol. I certainly don’t have an extra Birthday Book hanging about, so I will have to let this one-sided dualogue of a conversation dangle. Maybe you have people close to you born on this day and you can draw comparisons between them and “A Woman Just Risen from The Sea; A Seal is Embracing Her”. I have to go rethink my own purpose I’ve emerged with on this first full day of Spring. I suspect it might entail saying a lot less per day about Sabian Symbols in these posts and to make sure I get to some storytelling on the vast subject of what I find to be weirdly synchronic and cosmically jokey about this life.


Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.


The beginning is as good a place to start as anywhere. Better, I suppose. Like any first attempt at something there are bound to be mistakes and I will look back on this initial go at some point and cringe. But in just a few hours we will enter the sign of Aries, it being March 20, 2015. And my plan for this “astrological new year” is to explore the cosmic energy of each unfolding day from all different angles. I don’t know what those angles are exactly yet, but I have gut inklings and they’re fun to follow. I have a few notions in mind, as well, for ancillary stories and such that I will spew here. In fact it’s those notions that inspired the title COSMIC BLAGUE which, I needn’t tell you, is a play on words; as blague means joke in French and is also pronounced blog, so, well, you get it. I’m especially out to explore the notion of synchronicity this year, too, as it relates, for better or for worse, to the universe “acting funny”. When we feel we are the butt of some cosmic joke, or when we miraculously experience synchronicity, in both cases the Universe seems to have an intelligence and a desire, even, to communicate with us. And I’ve found the more you get into that concept, the more it does try to tell you something, one way or another. So I thought I’d share some of my experiences with what I’ve come to perceive as a droll if not an hysterical cosmos. The “Strange Phenomenon” that Leo goddess Kate Bush sings about, no mere coincidence; there’s that. And then we’ve those times when we feel we’ve actually conjured things into being, which isn’t so much synchronicity, but rather, perhaps, the working of magic along these same channels or celestial avenues that sometimes “coincidentally” lead to our door. So I’ll get into all that happenstance, but I’ll stay on track, mainly, by delving into the energy of each day of the year slash degree of the celestial circle as we journey, once again, through the zodiac.

Most of you likely know me as one-half of Starsky + Cox, authors, among other things, of Sextrology which is a popular “sexy astrology” book I wrote with Stella Starsky. If you’ve read it you might agree that it’s deceptively smart and sometimes pretty funny. The sex in Sextrology primarily refers to gender, not the act itself—our premise being that men and women of the same sign actually embody different sets of archetypes that speak volumes on their personality, emotionality, sexuality and gender- and sexual-identity. The most recognizable archetypes are the classic gods and, being that our zodiac is a western one, these gods veritably live within that mandala. The gods are gorgeous personifications of energy. We too are personifications of energy. And we maintain that people born under a certain sun sign embody a different recipe of cosmic energy than others born under another sign—generally speaking, breaking the entire population into twelve groups, or twenty-four, in sextrological terms. But let’s put people aside for a moment (although they are the most vivid representation of cosmic energy available to us): If there is a blanket energy associated with each zodiacal month of the year that manifests through all life and experience, then it follows that there are more niche cosmic energies specifically linked to each day of the astrological year. I suppose that was the 1990s pop-premise of that doorstop Birthday Book, from which we all got a giggle, glib as it was. But I know there’s more to each unfolding lotus of a day than the empirical notion that Marcello Mastrianni, Bridget Bardot, Dita von Teese and, ahem, yours truly were all born on “The Day of the Heartbreaker”; although a look at that list would certainly substantiate the notion beyond a shadow of a doubt. That was sarcasm in case you missed it, Sheldon.

So, as we start another trip around the wheel, beginning in just a few hours, I want to plunge below the surface of the observable and see if we can’t more profoundly delve each daily turn, turn, turn. I get the fact that, to everything, there is a season; but perhaps there are more specific purposes to each and every day. To be cosmically aligned with more subtle energies, those that, when grouped together in a monthly clump might be recognized as this month or that spent in one astrological sign or another, during which time, taken together, experience has the flavor of that sign, as do those born during it, might very well be possible. For the zodiac isn’t frivolous in my imagination, neither in depth or in degree. Depth-wise, it is a symbolically rich system encoded with myth and mystery—in terms of degree, each day of the year could have a sacred significance. And sure, if people (again the best living symbols we have) born on a given day point to what that significance might be, their collective roles and tendencies are worth considering. I will surely be exploring the Sabian Symbols—more on those later—which have long fascinated me and, I suspect, will help open a doorway onto what the larger point is of, well, each point on our 360-degree circle of 365-6 days. Astrologers examine the significance of the signs of the zodiac all the time, a month at a time. But getting down to the nitty gritty of the daily grind of the cosmic wheel? Beyond the light entertainment of daily horoscopes, it’s not really done. So I want to get into it. My sense is that I will feel more aligned with the cosmic clock and better understand what makes it tick, tick, tick. If nothing else, I’m sure I’ll learn something along the day and, perhaps, stay that much more in the moment or, at least, the day.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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