Month: April 2015 (page 2 of 3)

Flow (Just Don’t Mention The War)

It’s the first day of Taurus 1°, and this date has gotten a bad rap due to one of the world’s most evil people ever being born on this day. But enough about Ryan O’Neal. I’m going to force myself to be brief today as this can be quite consuming, more The Blob than the blog. So thankfully we have a real fresh unadulterated it-is-what-it-is (don’t you loathe that expression) symbol in the form of A Clear Mountain Stream, which that cut-up Dane Rudhyar says denotes the pure, uncontaminated and spontaneous manifestation of one’s own nature. Let’s go with that. We entered Taurus. We shouldn’t have to work so hard, now, right? After all that Aries activity (cardinal-fire) we get to sit back a bit in Taurus (fixed-earth) and let said nature take its course.

A mountain stream is sculpted out of earth over time. The groove is deep, which might even be a modern way of expressing something being profoundly ingrained, as in an individual’s character, personality or, yes, nature. I am what I am. Which isn’t any different from It is what It is. Tautology. Or rather, as William Safire coined it, a tautophrase as in, a deal is a deal or boys will be boys—the repetition of an idea making it irrefutable while obscuring an evidence of the fact. Wow are we ever in Taurus. Self-evidence is all the explanation needed here. And, again, it’s pretty relaxing not to have to come up with any logical answers or justification, just letting manifestation speak for itself. Hey, let’s try that tack today—no prefacing, preambling or setting the scene. If people don’t get what we’re on about then they don’t get it. There we go again—a bit of circular logic, which I also think is emblemized in the moutain stream. Presumably it’s fed by the melting winter ice and snow, running down the hill to some warmer clime, where it will evaporate into the atmosphere, forming clouds that will rain down and ultimately freeze again at the top, only to repeat the cycle ad infinitum. That’s how it works. It’s not broken and you can’t fix it.

Rudhyar is careful to bring up the concept of their being a source, a spring. That, too seems logical, and any student of mythology knows that this is an expression (literally) of the mother goddess, the mountains being the ample breast—mata horn, Matterhorn— from whence her sustenance flows. The goddess Rhea (who took the form of the goat Amaltheia with her horn of plenty) a/k/a Cybele was the great mountain mother, her palace estate perched atop Mount Ida, her coronet a turret, a nod to her walled hilltop fortress. She is Rhea-Cronus (old Mother Time) which again nods to the slow, steady formation of the pathway for that stream, which symbolizes the “release of potentiality”. The sign of Taurus rules sustenance, Time (as a commodity, like money), and potential, latent or otherwise being expressed. And as we are at the seventh Libran point of a twelve-fold cycle, we are feeling a double whammy of Venus energy, that female planet ruling both signs, Taurus on the Earth plane, and Libra on the astral.

Mountain Mama, Take Me Home

Mountain Mama, Take Me Home

Though Taurus is the sign of the masculine Bull, it is a feminine (earth) sign; and though Libra is an inanimate sign associated nonetheless with the Lady of The Scales, it is a masculine (air) sign. We see combined in both signs, in polarized manners, the merging of these energies. Taurus is passive (fixed) or attractive, seeking union, and yet the bull will charge if provoked; Libra is active (cardinal) and yet it acts to harmonize and balance, also seeking perfect union. Here earth matter (Taurus) and light energy (Libra) are unified. We are here to employ our substance (Taurus) in service of our dharma (Libra), “right” way of living in keeping with cosmic law and order. Of course we know that matter is energy at its core; and Rudhyar stresses how this oracle also suggests the opposite being true, “energy being matter at its source;” that is to say particles I suppose.

I believe today’s symbol begs the questions: What is your undeniable nature? What is your true potential? Are you unleashing it and how? And if you’re not channeling into a mindful stream of sustenance, where is all that potential going? Today we must feel our readiness to perform whatever lifework we feel it is our dharma to endeavor and accomplish. Stella often speaks with clients of flow, a state of being whereby ones love and passion for an endeavor is equal to ones talent and ability to manifest it. When those two ingredients find union, we enter the flow state and we find ourselves working tirelessly with no concern for time nor space; it’s as if this union of elements transports us into an infinite realm in which we glimpse eternity. It is the realm of Rhea-Cronus, that grand mother archetype who has come to us, in modern times, in various forms—as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, as Mother Goose, even as “Bewitched”‘s own Endora, a name that connotes her enduring spirit. And really she wasn’t so bad after all; au contraire: she simply couldn’t condone anyone, let alone her own child, denying her true nature.

So think about it: Where in you do the elements of desire to perform a task and talent to do so find an enduring connection? There may be more than one point, but try to pin down the most potent one. It is at this union of energy and ability where your pure, unadulterated nature will be best expressed.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

Pond Life

Wow that went fast. At 30° Aries, I am one-twelfth the way through this first year’s Cosmic Blague. I am using the Sabian Symbols which express the energy of each degree of the zodiac slash day of the year, give or take five days, as a sort of guide, because I do believe that archetypal energy can get very specific, not just sign by sign, month by month, but day by day and probably, ultimately moment to moment. But I can explore that next year. These Sabian Symbols are also kindling for me, letting the thoughts and feelings they inspire trigger some metaphysical insights all my own and even some storytelling from the annals of my advancing years. As an aside: despite being layed out by a severe injury by way of t0 much type-A personality yoga, I have never felt more vital or younger; I know people say that but, honestly, I feel more spry and youthful now than I did at nineteen. For real, as the kids say. Still, I woke up at 3am because sleeping isn’t my strongsuit and after tossing and turning I figured I should just get to writing in the palace at 4am.

After yesterday’s oracle of The Music of the Spheres, today’s symbol at 30° Aries is A Duck Pond And Its Brood. Cute. The first thing that comes to mind is that yesterday was As Above while today is So Below. That is to say that we went ultra celestial and rolled around the concept of Cosmic Order on a grand scale and now we have the opposite experience of a small pond emitting quaint quacks. And though the contrast is extreme, from the sound of an infinite universe to that of some daffy ducks, I believe we are meant to see the connection between the two. Also, yesterday we were asked to listen to that celestial music as being expressed by our inner voice—so the notion of inner space and outer space were paradoxically merged—while today we want to be aware of the here and now and the simple habitat of the natural world. It’s as if the quacking ducks have snapped us out of our meditation, our mystic crystal revelation, and we are made to witness how that cosmic order we’ve gleaned is naturally expressed in our organic experience.

You know it’s very easy to be a transcendent spiritual person living, say, cloistered in a monastery with no outside-world distractions, spending your days in silence, harkening to that celestial music, offering up prayers, performing simple tasks, living in a community that will provide you sustenance. But in society, as in the natural world, we don’t have that ironic luxury; we are focused on the rituals of survival and making a living, of building our own lives and relationships and making our way in the world, without any semblance of retreat, and so keeping an ear to the celestial music sung by our inner voice is actually more challenging. We have to hear it in the cacophonous quacking of the other characters living in our pond, big or small; in the uptalking clone with the Goyard tote bag; in the wheeling-dealing junior partner in driving mocassins bellowing into his bluetooth, in the jackhammers and catcallers, in the sirens and sycophants and solicitors. Challenging; but doable. Indeed, what it takes for us to find the still small voice inside us, remaining unruffled, amid the business of our real and metaphoric brood, is an inner peace so profound that the seminarian priest might never achieve. It’s like the difference between Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism, the former being reserved for sequestered nuns and monks who seek to become arhats, perfect saints (laypeople can only hope to be reincarnated as monks or nuns) while the latter form is available to everyone, living their lives in the socialized world, and their goal is not to become arhats but bodhisattvas, saints who have also become enlightened but delay nirvana to help others achieve enlightenment.

And so we get a sense of what this oracle might mean by Brood; that is to say the entire family of man. In our transcendent even glimpsing of enlightenment, Music of the Spheres in Sensaround, we then return to whatever our pond might be to inpsire others to experience it as well. Not to sound grand delusional but, in our own way I believe Stella and Itry to do this—I say try because it is all we can ever do. Yoda was wrong. We even have a tongue-in-cheek catchphrase for this: Starsky + Cox, Changing The World, One Creep at a Time. We do like a little levity in our levitation toward Nirvana, after all. And as yuk-yuk as it might sound, the humor belies a serious mission on our part. You’ve heard me say, we are devoted to uplifting spirits. Entertaining Enlightenment™ et al. And we do employ humor as our spoonful of sugar to make the metaphysical medicine go down. And, being radically imperfect (speaking for myself), I am forever being administered medicine by others, mentors, as we all play the role of teacher and student, both simultaneously, to each and every other quack on the pond, which is also a metaphor, I believe, for our contained, I won’t say limited, consciousness.

Dane Rudhyar speaks on this oracle in terms of limits and natural boundaries. He feels this symbol portrays how our glimpse of yesterday’s Cosmic Order and its message of harmony must be brought down to our own “karmic” field of operation. He says, “Peace and inner contentment with one’s essential destiny (dharma) is required to meet the everyday world. The mystic may experience flights of imagination and transcendent vision, but he must return to the concrete earth and to his task in his social environment.” I’m down with that. Expecially if my task in the social environment just happens to be sharing my flights of imagination and transcendent vision—then I’m totally down! But yes, the pond of everyday life is where we make it all happen and we must accept that reality and, as would-be bodhisattvas, take others by the hand, as they take us, and try to take solid action that outwardly reflects, as would a pond, the larger harmonious state of cosmic being that we divine. We have to find our right environment and tribe and, no matter our occupation, perform our tasks with a modus operandi that contributes to creating that much more heaven here on earth. We have to have a focus, let alone a purpose. We have to live in the world and be a catalytic agent for harmony and peace. Even though we may want to kick those sycophants down a flight of stairs, rip the blueteeth from bombastic ears, muzzle the uptalkers, knee the catcallers in the nuts, scrap the Kardashians for parts, lynch the 1%, what have you, we cannot.

Acceptance is the other major message of this oracle. We cannot resist the way things are. Actually to change, to redirect things in the right direction we must first fully accept. I think of certain martial arts. When an attacker strikes, we accept the attack and the assailant’s momentum first and then redirect that force into our own action. It’s like saying “Yes, and..” in comedy improv. I have found this dynamic works in the smallest ways in combatting annoyances. For instance, if I’m riding the subway and some d-bag, within whom I see divinity, sits next to me with his legs splayed out, touching mine, I don’t recoil. Instead, I send an internal, mental message to the point of contact for increased contact, accepting it, welcoming it, and every time, the divine d-bag recoils. Or, say one of those telemarketing solicitors chooses the dinner hour to call, I don’t just let the phone ring or pick up, complain, and hang up on them. Instead, I take it as an opportunity to launch into some soft-core phone sex. What are you wearing right now? Nothing gets you off a call list faster. In fact, it’s been awhile since I’ve had a telemarketing call. One creep at a time, one creep at a time.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Mi mi mi mi mi…

To be honest I was sort of hoping for an easeful image today on which to meditate. I’ve been happily spending time each morning writing this blog, and I’m in a phase where I can simply write for hours because it’s so fun and such a release. And I’m feeling very balanced now, day 29 of 365, between expressing my impressions of the Sabian Symbols, the conceit and starter kit to get me writing this Cosmic Blague, and my personal tales from my life journey so far with an eye on my experiences that suggest there is more to life than what we can sense here on the terrestrial plane. My ego hopes you’re liking the blog and finding my writing amusing and uplifting. Entertaining Enlightenment™ is the Starsky + Cox catch phrase after all. But my capital-S Self isn’t so concerned; it is seeking simple connection, meta though it may be, with the All (that includes you) via this daily devotion.

And Joy: Today’s oracle for Aries 29° is The Music of The Sphere which is music to mine ears, this symbol’s keynote being: “Attunement to Cosmic Order.” Amen. Yesterday we were presenting ourselves, and rather imperfectly, to a Large Audience; today we are hitting our singular note and joining the infinite chorus of voices all together. Again, I’m in awe of the fact that these symbols were divined randomly and yet they follow a natural order and progression. And Order is the order of the day. And I have to say this Libra baby of Balance, Harmony and Order is in need of the Peace these principles portray.

Attunement. Can you dig it? It’s such a relaxing concept. We needn’t manifest and certainly not manipulate. We just need to align. Yesterday was the realization that we had a part to play and we best be prepared to play it and, why not, to the hilt. Today we realize the part is written in a sense, we simply have to assume it. There seems to be no stress in performing in concert with others. We are lending our voice, which is all we are ever doing. I think this important for people to know; especially those who either feel that they don’t express themselves enough—let’s dispense with the notion of making a mark— as well as those who are constantly trumpeting and telegraphing their express achievements—there really are no soloists, standouts or headliners in the one true celestial orchestration. We are all weighted equally. That’s real order and democracy.

Dane Rudhyar imposes/divines a five-fold sequence running through the symbols. As you might have gleaned, if you’ve been reading the Cosmic Blague consistently, I’m inclined to go with a twelve-fold sequence instead, simply, letting the smaller wheel of the zodiac, with it’s twelve signs and astrological houses, roll over the larger cosmic wheel of the year. I feel that twelve is the number of Cosmic Order; and it’s division into the 360° of a circle/cycle gives an equal-house weight of 30° to each of the astrological signs. Though there are 365 days in a year is fairly negligible but in metaphysical terms those extra degrees/days represent the evolution of Universal Law and Consciousness. Otherwise, there would be no progression, of the equinoxes or otherwise, and we would be a static collective entity, not a dynamic one. If you didn’t get that don’t worry about it. The point is, there is an element of growth and expansion intrinsic in existence that belies our need to pin everything down perfectly. You can’t. Not with circles. They cannot be squared. If you haven’t got your brain as far around the concept of Pi as you possibly can then this would be a good time to refresh your understanding of: π.

Meanwhile, in my theory, today’s oracle would be under the celestial influence of the sign of Leo and the fifth house which is knee-jerk labeled the house of Creativity. But actually it is that of “co-creation with god”, an assignation that carries a connotation of creativity being something of a collaboration, an attunement, with the All. That is to say that creativity and indeed all of creation has its own set of principles and we cannot change them or impose anything new; our own creativity is that of existing creativity being expressed through us. How else could my opening a piano result in it telling me what to play (read yesterday’s post)? Because it’s already written. And why, and I’ve asked this before, do most great artists describe their creative process as inspiration working through them. What is inspiration? It means spirit entering in. We are thus moved to express in harmony with creation—we ourselves are both creature and creator, so  we are natural conduits. It’s a notion akin to one of my favorites being: That we are the consciousness via which the Universe might perceive itself. Where is that rampant ego of yours now, hmm?

The Music of the Spheres isn’t audible exactly. We are really talking about vibes here. And, with another nod to Pi, it all comes down to Math. It is the length of a string for instance that determines the pitch of a note. Vibrations are of course measured in wave length. We live in a polyphonic universe of infinite notes which all still harmonize. They can’t not. Our purpose is to understand and take our place in the vast concert of evolution. Before we utter, however, we must listen. We must listen for the greater polyphonic voice of the Universe in our own inner voice, as they are, in effect one and the same. We must truly listen in. That is how we attune. The call is coming from within the house (your inner being). Ego or any form of personalization plays no part in this. Your voice and your vibration are an integral part of the Whole. And also: Your voice is the polyphonic voice of the Whole and your individual lower-case self can actually get in the way of that expression of Self. You are at once a tiny part and representative of the All. Perfect paradox. Singers are wind instruments. Sound is vibrations traveling through air. We are not the sound we emit a sound. Sound, here is a metaphor for vibration.

Your vibration is at once a tiny part and an essential one. Your vibration has penultimate meaning. In our work with clients I have heard Stella say that prayer is speaking (singing) but meditation is listening. So let’s start there. The oracle today isn’t about your voice. It is about the Isness of The Music of the Spheres. Let us simply tune in today and hear what the Universe is going on about.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Places People

Admittedly, the symbol for 28° Aries, A Large Audience Confronts The Performer Who Disappointed Its Expectations is a nightmare. And not just in the figurative sense; this is the nightmare of anyone who performs on a stage. Typically it doesn’t include being confronted by the audience, good gods. But the not being prepared part, please. Surely you’ve had some version of this dream. In a way it would almost be a relief to be confronted by the audience. Then you could sort of dialogue about it. But to disappoint an audience and have them sort of politely slink away—”the lighting was nice”—is just the worst. Or is it? My pal Justin Vivian Bond used to advise, and probably still does: “Dare to Suck.” And I gotta tell you those words have buoyed me on a number of occasions when I wasn’t quite sure if my idea of what I could do matched my ability, on stage, or in other settings requiring a leap of faith in myself. Of course it has to be a large audience, as if this wouldn’t be intimidating enough. Some performers I know would just call it an interactive workshop and own the censure as part of the experience. I’m not that clever and I’m way too sensitive. I like to be prepared. And the times that I haven’t been my best on an actual stage or a metaphoric one aren’t my favortie memories. But even they were learning experiences. My most favorite acting teacher of all time (it wasn’t Uta), Edward Morehouse used to warn against trying to wing it. It never works. There is a difference between daring to suck and winging it although, to the untrained audience eye they might be indistinguishable. If I’ve been over tired or over served and didn’t give my best performance on a stage that’s my bad because it was my responsibility to be prepared. If I was indeed prepared and stunk up the joint, well then, my side of the street is clean and I can just shrug that shite off.

Speaking of joints: I used to love to smoke marijuana. It relaxed me. I could do anything while high. Everything except act. I would never in a million years touch the stuff if I were acting in a play. And, in those couple of times I was lucky enough to be on Broadway I saw actors who would be high for rehearsals, if not performances, and it would give me panic attacks; and this was years before smoking pot myself resulted in my own actual panic attacks. Yes, there came a day, one exact moment, when it all turned on a dime and smoking weed switched from encasing me in a giant white comfy cotton ball air-conditioned parka in which I could walk to setting off bright electri red-orange lighted alarms of seizing terror. Just like that. But wait where am I going with this? I think I’m circling back. Am I? Let’s see.

Acting was a craft. It was always sacred to me. And though hardly anybody I now know has ever seen me at my craft, it really was something that I once lived and breathed. And I prided myself on being a good actor because I was always prepared. Always. I employed every fiber of my being with every amount of technique I honed, and that allowed me to fully inhabit characters in a safe, real, open, honest, accessible way. Performing was a different story. And I always made the distinction between when I was acting on a stage and when I was performing on a stage. Doing sketch comedy or improv or singing a song, even, back in the day was performing. Acting was something else. Though I don’t act really anymore—I mostly perform—when I sing now I don’t perform, I act. I wouldn’t be able to stand up and sing any other way, really, because I’m not a singer per se. I absolutely love to sing; but in order for me to sing in front of people I have to prepare the song the way I would take on a role in full-length play. Then what comes out will always be right. Even if it’s wrong it’s right. If I don’t approach a song like it’s a juicy monologue my character is compelled to communicate it falls short. Trust me, I’ve tried. I can’t put a song across on musical chops alone. I’m not an instrument that way.

However, if you know me, or if you’ve been reading this Blague, you might have come to realize that certain forces have been known to move through me. But if that’s ever happened in my work as an actor it would have taken the form of the thinnest membrane because even if I’m playing an out-of-control character, as the actor, the real me, William—not Quinn really—is in full control of what’s happening. But I have had other performance experiences where I’ve been a total instrument for those sometime friends of mine, the unseen forces.

Back in the early 1990s I worked as a waiter at the Bell Caffe on Spring Street, in New York City, while so many of my friends, now, would have been at Don Hills, literally spitting distance away. If you were around there then and remember the Bell, but didn’t realize I worked there, you are probably revising your whole concept of me. And well you should. Because on any given night as your waiter I might have been wearing a vintage micro-mini real Hawaiian print woven cotton bathing suit with oversized workboots, a hooded zip windreaker and some kind of beany as my uniform, and there would have likely been a joint hanging out of my mouth while I was taking your order. I loved waiting tables. Most waiters have nightmares that they can’t keep up with a slew of tables—see, another performance anxiety dream just when you need it—while I would dream that I had to wait on the entire restaurant by myself, which would be a very good dream indeed. Actually I could handle an entire restaurant by myself back in those days. I would love when people wouldn’t show for work. That just meant a bigger challenge to keep the entire restaurant happy and buzzing without missing a beat; and of course more cash for Billy. It is my name don’t wear it out.

So the Bell Caffe would be packed to the rafters with hipsters before there were hipsters. It was a perfect melange of punky, hip-hopping, hippy, biker, fashionista grungesters. You know, the 90s. So of course we had a live middle eastern jazz trance band on Friday nights that would come in and set themselves up in a circle right in the middle of the restaurant through which you already couldn’t walk with any semblance of ease, unless of course you were me, coursing through the place serving up a storm. Against the wall, right near where they circled up, was an old out-of-tune upright piano that looked like it was from, oh I dunno, 1910. I good quarter of the keys didn’t work at all and nobody ever played it. But one night, as the band began to play, people packed in like sardines, a thick cloud of smoke infused with garlic and pot and patchouli and incense and steamed vegetables and sweat and love and coffee and indifference hanging in the air, all my tables happy, nobody wanting for anything: I opened the piano.

I can see the keyboard now, its white keys were, wait, colored?, in my imagination—pink, blue and yellow—the black keys still black; and the music, this exotic form of jazz, was swirling and quickening into an improvisational froth, and the color-coded keys, like the sometime blueprints in my mind, urged my fingers to them in certain combinations. And I began to play. Now, as I child I took piano lessons, but it was all by rote, the Fur Elise, the Sonata in C or whatever—pieces I tried to learn and through which I only ever stumbled. But now I was in it. I was part of the band. And the piano was telling me what to play like a spool in a player piano in reverse. And I just kept forming chords and running up and down the ivories and trilling here and well, to be honest, I’m not really sure what I was doing. I was gone. Gone, daddy, gone. And the song went on forever. And I remember the hangnail I had began to bleed and I could feel the keys missing ivory scraping my fingers with raw wood edges, and on I went and it was wild and spectacular and I came as close to being possessed, and happily so, as I have ever been in my born days. And it got faster. Crescendo. Lightning speed. To beat the band. Like dancing the Alley Cat as a kid. Me and this band behind me, whom I never saw during any of this, together in a fever pitch, faster and faster and faster and then, stop, all together on a single note, done.

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I was a bit out of it. Transported. My fellow waitrons were like what the fuck, why didn’t you tell us these past two years working here that you played piano? I don’t. And the band on their feet hugging me and slapping me on the back; and customers, some I knew some I didn’t, asking me when and where I would next be performing; did I have a band? did I play solo? “How can we see you?” You can’t. I don’t exist—this I.

I remember that night flashing back to another night long ago when I was a freshman in high school inappropriately attending a party of seniors where there was a band made up of bad-ass graduates who were never going to college. I was some version of drunk I’m sure; but very lucid, I recall. Still I had the pluck to join the band’s open invitation to anybody, anybody who would like to come up a sing Sweet Home Alabama. Yes that’s right. I started too high. I was in that weird strained part of my voice the whole time. However, I was working it. Showmanship up the wazoo. The full on Mick Jagger cum Bowie, with maybe some Tina thrown in, experience as applied to a Southern rock song. Sure, why not. Except that people were absolutely appalled. I would go so far as to say livid actually. When you’re fourteen giving raw androgyne glam to a room full of long-haired nineteen year olds who spent all four years of high school in auto shop, and their girlfriends for whom feathered roach clips are the de rigeur hair accessory in 1977, it’s a bit awkward to say the least. People may have thrown things. If not bottles then at least they flung the liquid contents at me. I was a shaking outcast as I left the “stage” any liquid bravado that had gotten me up there having evaporated in my spine. And then this girl grabbed me. I forget her name. But she was one of those sort of earth-shoe stoner girls, hair too thick and kinky to work a feathered roach clip. “You were great” she said, and it was clear she meant it. I began to mumble some kind of disclaimer but she interrupted me. “I know, I know”, referring to the popular opinion of my performance, banishing that pervasive thought-form with a dismissive wave of her hand and a modified Bronx cheer. “These people don’t know anything; that was great, that was truly great.”

So what have we got? We have me being possessed by the spirit of some piano jazz great; and me being universally reviled but for one individual dissenting from the Large Audience Confronting The Performer. In neither case was I prepared. When I took over one of the three roles I was understudying in a Broadway production of The Seagull back in the early 90s for a few weeks, I was on stage a good amount but basically had one key line. I was universally praised for what was considered my compelling albeit silent physical life on stage; and yet Jon Voight, who was in the cast, would come to my dressing room after the show to give me a line reading or make comment on my tone, projection or modulation (on my one line!). It was so embarrassing and so infuriating. And being a sensitive young soul I thought well he must be “representing” everyone in the production and he’s been elected to come and correct me. I am ruining the entire three act play with my two dozen syllables. I wasn’t. He was just a blowhard. And apparently he is notorious for giving other actors line readings. He’s like Cloris Leachman with a overlarge dinner plate for a face and a penis that creates incestuous offspring. Gosh that felt good to say. But I am aware that I am being self indulgent in this reading of today and storytelling without much exploration of how this oracle applies to all of us. Or am I performing for a Large Audience and have I Disappointed Its Expectations. You decide.

301728The Bell Caffe had let me take a hiatus while I did The Seagull. And when I first went on as The Cook for the great actor and artist John Beale, Stella was attending the wedding of our closest friends, in France. The wonderful Maryann Plunkett who was in the cast made a very sweet announcement wishing me luck over the loudspeaker that piped into the dressing rooms—something I shall never forget—and after the curtain I was so keyed up with nobody to celebrate with or vent on. So I called the owner of the Bell, Krt Williams, from the backstage payphone! to see if he and other staff were still hanging out and could I come down for a drink and unwind because I was so shot through with adrenalin I could have scaled the Empire State Building. He said they were. Great. I cabbed it down to Spring Street. Meanwhile Krt had gone around to every table in the still packed restaurant telling all the customers—eek gads I’m getting teary—that I’d just gone on in this role. So when I walked into the Bell the entire room shot to their feet and applauded my entrance. I can’t tell you how amazing that felt. It was like being in an old 1930s movie. But I’m still on about me, aren’t I?

The oracle, the oracle: Preparation. That’s the key element. We can’t just be hopeful. We can’t leave it to chance. We can’t expect to be possessed of a spirit. And we can’t hang our hopes on the exceptions to the rule—we have to consider the Large Audience, which symbolizes everybody, really, all of humanity. All the world is a stage. We are all players. Everybody else is the Audience. We all have a part to play and we better know that shite cold. We have Responsibility, literally: ability to respond. To what? Our purpose and our calling, so many of the themes we’ve been touching on thus far as we cycle through these Sabian Symbols. Great expectatons and Hope are not enough. So we are Confronted with the fact that we have promised more than we’ve delivered. Hope, Promise, Deliverance—these are all themes of the sign of Cancer which, in my estimation, governs this oracle. After the Fall of Gemini (duality) as befitted yesterday’s oracle on failure, we have the Flood of Cancer, the cardinal-water sign, with its’ ark (promise) to carry us to a new shore (deliverance); but it isn’t automatic, we have to prepare the vehicle for our own deliverance. Everybody, all of mankind and all life depends on our putting in that work. And, really, if it’s going to rain for forty days and forty nights you might as well stay in, put your head down, power through, and prepare! So here, as this oracle says, we haven’t done so, and we are going to be read hard by a critical mob. Good. At least the mob has the courtesy to read us instead of flinging rotten tomatoes or complimenting us on our costume with a forced smile. I think that Large Audience, as daunting as they are, are doing us a big favor. If they’re taking the time to critique us we are probably being given another chance to deliver. If they care enough to tough love us in this way then they must have seen a glimmer of hope that we do possess the right stuff to deliver. Dane Rudhyar says it comes down to “how to handle this situation.” Indeed. I think slapping on the notion of “It” being a workshop is a good one. Yes we are performing and though we mightn’t be prepared, we are preparing. And guess what, Large Scary Audience, you’re all a part of it. Maybe Jon Voight was right, maybe my tone was off, maybe he was trying to help me, maybe he’s not a face-plate after all, maybe I really learned something via his criticism, and maybe I did appreciate the fact he cared enough to come to me and try to help me. It could just as easily be that as it could be he’s a blowhard. The perception is better for me. Forget about him or any audience. What reparations are we willing to make in the process? None? Okay, then, good luck with that. But don’t expect an Audience to care enough next time to Confront you. Meanwhile it’s your responsibility to deliver; to get the job done. It’s your sacred duty to be the best most prepared You you can be. We are recovering, repairing and being delivered all the time. Every day some Audience has something critical to say; and the truth is we can always benefit from said criticism. There is always something we can learn from it. Even if the lesson in patience in enduring the criticism and still looking at that critic as a teacher, a guru. You have high expectations of others to deliver. Why shouldn’t they have high expectations of you. Maybe they think you are capable of meeting them. Isn’t even their disappointment a compliment when you think about it? Think about it. And once you have: come back more prepared and show us what you got!

 

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

Fizzle Sizzle

Today’s oracle poses at bit of a challenge. At 27° Aries the divined Sabian Symbol for the day is Through Imagination A Lost Opportunity is Regained. So lets ask ourselves, quick, what pops to mind as our lost opportunity(s), first thing off the top of our heads. And then we can set our mind to creatively revisit the so-called failure and find a new inroad. I remember some years ago, we accompanied our friend JK Rowling to Harvard where she was giving the commencement speech, which of course was brilliant, and entitled “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination.” In it she speaks of how what she considered her own epic fail stripped away the inessentials to focusing on the one thing she wanted to do most, write novels. It’s an inspiring read. And it’s most fitting given today’s oracle which asks us to allow loss to inspire our creative imagination. If you’re like me, more than one opportunity pops to mind but, perhaps, also like me, they may be of a piece, falling under a larger umbrella.

I started writing a paragraph about the history of specific failures but deleted it. Seems the wrong tack. But let me cite a few examples: For years we wrote horoscopes for magazines and their websites. It was quite lucrative and was our bread and butter. We had really high-profile gigs like Paris Vogue and The Daily Beast, which never had a horoscope before and not since. But as publishing changed and print magazines began to shrink in size or fold, horoscope pages were the first to go. So the column idea “failed” as a means of income. We thought screw this. We will write a horoscope for free every week and just offer it up as a tithing to people. As a result our weekly Haute Astrology column is very popular and though it doesn’t pay financially I know that it benefits us in other ways; if nothing else it keeps us connected to people interested in our unique perspective on astrology and planet moves.

The failure of our column business—at one point we were writing upwards of six to eight different daily, monthly, weekly horoscopes at one time—also freed us to explore our talents as personal consultants. And now, a decade on, this is the most thriving aspect of our professional lives; and nothing gives us greater joy than helping people in their journey of self-realization. It has also cultivated those extra-sensory gifts of ours to which I’ve alluded in this blog. So that’s a big win-win.

And, speaking about that umbrella under which seeming disparate things might fall: I realized that our nighttime pursuits of performing in clubs and theaters, and even the founding of the Afterglow Festival, which we did in collaboration with John Cameron Mitchell and others, and our quite serious private consultancy with clients all fell under the larger heading of “lifting people’s spirits.” And whenever I feel that I’m wearing too many hats or stretched too thin or teetering into Libran dilletantism I check myself with that phrase. Is what you’re doing lifting spirits? If the answer is yes than I’m on the right track.

We had a decent success in publishing Sextrology and I’m most encouraged by the fact that it still hasn’t achieved its “tipping point”; it’s a boon to know someone hasn’t heard of the book because that is a potential new reader. That book is a success story against all odds. People say publishing has always been a nightmare industry; I entered it with the whole fantasy of getting a great advance and writing out at the beach, which we managed to do. We like to say we got the last real advance in publishing before the polarization occured whereby only celebrities (in whatever field) were given money and others peanuts or worse. But this celebrity obsession is true across the board. And when they are famous for nothing? Why do we care if some junior Kardashian got her lips plumped up amid denials of plastic surgery. It’s like we always want superficial people to complain about. Shouldn’t this sort of thing have ended with guillotine-ing Marie Antoinette? Did I mention Stella is related to she who lost her head?

I’m rambling today. But I don’t care. This subject inspires rambling. Rambling is the form my creative imagination takes. Back to books. We were hardpressed to write a second book. Or as our agent said: “you need a second widget.” I should have known right there that this was a bad idea and ran far, far away. The world had changed. There were no more good advances for the non-famous. What was meant to be a sidebar to Sextrology was then poured into our second book Cosmic Coupling but it was chopped to bits and we weren’t “allowed” to give gay relationship chapters equal length. “The book can’t be too long.” Don’t get me wrong, people love this book, but there is a worlds better version of this concept waiting to be published. But how to do it? Despite the fact that Sextrology is an industry success story, you’re only as good as your last book and our highly abridged sophmore effort (which maybe would have been a huge seller had it contained all the content we intended it to) pales in comparison to Sextrology. Well maybe we should take a page from Amanda Palmer’s (actual) book, The Art of Asking which was her Ted Talk and an art she has perfected, admittedly, amid some rumblings. The point is one might say we have at this junctured “failed” at book publishing or have “missed opportunities” in that field but I don’t think so. I think the way that industry treats non-celebrity writers is criminal and it should inspire my creative imagination to find a way to get our work out there in spite of traditional publishing that takes the lion share of profits. Oh, to be sure, HarperCollins has made millions off of Sextrology and though our royalties are stellare compared to most, we assuredly have not. One silver lining was our “prediction” that ebooks would be a thing and a decade ago we had those rights reverted and recently published the Sextrology ebook under our own steam. #pleasebuythisone

I know we will, via use of creative imagination, find a way to publish the (at least) dozen other books we have on our virtual drawing board. And, in so doing, I have a feeling, we will trailblaze uncharted territory, paving the way for other writers to do likewise. This is a gut instinct. We know where we’re going and so we needn’t be in a a rush to get there.

Read Sextrology?

Read Sextrology?

Television has been another “epic fail” for us. We have been approached by innumerable producers and networks and even Oscar-winning movie stars with their own production companies to develop a show. We also have a menu of ideas for the making of a great one. But oy. Publishing is like a neighborhood playground compared to the snake pit that is the television industry. You’ve seen the program Episodes, right? I wish I could say that the most exaggerated characters on that show were caricatures. They are not. If it’s challenging to retain the integrity of ones work in publishing, it’s near impossible to do so in television where every promising conversation and agreement devolves. It is truly comical. Just this past year, after several years of saying no to offers, after several years before that of “going out”, both in the US and UK, with sure-fire (not) show ideas: we were working with this one production company that swore they were only interested in a classy, elevated, artful concept that we could pitch to some high-class networks only to package the “sizzle” they shot of us to appeal, seemingly, to one TV exec who wanted us to host a late night sex show where we basically critiqued people fucking. Yeah no.

Yet we know that our effort isn’t for naught, just as we know energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It will find an outlet. That will be up to us. Not that either one of us have any burning desire to be on TV—we so don’t. But should the failure of these past approaches creatively inspire another way to represent ourselves, in our best light, in that or a similar medium. Well then yes bring it. I think what we are meant to glean from all of this, actually, is that failure is for winners, only regret is for losers. Dane Rudhyar gives a nod, with this oracle, to the relationship between guru and student whereby the guru sets tasks for the initiate that are designed to fail so that the novice finds a unique inroad born in his or her imagination. I would say that the guru is mimicking the action and purpose of Life and the Universe. If we achieved everything we set our mind to, we would never be inspired and we would never grow. We would never divert from the norm.

Remember how evolution works. There must be a mutation, an offshoot from the norm, via which new life thrives. When we hit a wall, we find a new way around, not just for ourselves but for others too. No is Yes. So next time someone slaps you with the former, hear the latter and find a new way. Yes is the word of creation. When others succeed where you have failed be inspired by them not resentful. When your greatest hopes are dashed realize you’re probably being saved from distress. Other’s success isn’t your success. You can’t have what other people have. You can only have what you have and you can only want what you have. That includes success. You are already successful. Don’t look at the successes you haven’t achieved. Look to the ones you have achieved.

Anything denied you isn’t yours. If it was meant to be it wouldn’t be denied you. You won’t regain that loss. You’ll gain something else. That loss was only meant to inspire your imagination—so-called loss is indeed the most powerful fuel for your imagination. In this way we not only weather, we welcome, it. A closed door of opportunity speeds your path further down that great hall toward rightful success and fulfillment. But that’s the byproduct really. What is being cultivated all the while, during this process, is your unshakable Faith, not only in yourself, but in the workings of the Universe. If you feel you could achieve a) success or opportunity, but find it denied you, why wouldn’t you move to b) or c) all the way to z) and around again to aa)? You had faith in achieving a). Is that all you could achieve? Just a)? No. We don’t keep going back, beating our head against a wall trying to succeed under hardship or duress. Success should be worlds easier than that; so we thank the “loss” of opportunity for saving us the struggle and speeding us toward more natural fits of opportunity where success comes naturally and readily. I don’t know who said this originally but Stella utters this phrase quite a lot: There Is No Loss In Divine Mind.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Kill The Messenger

Things are getting spooky. Cue Jude Law on the High Hat: spoo-ka-key, spoo-ka-key. This morning I woke wanting to tell you a story that involved dreams and psychic premonitions but I thought, too soon: I just yesterday related a tale from the road paved with synchronicity and I should spread this shite out. But then, I read what today’s Sabian Symbol was and I am now compelled to relate my story. Today, at Aries 26° we see A Man Possessed Of More Gifts Than He Can Hold which is sort of the shadow side of the oracles of the past few days. For today, the potentiality might be too great. And indeed our minds are often confronted with an as yet unexperienced type of potency around which we can’t quite yet get our conscious noggins. We might get caught up, carried away by this power. And Dane Rudhyar boldly italicizes the fact that today’s energetic message is: a warning against undertaking more than it is as yet safe and sound to attempt. So here’s my story and we’ll circle back to the oracle:

Just blocks from where I now find myself in Boston is the Hotel Eliot where we had always stayed, for over a decade, whenever we would come to town. In fact the suites there remain the model in my mind for the perfect pied à terre (plus a small separate kitchen), something for which I’m always on the lookout in any of the several cities of the world I fancy living. I think it was the winter of 2004-5, we were staying in town overnight and I had a dream that was seemingly banal but very vivid and thankfully I verbalized it in the morning to Stella or else I would have been stuck in my own head with this happening. I told her upon waking that I had a dream of being in this underground parking lot and there was a small dark indigenous looking man washing a wall with a fire house and that he tried to speak to me but then I woke up. I might have even brought the dream up in context of an ongoing most-boring-dream contest we had with each other and some close English friends, one of whom had a dream she was vacuuming; I had once had a most boring dream that I was sleeping and not dreaming. Think about it.

Anyway, we decided we’d take in a movie after checking out. I believe it was Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, which was playing in Kendall Square which is a very open, unpopulated part of Cambridge, especially in winter, characterized by renovated old warehouse buildings and sparkling new hotels and office buildings. It sort of reminds me of some of downtown Los Angeles. When we got to the theater, which was part of a sort of building complex, it became clear that we didn’t have to find street parking it was provided and we followed the blue P sign. This started leading us down an incline and I got a flash. And then we went over a pretty remarkable bump for which there was no warning, and I turned round to look at what we had run over and it was a meaty fire hose. I immediately broke out in a cold sweat and my heart started racing and I desperately blurted out in rapid-fire machine-gun style: this is the dream; when we get to where we’re parking we will see a small, dark man hosing down a wall and he’s going to want to talk to me and I can’t, I just can’t. “Calm down,” came the response; but I was already in full on panic-attack mode as we circled, down and down, going over another bump. As we turned the corner we saw the doors marked elevator to theater and to our right, for some inexplicable reason, in the middle of winter, the temperatures well below freezing, there was the tiny dark native of somewhere looking man blasting a wall with a  fire hose. As we passed I heard the water turn off. And I repeated: he’s going to want to talk to me we have to get out and just walk really, really fast to the elevator. We parked, and slammed the doors and bee-lined and, of course, after us came the compelling voice in broken English: “Hello, excuse me, please, excuse me, sir, please, hello.”Monopoly-Man

No effing way. That’s all I could think. Whatever he has to say (for some reason) I do not want to hear it. Move, move, move. I can still see him coming towards us as the elevator doors shut. Now, needless to say I was shaken. First of all, I had never had so vivid or so ridiculously immediate a manifestation of a prophetic dream of this nature. I laughed the dream off as being a contestant for most boring but the moment I knew, upon entering that parking lot, that the dream was being born out in reality it did not exhilarate me, it freaked me the ef out. And yet, I have to say, that this trip to Boston, and we talk about this, ushered in a spate of pretty bad misfortune that lasted more than a few years. As these things go, this period was character building but I still say: we didn’t need it. Regarding the little man so desperately needing to tell me something: I’ve had to live with the fact that I didn’t let him. Sure, at first, it was a very great relief because my instinct was Run. So I felt as if I had dodged a bullet; for awhile. Then it slowly crept in: What if he was trying to tell me something helpful, useful—what if he was trying to warn me about some horrible things on the horizon; and would it have helped to know about them?

I have a mystic friend called Margaret. She douses. That is to say she has a special talisman on a chain that she swings over you via which she reads your energies and removes any unwanted, shall we say, entities. The first thing she told me was that…hmm, I hesitate to write this for some reason…how to say: I have a positive entity that watches out for me and helps clear my path, energetically. She said he was an Indian man with a certain weapon which made me think American Indian for some reason. I never asked which. But then I wondered, sometime later, after the dream cum parking lot incident if she didn’t mean a man from India; because, though I refused to really take a good look at him, it is very possible that the man with the big hose (ha, ha) was Indian and therefore most directly analogous to my description of the dream man being indigenous. I’ll never know. And as the decade marched forward I came to actually regret not stopping and heeding what this creature had to say. I probably would welcome the experience now. But I’m not the same person I was then. And that’s the point. So yes maybe he was going to issue a warning and that’s why today’s oracle seems apt, but I suddenly have another theory.

My feeling as gives rise to my belief, upon reading the energy of this Sabian Symbol, is that the entire experience, not simply what the man may or may not had to say, was the warning. And my gut now says it was right that I ran. I wasn’t equipped to handle whatever knowledge or power was going to be imparted—I was not equipped to have my dream of prophesy fully born out. I couldn’t have handled that. It would have been too much. So for the first time in nearly a decade I don’t regret not stopping to listen. I believe I did the exact correct thing. It would have blown my own cosmic circuits perhaps. I didn’t want to know that I possessed such a power. I was scared. And fear can be a great guide. I recognize that over the last decade I’ve slowly accepted that I have certain gifts and I’ve explored them gradually and in a way that has, with a few exceptions, been comfortable and not crazy making. Remember, I had that experience with the superhuman strength and the Sherlock Holmes-like blueprints appearing in my mind, mathematically outlining every physics possibility to every action, back in 1987. That was too much a break with reality as we know it (though it opened me up to other realities) for my tender mind and body at that time. There is a monstrous manifestation of unseen power that can threaten to undo us lest we learn to harness said power in such a way that folds it into our present reality, gently, like whipped egg-whites into batter.

Rudhyar says: “The mind which finds itself confronted with a totally unfamiliar and as yet unexperienced type of potency finds it difficult at first to adjust to its new world of perception and possibilities of action. He may rush ahead excitedly and lose his bearings. He should try to reach a state of calm watchfulness, and to learn that at this level too there are limits and restrictions, i.e. laws expressing this new type of “order.”

Needless to say I wasn’t in a state of “calm watchfulness” that winter day in question. I mean WTF? who hoses down a wall in freezing weather and why did that man want to talk to me, specifically, so urgently. At that point I had major limits and restrictions and today’s oracle has helped me understand that this was probably a good thing. I don’t think it was safe (for me at that time) to hear what the little man had to say. I’ve encountered little men before, I might add. One of whom spoke in tongues, but that’s another story for another day. Meanwhile, I can’t help think of the little man in the top hat in J.D. Salinger’s Raise High The Roof Beam, Carpenters, as he does suggest a mystical presence which wouldn’t have been lost on Buddy or any of the “Wise Child” Glass children. I know it’s not unusual or a even un-pompous to relate, as I did as a young teen, to members of Salinger’s fictitious family. In my youth I fancied myself something of a Zooey who, despite being one of the brood, embodied a certain skepticism which I now realize was his assured way of hanging onto present reality in a world, and in a family, in which those around him were forever shifting the “limits and restrictions” thereupon. I’ve become less the Zooey as I’ve gotten older and am more the Buddy now, a character, I feel, who operates from that vantage point of “calm watchfulness.” Let us all take a page from Buddy’s book today. Let us be the observer. Let us not leap at opportunities to bite off more power than our fragile psyches can handle,

 

Read Sextrology?

Read Sextrology?

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

You Better Believe It

As the message of yesterday’s oracle was to be as open as a window into which can blow some divine expression of abundance; now, being thus open we glean The Possibility For Man To Gain Experience At Two Levels Of Being, the Sabian Symbol for 25° Aries. We today begin the third round of twelve signs circling their way through this giant circle of a year. As such, we are dealing with another first-sign influence: that of Possibility. Aries, ruled by Mars whose “spear and shield” symbol is that great celestial erection ever ready to plant a seed: here of new potentialities. We are not guaranteed that wo/man can fire on two consciousness cylinders at once, but we are to believe that it is doable. Certainly s/he will have to keep wide open that window of a mind. We’re talking faith here folks; and the power of belief in any possibility being the key factor in realizing it. Dane Rudhyar says one “can only truly experience what he deeply believes he can experience.”

The motto “I believe” belongs to the sign of Pisces, the womb-tomb of the zodiacal twelfth house of non-material “spiritual” existence. From that womb we emerge again into Aries, whose motto is “I am.” So too does manifestation, existence ascend from the vaporous mists rising off Pisces’ primordial soup. Belief and Imagination are as interwoven as that of the sign’s Fish. Belief is the knowledge than anything you imagine can be made manifest, no matter how impossible it might seem. We never lose our ability to experience life at the pure energetic, non-material or “spiritual” level, but our facility in doing so is immediately bred out of us at birth. So to fire on both cylinders, living a terrestrial and spiritual life at once, we must acknowledge and claim this dormant ability in us. Sometimes we are called to do so. Perhaps yesterday’s cornucopia shaped curtains were something of a calling.

I’m not talking about religious life here. I’m speaking of experiencing life on the level of pure belief, imagination and magic. To understand the world as both a physical place set like a gem in time, and also as wholly energetic experience that is beyond time and space. So many great scientists, let alone mystics—although I’m always most interested in those in whom the twain shall meet—have meditated or stared into space or at a dirty wall to “come up” with their greatest ideas, theories or breakthroughs. Come up from where? Exactly. To gain experience at two levels of being: That phrase alone implies a sort of internship or apprenticeship. We are not being asked to walk on water or turn it into wine. We might just imagine what it would take to do such things. We might only be asked to believe that such things are possible. Or to take a less Christ-y tack, we might explore how science fiction of the past becomes science fact in the present. So what might we imagine, here and now, in our non-material fiction that might some day manifest as fact?

I think of the X-Men because, well, we know that we are indeed evolving and that evolution actually happens via mutation. The freak, the quirk, the deviation is what spearheads a new pathway for life to survive. The avant garde becomes the old guard. The freaky voice in the wilderness, John the Baptist, the Waterbearer (Aquarius) paves the way for the new messiah, the Jesus Fish (Pisces), who told the doubting Thomas that you have it backwards if you need to see to believe. JC was all about believing to see! And look, since we are all evolving, I’d like to believe that my personal evolution is characterized by the endowment of certain abilities in which I must believe in order to embrace, access and utilize them. If I didn’t believe in what might be deemed my own psychic abilities I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to employ them. If I didn’t believe in synchronicity as a certain synching up of these two levels of being I wouldn’t recognize and experience their astounding reassurance and, as the Cosmic Blague suggests: humor.

I have a funny story: We had written Sextrology and was promised, even shown a marketing plan that included a multi-city tour of book signings. Well just after the book came out the head of marketing quit at Harper Collins and she had fabricated this entire tour—none of the bookstores at which we had scheduled appearances had even been contacted. Being a corporation run by the devil (Rupert Murdoch) our publishers and editors made up all kinds of excuses for this and tried to sweep the whole thing under the rug. But, if you’ve met us, you’d know that doesn’t fly. After tearing the glib, smug PR and other people involved in the fictious promotional tour of our book new ones, I petitioned the publisher for a budget, which we received (it wasn’t a lot) and we launched our own mini tour that included Book Soup in LA and Booksmith in San Francisco. At Book Soup a coven of witches came to our event and bought a book for their “friend Tori” who turned out to be Tori Amos who then wrote (in her book Piece by Piece) how our book inspired the writing of her song “Goodbye Pisces” which Stella has been known to perform. But it gets weirder, which we love right?

In San Francisco we were interviewed by the Chronicle by a fantastic journalist who really understood what we were on about and wrote about us in a very respectful manner that really set the tone for other newspapers and magazines to take us and our subject seriously. Then, at Booksmith, we didn’t realize that this venerable bookseller has the tradition of making “author trading cards”; so there we were, a stack of Starsky + Cox cards, each with our picture on one side and vital statistics about us on the other. Having never been the type of boy who collected baseball cards my closest point of reference was Partridge Family cards which I did obsessively collect, as I did Wacky Packs, to whom I submitted a number of suggestions (I was already branding) some of which they actually used, though I can’t remember what they are anymore. Oh, wait, Poopsie instead of Pepsi was one!

So morning after the Booksmith event it was time to head to the airport to fly back east. And we were staying at a sister hotel to the Triton, the name of which escapes me, and they had piped in music in the rooms which you could turn down of course. We were running a bit late and Stella was downstairs dealing with checkout while I finished packing and I turned up the music for some added pace and motivation when suddenly I Woke Up in Love This Morning by The Partridge Family came blaring through the speakers. I couldn’t wait to tell Stella this had happened thinking that was the end of the synchronicity. It wasn’t. For, at the airport, through check-in and, now, at the gate I needed to hit the mensroom and who should be walking in at the same time also heading to the urinals? Well Brian Forster who played (the second) Chris on The Partridge Family of course. So as we’re peeing, I am thinking how do I say all this and not seem like a crazy person. Somehow I managed to let out two streams simultaneously, the obvious one, and one made up of short, succinct sentences that managed to hit the important points: author, Booksmith, trading cards, Partridge Family, I Woke Up in Love This Morning, now him. (Did you know that Brian Forster is Charles Dicken’s great-great-great grandson?) As we zipped he said those three magical words: “That’s So Weird”. I know!images

I remembered, hey, I have my trading cards on me. Of course after washing and drying my hands and hearing how Brian lived in the Bay Area and was a race car driver and something of a techie, I handed him a Starsky + Cox trading card and said, here, as someone who collected your trading cards it would be a hoot if you take one of ours.

Okay, holy crap. I just went to Wikipedia to check to see how many great-great’s Brian is from grandfather Charles Dickens….and get this people…..TODAY is his birthday. The synchronicity continues!!!

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Curtains

To Be Molded by Transpersonal Forces is how Dane Rudhyar, sage of all things Sabian, characterizes the energy of the day, set forth by as the symbol for Aries 24°: Blown Inward By The Wind, The Curtains Of An Open Window Take The Shape Of A Cornucopia. My immediate reaction to this image is the Cornucopia being formed by a team effort of curtains, wind and an open window. Curtains, Wind and an Open Window. Sounds like a new millenial transpersonal cover band of Earth, Wind and Fire. And, like most anyone, I’m totally up for a horn of plenty being blown unto me.

The curtains may represent the veil between our inner world and that of spiritual forces, symbolized by the wind, making inroads therein. We find ourselves at the intersection of mystery and manifestation, natural force and human intelligence, spiritual influence and our own power of belief. Imagine yourself, some windy Spring day, lying backwards on a bed, your head slightly overhanging. And there’s a window, draped with white curtains being caught by a sudden gust so strong it blows the curtains, back, into your room and the pattern is remarkable enough to label it a Cornucopia. We are experiencing Nature enter into our man-made interior to deliver a message of abundance. And its a promise of more than material gain. Our consciousness has been infiltrated by cosmic influence bent on communicating a generosity of spirt.

Yesterday we spoke of fruition leading to harvest, and today we get an ethereal Cornucopia which is the very image of the harvest complete. Spiritual bounty will make itself known, crossing the boundary of our rational mind and impressing itself upon our receptive psyche. Something is in the air. Presumably, it’s not the only abrupt and pointed gust of wind to sitr this day—something has been brewing—and it culminates in this moment of realizing that divine Nature is reaching out (into) us just as we might be seeking it through our attempts at transcendent experience. Transpersonal can refer to a spiritual brand of psychology; even to entertain that concept of a spiritual psychology one would need to have an open mind. Through an open mind, that window, we make ourselves available to beneficial unseen forces, especially those that give rise to our creativity.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Stand and Deliver

At 23° Aries the Sabian Symbol is A Pregnant Woman In Light Summer Dress. Well it’s not summer so, reading this metaphorically, we are speaking about fruition, not just with the pregant woman but with summer being the time of harvest. I don’t have a lot to say about today’s oracle and apparently either does Dane Rudhyar or anybody else by the dearth of opinion regarding this on the interweb. So maybe that speaks loudest. What can you say about a pregnant woman in a summer dress? It’s both banal and miraculous an image. Banal in the sense that we’ve seen this image before in life and typically it inspires a sort of pity that said lady is pregant in the summer which can’t be all that fun. Miraculous in that the image is so stripped down to reveal the simple mystery of life being created. But I am struggling a bit here.

I’d like to think that today was about recognizing what it is in us that is incubating and coming to fruition. What magical child are we about to give birth to? What bun do we have in the oven? Rudhyar speaks of today as the culmination of the male pugilist of two days ago and the garden, of yesterday, which he likens to a woman. So today we have a baby brewing. Okay, well, that seems logical. But I’m not blown away by this image. It seems all too natural perhaps. Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s the fact that we really can’t take credit, as human individuals, for the most important, elemental occurances in life. Nature runs its course through us and it’s not a feather in our cap really. Any species can procreate, no big deal. So maybe it’s about the humility of being employed, if not used, by nature. That we are just temporary pawns in Nature’s larger plan to create life in general but that we, as specks of singularity, really don’t matter much and certainly not for very long in the scheme of things. It’s always about what or who is next. There’s always somebody new waiting in the wings, or in this case, the womb.

Okay let me find some personal connection here….let’s get back to pregnancy being a metaphor for possibility, which given this image, seems imminent. What are we bringing to life? The image of a pregnant lady in summer was nowhere more harrowingly portrayed than by Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby. She was rocking her summer shift dress and short seasonal hairdo. She was lugging around a suitcase through New York in, what?, the full glare of August? She was also carrying something she didn’t count on bringing to light. But in the end she was going to care for it, despite it being a diabolical outcome. I always thought that Rosemary giving in to mothering her demon spawn was the very image of “owning it”. I like children. I do. But I dare say I don’t like the offspring of bad parenting, no shade on the kiddies, but a major Bea Arthur look askance at the parents who obsessively focus on their children, revolving everything around them. Nature did not intend for your child to be the center of the universe and certainly not the centerpiece of my dinner conversation or the prime mover of every plan of action. I feel for kids with overly attentive parents almost as much as I do for those with neglectful ones. But let’s swing back to metaphor land.

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Let’s say the bun in the oven in this oracle is the creative plan you’re hatching. Can you give it life and leave it enough alone? Or are you going to obsess on, and kill, it with your constant tampering? One of the things I feared and am now loving about doing a daily blog is that I don’t have the luxury to make it perfect. I don’t know what I’m getting each day—I have no idea what the Sabian Symbol is tomorrow just as I didn’t know what image today would bring until I sat down twenty minutes ago. I have to just give birth and then move on. So that means I have to be as mindful as I can be in the birthing process. Once it’s out there I’ll probably never look at it again. It’s true with most creative ventures—ask any filmmaker, musician, novelist, etc.—typically once they’ve delivered the product they were longing or commissioned to create, they scarcely look at it again. I don’t think I’ve read Sextrology since I last had to for editing purposes. Once the bun is baked it’s pretty much what it is. Yes you provide a happy, nurturing environment for your child, just as you might promote your album, book or try to get your film into Sundance; but if you made as much of your creative output as modern day parents tend to make of their children with ridiculous names you would be labelled nuts and narcissistic. The irony being that narcissism should only be about you. Being narcissistic via your offspring because maybe it’s your only point of pride in life, well, then you’re the devil, Rosemary; you’re the devil.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Happiness Is

Upon arriving in America for the first time and asked by journalists what she thought the most important thing in life was, Madame De Gaulle said “Happiness”. Now remember, she was French, with a very thick accent, and she would have pronounced the word with a silent H.; so, you can imagine what those journalists thought she was actually answering…

There is a suggestion of the erotic given today’s Sabian Symbol for 22° Aries, The Gate To The Garden of All Fulfilled Desires as it promises to be, in part, a garden of earthly delights. But my sense is that we are speaking of desire on all metaphysical levels, and what is meant by fulfillment here is that which cannot be achieved through an ephemeral brush with pleasure. We are, again, looking at the realm of perpetual Joy. Now, over the course of the last twenty-four hours, Stella and I have been slapped with signposts about Happiness. Suddenly, this simple word is a major theme being taken up by various artistic media and I wouldn’t be surprised to find a story on Happiness as a cultural theme to imminently appear in, say, The New York Times—oh, how that once Gray Lady loves a piece that cites, at the very least, three examples of a theme being culturally explored or exploited in various ways simultaneously. It’s their thing. I would point to a certain TV program premiering on Showtime; a semi-how-to book just launched by a semi-known comedian; and I might point to a certain burgeoning branch of psychology that is Stella’s area of academic expertise. But that’s just me.

Today’s oracle is primarily focused on the Gate to the Garden which we presume is open to us. That being the case it would be open to many if not all of us. And so we equate happiness and fulfillment as being “a place” you get to, not through individual struggle (yesterday’s pugilist comes to mind) but from the perspective of shared abundance. We are not in the wild—it is not a jungle out there. We are in a place that is cared for and cultivated by the collective; and the joy lies in our ability to gather there with others. As someone who doesn’t label himself much of a joiner, I nonetheless recognize that Happiness is Others just as much as Hell can be. It really comes down to casting. I’m also the rarest of the Myers-Briggs personality types, married to the same type, who forms friendships mainly with others of that very type, valuing quality of relationships over quantity. I set the bar very high on friendships, all too easily finding solitude to be a quite enjoyable state of being. I’m incredibly idealistic when it comes to relationships and place great expectations—I’m a pip that way—on what personal bonds should provide. If they should fall short, which most often they do, I’m fine to forgo friendship all together, a willing Rhesus monkey. I’m not saying this is good. It’s just the way I’m wired. The weird thing is that I tend to make incredibly deep and longlasting friendships with others who take a similar view.

Again, I emphasize that we really might just be talking about the Gate and not the Garden itself. There is the suggestion of entree being given, but, you know, it might be like Grammercy Park where you need a key. But the gate itself is a symbol of optimism—what brand of heaven awaits on the other side of it is entirely up to us and the company we keep. Stella and I often say that people are divided into two categories—those who celebrate us and those who tolerate us—and we likewise look upon others one of these two ways, if we had to be honest. My notion of the Garden of All Fulfilled Desires is exactly that: it’s an emotional place or mental space we get to when we have fulfilled our own desires, given ourselves all that we long for or at least fully embraced the longing. We can’t, for instance, give ourselves a Grammy-winning singer-songwriting career; but we can write a song and sing it if we so desire. There really isn’t much we truly desire that we can’t give ourselves. We might not be able to own a mansion, but we can feel rich and abundant and secure in the knowledge that whether we are rich or poor we can only ever live in one room at a time anyway, whether we have a chateau or a studio apartment. Abundance stems from wanting what you have; if you do then you can imagine, and even long for, other experiences you’ve yet to manifest. But what is key to unlocking the Gate to the Garden is the feeling of bounty. We say to clients that “prosperity is a sustained emotion”; it’s up to you how you feel. Whether or not you have a cool mill. doesn’t determine the nature of your feeling.

Copyright 2015 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

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