Aquarius 21° (February 10)
Today I’d like to write about Paris. The first time I saw Paris was in September of 1983. I spent a week there en route to Grenoble for my university year abroad. A treasure trove of stories, most of which I’ve written about elsewhere, in various forms, abound from this trip beginning that very week alone. But I’m not here now to tell stories. My impression of Paris was immediate wonder. We stayed in the 7th arrondissement on the rue Saint-Dominique, which it self stayed the same for another twenty years; so we would go back to our same restaurants and hotels, mainly Thoumieux, which was both. Then one day it all went away—the same owner, decade after decade, timeless in his leather vest, the men and women servers in uniform, the sublime same sameyness in dark red leather and shiny wood, the sexually suggestive vegetable mural-size painting on the wall, the secret upstairs hotel rooms with their 1960s swizzle-swagger. In 1983 we launched this expression—life is just a series of beds—which became a verbal meme, anachronistic though that may be. I’m finding that as I get older life is just a series of pangs for the unrecoverable past, and particular episodes thereof which were set in Paris. In 1985 we moved to Paris and lived in the 17th, the 15th and ultimately the 1st on rue des Halles. This was as banner a year if not more than the one two years previous. I was fresh out of school and faffing about before landing a magazine position, at Passion, and a restaurant job, as le barman, in an American restaurant owned by Jewish brothers-in-law in the Marais, which was then just becoming a place where things were. There were no designer shops. Our haunt was called The Swing, where we’d meet and drink cheap beer and wine. Always on our own it seemed Stella and I would go to Castel where, for some reason, they always let us right in. That reason was probably Stella. I wouldn’t have a chance on my own. I will continue these Paris reveries, but I should get a few pages down on the Scorpio experience, just to leave myself open to new insights on that score.
The move from Libra to Scorpio is like a long day’s journey into night. Just as the first uber masculine energized first sign Aries is followed by its opposite uber feminine powered Taurus, here, on the other side of the Zodiac, Libra, the sign of high consciousness, is followed by Scorpio, the deep dark recesses of the subconscious. The only sign with co-rule planets, Pluto and Mars, the former being very much the underworld version of the latter: Pluto, or the Greek Hades, with his eponymous subterranean abode is the embodiment, as is his female counter part, Persephone, of not only our own subconscious but that which is still universally so: as yet unearthed truths, mysteries, discoveries, cures and clues as to the nature of our universe. And whether in their own mysterious interior, or in that of those in their lives, or people, society, in general Scorpio people are determined to get to the bottom of what’s making everyone and everything tick. Thus, they are the first to tune into theticks of people, places and things, seeing their way into that which others might be (consciously or subconsciously) hiding and that which is kept hidden, secret, taboo culturally and sociologically.
Oh god that was some kind of start. Oh well I’m doing the best I can. I’m not sure why I resist using past things I’ve written as a jumping off point. I suppose I feel better making the first inroads trying to invent the wheel as best as I can. I don’t know why I often pose a sentence in question form. I suppose it’s to force me to answer. Anyway it’s a good writing mechanism when you need to flush out you brain along the way.
Scorpio is the fixed-water signs–fixed signs being the second in a trio of signs—cardinal, fixed, mutable—that make up each of the astrological quadrants. Scorpio is the middle sign in the third quadrant, that which correlates to the intellectual and experiential realm of life, how one relates to other individuals and groups. One of Libra, which kicks off this quandrant, is We are (opposing the sign of Aries, I am); while Scorpio’s mottos are We have (opposing the sign of Taurus, I have) and I desire. Fixed-signs, fortify, intensify, concentrate and distill. Fixed-water translates to ice, crystals and, by extension, gems wrought by subterranean heat and pressure. Macrocosmically, gems, jewels are a metaphor for the as yet hidden meanings and wisdom and other such discoveries which effect us all, collectively, as well as repressed bits of our individual selves, awaiting to be mined. Scorpio people tend to be probling of others but rather sphynxlike themselves.
Pluto and Persphone are chtonian deities, inhabiting the underworld; as archetypes for those born under the sign, it speaks to Scorpio people’s severe penchant for privacy, default suspicious demeanor, their relatively goth perspective that sees them recoil from scenesters, showoffs, socialites or the like who seek outside approval, something Scorpio people rarely do, and sometimes to a fault.
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree of the Sabian Symbol may be higher than the one listed here as the symbols cluminate in the next degree. There are 360 degrees spread over 365 days.
Typos happen—I don’t have time or an intern to edit.*
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