San Junipero, technology, and humanity

imagination is paradise SOM

I tweeted these thoughts on the Emmy-award winning episode from Black Mirror, “San Junipero,” on Saturday and I think it’s worth reposting my thoughts here.

If you haven’t watched this episode, you really should. But here’s a synopsis from Wikipedia. Here’s a conspiracy theory, too.

Astrologically, it’s Libra season, the season of partnership and justice, and the moon is transiting through Aquarius, the sign of technological innovation, friendship, large groups of people, and arguably humanitarian efforts.

Yorkie’s tragic story of becoming a quadriplegic soon after coming out to her parents is really painful. And that her super religious parents do not allow her to euthanize herself makes her feel so trapped.

The Libra-ness of the situation, the sense of injustice, and how Kelly did her a favor by marrying her so she could upload to the heavenly cloud…it also touch on the Aquarius moon to me, how humane it was to marry her so she could be free to be herself.

I decided to watch this again a while ago but I never got around to it. I was going to use it as something to just be happy about. But instead, when I think about Yorkie’s plight and how she gained redemption of her life through technology, and the love of Kelly, it just has me getting all teary.

It could be that transiting Jupiter, which is in partnership-oriented Libra, is just about to go into intense Scorpio, which trines, or has a harmonious aspect, to my Jupiter in home and family oriented Cancer. Jupiter is an expander, so whatever emotions I’m feeling, they are being amplified.

Libra and Aquarius are both air signs and both are concerned about connecting with people. Yes, there’s a lot about thoughts and intellect (with Gemini, too), but usually the air signs are never without friends. So yesterday the Libra sun was in harmonious relationship with the moon which is traveling through Aquarius. It’s just out of orb (or degree significance) now, but that could have affected me, too.

Here’s what I was feeling all day:

It’s been a heavy time in the United States, in Mexico, and in the Caribbean. The earth unleashed some unrelenting fury near the end of the summer. My traveling to San Junipero ironically didn’t help me escape how delicate and fragile our humanity is. It just intensified it.

It’s amazing how art can open our hearts so easily. Charlie Brooker, the writer of this episode and the co-showrunner of Black Mirror, definitely dipped his quill in the heart of humanity–and he won an Emmy for this writing as well.

Anyway, astrology aside, I still think about how humane we are to each other, and how race, gender (and gender expression), ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious and cultural beliefs, age, and so much more get in the way of that. Those robots were more humane than so many of us are to each other, tending to the care of people’s uploaded lives.

But back to astrology–Aquarians get the bad rap of being cool and detached. For whatever reason, I felt my heart open wide under an Aquarius moon. Maybe that detachment is like their sister Capricorn’s detachment–feeling so much. Capricorn, Aquarian, and Pisces probably feel the most, at the end of the zodiac.

I just tweeted a thread up there. You can click through. I’ll spare you more embedded tweets.

I should go to bed as the moon plays hide and seek behind some rain clouds. I wish for all of that we find a love that is as kind, just, and humane as the love that Kelly has for Yorkie.

lucky blooms 💐

late bloomer SOM

Well.

First of all, reading that from poet Sharon Olds immediately pierced me, with some hope.

I come here lacking gratitude for my opening buds, and especially for the buds that have yet to be formed.

But I’m feeling a little chastened. I usually don’t do this much throat clearing before I get into a post.

(This post is brought to you by the pre-mid-life crisis transit of Pluto square Pluto.)

I don’t feel so lucky. I feel tired. I feel late. I have been planning my life my whole life. Hear the travails and laments of a tortured double Capricorn.

I thought I had some wisdom about this post, about how things were supposed to happen. It seems to have escaped me. I’m sure I’ll find some new wisdom as I write.

Things are getting better. I feel 10 years late on that, though. If I were 29 and finally starting my own business, that seems right. Why did this take so long?

I know why. It’s a lot of stuff, and here’s the timeline:

family upheaval caused by untreated mental illness ➡️ delay in attending and finishing college ➡️ finding my own emotional equilibrium ➡️ discovering I suck at college science ➡️releasing medicine as a future profession ➡️ picking up writing as a potential profession at age 30 or so ➡️ finally getting to do it on my own as a legit business nine years.

But that’s how the story was supposed to go. Why? Because it happened that way. This was my timeline at age 17:

college ➡️ med school ➡️ psychiatry residency ➡️ married and have my first kid by 30.

Look how tidy that is. I am pretty sure I was fretting about this with my 11th grade English teacher. Maybe deep down, I knew that this little neat timeline was not going to happen, which is why I was having legit panic about whether this was going to happen.

The delays, the diversions, the detours—at least I can say that it got me back to myself, to my first love of writing. I also thought that things like marriage and kids would just happen.

And, they haven’t.

I’ve gotten to this weird place of resignation that probably comes from going through very hard times for a very long time.

Sidenote: I hate that I have to care about this stuff as a woman, but I also hate that I hate that I care about any of this at all. Most men do not sit around fretting about marriage and kids. Maybe I thought like a dude for a little too long. Even beyond just stupid fertility, I’m socialized to want this thing that does not help ultimately make women happy.

I’m in this thing I can’t really speak of publicly, but it’s like this energetic holding pattern where I have to wait around to see what happens. In the back of my head, instead of anxiety, there’s just a knowing that things will work.

But the resignation makes me feel safer. I’m tired. Holding out hope for things you can’t control gets tiring.

And that’s probably the point, too, right? To let go already. There’s some weird alchemical thing that has to happen. You have to reach the end of yourself, to feel your fingertips to start slipping on the last threads of hope you have, and then something, Something, catches you, just in time.

I’m starting not to care anymore, though, like time’s run out. I should just be grateful that I can kinda be an adult that can take care of herself, that can see herself through crisis after crisis. And yet time probably hasn’t run out. Yet it’s easier to grieve and let go than to hold on. It’s doubly sad to think about. But hope is a very heavy thing and my arms are buckling…

And then the Universe will send a sign. It is not in agreement with me about giving up. It’s a cycle of despair and determination that I’ve gone through many times this year, not only with love, but just life in general. I’ve thought about how life would just be better if it stopped because the agony of living was not worth waking up to.

So, I was thankfully wrong about that.

Let’s go back to what Sharon said. Am I going to be one of the very lucky ones when it comes to love? I feel like my business had to be established before I’m released from whatever holding pattern I’m in. And maybe, you know, it’s not about me. It could be about the other person, it could be about other things that I had to go through that I don’t even realize yet. I’ve been told as much by probably tarot readers and astrologers. It’s hard to remember since the goons of poverty have been pummeling for a while now.

Patience. Oh, patience. I tire of you.

When I think about my friends who have all started families, looking at their curated pictures on Facebook, I stare back into the emptiness that engulfs me locally. Being down here so long, as I have said a few times here, I started to forget how to be human. In Libra season especially, it starts to look like something is wrong with me.

🗣Nothing is wrong with me.

Going back to Chicago this month to escape Hurricane Irma, I realized how easy it was to be myself there. I left a lot of heartache and betrayal there, too, but I laid it all to rest (almost 15 years of shit). When I move back, I don’t want to be thinking about any of that. This year, with a bevy of Aquarian friends, I’ve been able to find that wicked sense of humor that carried me through so much grief and loss, but also just made the room lighter.

Hey man, I’m back.

So looking into whatever *this* could be, it’s more than my 17-year-old self could have hoped for. That’s why I’m still kind of loitering in confusion. It would be worth waiting for, too, even this long, even as patience and temperance and perseverance try me.  That isn’t me holding onto hope, though. That’s me being curious about how things will work out, if at all.

Gosh, could it really be that good?

And here comes the grace…boy, it has been a time. I have had a time. Why would I expect anything good from people when I could write a series of books of all the heartache, betrayal, and just plain evil I’ve experienced? My track record with the human race is spotty. There have been some angels and demons, and then some people I can’t remember…

Scolding my skepticism seems silly now.

Despite wanting to join Facebook Nation and say, hey, I checked some other adulting things off of my to-do list, it’s the Pluto square Pluto thing (transiting Pluto is in my 1st house, and my Pluto is in my 10th house). I’ve been obsessed with legacy. What am I leaving behind when I die? I really hope it’s good people—my (now future) kids.

Nothing seems good enough yet. I have barely begun.

But whatever. I’m a double Capricorn who can’t plan that much right now. I feel like I’ve been benched. Put me in, Coach? I’m ready to play? Today?

Yet it does feel weird to just think—if this were meant to happen, it would have happened already. It almost sounds logical, but my life is strewn with late blooms…

Oh well. You tried. Good effort. At least you survived. Count your lucky blooms, girl.

Consolation prize: your very breath. *sigh*

Did I mention I was tired? If anything, if anything, this year, my ceiling was raised so high, it’s practically the sky. If I have to come back and try again, then I know what to aim for. And that would be a very big if at this point.

It’s also a sign of healing, though. Please let’s give myself some credit before I drag my sorry soul over more broken glass. My hierarchy of needs is not an inverted triangle anymore. Being able to support myself means I can support a relationship, and now I don’t feel as desperate for it anymore. And I’ve heard that desperation, shockingly enough, pushes things away.

During my years long time out with the Universe, I’ve watered and nurtured my spiritual roots. I’ve found amazing women that I am close with and love dearly. It’s the right ordering of things. As I told one friend: boys last. Always last.

But hey, it’s Libra season. I do care about the one-on-one, a lot. Where my Pluto is, also in Libra, also means I’m going to care about this topics in a big mushroom cloud sort of way. I don’t want to kid myself here.

I’m ready to live already. Unencumbered. I’ve waited for college, for grad school, for my career.  Even still, though: good news! The treacherous obstacle course of my life seems to be nearing completion. I’m not sure if this will be waiting at the end.

So I’m just going to close my eyes and run like hell to the finish line.

This song just came up in a Daily Mix I’m listening to. I hear you, Universe…

Q417

money SOMTomorrow starts the 4th quarter of 2017. I feel like this year has, for the most part, gotten progressively better. I don’t know if I’ve said it here, but I’ve said it to a few people—I am a problem that you can throw money at.

Now, after a year of struggle, I’ve had some money throw at my problematic self. It’s amazing how much poverty can make you cranky and unhappy.

As my country really starts to rot from the inside out (some more, really), I’m really not a fan of capitalism anymore. But for now, I just need to lifehack it ethically and make it work for me.

Right now, it’s about building up my business, creating partnerships. To throw in a little astrology…

Jupiter, the expansion planet (yeah, I guess it’s about luck and blessings, too, but I’m just going to call it an expander) is about leave my 10th house, which is ruled by Capricorn–the reputation and career house.

Jupiter is in Libra, the sign of partnership. And, we’re in Libra season now. There are other planets that are in Libra (Mercury, the communication planet) or will be (Venus, planet concerned with beauty, arts, love, values; Mars, planet concerned with power, energy, action, and (sexual) desire).  My 10th house is in Libra…

Jupiter will be cruising into the house of friendship and groups, ruled by your best friend, Aquarius. I have Scorpio in that house, so Jupiter will be in Scorpio then. I’m thinking I will find deeper, more meaningful friendships and partnerships. It’s an auspicious time and I’m trying not to think about it too much except to have the structures in place to welcome in this new, generous energy.

Back to Libra things, though. Yesterday, I did this homework for some business coaching/training I’m going to start as a part of this new business partnership I’m going to be a part of, and connection & collaboration kept coming up. I felt like an automaton that could only repeat a few words over and over. At least I know, in part, what I am about. Now as I write this, I realize—that’s who I am, when it comes to my reputation and career: one-on-one.

But back to money. The lack of it caused me so much misery, especially in the past few years. And the focus of money for me has ebbed and flowed. But I’ve had so many issues with it. I’ve written about Venusian problems before…it’s nothing new for me.

But in these last few weeks before I turn 40, I can see the confluence of good coming together, finally—but just as I have felt it would happen for years. I just didn’t think it’d be like this.

I feel like this time will be a busy time for me. I have a lot to learn. I’ll be learning how to be a legit copywriter and copyeditor, which I’m excited to do. I’ll also be learning about how I will operate in this new business partnership. But I have the space to do it, which is great.

It’s amazing when things start to line up like they do. I only have one real steady client of my own and I need the new work. I feel like October will be hectic and I have to just embrace it all. I don’t like being bored but I don’t like being super busy. It’s a tough balance that I will need to maintain for my sanity.

It’s weird when things suddenly get better—or it seems suddenly better. It’s been hard to write this post because it’s mostly good news. It’s been so nice to not worry about money as I have this year.

But one question that I keep thinking about: what’s a soldier, home after the war, supposed to do in peacetime? I’ve been made for, in, and through crisis. So how will I cope when there’s nothing major to stress over?

I guess I’m going to find out.

08.12.12

some mysterious fractal

August 12, 2012 is when I finally made it to Florida to start grad school. It was on a Sunday. I was supposed to leave the day before, but the movers I hired were terrible and took too long. I guess I missed my flight? I couldn’t get a hold of any friends to crash with so I had to stay at this noisy airport hotel.

I had to stay with my cousin here for a couple of weeks because my stuff was being bounced around all over the east coast. Such a disreputable moving company.

I don’t even want to rehash all of that because it was horrible and I am tired of complaining about how horrible life has been down here. I think the horror magnifies with how hopeful I was to finally find my tribe, to make a real connection with a blood family member, to escape the cold and growing disappointments of Chicago.

Well, life had other plans for me.

It’s been very transformative spiritually. Going into year six of my life down here, I feel like I’ve unloaded a lot of emotional and spiritual baggage. I feel cleansed and unencumbered. But the journey to get to this very precious place has been very expensive: on my bank account, on my credit, on my body, on whatever I would call my social life.

Has it been worth it? I’m not entirely sure yet. This is a rather 7 of Pentacles moment right now. I’m looking at what I’ve grown so far and knowing there is more work to do.

Instead of regaling you with how shitty and disappointing and heartbreaking and humiliating and scary (and I’m pretty sure this blog has detailed a lot of that, so just peruse the archives for a good gasp, cry, or sigh), I’d rather just pivot from here and say that I’m done with this period of my life–or maybe my (very warranted) emotional response to it.

I’m not like Katrina and the Waves walking on sunshine yet, but I am tired of feeling like my life is one long, painful climb, even if that is the Capricorn way. Eventually, I want to be able to rest and enjoy the views up here…

 

The prolonged money and housing instability has been interesting to navigate as someone who is a Capricorn sun and rising with a Cancer moon. My sojourn in Florida has hit me where it hurts, over and over. That’s probably due to Pluto and his heavy demolition crew obliterating my 1st house of self, where my Capricorn sun and rising reside.

Who am I without a stellar reputation? Without stable housing? Without friends to lean on? Without a reliable stream of money?

What is my home? Who is my family?

I don’t really know what the answers to those rhetorical questions are. I believe I’m making it up as I go along–as we all do. I thought I knew those answers.

I didn’t realize how much I had relied on my plucky nature to get me out of jams, and how I have always had a strong community there for me to lift me up. Even with social media, I had both strong online and offline communities, where even both worlds would begin to meld. I met my last boyfriend in an MSN chat room and then we met in IRL–he lived in the same city and went to college with people I knew from my church.

It’s hard to have these stalwarts stripped away–sometimes very violently, and sometimes very slowly. But all the same, it’s left me very vulnerable and open–well, it’s easier to hear from Spirit in this way.

Looking back over these five years, I don’t have much gratitude for this stripping process yet. Still, because I want to change my attitude towards whatever has been unfolding in my life, I took myself out to dinner downtown.

As a sidenote, I do think it’s funny how some Americans will roll up into a nice restaurant and wear soccer jerseys or whatever else seems like casual attire.

My Cancer moon needed to be fed and nurtured. It felt so good to eat the (sometimes literal) fruits of my labor (I had a peach salad and a peach cobbler). As my current housing situation is driving me a lot batty,  it was also nice to not physically be here for three hours, to breathe healthier air in a different space, to not have the draining energy of this newest, inconsiderate boarder. I could at least afford to do this for myself, to celebrate my survival in a tough, unsympathetic state. That’s an accomplishment in it of itself.

But that’s the reframe right there: survival of losses, not just the losses. It’s what I’m good at. I do like to to triumph over circumstances. It may not be that I got to keep my car or my housing or my bank account at a consistent level. I have survived those losses. It seems right now the triumph is over death, over giving up, over having my spirit decimated.

I’m in a real spiritually desperate place right now. I am desperate for real, meaningful change; desperate to have Spirit move me–both literally and figuratively–to a place where I am nurtured and can be nurtured; to a place of deep fulfillment and appreciation; to a place where I can be fully myself again. I am desperate enough to not solely look to other people to help me. I am desperate enough to shut out the world and to look within for all the treasures that were hidden underneath all of the things I’ve lost. I am desperate enough to not look to myself first and then come to the end of myself–I want to look to Spirit first where there is no beginning and no end.

I’ll be going on a retreat this weekend and I hope that my desperation will be met with opportunities and answers and practical solutions, and maybe a little more patience and strength as I keep journeying from the “here” of discontent to the “there” of “finally!”

By the way, that’s a perpetual round trip we all make, from discontent to contentment.

As the solar eclipse comes closer, I know there’s more coming my way—actually good things, things I’ve been wanting for so long, like stability, like expansion, like love in all forms. Lately, it’s been wonderful to have things to look forward to, not just things to dread.

As I grow older and closer to the midpoint of my life, I feel the pressure of limited time and there’s so much I want to do with my life than just survive. I have to trust that all that I’ve gone through here was not in vain–that there’s a purpose that’s greater than my own soul growth and spiritual development, that the ripple effect will be wider than I will ever know.

It’s really easy to forget, that even within the chaos, there’s some order—even if we don’t understand it yet, like some mysterious fractal that begins to unfold.

I have to trust that this unfolding, albeit painful, is truly both beautiful and beneficial. Otherwise, my life has been utter madness without any method or reason. I’m not talented enough to invent reasons or methodology on my own.

So here I go, with another long trust fall with the Universe. Even as I squirm and question and fret, there’s still a knowing that I am following, that nothing is ever wasted, that at least some of this wild and wacky ride will make sense, soon.

lucy, desi, lucie, desi jr.

family is more than blood SOM

I recently wrote about my own family’s astrology, which really tripped me out because of how my brother and I were the solutions of what elements my parents lack (earth and water). I randomly stumbled upon Desi Arnaz’s natal chart because he and I have similar chart patterns (bowls above the horizon). I noticed that he and my mother have the same birthday.

I had read that Lucille Ball had noted that her marriage to Desi wasn’t anywhere near as pleasant as it was portrayed on the TV show, “I Love Lucy.” And then I saw that she was a Leo. It was like my parents, but reversed–including in age (Lucy is older than Desi).

Today is Lucy’s birthday. She would have been 106 years old if she were still living. She is a Leo like my father. What’s interesting about Lucy and Desi involves their moons and ascendant/rising signs. Desi has a Cancer moon and rising. Lucy has a Capricorn moon and rising. By degrees, both of those placements are in strong opposition.

Guess what their children’s sun signs are? Lucie Arnaz has a Cancer sun, Capricorn moon (hello full moon baby, like my brother), Leo rising. Desi Arnaz, Jr. has a Capricorn sun, Pisces moon, Aquarius rising.

I looked at their north nodes, which have a lot to do with fate.

  • Lucy’s north node is in Taurus.
  • Desi’s north node is in Capricorn.
  • Lucie’s north node is in Pisces.
  • Desi Jr.’s north node is in Aquarius.

And here are some interesting connections in their charts:

  • Lucie’s midheaven is in Taurus is conjunct, but not by degree, to her mother’s north node.
  • Lucie’s north node is conjunct to her dad’s sun.
  • Desi Jr.’s south node, in Leo, is conjunct his mother’s sun.
  • Desi Jr’s Mercury in Capricorn, is conjunct his father’s north node.

I didn’t want to start looking at what all these signs may mean about their relationships to each other, or their individual personality traits–that would take a lot of time and it’s not necessarily my focus of this post. I just thought it was so random to have a famous family have the same sun signs as my family, but all in different configurations.

The north node contacts make me think that although this marriage ended in divorce, there was a lot fated for this family to be together, to learn from each other.

Additionally, quincunx relationships, or relationships with signs five signs away (the angle is 150 degrees), can feel like fate. The Obamas are a classic example of how that can work, and work beautifully (Pres. Obama being a Leo, and the First Lady as a Capricorn). But it can take work. It can be really tough. I can only imagine what a Leo woman living with a Pisces man could feel like. Maybe those lunar and ascendant oppositions weren’t harmonious. I can tell you as someone who has that Capricorn-Cancer opposition, it’s a push-pull seesaw that can give me emotional motion sickness. It doesn’t mean, though, that I can’t find some spiritual Dramamine, or a way to keep my eye on the horizon. And that goes for relationships with people, too.

I don’t want to get too heavy into the synastry (relationship astrology), but it doesn’t seem that hot between Lucy and Desi, in retrospect. I don’t personally think any relationship is doomed because of synastry. It can be a good user’s manual for a relationship, or a post-mortem of why a relationship worked–or didn’t work.

If you didn’t get any of that somewhat technical astrology jargon, here is your TL;DR: you and your family, for better and for worse, are probably bound by fate in ways that you don’t even realize. Astrology is a way to explain those connections, to make sense of the randomness of the genetic lottery that we’re all a part of. Even when I felt like I never belonged with my family, I can see how I am inextricably tied to them, and them to me. Even if it’s not the happily ever after that I’ve fruitlessly sought, I know that our astrological aspects to each other, even just our sun signs, have taught me things about loving myself (Leo), the importance of family and close friends (Cancer), and spirituality (Pisces).

Even when things end, there’s still a lot of good left.

 

 

astrology & superstition

astrology SOM

As Mercury Retrograde’s shadow period continues to loom long, I have been thinking about the collective pop culture freakout that will happen next weekend when Mercury’s retrograde transit begins in earnest. It’s a little bit annoying since it seems to be the only time that people care about astrology. But my annoyance isn’t because I’m some rabid evangelist for astrology (although my close friends may disagree). Astrology is a paradigm that seems to work for me…for now.

Mercury Retrograde nowadays can feel like a silly superstition, like not walking under a ladder or owning a black cat. Superstitions have a way of becoming the scapegoat for all that goes wrong (or even right) in a person’s life.

I wonder where I start to feel like astrology is merely more information that I can use to lead my life in a better, more informed way instead of just an excuse for why things don’t go the way I want (or vice versa).

Currently, I’m having some problems in my bathroom. The toilet isn’t filling its tank very well. Usually, a toilet’s tank takes about a minute or less to fill. It’s taking 15 minutes now. And recently, there are some pipes screeching and banging behind my toilet when no one is using it.

My computer has given me a blue screen of death twice. It’s not old.

So what’s going on? It seems like things are just falling apart all at once.

With the toilet, this house is old. I have Uranus in my 4th house, which has to do with home life. Uranus is a bit of a wild card. It’s hard to know what will happen. It’s like a scary jack-in-the-box. I’m not a fan. I had my room flood during this Uranus transit, so the pipes are brand new. But, again: this house is old. I’m also getting a new toilet seat because I bet that toilet seat has never been replaced. It’s wooden and painted. The paint is chipped and stained. The seat itself is broken underneath. The seat will be replaced and the hissing fill will get fixed soon.

As for the computer, although it’s pretty speedy, it needs more RAM mainly because Google Chrome is a greedy little application. But, I’m not purchasing any new RAM until Mercury Retrograde is really over, meaning we’ve cleared the shadow period where Mercury makes it way back to the degree where it started its seemingly wayward course.

That’s the conventional wisdom of dealing with the trickster planet’s moonwalk in the stars: don’t buy any new technology. The reasoning is that if I buy something now, it may not work correctly and I will have to return it later, wasting both my time and my money.

Is that wisdom or superstition? Are these planetary and lunar transits more like weather reports? For example, it would be foolish to go out without an umbrella in Florida, especially in rainy. I’ve done it and it’s horrible–soaked to the bone, in denim.

There are other do’s and don’ts which all have to do with travel, communication, and technology:

  • If you have to travel, prepare for delays.
  • Back up your documents (to the cloud!).
  • Re-read your emails before your send them.
  • Make sure your car is running well.
  • Think twice if an old friend or ex re-enters your life.

There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence to buttress all this advice. It’s good advice no matter the transit or season. It just takes extra time. But then I also think about confirmation bias and the power of suggestion. Am I just more sensitive to these transits because I know about them, or do they explain phenomena that otherwise would have made no sense otherwise?

The way I see Mercury Retrograde, as well as all retrograde transits, is that they are times for review. We are eternal beings that live in a temporal world. Things break, fail, or become ruined. There’s not much in the world that will last–even relationships; even our bodies. We need to have time to repair and to release.

Mercury Retrograde can also be an invitation to rest, to slow down. Maybe in our fast-paced modern world, that invitation is more salient now that even 100 years ago. But in our speeding around to get things done, things get overlooked.

Mercury Retrograde can be a time of review. Are we being good stewards of the things we own? Are these things owning us? Maybe these exes or former friends that come out of the woodwork are a test to see if these relationships have really ended. Have we really moved on?

Sidenote: It seems a little unfair that Mercury Retrograde happens at key times during the academic year. Right now, many families are preparing for their children to return back to school and to college. Today is the last day of a tax-free weekend in Florida, so the stores may be crammed with people buying computers and other technological gadgets (as well as clothing and shoes). Other school preparations involve just getting there (with all the things that have been bought): traveling across the state or the country. The shadow period for Mercury Retrograde won’t end until most people are back in school, around mid-September.

The next Mercury Retrograde this year will happen in early December, with the shadow period beginning in mid-November and ending in mid-January 2018. What a crummy time to travel. That’s during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. It’s also a crummy time to study and possibly have your computer’s hard drive fail as you are writing a final paper. That happened to me five years ago, during the final retrograde shadow period. I had an extended warranty and was able to get it replaced for free, but it was scary and inconvenient when it happened.

So what are you to do? You can’t just sit at home and avoid everything. That’s what I believe superstition does–imprisons and limits people. I believe astrology really tries not to do that, even if it there is discussion about seemingly limiting transits, like a Mercury Retrograde. It seems like astrology tries to empower and illuminate.

I’ve come to some rueful acceptance that I can’t catch all the “good” transits in the way that I want, especially the Venusian ones. But then again, all the “bad” ones don’t catch me, either. And that’s part of the mystery, of life. There’s so much interplay between the potential of the stars, my own free will, the Universe itself, and what others’ free wills…and maybe Fate with a capital F.

So with this Mercury Retrograde coming up, and with life–do the best you can in light of that old adage: “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.” This transit isn’t a black cat crossing your path. It’s just a season of a different kind of awareness. There are plenty of astrologers who can help you out, too.

 

 

sad songs really say so much

sad songs SOM

As a Cancer moon, I have been noticing lately how I’ve gotten a little addicted to sad songs. I’m not too much into the “name it and claim it” crowd, since that is a crowd I have been desperately trying to get away from. But I do believe words have power (hello? I’m a writer). I didn’t want to start some incantation of listening to sad songs.

This same predilection for possibly enjoying the sadness probably started in grad school, which was really difficult for multiple reasons. I was writing about my past, dealing with rejection, and feeling altogether misunderstood. I started watching kdramas as a way to feel emotion about someone else’s deeply emotional stories. Now, I don’t feel like I have the emotional space to watch them.

Music has been slowly making its way back into my life, although not yet in the creative sense. I was feeling a little uninspired about what’s been out there. And, as Mercury Retrograde has been showing its shadow since last Monday, I’ve been in some major nostalgia. I was remember how Belle & Sebastian meant and maybe still means a lot to my ex’s best friend. That’s still unfortunately my first memory of the Scottish band, even though I liked them way before I had met the ex and his friend.

Enough about them, though. I have been addicted to the song, “Winterbreak” by MUNA, and it was really upsetting me how much I love it, especially the chorus.

Oh, baby I think we both know
This is a love that we won’t get right
Still if you said that you wanted
I know I’ll always have one more try

I’ll say this much: there’s a situation that I feel where these lyrics may be true. But I’m not sure if I’m just in love with the song, or am also in love with the lyrics of the song that seem to sing my heart’s confusion and angst. I do know it relates to how I see my mother.

But, as Elton John sings, these songs are doing something for me.

Turn ’em on, turn ’em on
Turn on those sad songs
When all hope is gone
Why don’t you tune in and turn them on

They reach into your room, oh oh oh
Just feel their gentle touch (gentle touch)
When all hope is gone
Sad songs say so much

My fear of conjuring up the broken heart that hasn’t yet arrived may be premature. Yet, in a sense, as I wait for answers, my heart is already broken. Whatever was to take form as I wanted it to and when I wanted to has yet to be.

There’s a little sorrow when things don’t work out when and how you want them to. It doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. It may mean that I’ve been dodging my disappointment in a way that music is not allowing me to. It’s nudging me to be a little braver with my sadness, and maybe to usher in some healing, too.

Right now, my efforts in remaining positive feel like slowly deflating balloons.

Maybe it’s OK to let them pop completely…

Sometimes, there’s a little comfort and self-protection when you think the worst has come. At least you can plan for how you feel and how to move on. It seems a lot riskier to plan for joy, to plan for sunny days, for good weather.

What if you get caught in the rain of your disappointments?

This reminds me of a beautiful quote from Stephen Colbert.

Cynicism is not wisdom. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but cynicism is a self-imposed blindness. You put the blinders on yourself to protect yourself from a world that you think might hurt you or disappoint you. Be a fool. Believe things will be good. Better to be hurt.

How can I be more foolish? How can you?

In the meantime, as we gauge whether we should bring our sunglasses or our umbrellas, here’s a playlist of the songs I’ve been obsessed with. Some of these songs may not be really sad in the traditional sense, but I hope they bring you some comfort on some blissfully sad day.