Hip to the Constellation

Typically those of us in the healing and magic communities make a point of sticking to the positive. In this capacity I am no exception, for I ardently believe that even the most challenging aspects of life pose an opportunity for spiritual growth. That said, when we have as many planets in Aries as we currently do—Uranus, Mercury, Eries, Sun, Venus and, as of today, Moon—I feel more than a little weary. All that unreflective go-go-go and me-me-me energy! Such pressure! Such bother! Such blather! Today, though, I am facing a profound crossroads in my creative and professional life, so I am trying to practice what I preach. Let us all welcome this new moon as a fire point, a power surge, an ignition like no other. Standing in the afternoon’s light at the river’s edge of my neighborhood, here is my cry: Please, mommy goddesses, give us the faith and temerity to push ourselves where we need to go. As the Aries goddess pictured here sings: “Get hip to the consultation!” It goes without saying that I pretend she’s singing “constellation” instead.

Food Fabulous Food Writers

I have been a professional film critic for more than a decade, but anyone who’s ogled my personal library knows that my most ardent cultural passion is actually food writing – not just cookbooks but essays about restaurants, markets, cooking, and foraging. In short, I like to read about eating. Everything lives inside a great piece of food writing: history, science, art, crafts, politics, culture, even our connection to the divine. The best part? In most cases reading about great meals confers less guilt and more pleasure than the meals themselves – especially when rendered by the writers I’ve selected below.

A.J. Liebling
“The primary requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite,” intoned New Yorker writer Liebling, and he knew of what he spoke. Gluttony was the name of his game, and he detailed his heaping boards with the same zeal that he applied to city life and boxing, his other signature topics. In the memoir Between Meals, he describes favorite dinners of his youth. A typical menu: figs, artichokes, three kinds of cheeses, oysters, ham, “sausage in crust,” clam chowder, a peck of steamers, cognac, bay scallops, sautéed soft-shelled crabs, ears of fresh-picked corn, a swordfish steak, a pair of lobsters, a Long Island duck, boar, a bottle of champagne, and a bottle of Bordeaux. In Liebling’s extravagant prose, you don’t just discover your appetite. You discover a past that did not fear the future. Continue Reading →

Here Comes the Sun

All hail the vernal equinox! This is a glorious day not just because there’ll be more light than darkness from here on in. It’s glorious because everything is perfectly balanced, and, more than most times, we can trust that what feels good is also right since that balance extends to each and every one of us. To reflect this hallowed equinox, I’ve chosen an Alice Neel painting of Andy Warhol superstars Ritta Redd and Jackie Curtis, who had a beautiful balance that was uniquely their own. Take a few moments to assess what is your unique balance—not according to a “should” so much as according to your most specific desires. While you’re at it, take a few more moments to thank the sun for being such a wonderfully constant life bearer. Even in our worst times, we are so lucky she glows upon us.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy