Archive | Age Matters

Virginia Bell Q&A: On Venus Retrograde and Aging Mindfully

I often write here about the astrologer Virginia Bell. In addition to being a terrific translator of the heavens, she’s a trusted mentor and a lovely friend–the kind of person I aspire to be. To celebrate International Women’s Day last week, we sat in front of a voice recorder and a heaving board of snacks and discussed Venus Retrograde, the divine feminine, this spring’s forecast, how astrology is affecting the Trump coup, and her new book, Midlife Is Not a Crisis: Using Astrology to Thrive in the Second Half of Life. What follows is our unabridged conversation. I’d pare it down except Virginia’s words–articulate, generous, and peppered with her own wisdom as well as the wisdom of others–are too precious to cut. Consider this a primer in how to make astrology and aging work for you rather than against you.

Lisa Rosman (doing an unfortunate Julie Andrews impression): Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. How did you get into astrology?

Virginia Bell (politely ignoring unfortunate impression): I’ve been practicing since the 1990s but my interest began when I was 14. I asked my priest what he thought about astrology and he didn’t miss a beat. He said, “It’s the devil’s work. (Laughter). Right then and there, I decided, “I’m an atheist and I’m interested in astrology.” Of course, I came back to the church in the sense that I love all the saints. Continue Reading →

Astro Mentor

This is Virginia Bell. She is not only a gifted astrologer but a lovely friend and mentor whom I trust implicitly. Once a year, I consult her professionally and, with big-picture perspective and kind wisdom, she helps chart a path that aligns me with my calling and the lessons I must court given the astrological aspects coming into the play. She cites such wide-ranging sages as Jane Austen, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Marianne Williamson, Rumi, and Jung, and connects my chart to those of our country and world, which I love since I ardently believe no human trajectory exists in a vacuum. Every visit she offers me a guiding catchphrase and question to consider. This year’s catchphrase: “Creative chaos.” The question: “Where am I thinking too small?” Gosh, I just love her.

A Mary for Our Time

It’s not just that I loved Mary Tyler Moore. It’s that I needed her, especially when I was a confused little person growing up in the 1970s with no desire to be a housewife and very few models of women working in TV, which already was what I wanted to do. There were the beleaguered mothers in my neighborhood and the office secretaries perpetually bemoaning their single-girl status with a thousand unsmiling war stories, and then there was MTM on her eponymous show, living in a cute-as-pie pied-à-terre with no husband telling her to make dinner and no apparent regrets. Mary had the greatest best friend in America–who wouldn’t want to live downstairs from wise-cracking, warm-hearted Rhoda?—and Mary loved everyone she could, including her gruff boss (oh, Mr. Graaaant!) and simpering coworkers. She was gorgeous and hilarious and idiosyncratic and sharp, a vision in pantsuits and clever retorts and triple-take stammers and and just the best, best legs. She organized her medicine cabinet alphabetically and served cognac and coffee and didn’t pretend to be dumber than she was, even if she did suffer too many fools. (Even at age 6 I felt this strongly.) She was made for TV–movies never quite captured the scope of her down-to-earth elegance—but she also made over TV. Through Mary, we all got used to women who lived alone joyously–ones who presided over a newsroom unapologetically, who knew how to be good friends with women and men, who Long Tall Sallied everywhere with compassion, confidence, and clarity. Continue Reading →

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