Archive | Astro Matters

Moon Void of Course, Of Course

Right now, we’re in the middle of a 21-hour period in which the moon is void of course. This means everything is spacy and off-kilter and totally nonlinear–so much so that even as I write this I wonder if I am making any sense and then realize with some delight that I don’t care. Void-of-course events rarely have long-term consequences, and, besides, sparkly tesseracts are right up my alley.

After finishing this morning’s Ruby Intuition readings I took off for a very long, very cold walk through the city. I was ecstatic for the opportunity to live inside my own private children’s book–a welcome reprieve from the grownup worries I’d not been able to shake for the rest of the week. My only rule: no major financial expenditures. Our tastes are so different during VOC that buyers’ regret is inevitable.

Here is what happened on my walk: I talked to an East Village girl selling candles in ironic overalls and unironic pink lipstick about the importance of sunshine noir in the ides of winter. I found a pair of fluffy platform beige clog boots that I desperately craved but managed to refrain from purchasing. (I promised myself I’d buy them as an auto-birthday present if I still longed for them in a week.) I went to the hardware store to thank the owner for his good advice about my radiators and in return got a $2 vise-grip, which is only slightly less sexual than it sounds. I trailed an arguing couple for seven blocks to decide who I thought was right. (Neither, as it turned out.) I saw a friend I’d not seen for six years, and, bitter wind blowing all around us, we tackled the brilliance of Vivian Maier and the unplugged power of post-reproductive women as if it were a balmy July afternoon and we’d last talked five minutes ago. I went to the Strand Book Store and bought a thick anthology of time travel essays (because you never know when you might manage a quick chrono-jaunt) and a dog-eared Pippi Longstocking paperback (because you can always use an extra copy of Pippi). I came up with a style trend for Spring 2025 and a catchphrase that I decided to give to the next superhero I met. I tried on a collarless camel tweed coat practically embroidered with my name and whispered to her that we’d meet again. I listened to an 85-year-old surrealist painter reminisce in a coffee shop about dancing naked with Anaïs Nin dance at a party. I spent an inordinately long time talking to a jewelry vendor on Bedford Avenue because his copper rings were stunning and so was he.

By the time I got home I was laden with lemon-pepper soap and and leather-rose perfume and green-gold eyeshadow and lavender honey and coffee beans and phone numbers and hand-painted stationary given to me by people who’d enjoyed our conversations. I was so frozen I couldn’t feel my feet but my cheeks were pink and my eyes were bright and I was wrapped glamorously in two soft scarves and a big fur hat and a soundtrack of late-’50s jazz and a certainty that I’d earned a quiet, cozy night at home. When the moon goes void of course it’s like Hilary Knight drew the whole world. Ooooh, I just love it.

O Hallowed Evening Sky

It’s winter solstice, one of the holiest days of the year.  Scrub out the debris from your inbox, your closet, your spirit, your mind. Make an intention and align it with this evening’s new moon in make-it-happen Capricorn. Invite Uranus’ blue bolts of lightening into those plans; smile broadly at the unexpected. Tap the power of Venus, newly reborn in the sky after regenerating her values. Bask in the embrace of dear Mama Mary. Open your heart to receive grace (prosperity, beauty, big-scale love). Bring gratitude, generosity, and faith to your daily practice, whatever that may be. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Joyously. Here’s to more light in our countries, our cities, our hearths, our hearts.

Full of Beans

After I’d been living in my current apartment for six years, a cute couple moved in across the hall. I was going through a phase in which I detested cute couples, and I’d never been a fan of neighbors. Part of why I’d moved to New York in the first place was to claim the voluptuous anonymity the city promised. My clan had never been big on boundaries and on top of that there’d always been Old Lady MacNamara. Hanging over the fence between our two houses, she’d spent her days passing judgment on my half-Jewish family’s goings-on as she smoked the cigarettes that eventually killed her.

I defined a good neighbor the same way I defined good weather: an entity that never made its presence known.

But T and G were different. The day they moved in, I was scrubbing my apartment with the doors and windows flung wide open, blasting the air with Aretha Franklin’s Soul 69 and hippie cleansers. They grinned at me over the boxes they were toting but made no idle chitchat. A few days later, T came by looking for a needle. While I fetched her one, she eyed the coathook precariously hanging from my wall. “I’m bad at boy things,” I told her. “And my boyfriend and I just broke up.”

She didn’t say anything, but returned a day later with a toolbox and reattached the hook. No processing first or “I’ll do it later, baby.” Just a girl with a drill. I began to grasp the advantage of good neighbors over mediocre boyfriends.

Slowly we all became friends. I dropped off copies of the lurid gossip magazine where I was working and leftovers from my Sunday dinners. They helped me hang all my pictures and brought over leftovers as well. All of us, it turned out, liked to cook, though T didn’t love meat as much as G and I did, and I tended to cook with more butter and salt than both of them put together. As the nights grew colder and longer, we’d sip wine and make meals together. Afterward, we’d watch The Wire, which they’d never seen and at whose altar I worshipped in an annual ritual of strict sequence and even stricter silence. (First rule of The Wire: You are not smarter than The Wire so you do not interrupt The Wire.) One night, as we noiselessly took in back-to-back episodes of Season 2 on their tweedy couch, I realized I’d come to love my neighbors. Continue Reading →

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