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In the Storm She Shone

The night before Tuesday’s blizzard, I emerged from a critics’ screening into midtown Manhattan. The sky was heavy and violet; the city, already abandoned. The only other people on the street were hurrying along with big bags of laundry and groceries–everything they needed to lay in for the storm. But the film I’d just seen had been much better than I’d anticipated, and I felt the happiness that good work, natural or human-made, has inspired in me since I was a small child; it’s hard to be despondent when beauty in all forms gladdens you this way.

In that burst of cheer I decided to walk rather than surrender to the weirdness of east 30s public transportation. I bundled up more seriously—double-wrapped my scarf, donned the velvet gloves my mother had sent for Christmas, and took off, knowing it might the last time in a while I’d walk so easily on NYC sidewalks. The air was so cold I could hear little ice crystals forming on my lungs when I breathed; this felt cleansing rather than unsettling. I walked faster, not to hasten my return home so much as to visit with all of the world at once. Continue Reading →

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 →

The Church of the Third Chakratic Method

The guy at the deli gave me these daffodils because he said they weren’t going to bloom. I put them in a vase of warm sugar water and set them in my office while doing readings. By the end of the second session, they were in full bloom. (By the end of the third, my client said my eyes had changed color.) Good vibes are no small thing, especially when a hard-working Virgo full moon is beaming upon us.

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