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 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.
I wake with longing. This is not new for me; this is not new for most people. Desire is the human condition. To be alive, to be embodied, is to need things in one form or another—food, water, shelter, sleep, air. Every minute of every day, our bodies drive us: They have to eat; they have to breathe; they have to shit and piss and cum; they are restless; they are tired; they are cold; they are hot. They crave contact.
I have been a lone wolf, an alley cat, for most of my life. I did not cathect to my tribe though I tried. I have never cathected to any tribe since. I was too psychic to bear dishonesty, too much of a Capricorn to bear laziness, too much of an aesthete to bear bad taste, too sensitive to bear spitefulness. I preferred people who tried their best, who prized truth and compassion over comfort and status.
Thus I have spent most of my life alone. I have learned to love in a vacuum.
When I was young I was guilty of the worst sort of manipulations. I saw people as stools and steps rather than stars unto themselves. I sang for my supper. I fucked for security. I preened for admiration. Continue Reading →