Venus Runneth Over

I woke to permakitten Grace knocking over not one but two vases of tulips–smelly flower water and all. While making coffee, I read about Trumpcare for 10 minutes and subsequently broke my last two wineglasses pretty much just by looking at them. (A disturbance in the force.) Then I received an email informing me a good money gig I’ve held for 15 years is officially kaput. So far I consider this morning the personal equivalent of Groundhog’s Day: The sun is shining, six more weeks of Venus Retrograde shadow.

Desert Flowers: Object D’art O’Keeffe

Pictured here: three images from Living Modern, the Brooklyn Museum exhibition of work by and about Georgia O’Keeffe—the twentieth century’s most un-objectified object d’art. In gallery after gallery, this womon artist’s (quint)essence shines through others’ lens, myriad ages, and various iterations of her self-expression, including paintings, hand-made garments, and girlish fashion drawings. You can see how her physicality informed the shapes she created; in that stirring far left image (a 1918 photograph of her by husband Alfred Stieglitz), she’s austere, flat, concave; the only traditionally womanly mound is that seriously fulsome bush. In her fashion drawing at bottom right (check out those extraterrestrial fingers) and cityscape at top right you see echoes of those verysame shapes. This is womanbody as subject with a heathy slash of steel, a big blowsy flower, and the blood red and pale pale pink that Venus Retrograde in Aries and Pisces demands. Georgia is the eye of the beholder and, I’d argue, of twentysomething centuries, too. I expected a lot from this show but still am happily surprised. The clothes especially are something else: bleached-out and exquisitely detailed. I want them all.

Word to the wise: The Museum is charging major mandatory buckos for the exhibition. Though it’s a worthy institution, city museums are meant to be pay-what-you-wish, so on general principle I fished one of the O’Keeffe entrance bracelets from a trashcan and sailed right in.

Sitting Pretty with Venus Retrograde

Venus retrograde starts tomorrow and we are already feeling its effects. Unlike Mercury, Venus only retrogrades every 18 months, and it lasts six weeks when it does. Venus is not only the planet of love but the planet of beauty. It governs sweetheart Pisces, whose sign we are under anyway, and is profoundly creative. When this planet goes retrograde, it does not mean things associated with this sign go awry. It means they go under the microscope.

No big aesthetic or romantic moves are advised until mid-April. Marriages, engagements, cohabitation arrangements, and trysts beginning during this aspect have shaky long-term prospects, and major haircuts, clothing and home decoration purchases usually prove a disaster. (Yellow pointy boots: what was I thinking?) But Venus retrograde is a grand time to revisit long-simmering creative projects and to clear the air when it comes to matters of the heart. Exes resurface, less to reignite love affairs than to settle old scores and mend broken hearts. Any fissures in existing relationships–not just romances but intimate connections of all sorts–also come up to be mended. Significant breakthroughs in your professional practices, especially those of an artistic nature, are on the horizon, as well as the release of toxic emotional patterns. This particular V.R. begins in Aries and ends in Pisces in direct conjunction with Chiron, the wounded healer.* Aries is generally regarded as the child of the zodiac, the most boundless and self-referential energy, and Pisces is our resident old-soul, a Great Mother portal that’s as invested in kairos as in daily life. Thus we will begin by examining our relationship to ourselves and our creative practices—how we betray ourselves, how we nurture ourselves–and end by addressing our deepest wounds with others as well as our connection to the divine feminine. Bottom line: This will be a deep-feeling early spring, with passion serving as a teacher rather than a playmate. Only the softest fabrics, the sweetest scents, and the gentlest songs will do, and the palest pink is the right color to keep close.

*It’s no coincidence that Chiron is the protagonist’s name in surprise Oscar winner Moonlight. Our whole culture is undergoing a seismic shift, and though it is painful as hell, the synchronicities are awesome to behold.

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