Back in Book, Back in Book

Do you remember that scene in All of Me when Steve Martin is trying to convince Richard Libertini as Prahka Lasa to put Lily Tomlin’s spirit back into a bowl? BACK IN BOWL, BACK IN BOWL, the two men kept shouting. In retrospect, the depiction of an Indian mystic by an Italian-American was irrevocably offensive but in 1984 we all just laughed uproariously at the portrayal, coached as it was by the great Carl Reiner. Well. Today, I can’t get that scene out of my head. Because I’m in my writers space for the first time in three weeks–a lot went down that I still haven’t been able to bring myself to describe here; Mercury Retrograde in space-age Pisces is addling me like there’s no tomorrow (literally)—and I just keep hearing a variation of that phrase in the same (totally offensive) intonation: BACK IN BOOK, BACK IN BOOK. Send light and whiskey; I’ll send it right back to anyone who can bear it.

What Becomes a Good Man Most?

This is a real, not disingenuous question: What are the qualities traditionally associated with masculinity that are undeniably constructive? Toxic masculinity is finally being called out. (To the astrologists among us, this may be a result of hyper-masculine Aries being in Uranus, the shit-stirrer, for the last seven years.) But it makes me realize that we’ve been in a “boy, not man” moment for a while. Insensitivity, acquisitiveness, hyper-aggression, and stunted entitlement have continued to reign supreme–namely the negative, unevolved traits associated with masculinity. But rare are the the self-sufficiency, determination, solicitousness, and impeccability by one’s word that once were associated with “real men.” Or were they?

Given that every balanced person channels both feminine and masculine energy (gender restrictions being a plague across the board), what are the qualities associated with masculinity that we need to cultivate personally and collectively, regardless of our gender presentation? Goddess knows I had to find my inner butch once I was on my own and had to set up computers and wi-fi, fix radiators and toilets, even build shelves. Only then did I realize that I’d always expected people who identified as male and/or masculine to do such things. Now I am working mightily to channel more positive masculinity in myself and in my friends, lovers, community–more “make it happen, captain” Jupiter energy. Because I’ve gone as far as I can with radical receptivity and swallowed as much toxic masculinity as I ever want to swallow (pun intended, always). It’s time to integrate powerful, positive proactivity–bold and well-intentioned “asks”–into the protocol. But first I have to figure out what divine masculinity actually is. And must personality traits be gendered at all? It’s a clusterfuck of questions, but one I feel compelled to tackle. With healing Chiron in Aries and contemplative Mercury Retrograde in Pisces, it’s the time to do so and please chime in. It’s all about the yin and yang, baby.

Mercury Retrograde’s Waterworks

As I write this, I am sobbing uncontrollably because I just rewatched The Best Holiday, which doesn’t get its due as the best weepie of the decade so far. I was moved to watch it because–drum roll please!–Mercury goes retrograde in Pisces today, where it will remain until the 28th. All the usual caveats apply–back up your electronics, buy travel insurance, postpone signing on dotted lines. Since Pisces is ruled by Neptune, the master of illusions and delusions, be patient with miscommunications and confusion of all sorts. But wait, there’s more. With this retrograde taking place in the planet of intuition and deep feelings, we’re all going to be ultra-emotional, especially as tomorrow’s new moon is also in Pisces and Mercury is conjuncting with Chiron, which governs healing and past pain. Kittens, everything’s going to hit us like a ton of bricks. Our soft underbellies will be revealed.

You know what? It’s going to be great, because where ever Mercury drops anchor, we get a crash course in how we communicate in that area of our lives. So we’re all going to get better at expressing our feelings, and learn how to move forward with our hearts,

Fillettes se promenant by Édouard Vuillard

not just our heads.

Expect long-delayed conversations with lovers, friends, and family members with whom you have a block. Expect to cry a lot. And expect truly transcendent moments of connection and love when you least expect it. Pisces always brings heart magic, and who doesn’t need more of that?

If you’ve been thinking of scheduling an intuition reading, this is a great time to do so. Mercury retrograde forces us to dig deep, and with Pisces running the show, such soul work can be amazing.

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