Archive | Essays

Astro PSA: Virgo Season in a Pandemic

Isn’t it funny that Virgo season begins at the end of August, when most of us are at our absolute laziest? In fact, I’ve been so lazy that just crafting this post felt like more exertion than I could handle. But that’s exactly why we need this sign.

The hardest worker in the zodiac, Virgo can kick us into gear even when temperatures soar into the 90s and we’re in Month 6 of a pandemic. As a mutable sign, she’s hardly the OCD queen some claim her to be. It’s just that she understands Goddess is in the details, and that straight-ahead service and solicitude is at the backbone of every calling. Truly, she is the finest healer we have and admirably modest no matter how fabulous she may be. After the radical recharging—dare I say self-indulgence?—of Leo season, only the Maiden’s focus and fortitude can keep us fighting the good fight.

So I spent the day writing this, then cleaning up links and language on, and if that isn’t Virgo season work I don’t know what is. Because this sign isn’t about big, showy actions so much as the background business that is necessary to keep the world running smoothly. Virgo is the nurse of the zodiac, and we all know the best healers in hospitals are the nurses, not the rockstar surgeons. (Sorry, Meredith Grey.) Virgos attend to the smallest details to achieve the biggest changes. That’s why during this Virgo season we must register everyone to vote, inspect every polling booth, and nitpick at every official–not to mention the US postal service itself–to lay the necessary foundation for a fair election come Scorpio season. The ultimate Virgo message: Think globally, act locally. 

To refocus, recalibrate, and rev back into your own best service, book a reading; ‘tis the season! (Pictured in this video: Virgos—some admittedly controversial—whose labors of love have changed our lives.

The Love-Strength of New Moon in Leo


A new moon is rising at exactly 10:42 EST tonight. As is always the case with new moons, we won’t see it but will feel its effects—especially since it’s taking place in Leo while the Sun is in the last hours of this regal, proud sign. Trining Mars, the god of ambition, in first-and-forward Aries, this moon is about shining however you most uniquely shine, and, since we’re cusping on do-gooder Virgo, serving however you most uniquely serve.

So far 2020 has been a long, hard year of upheaval, but this lunar cycle is about self-possession, which is the opposite of the black hole of despair and narcissism. Why? Because when we possess ourselves, we connect with our true essence—what some call the soul. And guess what? Despite what you may have heard, no soul is ugly (not even Trump’!). The problem is too often we don’t connect with our souls, which results in the destructive chaos we’re now experiencing. Quite literally, it is “unbecoming,” since real beauty is the particular glow of anything or anybody united with its highest purpose of that moment. Questions to tackle during this upcoming lunar cycle: “When am I most beautiful? And how may I impart more beauty into this world?”

Tonight, go outside and ask the moon to help you manifest what you find loveliest. If you can, go to a body of water. (Even better: go to the sea.) To help manifest this beauty, I am doing special “luna” tarot readings all afternoon and evening. Because if there ever were a night to trust your heart’s desire, it‘s this one.

To schedule a reading for yourself or a loved one, book here.

Hard Times Are Just Across the Street

Bread line, 1932.

I live across the street from an elementary school.

Over the last 20 years, this has proven interesting for any number of reasons. When I was deciding whether I wanted children, the building loomed as a daily litmus test. Was I more charmed or irritated at the hours of 8am and 3pm, when I couldn’t walk a single step outside my door without tripping over a throng of grade schoolers? Did I find their neon-and-sparkle gear, their high-pitched cries and laughter, grating or poignant?

(From my child-free state, you may draw your own conclusion about my conclusion.)

On election days, sign-bearing advocates and impatient voters flock the block, adding an extra frisson to the air. And three-quarters of our neighborhood street parking usually is claimed by teachers—not that I’m complaining, of course. (Or I am, but don’t have a pot to piss in on this point.)

But now that school has been out of session since March, the building across the street has been repurposed as a food pantry, and most weekdays our neighborhood is colonized by long lines.

I’ve come to know the pantry’s administrators, have even helped out a bit, and what I’ve been learning about the “food-insecure” is that most of us have absolutely no idea who among us is really, really struggling. Especially now.

After three decades of living in this city, I recognize many of the pantry’s recipients, if only by face.

There are people whose struggles are visible, whether because they are mumbling the same phrase over and over or carrying their life’s possessions in garbage bags or flat-out wearing those bags. Then there are the baby-boomers with neatly pressed clothes and averted eyes, the old ladies wearing flowered house dresses and been-there-done-that jutting jaws. The green-haired punks who ride up on souped-up bikes, the hipsters sporting hemp backpacks, the young mothers with too-bright smiles and too-quiet children in strollers.

People of all ages, races, walks of life line up across the street, united only by the fact that they do not have enough food. By the fact that the other social services that should have been in place for a national disaster—the financial relief, the rent freezes, the affordable health care—are nowhere to be found.

So these people stand in downpours and in terrible heat, waiting for what by all rights should already be in their larder.

Upon returning from the Catskills last month, I realized that in my hasty departure I’d left behind my groceries. And that, for the first time in my life, I was so broke I myself might need to cross the street.

I wouldn’t have been ashamed to do it, but would have felt ridiculously guilty. That, with my excellent education and personal resources, I should not have reached that point. Which is to say: I would have felt as every other struggling American is made to feel. That my deficits stemmed from personal failures rather than public ones.

Black Panther Free Food Program recipients, 1968

Between kind donations and a new insurgence of clients, I circumvented the need for the pantry that week. But I know it’s there, and am both relieved that it is and sad that it has to be.

It’s 7:44 am as I write this, and mawing on oatmeal at my front window, I can see that across the street people are already stationing outside the pantry door. From my heart I send each and every one the hug I no longer can physically bestow.

These are not necessarily end times, but these are very hard times. The bad old days are here again, and the new dystopia is now.

Pray–and protest!–for us all.

Donate here to the NYC food bank. And if you like what you’re reading, donations are gratefully received on behalf of this blog as well.

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