Archive | Essays

The Church of Aretha and Apple Music

I wake, tears slipping down my face because of yesterday’s disappointment, love lost before it could be found. But also: spinal discs slipping back into place, master healers having manipulated muscle and tissue as I submitted to magic sleep.

I feel better and worse–the human condition, don’t you know.

My heart aches: The sadness of not being held by someone I’d hoped could handle my rawest and shiniest states. Fear about my health and ragged humanity, all our future. Rage about ego, all that ego, run amok. Grace gone when we get afraid.

My heart soars: Hope and her sweet and sundry ways. Coffee, blue divan, the sun’s glorious ascent from my small city window. I turn on music and let the shuffle gods sermonize as I take their holy-holy communion. Continue Reading →

This Side of the Snow, This Side of the Haze

All stories end in death if you want to tell the truth.–David Simon

I’m afraid of endings, always have been. I am not alone in this fear, of course; many of us fear endings. Not just death but departures, demises, denouements–the invariable deflation of crossing a finish line. But my fear is acute, to the point that I privately view success as dangerous, possibly even fatal, because it will end life as I know it. (Glamourously underachieving is pretty core to my current existence.)

I’ve had so much time to acknowledge this fear since last month’s hunter’s full moon, which was the night my back went out. A catalog of the reasons why it did: loose joints; a rigorous, not entirely mindful exercise practice; shame about my middle-aged midriff; the 10-year anniversary of an acute neck and back injury.

All those contributing factors are real. But if there weren’t a deeper reason, I think I’d be better by now. After all, my list of treatments reads like a 1970s self-help saga: I’ve done acupuncture, astrological readings, Alexander Technique, reiki, physical therapy, and so many herbs and homeopathics. (I”m not really a painkiller girl except for the occasional whiskey.) I’ve meditated, prayed, danced under the light of the (next) full moon. And it’s all helped. Continue Reading →

Astro PSA: Mercury Retrograde in Scorpio

This retrograde is heavy, haunted pizza.

Mercury goes retrograde in Scorpio today, and the usual caveats apply. Back up your electronics, buy travel insurance, don’t sign on any dotted lines. But the truth, as I labor to remind myself, is this astrological aspect gets a bad rap. Really, it’s just an invitation to reflect on our lives and go deeper. Only when we fail to RSVP does it get forceful–AKA bust up the telecommunication and travel devices that keep us distracted.

This particular retrograde–which really doesn’t end until the end of old-soul November (11/20 officially)–is taking place in Scorpio, which confronts shadows and buried secrets, and begins on the eve of Samhain, which celebrates the end of harvest and temporarily banishes all binaries–including the one separating the dead from the living. During this month, expect ancestors from the other side, old pals, and lovers to show up, and a lot of unfinished business to be sealed and healed. Scorpio will go to any lengths to induce us to better express our true lives and light, and this retrograde will stop us in our tracks until we do.

In the interest of full transparency, I’ll admit I’ve already sustained a Mercury retrograde injury–a sprained back and broken toe from walking four miles in heels that I thought made me look fierce after someone was unkind about my appearance. Talk about getting stopped in my tracks, oy vey.

The heavens are asking me to heavy lifting around vanity and shame (two sides of the same coin). So as I ice my back and practice deeper self-love and compassion–this shit is fucking painful right now– I invite you to strap on your combat boots and coziest sweater and embrace whatever kerfuffle comes your way. This month is going to show us what we don’t need anymore. Better yet, it’s going to show us what to reclaim–starting with our highest selves.

Get in touch to schedule a reading during this powerful period of reflection. And feel free to send meals and magical carrier pigeons while I’m still laid up. We’re all on this retrograde raft together.

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