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Faith and Light on the Winter Solstice

December 21 is Winter Solstice, the longest night pierced by the brightest light. To me, this is truly the most magical day of the year, a sacred gateway, for to find our way out of such looming darkness we must summon and share extraordinary power. Miracles, in fact. I’m talking about the faith that we can create something from nothing. Matter from energy. Immaculate birth. An oil that burns for eight days. The faith that love can subsume even the darkest nights of the soul—and Omicron.

Here, at this turning point of the year and of our country, on this hardest and holiest of days, we are in dire need of such faith. We must listen, we must light, and we must love. Sending everything in my heart

Get a one-time-only solstice reading tomorrow. Designed to banish your shadows and activate your strengths, we will draw on astrology, a specially designed tarot spread and ritual to help ignite your unique light in this long night of the soul. Book a session for yourself or gift one to another here.

Rest in Pleasure, Eve Babitz: 1943-2021

Just found out essayist Eve Babitz died yesterday. Her singular, obstinate sensuality formed me like no other. I’m beyond bereft.

To people in the know, Eve Babitz was the West Coast It Girl of the 1960s and ’70s. Born in May 1943, she marshaled Taurus’ practical magic from the start: Igor Stravinsky was her godfather and Greta Garbo, Bertrand Russell, and Charlie Chaplin, her family friends. A self-proclaimed “groupie-adventuress,” she designed album covers for Linda Ronstadt, the Byrds, and Buffalo Springfield, befriended everyone from Frank Zappa to Salvador Dali, and counted Steve Martin, Jim Morrison, Harrison Ford, and Annie Lebowitz among her many lovers. She was the nude girl in that famous photograph of Marcel DuChamp playing chess, and an extra in Godfather II because, well–why not? But it was as a writer that she shined brightest.

Babitz was living proof that muses could be the sharpest tacks in the room. Her writing was so lush and lean that she made us believe lush and lean were not mutually exclusive. Only Eve could inspire you to buy seven caftans and all the ingredients of a tequila sunrise after reading 10 pages of her book. The cocaine and caviar were optional.

I first discovered Babitz at age 9. Prowling a yard sale, I found a dog-eared copy of her Slow Days Fast Company, and devoured it without grasping a quarter of the references. (Poppers? Ménage à trois? It all sounded delicious.) Her well-read, half-bred, doggedly unwed perceptions imprinted on me, though. Like me, she had a gorgeous shiksa mother and a brainy Jewish dad and like me she rejected “niceness” on the grounds that it precluded too much pleasure and too many good points.

She was my kind of Eve.

Babitz’s languid self-enchantment and self-reckoning taught me to value my own delight. It’s not that she didn’t value beauty–she worshipped it–but she had no patience for arranging herself to satisfy another’s gaze. In recent years, she’d become more of a recluse but her stubborn magic continued to find self-proclaimed goddaughters like myself. Girls who didn’t want to be chicks so much as broads, girls who wanted to befriend the people they bedded, not wed them. Her words will forever evoke a paradise found, and her faith in authentic pleasure will endure as a treasure map to our own.

Please yourself today in the name of Lady Eve.

Bye Bye, Burger

This could very well be the last hamburger I ever eat. Ever since my teen years, even when otherwise a vegan, I’ve had a burger once a month—and you know what time of the month I’m talking about. My menopause dovetailed with the pandemic—nothing like a hormonal shitstorm in an incubation tank—so this is the first burger I’ve needed in months. I celebrated with a whiskey and the premiere of And Just Like That, which leans as hard into the beautiful melancholy of middle age as I do.

I never thought I’d mourn menstruation but over the years I grew grateful for its regulated highs and lows, for a clock and calendar that was my very own. Bidding farewell to my period is bidding farewell to youth, once and for all. And that is proving way harder than I thought, because mortality has never loomed larger. (We’ve all been experiencing that lately.) I send every other middle-aged broad a bite of this burger. We fucking earned it just by sticking around in a world that rarely recognizes how beautiful we are.

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