Ask astrologer Nick Dagan Best what school of astrology he practices and he will answer: “Astrology.”
His pointed, slightly sardonic response is echoed in his list of must-read books for beginning astrologers. When I requested recommendations for our interview, he offered, right at the number 1 spot: “The ephemeris — any version.” Because, as he explained: “It is the combined biography of billions of souls.”
And Nick oughta know. He has a reputation within the astro community for being a ‘human ephemeris’. Though, as he told me when we met for some libations and philosophizing recently, “I still don’t have Mercury and the Moon entirely down pat yet.” (“Jesus, I’m still trying to recall what sign Mars is transiting right now,” I thought to myself.)
Name an event from history and Best will tell you where Saturn and Jupiter were positioned and if Venus or Mars were retrograde or not on that date. This happened throughout the evening as we discussed the birth charts and defining moments (and the retrogrades that accompanied them) of Miles Davis, Alfred Hitchcock and J. Edgar Hoover. Dotted throughout with tidbits about the history of the United States and the planet Uranus (the subject of his new book) and the revelation that Joni Mitchell always referred to her favorite white Mercedes as her “baby” and, of course, where the planets were the night her “baby” was stolen. Read more
“Real seriousness in regard to writing is one of two absolute necessities.
The other, unfortunately, is talent.” –Ernest Hemingway
The internet has fostered the madcap idea that — given the collapse of print publishing and the world of editors and agents — everyone should be writing. Something.
Or recording music.
Or painting. Drawing. Doodling.
But — uh oh — so many can’t.
Years ago the author Toni Morrison exclaimed to whomever (whoever?) was listening that everyone in the world had a book inside of him (or her) that was just waiting to be written. Uhm, checkmate! Another author, the gadfly Fran Liebowitz, interrupted Ms. Morrison and said: “This may be true, but please don’t write it.” Read more
“Is not every civilization bound to decay as it begins to penetrate the masses?” –Michael Rostovtzeff
Did you ever stop to think about where fortune cookies are created?
Picture a fortune cookie factory. Naturally, there’s the cookie-making division and then, too, there’s a crew that writes the fortunes.
Now, imagine a fortune cookie factory calamity.
Let’s say that the fortune scribes become confused and all of the cookie scripture gets blended together, willy nilly, into streams of nonsense that form an infinitely long strip of paper that stretches from here to Pluto.
That endless ticker tape of gibberish is the equivalent of the massive amount of babble that passes for writing (or talking) on a majority of blogs and websites dedicated to astrology. Gigs of bandwidth are gobbled — eyeballs scan and scrape — but very little of import or relevance is ever composed, ever consumed.
Consider Google Trends, a service of the search engine where you can choose a topic, enter it into their data mine and see for yourself how interest in astrology has declined over the past fifteen years. (And is projected to continue its glide towards the bottom in the years ahead.)
This is not because astrology has become less interesting as a subject. No, as any professional astrologer will tell you, there has never been a better time to be an astrologer or become interested in the craft, especially as the research and published discoveries of the traditional school dovetail into the psychological and spiritual ethos of modern astrology.
No, the problem, as related to the internet, is threefold: Read more
The principle purpose of this post isn’t going to be about what you think it’s going to be about.
You read the word imagination in the title, but actually I’m going to talk about the word in a different way.
And so this little exchange will be a good example of how the mind works when Mercury is retrograde. Or rather what we see about the nature of our habitual mind and the way it works. Which is usually predictable and reactive — thinking but not really understanding.
Mercury retrogrades are a fortuitous time to foster understanding, because the power of the mind is more potent, more engaged and present. In fact, compared to its normal rhythm, the mind is liable to feel overloaded with Mercurial quicksilver.
So what I’m talking about here is this:
You read a word, it triggers an association but it’s the wrong association. The impulse travels along an old, worn groove in your brain, but it’s not the right groove. You end up where you didn’t expect to end up.
And this is why when clients talk to me about how to best align with Mercury retrograde I advise: “Pay attention, things won’t be what you think they are going to be.” Meaning, your old way of seeing everything in the same familiar way is unplugged right now. Read more