July 08th, 2017

Turn Off, Tune Out and Drop In

“Karma is not produced so much by a wrong kind of action as by the type of action which derives from a refusal to perform creative acts, when the need for them had come.” — Dane Rudhyar

 

Since Trump’s election, the majority of my clients feel agitated, hopeless or haunted by a fuzzy, low-grade anxiety. To say that’s understandable is a whopping understatement.

My initial response: “Turn off, tune out and drop in.” This is a distorted variation of Timothy Leary‘s defining counterculture-era phrase from the 60s: “Turn on, tune in, drop out”

And here’s what I mean:

I no longer hound dog the news, not because I’m in denial, but the ongoing clusterfuck is too incestuous, too convoluted to unravel amidst the coming-at-you-every-five-minutes barrage of infoglut. It would take every iota of my psychic force to gain a sliver of objective truth — and I’ve other shit I want to do.

But this obsessive entanglement is what ensnares most folks: Once online their nervous system is tweaked, twanged and poked — like a cyber-driven form of Chinese water torture. And there’s a method to the madness.

Big media is complicit with Trump in myriad tacit ways. Trump is the grift that keeps on giving. As some internet advertising maven said once: “Anger makes people click.” Within our carnival culture, clicking means money.

Trump is one of the angriest human beings on earth (natal Mars in Leo is conjunct a Leo ascendant — translated: righteous anger stoked by entitlement and a hybrid form of narcissism that has yet to be properly diagnosed).

And Americans are some of the angriest people on the planet. They are also — in the era of the homogenous online ‘hive mind’ — desperate for acknowledgment, for some sense of being a unique individual — so it’s a great match. People get the president they deserve or at the very least the president that mirrors their shadow.

My favorite form of self-torture is to trawl the comments section of any article I come across online. This is akin to flipping the lid up on the American Id.

Should the comments sections be uncensored, like, on Youtube, then — OMG — turn back! Or brace to be soaked in our culture’s kookoo watering hole. The Internet has unleashed a Pandora’s pox of rage and spread it virally into everyone’s home (and head). Historically this is unprecedented. But take heart. Amidst the horrors there are opportunities. Attached to ‘full exposure’ is the potential for full illumination.

I do occasionally check in with three websites. Democracy Now, The Intercept (though I wish Glenn Greenwald had a mean editor) and a new site I’m loving, The Outline (kind of like a non-puerile Gawker with political undertones and smart sardonic reporting). Those three sites give me enough info to have a cursory idea of the State of the Nation.

And then I get on with living.

The Shadow Knows

The mechanism of psychological projection works like this: The unconscious conjures an image related to some unsavory quality within the self and projects that image onto someone (or some condition, political party or ethnic group.) An adversarial relationship is established. The only way free from this position is through recollection. Reabsorption of the projection.

Projections are weird because usually — intermixed with the projection — is a lot of energy, passion and force. So when that’s blasted out and lands on someone or something outside, a huge chunk of one’s vitality is lost too.

Self-inquiry facilitates dissolving — the realization that the projection is coming from inside one’s own home.

After that insight, you can go to work on recollecting. Owning the projection to regain access to the psychic force that went missing. This is what maturation is all about. But with a Trickster like Trump at the helm, it’s doubly difficult to pause, evaluate and reclaim. But this is a necessary discipline should you wish to drop in on what you’re interested in creating in life.

Which is really the point of this post. If you feel you want to do something more than react, rant and re-post articles from the New York Times about Trump’s latest outrage, well, start recollecting. That method allows you to turn off and tune out. You’ve made a clean break. Now you can DROP IN.

When a projection is owned, the rearrangement within the psyche creates a blank spot or hole within the fabric of one’s familiar sense of self. This hole can act as a sort of portal into whatever you’re wishing to align with or do or create in your life.

The quirky thing about projections: Not only does the projection rob you of vital force it acts as a distraction — a way to avoid engaging with life because, well, “I’ve got so many fucking things I want to complain about!”

When the complaining stops what do you do?

Drop into the hole and see where the portal leads you. If you need assistance book a session with me and we’ll work it through.

You don’t need to have all the specifics about what it is you’ll be involved with (or maybe you do — maybe you want to take to the streets and protest, run for political office or just clean out your garage — it doesn’t matter.) What matters is that you’ve regained the drive for doing whatever. You’ve dropped into your life and out of the swirling, distracting miasma of Trumplandia.

Good luck!
 

 

Opening artwork, Cora, by the amazing Andy Gilmore. Order your copy here.



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Filed Under: Creativity and Depth Psychology
June 29th, 2017

Mid-2017: Songs for the New Secession

It’s mid-year. How in the hell did that happen? (Time — the revelator).

As I noted last year I haven’t had the time to compile music for a proper mix on Mixcloud. I miss doing that as the process is actually meditative but — well, here’s a bunch of tunes on Spotify. I’ve been spinning this collection since the dawn of 2017. There are some rhyme and reasons to the order and flow — though a lot of serendipity too.

Enjoy.

 

 

Opening graphic: Toilet Paper, vol. 12 cover by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari.


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Filed Under: Cosmix and Music
April 30th, 2017

Why Astrologers Need to Study Wittgenstein

Paul Horwich, in a long NY Times essay wrote:

“The singular achievement of the controversial early 20th century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was to have discerned the true nature of Western philosophy — what is special about its problems, where they come from, how they should and should not be addressed, and what can and cannot be accomplished by grappling with them. The uniquely insightful answers provided to these meta-questions are what give his treatments of specific issues within the subject — concerning language, experience, knowledge, mathematics, art and religion among them — a power of illumination that cannot be found in the work of others.”

Wittgenstein isn’t an easy immersion, but he’s worth your effort because the more you study his philosophy — which was actually, in spots, more akin to mysticism — the more freedom you might gain as an astrologer.

Like the closet mystic Carl Jung, Wittgenstein knew how to couch his propositions to pass the scrutiny of his peers (well, except for his mentor Bertrand Russell who he drove to fury by disregarding traditional formulations of logic.)

And because of this sketchy dance, between chilly logic and the nimbus of mysticism, I find Wittgenstein to be the most satisfying of linguistic rebels. His mix of the effable with the ineffable mirrors in a direct way how human beings toil with making sense (or a muddle) of astrology. Read more



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March 15th, 2017

Outer Planet Transits & Nostalgia for Samsara

“The earth is littered with the ruins of empires that believed they were eternal.” —Camille Paglia

Dead men walking. Women marching. Alternative facts. Reality show presidents. Anti-Christ-Palooza. Terrorists and Tiaras. Bitcoin. Gold coins. NSA. GMOs. WTF.

Signs, symbols, and Zeitgeist stingers. Time traveling omens from Armageddon are the stock and trade of our modern day narrative. The stories and anxieties we lay down and fret about until the Ambien kicks in.

Doom tales monopolize our inner landscape because speeding up to the end means a new beginning is just around the corner. Or over the cliff. That’s one theory. The catch, of course, is the way we resist other narratives. It’s wise now to think beyond the parameters of being a garden-variety human being.

This is the nut of the ‘message’ from the ongoing transits of Neptune and Pluto through the closing section of the zodiac, while Uranus in short fuse Aries keeps broadcasting, “Come on! Speed it up. (Or blow it up). Hurry! Go faster (and furiously.)”

When food, money, energy and optimism are scarce we become attached to whatever sort of hoard (be it our meager amount in savings or the way Plutocrats hog all the wealth and investments in their seemingly exempt world) we’ve come to associate with as a means to see us through to the new phase. Or at the meanest level, it’s outsiders who are closing in on our turf — and must be turned away.

So we’re looping right now. Sort of like the routine animals demonstrate before being eaten by a predator. You’ve probably seen videos like this on those nature shows you watch on Youtube. The prey runs around and around in a hysterical circle before the killing bite is administered by the predator. Right?

This entire article is included in the new book Electric Universe: Signs, Signals & Spells. Order below!

For the past ten years, Frederick Woodruff’s AstroInquiry has become the ‘go-to’ spot for readers in search of illuminating commentary on astrology, popular culture, spirituality and the pitfalls of New Age charlatanism.

Woodruff’s 40-year career as a professional astrologer, artist, and pop-culture critic have honed a perspicacious writer who doesn‘t pull punches as he explores radical new views on astrology, the shortcomings of New Age magical thinking and the precarious minefield that dots our tech-obsessed cultural landscape.

Thankfully, he’s funny and also keen on suggesting creative ways forward for everyone.

And now there’s an e-book that collects Woodruff’s most popular and provocative articles into one comprehensive and engaging book. You won’t want to miss any of them!

This volume includes:

• The Truth About Mercury Retrograde
• Planetary Ennui: The Nostalgia for Samsara and the Outer Planets
• How To Make Facebook Your Slave and Preserve Your Creative Drive
• The Power, Beauty, and Wonder of the Horoscope’s 12th House
• Imbeciles at the Gate: How The Internet Destroys Astrology
• How To Escape From the Torture of Self-Help Hell
• Depression and the Solar Consciousness
• Secrets of the Heart: Love is an Action Not A Feeling
• Create Your Own Archetype & Call It You: An Escape from Evolutionary Astrology
• Redefining the Oxymoron of Sex and Marriage
• Death is the New Black
• How To Write About Astrology (Especially How Not To)
• Astrology, Ants, Hives, Essence, and Types: A Gurdjieffian View
• Final Notes About the Life-and-Culture-Changing Uranus-Pluto Square

Order your copy now!

 

 

 



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November 13th, 2016

American Dada: Some Suggestions to Consider

trump_tower

Who could possibly want to read another take-apart or close reading of the 2016 presidential election? Not me. And yet…

Rather than opinionate I’ve tried to cull some out-of-the-loop views to consider, punctuated with some random insights. So I’ll just toss these out there like bird seed. Peck at what you like and leave the rest. And if you skip the whole thing, well, who could blame you?

The nature of reality is that it will not be cornered or tracked or predicted; in the same way that a dream you have at night — free from your ego’s edits and preferences — is a wild card narrative unfurling beneath your closed eyes. Reality and dream — only our waking state appears to separate them.

The Internet has taken the entire contents of the collective unconsciousness and the savage qualities of the id, and placed the amalgam at our beck and call, on phones and monitors across the globe. This is a form of dream overload.

Anytime you have a screen of any sort (be it your iPhone’s or your desktop computer’s) you’ll have a projected dream moving across it, right there in front of your face. And we have been trained for this response; first by cinema and then by television — though now we are participants, content creators, Tweeters, bloviators, in the dream narrative that shimmies and glows everywhere on our devices.

We are tethered to them in a symbiotic loop cycle, always tapping and poking the images and the data forward. Everywhere I go now it’s people shuffling about with their heads tilted down and scanning, scanning, scanning their phones for the latest tidbit or section from the collective dream field.

The dream bubble most liberals and Democrats floated within depicted a new world, with the first female president and all that was wonderful with a Clintonian dynasty redux. And the dream bubble of the GOP and its advocates was, of course, completely polarized from the other. The dynamism of life is continually oscillating and pulling the rug out from us — it just burns more when we’re the particular group experiencing the yanking. The collective dream field of the two factions never allowed for intersection or integration — the victor of this malfunction was Trump. And so here we are.

• A good way to actually integrate your experience of the past week is to view the entire event as a happening within a dream narrative. Imagine you went to bed and had this particular dream. What does it tell you about yourself? I don’t mean this to be a navel-gazing experiment, but an actual process of gaining insight to shadow parts of the psyche. Why? Because most of that regressed material is usually projected out onto what is perceived as the enemy or the tyrant or the monster or ogre — and, wow, with The Donald, we seem to be getting the entire package of horrors. Or are we?

What if our projections actually feed into the monstrous narrative that we’re terrified of? What if like Dave Chappelle offered in his opening monolouge on SNL, we gave Trump a chance, wished him luck and waited a bit to see if he can do a good job? How hubristic is it to assume we know exactly what’s to come (and many of us are acting that way)? It’s sort of embarassing, especially after what you’d think would be the humbling aftereffects of the election.

What if you settled into the notion that Trump is a human being like you are, with a heart, and longings, and wishes — a complex psychological history that feeds into his fear of being a failure and doing a bad job? Can’t we all relate to these qualities? What would happen I wonder if we each held this upcoming period in abeyance, supported by good wishes? I’ve been playing with this notion when I wake up in the morning and feel as tho someone has stomped on my head. It’s an interesting experiment in thought projection. Play around with it.

• “Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information.” — Kurt Vonnegut

Here’s a ‘real’ world issue: The endless glut of news and opinion that’s vomited out of computer monitors worldwide has eroded our ability to think for ourselves.

To attempt to manage and metabolize the spew of data, updates, breaking stories, scandals, Wiki dumps, investigative exposes isn’t humanly possible. In fact, it’s fucking crazy-making.

Worse is the inability to know what is factual and what is fiction. This later predicament has grown exponentially throughout the year. And social media is the main culprit.

Forty-four percent of Americans get their news from Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center, filling a void left by the declining ranks of newspapers. By comparison, only 2 in 10 U.S. adults get news from print newspapers today. Facebook vets nothing and Mark Zuckerberg is groaningly disingenuous when he said: “Voters make decisions based on their lived experience.” Right, Mark. And many people are actually living their online life locked completely within Facebook’s echo chamber and gated community.

• Something I’ve suggested to a lot of friends and folks writing to me since Election Day: Round up a copy of the Masterpiece Theater miniseries I Claudius. (Or search for the production on Youtube, I think the entire series is posted up there.)

Situations like the ascendancy of Donald Trump have occurred since the dawn of time, in various permutations — though the 1976 mini-series based on Robert Graves‘s book, gives you a decidedly Western version of the wild ruptures within politics: The backroom games, shadow government, the Mafia-like forces that corrupt and poison, the descent of greatness and ascent of madness.

Much of this has to do with what Nietzsche wrote: “Insanity in individuals is something rare — but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.” The point being, grasping the concept that when it comes to mobs of people very little ever changes. Individuals have opportunities to evolve, but socio-cultural evolution is glacial at best. I Claudius demonstrates that ‘interesting times’ are always happening. Yes, some phases are more devastating than others, but always this predicament haunts human beings attempting to govern themselves. We are incredibly slow learners. We need to face that. Read more



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