August 05th, 2017

My New eBook Skywriter: Notes on Modern Astrology Is Ready to Download Today!

“Frederick Woodruff is a lucid thinker and a bad-ass wit, qualities one doesn’t see often in astrological writing. But this guy breaks the mold. He is a gimlet-eyed observer of contemporary culture, with an intelligence that is grounded in erudition and spiritual sophistication. His writing never fails to surprise, to delight and to teach.”

— Jessica Murray, author of Soul-Sick Nation and At the Crossroads

When I launched AstroInquiry ten years ago I took an aim that I would create content that had substance, offered insights and had meat on the bone.

If you’re a reader who has grown bored with the vague, go-nowhere nature of most astrological scribing — New Age jargon cloaked in astrological cliches — then my new book — a collection of some of the most popular essays from AstroInquiry, will interest you.

• Would you like a better understanding of Mercury retrograde — both the astronomical phenomenon and the astrological interpretations of this annual event? Then you’ll enjoy the chapter The Truth About Mercury Retrograde. Find new ways to harness the rich imaginal realm within your unconscious, images that are heightened during the Mercury retrograde cycle. Who cares about lost car keys when the heart of your creative nature beckons?

• How about love? Without question, relationships — especially romance-based — offer great potential for psychological maturity. To understand love is to foster compassion and generosity as well as the excitement of deeper intimacy and sexual communion. You’ll find much to explore in the chapter Secrets of the Heart: Love is an Action Not A Feeling. The chapter opens with one of Rumi’s most beguiling poems and then moves forward from that literary close reading into the mysteries of human relating. A must for the intrepid Hero and Heroine of the Heart.

• What about Death? Not an easy topic to broach — especially within the loud buzz of modern Western culture. But with Pluto’s ongoing transit through the most body-centric sign of the Zodiac — Capricorn — there is tremendous pressure on the psyche to integrate a more realistic attitude towards death. To see death as part and parcel life and as a gateway into the Timeless dimension that is now. Never has the Thanatos drive been so emphatic, so unmissable. My article Death is the New Black explores the above themes from several different angles — not simply the astrological.

• Are you an astrologer and you’d like to learn how to write about the subject? Your own book or blog posts or articles for publication? Then my how-to guide How To Write About Astrology (or Not) is a must. You’ll find key pointers for making yourself a better writer (and astrologer) in this essay.

I’ve also included articles that fall outside of the astrological realm, essays that offer ways to become more creative amidst the distraction of smart phones and social media.

• After doing years of research for my upcoming book: Signs of Like: The Astrology of Facebook, I offer key tricks and experiments for you to play with to Make Facebook Your Slave. I suggest ways to avoid the social network’s distraction-making pull by using time on the network to support your own creative projects. Yes, the title of the article is exaggerated, but I consider it fair play. I mean, we all work for Facebook, generating content daily — and we’re paid nothing save for use of their network and having all of our personal data gathered up, chopped and diced and sold to the highest bidder. Doesn’t seem like an equal exchange, does it?

Order your copy now! Skywriter will arive immediaately via email.
 

 

 



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Filed Under: Astrology and Frederick Woodruff
July 25th, 2017

Hey Brother, Can You Spare a Like?

“I want a life in which people are not asked to work for free—by people who can totally afford to pay.” –Revola

The Hunger Games captured our imagination because everyone watching the film was thinking, somewhere in the cellar of his unconscious: “Jesus, that could be me.”

Such is the economic climate of the times. Especially for creative souls — which is to say all of us, because we all create something in order to survive.

Unlike Katniss, artists have been slowly inculcated — over the past twenty years — to fight for eyeballs, the Internet culture’s new currency: ‘Likes’, ‘followers’, clicks.

What would have passed as a simple ‘help wanted’ query ten years ago — listing a job description and how much you’d be paid — is now a promise that if you work for free perhaps a lot of people will see what you are doing and ‘like’ your Facebook page.

Up-and-coming actress Paris Berelc could only compete for a recent audtion after she confirmed to the producers that she had over 1-million followers on Instagram.

And no one’s exempt, not even acrobats. Force of nature Rovela answered a call for talent from Oprah and balked when she was told she’d be paid with ‘exposure.’ “Fuck that,” she declared (sorta), on her blog, to much fanfare and clicking on the Internet. Read more



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Filed Under: Kulture and Technology
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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Filed Under: Astrology

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