As of today, I have shifted my writing endeavors from my website AstroInquiry to the WOODRUFF newsletter on Substack.
Now that the changeover is official I’ll admit I’m a little bit verklempt. IÂ mean, I’ve been publishing regularly on AstroInquiry for close to fifteen years and a good many of my regular readers have become clients, folks who have worked with me for years.
But situations change. Or as Cyndi Lauper once sang: “Money changes everything.”
Why did this happen?
The old days of EVERYTHING ON THE INTERNET IS FREE are over.
Writing on the Substack platform simplifies lifeâ€”it makes delivering and receiving compensation easy.
The great thing about Substack is that it’s easy to set up a paid subscription, and thenâ€”BOOMâ€”you’re done. New articles from me will appear in your mailbox while you sleep. It’ll be like getting periodic telepathic messages from meâ€”strange and fun and elegant.
What do you get as a paid subscriber to WOODRUFF?
If you donâ€™t want to become a paid subscriber thatâ€™s cool. You can still sign up for a free subscription and stay on board for my infrequent public postsâ€”smart content youâ€™ll still enjoy. All are welcome!
Whatâ€™s so great about Substack?
Substack is the epitome of Zen. Itâ€™s simple, quiet, and exists within lots of soothing white space. Itâ€™s the futureâ€”now.
No pop-ups, no advertising banners, no requests to turn off your adblocker, no videos that start playing automatically, no warnings about tracking and potential Malware invasions. Substack is what the Internet experience would be like if gigantic corporate search engines and social media networks hadnâ€™t gobbled up all ad revenue on the planet forcing websites and blogs to turn feral as they try to survive online.
So thatâ€™s it for now. Thank you to each of my longtime readers and newfound friends, I’ve enjoyed creating engaging content for you over the years. And goddess knows I’ll keep producing new material for you for another fifteen–and get paid in the process too!
Why not take a look around and see whatâ€™s been happening on WOODRUFF during the last couple of months. Or if you’re not subscribed already you can do so right now below.
Many years ago, after moving to Seattle, I decided I never wanted to work for anyone again in my life. So I took a job with a gigantic telephone psychic network, a cultural trend that was incredibly popular at the time. Dionne Warwick’s manager, when I talked to her years later, told me that Dionne made more money from her psychic friends gig than her career as a popular recording artist.
So, yeah, it was another job, but it was a job where I set my hours and hung up on anyone I didn’t like talking to (which was rare, as just about every caller I interacted with was fascinating or at the very least open to some kind of alternative intervention in his or her life).
Anyway, about a year into the job I knew I was in the middle of something extraordinary and strange. And so I wrote a book about it, got an agent and a publisher and, well, I just recently got the rights back to my book and so here it is again, for a new phase of electronic transmission â€“ as an ebook.
The stories in Secrets of a Telephone Psychic are true. Although you won’t believe some of them when you read them. As most of you know, under the guise of anonymity human beings will reveal themselves in ways you’d never imagine possible in a personal exchange. Technology has given the Id free reign (and a voice).
And these revelations were the most fascinating (but sometimes unnerving) aspect of working as a telephone oracle, where only the voice and ears and the ticking timer are your tools of the trade. Well, also horoscopes and tarot cards, but oddly divinatory methods didn’t figure as prominently as talking â€“ and listening. Just look at Freud, he established the entire realm of psychotherapy upon his talking cure.
I’m happy to see my book back into the light of day. I know you’ll enjoy it.
Yesterday public television in SeattleÂ celebrated their decade-long relationship with the just-deceased self-help writer Wayne Dyer, and to honor the author the station was replaying one of his final talks.
The theme of his presentation alludes me; it was something about Five Steps to Something or Other, the secrets of which were contained in his new book, which was touted tastefully throughout his talk.
I decided to give the show a try, despite the fact that I’ve a strong aversion to listening to other people talk or write about â€˜howâ€™ life should be lived or experienced.
Prior to the advent of the Internet, this phenomenon of people giving advice about living was always buzzing in the background of life, but not in the omnipresent way it does now.
The Net has mutated what used to be a semi-contained industry (the self-help, how-to world) into a bacchanalia of yapping gurus andÂ guides — billions of bromides pinging back and forth across blogs, YouTube and social media every hour.
The world, as the Net depicts it, is divided into distinct camps: Those with electronic devices doing nothing. And those doing nothing but writing or talking about doing stuff and then selling that information on an electronic device to people that aren’t doing anything.
â€¢ The Truth About Mercury Retrograde
â€¢ Planetary Ennui: The Nostalgia for Samsara
â€¢ How To Make Facebook Your Slave and Preserve Your Creative Drive
â€¢ The Power, Beauty, and Wonder of the Horoscopeâ€™s 12th House
â€¢ Imbeciles at the Gate: How The Internet Destroys Astrology
â€¢ How To Escape From the Torture of Self-Help Hell
â€¢ Depression and the Solar Consciousness
â€¢ Secrets of the Heart: Love is an Action Not A Feeling
â€¢ Create Your Own Archetype & Call It You: An Escape from Evolutionary Astrology
â€¢ Redefining the Oxymoron of Sex and Marriage
â€¢ Death is the New Black
â€¢ How To Write About Astrology (Especially How Not To)
â€¢ Astrology, Ants, Hives, Essence, and Types: A Gurdjieffian View
â€¢ Final Notes About the Life-and-Culture-Changing Uranus-Pluto Square
RÃ©mi Gaillard is a guy who lost his job as a shoe salesman and then decided to transform the big question mark in his life (as in “What to do next?”) by spreading that question mark all over the world as a culture jammer, (as in people scratching their heads while watching him and asking “What the fuck?)
Think of RÃ©mi like another Banksy but only much more juvenile, a graduate of the Jackass school of agitprop.
Gaillard is a good example of someone taking a scary life event (unemployment) and flipping it into a cue to start doing exactly what he loved most, namely comedy and furries and disturbing the status quo. (Furries? Well, just Google it).
Gaillard’s motto is “C’est en faisant n’importe quoi qu’on devient n’importe qui.”
Translated: “It’s by doing whatever that one becomes whoever.”
I’m needlepointing that into my bedspread right after this post goes live.
As a man interested in comely men, I will vouch, too, for P.E.T.A’s designation of RÃ©mi being one of the sexiest vegetarians on the planet. I’d like to share a tofu burger with him at his earliest convenience.
His natal chart (February 7, 1975 in Montpellier, France — no birth time) shows a not-surprising water trine between Venus and Uranus. Venus (and Mars) in Pisces folks have a strong affinity with animals. Perhaps this is related to the traditional association of the signs Virgo and Pisces (with little and large animals, respectively.) You can think of this signature as someone who loves (Venus) to create chaos (Uranus) by wearing animal (Pisces) costumes. Feel free to add that description to your collection of key phrases for astrological aspects.
Amplifying his comedic nature is Aquarius and Saturn. It might be that Gaillard’s moon resides in Capricorn, too, depending on time of birth, but he’s definitely an Aquarian. And as I remind folks with a strong Saturn or the sign Aquarius exaggerated in their chart: Some of the funniest people in life are Saturnine (dark, sarcastic, often gallows humor-inspired souls) or Aquarian — just loopy peculiar folks, like extraterrestrial walk-ins.
Three days ago I decided to explore online options for meeting guys. It’s been a couple of years since my last love partner moved away to live in the actual world of World of Warcraft. (The fallout from dating a guy still in his 20s who was a pro-gamer — recruited by Blizzard Entertainment.).
Here’s what I discovered (and experienced) on the sites I invested time in, all of which, since my last foray years ago, have become extremely aggressive and devious.
Mind you these are considered ‘dating’ sites, not ‘hookup’ sites. I’m not adverse to those but since the bedbug craze I no longer hookup. I know! A tragic loss to the horny men of Washington.
OK Cupid: Lots of men with dogs. In fact, there are lots of dogs and guys seemingly wed to their dogs. It got to the point where I amended my profile with:Â
“If you are so cathected to your dog that sleeping away from the creature for an evening might trigger an anxiety attack, we won’t be a good match.”
The one interesting guy that contacted me on OK Cupid was comely and in his late 40s. So that was encouraging. Tho he began his text message to me with the question: “Are you a bottom?”
This is not a good first question (unless youâ€™re on Scruff or Grindr or hanging out at The Cuff). I suggested we explore other topics first, before anal positions, but then never heard back from him.
Read this entire post here.
“The future isn’t what it used to be.” –Yogi Berra
Human beings are funny.
We’ve had civilised cultures established on the planet for thousands and thousands of years — with our ability to self-reflect, gather information, theorize, analyze, etc. and yet we still write about the future as if it’s something that can be predicted.
And so data is gathered and compared and parceled out and cross-referenced to past events as if that cross-referencing will reveal something literal about how something will play out in the future — but itÂ never does.
And yet we keep doing this. Why?
“The future” is just a term for utter unpredictability. And this makes people insane. Especially in a science-obsessed culture like ours that equates knowledge and information with the ability to classify and then predict. As if it were that simple and easy.
It is so funny.
After I posted this on Facebook my friend, astrologer Kate Petty commented: “ButÂ there are predictable cycles.”
And this is true.
Astrology as a spiritual path is a wondrous mixture of the mystical with the linear. I think this is why some astrologers attempt to make astrology into a science, but science is too limited to contain astrology. It’s like trying fit the ocean into a Dixie cup.
Usually, at least initially, when we consider the mystical we do so from a passive posture within the soul. And for this reason a lot of people don’t gravitate to a contemplative life. Read more and you’ll see why.
When you begin to sense and feel, in your bones, the ineffableÂ presence, the totality of reality — or True Nature — as some traditions call it, you’re humbled to the point of obliteration.
Those same spiritual traditions call this obliteration process “ego death” and, as I’ve experienced that experience, it’s a fitting term. To soften it some and echoÂ Jung, I’ll bring up one of his quotes: “There is no coming into consciousness without pain.”
More about obliteration:
Humans are a peculiar phenomenon because they are half-animal and half-human. Because we’ve become distanced from the natural expression of our instincts (the fallout from a psychic posture like the ego) we disconnect from our connection to the natural cycles and rhythms of nature and the heavens.
And this is where astrology, as a spiritual practice, offers us an opportunity to realign, reconnect and live as conduits of something much more magnificent and mysterious than the ego’s Hitler-esque, control freak tyranny.
OK, so hold on — I’m going to make a jump here: Read more