My boyfriend gets mad at me for spending the weekend writing articles. You don’t have to do that, he says.
But I kind of do, because even though yes, I could be going out, and yes, there are other things I need to do, I really miss being a professional writer.
But I don’t know what to do, since both everything and nothing is not an option.
I want to keep blaming my current Neptune transit to my first house for making me more authentic (as a Pisces Rising and Neptunian type) than my current career and lifestyle allows. But passing the blame is a rather Neptunian thing, isn’t it? What’s up with me now:
I’m lazy. I really, really avoid housework as much as possible now. I know it has to be done, but frankly I’d rather abandon it all and move away. That’s not realistic.
I’m not lazy. I’m far more into my appearance than before. I feel more like me with each passing day, and I hope to look like “me” again soon. I arrive at work on time and I meet my deadlines.
I am nostalgic. My writing waxes poetic of the past, particularly the 1990s, but a bit of the 1980s too, and my taste in music lately shows that.
I am romantic, and I feel as if I am walking on a cloud.
Medications have weird side effects. Or they don’t work as intended.
Oddly enough, I can’t drink alcohol anymore.
Like zero, zilch. My body can’t handle it under most circumstances, so I just give up. I don’t miss it though.
Music makes me cry now and keeps me up at night.
But frankly, I’m mostly listening to 90s alternative from my teen years or Joey Pecoraro and older, older jazz.
Day by day my fight is leaving me, and I don’t mind going with the flow, or being mistaken for a much younger person, or an intern, or a person who is lost, or a person who doesn’t actually belong in this building or courtroom.
I’m writing fiction again, and I forgot how good it feels to create stories.
I never forgot how good it is to be naturally imaginative, but I forgot the rush and afterglow of applying imagination to material and making something new.
I still can’t sit still and watch television or a movie most of the time, but when I do, it has to be as much a departure from reality as possible.
Sometimes I still wish I had become a digital nomad instead. Strangely enough though, I no longer fantasize that I’m a hermit on a deserted island, which was a favorite fantasy during major Saturn transits.
I find myself hopelessly unable to keep abreast of current events.
But I also find myself in synchronicity with strangers and friends alike; my karass is out there and we’re all circling the same light, it seems.
Some people find it annoying to watch women apply makeup in public. I love it. I love putting on makeup in public, too. It’s not like I’m shaving or brushing my teeth, right?
And I’m not getting ready for an Instagram photo shoot in my dorm room or a broadway show: it’s just normal makeup, whatever it is.
I like to see women put on their eye makeup and lipstick on crowded L car, working with — not against – the bumps and rocks of a suspended train carrying them to the Loop and beyond where everything is much too real for my tastes nowadays.
It’s really an art form to apply mascara in a moving vehicle.
But you can tell something about a man by the way he reacts to makeup. I had a boyfriend of sorts when I was in Korea. Or was it a friend with benefits? I’m not even sure if we were friends, really. Perhaps more like objects of mild fascination for each other and a relationship with a definite expiration date. He was one of the first people I dated since my divorce, and I wanted things with definite expiration dates that I wouldn’t have to worry about lingering on after I left for the United States.
But I recall one time I was in the bathroom fixing my makeup before we went out, and I assured him that I’d only be a minute, because you know how men are with that kind of thing, right?
But he stood in the doorway and watched. Because he was curious. Because he never dated a girl who wore makeup regularly, and he was never around women who put it on regularly.
And I had never been observed like that before by a man. At first I was afraid that would destroy the magic of it all, but then there was something kind of warm about letting him on the secret, a type of subdued intimacy I’d only ever shared with women before and men who wanted no part of it.
Because that’s not like putting on makeup in public in front of strangers you have no interest in showing your A-face from Moment One. This is like letting him know that I create this part of myself every time he sees me.
Perhaps this was all part of the fascination theme, but it was the first time that I wasn’t with a guy who didn’t balk at the idea of cosmetics or haircare or other things like that.
And I realized that was a clue: I needed to stop dating guys who don’t appreciate makeup.
They may say they prefer women without makeup, but what they mean is obvious glam makeup. If given the choice, they don’t want to see your bad skin and under eye circles. The ones that actually prefer a fresh face to cosmetics, who find the idea of cosmetics appalling, are usually young and insecure, and that insecurity is going to spill over into a whole lot of other facets of the relationship guaranteed since they can’t even accept your face as you like it, or your nails, or your hair, but they’re still bothering you anyway.
And I was wasting time with guys like this because I had spent years forcibly separated from so much of myself (a Neptunian affliction), namely my earth elements, told it was bad and shallow, that I still was me but was wasting time with people who didn’t like that part of me. That’s a childhood wound. With Virgo on the descendant, being with peevish, critical men who are more inclined to criticize the world instead of work on themselves was a theme. I wasn’t attracting the positive Virgoan types, the ones who strive for perfection and to be of help to those in need.
I’m happy that I incarnated into a woman’s body in this lifetime because I’m happy to be female.
My older sister incarnated into a man’s body and has to do the work of changing it. That’s a battle I can’t imagine I’d have to deal with.
She’s unrecognizable now: she experiences happiness, and we are close now, and I can tell that she’s present now. I’m not sure who my older brother was before I knew about my older sister, and that shell brother I thought I had dissolves in memory, and in its place is the girl that was there. She’s still dressed like a boy in my memory. I can still picture her in her Cub Scouts uniform, or that time in high school when she had a goatee, but that was a costume, like an Instagram makeup and filter and Facetune of real life costume.
What’s it like to not be able to take your gender for granted? Being who I am, being Neptunian, is far easier for women in my culture. This isn’t saying much, since it’s overall much easier to be a man in my culture.
I am shopping around for tattoo removal services. I got these things when I was young and didn’t know I’d ever be 40. But they cramp my ability to be a chameleon, and I wish they were gone. Plus there’s nothing cool or risky about tattoos anymore. Picoway seems like a good bet for me.
Here’s a job for a Neptunian lawyer: one of hundreds in a government agency specifically advocating for society’s most vulnerable, and you specifically have to be a lawyer and be specifically trained to have this job where you work, but people often mistake you for not being a lawyer.
How about them apples?
Speaking of apples…
They say we can’t judge a god by its followers. Actually, the only time you ever hear something that silly is when people are talking about the Abrahamic religions. Though you should absolutely judge Discordianism by its followers and then forget everything you learned, denounce it then convert, and then denounce it again.
Discordianism is the only religion I actually like. I’m a Pope, you know. A Pope of Discordianism, and so are you, whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not.
I know nothing about it.
Also, I am a minister of the Universal Life Church and will do weddings, divorces, baptisms, funerals, baptism of the dead, marriages of the dead, divorces of the unmarried, remarriages of the divorced, and sermons that are rambling and meandering with no clear focus or lesson.
I’m a very spiritual pan-atheist pagan witch who worships the goddess of the human collective imagination: while she is not the most powerful force in the universe, her power is the most salient and powerful one humans can perceive and harness whenever they wish. We call that magick, but stuffy dorks call it “magickal thinking.”
But I am concerned with the Christianizing and the overall churchification of paganism, pantheism, spiritual atheism, magick, and witchcraft. This is not because I fear any of this stuff. Duh. I love all that stuff. I fear it being incorporated into the New Holy Roman Empire, like the syncretism of the old ways into Catholicism. On one hand, it’s easier to go from Catholic to pagan than say, non-denominational Bible-worshipping to pagan since Catholics grow up with a lot of the old ways in practice and in culture.
On one hand, it’s safer to draw a sigil and have it be discovered when your Christian neighbor is making a vision board that essentially serves the same purpose. On the other hand, imagine the poor sap following Joel Osteen or Michael Beckwith, who is given half of the magick and withheld the most vital half because if he had it, he wouldn’t give them money.
Because if they could give you access to your shadow and teach you how to integrate it, you wouldn’t keep running for the light, away from your shadow, away from the rich darkness where you will actually find your god.
But I have Neptune in Sagittarius the 9th square Saturn in the 7th, ruling the 11th house, and the South Node in 12th house Pisces. This is a lifetime to flee as far as I can from any sort of organized religion and back into the forests and the farms and the groves, if only in my mind at times.
And I understand some people find home and comfort in churches.
Me, I always hated church. I tried hard to fake it until I made it, but I hated everything about it. I do not find community with other worshippers. I don’t want to listen to a lecture. I don’t want to sing. I don’t want to touch strangers. I don’t want to stand around and make small talk. I don’t want to eat stale bread or drink out of the same cup as all those strangers. I don’t want to be saved. I don’t want to give my post-tax money to a no-tax institution.
But I see the beauty in it, the magick. I just wish it wasn’t trapped inside the institution.
Growing up, I seemed to just miss the boat on a lot of church-related things that just screams that the universe wants me to be an atheist despite my upbringing and my own former wayward desire to discover and have a relationship with a loving god that intended to make me, place me on Earth, had a plan for me that included his help and intercession.
But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was making it all up in my head.
This isn’t me rationalizing my own disinterest or lack of motivation (but how does one get motivated to develop a relationship with an imaginary friend who is all powerful but demands you come to him and also promises to fuck with you whenever he wants for whatever reason, and you’re not allowed to do anything about it?). This is me trying to make sense of always being forced to stand on the periphery of an experience everyone else seemed to take for granted, in that I was stationed and planted on the periphery with no choice to leave or go in, because religion was my mother’s second favorite drug, and no one in my family really, actually had faith in a god at all, ever. That would be weird, weird like actually thinking that the alcohol one is drinking is actually making them cooler and more attractive, and weird like actually thinking that blaming the alcohol itself absolves you of your behavior.
Because for me, my religious experience was not that much different than a child’s experience of alcohol or any other drug that consumes one of their parents and inevitably consumes the family. But while it’s considered abuse and neglect for a child to adapt to an alcoholic’s unpredictable rage, lie to hide the truth from outsiders, and cope with being stuck with an adult who cannot parent them, a religious person who is effectively like an alcoholic in their religious behaviors isn’t considered to be abusing and neglecting their children, even when the children are specifically created to be accessories to the religious addiction.
We give far too much credit to the sanctimonious and falsely pious, and they can fool enough people at micro and macro levels. If you question them, you’re evil. You need Jesus.
I’ll let you in on a secret: I don’t need Jesus nearly as much as he needs me. Without me (and you), he has no reason to exist. What has he to sacrifice himself for? Why incarnate? Why manifest as a deity?
And I like Jesus. I wish he were real, because if he were, then the Holy Spirit would really descend upon the believers, and the followers
of Jesus would really be witnesses for the living Son of God, and they would stop using Jesus to justify acting on their worst instincts and compulsions.
The periphery of the Jesus experience, the religious experience, is a good place to see things for what they are. There’s no high, no dopamine rush to flood the brain and drown the senses. There’s not enough good to rationalize the bad.
The periphery good place to find your own religion. Akhenaten did that very thing, and you know: he created the Christian god before the Christians did, before monotheism became the pagan’s new thing.
And now paganism is the Christian’s new thing.
I don’t think that’s terrible in and of itself, nor do I think that commercialization of astrology is the worst thing ever, on that note. However, major religions have a way of swallowing things whole and spitting out the seeds in the ashtray. It feeds the people on the fruit without the pit, without the seed, the means of growth and regeneration, and when there is no more fruit, there is no means to get more because there has been no planting, no tending, and no harvesting.
Your vision board is magick.
Your hunt for bible passages to suddenly come to you and give you the answers you need is divination.
Fuck: when you search nature and circumstances to find signs of god’s presence, you’re performing divination.
When you get together on Sunday and play drums and acoustic guitar and sing praises over and over again with your hands in the air, you’re a coven drawing down the divine.
When you turn the god into food and ingest the god, you are performing alchemy.
…but do you know why or how, and can you really harness the powers you’re encountering?
I think I inherited atheism. While all children are born atheists, they can’t all be enveloped into the collective. I think there must be some sort of biological component to belief, something that exists in a believer’s brain that doesn’t exist in mine.
I’m not a Christian primarily because the story doesn’t resonate with me and because I can’t sense any presence of a god, but secondarily because of other Christians. I don’t mean that the bad behavior and mindset of Christians turns me off on a god I would otherwise like; I mean that Christians are living examples of why I shouldn’t feel bad that I can’t experience a sense of god because it’s clear you really don’t need it, because people will always give in to their baser instincts if that’s what they truly want and if they feel they can get away with it, god or no god.
If anyone is saved through Grace, then no one is saved.
If anyone is saved through good works, that’s something I can understand, because I can see Grace in behavior.
If anyone is saved at all, it was because they saved themselves and/or some other human being saved them.
But what are you saving them from?
Jehovah needs Satan almost as much — no more than — Jesus needs me to exist. What is there to be saved from if Jehovah didn’t invent his own adversary to torture his own special children and trick them into giving into the baser instincts He in all His wisdom fitted each and every human with so they could spend an eternity suffering?
I understand Jehovah like this because I’m a lawyer I can’t be a lawyer if everyone is righteous and everyone knew how to conduct themselves at all times. I need people to be shitty at times so I can work, so I have a problem to solve. Likewise, a doctor needs illness and disease and disorder to be a doctor. Likewise, if the god is with us to solve our problems, then his godhood exists to solve our problems, and like an alcoholic, exists to make our problems, too, because that’s what gods do.
So I don’t need to be in a co-dependent relationship with an imaginary friend. I don’t need to waste Sunday (or Wednesday night) sitting in a room with a bunch of other people trying to maintain a co-dependent relationship with what we think is the same imaginary friend and give my hard-earned money to same people who don’t pay taxes so they can keep telling grown adults to be afraid of the imaginary friend who both makes all our problems very easily but requires us to go on a long, circuitous and potential perilous path (if you can buy into the idea of Christian persecution in largely Christian communities) to find the god in hopes that it will solve those very problems…if we keep nagging him enough, singing and dancing around enough, and telling other people how much we love sitting around wondering and hoping the god will clean up what is essentially his own fucking mess someday.
Religion is an easy substitute for chemical addiction because reward-dependence is reward-dependence and dopamine is dopamine.
Your true religion is the one inside you, the one you will find. You were born a pilgrim and you will die a pilgrim. And you may come back as a pilgrim, too, if you’re willing.
And if you are willing, you will be like Jesus, and then you will become Jesus for someone, and then you will sacrifice and be reborn, like all the other Piscean gods.
What a rush.
What happens to the people who are addicts who become sober and stop getting high off being sober? Do they relapse, or does their tolerance to being high on life give way to just not being addicted to stuff anymore? Because if you have to go to AA every week, or twice a week or go whenever you feel like you’re about to backslide, like AA is church or something, then you’re going to have to sin to feel the mercy of god’s grace again.
But AA doesn’t work that way, and people are supposed to walk away from chemical addiction forever.
Listen: this frenemy of mine in South Korea, a fellow ASL teacher, once cock-blocked me when we met a doctor, a researcher at a major university studying the effects of an experimental drug that helped addicts forget their addiction. Apparently, at least ten years ago, South Korea had a low key meth epidemic, and this university was low key doing trials on a drug that affected the hippocampus so that addicts would forget their addictions.
Ischemic stroke victims whose hippocampuses (hippocampi?) were affected who were alcoholics or smokers would sometimes forget they were addicted to the particular substance. The drug, if I recall, would mimic the effects without the brain damage.
That particular teacher, who was otherwise wholly obsessed with this guy back home who wanted nothing to do with her, so obsessed she’d freak out if you said the guy’s first name which happened to be an extremely common English first name used by Koreans, which was David. She was so obsessed that she got angry that I gave her a David Sedaris book because she literally thought I was trying to anger her because of the first name thing, as if everyone in the world lives their lives at that level of insanity, particularly her insanity.
This wasn’t her only self-absorbed acting out: everything was personal, everything was about her, and you were either all-good or all-bad. She acted out her mommy issues on me, and I eventually just had to humor her because she was destructive and literally seemed to think that anything she thought existed really did existed, and she had the right to do anything she wanted in reaction to any perceived slight or threat, no matter how unlikely or unreasonable, and reality and truth were whatever she wanted it to be, and that was her privilege alone. I know now that this is likely borderline personality disorder, but at the time, I actually thought that being stuck with her was a punishment from god for getting divorced, because I’m once again stuck with someone like that.
She and my ex had the same birthday.
She stepped in front of me during this conversation, twirled her hair, and said “what’s a hippocampus?” and giggled. Like a moron.
He tried to explain, then she asked him again, as if it weren’t clear the first time.
She not only twirled her hair and asked the doctor what a hippocampus was, she then asked him progressively stupider questions, like what a brain region was. Then she told him how great his work was because — and she really, actually said this, in public — she had so many friends who were meth addicts and could use something like that.
This is when I realized that she wasn’t just a bitch I couldn’t get away from; she was the daughter of Satan. She didn’t even change her tactic when he actually put up his hands and took a step back from her and tried to excuse himself.
But I wonder how those drug trials go, because it seems that the cure for addiction, which is Neptunian, is the current universal solution of applying more Neptune: drugs, hypnosis, cults, religion, and then…simply forgetting.
AA tells you to surrender to your highest power, because against the alcohol or drug, one is powerless.
Why say that?
Because willpower doesn’t work, because humans are not designed to knowingly work at cross purposes with themselves. You couldn’t survive in the wild if you spent every waking moment not letting yourself do the thing you felt the strongest urge to do because your body is telling you to do it:
“I see that hungry sabertooth staring at me, drooling, and man oh man, do I feel the need to run in every fiber of my being, but you know what? Imma just stay right here out in the open because I said I would meet Grok out here when the sun was high, and I’m a man of my word.”
If there was a god that designed us, he could have spent some more time troubleshooting this feature.
Willpower is the weakest power, because it’s not actually even fucking willpower, because the power is in the will itself, not in suppressing the will. Now, changing the will to want to flee from alcohol or drugs? That’s transformative. That can work. Alan Carr’s Easy Method works on that principle.
Most of the alcoholics I know don’t get hangovers, or if they do, they’re very slight. I know of some alcoholics who did have hangovers. Most of them stopped drinking early on. At least a few of them were self-medicating after being released from the hospital with an opiate addiction after being abruptly cut off from morphine.
Me? I get hangovers, and the older I get, the worse they get, and lately no amount of alcohol comes without pain.
I can’t even drink kombucha anymore.
And what’s kombucha anyway?
Kombucha is microdosing for alcoholics.
Kombucha is a homeopathic dose for recovering alcoholics.
I’ve also come to realize that I experience alcohol differently from others. I don’t get euphoria. I never actually felt euphoria from alcohol, and I know what euphoria feels like from other substances.
…but maybe I convinced myself I didn’t enjoy alcohol and then I forgot to enjoy it. Then I forgot what it felt like to enjoy it. Then, I couldn’t access the memory of alcoholic euphoria.
What’s a hippocampus?
David! David! DAVID!
David is not playing hard to get.
David grey rocks you because he hates you.
If you really love him, respect that and leave him alone.
No one is an adult.
The world is simply populated by a lot of people who are getting older and either trying to figure out how to be an adult or are too busy or distracted with other things to think about why they’re not adults yet.
That’s pretty much it. Childhood flows into adulthood. But you know, we really expect a lot from ourselves as creatures. If you look around the animal kingdom, baby animals aren’t that much different from adult animals. Sure, baby animals are cuter and have lower levels of androgens and estrogens than their adult counterparts. With time and experience, they learn stuff, and their brains are slowly flooded with sex hormones to get them to reproduce and take care of more babies. A fox isn’t that much different from a pup, a cat not that much different from a kitten, a baby turtle a lot like an adult turtle.
But humans – we sure do expect a lot. Granted, we have very, very long infancies and childhoods, even longer than we think. The brain isn’t finished forming until like 25.
Or 40. Please tell me I have a little more time.
But I’m not going to suddenly become all grown up. I can project that (Venus in Capricorn, 10th house), but I can’t feel that (Moon in Aries, 1st house).
I’m curious to find out who I am and what I will become. Listen:
A childhood friend of mine, a recovering addict who has mastered the art of reinvention, was chatting with me about federal school loans. We joked that we were hoping that the entire system would break down and our loan information lost in the process. Then, I said, I would simply walk away from everything and reinvent myself.
“What, again?” he said.
There is loss and then there is renewal.
This is how we survive.
But change is not Neptunian. It’s dissolution. If you want change, look to Uranus or Pluto. Saturn can make things erode and crumble and blow away in the wind, and it can fortify and build slowly. But that’s not really change.
And Neptune is not change or reinvention. It’s the solution that dissolves the rock. The reaction may incidentally make something different,
This is what I hope for you:
I hope you find what you want, because that would be nice.
I hope that you get the opportunity to manifest what you want sometimes. That would be nice, too.
Instead of getting what you want,
I hope you wander your way through life and run into exactly what you need
and it’s not what you expected, anticipated, or wished for yourself
with your limited imagination and limited knowledge of yourself,
But whatever it is fulfills and illuminates you,
Illuminating the parts of yourself you haven’t seen yet or were told to hide
And you see just how big and expansive you are,
Embraced by moonlight,
Casting giant shadows in the night,
And this needful thing teaches you to love those parts of yourself because they are lovable,
And they are necessary,
And they serve a purpose.
And I hope it is what you actually need
And not what the world said you need,
And that when it comes, you are ready
And that when you are ready,
You walk into the woods illuminating your own way
Not fearless, but accepting your fear and going anyway,
Because life is a journey, inside and out,
And you will walk this way again
If this is what you choose.
Because at the end of it all,
You must go through all the pain and sorrow,
But may you still be curious enough to want to see what may happen later,
And who you will become later,
And where you will take yourself,
And how even the sharpest, raw pain can dissolve
Into memory without reliving it.
And may you find the freedom to be yourself,
And to engage with the world with curiosity
And to not take everything personally
Or to mistake yourself for something fragile.
And may you sculpt your own soul’s identity out of fine clay
And not seek it in the reflection of other people’s eyes.
And when you are alone, know that you
Are in good company.
Because when you feel alone,
Know that you are actually alone,
And that’s perfectly okay,
So now you can begin to love.
Wouldn’t that be nice?