It’s an Eclipse for Beltane and a Pisces Stellium

It’s the last day of April, a partial solar eclipse in Taurus, Walpurgisnacht, Beltane. Lots of stuff going on! That partial solar eclipse is conjunct Uranus, Mercury just entered Gemini, and Venus is exactly conjunct Jupiter and both are still conjunct Neptune in Pisces.

I know the wisdom is to not fuck with eclipse energy, but I fuck with eclipse energy. I do rituals. I do new things. It’s also hard for me to want to pass on this type of energy especially because Pisces + Taurus is so…romantic, and just in time for Beltane, mid-spring’s fertility holiday.

New Moon in Taurus:

It’s rainy in Chicago, but warm enough and humid, with that hint of coolness to the breeze as if the world just took a breath mint and is coming in for a kiss. The eclipse was exact when I was taking a stroll through Graceland Cemetery between rain storms, and now I get to watch the hear the windless rain gently tapping the city.

Today, like most days now, I ask myself “how am I surrounded by beauty?” and then I point out the things I see, hear, feel, taste, or otherwise experience. I know that Beltane’s colors are red, green, brown, pink, and white, but in my mind, yellow and purple should be there, too, because this is around the time that dandelions, violets, and veronica pop up on the green grass and lilacs are getting ready to bloom. Purple is the union of passion (red) and harmony (blue), and yellow is the color of the sun and the sunlight in the spring before it turns the cooler, blue tint of summer sunlight. And I saw violets and dandelions, as well as daffodils, tulips, and dark red peony shoots, and green everywhere: that very yellow green, my favorite green, the green of new leaves budding on trees.

I heard birds all day. I heard the breeze rustling the new leaves in the trees, the gentle massage of spring rain.

I smelled the flowers, the dirt, the ozone, my own perfume.

I felt the kiss of spring on my skin, dewy and gentle, that cool breeze, that dampness that I adore (I grew up in a humid part of the country and simply cannot biologically adjust to dryness), and the wind picking up my hair and tossing it up and aside.

It’s a beautiful time.

And I walked to a place nearby to get a chirashi bowl because Doordash is having a ridiculous special, and now I’m home, and the sky is dark, the birds quiet, and the thunder rolling along the sky.

I like it here. I renewed my lease recently, and even though I had the opportunity to move, I’m okay where I am right now.

Mercury in Gemini:

I picked up some sushi on the way back, and the entire walk, I was thinking “I still like this neighborhood.” And I do like it. I have everything I need or want within walking distance, and it’s still quiet enough where I live to feel separate from the city. I like my building, and I like the management team that runs it. I like my apartment, although I am ready to step to a one bedroom.

In fact, I got a call about a one bedroom opening up in my apartment, and I was excited! The price was right, I got to stay in the building, and the move would be a breeze! One-bedrooms in our building rarely are available, and there’s usually a very long waitlist. Some miracle must have happened in my favor, right?

Then I went to see which apartment it was.

Jupiter conjunct Neptune in Pisces:

The available one bedroom apartment is next door to The Smoking Lady.

This is supposed to be a no smoking property. While there are some smokers in the building, almost all of them don’t smoke on the property, which meant not in the building or in the parking lot. The building doesn’t have a courtyard or walkway – to be 15 feet away from the building, you have to leave the premises entirely and walk down the street or stand in the alley, and almost everyone in the building who smokes does this….except The Smoking Lady.

The Smoking Lady is probably in her late 40s or early 50s and looks like she’s been a heavy drinker for quite some time and sounds like she’s been smoking for years. She spends many warm nights outside smoking, and while that wouldn’t be a problem, she refuses to get the fuck away from the building so it doesn’t waft in. She also has this manipulative habit of insisting that she open and hold the door for people while she’s holding a cigarette, so you have no choice but to walk through her cigarette smoke unless you want to come off as rude, even though what she’s doing is the problem. She essentially makes the back entrance unusable in the summer unless you want go home with cigarette smoke on you. She will stand underneath tenants’ windows in the summer so their A/Cs suck up her smoke and blow it into their apartments. She will hide behind the dumpster, pop out from nowhere, scare the shit out of you, and insist on opening the door for you. She will come up to you with her cigarette in hand and hover over you while you’re trying to do something in the parking lot, whether it’s get something out of your trunk, or pumping a bike tire, or rearranging the items in your grocery bag. Sometimes, she’s so drunk that you’re afraid she’ll stumble and burn you with her cigarette. Sometimes, she goes to the neighbor’s driveway to smoke until they make her leave, or she smokes under the fire escape of another building until they make her leave.

And sometimes, usually when the weather is bad, she just smokes in her studio apartment instead, in this building with a very strict no smoking rule.

I have complained about the cigarette smoke coming from the floor she lives on because it was so strong that I could smell it two floors up. The management company told me that The Smoking Lady said that what I was smelling was tobacco because she rolls her own. I hate being that person and saying “you know I’m an attorney, right? Do you really want to try to bullshit me?” But I insisted that I know that she’s lying. I know the difference between tobacco and cigarette smoke.

I knew The Smoking Lady lived on the 2nd floor, and I considered it before agreeing to see the apartment. But when I went downstairs to see the apartment, I was crestfallen to walk past a smelly apartment with someone inside coughing.

I cancelled the viewing because there was just no way I could live next to someone smoking in her apartment. I finally own nothing that smells like cigarettes, and I no longer suffer from the physical ailments I would get when exposed to constant smoke – no sinus infections, no bronchitis, no psoriasis breakouts – and I wasn’t going to risk them again. Even if I could plug up the outlets and do my best to keep the smoke from her apartment from going into mine, there was no way I would be able to keep the smoke out in the summer when she would spend her evenings right below the windows of that apartment getting drunk and chain smoking in the parking lot. I couldn’t live with the windows closed, and the A/C would suck the smoke right up. I would end up dumping a bucket of something, possibly water, on her and getting kicked out of the building.

As much as I would love to get a one-bedroom in this building, it’s not worth the problems her noxious, selfish behavior would create for me.

And then I realized that she’s probably the reason why those people are actually moving out of their apartment, because no one leaves the one-bedrooms, especially not in this economy. One of my neighbors told me that she was on a waitlist for four years for a one-bedroom in the building. However, from the smoke wafting from The Smoking Lady’s apartment to it ending up coming into their windows in the summer when she’s outside all night, I’m sure they had enough, especially because many of us moved into this building specifically because of the strict rules against smoking on the property. There’s people in my building who are immune-compromised and have chronic illnesses who have detrimentally relied on the promise of a smoke-free building for very obvious reasons.

So I’m staying in my studio for now. I suppose I can save the money and wait for something to open up that’s not next to Illness City, but I went from annoyed at The Smoking Lady’s selfishness to downright angry because I feel as if she stole an opportunity from me because she refuses to follow the rules, and angry at the management company for not enforcing the rules – I mean, people have been complaining about her since shortly after she got here, her behavior doesn’t change, so why was her lease renewed?

Well, now that I know which apartment it is, it’s time for someone to grab her smokes and hotfoot out the door.

Venus conjunct Neptune in Pisces:

My new obsession is perfume. It’s not a new obsession, because I have always loved perfume, but rather, one that I can now freely indulge. I’m not around any smokers who take offense to the smell of something other than cigarettes, no control freaks who hate feminine things, no one with allergies, no one sucking me dry financially.

Scent is an indulgence like taste, and it can make you feel good without doing anything detrimental to the body. No empty calories, no guilt, no break outs the next morning, just smelling nice. Since I stopped smoking eight years ago, I have regained what I think is the sense of smell I was intended to have — I grew up with two chainsmokers who basically hotboxed their children from utero until they moved out, and then I smoked for years — and while I had just assumed that I had inherited what I thought was a congenital poor sense of smell, it turns out that my sense of smell is actually a lot more sensitive than I ever thought it could be.

Through my entire childhood, I was convinced that people were lying when they said they could smell flowers on the air, or the soil, or coffee brewing, onions frying, or popcorn at the movies. I thought you could smell these things if you got up close to them. There were lots of things I didn’t know had an actual natural scent, like cucumbers, the rain, the ocean, or roses. I also had scent confusion: I would smell my mother making pork chops and think it was spaghetti, or I would smell skunk and think it was gasoline.

My father would flip out whenever I used a scented body lotion – honestly, I thought he was just being an asshole control freak like he usually was, because if I couldn’t smell freesia, how could he? And maybe he was just being an asshole as he usually was, but I wonder now if he actually could smell flowers and hated it – I have a theory that people who hate certain types of scents are miserable people, because the only people I know who can’t stand floral scents are also miserable and unhappy people. My mother, on the other hand, couldn’t smell much of anything, but she always hated the smell of what she called “cheap” perfume and insisted that cigarette smoke smelled better than the cheap stuff people slathered themselves in.

It doesn’t, by the way. Whatever body lotion you got at Bath & Body Works smells a million times better than the stale smoke scent that covers and envelopes a decades-long smoker and everything they own or touch.

So if I’m not reading astrology charts, I’m looking up fragrances at fragrantica.com, and as it turns out, I’m pretty good at figuring out if I would like the scent of something based on the scent pyramid and the reviews I read. This may be because over the past eight years, I’ve had an olfactory Renaissance. I can smell lilacs when I walk outside in May. I can smell peaches in the kitchen when I’m in the living space. I can smell strawberries at the grocery store. I can smell other people’s perfumes, and I can smell the nuances of perfumes. I can smell when someone is positively dripping with hair products – and yes, even when someone smells like synthetic coconut and mango, they still smell better than cigarette smoker. I can smell rain, I can smell dirt. I can smell the beach. I can smell pine trees. I can smell fireplaces. I can smell the Blommer’s Chocolate Factory. I can smell bakeries when I walk by. I can smell the coffee when I enter a cafe. I can smell my stinky shoes in the summer. I can smell barbecue from the neighbor’s backyard. I can smell the curry I made the day before lingering in my kitchen. I can smell that tiny bit of soy sauce that sprayed when I opened the container for my chirashi today that I apparently didn’t get when I wiped up.

I can smell so many things now.

I just can’t spend all my money trying perfumes, because having a pile of samples you still want to keep wearing (just to be sure) gets to be too much.

Perhaps I should have a little yard sale?

Or maybe I need to collect more perfumes just to be sure?

Because even though I live alone and I work from home, even on my no hair, no makeup days, I still feel put together if I’m wearing a nice scent. I still feel professional if I smell nice even if I’m working from home.

And frankly, the possibilities are endless, which I also like. I mean, how many ways can you switch up the scents available to make perfumes? There are infinite ways, and if I had gotten the one bedroom, I’d have enough room to have a dedicated area to my cosmetics making, and thus to try making my own perfumes, but could you imagine trying to make perfumes in an apartment with cigarette smoke wafting in, or having your cosmetics soak up the neighbor’s cigarette smoke?

Venus conjunct Jupiter in Pisces:

Ginger dogs love me. They always have, but especially dogs who are also strawberry blonde. I don’t know why this is because they can’t see the hair color, and I don’t think they would have self-awareness and be like “same!” or if it’s a bias on my part because I just take note if the dog has the same hair color, but redheaded dogs and blonde dogs tend to like me. It could be because I see a dog with the same hair color and I’m instantly receptive to it and the dog senses that, but lately, I could be walking down the street and a ginger dog is going nuts to greet me.

But lately, dogs are pretty into me. And I like greeting strange dogs, but these days, with all this stuff passing through my 1st house, dogs want to make friends with me.

I suppose I should take advantage of this, so I have been trying to be more social with human beings, but not too social, because I don’t want to catch Covid. I am vaccinated and boosted, but I also live alone and even a mild case of Covid sounds pretty awful, especially for someone like me who isn’t usually prepared for illnesses because I usually don’t get illnesses. I don’t have anything for a cold or flu except a thermometer and some headache medicine I usually use for migraines. But there’s also the part of me that’s had over two years of being alone to work through a lot of things, to figure out what I Iike and don’t like, to be the kind of woman I want to be and become comfortable with it, accepting of it, enough to expect others to accept it as well. I’ve had two years of life just for my own benefit without even the possibility of distracting myself from myself with another relationship or person who needs my help, and I have a much better idea of what I want and need in relationships. I know that there’s a difference between being loved and being needed. I know that love doesn’t mean looking at someone like a project that needs completion or a problem to be fixed, or that love is trampling boundaries out of a twisted idea that love is being a doormat. I also realize that there is a reason for a lot of things when it comes to the pain of not being good enough to be loved as one is.

New Moon in Taurus Conjunct Natal Chiron:

Because what if I fit in with my peers where I grew up, and what if I had close relationships with adults when I was growing up, positive role models? I probably would have been comfortable there, and I probably would have been stuck there, and I probably would have been too afraid to leave, so I would have accepted mediocrity and drowned my frustrations in alcohol, got married, got pregnant, had kids, and then I’d really be stuck with no hope of trying new things. What if I had a group of solid girlfriends growing up or in college, or some other clique with whom I have a history and a sense of comfort? And if there hadn’t been the times that I had lost my possessions, my income, my status symbols, then would I have ever learned that no only were they not important, I was always capable of getting them back if I really wanted them, especially because it would force me to rely on talents and develop skills I was always told I didn’t have or could never really take to the bank? Because so far, it’s been 42 years of continuously managing to do things that shock other people, things they assumed I wasn’t capable of doing, managing to not succumb to the fate that seemed so certain for me, that I have to wonder if anyone’s idea of who I am or what I can do is worth a damn at all. It would seem that to most of the people I ever knew, I only existed as a story, a narrative of a person who is this or that without actually ever knowing the person who for whom the tale was told, someone who inherited a lot of shit but was never able to set it down and walk away.

Because for the last two years, I’ve been able to set it down and walk away, and that’s the story, so when will I start believing that story?

Because it wasn’t the people, the possessions, the or the other things that would have made me comfortable that I walked away from but rather the familiar narrative, the secure tale about a girl who never actually existed, because I proved she didn’t exist.

And because I don’t even talk to anyone who knows that tale, for all I know, I’m the only one who remembers it or tells it to herself, there’s no reason to retell the story of the worthless woman when she never existed to begin with. I was specifically born at critical mass in that time and place so I would finally leave that time and place and learn to stop trying to go to places with people just like those people and to forge my own path.

I was born on the wrong turf so I would go find, or create, my own.

Because the eclipse is in my second house, and Chiron is there, and Chiron is the wounded healer, the physician that heals itself through healing others, Taurus is about security and applying energy for practical results in the real world, the second house is about that which we own or desire to acquire for ourselves (our turf, our bodies, our skills, talents, cash, possessions).

And while a lot of people don’t fuck with eclipse energy, again, I fuck with eclipse energy, because there’s not much I’m not willing to try, especially because I’m suspicious of the knowledge handed down to me because I’ve come to understand that narratives aren’t always true.

It’s amazing how the things that happen in your youth can stay with you forever. It’s amazing how we will stuff people into mold when they are clay and then send them to the kiln in the shape we put them in, then we’ll turn around and say “that was the past. You’re an adult now and can do anything you want. Why don’t you just simply get over it?” as if clay, once fired, can ever become malleable again.

Because even a vase that destroys itself can always be reworked creatively into something else, but everyone knows it’s the re-imagining of a broken vase, and I suppose that’s just something we’ll have to accept.

If you’ve ever worked in ceramics, you may have heard that clay has a memory. When you bend, slap, or move clay, it creates tiny bends or cracks in the material, weakening it, warping it. If you’re too careless with clay, especially slabs of clay, you may end up with material that is compromised and breaks in the kiln or when it comes out. There’s no avoiding the warping of clay, but there is avoiding compromising the integrity of the clay by trying to work and rework the same piece from one thing to another, trying to force the clay, being negligent with the clay as you’re handling it.

And I can’t imagine I am the only broken vase trying to make itself into something new, or rather, what it feels that it was supposed to be.

And if you’ve gotten this far, a little advice for the solar eclipse of April 30, 2022:

Because that’s what you’re going to have to do with this eclipse: a new beginning somewhere you are secure or aren’t secure yet. A new talent, a new skill, a new cookie recipe? A new sofa. A new attitude toward what gives you a sense of peace, what brings you pleasure, what makes you feel okay in the world.

This is a time to start new things wherever it’s hitting in your chart, house-wise, but because it’s Taurus, and because there’s a lot of Pisces energy going on a house or two away, I would urge some caution because it’s easy for us to convince ourselves of a reality that is either much more pleasant or much more bizarrely unpleasant than it really is, especially if you’re the type who gets a perverse enjoyment out of the idea of a bizarrely unpleasant reality (conspiracy theorists, religious doomsayers). The ruler of that eclipse, Venus is currently conjunct Jupiter, amplifying it, and conjunct Neptune, wrapping it in a cloak of dreams. I specifically didn’t write about all the magical dreamy things that are happening to me now (there’s many more!) because I want to keep those for myself for now, but Neptune conjunct Venus is the ultimate seducer, and Venus is currently being both seduced and hand-fed right now, so her ability to tell what feels good and what doesn’t, what’s harmonious and what’s too much, what is good in material reality and what is not real at all is overwhelmed with stories and wine.

But if you’re the kind of person who is already pretty mutable already, you may be fine with a shift in your sense of security or comfort, finding that despite what you thought, it’s not so bad to fall asleep on the floor if it’s next to someone you love. Or are just really into right now.

But it’s also nice to simply know already how you’re going to keep doing this – sleeping on the left side or the right side – and such.

The other side of Taurus is a place where you’re stubborn or too afraid or too comfortable to try new things or to be wrong, or to risk the possibility of failure. It’s the place where you want the sure thing, no gamble, no investment, no risk. You may have to try failure on for size if you’re not willing to develop a new attitude to replace the old one. On the other hand, you may have to shore up the fortitude to keep going with something you don’t want to keep going with. 9th house eclipse? Perhaps you’re being reminded that for you, higher education, living abroad (or trying to do so) or your religious outlook is going to take a lot more patience and fortitude to get through when it gets difficult. 1st house? You may have to work harder to have the body you want, to accept how people see you and work with it, to simply be in a world of hustle when what you really want to do is chill the fuck out. 8th house? Now is the time to get out of your comfort and use some credit for good use or to hunker down and actually start paying it off and make that a priority even if it means tightening your belt for a while while you wait for your ship to come in — sure, YOLO is a thing, but you’d be surprised to find out you’re still alive even after the party ends.

But of course, if a solar eclipse is hitting one of your personal planets or a sensitive point in your chart, that’s a big deal, and it could be a big deal, depending on other factors. And you’re not going to outrun them, but they may not be the worst things unless you really don’t like starting new things.

I mean, this isn’t like a lunar eclipse or something. That’s the scary stuff, right?

Dream of the possibilities.

Also, if you’re in Chicago and interested in trading perfumes, let me know.

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