All Beauty is Transition
on frivolity, divination, and the stars
I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve done a *classic* Friday newsletter but I’m excited to share some of the things that’s been on my mind lately.
It officially September, meaning autumn is that much closer and my fashion inspiration now lies here:
All mutable months, like our current Virgo one, come at the end of a season. They represent the in-between where the current moment also has traces of its future. While tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers still dominate the markets and the days in Portland are still sunny and green, I can’t wear shorts in the morning anymore. The evening cools down instead of heating up and the flowers have fallen from the trees, harkening to when the remaining foliage turn brown.
I love being able to watch the world shift along with the movement of the planets. I think it also reveals something important: so much insight and divinatory works happens through the body. In the context of poetry and artistry, Gaston Bachelard puts it this way:
here are — as I will show — images of matter, images that stem directly from matter. The eye assigns them names, but only the hand truly knows them. A dynamic joy touches, moulds, and refines them. When forms, mere perishable forms and vain images — perpetual change of surfaces — are put aside, these im- ages of matter are dreamt substantially and intimately. They have weight; they constitute a heart.
In other words, I can only be given the deepest understanding of this shifting Virgo summer unless I go outside, feel the air and touch the green.
The Lord of Divination
Earlier this week, I published a newsletter explaining the 3rd Triplicity Lord of the 9th house, the planet that represents our capacity for divination within the natal chart. I connect the lord heavily to the element that rules the ascendant— the sign that leads our life— and believe that understanding the contours of air, water, fire and earth can help us become better diviners.
From the essay:
Gaston Bachelard, in the context of poetic creation explains that “[a] systematic study of the psychological characteristics of divination will reveal that material imagination must be given a considerable role”. We must behold fire with our own eyes, feel a rushing stream flow through our fingers, smell the air on a clear, crisp morning. It is through this embodied presence that we fully access our divinatory potential: “By expressing ourselves materially we can put all of life into poems” (Bachelard).
But this is not as simple as studying the fire signs or thinking about what water is like. You have to put your hand into the earth, let it touch you on the grossest level, for it to reveal its mysteries. But this sensorial connection does not mean you cut off the soul; “poetic images also have their matter,” Bachelard reminds us. He speaks of images like plants that gestate and grow: “one can appreciate the fact that an image is a plant which needs earth and sky, substance and form. Images discovered by men evolve slowly, painfully”.
Spending time with the elements can give our images— both poetic and prophetic— substance and real meaning— what connects us to our own shards of truth. (You can read more about the relationship between the poetic and prophetic here).
Dig into the earth
Cook with an open flame
Sit on top of a hill
Notice the images that arise and write them down.
Revisit these activities for a few days and bring the image with you; see how it grows with your continued attention
You can also read more about finding your images using your astrology here.
You can also book a consult with me. to explore those images and your connection to your intuition. I love to help people access their creative, divinatory potential.
On Loving Beauty
As a 7th house diviner, I learn so much from my clients. When a consult can become a conversation between friends, the more shared gnosis can arise. Lately, my clients have me thinking about the fixed star Alphecca (found at 12º18” Scorpio), brightest star in the Northern Crown. More particularly, this crown is a flower garland, specifically the one Aphrodite gives to Ariadne upon her betrothal to Dionysus after being forsaken by Theseus. Manilius has this to say about this star:
The child of the Crown will cultivate a garden budding with bright flowers and slopes. Grey with olive (trees) or green with grass. He will plant pale violets, purple hyacinths, lilies, poppies which vie with bright Tyrian dyes, and the rose which blooms with the redness of blood, and will stipple meadows with designs of natural color. Or he will entwine different flowers and arrange them in garlands; he will wreathe the constellation under which he was born, and like Ariadne’s crown will be the crowns he fashions; and stems he will squeeze together, and distil mixtures (make perfume) therefrom, and will flavor Arabian with Syrian scents and produce unguents which give off a mingled fragrance, that the charm of the perfume be enhanced by the blending. His heart is set upon elegance, fashion, and the art of adornment, upon gracious living and the pleasure of the hour.
For most of my life, many of my interests could be called “frivolous”: flowers, art, fashion, poetry, feelings. Things that are not easily monetizable or part of “serious” discussions where Decisions are made. For a while I’ve been agonizing over the fact that my astrological focus is often toward the “non-productive”: how you see the future, what you art looks like, what lies in the contents of your soul. I focus on these not solely for their utility to others but because focusing on these parts of life make me feel something. Studying the poetic and the numinous makes me appreciate this world and want to stay in it.
Looking more deeply, the word “frivolous” comes from friare, "break, rub away, crumble". What is frivolous is just what will not last. I am reminded of crushing dried flower petals in my fingers or putting perfume on my wrists only for it to fade away. Those who steward the beautiful steward the transitory and love it anyway. Would you turn away from a sunset just because you know it won’t last?
May this writing give you permission to be frivolous 🌸
A Fixed Star Offering
My books are currently open for September. My current offering include natal (which can be general or focus in on a certain area of your life), transit/year ahead, relationship, and fixed star consults.
Of all these readings, fixed star parans is the branch of astrology you, gentle reader, may be most likely to know the least amount. And that makes sense; it’s only been in the past few decades that this ancient tradition has been practiced by contemporary astrologers.
But stargazing is universal, a relationship people have been practicing for as long as we’ve been looking up. Throughout history we keep looking up because the stars make us feel things and they have proven, time and time again, to have deep relevance to our terrestrial lives.
But, as I always like to tell my clients; my words about them don’t do the stars justice. Once you get a taste for the stars personally connected to your chart, you are struck with a knowing that is a feeling, often of deep recognition.
My friend Janet does an apt job at describing them here:
Again and again these stars prove to be our cosmic homecoming. But, truly, you have to witness their meaning to believe their life-changing impact.
To help y’all understand it, I offer you this:
Comment below with your email or twitter handle and I’ll send you some thoughts about one of the fixed stars in your chart (my choice unless you have one in mind) and answer any questions you have about the process of getting a fixed star reading ⭐
This is free of charge for all newsletter subscribers, though it may take me time! Expect a response in the next week.
Consider it my effort to help you discern if a fixed star reading is for you and, at the very least, begin your own relationship with these beauties.
It truly is a gift to be able to help people connect with themselves and the world.
Thank you for supporting my work!