My Mum, Mighty Mary


My mother was a hippy. She denies it, though, she says, “I never did any drugs!”

To which I always say, “yes, but I spent the first year of my life in a backpack picketing Safeway’s because they sold grapes!”

“Well that proves it,” she replies, “hippies were anti-intellectual and anti-activist!  I was definitely not a hippy!”


“Uh huh,” I’ll say, unconvinced, “and we lived in a log cabin for three years that you and dad built with no running hot water or a bathroom!”


This is usually where she starts to look a little uncertain, so I’ll pounce with what is really the showstopper of my argument, wailing, “Mom, we didn’t have a TV until I was FOURTEEEEEN!!!”  And then we both fall over laughing. Here we are with my grandmother, doing just that.


Our most significant Astrological stats are that my Moon is conjunct her Sun (at 20 and 19 degrees Libra respectively) and my Ascendant is conjunct her Descendant  (at 9 degrees Aquarius).  Plus, with Saturn opposing her Sun natally – and hence my Moon as well, I suppose it’s only  natural she’d have a Saturn riddled daughter.  In short we understand one another pretty well.  It wasn’t always like that, of course, with so much Saturn we didn’t make things easy on ourselves or one another for most of my adolescence.  But once I became a nanny to twins in my early twenties and got over myself we found each other again.  Since then our relationship has been mostly very, very good.  Pretty amazing, really.


My mother would like you all to know that I am wrong, and the word “hippy” doesn’t mean what I think it means. I would like you all to know that my mum is the first best thing that ever happened to me and that, right there, is the single best thing that could ever happen to anyone.

Here she is at Thorung La Pass after celebrating her 70th birthday trekking for three weeks in Nepal.  I know I’m really lucky to be over forty years old and have a mother I still look up to and want to emulate whose good opinion of me matters so much.  Of course, she’s always telling me to stop needing her approval, she claims she can’t understand why I would even think that matters, and with Saturn going through Libra right now, I have the feeling this might be the year I actually kick that habit.  I just hope she’ll be proud of me if I do…