Second Saturn Return in Scorpio: Big Brother takes all

Bless his heart, Leslie Jordan is going through his second Saturn return stuck in the Celebrity Big Brother House. And not just any second Saturn return, oh no, his Saturn is conjunct his ascendant in Scorpio. It’s a pressure he’s known since birth, so if anyone can make a success of this configuration it might just be him…


Barbie is everything: the shadow side of a Capricorn Venus

kissing Barbie

My mum sent me this a couple weeks ago. She found it going through some old photo’s after we got back from the workshop and we had a good laugh over it.

At the writing workshop I attended a month or so back Steve Almond gave us a prompt to write about an obsession. I wrote about my childhood obsession with Barbie:

Barbie is beautiful. She’s clean and shiny and smiling and perfect. She has everything she wants and no one can tell her what to do and everyone loves her and wants to be her.

She wears gauzy beautiful dresses like that woman that’s friends with my aunt and high heels and make up and everything in her world is right. She has a handsome boyfriend in uniform and they like to hump outside under the tree together. He’s a stormtrooper and his uniform doesn’t come off but she likes it like that.

Barbie has this way about her where it doesn’t matter what’s going on, she just always looks put together and happy. It’s not just her eyes or her hair or all her clothes – or the way she looks good in everything, it’s the way that it doesn’t matter what happens, she still keeps smiling.

A gopher can steal her head and run off with it down the gopher hole when you play Barbie Visits the Caves and she’s still smiling. At least I think she is, I never found her head, but I bet she’s still smiling.

She didn’t bleed when it happened, she didn’t let out so much as a yelp or a moan or a whimper, she just took it.

I didn’t. I was shocked when it happened. Outraged. I wanted revenge. It didn’t help that my mum couldn’t stop laughing. She felt bad about it, but she couldn’t stop laughing.

It was a struggle to get my clog wearing no makeup mum to ever buy me a Barbie, she constantly pointed out to me that women don’t have proportions like that, that women aren’t made with teeny tiny hands and feet and a waist the size of their wrists.

But I persisted. I begged and begged for Self-tanning Barbie and wept and wept when Mum got it for me for Christmas only to change her mind when I opened the box and it smelled “chemical.” She let me get a different Barbie in exchange, but I don’t remember that Barbie, I only remember the one that got away.

After I’d finished reading the piece aloud Steve leaned forward and said, “there is more around the circumstances with the mother and the imperviousness of Barbie that could be unpacked.” I said, “you mean, this mother right here?” gesturing to my mum who was sitting beside me all red in the face ’cause she hates attention. The room broke into laughter and Steve’s face broke open in surprise. Steve asked my mum if she wanted to read anything about me in response. More laughter.

Oh my dear dear mum. I’m so glad now that she insisted Barbie wasn’t natural or even desirable. And not even for all the feminist, obvious things. But because of what Steve caught in the way I described her that I never noticed before.

Barbie is impervious. Nothing gets to her. She is always the same, blessed with a preternatural way of always being exactly happy with everything that happens to her. She appealed to my Capricorn Venus, (no surprise there, of course, her Saturn is in Capricorn conjunct my Venus!) she’s resilient and unbending. She’s self-contained and doesn’t need anyone else in order to have a perfect home and a perfect life.

I’ve said it before, but Venus isn’t really friends with Saturn. Saturn is all about limits and boundaries and Venus is all about inclusion. A Capricorn or Aquarius Venus experiences a certain amount of distance between the object of her affections and the receipt of them. It makes for an uneasy alliance.

For the first time I share the revulsion my mum always felt for Barbie. I never got it before. The clothes were just play, the hair, the nails, the high heels, all of that was just for fun. The real heart of the matter was always that she couldn’t be hurt.

she keeps it all to herself

And of course, that’s ridiculous. I’ll bet Barbie wasn’t at ALL happy to be dragged down that gopher hole! I’ll bet she wanted to kick and scream and tear that damned gopher’s eyes out. She just couldn’t. She was so used to faking it that she just kept smiling, and the farther he dragged her down the hole and the dirtier her hair got, the less it all mattered, because she had to just keep smiling that dumb ass smile the whole time.

I just googled “Sad Barbie” and now I’m really sad. I found some cool pix, but man, people are SAD. The one above will lead you to a tumblr about self-harming if you click on it. You’ve been warned.




How do you like me so far?

Ovum still

Lars sent me a still from the shoot the other night and though it’s a little hard to make it out on this tiny image when I blew it up six times this size I spied a wrinkle I didn’t know I had! I totally freaked out, I immediately texted Lars to ask if he’d added it because I didn’t know my own face!

Lolz. Lars sent back an unsympathetic one word text: Hi def

Fucker. I still didn’t really believe him so I picked up a mirror and looked into it. Sure enough there are lines on my face JUST like the ones in the photograph!! What a trip. I thought I knew all my lines! I laughed at myself over having actually sent that text to Lars and that’s when I noticed that the line in question was a laugh line. I knew it, I just knew it from a different angle and facial expression. Identifying it as a laugh line just made me laugh harder, and suddenly that line just got so damned dear to me, I can’t even tell you. I’ve earned it.

This immediately put me in mind of an interview with Elaine Stritch I saw on Facebook last month after the actor died. It’s footage from the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013 after a showing of the documentary Shoot Me, chronicling Stritch’s life as an 87 year old performer on the road.

The whole interview is really quotable and worth watching, but it’s the first part of it I want to focus on here. The bit at the very beginning when she talks about watching herself in the film:

…I’m 88, so can we be reasonable here? But I’ll tell you this, I love the way I looked. I loved it… And I hadn’t had anything fucked with, so I was just fine, I just looked like I looked every day in every way I got older and older all through my life and I was just delighted with it. I just thought, that’s it! That’s fine, that’s me, that is nobody else, it’s nobody being you know, “oop! Don’t show – oh!” (kicks her feet at an imaginary opponent) “Gah! Ugh!” it’s not any of that!  It’s just, (claps her hands and leans forward) “How do you like me so far?”

I love it. How do you like me so far? Not how do you like how I look, but how do you like me? What’s your experience of me? Not what I’m pretending to be but what I actually am. Who I actually am. Every bit of me. Now, if a guy said this it wouldn’t be revolutionary, in fact we might be a little bit worried that he was so concerned with whether or not anyone liked him. But when an 88 year old woman just flat out says she likes the way she looks it turns our cultural expectations for a woman upside down. It’s revolutionary.

Stritch, of course, has Venus in Capricorn meaning her Venus is ruled by Saturn. Her experience of beauty and connection to people was tempered by her experience of time, and of limitations. It’s not necessarily a comfortable Venus placement, Saturn is a malefic after all, and you don’t want your experience of love and connection to be tempered by limitation, you want to be loved unconditionally. But it’s an honest placement for a woman in terms of what her culture expects of her and how she expresses beauty.

Wonder Bright at 21

Me at twenty-one

Katherine Hepburn once famously said that “plain women know more about men than beautiful women ever do.” I never really agreed with her because men started approaching me on the street when I was fifteen to pick me up and I learned a lot about them from the fact that they approached me based on nothing more than how I looked. It was horrifying, to be honest. I never thought they were approaching me, it was something they saw that had nothing to do with me. It made my skin crawl.

So it surprised me as I grew older and those approaches began to fade away to discover that I missed it. I missed the attention and the admiration and the respect. A white woman with a beautiful face in our culture gets a certain degree of respect. She has power. I missed the power. Honestly, I think that’s the real reason women have so much plastic surgery in this country. It’s not because we want to be young and beautiful, it’s because we want our power back.

Recently Susan Sarandon famously posted this selfie of her and Geena Davis for a side by side comparison with the selfie they took over twenty years ago in the film Thelma and Louise. But the comparison I couldn’t help but make wasn’t between the two seflies, it’s the difference between the way Sarandon is aging and the way Davis is doing it. Or rather not doing it.

inventers of the selfie

At 67 Sarandon is famous for bucking Hollywood expectations of older women. She dates younger men and refuses plastic surgery, saying “I have nothing against people doing things that make them feel better about themselves, [But] at some point, you have to shift to really wondering what kind of person you are” She goes on to say, “there’s the inevitability of the deterioration of the physical, that forces you to think, really, what is beauty and what survives?”

Leave it to someone with Venus in Scorpio to make a connection between what survives and what’s beautiful. Venus in Scorpio is ruled by Mars. Like Stritch, Sarandon was born with her Venus under the influence of a malefic. She is naturally attuned to the limitations of beauty and how it is expressed in our culture. As a woman and an actress she’s especially sensitive to it, she’s just not having the reaction she’s expected to.

By contrast Davis was born with Venus in Pisces. You’d think this would be a better placement, after all, Venus is exalted in Pisces. But Davis married a plastic surgeon in 2001 and has had a pile of work done to her face. She’s barely recognizable. When I look at the picture of these two women it’s Sarandon who looks the most beautiful to me. Davis doesn’t look like herself. I can barely see her in there. It’s upsetting. The more so because she does such important work in terms of demanding better and more representation for women in Hollywood. But here she is and she can’t even show up for her own face.

So perhaps Kate Hepburn was right after all. She was born with Venus in Aries, so her Venus, like Stritch’s and Sarandon’s, was ruled by a malefic. She was never under any illusion that her looks wouldn’t fade or that they meant anything more than what they were. She didn’t make the mistake of buying into the idea that her worth should hang on what she looked like.

She didn’t expect respect based on how she looked, she looked for it based on her actions in the world.

It’s a good lesson in terms of how a “badly” placed Venus may actually do you more favors than a well placed one. In the long run, if you’re a woman, than there’s something to be said for knowing up front that the importance our culture places on beauty isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maybe women who spend some time in the trenches when they’re younger dealing with that reality have an easier time with it later when it becomes unavoidable.

In Lars’ film I play an aging actress consumed by envy for a much younger girl. When I read the first scenes I was to play I felt a little irritated with it because I’ve got zero interest in perpetuating this story to the masses. I don’t envy younger women. I was miserable when I was younger! But the script was so dark and funny and over the top I couldn’t resist it.

And now I’m curious to see my face on a screen twenty feet tall, with lines so deep you could fall into them. I’m forty four and this is what that looks like. This is who I am. Right now, in this moment. And I plan on carrying the best parts of myself forward. When I’m 88 I want to be able to say that’s the same girl I always was only now. Here I am.

How do you like me so far?



Thom Atkinson

I just fell down a total internet rabbit hole. It was one of the best ones I can remember in a long while. It started here and went from that to this, then this, and then this, until finally I ended up here above with this video, which the subject of all those links above directed and shot.

Worth every delicious second. So curious about this artist’s chart! Is he having his first Saturn Return? In Scorpio? What does he have in Scorpio? Because I feel like his work is such a fantastic exploration of those themes.

Check him out. Lovely lovely lovely

Courtesy Pluto in Capricorn

Because… “so the point of the game is to kill people, right? …with a goat?!”

I posted this on Facebook this afternoon and Austin chimed in with the ad copy for the game, which apparently reads as follows:

Goat Simulator is the latest in goat simulation technology, bringing next-gen goat simulation to YOU. You no longer have to fantasize about being a goat, your dreams have finally come true! WASD to write history.

Gameplay-wise, Goat Simulator is all
about causing as much destruction as you possibly can as a goat. It has been compared to an old-school skating game, except instead of being a skater, you’re a goat, and instead of doing tricks, you wreck stuff. Destroy things with style, such as doing a backflip while headbutting a bucket through a window, and you’ll earn even more points! Or you could just give Steam Workshop a spin and create your own goats, levels, missions, and more! When it comes to goats, not even the sky is the limit, as you can probably just bug through it and crash the game.

Disclaimer: Goat Simulator is a completely stupid game and, to be honest, you should probably spend your money on something else, such as a hula hoop, a pile of bricks, or maybe pool your money together with your friends and buy a real goat.

Key Features:

You can be a goat
Get points for wrecking stuff – brag to your friends that you’re the alpha goat

Steam Workshop support – make your own goats, levels, missions, game modes, and more!
MILLIONS OF BUGS! We’re only eliminating the crash-bugs, everything else is hilarious and we’re keeping it
In-game physics that spazz out all the time
Seriously look at that goat’s neck
You can be a goat

I don’t know about you lot, but this game is definitely on my list for top remedial measures for Capricorns going through a Pluto transit. The takeaway here is, YOU CAN BE A GOAT

what is American Ninja Warrior?

I have no idea what this show even is but I’m always down to take seven minutes out of my day to watch a woman kick ass while all the men watching cheer her on. Even with the over the top narration and hyped up visuals this was a rush. Plus what the hell was up with the last three minutes? DANG GRRL. Mars in action right there.

Maleficent & The Crisis of Fury

you know the tale

(Spoilers ahead, in case you haven’t seen the film yet and are planning to!)

I took my nephew to see Maleficent Wednesday. Of course, T, being only four and a half, found it a little hard to follow. With his little feet just reaching the edge of the seat he kept turning to me, saying things like, “why is she crying?” and when I told him, a follow up of, “why did he cut off her wings?” and then much later, at the end, his hand stuffed into his Raisinet box digging for the last ones, “why are you crying, Auntie?”

Because I seriously cried so hard! I didn’t expect to, it surprised me. But it was really moving, and not just because it was lyrical and Angelina Jolie took my heart by storm, but because it was redemptive and I believed it. I wanted to.

I needed a redemptive Mars tale.

there is evil in this world

This Mars in Libra transit has been a doozy for me. When Mars stationed direct squaring my Sun last month I swear to the Gods something crawled out from under my 12th house rock that I thought I’d slaughtered years ago. A great big ugly, sloppy, mean spirited beast that looked suspiciously like ME! ugh. In a fit of night terror I ripped apart the fragile threads between me and that guy I mentioned a couple months back. It only took seconds but the damage was done.

Of course, there’s loads more to the story, but the important thing, the thing I want to share here is, that a.) Mars sucks don’t play, b.) the 12th house can bite my ass isn’t something you ever get to sell or move out of. And that c.) you can run, but if it’s yourself you’re running from then there really isn’t anywhere you can hide. Like, ever.

There’s a scene towards the beginning of the film where Maleficent’s sidekick brings her the news that her former love, the man who viciously betrayed her, has had a child. Jolie plays it perfectly. Her eyes reflect such deep pain at the news that I quietly gasped in sympathy, but if you’d looked down at your popcorn even for a moment you’d have missed it. She looks away briefly and when she raises her head again her face has transformed into a grim smile, animated purely by malice. It’s pitch perfect, her transformation from grief to rage.

i'm the evil!

You can feel the relief of it, the shiny fabulous weight that is lifted in the way Jolie sheds her sorrow and embraces the purifying rage sweeping through her, clearing away all doubt, all sadness, just washing it away, replacing it with clarity and purpose.

It’s a perfect Mars moment. Liberation from victimhood, catalyzing your grief into rage. A wild, dangerous freedom that will trap you just as surely as martyrdom if you’re not careful.

Sigh. I remember feeling like that. Not recently, but long ago. Mean, hateful, vengeful. I haven’t felt it in so long, but you don’t forget. When the pain runs so deep the only way out is annihilation, of yourself or the person who caused it and that moment when it gets crystal clear it’s not gonna be you. This is Mars at its core. The molten lava pouring out of you in that moment is a profound aspect of creation, but it’s the devil to harness and it will turn on you. It will cut a bitch, and if you’re not careful, the bitch it cuts might actually be the one wielding it.

The way I felt last month when I snapped and crossed over wasn’t even close to how ugly I’ve been in the past, but it revealed to me some hurt left there still lurking in the shadows. It revealed what I have yet left to do. Because the true gift of Mars isn’t the vengeance, or the fury, it isn’t even the liberation from victimhood, but the purpose. The real gift of Mars is the battle it reveals you must fight and the worth of fighting it.

now I have lost you

I’ve quoted Rob Hand talking about Mars before, but his take on Mars is so perfectly depicted in Maleficent that it bears repeating here. Hand says that the real worth of Mars isn’t in fighting against things, it’s in fighting for things. Belonging to the nocturnal sect, the sect of the Moon, Mars demands unconditional commitment, it requires tests of will power and stamina. It belongs to warriors and athletes, to people who do impossible things, simply because they said they would. It’s a raw wild power that defies ration or logic, and bows only to the force of feeling.

Angelina Jolie projects this quality perfectly. She was born to play Maleficent. She isn’t just perfect for the part, her chart is perfect for the part. She was born with Mars conjunct the Moon on the midheaven. For better or worse she embodies the qualities of Mars and always has. Like me she was born during the day, so Mars doesn’t naturally act in her favor, it took something for her to overcome the darker side of the energy. She is notorious for her destructive tendencies as a young woman, for her drug use, knife play, depression and anger. Things only changed for her when she got involved with humanitarian causes in 2001.

After that her focus switched. She stopped obsessing on her own misery and became focused on others and what she could do to affect change. I think she understands both sides of the coin Mars offers, because she’s lived through it. She could tell the story of Maleficent because at heart her story is real to her. It’s real and it matters.

I swear no harm will come to you

So what I loved about Maleficent is how it tells the story of the evolution of Mars, from the shadow side of it, the ugly, angry, wrathful, must-make-things-bleed experience, to the powerfully redemptive glory of it. Because Mars is also that part of us that gives us backbone, gives us courage, makes us stand up for the things we believe in. It shows us where we need to face our fears.

Maleficent is a wonderful retelling of Sleeping Beauty because in this version it isn’t the princess that wakes up from a death like slumber. In this version it’s the villain who wakes up, it’s the villain who saves the girl and in saving the girl, she saves herself. Now that’s a fairy tale for our time. That’s a myth we need, a story to tell our children. A story to tell ourselves.

I’ve been in a terrible stew for the past month, wrestling with my demons. Every time you let yourself down there is a hangover afterwards. Time was I ignored it, ignored what it was telling me, but I’ve learned now, I’ve learned that you can’t ignore it, you can’t leave it, it won’t go away on its own. The only thing for it is to face it head on.

Because the only good thing about seeing that you’ve made a terrible mistake is that you are no longer blind to your failing. It grants you choice. It’s a great and terrible thing, because it means waking up, and waking up isn’t always easy, but there is power in it. Raw, latent, gorgeous power.

I can feel it flexing in me now, shiny and dark, unfolding like wings. I don’t know where it’s taking me but I trust it. It won’t let me down. It won’t falter.

Leaving the theater my nephew grabbed my hand, pleading, “hold my hand, Auntie!” We walked past a kiosk with a young woman blowing bubbles and T ran after them for a bit. When he asked if we could get one I said yes, of course, because I’m a complete and total sucker. We spent the rest of the morning creating little iridescent worlds, chasing them, popping them, and then making some more.

He didn’t have to ask why I was crying again because I didn’t. I might have squeezed him a little too hard once or twice, but he didn’t seem to mind. After all, there were bubbles to blow.


when dogs fly

More relationship advice brought to you by Mars going direct in Libra. Now here’s some wisdom right here:


i know the truth now,
i know there’s more than that fantasy of, like, oh we’ll fly together!
there is also oh we could die together
what happens when dogs fly?

it sure wasn’t what i thought it was gonna be
it was the reality of it
that’s what life is
there’s the fantasy
and then there’s the actuality


PREACH, brother




how to do your first Saturn square

Dang. I’m in love with this kid. Our first Saturn square is all about consolidating the rules, understanding your place in them, and learning to use them to your advantage with your peers. At this age we also begin to display more advanced motor skills. For most children it’s all about learning to play more complicated games at recess like kick the can or square ball or learning how to write a paragraph. This kid, however, has clearly got bigger fish to fry.

Love. Her.

Via The Daily What

I live my life because I dare

Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes

I’m in love with this picture. Aren’t you in love with this picture? The woman on the left is Gloria Steinem, on the right is one of her best friends, a woman named Dorothy Pitman Hughes, who was the actress Gabourey Sidibe’s aunt. Sidibe, known best for her Oscar nominated role in the film Precious, lived with her aunt as a teenager and she passed this photograph every day on the way to school and on the way home.

And every time she passed it she raised her fist to these two women and took courage from them. From the sound of it, she needed it. She didn’t have an easy time of it in school.

She told the story of this picture and some other great stories in a speech she gave celebrating Steinem’s 80th birthday at the Ms Foundation Gala the other night. The full transcript is at Vulture, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

I wish there was video of it. It seems strange when she’s talking about her body and how it is reviled and for some reason in this day and age where we video everything we’re missing video of her talking. It doesn’t seem right somehow. I would love to see her give this speech.

I don’t want to ruin it for you, head over and read the whole damned thing. It’s magnificent.

Saturn is strong with this one. I just looked up her chart, and we don’t have a birth time, but being born May 6, 1983 she’s got Saturn conjunct Pluto trine Venus. This is someone with some powerful work to do around the proof and power of love. She’s doing it for herself, but she’s making it clear that if she can do it so can any one of us.

Seriously raising a fist to her tonight.