Flowing with Van Gogh

I went to see the Van Gogh exhibit at the Albertina Museum. The tour was non-English, and only in deutsche, which was harvestunusual  for a European city. My Egyptian friend was outraged by this, and vowed to write the museum director. I did think she was overreacting a little although admitted I too thought it would diminish the experience. Instead it surprisingly enriched it. Lacking anything to read or manipulate my attention, this mad hatter mind and it’s addiction to constant word input shut down. And a new form of intelligence surfaced as – observation. Very Piscean. What surprised me most was how better I understood Van Gogh than I had ever before. On a gut level, I just knew the guy. I understood his struggle to truly find himself. [Read more…]

The Wandering Astrologer: Cairo, Culture Shock and Travel by The Stars

To those wondering why I haven’t blogged in eons, I’ve been traveling all summer. The good news is, I’ve not only traveled, I’ve astro-traveled too, so there’s much to report. From Italy, Belgium, South Carolina and now, Cairo, Egypt. Geeh-za! (that’s a joke) Eclipse season has been no joke, though. It’s been a rocky summer of unexpected changes for many of us, so I do send out heartfelt blessings and gratitude to every person on their journey – on behalf of my own, and others who are fumbling through an amount of darkness and uncertainty. Now, without further delay…my first dispatch in over a month (settle in, it’s long)…

I write this from Cairo, Egypt, a city of juxtaposition. The old and the new, traditional and modern, water, no water, internet, no internet. Developing country, soon to be first world? Hard to know. It’s also hard to imagine Netflix delivering to address: City of the Dead [Read more…]

Tower Astronomical Clock in Prague

astro clockThis weekend in Prague, we visited the stellar Astronomical clock in the Old Town City, a remarkable example of the medieval astrolabe. I remembered seeing this clock in an art-astrology lecture and it’s truly one of a kind. It is a clock that tells time, but a special one. From my position down below, I could see the Sun’s hand pointing to the current progression of the Sun, the Moon’s pointing to the Moon’s position. The calendar medallion below displays each day of the year, with various cryptic writing.

Yet much I couldn’t make out from my perspective below, including the planetary hours, the ecliptics, sideral time and more. Maybe I just missed it, but there wasn’t any information on hand about the clock.

[Read more…]

The Wandering Astrologer: 15 Minutes In An Austrian Bath House

Normally, bathersI’m not one to shy away from an opportunity to remove my clothes, especially when it involves certain activities…like swimming in warm, wonderful water. I’m a water baby, I love the womblike existence of water.

So when we trudged out in the snow last Sunday afternoon to the Vienesse bathouse, we donned our swimwear in the partitioned changing area, because we didn’t know better.

[Read more…]

Wandering Astrologer Takes on the World, or the 9th House

I’m writing to you from the Café Sperl, a very old coffee house in Vienna, Austria directly across the street from our top floor flat with windows only to the clouds. I will be here 7 weeks. Today it is raining and grey. From my window seat, the mahogany paneling and Victorian upholstery evoke a different time and place, centuries away from California, 21st century. [Read more…]

Desert Mustangs

The quiet of the desert sharpens the senses. Splashes of color contrast against the sun bleached dirt. Hummingbirds Cabana in Cabo Pulmo frequent our flaming orange-red flowers, as do yellow-jackets. We’ve driven from Todos Santos to Cabo Pulmo, Baja, not a town, not quite a village – more like an outpost in the only coral reef in North America, on the shimmering turquoise Sea of Cortez. Of the two available cabanas for rent, we choose the one with hammocks, a porch and a seaside breeze. With five of us in one room like overstuffed tamales, the porch becomes a handy second – for reading, playing Boggle, escaping the heat of the air condition-less cabana.

Yes, I said air condition-less. This isn’t Texas, pardner. The 20 or so cabana outpost doesn’t have electricity – everything is solar or gas-powered. And it’s this, combined with no “legal” property taxes, makes living off the grid attractive to eco-conscious property tax paying Californians. That’s legal in quotes – we get the impression there’s a form of outlaw law in Baja. With no actual property titles granted by law, we understand that you’d have to pay “someone” to keep squatters from taking over your house while you’re on vacation in the States. Having grown up visiting the gold mining ghost towns of Colorado as a girl, I wonder, is this what its like to live in the Wild, Wild West? We see no evidence of unlawful behavior by our California standards, other than the rolling stop at Stop signs – granting anyone right-of-way via the slow roll through a car-filled intersection.

Time doesn’t just slow down here, it appears to stop. The first night here I take a walk. I hear the sound of birds, the ocean Gato on Tableand palm fronds moving to the rhythmic, warm breeze. But it’s quiet that I hear – stillness. On some level, nothing moves and yet I know everything changes. My eyes would deceive me, telling me it looked like this last year – the same three restaurants, Los Caballeros, Nance’s, Cabo Pulmo Café, the same mountains, sea and sky. It has always been this way. I want to put my ear down to the desert mantle, hear its secrets, to know its longings. Because it has been here far longer than I, because I want to know it’s story and because I know it’s seen everything. It’s the wise and timeless desert, and standing under the dark moonlit sky I belong to it.

I see a group of horses appear from out of the skyline, probably 8 or 9 including a young foal. They are Mustangs, universal symbols of free-spiritedness, unbridled and pioneering. There’s something primal about seeing these wild horses now, appearing from the desert, soon to disappear back into the desert. Do they truly belong to no one? They wander past me on the road, and into the yard of a small adobe looking for food. An older Spanish lady comes out and waves her arms, shooing them away. They oblige, returning to the road again to stop and contemplate their next move. The foal suckles the mother for milk and like looking for water in a cactus, she disappoints. They wander down the road and I am left wondering after them, will they be safe, will the baby find food, will they remain beautiful and free? Yes, the pioneer, the survivor of the dry, desert plain, these live inside me. I have known the hardship accompanying this kind of wild freedom. And I still find it beautiful.

The days here are easy to fill when the heat takes over. In a bigger city, the kids would’ve cried boredom throughout. As it Bathing beautyis, after day one, not a peep. Too tired to move, there’s nothing to do but read or organize board games. And go to the beach – a spectacular restorative for contagious Baja lethargy. The initial step is motivating. Inertia, I’ve discovered, is best overcome through beginning with the simplest tasks: first, put on bathing suit. Next: sunscreen. Riding the momentum gained, gather supplies, towels, cold water, assemble snorkel gear and get in car, quickly. Hooray, forward motion achieved! Our favorite snorkel spot is called Secret Beach, reached by a rocky mile long hike along the edge of a steep cliff. Some of us are afraid of heights, but the little one fearlessly leads the way. Even though the Sea of Cortez is notoriously warm, when we jump in to the water, it’s arctic. Like a refreshing glass of ice-cold tea. The reef is busy today, with Puffer, Moorish Idol, Cortez Angelfish a Sting Ray and lemon-yellow fish that reminds me of needle nose pliers –Reef Cornet. Swimming with the fish it’s easy to forget everything but this, the water pulling you in and out with the tide, the amplified sound of the in and out breath through your mask, the delight and surprise of seeing something you’ve never before seen. Sometimes you can’t see anything at all, but your mask has clouded over. So you return to the surface, rinse it out and descend again, realizing that you what you disappointedly mistook for blurry nothingness was untrue -you were surrounded by fluorescent, electric beauty all along.