SaffronGoddessAt the aforementioned Leo New Moon wedding, I spoke to a woman who just quit her corporate job several weeks ago to pursue her passion full-time: photography. I handed her a business card with a picture of The Saffron Goddess on the front, a beautiful painting of a woman with fierce golden locks. She replied, “Wow, that’s how I’ve been feeling the past couple of weeks.” “Gorgeous!” I replied. She quickly corrected, referring not to Saffron Goddess’ inner beauty revealed, but the cracks in the mask of the Saffron Goddess revealing the many layered truth in peeling paint. As this new friend spontaneously described the surprising amount of dredge accompanying her corporate ejection, I felt a kindred spirit, having experienced this myself. I thought about the many of us who have been, or who are, in the same boat.

I once left the world of the Man and I know many creative types straddled between two worlds: the paid gig and the creative gig, social recognition and the fierce freedom of doing what comes naturally, organically. As I wondered to what degree the Muse will willingly abide the world of Suits without withering, and to what degree the Suits provide the Muse with stability, I had the thought: maybe it was a question of leisure. If we could all just settle down and enjoy ourselves, the Muse and the Suits would get along beautifully. I remember reading an article in the NYTimes a few weeks ago. In a Leo country famous for pursuits of pleasure, the new French Prime Minister entered office with a new leisure ethic. He jogs. Like Bill Clinton did. And preferring an economy of leisure over an Economy of Leisure his office suggests the French set down their heady books, philosophy and poetry and “do something.” That “something”: the hard work ethic, which they called American. Jog instead of philosophize, work instead of play. Hmmm. In a global economy that has no time for existential discussions and dialogues with the Muse, who wins? Yeah, who has time for this leisure stuff anyhow?

Work harder, play less. Or is it play hard and work harder? When we can’t bridge the gap between doing what we love and getting paid to do what we love, what to do? For the talented artist, the proposed solution is always simple: follow your heart and the money will follow. But for many, it’s often not that simple. Does a day laborer have that same level of free will, or choice? Does an immigrant, a single mother or father? And who am I to argue with my fate, my karma for being right here, right now? On top of that, having it all means different things for different people. For various reasons, overtaking Maslowe’s Hierarchy of Needs by leaps and bounds on behalf of our mighty Muse isn’t always an option. A careful, steady ascension is more likely to safely get us where we’re going.

Life artistry, now that’s a fitting subject for this week’s Saturn on Venus in Leo influences. So let’s make a list of pros and cons, the things that move us toward a new paradigm and those that hold us in stasis. The individuality of our life wants to shine so brilliantly right now. With nebulous Neptune nearby, immediate solutions are murky. Always, designing the life that’s ours to live takes place in the imagination, the fertile ground for breaking through polarized solutions into new ones. If we see work and play in two different camps, let’s build a third one. Call it Leo Summer Camp. The best darn Summer Camp you’ve ever attended because it’s your music you’re listening to, your own art you’re making, your collage, writing your own words and hanging exceptional photos on the wall. Do it because that Muse needs to play, because you don’t know what else to do and for no other reason than you must do what you love. Do it because Alternative no. 3 remains unimaginably wonderful – until you imagine it into existence by just doing it.

Your face can crack from a frozen fake smile or from grinning ear-to-ear in joy. Some of you must wear corporate masks but like the Saffron Goddess, the Muse’s inner smile banishes all that to bureaucracy and back. Surely, when France is contemplating less leisure, we know it’s time to resuscitate our Muse from imminent humorlessness and élan lethargy. After all, it’s August, the month of the mighty Lion. It’s time to play softball with the Suits and the Muses, to engage the Universe in a pleasurable romp on behalf of our own well-being and happiness.

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