I used to date a musician, and as all music lovers, he loved music. Me, I was painting and making art and loved that, and we – well, we both appreciated one another’s creative pleasures, those being the foundation of our otherwise elusive connection.
I remember waxing philosophical (more than once) to him, but this time in the context of creative gifts and money – surely a Taurus theme. In a rush of inspired optimism about our shared passions I exclaimed: ‘The best things in life really are free! Take for example, making art. We can create beauty to our heart’s content and it costs nothing! To this, he replied in his typically (Venus in Scorpio) wry way: ‘Who are you kidding? I need to buy a bass to be able to play it – then there’s the amps, recording equipment and studio time. Being a musician is expensive, and I’m sure painting is, too!’
Point taken. I had been speaking from the perspective of my 2nd house Neptune who, faithful to the symbol, wholeheartedly believes: inspiration is free, creativity is innate, and imagination costs nothing. Artistry is a dialogue with the muses, and the ability to do that in any shape or form, through music, art, writing, interior design, or cooking…is priceless, as the AMEX commercial says. But while creativity is a gift, putting those inspirations into material form, isn’t. I need a computer to write. And I need to have others give value to, and be able to pay for, the gifts I have to offer. With the economic downturn of late, this ‘point taken’ is being driven closer to home with each passing day.
Today the New Moon is in Taurus, a sign that loves the comfort and security of things, err, correction, the sign that loves and needs the comfortable security of things. Delving more deeply into Taurus, the things we have and grow attached to are a reflection of our values and isn’t it funny how when we’re forced to pare down, we are also forced to more closely examine our values? This isn’t a bad thing. The question is less about what I need, but that if I needed to live on less, what could I absolutely not live without? Our answer may be surprising but it’s also clarifying – for our answer tells us more about who we are.
You probably have your own, but my favorite ‘you can’t take it with you’ quiz is, if my house was on fire, what would I grab first? With immaterial Neptune in Sagittarius in my Taurus 2nd House, I have asked myself this quite often. At the top of my list: books. If the house were on fire, I’d grab my favorite books and make a run for it. I need the wisdom of learned people like a horse needs water. More optimistically though, a similar scenario could as easily be this: let’s say I was going on an extended trip and had only a steamer trunk to fill with my prized personal possessions (this isn’t far removed from reality, as it is my husband/soul mate’s dream to travel indefinitely some day, thus neatly consolidating our lives into two steamer trunks). I’d bring: my favorite Italian shoes, a few smoking hot outfits, my notebooks, vitamins and herbs and good moisturizer, writing utensils and a writing machine. That’s basically it. And in the world according to 2nd House Neptune I have no doubt that I could do this.
But what can’t I truly and dearly, not live without? It gets beyond the stuff and into the realm of: you can’t take it with you. The intangible possessions of life, those are the things of abundant living are really the ones that I truly can’t do without. Beauty. Love. Creativity. Hope. Wisdom. Clarity. Grace. Compassion. Growth. Freedom. Mystery. Faith. The intangibles, in the form of spiritual values lived, offer far more security than money in the bank. And while I certainly can’t ignore the financial situation of the world pressing at my bank account and yours, making many of us feel at the very least, mentally impoverished, I also can’t ignore the question, What if tomorrow, I can’t afford the lifestyle I have today? Well, we can let this question work on us like a sieve, allowing it to continue clarifying our definition of the good life until that resembles a more personal and valuable definition of fulfillment.
I guess my perspective hasn’t changed much since my years ago conversation with Venus in Scorpio. I’ll still try to convince you that the best things in life are free: I’ll talk about how a writer can write a beautiful song on the back of a lunch bag or an amateur artist can move a few rocks around on a beach making a Japanese sand garden that pleases people for years. I’ll argue, how can we measure the value of soul who has diligently worked on their spiritual development from a material perspective? For the soul, the whole subject of dollars and cents don’t mean a thing… yet. I can imagine a world with a tangible currency motivated by our deepest gifts. Can you?
Here’s my new and expanded definition of ‘the best things in life are free’. The best things in life are intangible ones. Love. Beauty. Freedom. Hope. They may also be the most costly, in terms of time and effort and even money spent to manifest, but they’re worth every ounce of effort in creating them. Because in creating them, we are also co-creating an immaterial world worth living in.