The Fool

My Card for the Day…

So I’m from Jersey…

“What exit?”

“Ew, the armpit of the country?”

“I hate Jersey!” (Oh yeah, where’ve you been?) “I had a layover at Newark Airport.”

“How can you be from Jersey? You’re nice!” (Ahem, you haven’t seen me watching hockey…)

Don’t even get me started on that effing reality show. They weren’t even from Jersey.

I’ve defended my home state to exhaustion! Growing up, I worked at a farmer’s market and partied in abandoned barns. My Poppop grew the best tomatoes ever tasted in his backyard garden and you’ve never actually had a real tomato until you’ve had a Jersey tomato.

Jersey gets a bad rap.

You know what else gets a bad rap? Being foolish.

There’s something to be said for naivete. The Fool card in the tarot is numbered zero. This is because at any point in our lifelong journey we have the ability to venture out into something new, all full of hope and faith and stupidity.

It’s actually kind of beautiful.

I’m not sure if it’s that I’m in my forties now or that I talk to invisible beings or that I (people hate when I say this, but it’s true to the extent that it’s true) lost my kids and everything I thought mattered in the world when I decided I wanted to get well.

I’ve shown my ass so many times it seems almost a waste of metaphorical cloth to put metaphorical pants on my mistake maker.

I remember almost four years ago sitting in the mental hospital and promising myself that I’d live even though I didn’t want to but that if I was going to live I was going to do what I wanted to do and I didn’t care who liked it or not because trying to be perfect and understood and beyond reproach and normal had landed me without shoelaces and my underwire bra in the dayroom.

It’s like that song that says freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

I know lots of people dread the little game our minds like to play called, ‘But, What If?’ Once upon a time I hated that game, too. And my mind was a gold medal winning Olympian at the sport of scaring the shit out of myself with endless horrific possibilities.

In the past few years, though, my soul seems to derive some thrill from it.

“What of it doesn’t work out? What if we’re broke and homeless? What if people get mad? What if everyone thinks you’re stupid?”

For an instant my ego clutches her pearls.

And then my soul my soul enters stage left with a glimmer in her eye and a mischievous grin.

That’s when I smile and think, “Holy crap! Can you imagine? What on Earth would I do?”

The list of terrible things that have already happened is rather extensive for just one meat suit, and I’ve survived them all.

So, what if?

There’s this weird thing that goes something like, if you and the Universe have secrets and you don’t tell anyone what you’re up to, nobody really pays much attention, and unbelievable miracles happen.

But you have to step out in faith and it’s a lot more fun without fear.

I still defend Jersey, I probably always will. But I know for a fact in some circles I have a bad rap, too, and I don’t spend near as much time defending myself anymore.

Some day I hope it’ll be down to zero time. Fool time.

Weekly Woo-Woo

Little known fact, before you proceed! Did you know that your horoscope will likely be more accurate if you read your Rising sign? I personally read both my Sun sign and my Rising sign, giving a bit more weight to my Rising sign horoscope. This does require that you know your birth time and what your rising sign is which many folks don’t. This is why horoscopes are primarily used based on Sun sign. It’s more marketable, but less accurate. Sun sign horoscope is fine if you don’t know your rising, but I thought that worthy of sharing. Carry on!

Aries – This week starts out fast paced with your mental faculties at high speed, Gemini, which is a good thing because there may be some tension among friends or associates.  You want what you want and you’ll have the mouth to explain it, though be on the lookout for emotional manipulation, and not just by others.  Stick to your values with integrity.  By midweek, harmonizing conversations in the workplace or public sphere provide opportunities to smooth things over.  As Friday rolls around, it’s all about you!  Take a short trip to visit family or a walk through the neighborhood and get the latest tea from the nosey neighbor lady.  You’ll find your social life quite active and satisfying over this next month.

Taurus – So, Monday morning you wake up, jump out of the bed, and scream, “Show me the money!”  Kidding.  Sort of.  But you’ve got money and ideas about money front and center for the next few weeks.  Today, though, work may throw a big glass of water on your fire to cool you down which might suck.  Hang in there.  On Wednesday you stand to learn something that bolsters you and shifts your beliefs in who you are.  Heading into the weekend, you may be a bit more angsty than usual, so be sure to carve out some down time for yourself.  The rest of the month may prove to bring some financial goodies your way. Give it some time.

Gemini – You’ve been growing in the dark recently, it might seem, Gemini.  It’s you vs. the world. Although today a stark revelation you’ve had recently is due to clash with some long-standing beliefs.  But that had of yours is not just a hat rack and you’re thinking capacity is at full throttle, specifically about who you are on this floating rock, which stands to aid this process.  As the week proceeds, provocative insights or conversations free you up in some way; relieve you of a debt, whether financial or emotional.  Starting Friday you may aggravate or instigate friends and comrades, so be mindful.  In the upcoming month you may be fancying a makeover.  Do it! You’re changing on the inside, so celebrate it on the outside.

Cancer – Over the next coming weeks you may be crawling deeper into that crab shell of yours than usual, Cancer.  Things that are hard to explain are floating in the outer recesses of your mind.  Early in the week there is a potential upset between a new group of folks you’re aligned with and an emotional obligation to someone else significant in your life.  Stay true to you.  Midweek an aspiration achieved, however big or small, brings transformative breakthroughs to relationships closer to home, specifically partnerships.  If you take work home with you this weekend, you’ll likely be moody.  Actually, you’ll likely be moody regardless.  Grab a blanket, get comfy, and journal.  For the next month, actually.  Down time is on the menu.  And bon-bons. Stock up.

Leo – You’re thinking outside the box in your career and this may be creating discord in your personal relationships, specifically with significant others.  Over the course of the month of May, all eyes are on you, Leo, and your conversation skills prove to make you the life of the party.  Midweek be on the lookout for a little grace at work that has the potential to create some balance between work and your daily routine.  By the end of the week, you’re lit up and thinking about the future.  Aspirations are high.  In the coming weeks you may find you’re aligning yourself with people who inspire you and bring you closer to achieving some goals.  

Virgo – Today may find you pondering your place in the world.  At the forefront, though, you’ve got new beliefs knocking on your door and yet it might seem like you have little room in your daily schedule to let them in.  You might be feeling emotionally attached to the same old, same old, but don’t be overly critical of change.  There is some exciting stuff on your mind and by the end of the week you may have wrapped your heart around what your head is already snuggling.  A romantic fancy or creative project midweek taps you on the shoulder and encourages you to open your eyes a bit wider.  This weekend you obligations haunt a bit, whether financial and emotional. Write them on little pieces of paper and burn them. Or maybe just let something go. Unless it’s a bill. Use discernment.

Libra – You’ve been secretly brewing something, and today just might take some of the fun out of it.  A secret could be revealed. You might do well cleaning out the closet some metaphorically, and even literally if that tickles your fancy.  Romance could be sidelined while something deeper stirs within you.  Today and for the next few weeks you’re looking into the future and pondering where you’re going and what baggage you’ll be leaving behind.  You Libras will have all of the necessities, but it’s time to worry about what’s been stowed away in the unzipped parts weighing you down. Be on the lookout for news or information that sparks your curiosity and inspires you to learn.  Around Wednesday a valve opens up relieving pressure at home and by the weekend you are focused on significant others, romantic or otherwise.  This month will take you places, whether by plane or in your heart.

Scorpio – This morning might find you worrying about who you owe your time to and some strife between significant others and keeping the peace at home could prove heavy.  You’re innovative in your relationships these days, however, and though it may take dedication to create change at home, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone.  Coming up this month you’ll be thinking a lot about the value others bring to your life and what you bring to theirs and it would do you well to create some balance in that regard.  The disruptions early this week might ruffle the feathers of your weekend plans, but do not be deterred to the deeper sense of excitement you feel stirring deep down.

Sagittarius – You’re inspired this Monday to stir things up a bit, whether it’s a new fitness routine or a shake up in the schedule, you’re glitching the matrix and putting what you value at front and center.  However, you might feel stifled by your environment and this shift could move like molasses. Communication with significant others will come with ease over the next few weeks so if you’re clear and honest in the face of resistance, it may garner you a solid ally.  Particularly toward the end of the week and through the rest of this month.  Midweek you find a sweet spot, perhaps with a purchase that makes change a bit smoother.  Heading into the weekend you’re feeling fun and inspired so spark up a candle for a romantic dinner or grab an easel.  

Capricorn – Something artistic or innovative wants to take form for you, Capricorn, but your purse strings may not be forthcoming with the means to create it.  You may be feeling emotionally attached to your finances and uncertain if this new thing is really important to you or just a flight of fancy.  It’s not a flight of fancy.  You’ve got your busy schedule on your mind and as the week progresses, you may be more inclined to make some space for something fun.  Particularly around Wednesday when you open up to a deep insight and are open to the idea that you deserve some frivolity in your life.  Heading into the weekend there may be some chaos on the home front as your emotions could be volatile.  Sti down and make some lists, it’ll make you feel better and be productive.

Aquarius – Maybe you want a new sofa, Aquarius.  Or a bigger TV.  Or a smaller TV.  Maybe you want to get rid of your TV and get a fireplace.  Do you even know who you are any more?  Recent months may have you denying yourself of some pleasures, but why not rearrange the straw in your nest? Get rid of some old bits and spice it up with some freshies.  There are creative ways to bring a little tenderness to your immediate surroundings that nurture your soul and you deserve that.  As the week progresses, your mind is open to new looks and styles, so yes, put that alien poster in a frame and slap it above your bed.  Everyone will love it. This weekend, yuck it up with neighbors, you’ll have a little fire in you.  For better or worse.

Pisces – There is a wild call for you to venture out, Pisces, however compelling the urge to brood may be at the moment.  This next month you will be finding new ways to create a sense of peace at home and fortunately your mind will be rife with ideas.  Perhaps a spring clean is in order and the sense of accomplishment will lull you out of the depths of the ocean you’re currently lurking.  Around the middle of the week a family member or neighbor might just encourage you to join the masses, or simply go to meeting of the book club, and that might lighten things up a bit for you.  Heading into the weekend, however, you may feel defensive of your alone time, which, if you’ve heeded the call to socialize this week, you’ve likely earned. Daydream away.

It All Ends up…Weird. But I Wrote Today.

This morning I stepped on the scale in the bathroom. Not because I really care what it reads, but because it’s there so I like to use it for fun sometimes. Never a dull moment around here.

Once I hopped on and the digital numbers started their frenzied calculating, I realized I had a banana in my hand. I quickly put it on the bathroom counter before my final weight was registered in flashing fashion.

I offer you a moment to contemplate that…

I put down the banana I was at that very time ingesting so I wouldn’t screw up my weight. And I have no issues with my weight, I just wanted the number to be right.

Right.

Like, for who? Seriously?

You might be asking yourself, why is this important? Or you might be asking yourself, why am I even reading this?

If you’re asking *me* those questions, I’ll tell you. To the former, it’s not. At all. And to the latter, because you find humans fascinating.

If the questions were rhetorical, I hope your head enjoyed the beckoning silence they invited. Hey, you just meditated! You’re welcome.

I have this genuine curiosity about humans, myself included. Actually, I always have. Well, only recently about myself, but others always.

We’re fascinating. We do weird things. Some we share. Some we don’t.

“The Godhead is never an object of its own knowledge. Just as a knife doesn’t cut itself, fire doesn’t burn itself, light doesn’t illuminate itself. It’s always an endless mystery to itself.

Alan Watts

I truly enjoy what I’m doing with tarot and astrology. I’m able to be with people while they’re learning about themselves. There is something about objects, with provoking questions and images and insights, that creates an external canvas with which we’re able to observe, imagine, and explore ourselves and I just freaking love that.

I hold this truth that everyone I astrologize and tarotize with has all the wisdom they are seeking inside of them and I am only there to bear witness as they find it. I’ll even hold the lantern and shout ‘Woo-hoo!’ as we go. I set an intention with my spirit crew at the outset of each reading that I leave as faint a footprint as possible on their destined path. Free will and stuff. It is not my aim to influence or interfere.

I listen and that is something, in my experience, we humans struggle with. Authentic listening is tough. It requires deep breaths. Feeling the words. Opening our heart. Quieting our mind. Pausing to know how the words occupy silence. Sometimes that’s the bulk of what listening entails. The silence part. Sometimes another question will move the words another way.

More often than not, after a good listen, words will wander out with a bit more space in between and measurement and direction. And that’s really where the answers are. In between the words. After them, when there are no words left.

When I meditate I imagine a world with lots of listening hearts feeling all of the stories people have to share. And lots of silence soaking them in. There are so many stories! They don’t need judges or critics or editors! They’re silly and they’re sad and they’re joyous and they’re painful and they’re often left unpeeled and undigested.

Set aside on the counter, because somehow we feel that they’re not right. They don’t deserve a weigh-in. And I wish that weren’t the case.

Just like I’m gonna poop out that banana in a few hours, when we digest and ingest our stories, they can be eliminated in some sense. Absorbed for what they’re worth and passed through.

Something went a bit awry with my metaphor, but I’ve gotta go and I wrote something today and I think it best if I post something imperfect and let my ego mope about it for a while.

It’s just a silly story anyway. Thanks for listening.

Namaste!

Zube

Stunts

In high school I was a cheerleader. I loved it. I really wanted to be a gymnast but I went to a small school that didn’t have gymnastics and it was too expensive for my ‘kinda big for the 80’s’ family of four kids, so cheerleading it was.

I was small framed and this meant I got to do cool stunts and be on top of pyramids and stuff. I wish I could say I was lithe because I fucking love the word ‘lithe’ but aren’t lithe people tall?

Ahem, did you see what I did there? (With lithe?)

Anyway, I was surprisingly daring for a shy kid. But I was also fairly determined when it came to perfecting things, stunts among them.

It’s funny, when I started blogging in 2004 I carried on for nearly three years and stories would vie to make the great escape to the page. I feared no criticism, I was extremely transparent, and I even had a little crew of haters to call my own. Someone took the time to find my address and send me a bible with an inscription of my maiden name on it. I was married at the time and thought it was hilarious.

Meh, maybe I was kind of an asshole. I was in my twenties though. I’m not saying all people in their twenties are assholes. Not in the least. Just that maybe when you’re in your forties and contemplating yourself in your twenties, ‘asshole’ might be among one of the top ten words you use to describe your twenty-something self. Along with ‘stupendous’ and ‘awesome’. Perhaps.

Anyway, in 2007 I had a baby, but still, I hung in there for a while. Then I had another baby and some things shifted and Pluto conjuncted my natal Moon and transited through my 9th house which affects, among other things, publishing and philosophy.

A shadow lingered punitively behind me whenever I sat down to write. It’s been that way for twelve years now. But it’s like it’s finally beginning to dissolve. Which is interesting because Pluto is nearing the end of that (now that I know what I know, pretty brutal) transit. He’s been teaching me some things. Some things about power and control. And who’s the boss of me. And rebirth. And Phoenix. Not the city. The bird. Or something like that. Because that’s how Pluto do.

I’m looking forward to 2023 when he’s done doing what he do. With me anyway.

Let’s rewind back to high school and there’s a pep rally in the gym. The evening before I kissed a boy. I knew he was dating one of the other cheerleaders, but we ended up hanging out and he told me they’d broken up and he was a senior and I was a sophomore and, well, yeah. I was a little starry eyed. And gullible. And geeky. We kissed.

Found out the next day in school they were not in fact broken up. It was all very dramatic and traumatic at the time, and complicated by the fact that at the pep rally that night the girl I’d betrayed was my base in a pyramid.

And I fell. In front of the whole school. At the last pep rally. There’s a not so small part of me that thinks I may have been dropped, but it really doesn’t matter. I was humiliated. So was she, I’m sure. I had done an asshole thing. It served me right, honestly.

But all that’s in the past, we’re friends on Facebook now, she and I. Also he and I. Because, well, high school. In fact I’ve stopped writing this to crack up a few times.

She graduated that year and somehow I managed to survive even though my parents refused to move or send me to another school.

The next year I was back to climbing up on pyramids. I even fell a number of times, too.

I mean, life goes on, ya know?

Even when you’re an asshole.

So maybe writing is like that. It’s just another one of those stunts I’ve always been so brave about.

Spirit Week Photo from FHS 1990
(I bet I was crying under that mask!)

Talking Trash

Susan and Zube, ready to hike!

I don’t even quite know how to start this post because my friendship with Susan is sort of that way. Beyond words. We’ve been friends for over twenty years and I’m not quite sure how to pay homage to someone who lovingly transports a rehab-bound friend to the airport at 9AM, drunk on the wine indiscriminately polished off from the evening before. She didn’t even hesitate or chastise when I realized I’d lost my debit card and vodka was maintenance required for the trip, at that point. Not having cash on hand, she dug through her purse for quarters so I didn’t have to worry about getting the shakes.

For the record, she’s the kind of friend who has two airport vodka tonics worth of quarters in her purse and infinite gold in her heart.

Every couple of months we go hiking. Frankly, it’s more like a walk, but a walk in the mountains through dirt road neighborhoods featuring a hikey path halfway through, so we call it a hike. It’s a daily thing for her and since I am an intermittent resident of 9,000 ft altitude, not to mention a former smoker, our arrangement is that I fill her in on my life while we’re downhill and she fills me in on hers while we’re uphill.

It’s lovely. And I feel like a total badass every time we do it.

Most of you know, I’m very open about my life. It’s just my way. Jupiter conjunct Chiron, I’m looking at you. This post isn’t about astrology, however, that information proved very useful in my own healing Journey.

I heal by learning and sharing. I don’t feel weird about that anymore.

Even still, there is a lot I don’t share with God and everybody. Well, God, sure, but not everybody. Not until I’m ready at least. Once the seeds of valuable lessons I’ve planted in a given experience have had time to germinate and break ground, strengthened by the sun, then I will share what I’ve grown.

I do have a small council of folks whom I trust with my gardening projects.

To be blunt, I don’t like others’ thoughts, feelings, and energy all over my shit. I’m selective about the fertilization of my sacred ground.

Anyway, as we were hiking the other day, I was huffing and puffing, yes, even downhill, and sharing some of my tender bits. Unfolding the bandages from my wounds and exposing them to some fresh air and thoughtful examination.

Susan simply witnesses. She has a magical way of holding space.

After a bit of sharing I trailed off mid-sentence.

“You know what? I’m actually going to stop now. I don’t like how my words feel.”

It wasn’t that they were emotional or that I was being avoidant. I tend to march right up to most feelings these days. What I meant is that the words were starting to move differently. As though they weren’t content to occupy the space between us anymore. They wanted to flee. To inflict.

It’s hard to explain.

One of the most pivotal and life-changing books I’ve ever read was The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I’ve posted the agreements below, but I highly recommend the entire book.

‘Be Impeccable with your Word’, the first agreement, is written in invisible ink, on invisible paper, and pressed close to my heart in an (almost always) invisible pocket.

There’s a churning in my stomach and a throatiness in my voice when my words start to feel, well, harmful. To describe them as harmful seems a bit dramatic but it’s the best way I know how. It’s like they’re preparing to take flight, seek the subject, and nibble at the energetic bubble enfolding them. I actually believe, left unchecked, they would do just that. Whether that person is aware or not.

And that’s not what I’m about. It’s important to me not to go around launching little energetic piranha words at people’s bubbles unbeknownst to them. Which is why I’m very careful with them.

It’s not unusual for me to trail off in a conversation like that so we shared a momentary silence and enjoyed our walk until something caught my eye and I pointed laughing. A bit maniacally.

“Oh my God, Susan, look over there.”

Just ahead of us at the end of a driveway was a large green bin emblazoned with the words ‘Talking Trash’ which is the name of a local garbage company.

“Holy shit, I stopped myself first but the Universe was ready to remind me!”

Susan laughed, too. “Oh Larry, I just love how he’s always talking to you.”

I am often awe-struck by the fortune and messages in my life. Friends with quarters and big hearts, gardens to grow, and perfectly placed trash cans. And that’s the truth.

Namaste.

Zube