venus retrograde diaries [#StarsAndSymbols]

one way of differentiating a retrograde planet from a planet moving in its regular direct motion is to consider the ‘re’ prefix. words such as review, revisit, and revise come to mind. different planets, when retrograde, might warrant different ‘re’ verbs. for example, the energy of venus revolves around individual values, so we may find ourselves forced to re-evaluate some aspect of our lives when venus is retrograde.

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venus happens to be retrograde now, actually, and i can attest to this cosmic re-evaluation, as I am experiencing my own version of it. most noticeably i am re-evaluating my own home. now that i think about it, this particular venus retrograde [from the mid degrees of aries back to the last few degrees of pisces] is traversing my 4th house, which is related to home and the innermost private life away from the public eye, so it is no wonder i looking at my living space with new eyes.

long story short, i love where i live now. it took me about 2 years, give or take a few months, to arrive at this conclusion, but i am enamored with altadena. for those who have never heard of it, or know little about it, altadena is just north of pasadena in los angeles county, right outside the city. located  in the foothills of the san gabriel mountains, altadena is like a quaint, green, mountainous refuge high up and away from the rest of the city of angels. initially, when i first moved here from the suburbs of atlantic city, new jersey, this distance i speak of was the exact problem i perceived.

altadena was too far removed for me to feel like i was getting the true LA experience. people familiar with the area were quick to correct me if i made the mistake of saying i lived in LA (“that’s not LA”), and i know it’s not (technically), but it’s easier sometimes to say LA and keep it casual in superficial “small talk”-type conversations. as someone who is drawn to big cities, i wanted desperately to be in the thick of things, especially since my job is in the middle of hollywood. since i have no car here, my commute from altadena to hollywood (which warrants its own article) is what some would call a “super-commute”, and it took a lot of time to get used to it. speaking of having no car, it can be tedious to enjoy a social life in a city that is as sprawling and widespread as los angeles. nightlife, in particular, has been a hassle, because the metro is virtually nonexistent after midnight, and uber/lyft rides add up if used immoderately. these are some of the reasons i wasn’t completely satisfied living in altadena. until now, that is.

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i don’t know quite what elicited the shift, but i know that i appreciate altadena so much more than i used to, especially since venus has been retrograde. here are 8 of my favorite things (in no particular order) about this small town, which i am now referring to as my LA safe haven:

  1. racial diversity
    i love the fact that i see black and latino families walking out of these big, beautiful homes to tend to their lawns, sit on their porches, etc. as young person of color, this is both inspirational and aspirational.
  2. real estate
    speaking of big, beautiful homes… there are some big, beautiful homes here. i often find myself walking paths that i wouldn’t normally walk because i’ve spotted a gorgeous piece of property.
  3. nature
    LA is notorious for its smog, but the air up in altadena seems fresher than the rest of the city. maybe it’s all the trees, this town is located directly below the angeles national forest. my street in particular (santa rosa ave) is lined with hundreds of cedar deodar trees.
  4. christmas tree lane
    so my street, with all the cedar trees, is nicknamed christmas tree lane, and since 1920, it has been a popular holiday destination. every december, the trees are decorated with christmas lights, and people drive from all over to see it with their families. it goes until the new year, and i can see it all from my kitchen window/front yard.
  5. hiking trails
    thanks to some of the aforementioned treasures, i take regular walks around my neighborhood, and if i walked far enough uphill, i run into some cool trails, most recently the altadena crest trail, which i found by accident last time my curiosity drove me from my house to the northernmost edge of my path. there’s also eaton canyon to the east of me, and that trail is distinguished by oasis-like waterfall that you will meet at the finish line.11109022_1613614442231154_7239981195780805647_n.jpg
  6. local eats
    my appetite is surprisingly big for such a skinny guy, and thankfully, i don’t have to go too far for good food. around the corner from me, just above the intersection of lake & mariposa, are two of my go-to eateries: park bench grill (an intimate black-owned soul food establishment with especially good sandwiches) and el patron (a small, but solid Mexican restaurant with affordable ways to get drunk).
  7. altadena library district
    i live directly across from the altadena library, which means i have access to a wealth of information, not to mention a wealth of people circulating in and out of my immediate environment. when i’m not reading/writing/loitering on the computer inside of the library (especially since my laptop stopped working), i am sitting on my front porch, observing the locals with whom i share this area.
  8. theosophical society
    right up the street from my house, on the corner of santa rosa and mariposa, is the theosophical society international headquarters. i know very little of theosophy, but i know it’s occult-oriented, and i’m sure they chose altadena for a reason. i just wonder what it is…

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daily 4cast: 9/6/2015 [#StarsAndSymbols]

Sunday
9/6/2015
Starring:
Mercury [in Libra] opposite Vesta [in Aries]
Co-Starring:
Moon [in Gemini] square Juno [in Virgo]
Moon [in Cancer] square North Node [in Libra]
Featuring:
Venus goes Direct in Leo

No-Offense[1]

At this point, after feeling all sorts of feelings, you are more in tune with what matters most to you. Moving forward, you are less likely to lower your standards and indulge in a vice that you don’t really like for the sake of filling a hole. This summer hasn’t been the sunniest [figuratively speaking], and you might be ready to unleash the cold, bitter beast that’s been building inside, but it might be helpful to remember that the offense you perceive is not always intended.

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daily 4cast: 7/25/2015 [#StarsAndSymbols]

saturday
7/25/2015
starring:
sun [in leo] opposite ceres [in aquarius]
mars [in cancer] square uranus [in aries]
neptune [in pisces] opposite juno [in virog]
co-starring:
moon [in scorpio] trine mars [in cancer]/chiron [in pisces]
moon [in scorpio] sextile pluto [in capricorn]
featuring:
venus goes retrograde in virgo

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the highest order is the internal experience of the emotions. sometimes how we feel inside is more valuable a focus than what is happening outside, for how we feel is often  intuitively indicative of how conducive our environment is to our holistic health and overall wellbeing. living a shiny life with toys that shine and glimmer in the light is virtually worthless if emptiness is the truth of your inner existence, and if you don’t recognize that now, the consequences are sure to catastrophic.

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venus retrograde: bitch better have my money [#StarsAndSymbols]

when the word ‘retrograde’ comes to mind, most of us are used to hearing it associated with the planet mercury. maybe that’s why as i’ve been mentioning venus retrograde [Jul 25 – Sep 6, 2015] to people, i’ve received such a curious response. venus goes retrograde less frequently than quick-moving mercury, but it always comes right on time to help us process all of our venusian intake.

art. love. money. just some quick keywords that fall under the domain of venus, mythical goddess of all things beautiful.

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in astrology, venus is all those seemingly unrelated keywords, except they are all super related. our appreciation for art is related to our love interest is related to our capacity to circulate money. how? value. it’s all based on what we value and what we esteem to be worth it, including our own self-esteem. in short, we attract [venus keyword] into our lives the people, places, and things that we value, and what we attract has everything to do with our self-worth or lack thereof.

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venus retrograde: possession [#StarsAndSymbols]

at what point does what we own begin to own us? how does a possession simply adopt the audacity to possess its owner? all that is not presently appreciated has the ability to depreciate our sense of self-esteem…

we have all we need and them some, so it is surely a sin to let anything go to waste. to embrace what is in our grasp or to give it away is the decision we must make, lest we be greedy and succumb to the insecurity of the hoarder. that which we believe to be held sometimes has a hold on us. naturally, when we are too scared to take out the trash, the smell of garbage will fill the air. why should we be afraid to let go when we have always had all that is required?

this what i have been feeling since venus has been retrograde. as you already know, venus [the goddess of love] clues us into our relations with other people, the give and the take (or lack thereof?), how we share our stuff (physical and non-physical). all of this, of course, is determined by what we hold close to our hearts, our values. venus is what we enjoy, what is pleasurable, what is entertaining, what we attract based on what we have to offer. when venus appears to be moving backward in her retrograde is when we are consumed by circumstances that call for us to (metaphorically and/or literally) clean out our closets.

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venus retrograde: artFLOP or SMARTpop? [#StarsAndSymbols]

For those who are not aware, I am emotionally invested in pop culture. I was raised by Disney films, Nickelodeon, and early 90s R&B radio. Most of my perception of reality is a byproduct of mass media programming. A lot of my interests are superficial in this way. This is my truth.

However superficial, I’ve learned with the help of my own imagination to find the philosophical depth in the realm of the popular. All things considered, I believe the performers of the mainstream are much too valuable a commodity to the political agendas of the industry not to be aligned in their careers with the occult. Working with the cycles of nature [astrology, numerology, etc.] serves to maximize the success of potential energies at the perfect, most divinely ordered moments in time. Even if the entertainers themselves are not aware of the rituals to which they are subject, I believe the corporations revere the magick of metaphysics.

Of course, some of these entertainers are actually artists, who appear to be more than conscious of the spells they cast. These magicians work with their iconography, not for it. One that comes to mind is Lady Gaga, who I laud for what I perceive to be her lucidity, which to me is what differentiates her for most of her peers. As an artist, I admire her because she seems to play on the question of “Who is watching whom?”, as the audience unknowingly reveals more about itself in its responses than does she in her creative expression. Or does she?

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