Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy Solar Return to Me

My Solar Return officially happened today at 2:58 a.m., and naturally as a Pluto-in-Virgo Rising native I had to not only see my 39th birthday in (for the second time), but also engage in a bit of ritual. I have a nice little collection of upscale candles, the subtly as opposed to overpoweringly scented kind that come in decorative tins, and I lit the pink magnolia one as I wrote in my journal.

How I wish I could share some choice profundities from that journal entry upon entering my 5th (!) decade in this life, a la F. Scott Fitzgerald in his "The Crack-Up" essay, which he wrote just days before turning the big 4-0. Yet I don't think I was waxing so wise late last night. It was more like I was in unexpected shock that the moment I'd been anticipating for the past 10 years, i.e., entering middle age, was finally happening. I was so reflective and conscious of passing time as a child and younger adult that I never actually felt young; now that I am definitely no longer young, I feel wistful at the same time I have zero nostalgia for it...

...except for isolated incidents, like walking on Lido Beach on the South Shore of Long Island with my grandparents' nearly untrained Lhasha Apso, feeling totally at peace with the world and with myself. Like believing with all my heart as an adolescent that I would grow up to be a SoHo artist and thus get my revenge on all my classmates who treated me like an alien or as if I didn't exist. Like having the energy and persistence to send out my short stories and novel on a regular basis despite the constant rejections because I believed so much in what I was doing...

Compared to most of the people of the world, especially in this worsening Global Recession-slash-Depression, I know how lucky I have it: an aesthetically pleasing roof over my gradually graying head in the so-hip-it-hurts borough of Kings; decent if not excellent health; work (albeit the kind that is erratic and not terribly lucrative, i.e., freelance editing, and all of the CVs I send out for salaried positions fall into a cybervoid); some real friends; a real love; family that no longer features the sort of drama that shredded my nerves on a regular basis; some validation for my creative work (today my audio book has been published on paper-bag-press.com, a very cool manifestation of Moon in Leo in my Solar Return chart's 3rd house, and sextile the SR Ascendant). And this evening I'm going to dine in very good company in an iconic restaurant that is fortuitously taking part in NY Restaurant Week.

Yet there is so much more I could be if only I could harness my willpower the way I used to be able to do. With my progressed Moon in Taurus, I've grown soft. Just as I predicted a year ago, I've gained weight (about 10 lbs., which is like 20 lbs. on a small frame) and creatively speaking, have been reaping more than sowing (the poems in my eBook and audio book are new to readers, but they are old hat to me...I feel like the Beatles must've felt doing "Twist and Shout" in 1965, but without the fame and fortune).

And just as I could not enjoy my youth when I had it, I worry that what I do have will be swept away in next year's Uranus/Pluto square. At least if such loss comes to pass, I will have plenty of company. I can't predict whether the U.S. is going to have a Civil War or a decade or so of uncivil scrounging, but with my progressed Mercury conjunct my natal Pluto/Asc., I doubt I'll be sitting quietly by the sidelines. I suppose that getting assassinated (a Plutonian activity) would do wonders for my career, since having a shady reputation (also Plutonian) hasn't done the job.

Interestingly, I learned last night that Julius "Et tu, Brute?" Caesar was born on July 13, not July 12 as is commonly thought. Apparently his birthday was celebrated a day early so as to avoid conflict with an ancient Roman festival, the Ludi Apollinares (the games that celebrated the Sun god, Apollo). You'd think that Julius, who basically made the Roman Empire, could've moved the festival to suit his schedule, but maybe he didn't want to press his luck. (Or maybe he just liked festivals. I wonder if he'd have enjoyed the one I went to over July 4 weekend? I can just see him cannonballing into the swimming pool wearing an LED-light-enhanced toga....)

Anyway, this bit of knowledge I just acquired gives me even more of a reason (as if sharing a birthday with Harrison Ford, Cheech Marin, and Cameron Crowe weren't enough) to refuse to rest on my laurels.


  1. You are still young. I'm five years older than you, and I see myself as not just young, but a spring chicken. Anyone who refers to me as "middle aged" will see the darkest of dark Plutonian side of me emerge very quickly, as that is so not what I am. Forget the damn cultural stereotypes; just live, think, and act young, and that's what you'll be.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Raven. I don't actually consider myself over the hill; if I did, I wouldn't have gone to a crazy "burner" festival earlier this month. I have a baby face with freckles (and a few zits) and no one comes close to guessing my real age. And as a creative, outside-the-loop, under-the-radar person, I contain all ages. At any given moment I feel 7, 17, 27, 77. I was just recognizing how bizarre it felt to turn the big 4-0.

  3. Happy solar return! I'm about to turn 60 next year, so I'm definitely thinking it's time to reclaim aging. It's hot, it's cool, it's the best thing that anyone can do with their time. (It's the only thing?)

    I noticed your comment about civil war. I have been wondering about that too. It really seems to fit the archetypical elements: the Uranus in Aries rebel vs the Pluto in Capricorn government bureaucrat. And then there's that connection between Lincoln and Obama... Illinois, Aquarius rising, and they even kind of look alike.

    I worry about those folks who are so into their guns & still so freaked about Obama getting elected.

    However, I'd sure like to see this work itself out some other way...