Today, I’m taking time out to remember an artist from Halifax, Zoe Nudell. She died last week after being struck by a drunk driver at 33 years old.

We were not close, but I have many happy memories of staying with her and her partner when I visited them Halifax with mutual friends. Whenever I met with them, I was always struck by their openness, their kindness. I always looked up to them and say without equivocation that she was one of the most genuine people I have had the opportunity to meet.

They say grief comes in waves. In this way, it reminds me of love. It splits you open and takes you beyond yourself. And the only way I know how to be in love is to submit to it. And so, one submits.

peggy's cove

Peggy’s Cove, 2006


The way people write about Venus-Neptune natives, you’d think we were all born with rose coloured retinas. These writers would have you believe that us idealistic, artistic types are doomed to pursue relationships with wife beaters and serial cheaters, all the while viewing everything through a romantic haze… until the veil of illusion is torn away. Venus-Neptune, they say, is too sensitive for the grime and grit of reality. They prefer to have their relationships floating above it all in a heady ether of sweet nothings and grand romantic gestures… until the veil drops, the mundane is revealed and the attraction dies.


I have the conjunction in a tight orb. And I believe the “dread the dropping veil” way of seeing things is deadly for the maturation of a Venus-Neptune native so I’d like people to stop promoting it. Any veil, when unrecognized and used without discernment, has the potential to skew one’s reality and lead to bad decisions. Instead, I see people suggesting that reality is the cause of suffering for Venus-Neptune when it is usually the illusions of the veil that brought them to suffer unnecessarily.

To be quite frank, while your imagination is probably quite a wonderful one, you do yourself a disservice in discounting reality, which can be far more wonderful, exciting and challenging than anything your unconscious projections could cook up. For it is when you rid yourself of your prejudices and see reality more clearly, that the real strength of Venus-Neptune can unfold. Venus-Neptune will give you the capacity to love what is real – even if it is sharp and crude – in a profound, beautiful and truly redemptive way. Without a deep connection to reality, a veiled relationship is but an onanistic, intoxicating mockery of what that relationship could have been.

I think most people writing about Venus-Neptune have it completely backward. Venus-Neptune is not for the weak because it is infinitely patient, infinitely forgiving. It is not martyrdom/saviour/victim love – that is when Venus-Neptune love is torqued into a perversion of itself, twisted to serve the ego. No, Venus-Neptune, when free of illusion, indicates a natural ability to demonstrate limitless compassion, understanding and empathy for all the harshness, ugliness and darkness out there in the world. And such an endeavour is only for the strong.


Society6/Måsse Hjeltman

Love is the cheapest, richest high. It costs you absolutely nothing and the intensity of the high lasts for days, weeks, months. You might in fact, never come down.

Like any drug, the first time you experience the rush of infatuation or eros, you probably won’t know what the hell to do with it. You are completely insane, fucked out of your mind on a heady neurochemical cocktail of dopamine and oxytocin and god knows what else, and this can actually be stressful for a lot of people. They’re constantly distracted, unable to sleep or eat and may behave out of character. They lose any and all sense of perspective. The most minor event can trigger even more intense, soaring highs or, if negative, can balloon into ridiculously overwrought and soul crushing lows. Like a dazed teenager puking on the sidewalk after a first round of binge drinking, most people need to learn how to hold their eros. Like any intoxicant, some people will always have a low tolerance for the stuff while others will never be affected very powerfully; some will become completely addicted while others may actively dislike it; so on and so forth.

Society6/Heather Landis

I’ve been falling in love practically every week since I was a teen and I’ve always enjoyed it. I have always been quite cavalier with my heart and I don’t regret a single time I’ve loved deeply. And all I can say is, while being lovestruck affects everyone differently, it gets so much better with experience and meditation. Because you reach a point where you realize that you don’t have to do anything about eros other than to be with it. A crush is just a crush, lust is just lust, and when you have no attachments to any outcome, you can luxuriate in your free and wonderfully rich high without that kind of frenetic concern over how the relationship is going to play out. You can think your silly, lovesick thoughts and be amused by them instead of believing in them. You can sit back and let your brain light up with feel good neurons firing away, and marvel at the fact that all it took to get that sweet, sweet hit of rewarding dopamine was a simple image or thought of your object of affection.


Since Dan Brown’s new book, there has been more interest generated in Freemasonry and I thought it would be timely to ressurect this post.

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Original Title: orders of elitism?
Original Post Date: April 29, 2006 @ 2:51 pm

I’ve been thinking about the role of elitism in terms of the OTO and freemasonry. You could say both orders are guilty of it despite principles of brotherhood and suchlike. Take Crowley’s scathing disgust with the masses and his penchant for unconstructive shit disturbing; oft cited character flaws indicating the man’s elitism which flew in the face of his assertion that “every man and woman is a star.” From an outsider’s or freemason’s point of view, as OTO members tend to hold Crowley in high regard, it may be assumed that this elitist attitude and distain for the ignorant, “unwashed masses” permeate the order. Not my opinion of course, but I can understand the perspective. However, from the OTO end, freemasonry looks totally elitist as well, with their old boys and their old money, no vaginas allowed.

But really, at the heart of the matter, elitism is not the issue. It seems to me that for many, it may appear on the surface that both orders have devised their own ways of safeguarding their secrets to keep people out. And I am no expert but I think those barriers are not really present to protect the secrets themselves, rather, their function is to protect people and to keep secrets in. Sort of like containing wild tigers in cages if you’re going to have a circus.


Ever since Jupiter crossed over my ASC, I’ve become more aware of all the abundance I have in my life. Nothing material has increased, but I feel very lucky these days. Lucky to live in a politically stable state with good infrastructure, to be literate and have an education, to eat good food everyday and be healthy, all kind of things easily taken for granted. I’m grateful for all the people who love me, and to have people who want my love.

Sometimes we can focus on the challenging signatures of the charts we analyze but overlook the ease, areas of abundance. The following post is about someone who grew up impoverished in many ways but has one area of serious abundance.

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Original Title: when it rains… natal aspects of a modern Casanova
Original Post Date: September 4, 2007 @ 11:50 pm

Awhile ago, a friend of mine who has what I would describe as a very prolific and impressive love life “confessed” to me that it may surprize me to know that in all his life, he has never approached a woman for sex. Of course, having seen his natal chart, I just laughed. “I’m not surprized at all,” I said, “why would you need to bother? Women rain out of the sky and land in your bed. They’re practically throwing their vaginas at you.” “Is this true?” he says, as if he hasn’t already experienced this phenomenon multiple times. “My dear, it’s your fate. It’s ordained by god. Don’t you realize how devastatingly charming you are?” At this point, he becomes endearingly embarrassed. “I can be very shy,” he protests. “But it hasn’t stopped you has it? Trust me, you were born to love women. You can’t fool the astrologer.”

His natal chart signatures:
– grand fire trine involving a Mars-Jupiter conjunction, Venus and Neptune
– moon-Pluto conjunction opposing Venus forming a kite formation with the grand trine
– Pisces cusping 5th, sun conjunct 5th cusp
– Scorpio ASC

For more astro info about the charts of great lovers, check out Skyscript’s article by Kim Farnell.

In honour of Venus’ transit through Pisces, I’m republishing one of my favourite posts.

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Original Title: Venus-Neptune contacts and the divinity of love
Original Post DateJune 30, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

teresa de avila

teresa de avila

Many astrologers like to emphasize the illusory nature that characterizes Venus-Neptune aspects. Apparently Venus-Neptune people don’t like the mundane, daily gestures that mark a long term relationship, they say. These people need fantasy, romance, escape. They’d rather pine than have the real deal. While that can be true, I’d add that those aspects present the possibility of having a direct romantic relationship (Venus) with the divine (Neptune). This is hardly a fantasy relationship, even if it doesn’t involve a blood and flesh human. Moreover, maintaining this relationship requires incredible discipline exacted upon a quotidian level.


This post is for everyone, in the spirit of the Christmas season. I sometimes forget this, so it’s also for myself.

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Original Title: amor vincit omnia
Original Post Date: November 14, 2007 @ 1:54pm


This Scorpionic post is dedicated to all my friends and readers who fear their death and the brevity of their lives, who fear the void of nonexistence and its meaninglessness, who are abhorred at the degeneration of our mortal coil as it unravels towards its termination.

A beautiful quote from anchoress, Julian of Norwich, who was featured in an earlier post about Venus-Neptune. [will add this post soon – IN]

In this vision he also showed a little thing, the size of a hazel-nut in the palm of my hand, and it was as round as a ball. I looked at it with my mind’s eye and thought, “What can this be?” And the answer came to me, “It is all that is made.” I wondered how it could last, for it was so small I thought it might suddenly disappear. And the answer in my mind was, “It lasts and will last for ever because God loves it; and everything exists in the same way by the love of God.”

I do not believe in ideas like heaven, afterlives and reincarnation after death etc.; they are spaces and patterns knowable to the living for in life, one can experience death and rebirth without truly dying afterall. Physical death to me, is the cessation of existence in which you are completely obliterated. The space between breathing in and breathing out. A time where all tension dissolves, that perfect stillness you try to attain, lying in savasana, corpse pose.

I used to desire the nothingness of death that other people feared, the ultimate in nihilism. But now I believe in eternal love. There is no existence after death, only love.