It’s been a full week since we had a 24 hour stretch of lunar energy fully engaged; i.e., without the wandering twists that often crop up when the Moon is void-of-course. As of 2:40PM Wednesday, Moon entered Gemini, a mental, communicative energy that needs movement, diversity and entertainment. Quite a contrast from the need to enjoy the comforts of home, which is one of the joys of Moon in Taurus. Fortunately, for people living in the Tri-State area who are feeling that restless Moon-in-Gemini need to move around, our public transportation system is starting to get back on its feet, with limited train service starting today. Yay! Ever since Tuesday, I have been feeling so grateful that there are city, state and federal workers (whose salaries are paid with tax dollars, some of which are mine — and yours, too), who are restoring order out of the chaos left behind. It gives me enormous pride of ownership in this particular system — that we have all built together — am I being too idealistic?
So yesterday, with this ingress in to Gemini, I decided I had been cooped up long enough. I needed to experience some of what I had only seen in reports. As it turned out, being in the middle of a hurricane slamming into New York City made me think of Al Gore, who — along with gobs and gobs of scientists — has been warning us for decades that this would happen. This then made me think of the song — “You Should Have Listened to Al” — by Al Stewart, a Scottish singer-songwriter I hadn’t thought about in possibly an equal amount of time. A quick Google to get the 411 on Al Stewart revealed — lo and behold — that he was performing in New York on Halloween — and despite the hurricane, the show was definitely on! The synchronicity could not be ignored, so after doing a quick horary astrology chart to make sure my efforts to get to Manhattan were not completely insane — and that the concert would be fun — I headed for the nearest bus stop.
It took three hours to travel ten miles to Penn Station (astonishing, but I had planned for it). When you and everyone else are living in the aftermath of a crisis that disrupts what you have always taken for granted, you are suddenly given the luxury of time. And in that time, as the great philosopher Yogi Berra says, “you can observe a lot just by watching”. I observed, for example, that the bus driver needed to lose about a hundred pounds, and when I thanked him for showing up for work that day, he grumbled and groused about what a tough day it was, and that management considered bus drivers “non essential” (Moon in Aries, Leo, Libra or Scorpio?). I could see how tiresome it must be to have to tell people every other minute to “please move to the back of the bus to make room for other passengers”– which would never happen in Japan. Why is that? Still, I thought, public service employees usually have good benefits, and I wondered if he’d seen last week’s sobering Sun-Saturn article about how private corporations are relying more on part-time workers to avoid paying for health insurance, pensions and vacations. The result? Part-time workers can’t earn enough to fully support themselves, and our tax dollars must make up the difference.
Midtown seemed almost normal — with shops open and tourists roaming 5th Avenue. Once at Penn Station, I learned there was no bus service below 23rd Street, thanks to the power outage in Lower Manhattan. I hailed a cab — and rode east for a few blocks with another passenger to his destination on Third Avenue (cabs are allowed to pick up multiple passengers this week; it’s actually a fun policy, given this luxury of extra time). The landscape changed dramatically as soon as we headed south. It’s really something to see a city in total darkness, with only a handful of pedestrians on the streets. They carried flashlights so 1) they can see where they are going; and 2) so people driving can see them. There were no cops directing traffic and no streetlights, making intersections quite a challenge. My cabbie didn’t think it was so bad; then again, he was from Egypt, where the roads are notoriously “do or die”.
Traveling on through the pitch-black streets, a dimly-lit (by candles) oasis emerged: City Winery, the only place open in the ‘hood. No heat, no hot food, cash only — but plenty of wine in plastic cups. Backup generators provided power for a couple of amplifiers on stage. At least 50 people were there for the show — and three of them had driven 70 miles. Singer-songwriter Rachel Sage opened the night, dressed as a “biker-ballerina” and accompanied by a cellist dressed as Richard Simmons. After all, it was Halloween — and even if it wasn’t, the costumes were a perfect fit for the weirdness to be celebrated by eccentric Uranus challenging Venus (social expression) — which is exact today, by the way. Al Stewart — who is known for writing super-smart, hauntingly lyrical songs about historical figures — brought down the house, along with brilliant guitarist Dave Nachmanoff. On more than one occasion the musicians apologized because it was too dark for them to see their own chord progressions, except when the stage was occasionally lit up by the red and blue flashing lights of patrol cars driving by. The audience didn’t care. It was an intimate, wildly enthusiastic crowd — and worth all the time it took to be there.
It was back to reality — which is still rather surreal — during the cab ride home. Traveling east — again on pitch black, deserted streets, the cab driver talked about his daughter, who had walked down (and then back up) 47 flights of stairs because she needed to buy food. Two of his colleagues in Queens lost cars in the storm; one lost his house. We all know someone who is still without power or has experienced a terrible loss. These crises break down defenses, offering opportunities to re-connect in a more meaningful, authentic way. Look no further than Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, for a very public example (I’ll talk more about Christie — and Lance Armstrong — tomorrow — the luxury of time notwithstanding, this forecast is long overdue).
With today’s Moon in Gemini, take time to notice what’s going on around you. Pay attention to speech, body language — in all social interactions. Let yourself be curious — as Gemini needs to be — and get some information about someone — or something — you didn’t know. Get out of your comfort zone. With the Venus-Uranus opposition exact today, there is strong potential for revelations as a result of interactions with an unusual crowd. Finally, get it off your desk today, as Moon will be void all day tomorrow. Oh — this would be a good day to back up your computers and other electronic gizmos — Mercury goes retrograde Tuesday. Don’t make me say “I told you so!!”