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In Praise of the Slow and Enriching
A collection of thoughts and links on astrology, AI, coincidence and 'slow' art.
IT’S THE VERGE OF THE WEEKEND.
A big welcome to all of the new subscribers to WOODRUFF. I’m glad you’re here.
My recent article on Pluto’s entry into Aquarius had one of those ‘viral’ explosions that happen in a slot machine sort of way whenever you publish online.
The post seems to have twanged the right tuning fork in folks’ brainpans. And consequently brought in a cavalcade of new subscribers to WOODRUFF.
So, again, greetings. If you’re still considering taking out a subscription to WOODRUFF, I’m offering a 20% discount for year-long subs this weekend. Join us!
Some Back Story and AI Dissing
For folks new to my writing, I want to share a bit about my intentions.
I’m attempting to present astrology in a way that strays from the beaten path because, well, the beaten path—at least as astrology is concerned, feels both clogged and blown out (spent).
This could only happen online where sheer glut combined with a paucity of quality generates phenomena like clogged blowouts. I know it sounds crazy, and it is—as William Blake said once: “Enough! Or too much!”
As a young astrologer, I was fortunate to grow up on publications like Noel Tyl’s Astrology Now and Edith Custer’s Mercury Hour. Also, mainstream publications like American Astrology and Horoscope. And then later Tem Tarriktar’s The Mountain Astrologer.
These, of course, were hardcopy publications that gave them, aside from their great content, gravitas. And so many provocative voices were writing and experimenting with astrology in those magazines. It was an exciting form of boot camp to track those authors and then aspire to write someday with the same authority and originality.
It sounds corny to associate ‘hardcopy’ anything with gravitas, but I’m sticking by that argument. Online writing—within thousands of different categories—is subject to sprawling mediocrity and disposability. And now, as we’re on the verge of AI composing a good percentage of what you encounter online, my reaction is, “No brain gets out of here alive.” Unless, of course, the potential reader consciously unplugs.
On The Other Vector
Let’s move on to some of the uplifting reads I came across this week:
I love this article that I discovered today by Chris Horner, titled Patience With What Is Strange: In Praise Of Slow Art. In his essay, he writes:
“Slow art has layers. And this is why it requires time and effort. We should see this as a good and necessary thing. If this is a kind of obstacle in the way of easy assimilation, then it is an obstacle that is integral to the value of the thing itself. The mind is calmed, or disturbed, or made exultant by the art that rewards us for our goodwill and our capacity to take our time.”
And on the other Side of Linear Time
This spellbinding piece on coincidence, synchronicity, dreams, and how they all might overlap and forge events that we can’t quite put our finger on. The rationalist in us wants to dismiss them, but the mystic in us, well, she knows better. English neuropsychologist Paul Broks writes:
“I have set naturalism and the supernatural in binary opposition but perhaps there is a third way. Let’s call it the supranatural stance.”
Get outside this weekend. Walk.
From a book I read every five years or so, Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:
“We are here to witness the creation and abet it. We are here to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. Together we notice not only each mountain shadow and each stone on the beach but, especially, we notice the beautiful faces and complex natures of each other.
We are here to bring to consciousness the beauty and power that are around us and to praise the people who are here with us. We witness our generation and our times. We watch the weather. Otherwise, creation would be playing to an empty house.
According to the second law of thermodynamics, things fall apart. Structures disintegrate. Buckminster Fuller hinted at a reason we are here: By creating things, by thinking up new combinations, we counteract this flow of entropy. We make new structures, new wholeness, so the universe comes out even. A shepherd on a hilltop who looks at a mess of stars and thinks, ‘There’s a hunter, a plow, a fish,’ is making mental connections that have as much real force in the universe as the very fires in those stars themselves.”
Opening painting: Ophelia, Odilon Redon, c. 1903. Public Domain.
PS: For more on Pluto in Aquarius, don’t miss my new podcast/video with colleagues Rachel Capurso and Andrei Burke on YouYube.
I want to invite you to subscribe to my new free newsletter, The Dahmer Diaries. I’m writing a novel about Jeffrey Dahmer, and my posts will detail the craft of fiction, the blending of True Crime and the imagination, and how astrology pulls it all together.
Something for the whole family!