The Pond: March 21, 2021

Five reflections for your Sunday. Macho men and astrology. Tarot containment. A Boards of Canada documentary. Brush mania and more!

This post is free for everyone, but it only exists because of my patrons (WOODRUFF’s paid subscribers). If you aren’t one yet, please come and join us. Why? Well, so many great perks—see reflection number 5 below for more details. Get in with the ‘in’ crowd!

Reflection 1: Not-hot men dissing astrology

THIS ARTICLE IS WORTH IT—if only for the title alone: The Hottest Thing a Man Can Do Is Not Be a Jerk About Astrology. Actually, it’s worth your time mainly for astrologer Samuel Reynolds’ smart insights. Like this:

Reynolds sees the gendering of astrology toward the feminine as reflective of a broader shift among men toward literalism—science, empiricism, physical pursuits—and away from creative and abstract modes of thought and expression, a trend he traces all the way back to the Enlightenment era. Something darker that was also catching a lot of men’s interest around that time? Imperialism.

“It’s always struck me as interesting that advances in science also came at the same moment when Europe felt like, ‘Well, we can go conquer people and take their lands and people and resources and claim them for ourselves,’” says Reynolds, adding that while the age of empire and enlightenment may be long over, a residual sense of materialism and entitlement seems to have ossified over the intervening centuries, resulting in a masculine tendency toward “the external rather than anything related to the eternal or internal,” such as astrology.

Reflection 2: This black leather case for your Tarot deck

I SPENT MONTHS searching for a Tarot case or box or bag that was a match for my most frequently used deck (which happens to be—after endless other searches for a Waite-Smith deck that did not have a fucking copyright symbol from US Games on the front of every fucking card in the deck—a borderless Waite-Smith dick manufactured by—help me Jesus—US Games. Can no one escape the late Stuart Kaplan’s squatting atop Arthur and Pam’s masterpiece? More on that puzzle in another post).

Anyway, if you’re like me—manically particular—and you don’t want any New Age bridge and tunnel embellishments on your Tarot’s receptacle, then I’ve got the artisan for you. Dmitriy from the MaxPolLeather shop on Etsy. Dmitriy specializes in all sorts of leather goods, with plenty devoted to your Tarot’s storage (and you really do need your cards protected to maintain their integrity). Dmitriy lives in Kyiv, Ukraine, but you’ll be amazed at how quickly your order arrives despite the distance. He also sends the nicest postcard along with your order, with penmanship that’s as impeccable as his splendid leatherwork.

Reflection 3: Ambient music for the bardos

"We're not religious at all ... and if we're spiritual at all it's purely in the sense of caring about art and inspiring people with ideas." —Michael Sandison

OMG. SOMEONE AS OBSESSED AS ME with Boards of Canada actually made a 90-minute documentary about the musicians. Like all truly great happenings in life, the Scottish electronic music duo (consisting of brothers Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin) appeared in 1995—bestowed several amazing albums on the masses—and then disappeared into a void. Their album Music Has The Right to Children is the greatest album title of all time. They haven’t been heard of since their last album Tomorrow’s Harvest in 2013—so until they materialize again (if ever) this documentary will havta suffice.

Reflection 4: A brush fever dream

I HAVE A BRUSH FETISH. Jupiter is in Virgo (mine). And owning this 13-piece multi-purpose brush set by Yoassi is a thrill you can’t really imagine until Amazon actually delivers all of them and you start cleaning everything in your kitchen. See that weird one with a green band around its neck? The entire set alone is worth that bizarre squid-shaped brush. I can’t live without it. You’re welcome.

Reflection 5: Here’s what you’re missing if you’re not a paid subscriber to WOODRUFF. (Though we still love you.)

THE GREAT CONTENT KEEPS FLOWING—it’s sort of like a cornucopia on amphetamines.

March Horoscopes for Moderns. There’s still time to align with your mission.

Dr. Dreamyour dreams, on the couch. Severed thumbs and motorbikes.

Zeitgeist Trends—an astrological close read of the Woody Allen-Mia Farrow child sex abuse calamity.

• Spring Equinox ONE CARD TAROT DRAWS for paid subscribers. Probably the most popular feature on WOODRUFF. Discover yours now.


PS: A CLOSING REFLECTION from artist and writer Robert Wang, creator of The Jungian Tarot, from his biography:

“I must have been about six when I had my first thoughts about reincarnation. My parents probably mentioned this, because being born over and over again was a concept that came to me early, and that I found very disturbing. It wasn’t the idea of living new lives repeatedly that bothered me. It was the thought that every time I started a new life I would have to have vaccination shots all over again.”

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