New Moon In Sagittarius: An Emotional Spring

Image from Pinterest: Centaurs

My mother always pointed out the Full Moon on those terrifying nights when my father would turn into a glossy eyed, roaring maniac. Most of us are familiar with the Full Moon. It is an uncomfortable buildup. Emotional, confusing, often painful, and never light. More suicides take place on nights with a Full Moon than on any other night of the year. Lucky for us, today we have the very opposite of that, a New Moon–a new beginning–a fresh breath–a reason to hope and dream–a time to dream up reasons to hope. This moon is an emotional spring.

If you want to know more about today’s New Moon in Sagittarius, read this post by Chani Nicholas :

Every time the sun changes sign there is a palpable shift in energy. It’s much like shifting the light of a flashlight from one object to the next. On Saturday, November 22nd the sun will ingress from the dark, mysterious depths of Scorpio into the free-wheeling fire sign of Sagittarius. A couple of hours later, at 7:32 am, the moon will conjoin the sun there giving us this month’s new moon.

Sagittarius is a mutable sign meaning that it shakes loose one energy in preparation for the next. It’s a sign in between seasons. It’s no longer fall but it’s not quite winter. Mutable signs want to move things about. They were also called double-bodied signs and with Sadge this is quite literal. Half-horse-half-human, the symbol for this sign is a centaur and therefore moves in multiple ways. The half that is horse has stamina for days. Perhaps we could say that there is a mad dash kind of quality to the sign. Rushing through the details, Sagittarius might rely on over-exaggerations to make its point. Try telling a thoroughbred to go slow. Try telling an archer not to shoot. Try telling a Sagittarius to calm down.

Sagittarius has an insatiable appetite for knowledge, a great desire to roam, a yearning to grow, expand, open, excite, inspire, ignite and generously share its philosophies. The sign is magnanimous, hopeful and wants nothing more than to seek out wisdom. Something wonderful is always waiting just round the bend which is why this sign is happiest out on the open road.

Sagittarius usually vacillates between being excited and very excited. There’s a subtle aggression to this state of being. This sign can be obsessed with seeing the bright side, achieving enlightenment and living beyond human restraints. Ramblin’ fever can run deep. But in the end it doesn’t matter where we travel to or what adventures we are on if we haven’t become a better person for it. That’s why in its evolution Sagittarius the traveller wanders deep to become Sagittarius the philosopher. The one who can journey within. The one who knows that we can be the most, biggest, bestest achiever that there ever was but if we don’t feel love for ourselves in the moments in between the accolades or in the moment of our accusation then nothing that we seek and no amount of roaming we do can ever give us solace. The one who knows that existential angst is a part of the process of being a human. The one that knows that a thrill is fleeting but that wisdom serves us for a lifetime.

Read more here!

“There will always be in me, two women at least”


“There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest.”


Illusions in the Cosmic Clouds

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO

Pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon where people see recognizable shapes in clouds, rock formations, or otherwise unrelated objects or data.

Ernest Hemingway’s Opinions and Meditations on What it Means To Be a Writer

Ernest Hemingway on The Heart Of A Writer.

How To Be Rich and Happy


A weekday afternoon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I’m sitting outside a coffee shop when Leonora Russo,  Read Queen of Williamsburg), approaches me with some life tips.

According to Leonora, I have all the right qualities to hook myself a rich man. Also: I need to hurry up and do it because my looks will fade. His looks don’t matter. He must just be rich. Bonus points if he is rich AND travels a lot so I don’t have to see him very much.
Then she leans into my ear and whispers, “Even better if he’s gay. Then he’ll leave you to your own business. You just keep quiet and pretend to know nothing. You’ll be the happiest that way. Rich and happy.”

More from Leonora: “Is that a man or a woman? I can’t tell.”

The “I” of the Beholder

None of us really understand ourselves, but it is a mystery we find hard to accept. We may want to be mysterious to the world, but we don’t want to be mysterious to ourselves. I’ve spent much of my life trying to manipulate the world inside into becoming more like the one that the outside demands. In time I’ve come to realize how much of the outside world is an illusion. I always felt it, but it took time to “know” it. Once you know it’s easy to stop caring, but it is what comes next, the confrontation with the inside self after years of disconnect, which is the hard part.

Annemarie Roeper, author of The “I” of the Beholder, calls that “inner words” the “Self”, and argues that it is the missing link in an age-old quest to understand what it really means to be human. She illustrates this with a poetic role-play parable wherein she has a conversation with the Self.

It says: “Stop judging me, evaluating me, categorizing me. I am an enigma and will remain one. If you include me, we can dance together. If not, I will shrink and be crippled and cower in the corner. The strength of my feelings will be undiminished, but if they have no outlet, they might burst out in destructive ways.

I am wondering how words could describe my complexity and mystery. How can cognitive terms explain what you see in the trusting, eager eyes of children who look at you expecting safety and comfort, unconditional love, and true empathy? In their eyes, you can see such depth of feeling, such thirst for growth, such creativity, and a passion for learning. Continue reading

Sex Creates Necessary Havoc

“Without sex, we would be dangerously invulnerable. We might believe we were not ridiculous. We wouldn’t know rejection and humiliation so intimately. We could age respectably, get used to our privileges and think we understood what was going on. We might disappear into numbers and words alone. It is sex that creates a necessary havoc in the ordinary hierarchies of power, status, money and intelligence.”

-Alain de Botton, How To Think More About Sex

The Art of Being Alone

Maria Popova, creator of my favorite website, Brain Pickings, wrote a review on Sara Maitland’s book, How To Be Alone. Here are a few of the beautiful meditations from the book, but be kind to yourself and read the full article.

“I got fascinated by silence; by what happens to the human spirit, to identity and personality when the talking stops, when you press the off button, when you venture out into that enormous emptiness. I was interested in silence as a lost cultural phenomenon, as a thing of beauty and as a space that had been explored and used over and over again by different individuals, for different reasons and with wildly differing results. I began to use my own life as a sort of laboratory to test some ideas and to find out what it felt like. Almost to my surprise, I found I loved silence. It suited me. I got greedy for more. In my hunt for more silence, I found this valley and built a house here, on the ruins of an old shepherd’s cottage.”

“Being alone in our present society raises an important question about identity and well-being.


How have we arrived, in the relatively prosperous developed world, at least, at a cultural moment which values autonomy, personal freedom, fulfillment and human rights, and above all individualism, more highly than they have ever been valued before in human history, but at the same time these autonomous, free, self-fulfilling individuals are terrified of being alone with themselves?


We live in a society which sees high self-esteem as a proof of well-being, but we do not want to be intimate with this admirable and desirable person.

We see moral and social conventions as inhibitions on our personal freedoms, and yet we are frightened of anyone who goes away from the crowd and develops “eccentric” habits.

We believe that everyone has a singular personal “voice” and is, moreover, unquestionably creative, but we treat with dark suspicion (at best) anyone who uses one of the most clearly established methods of developing that creativity — solitude.

We think we are unique, special and deserving of happiness, but we are terrified of being alone.


We are supposed now to seek our own fulfillment, to act on our feelings, to achieve authenticity and personal happiness — but mysteriously not do it on our own.

Today, more than ever, the charge carries both moral judgement and weak logic.”

Continue reading

A Brief History Of The Crêpe


Whenever in Paris I devote a significant chunk of time to one of my favorite inventions, the crêpe. Who could blame me? The city has a crêperie on every corner and there is bound to be one to suit my mood at any given time. The variety is endless, from the sinful 4AM pit stop when I’m too drunk to care that an entire jar of Nutella lies between the folds of my delight, to the showy suzette I might order at a more upscale establishment, to the classic caramel and sea salt they do so well at a trendy little café in the Marais. And let’s not forget the savory galette, traditional served with a bottle of cider from Brittany, comforting made extra thick with extra cheese, or trendy, deconstructed and  layered with unexpected, fashionable ingredients. I discriminate a lot when it comes to food and drink, but when it comes to the crepe I’m all about love and acceptance, wide hearted, wide armed, wide eyed, and wide mouthed. In fact, my recent trip to Paris left me so wide with love for the crepe that it fueled the week-long nerd splurge behind this piece, The Brief History of the Crêpe.

Many of the countries that have a version of the “skinny pancake” have something else in common: they were all a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at one point or other, which means that the crêpe is probably as French as the croissant is-not as French as you might think. Like the croissant, which was introduced to France by the Austrian Queen, Marie Antoinette, the origin of  the crêpe seems to lie in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Austrians call their skinny pancake “palatschinken.” Having grown up in Yugoslavia (a former territory  of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), I grew up eating skinny pancakes called ‘palačinke.’ It was my mom’s favorite desert, an after dinner treat. She ate them with apricot jam, my dad and sister preferred chocolate sauce, and I had mine buttered and drizzled with sugar.

But maybe I’m not giving enough credit to France. Maybe both France and Austria invented the crêpe and its only a coincidence that the two countries are neighbors with the same invention. After all, whereas the Yugoslav name “palačinka” stems directly from the Austrian name for the skinny pancake, “palatschinken,” the French word “crêpe” has its own origin. It comes from the Latin “crispus,” meaning “curled.” I don’t think that the exact root of the delicacy is as important as the way in which it was shared by neighbors who all put their own touches on it. However, it mostly due to the French that it has become one of the worlds most beloved dishes. The French may not be the best cooks or bakers or inventors, but they certainly can’t be topped when it comes to starting trends and turning the ordinary into the fashionable.

The French crêpe has its origins in Brittany, also famous for it’s cider, hence the classic crêpe and cider combination. It all began with the galette, which made its appearance in the 12th century when buckwheat was introduced into Brittany from the east. Buckwheat was easy to grow and cheap, whereas white flour was expensive and hard to come across. It was due to this that the galette first became popular in the countryside amongst common people and farmers who enjoyed it as a desert or a morning accompaniment to their coffee. The white flour crêpe most of us are familiar with today surfaced at the turn of the 20th century when wheat flour became more affordable. Today in France a crêpe usually refers to a sweet version of the delicacy made with wheat flour, while a galette refers to a savory version made from buckwheat. These associations came about somewhat naturally, perhaps partly because wheat flour crêpe are softer and well paired with sweet toppings.  My opinion is that it evolved this way because of class. It seems likely that the poorer people who had better access to buckwheat ate their pancakes as meals, and therefore, savory. Sweet pancakes are more likely to be eaten as deserts, a luxury perhaps only afforded by those who could also afford wheat flour.

Crêpes became popular in Paris much later. Rumor has it that it that the city’s love affair with the delicacy started  one evening in 1895 when a country boy called Henri Charpentier  prepared a crêpe with an orange sauce flambé for the Prince of Whales. He named the crêpe after the young lady, Suzette, who had accompanied the Prince that evening. The Crêpe Suzette is now one of the most popular French deserts, a personal favorite of mine, eaten all over the world. I’m not exactly sure if I believe the story of its origins, but did decide to put an end to my research because I want to believe it. Sometimes information that could or could not be true is as over rated in our society as Paris Hilton once was. “Overeating is never a good thing” is a rule that applies with information just as much as it does with a french desert.