The Astro-Wizard of Oz


What day is it? Where am I? What's my name again?

It has been a whirlwind month and a half, folks, so please accept that as my apology (or is it an excuse?) for writing fewer essays than I'd like. There are so many ideas on my mind, but just not enough time in the day (let alone energy in this body) to get them typed out and posted. Maybe if I wasn't so damned wordy…?

I write to you from Sydney, where I debarked a few days ago into unseasonably warm-and-beautiful weather… which, naturally, tempted me straight to Tamarama Beach, where I dared to swim in the intense currents (against the better judgment of the posted warning signs) and lived to tell about it. (Then, the weather got cold.)

When you toss in the couple lovely meals and cocktail-sessions with friends I also enjoyed over the weekend, it was easy to fool myself into thinking I'm on holiday—when, in fact, I'm not. This is very much a work trip, with a slew of private astro-sessions scheduled here and in Melbourne over the next couple weeks.

This past Sunday night, I co-hosted a dinner with my esteemed (and beloved!) colleague Mystic Medusa, who is arguably one of the most influential astrologers in Australia… and quite a live wire to boot. We only met face-to-face for the first time a few hours before our event, but hit it off instantly, spending more of our time gossiping about personal-life intrigue (as read through the lens of astrology, of course) than doing much careful planning for the evening ahead.

Needless to say, the planning didn't prove very necessary, as Mystic and I were quite adept at riffing off each other, ad-lib-style, no problem at all, as if we'd been doing it forever. (The glasses of wine didn't hurt either… though we'd decided in advance that, should the imbibing end up making us sound incoherent, we'd just blame Neptune.)

Mainly, we centered our comments on the upcoming super-concentration of planets in Scorpio (most exact and jarring around Oct 23-24), which I'll write more about later. (I already mentioned to you the full two months of Mercury in Scorpio due to retrograde, which smacks of shame-filled secrets, confessions, depth therapy and dirty talk.) As the two of us gabbed about all that Scorpio, we had the audience gasping in a mix of titillation, mystery and fear—how better to react to Scorpio? Personally, I loved that Mystic's notes consisted of a crumbled-up napkin, upon which was written, among other things: Power, Passion, High Colonics. (Needless to say, Scorpio is a great influence to clean things out from deep within.)

I also confessed to the crowd my love of Capricorns, including the country of Australia itself, which was born (through federation) on January 1, 1901. Capricorns, I explained, often get a bad rap in astrology books because they're painted as these hyper-serious, dreary businessman types… when in fact they have a fantastic sense of humor—wry, sarcastic, and self-deprecating, designed to cut themselves (and others) down to size in a hysterically humbling fashion. (Capricorns know there's always room for improvement.) I drew the link to the Australian cultural phenomenon of 'tall poppy syndrome', which is the pejorative term Aussies use toward any of their peers who get too big for their britches. Just like that quintessential Cap sense of comedic leveling.

Similarly, I also learned, much to my surprise, that Aussies are loath to give out standing ovations to performers unless they have put on, like, the best show of their lives. Americans, by contrast, will hand 'em out after virtually every live show, like giving candy to kids on Halloween just for ringing the doorbell. (Aussies, apparently, also don't celebrate Halloween. Hmmm.)

Following our presentation, Mystic and I split up and wandered from table to table, answering questions and offering quickie readings to the many attendees who'd brought their natal charts with them. It was such a treat for me to meet everybody, exchange some snippets of insight and words of mutual appreciation, and eat the delicious food provided by Lou Jack's in Newtown.

All in all, fabulous.

Now, it's up to Mystic and me to put the traveling show together, eh? The end-of-night chat was about whether we should use a bus or, perhaps, a helicopter (Australia, after all, is friggin' huge). If we opt for the chopper, I think we should just dangle down on a hanging rope ladder and address the crowd from a few feet above the ground. But what do you expect from me? I'm an air sign through and through.

My sincere thanks to everyone who attended. I really do appreciate the support.

photos of astrobarry and Mystic Medusa
by John Williams