Woodstock Solar Return

19_mariachi_450

Now that everybody’s reminiscing about Woodstock, whether they were there or not, why not another? I could have been – and probably should have been – at Woodstock. After all, I was running one of the hippest multitrack studios in New York, where Frank Zappa did all his East Coast recording, and my new record company had just scored a top ten single and was riding high. Hey, my girlfriend went to Woodstock, as did the rest of my band…but I?

I was in Veracruz, Mexico – a place I’d never even heard of – to get my solar return right, according to the advice of my astrologer, Al. H. Morrison. It really was a big improvement over anywhere near New York, taking Pluto off the 7th cusp and changing a weak Pisces Ascendant to Aquarius with its ruler conjunct Jupiter and Moon in the 8th and Mars right on the MC. The following year worked out just so, accordingly, and changed my life…

Veracruz, where I got stuck for a week thanks to bad plane connections, was an endless series of Cuba Libres, watching “Viejo Fantastico” on the bar TV, and either taking in the local mariachis or playing my mandolin sitting on the edge of the town square fountain, which always attracted adventures and even got me taken home to dinner by some young admirers. Then there were the taxidermed bullfrogs sold for pocketbooks and the total blackening of the sky by cave swallows every sunset. Spanish was the only challenge, from toilet paper the day I arrived (not in the dictionary, had to mime it) to mandolin strings (cuerdas) when I broke one. A little pointing and gesticulation will get you a long way…and I left having written a new song in 7/4, in Spanish, penned for the occasion:

Yo no tengo toallas, yo no tengo jabon,

Yo no tengo papel sanitario, en mi habatacion…

Cho:

La Ley de Dios no tiene trampas,

Saben ustedes in sus corazones!

…and so on…

That was the first time, but not the last, I traveled to sometimes unknown places seeking a better solar return – first on Al’s advice, later on my own. Does it work? Hard to say, since you never know what would have happened otherwise. Does it change your life? Absolutely. A trek to St. John’s, Newfoundland two years later didn’t pay off for twenty-one years, until I found myself guiding a tall ship there (I sold the captain on it, he’d never been) for a triumphal, media-soaked visit as the crew of young Poles met a town of partying Newfies, two cultures who most eloquently share the language of the bottle…many were Screeched on that visit, you may be sure…then the year following I chose to take a reluctant trip to the AFA convention (never my fave) in Dallas for a better return, which was where I first met the long-time friend who convinced me to write my first book, on composite charts…

Of course, you can’t always get what you want. 2008 saw a dreadful New York return – afflicted full Moon, Sun in the 12th, Moon in 6th, the prescription for everything from ill health to personal disaster. How to escape it? New Orleans was perfect. Had the flight and the hotel all lined up and a sudden tropical storm shut down all flights anywhere near there for the period, so I was stuck. The result? Lost two jobs, suffered months of excruciating kidney stone complications out of the blue…glad that year is past, but then so are a lot of other people…this one looks a lot better, just staying put, so we’ll see…

If the butterfly effect means anything, then just crossing the street at the right moment can change your destiny, but the pure adventure of flying to meet it on your birthday certainly has a lot to recommend it…

 [credit: painting above “Mariachi 2” is by Veracruz artist Manuel Zardain]

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3 Responses to Woodstock Solar Return

  1. Donna says:

    Hilarious rendition of traveling on a solar return! I do the same thing too. Don’t know if it works or nt, but it’s fun to go somewhere you wouldn’t normally. Shakes life up.

  2. Ciara says:

    Tbh, I don’t know *anyone* who experienced a smooth, trial-free 2008. Personally, I’ve been aiming for more peace and quiet this year thus far…

    It’s fitting how the MC of the Woodstock event chart was ruled by Venus, which was found in Cancer and the 7th house; that’s apt astrological symbolism for its Venusian, hippie-laden, Mother Earth-ish image surrounding it. =)

  3. Devin-Weiss says:

    Sharon Stone is the exact same age as Madonna. However imho Madonna looks more youthful. But nonetheless Sharon once stated ” I can turn a gay man straight in five minutes!” …hahah…Isn’t that funny?

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