Zodiac My Weakness

Nine ten at night.

I think maybe I missed my calling in life: I should have been a clinical psychologist and helped people with their problems. But first I had to surmount my own stuff, like the schizophrenia and alcoholism. By far the alcoholism was the deadlier disease. And it’s possibly the kind of thing that runs its course until you come to an impasse of choosing life or death. The spirit of intoxication is really the devil in a bottle, or perhaps it’s the Grim Reaper with scythe poised over your head. Who else carried a sickle in mythological tradition? It was Saturn, the Roman agricultural god, known to the Greeks as Cronus, father of Zeus. According to the tradition, Saturn showed the Romans how to make wine. The name of Saturn was probably related to the name of the devil for Hebrews, but the only evidence I have for that is in a book of astrology by Ronald Davison, and he gives no sources for his claim… So much for impressionistic thinking on alcoholism. Now I’ve lost my train of thought.

I was just on Amazon and ordered Parkers’ Astrology, a book that was recommended to me by a bookseller friend about twenty years ago. The copy I bought from her I ultimately threw away because of the superstition that was prevalent in 2009 or so. But today I feel free to come and go on the topic of the zodiac. It’s a fascinating thing, the way it puts mythology into practice, assigning meanings to the planets, which in turn exert an influence on human fates; unless it’s all a self delusion. Still, astrology is an art that has been around for a few thousand years. In a nonspecific way, even Thomas Hardy subscribed to the fatalism of the stars, whether provident or improvident, and he wrote his novels so persuasively, compelling you to believe his worldview. But the greatest confrontation with fate is to read Ancient Greek tragedies by such playwrights as Aeschylus… 


4 thoughts on “Zodiac My Weakness

  1. I recommend ‘The Praise of Folly’ by Erasmus. If we can’t laugh at ourselves we’re doomed to crushing despair. (Unless you are cast in the Trump/ Julius Caesar mold.) You have a brain. I think you would enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Philip!

      Apparently you know a great deal about a lot of things literary. Very impressed. Yes, we studied Erasmus in college. I made a post loosely about that called “Folly Speaks.” And regarding Melville, I can recommend to you a book of criticism by DH Lawrence titled Studies in Classic American Literature. His treatment of Typee is really good. Also of Walt Whitman, for whom he had much respect. And if you haven’t read Lawrence’s own fiction, you might start with Sons and Lovers. By today’s standards he could be considered sexist, yet his vision was really spot on, especially where he dealt with industrialization and its dehumanizing effects. He and Katherine Mansfield were good friends; I love her story “Miss Brill,” which should still be available in collections or look for it on Project Gutenberg on the internet. Both she and Lawrence had tuberculosis and broadcast a desperate message of passion to their readers. It’s a message that people today ignore completely to their detriment. And Joyce’s Dubliners is indispensable. Do you like Simon and Garfunkel? You could listen to “The Sounds of Silence” and “I Am a Rock.” I bet you that Paul Simon read James Joyce.

      And blah blah blah. Merry Christmas to you as well! And Happy New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Rob. I’ll put those suggestions in my library hold list. ( Can’t afford to buy any books.) I enjoyed Joyce’s short stories but much of his work is over my head. By the way my comment about Melville’s musing on the gods frozen hearts was wrong. That should be Thoreau. But I stand by the rest, although I have to laugh at myself for having the nerve to try to interpret his metaphors. Don’t call me Ishmael, call me Mooncalf.

        Liked by 1 person

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