Jenn and Andrew catch up about all the changes. Including the arrival of Jenn’s kiddo, Andrew’s reasons for walking away from astrology, and some great ideas about new ways to interact with the stars. Have you heard of the Adoptalganger Asteroid?  

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Transcription

Andrew:

Welcome to another episode of The Hermit’s Lamp podcast. I am here with Jenn Zhart. And just before we started recording, I looked up the last time we had a conversation, just the two of us, in this format and that was May 14th, 2017. So, it’s been a little while. Lots of things have changed since then. Amongst many other things, Jenn is a fantastic astrologer, is an amazing publisher of cool things, and well, the rest of it’ll just shake it as we have our conversation. But if people don’t know you yet, Jenn, who are you? How do you think of yourself these days?

Jenn:

When people talk about gender identity, I always identify as the thought form-

Andrew:

Uh-huh (affirmative). Nice.

Jenn:

… because sometimes it’s hard to remember that I even have a body. I’m so into the world of ideas, the history of astrology, the history of alchemy, the history of occultism, the now of all of those things, publishing them, teaching them, talking about them until I’m blue in the face. So, yeah, just a lot of thinking. But since I saw you last on the show, I had a baby. So, I’m very much sutured into reality in the physical way.

Andrew:

I was going to ask how does being a thought form of being a parent coincides?

Jenn:

Totally antithetical, but then you always have Walt Whitman in the back of your pocket, “Am I contradicting myself? Very well then I’m contradicting myself. I’m large, I contain multitudes.”

Andrew:

Uh-huh (affirmative), for sure. Good old Walt.

Jenn:

Yeah, I know. But we’re still in this very strong duad. She’s eating my body parts every day. I started making soap when the crisis hit because I had all this excess milk, and you can make soap with milk. But then, I found out I can’t sell it because it’s basically selling my body parts. So, who’s magical breast milk soap that I can’t sell? But it’s fantastic. It takes out everything.

I was painting my house. I have a house now too. Flood landed into a house. You know you’re painting and you get paint on your clothes? Then, I got paint on my favorite pair of pants, I shouldn’t have been wearing when I was painting, and the soap took it out.

Andrew:

That’s amazing.

Jenn:

It’s like, what the fuck? Sorry.

Andrew:

There’s nothing… That’s fine. You could swear. Is there nothing that breast milk can’t accomplish? I don’t know.

Jenn:

I mean, they say it’s liquid gold. I have yet to be proven otherwise, honestly.

Andrew:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), for sure. Except you can’t sell it.

Jenn:

You can’t sell your own body parts.

Andrew:

Don’t turn it into gold.

Jenn:

You’re not allowed to sell your body parts.

Andrew:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jenn:

It’s like sitting on a hoard of amazing soap. I thought about maybe offering, like donate to Dagny’s college fund and receive some soap as a thank you.

Andrew:

Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah. Could be good.

Jenn:

My [crosstalk 00:03:00] Dagny.

Andrew:

Yeah.

Jenn:

How are you? You and I move. You had a fire. I had a flood. You’re all right?

Andrew:

Yeah, I’m all right. It’s been a… Yeah, I mean, I also got divorced since we talked last as well, I guess, right? So, it’s pretty big transformations in my life. A year and a bit ago, the store burned down and led to… I just was like, “All right, I’m just going to lean into this change now. I’m just going to lean way into it and see what happens.” And so, with the help of a close friend, we made a list of all the things that I like to do around my business. And we’re like, “All right, which one of these actually require you having a store?” and the only answer, the only one that did was selling stuff to people in person, but everything else did not. It’s like, “Teaching? No problem. Selling stuff? It’s fine,” whatever, lots of things.

And so, I took over an art studio and I started seeing clients there and making art and doing more stuff like that. And then a little bit later, I reopened the store inside a friend’s store. And so, it’s sort of a shared space now, which is quite different. And that’s been actually Hermit’s anniversary. It was August 17th was the anniversary of Hermit’s.

Jenn:

Oh, well, happy belated.

Andrew:

Thanks. Yeah, and so, that’s been going really well. It’s been a bit of a zany ride in terms of the amount of change, but it’s also really good. I still hang out with my kids, have my kids half the time. We spent a lot of time together doing stuff. At the time of recording, we’re gearing up to go camping for a week together and stuff like that, which is awesome. Been making a lot more art, which has been really fun as well.

Jenn:

That’s great.

Andrew:

Yeah.

Jenn:

Well, last year, when all of the flood things were going on, I did appear on your show as part of the Stacking Skulls. I guess I was the guest skull. I was in England, and things were still very chaotic for me as well. And then, little did I know at that time, I would start to congealing quite quickly into this pregnancy, which then became life-threatening. So, I spent from September 1st until her birth on the solstice of last year, I was pretty much holding my breath waiting for any moment to bleed to death. So, I’ve been recovering from that.

And then, the second that we got out of the NICU… She had to be born early. We spent 17 days in the NICU, and it was completely isolating and very traumatic but also, I was very ferociously determined to be there for her. And I was watching the astrology of the moment, just like her chart and then as the transits would happen, and people were like, “When are you guys going to get out of the NICU?” And they’re like, “Well, you’re probably not going to leave until she’s technically full term at 40 weeks,” which was late January. And I was like, “No, we’ll be out of here by the 7th of January,” and they’re like, “How do you know?” And I was like, “The Moon’s going to be in her fourth house. We’re going home.” So, it was this cool moment. I’m not sure if it was exactly the 7th, but I predicted it to the hour, which was like… The staff were like, “Oh my goodness.” And even three days prior to that, they were like, “No, you’re going to be here all of January,” I’m like, “No, we’re not.”

I mean, obviously, you don’t want to rush that. There’s a reason why babies are in the NICU. So, it’s not like going home early is a good thing always. It’s actually not actually good. But she just decided it was time, and she did all of the metrics. I mean, they’re measuring those babies every three hours, it’s crazy. Then, it was just like, suddenly within three days, she’s like, “All right, let’s go home,” I’m like, “Thank you.”

And then, we moved into this house when the Sun came to her fourth house for the very first time, and the fourth house symbolizes home. So, we were in the process of searching for a home and trying to buy a home. And we were in contract with a different place, and everything was so slow and nothing is coming together. And we are doing all the magic, right? We are pulling out all the stops to make it finally speed up and go and expedite, you name it, and lots of things we’ll ever talk about on air. It just wasn’t happening. And then, all of a sudden, boom, this other place came around and we closed and moved in the day the Sun went into her fourth house.

Andrew:

That’s amazing.

Jenn:

So, it’s like, “Oh, okay.” Well, clearly, I’m living in her world now.

Andrew:

I was going to say how is it to live according to somebody else’s astrology?

Jenn:

I mean, that’s an interesting question, right? Here’s this new family member, and it’s like, we’re really having to, I don’t know, steward her and also be guided by her too. So, that’s been an interesting adjustment to see. And also, to be Tiger mom-ish about, I don’t know what the right word is, but like very vigilant.

So, one time in the NICU, she lost weight. There was a significant moment in the chart, and that was a few days after her birth. So, I’m looking ahead using another astrological technique called Secondary Progressions going like, “All right, when she’s X years old, I need to be really closely paying attention to what’s going on with this configuration,” because I watched it happen in the NICU on this microcosmic level. The actual transits were corresponding to what will become years of her life. That’s a technique called Secondary Progression.

So, it was like living real time the first 17 years of her life inside of this incubation chamber with a very controlled environment. The only variables were like, which nurse comes in and how did they treat her, and what is she eating, and all these things. Yeah, that was pretty fascinating.

Andrew:

Yeah, I think that stuff is really interesting. Since we’ve talked, I think I’ve stopped paying any attention to astrology in general. I found myself last year sometime, maybe a bit before, before the fire, so a year and a half ago maybe, I found myself following the progressions of astrology that were going on, looking at stuff and whatever. I just had two things happen at once. One was I went away for a little bit, and I realized how much I relaxed not looking at that stuff and other things, but especially that stuff. And secondarily, I started thinking about, in my religious practice, my advice that I was given was to make that my only practice. And I started thinking about, was I… It didn’t form this clearly, but almost the question was, am I being unfaithful by participating internally and externally in astrology as opposed to pursuing and focusing only within the religious structure, which has its own divination, all those things, like that?

For people who don’t know, I’m a priest in the Kumiyama, Sun of Shango, an Afro-Cuban religion, right? We have no astrology. There’s nothing. We address astrological bodies in certain ways, but not astrology at all, right? And I started thinking about, because something had happened where Mercury was retrograde and I’d had a reading and the advice was stuff that would go against, I understand it’s not quite as straightforward as that, right? But I started noticing my tension around these astrological events in relationship to following the advice that I had been given. And the conjunction of all those things made me realize, “I think I’m going to step back from some of this stuff.” And so, I stopped following all the people’s daily things and weekly things and listening to this podcast and that podcast and stuff like that.

It’s been interesting in that regard because it’s like… I mean, there’s still tons of stuff that I see in my social media, right, because I follow lots of people and everybody’s talking about it all the time these days. But it doesn’t come with the same thing. I used to listen to the podcast, which if you like astrology, I quite enjoyed when I was into it, with Kelly Surtees and-

Jenn:

Austin and Chris.

Andrew:

… Austin and Chris, yeah, and other stuff. I used to listen to it all. I would give it some space.

Jenn:

Good. I do too. Honestly, I mean, sometimes people are like, “I want my daily horoscope,” and I’m like, “That’s literally lunacy.” You will become crazy looking at every single moment of the Moon’s movement. I laugh actually because I don’t look at my own chart very often, and usually only in 2020, like hindsight. I’m like, “Oh, what’s happened? Oh, that, of course.” So, that whole life-threatening moment, it’s like, “Oh, right. Yeah, no, that makes sense.” I wouldn’t have predicted that because, I mean, I don’t like to look at the map that way. I do it for other people, but it can be nice to just live your life, even if this worldview is very powerful. And I think that’s what it is, honestly. It’s not a religious practice, but it is a worldview if-

Andrew:

I think so. Yeah. I recorded with Stacking Skulls just earlier in the week at the time we’re recording this, and we talked a bit about how there are these different coherent worldviews. And if you’re in them, it can make so much sense within them, right? But there’s sometimes that tension around or challenge where it’s like, well, within the structure, this makes 100% sense, but does it apply across to other worldviews, right? And I think-

Jenn:

Well, here’s the thing, it’s nesting too. It gets really into like Inception level shit, because you have this idea of astrology, that is a singular noun for looking at the movement of the sky in relation to human experience. Okay, that’s like the most generic definition. But every single culture actually has some kind of astrology in that they look at the sky for certain things to make sense for their human lives. For cultures that are not necessarily Western or Mayan or Chinese, there’s chaotic astrology, which is, “Oh, I saw something in the sky. It’s an omen, right?” It doesn’t mean that it’s actually got a codified mathematical harmonic cosmic basis.

So, then you have this cosmic astrology of which Western astrology is one, and even within astrology as an umbrella now and you actually have multiple kinds of astrology at play. So, that’s why I get a little irritated when some people are like, “I’m going to learn astrology” and I’m like, “What kind? Are you going to do Arabic era astrology from the Dark Ages, Middle Ages? Are you going to do Renaissance astrology, which isn’t that? Are you going to do Hellenistic, which isn’t that?”

I teach a lot of different kinds of astrology and I try to emphasize to my students like, “We’re looking at different lenses of the same kind of approach to the world, but you can’t mix the lenses either, right?” If we’re going to do something from a Renaissance way, we have to just get into that zone. And even pretend like Pluto and Neptune aren’t existing, Uranus isn’t there.

Andrew:

There are no outer planets.

Jenn:

But you take that lens, and then it’s like you’re the optometrist. You take that next one, and it’s like, “Oh, let’s add Uranus back on. Okay, what do we see, right?” You can do that nesting level of lenses and you’d have to be able to have command of multivalent perspective.

Andrew:

Well, it’s like, the planetary magic that I learned came from Golden Dawn-Crowley era stuff. So outer planets? No outer planets. We don’t have outer planets. What are you talking about? They don’t exist.

Jenn:

What’s the Pluto rule?

Andrew:

I don’t know. Does Pluto even exist? It doesn’t exist.

Jenn:

Well, this is the coolest thing ever though because check it out, so there are actually known fictitious planets, eight of them. In one of the astrology systems, which has become known as Uranian astrology in the United States. This was a kind of astrology founded by a man named Alfred Witte in Germany. He was a topographer, a surveyor. He was fighting on the Russian front in World War 1 and noticed that these fine-tuned movements, he could predict the next bomb, like something that might hit, right? And he actually tuned into his mathematical brain and came up with these fictitious planets. He came up with four of them and his colleague came up with the other four, and then they stopped making them up. But there’s a cosmology to them that actually you first hear about this and you’re like, “Ah, you know what, I’m 32. I can make up a planet. Yeah.”

And even my intellectual hero, Nick Campion, who I work with, he made up a fixed planet called Pizza because all the planets move. But he’s like, “Well, we don’t have a fixed planet. We have fixed stars, and we have moveable planets. Let’s make up a fixed planet at 0 Cancer and call it Pizza.” So that I have to read about pizza one day, so pizza is there. And I was like, “All right, well, I’m going to make up fictitious asteroids.” So, I started just making up these asteroids that actually work. And that’s a whole different thing. It’s called fantasteroids. fantasteroids.com, you can go to it.

And then, I was reading further into the first article this guy published in 1913 in German, and he’s talking about… This is the thing. This is the crux of it. It’s totally mind-blowing and I love twisting your brain, so just make sure you’re sitting down.

Andrew:

I’m ready. I’m sitting down.

Jenn:

Okay. If you take the substance of the planet Mercury and you remove it from its planetary self, right, like you just take a chunk of Mercury out, and you put it into the orbit of Mars, it will no longer be Mercury, it will be Mars. It will become Martian. And so, the thing that’s critical about the planet is not the object of the planet, which is just the focal point for this valence show.

It’s a different lens. It’s a different measuring point on that valence shell that describes the Mercury-ness of that valence. In the same way that when the solar system was coalescing, all the material that was around that valence eventually became Mercury. All the material that was around Mars eventually became a sphere that we call Mars, but it’s the valence of the orbit that makes the thing potent in a Martian way.

Andrew:

It’s point in the system that moves as the whole system moves in its orderly fashion. That’s what you mean, right?

Jenn:

Right. So, it’s like we’ve reified the planets to being this thing, something you can touch a tangible thing. But actually, if you take any material and you stick it in the orbit of Mars, it will become Mars. And that Mars itself is not defined by the planet Mars, but by the orbital shell of Mars. So that now, when you make up fake planets that have orbital shells at a certain distance beyond Pluto, then all of a sudden, you’re like, “Well, there actually can be eight valence shells beyond Pluto, and there might be one speck of material that we can’t measure with any telescope that represents where that material is actually functioning.” So now, all of a sudden, these eight fake planets are not necessarily fake. They’re just our measurement.

Andrew:

How do you describe meaning to those points then?

Jenn:

Observation induction. Inductive observation. So, that’s exactly what he did is that he sat there, he had a lot of time on his hands, pre-internet, World War 1, bombs coming off, so he basically just induced from those orbital movements. And he was using midpoints, which is also a fine-tuned way of bending the math of the chart to create micro measurements, right? And so, he had a lot of time on his hands. And back in the early 20th century, a lot of other people did too, and they helped out. So, inductively, they realized these things were in existence, so to speak, and they still work. And that’s the thing, like you were saying, inside of this coherent worldview that was built by these Germans and exported to other countries, if you learn the system, it actually works.

Andrew:

So, my question is this about that, how does one differentiate between these created points as being determinative of events and the fact that the rest of the system is already in a fixed point at that moment, and that we could use other things to determine that are pre-existing parts of astrology?

Jenn:

I would say this, you can speak Portuguese about a situation and you can speak Chinese about a situation, and you can be talking about the same situation but your adjectives and the nouns you use will allow certain finer points of the experience to be articulated. For example, the untranslatable Portuguese word, saudade. It doesn’t exist in the American context. And so, when you learn it, you will learn a certain kind of longing that isn’t present when we talk about longing, right? And then, that’s a very different thing than the German, weltschmerz.

It’s like, if you’re talking in that level, these are different languages that we’re using based off of a different mathematics as opposed to languages that are based off of a collective cultural experience that have crystallized in semantic forms.

Andrew:

So, can you understand it if you can’t do the math?

Jenn:

I think so because we have-

Andrew:

Like, if somebody will articulate.

Jenn:

And I do think the mark of a good astrologer is to be able to explain something without talking about the techniques they’re using.

Andrew:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), for sure.

Jenn:

To have a conversation is something.

Andrew:

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I rarely… I only speak about the cards in card reading in as much as they are illustrative of the point they’re making, which sometimes it’s not at all, right? Sometimes it’s like, “Look, here’s the issue, stop being mean to yourself because I don’t like that.”

Jenn:

And you don’t even need to bring up which card is telling you that. You just say, “Hey, now I know what the issues are. So, let’s talk about that.” And the thing about astrology is because it’s based off of a timing system, you can talk about duration, “It’ll get better in six months.” That’s what people say a lot.

Andrew:

Of course, right? “This is something that’s going to be okay. Please tell me I’m going to find it and find love, find work, find whatever.” There’s no shame in that. We all have those questions. Whatever-

Jenn:

And it’s about the timing of them like, “When am I going to find them?”

Andrew:

For sure. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Whenever I get a reading, it’s always the same thing. I’m like, “All right. Tell me about your work. How do you make more money? Tell me about whatever.” So, yeah, for sure. Very interesting. Does the difference in position between seeing it related to an aspect of Mars and seeing it related to an aspect with this other point, do they have the same durations or does it have different durations as well?

Jenn:

Those points, because they’re outside of the orbit of technically Neptune at that time because they didn’t know Pluto existed, they’re very slow moving, but when you use midpoints, which is measuring the arc distance between two things and cutting it in half or adding them up and then creating the point in the middle, because the Earth is constantly rotating and the degree of the ascendant changes every four minutes, then you can actually get a lot more rapid-fire timing with them. So, that’s quite surprising.

I’ve had some friends on Facebook say, “Tell us something that…” Someone wanted to know like, “Tell me an astrological technique where you could prove astrology works quickly, right?” If you wanted to do that in the most simple way, you could just pay attention to what planets are rising on the ascendant in a specific place. Spend a day and start with the sunrise and just watch as the various planets rise and see what happens in the local environment. What happens when Mars rises on the ascendant? Is there a car crash next year? Did someone trip? Did something fall?

Andrew:

Do you suddenly feel sorry for no reason?

Jenn:

Yeah. You were like, rough something up whenever. Venus is rising and someone hands you a cocktail? Great.

Andrew:

Yeah, exactly.

Jenn:

It’s kind of like that. That’s how fantasteroids work. There were inside jokes happening with different friends, and so they would crystallize into these moments of… For example, I was driving back from a conference with my best friend, Wonder. We’re behind this red truck. He was in the left-hand lane going slow, and we’re just like, “Oh my gosh.” She just has a lead foot. And we couldn’t get around the guy, and I was like, “Oh, my. When are we going to finally get around this guy?” The one car on the right finally made it so that we could pass on the right, which is illegal in this country, but we did it anyway because we had to get beyond this red truck.

Andrew:

Sometimes you got to, right? Sometimes people force you in that position.

Jenn:

Well, I looked at him and I’m like… Yeah. I looked at the guy and I was like, “Oh, it’s an ancient man with no planet,” and she’s like, “That’s a fantasteroid. What’s rising?” I looked at the degree rising on the ascendant, which is how you find where they live, and it was the Galactic Center. And I’m like, “Wait a minute. So, you’re saying an ancient man with no plan lives at the Galactic Center? This is hilarious.” And it works.

Andrew:

That’s awesome.

Jenn:

There was one on our way out to the conference where I saw a field of beheaded palm trees, it was very strange, like Palm Springs. There’s this field of palm trees with no tops. What’s that about? Two things. So, we mark that. That was 7th Aquarius. And so, I was in San Francisco walking around and I saw beheaded palm tree, and I looked to see it was on the Midheaven, 7th Aquarius. That’s significant. I’m seeing a chopped-up palm tree for the first time since I discovered this point.

And then, I had Wonder’s friend over who hated astrology. This woman was like totally against it. And she’s just like, “I never understood why you guys like this stuff. I just don’t get it.” We told her about beheaded palm trees. It was so absurd. And she’s like, “Oh, remember when we lived on that one place in Los Angeles, and I just hated those palm trees. I used to go out there and imagine cutting their heads off every single time.” And so, we looked at her chart, she had Mars and 7th Aquarius.

Andrew:

There you go.

Jenn:

And she was like, “Oh, my. What?” She goes a little bit like, “Wait, does this work?” And I’m like, “Well, this is astrology we made up, but yeah, it actually works.”

Andrew:

For sure.

Jenn:

That goes into just I think what you might find is just paying attention, tuning into the moment.

Andrew:

Yeah. Well, I mean, it feels like, to me, it makes total sense to be honest. Especially once we get to this example of it where you’re like, “Oh, we just made it all up,” I’m like, “I don’t know, whatever, right?” But what you’re talking about are specific degrees and specific signs. Of course, they all have meaning, right? And of course, they all have symbol and associated things and all that kind of stuff, at least in my mind, right?

We don’t usually deal with that because how does the human brain parse 360 plus the 12 signs plus the decans plus the on and on and on and on, right? At some point, the human brain just disconnects from that, right? But I think that there are inevitably those things that are probably a part of all of those things in the holistic model of the whole thing, right? I don’t know. To me, it makes perfect sense.

Jenn:

Yeah, I think if you work enough with divination at all, that dropping into the moment, the radicality of the moment of just, “Oh, that’s a fantasteroid. Look up what degree is rising.” It becomes an organizing principle for that moment, that quality of time that you’re living through. And so, you give it a name. We call that degrees of the zodiac in the experience of human culture. In the tropical system, the quality of light that the Sun gives off between the equinox and the solstice determines what the signs are. It’s not the stars behind it.

I call it the Jennifer Problem because my name is Jennifer, but I have a stepsister whose name is also Jennifer, but we’re not the same. In the tropical zodiac, she might even be the Sidereal Zodiac, right? So, they call it Aries as the stars behind the sign of Aries, but the sign of Aries that we’re talking about in the western system has to do with the quality of sunlight for that 30 days after the sun hits the vernal equinox in the north, at least.

Andrew:

So, my name is Andrew and I have a stepbrother whose name is Andrew, and now we have found a moment because we’re having this conversation. We’re like, “What is going on in the horizon right now? This has got to be significant.”

Jenn:

All right, let me look it up.

Andrew:

The conjunction of those with stepsiblings of the same name, right?

Jenn:

Yeah. All right. So, I’m looking it up for my location. That’s 7th Sagittarius. You’d have to call it, what, step-inception twins?

Andrew:

The steption twins?

Jenn:

Yeah. Twins? No, no, we’re like steptwins. Step-name twin.

Andrew:

Please email us your better names for this.

Jenn:

I know, right? This is the-

Andrew:

We can’t come up with something solid.

Jenn:

… radical kind of but not quite. I mean the feeling of creating a fantasteroid has to be like the inside. You know that feeling you get when you’re making an inside joke, and someone just says something and everybody stops and laughs? Whoa, that’s that.

Andrew:

Yeah. It reminds me of… It was in The Bob Newhart Show, “My name is Larry. This is my brother, Darryl. This is my other brother, Daryl,” a show in Canada. [inaudible 00:30:29]

Jenn:

I didn’t see that one, but I do love Canadian comedy, The Kids in the Hall, The State. Amazing stuff.

Andrew:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). So, you settled down-

Jenn:

Yeah, I’m married.

Andrew:

… into a house with a kid, you got married.

Jenn:

How did I get all in a year.

Andrew:

You did the whole thing, the whole package.

Jenn:

I did everything in a year. Yeah, I almost died. I had a baby, I got a husband and a home. I’m a property owner now.

Andrew:

Right? How is the rest of the stuff going around and all that change?

Jenn:

Well, I’m glad that the American passports worthless because my prior lifestyle was to get on a plane every three months or less. Now, I can’t even if I wanted to. So, it’s like, well, I might as well be a new parent with a mortgage. So yeah, the focus has definitely shifted too just on the microscopic and the local in terms of growing… I mean, I’ve been very passionate about astrology and herbalism for a number of years… Grow the things and pay attention to the cycles and get my hands dirty with them. So, that’s a focus. That’s exciting to me.

Andrew:

What plants are you excited about these days? So, I think it’s really-

Jenn:

Interestingly, I wanted to plant a larch tree. I was in Mongolia in 2018, and the larch really impressed me there. They’re not native here, though. And so, that’ll be an interesting problematic. But yeah, for some reason, the larch was calling to me because it’s a deciduous evergreen tree. So, I like that combo. It’s impossible

Andrew:

Yeah, nice.

Jenn:

And then, I want to grow hops just to see if I can and-

Andrew:

My neighbor grows hops.

Jenn:

… herbs, and lavender, and rosemary, and all that good, normal stuff.

Andrew:

Nice. I’ve been spending a lot of time in my garden this year. Me and my youngest have been really invested, and my neighbors have been really invested in their gardens because everything shut down, everybody’s been hanging out on their front area in the building where I live, because I was in like a row townhouse. And because they were doing construction in the back on the concrete, it meant that all of our backyards were locked out for a good stretch of time. So, we were forced to be on the front. We all started gardening, we all started hanging out more. And then when the construction finished, we just continued. And so, yeah, so we’ve been putting in a lot of stuff and doing a lot of different things and plotting our next two years’ worth of gardening projects.

Jenn:

It takes that really, doesn’t it?

Andrew:

Yeah.

Jenn:

We can’t just, from Jump Street, have a massive garden. I’m working with Morgan Singer is my neighbor. She’s awesome. She’s illustrated a lot of artwork for some occult books and things, and she does gardening as well. And she was like, “It takes three years really before you can have like a functional, around the clock, around the year garden.”

Andrew:

Well, and we decided that we’re going to pave our walkways and mark our edges of our gardens and stuff with rocks that we acquired from our adventures. And so, when we go places, we go to the beach a fair bit and we’ll bring back a bucket full of rocks. Sometimes we’ll just bring back one if we’re walking or whatever. So, there’s a slow accumulation of stuff that I think is going to take probably, I think it’s going to take all of next year to get. Because we didn’t really make this decision, but this is what we’ve settled into.

There’s a lot of flat, long pieces of like flint or other sedimentary stuff that have fossils in them in the lakes here. And so, because of their size and shape, they’re ideal for making a pathway with and they’re all the similar gray color. And so, the whole walkway, which is probably 2 feet wide by 20 feet when it loops all the way around the garden, will be made with these stones.

Jenn:

Awesome.

Andrew:

And sometimes you find some big ones, but mostly they’re not too much bigger than the size of your open hand. It’s very fun.

Jenn:

It’s like marking time.

Andrew:

Yeah. I think a time we’ll forget what many of them were from or whatever, which doesn’t really matter, right? But I think also there will be ones like, “Hey, I remember this one. This was from wherever, right?”

Jenn:

You’ll feel it over time, yeah, the experience.

Andrew:

Yeah, it’s nice, though. It’s nice to be settling into that and stuff.

Jenn:

And to know your neighbors is worthy.

Andrew:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’ve known them for… I mean, I’ve been here almost nine years now, right? So, I’ve known them for a long time. Especially since it’s become my place, because I kept the place, my ex decided to move out when we separated, I was like, “Perfect. I love this house, and I’m never leaving.” So, I’ve lived there for a long time, but there’s a change in dynamic around that. And my dynamic as a non-married person in relationship to my neighbors and other aspects of life are obviously quite different. So, it’s fun.

Jenn:

Yeah, that definitely does change things, for sure.

Andrew:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jenn:

I’ve had that shift happened as well just noticing, even you can see it, you can interpret it through a chart, for example. But just there is a polarity between that more professional sphere in activity, which I was completely invested in and lived in. Just going back to the thought form concept, I was living and breathing and publishing. And publishing isn’t just the books that you end up distributing and buying, it’s also all of the conversations and experiences that go in and identifying an idea as a book in the first place, which was just everything that I was doing. And world travel at the same time, and just squeezing the life out of the earth as best I could.

I’m so glad I did all of that because now I’m completely in this domestic, hermetically-sealed family constellation, new parent, watching this new person explore the Earth for the first time and wondering why they incarnated. I’m like, “Why are you here? This place is falling to pieces. What’s going on,” and in such a different speed.

And the hermetic seal is very different to be in this very domestic space. So, even the relationship to friends or professional colleagues shifts because you don’t notice that so much time passes because there’s this being in my arms who needs everything from me. And people are like, “I haven’t heard from you in months,” and I’m like, “Really?” because I’m still completely besotted and invested in this other individual, and she takes up my entire field of vision at the moment.

Andrew:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). For sure. Well, I mean, I think that, depends on your style of parenting, that changes but doesn’t change in some ways, right? I mean, minor, 11 and 13, they take up a tremendous amount of my attention. I mean, I think that that’s part of it, right? That’s what you sign up for. This is what I signed up for right? People was like, “Oh, you’re going to miss whatever,” I’m like, “I don’t think so.” Of course, I’d like to travel more, I like to do this or that or whatever, but that’ll just happen later on once the kids become a bit more independent or they’ll come with or whatever, right?

Jenn:

I do have the benefit of having a lot of friends in Bristol who are in their 60s, somehow, and a lot of them have gone through the fullness of the family and now their kids are my age, actually, many of them. And they’re living it up. They’re tango dancing, they’re making art galleries, they’re renovating historic buildings. I mean, they’re doing anything they want, much in the same way I was right before I had my baby, and I’m like, “Okay, cool. So, it’s bookended?”

You do have this strange moment of being completely withdrawn from the world to a certain extent, at least when they’re an infant, and then you enter back out into it, and then you have this really cool relationship with this person or multiples, right, if you have more than one kid, and it wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you.

Andrew:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). For sure. Yeah. Well, I think, I mean, it’s one of those things, right? To me, I am interested and excited to hang out with them and to get to know who they are and get to see who they’re becoming. They’re like, “Hey, can I show you this thing?” and I’m like, “Yeah, show me the thing. What is it?” Sometimes I get it, sometimes I’m like, “I don’t even understand why you’re amused by this but awesome. It’s so bad you’re amused by it.” And they’re the same with me, something like, “Yeah, whatever, Dad. We don’t care about that. That’s fine.”

Jenn:

Did you notice when they were already even as young as eight months that they had interests? Were they unpacking certain things?

Andrew:

Oh yeah, for sure. They arrived us for humans with their own ideas and temperaments and attachments to things and stuff like that, for sure.

Jenn:

Because I get so excited. My daughter loves music, so I’m rabid about getting her drums and different kinds of drums, and things that make sound. Anything that makes sound, she just liked them. It’s so exciting. I have music in my family, but I’m not necessarily that musical. I just picked up one day her interest in sound, and have been totally delighted to see her go nuts about sound.

Andrew:

Yeah, no, it’s amazing, right? I think of parenting as my job is to not squash them, and to try and encourage them in the things that they’re excited about, and to really try and help them flourish in those things. But ultimately, I don’t know. I like your word “steward.” I’m more of a steward of them. I’m very responsible for them, obviously. I try not to put any agendas on stuff with them, right?

My youngest and I go rock climbing every week, right? They’re really into it right now, and I’m like, “Great. I love rock climbing. Let’s go.” So, we go in climbing gym and we climb together. It’s a whole thing that we do. And at one point, they were talking about maybe joining one of the clubs there and whatever. And then the other day, they’re like, “Yeah, I don’t want to competitions. I just want to climb for fun,” I’m like, “Great, that’s awesome too.” It’s perfect. It doesn’t need to be anything, right? It gets to be what they decided they want to be, right?

It’s not like, “Well, you’re really good at this,” because they’re very good at it. I’m like, “You’re very good at it. You must whatever, whatever.” It’s like, “No, you get to decide what your experience of that is, and then maybe you’ll enjoy doing it for the rest of your life in some ways, or on and off or whatever, right?” Whereas if you-

Jenn:

Have you noticed a general lack of instrumentalizing things as capitalism ages? Because I feel like I’m hearing this, “Doing it for its own sake,” instead of having it be propulsive, like competitive to get what accolades or attention or the feeling of winning or just have some fun.

Andrew:

I think it probably depends a lot on who’s in your orbit and where you are, right? I know there are lots of people adjacent to my regular life whose kids are in competitive hockey and competitive… I just not know the things. I don’t watch sports. I’m happy to play sports or do things, but I don’t really care. It just doesn’t matter to me.

So, I think it really just depends on who you are, right? Because I think that there’s also a lot of hustle culture out there and a lot of CrossFit and this and that other things which are on the other side of that spectrum, right? When I go to the climbing gym, which is super chill, which is why I like this one, there’s a fitness place next door. There’s a big sign on the on their roll up garage door that says, “Somebody with less time than you is training right now.” And I’m like, “That’s cool. They can hustle all they want, but I don’t care because I don’t want to do that.”

Jenn:

Yeah. So, I have been thinking a lot about that, especially since everything shut down in the whole world, what are we doing for fun, and what are we doing because that’s the way things have always been done, and what are we really meant to do with ourselves? Because it seems like for a moment, capitalism was suspended. We couldn’t do what the behaviors were. And so, what happened in that moment then? And it’s hard to say obviously, generalizing for everybody, but it just cascaded into questioning around like, what does it mean to have a full life outside of a capitalist, striving, competitive, utility-based action and culture?

Andrew:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, I think it’s interesting. So, in Toronto right now, we’re hovering at 25 new cases a day, almost everything is open in some way or another but with distancing and masks and other stuff, right? And so, there’s a lot of… The question is, as this direction continues, knock on wood, in a good way for us and stuff opens further even, at what point does that… What stays from what changed?

We saw an eruption of park culture in Toronto, right? Everybody’s got a blanket, everyone’s having dinner in the park, right, because it’s the thing you think you could do. We saw the institution of the… Before they opened restaurants, they opened new patios, and many, many restaurants in Toronto basically just got a patio that used to be a lane of cars, right? And so, there’s all this outdoor patio stuff that’s emerged, and outdoor patio that’s not behind the restaurant. That’s out on the street, right?

And they didn’t change the public drinking laws, but they stopped enforcing them. So, people can sit in the park and drink beer and nobody harasses them with their friends and stuff like that because a lot of things that have shifted. And they put in, one of the other things which is a personal favorite of mine, is they put in bike lanes everywhere. All of a sudden, this mad debate about whether we could extend the bike lane one block in this direction was gone, and they put in kilometers and kilometers and kilometers of bike lanes everywhere.

Jenn:

That’s phenomenal.

Andrew:

Yeah. And so, some of them are temporary. I think some of them, I’m hoping some of them will be permanent. But they just have these divided lanes now with posts and little concrete parking lot style dividers. It’s so great, right? But we’ll see what happens.

Jenn:

Yeah. It’s interesting in South Africa, for the first time ever, smoking was banned, alcohol was banned, but marijuana was legal. And it was like the world was flipped upside down. Like, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute, you were arresting people non-stop for marijuana possession and all kinds of things. And now, I cannot buy cigarettes or alcohol, but I can smoke MJ in public? What?”

Andrew:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). For sure. Yeah, it’s interesting how that stuff shifts, right? I’m very curious where it ends, and what role we each have in collectively shaping what that looks like as a city and as countries and whatever. But also, personally, what does that look like, right?

I mean, I had a very opposite experience of people which is, after an initial dip for the first few weeks, my business just took off, and I was just super busy, right? And because all my staff was off, I was just working time and a half to double time through much of this thing. And I was so grateful, so grateful, but also like, “Oh, my God. I cannot live like this. I need off the wheel.” And so, stuff moved off the wheel. As stuff shifted and staff came back and I brought in somebody new and I started getting my life back, I was like, “All right, now I need to go to the level that I wanted, which is I’m not working these days, taking time off every this often.” I’m stepping away from stuff in a way that’s creating space to have that leisure that I want, because I think it’s so important.

Jenn:

Yeah. Or people making things like soap or rose herbs. There’s a company out here that was slammed with orders to the point of being three weeks behind because everybody wanted to make their own tinctures of this and that.

Andrew:

They’re a great company. They ship everywhere.

Jenn:

And so, it’s like, I think there’s the fundamental impulse to enterprise than the human that isn’t necessarily related to the capitalist way of doing enterprise.

Andrew:

Well, all those people out there making bread, right?

Jenn:

Yeah.

Andrew:

Make so much bread. Bread is great. I like bread.

Jenn:

We only make what we want to make. You want to have a garden? We make our things. We like them and there’s excess, then there we go. Yeah, it’s been fun in that way. I mean, obviously, globally, it’s not fun but-

Andrew:

Yeah, there’s a lot of real total shit about it.

Jenn:

I’m trying to see the… I’m a fundamental optimist, so I have been trying to see the silver lining. And like I said before, going into all of it, I was already on house arrest from September on because I could have bled to death at any moment. And so, it was like, “Oh, the whole world gets to feel what I was feeling for four months.”

Andrew:

Right? Welcome to my party, people. Welcome to my party. What happens here? Nothing.

Jenn:

We’ll beat you behind because everybody has to stop with me. Yeah. So, Revelore is still going, that’s my publishing company, but we haven’t published a book since I got sick last September.

Andrew:

I hear you and our buddy, [inaudible 00:50:33], are doing a thing later this year. This is pretty exciting.

Jenn:

Yeah. We got a poetry coming out. It’s going to have a lot of complex details around the deluxe version and some original artwork being made in tandem with that. And then, Robert Allen Bartlett has two books. He’s an alchemist. And there’s a sequel to The Way of the Living Ghost with John Anderson, and this one features a dialogue and it’s less bleak, talking less about hungry ghosts and more about the animated qualities of his work. And my translation of Royal Nativities is coming out, written by Elsbeth Ebertin, the astrologer born on May 14th, which was the date we last spoke in 2017.

Andrew:

Yes. The one who you are resurrecting?

Jenn:

Yeah, yeah. I’m taking her body of work into English because I think it’s important for us to know where we come from as our ancestors in astrology. And there’s a lot of conversations happening in Germany that seem to not go away in the English-speaking world, I think, because we don’t know that they happened already 100 years ago. So, that’s one of my reasons for being on this Earth is to be a translator, a bridge to that time period and published what they were speaking about there.

Andrew:

That’s great. Yeah, I think there’s lots of great stuff out there that we just… Because of our limited scope or our limited linguistic capacities, and because there’s just literally so much and so much everywhere, it’s like, how do you even get into that stuff?

Jenn:

Well, I think when someone gets into a new topic, they get excited about it, and then they go, “I know the problems. Here are the problems.” And it’s like, “Yes. And they knew that 300 years ago, 100 years ago.” Read your sources and go deeper, just a little bit deeper and you’ll see this is a conversation that’s been happening for quite some time.

Andrew:

Yeah, for sure. I mean, it happens with everything, right?

Jenn:

I think so.

Andrew:

Yeah, for sure. I’m working on my next deck.

Jenn:

Yes.

Andrew:

Yes.

Jenn:

Are you allowed to talk about nuances of it?

Andrew:

I will tell you about it. So, after I finished the Orisha Tarot, I decided that I needed something that was not so cognitively processed, right? I spent seven years from thinking about that project to finishing that project and then being released, right? And there was different kinds of art that I tried there, different kinds of things, and spent a lot of time thinking about cultural implications, all sorts of stuff that I want to do something that I thought really respected that tradition and all that stuff. And I’m very happy with where it ended up, but it was just on my brain. So, the new deck is called the Bacon Wizard Breakfast Oracle. And it is 36 cards, all of it breakfast.

Jenn:

Wow. I have a use for that.

Andrew:

Yes? Excellent.

Jenn:

Of course, yeah. See, I’m a Libra so I need help making decisions.

Andrew:

Uh-huh (affirmative). Perfect. Well, you better have a full pantry but otherwise, yeah. So, I was actually going to launch it. I was going to launch at Kickstarter late March. I was on track for doing that, I actually had 34 to 36 cards done, and I was going to wrap them up in whatever, and I’m like, “Oh, no. That’s not going to happen.” But I’m going to shift for late September or early October. I’m going to see how it all goes with a couple other things, but that’s the plan.

Jenn:

Very cool. Yeah. And you can consult a non-astrological oracle to determine which timing is going to suit you.

Andrew:

Right? I mean, the question is really like, which breakfast card is the best omen for the timing of it? It’s probably now.

Jenn:

There you go. Use it to… Yeah, exactly. One-

Andrew:

Bagels and cream cheese, chocolate-

Jenn:

One thing that happened actually in terms of odd things that we’re working on, I became a composer. No one knows this. I actually haven’t spoken about this publicly. I don’t think at all. When I was in London, I started bleeding the first time while I was pregnant. I was actually there for 10 days, not for any reason. I just flew to London to make music with my friend, Nicole. She’s a musician, and I have this measurement of when stars would rise according to different cities and over the course of a year. This was a project that got hatched out of artist residency. It started in New Hampshire.

And so, by sheer accident, I saw a creative music box that you could hear this tune. And then Nicole said, “Oh, I can compose with that if you come and bring me the data.” So, I flew to London and spent 10 days with her. We went through and we created six songs in an EP that we were also going to release on a Kickstarter. And then, everything happened, I was sick and then the world shut down. Well, that’s not going to happen.

So now, we’re working on the B sides, which is instead of the rising of the stars, we’re going to do the setting of the stars in the same indications. Still have six songs on A, six songs on the B side. And yeah, it’ll be two EPs. And it’s a very atmospheric drone core sound because it’s-

Andrew:

Are you going to release it on vinyl?

Jenn:

Yeah, we want to but we’ll see how it goes. I mean, I’ve never actually published music before. But Revelore is going to be iterating into… She’s going to use the Revelore, she’s going to iterate it into a record label in England.

Andrew:

There’s something that’s so meta about the rotating of the record and the movement of the planets and the whole thing. It feels like it needs to be done that way, right?

Jenn:

Yeah, for sure. We had to build an insanely large keyboard just to get the intervals proper, so that we could then shrink down different scales of the tones. I don’t know any of the music theory words for it, but I know the mathematics that I use to measure stuff. So, it’s like, I’ve got this super nerd astrology brain and she’s got the music theory down, and we came up with this thing together.

It was so trance inducing. I was driving listening to it, because my car at that point was the best sound system I could get ahold of, and I almost drove off the road because it was so vibrating your skull open. And I think that’s part of the beauty of it is that there’s something to it. When you use this natural rhythm to make music, then it speaks to something in the human. There’s just something there that it unlocks inside of our own vibration. I don’t know.

Andrew:

Yeah, I did. I can’t wait. That’s very exciting. Well, maybe we’ll leave it here.

Jenn:

Sure. It’s great to see-

Andrew:

You can head on it and listen to the sounds of the universe, everybody, and await the arrival of your breakfast and your trance inducing vinyl.

Jenn:

It’s going to be a great day starting your day off like that.

Andrew:

Starting your day off like that. Which place people can find you, Jenn?

Jenn:

jennzahrt.com, Z-A-H-R-T, or celestialspark.com. Same place.

Andrew:

Perfect.

Jenn:

Thank you.

Andrew:

All right, thanks for coming on. It’s been lovely again.

Jenn:

Yeah, likewise. Take care.

Andrew:

You too.

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