Author Archives: Rob Moore

About Rob Moore

Rob Moore is a published author and has a strong background in art direction and image work. Ever seeking to identify the truths recurring through his own life and that of others, Rob continues to express his findings via writing and imagery. Please visit to learn more.

Our Changing Intimacy Needs

By Rob Moore

Ugh. I can remember the feeling now as some old man would burn a hole through me with his eyes while grinning devilishly. It was something I experienced again and again as a young adult. Out with my friends of like age, I was somehow a magnet for much, much, older — ridiculously older — men. And the more I resisted, the more it seemed to turn them on.

Ocean Reflection by Rob Moore

I would always say that I did not want to be like that in my later years. I would also observe that, given my recurring resistance, it was probably exactly where I was headed. And so it was. Kind of. I do indeed very frequently like ‘em younger. The glimmer of hope, however, is being able to remember what it felt like being in their shoes.

I have therefore both observed and experienced it: sexual desire and sexual drive is not necessarily age discriminatory.

Whether it’s Mars’ continuing retrograde passage through Scorpio or the fact that Venus is flying very closely to the Sun these days, I’ve been considering some of the bigger picture questions of intimate connection lately. With a lot of emphasis continuing on sexual introspection, any of us could be reviewing where we’re at with sex and intimacy at this stage in our lives.

Periodic blackout binges with alcohol landed me in AA by age 24. Those years spent in meetings were just the beginning of a more rewarding way of approaching this life. I also got to learn firsthand the diversity of paths that can bring so many of us to the same place.

Among the many faces I would see regularly was a man in his late 60s who had just gotten divorced from his wife of 35 years after coming to grips with his homosexuality. Having spent a lifetime in literal denial of his sexual truth, it was at retirement age and in physical decline that he was champing at the bit to make up for so much lost time. My heart went out to him and others like him. I could see how feelings of urgency as well as being ‘owed’ something must be coloring everything within viewing distance.

The feelings such situations brought up in me most were of wanting very much to be completely satiated and settled well before my golden years. And yet, the sexual experience I wanted was slow to come. Furthermore, the more experiences I did have and the older I got, the more offbeat and complicated the sexual bucket list became. I ultimately came to realize that when it comes to heartfelt desires and life paths, ‘completely satiated and settled’ is the equivalent of chasing a rainbow.

As it has turned out, it has been in most recent times, as I have crossed the big 5-0 threshold, that sex and physical intimacy have been most fulfilling. My 30s were quite exciting but I put a damper on my experiences by incessantly scanning to see if they were my ‘soul mate’ or not. What makes sexual adventures so rewarding today is an openness to the possibility of connecting with any number of ‘soul mates’ along the way, each with a unique set of truths to teach and learn.

We all experience the various facets of this life in different and deeply personal ways. In our teens, though, we tend to be walking hormones. Youth angst is prevalent. We aren’t sure why we want what we want. All we know is we want it when we want it. Physical urges often prevail over emotional and psychological considerations.

Although males are often attributed with remaining in the aforementioned state most of their lives, the need for more deeply fulfilling emotional connections usually develops in our 20s regardless of gender.

When our first Saturn return takes place around age 29, some sort of coming of age is in the works. This is where it can be notably different for each of us. For many, it’s when the decision to raise a family calls. For me, I at last decided to embrace the kink scenes that had been part of my psyche since I was 12. It wasn’t a clean sweep to such scenes, though. I still intermittently tried to fit into the ‘perfect couple’ mold.

So while some of us decide to explore our sexual options, others turn a different direction and effectively close that door. In either circumstance, life experiences, inspirations and discoveries — particularly around our Uranus and Saturn oppositions in our 40s — can give rise to a very different set of priorities.

My Neptune square and Uranus and Saturn oppositions turned my life inside-out and upside-down. Maybe it’s not so dramatic for most people but I became infuriated that such a ground-shaking era could be tied up in a neat little package called ‘midlife crisis’, during which we all supposedly try to recapture our sophomore year in college.

My 40s were less about sex than my previous adult years. Due in large part to physical illness, this was the period when my metaphysical aims were brought front and center. After perceiving visual guidance for many years, I became able to access audible guidance. The world was telling me I was nuts, and all the while a strong case was being made from what I was tapping into that, if anything, it was the other way around.

I think it is the bigger picture of this phase of life that illustrates a similar experience for us all. Whatever we’ve put on hold or in the backseat comes to the forefront. If the nuclear family was chosen over other equally heartfelt desires, those desires are brought up for review. It is for this reason that midlife transition gets a reputation for chasing sex and the glory of youth.

I can’t reiterate enough how strongly I feel that our midlife transition is a monumental journey into ourselves. I can only empathize with those relative few who feel moved enough to uproot from everything they’ve built to recapture some aspect of themselves. If my experience demonstrates anything, such drastic measures are not necessarily required to get to a most welcomed truth of our longings during this period.

As the metaphysical happenings took over in my transition years, I resigned myself to the idea that my days of sexual exploration were basically over. So profound were my experiences, I figured I was headed for an ashram. What actually happened, though, was that my willingness to yield completely to my nonphysical facets only served to refine and improve the way I experienced sex. Furthermore, it drove home what an integral part of my life path sexual connection is.

I would be quick, therefore, to allay any fears up-and-comers have that the innate restlessness and cloudiness of this life passage inherently leads to losing what is near and dear to us. Certain longings may well need to be explored. Scary as that may be for some, I believe if applied consciously, a greater level of appreciation for what we already value is the big news flash after all is said and done.

What I am pleased to report is that despite my clear-cut physical aging in recent years, as well as post-op inconveniences to deal with, a principle I believe I’ve really come to embody is that attractiveness is an inside job. It’s one of those things I don’t exactly understand; I’ve just found firsthand that it works. I think what I love most is that I don’t sit around nitpicking every little physical imperfection so much anymore. They’re there. I see them. But I no longer believe they are the determining factor in making key connections.

This new chapter of letting go has resulted in way more deeply gratifying sexual experiences because I’m so much more present now. But there’s something I find even more interesting:

At least 60% of the time, although a sexual attraction may draw me together with someone, that’s not what I find is needed to bring the deepest level of fulfillment. Particularly with the younger types I feel a connection with, I often find simply connecting on a heart level can wind up bringing the greatest satisfaction.

More than ever, I understand why those old men were trying to hit on me in my youth. There was indeed a sexual pull. I totally get it now. Because of that, I strive to consider such dynamics from a variety of angles. As attractive as someone may be, I now aim to take whatever time I need to ask what it is I really want here. Sex? Sometimes, yes. Very much, please. But very frequently it is just to have a connection with this person’s warmth or vitality. That can mean friend, creative cohort, teacher, student or something else.

That’s something I sure couldn’t have done in my raging-hormone youth. And probably not in my nab-a-soul-mate years. Thanks in part to those old men, though, it’s something I’m glad this old man can do today.


Curious about what the epic Uranus-Eris conjunction means for you? Intrigued by the dance of Neptune and Chiron in Pisces? In our exciting new class with Eric Francis, The Astrology of Now, your questions will receive thoughtful and insightful answers — and you’ll have lots of fun in the process. You may sign up here.

Meet The Beasts

By Rob Moore

I recognize the essence of all sorts of creatures within my day-to-day dealings. Canines are all over the place. They love to literally sniff other beasts but are also adept at sniffing out what’s hidden from view. Lots of felines are around, too. They tend to act nonchalant and disinterested, all the while plotting their surprise moves.

"In the Thick" by Rob Moore.

“In the Thick” by Rob Moore.

Also very prevalent are the meerkats. They love nothing more than to rise up and look and look and look some more, at most conversing amongst themselves about what they’ve just spotted.

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the rhinos. Watch the rhinos. They stand there, seeming to only take up space. Until they whip around one day and show you how much force they’re capable of wielding.

I suppose I should explain what all these animal analogies are about. My interactions lately have felt a lot like life in the wild. Among other things, it has seemed like a primal fight for dominance is constantly up ahead just waiting to be provoked. This has had me sticking very close to meditation and doing what I can to get clear before heading into the thick of it. As a result, I have perceived that actually being more beast-like myself may be in order. Quite possibly for you, too.

As Eric discussed in detail on Planet Waves TV, this weekend’s New Moon and mutable grand cross speak to every one of us on some level. He also alludes to the possibility of ‘wtf?’ types of events that could leave us confused but which are best met with taking command of things rather than bending to dictated outcomes. Eric talks of using not only our “emotional intelligence” but also all our faculties. I think this is where our more primal natures can figure in, which I see as also falling under the current Mars in Scorpio umbrella.

I must tell you that I have not been enjoying the recent astrological climate. Any glimmer of gratification I have experienced is akin to the deep relief and rise in self-confidence that ‘The Dog Whisperer’ Cesar Milan must feel every time he goes head to head with a red-zone dog, successfully transforming the circumstances. Definitely not something I want to go through every week, and I doubt Cesar does, either.

For the record, Cesar Milan has been one of my greatest inspirations. Although I don’t get to see his show much anymore because The National Geographic Channel isn’t available in the middle of Hollywood for some reason (I mean, seriously??), I recognized in him many years ago someone here to uplift consciousness.

What I so love about Cesar is that he has found — or has been gifted with — the perfect means to teach humankind a new way of relating. Although communicating with dogs has always been his banner activity, in the process he has taught even those of us without dogs the energetic essence of our everyday communication beyond words. Be that with animals or fellow humans.

To that point, the standout behaviors I’ve encountered lately have at their center rather primal energetic messages. These behaviors are, 1) disgruntlement seeking an outlet and, 2) physical cues signifying sexual desire despite words or counteractions that spell out something else entirely.

Considering the latter, this is the very reason sex clubs have always offered the more fulfilling experiences for me than other avenues. With no manipulative pick-up lines involved — or lines meant to be read between — what we’re all experiencing there is about as straightforward as it gets. And indeed our more animalistic instincts come forth more freely.

If I have a life mantra it is, “Balance in all things.” In this light, what the more ‘down-and-dirty’ scenes such as sex clubs and sex gatherings generally lack is deeply gratifying emotional interaction. It exists there. I have experienced it more than I ever thought I would in these environments. It tends to be fleeting and quite random, though. Building an emotionally supportive situation requires a different set of factors.

So creating a space for increased emotional connection is where my focus has been of late. And I think — particularly with Mars back in Scorpio — I have perhaps taken this more ‘civil’ bond building as far as it needs to go for a while. For this reason, my higher guidance can most likely see I need to ‘balance the beast’, so to speak.

If this likewise rings true for you in any way, that would totally make sense to me. As mentioned, I’ve encountered a lot of primal energy out there lately, much of it lost for a way to express itself. Finding a completely safe and sane way to release such instincts might do a lot of us a lot of good.

Despite the presence of three sign-ruling planets in earth signs, the current astrology is overwhelmingly emphasizing the water, fire and air signs. I believe this may be a dynamic that looks to us to provide the missing link to address any imbalances. In my estimation, this means getting down and being one with some real earthiness.

Literal earth activities like gardening, digging, hiking or climbing may well serve as gratifying outlets. And, of course, sex. While we’re at it, might I suggest trying something ever so slightly more beastly than usual?

Regardless of what the astrology is doing, something I’ve noticed that affects interactions of all types is the imposing of perfumes and colognes into an environment. Co-workers subjected to a strong fragrance wafting through the room — or right beside them — can create underlying friction. In addition to being unable to do anything about the smell, what creates the most tension is the fact that talking to someone about what they smell like is one of the last big taboos. Whether it’s cologne or lack of bathing, it’s a conversation most people are not willing to have. Therefore, they just sit on the pent-up feelings until the day they go completely off about something seemingly unrelated.

Bring this perfume/cologne dynamic into an intimate situation and the friction is heightened. What may seem like ‘just not having chemistry’ may well be someone trying to get the fuck away from smelling — and tasting — after-bath splash all up in everything. I know I’ve been there… trying to hurry it up and get the hell out.

So maybe ‘slightly more beastly’ could mean sex with no outside fragrances. I’m all for starting off shower-fresh, mind you. But the pheromones we each naturally emanate are something naturally attractive to those with whom we share genuine chemistry. Personally, I don’t want anything messing up such a primal and exciting process. If it’s a new idea for you, this could be a great time to give it a whirl.

If my recent interactions are indicative of any kind of collective vibe — even if sex and intimacy are the last things on anyone’s mind — animal-like reflexes seem to be afoot. I’ve been caught off-guard more than once this week by reactions way bigger than the issue at hand.

A ‘wtf?’ conundrum that tangled me up the other day had me stopping cold, unsure how to proceed, yet feeling very strongly that it was important to stand my ground. Let’s just say it was about one person’s religious insistence in stark contrast with the other’s contradictory firsthand life experiences. It became rapidly clear within all this metaphorical horn-locking and eye-gouging that only a non-verbal approach beyond the level of brain calculations could ever hope to restore any kind of peace.

After much consideration about the underlying animal nature of the person involved, I’ve concluded she has the life essence of some exotic bird. One minute she’s playful and intriguing and the next she’s squawking and pecking at your face.

Truly, the facts of the situation that arose between us are virtually irrelevant. It was all about perception and fixation, which resulted in fear and confusion. As if trying to communicate with a flighty bird, here’s how it went down:

– The bird’s tail knocked over a glass of water.

– I instinctively dove down to get it.

– This startled the bird, which instinctively dove at me and started flapping its wings wildly.

– My instinctive ducking to avoid a pecking and the shadow of the bird’s wings startled the bird to an even greater degree.

– The bird drew back and gave me one good hammer on the skull before flying off to its hiding place in the attic.

The irrational nature of the display left me stunned for hours. Slowly, it became clear that to address all this effectively would require taking this to a higher level than the altercation itself.

And so I did not go chasing after the bird. Nor did I sit around waiting for it to fly down from its perch. Once I gathered my wits, I literally stood on my own two feet and offered this convoluted ball of entanglement to a higher level of consciousness. Not just ‘my guidance’, either — the highest possible guidance. There was just way too much going on that surpassed anything I could ever call ‘understanding’. In turn, I could feel the power shifting from what was utterly ridiculous to what was supremely sublime.

Knowing that the argument was unwinnable — by either of us — I abandoned that idea entirely. I did not know how this would resolve, I just trusted in whatever greater wisdom encompasses us both. As it turned out, upon next meeting, the issue had clearly been dropped. Only an unspoken agreement to let each other honor our own calling hummed between us.

So in the event of any beastly displays, I’m all for taking a page from the Cesar Milan playbook. He wouldn’t try to argue with an animal or explain his point of view. No, no. He would merely ground himself in his personal power energetically, rather than getting pulled into a power struggle. Doing so free from force or ill will, he’s able to stay present and meet the animal on a level it can relate to.

In a big way grounding ourselves in our energy is our most primal way of relating. So whether we’re dealing with surreal exchanges or magnetic attractions, I recommend meeting any beasts on the same level. Peacefully, of course. Energetically, of course. In all our dealings, there’s a whole lot going on beyond words.


Curious about what the epic Uranus-Eris conjunction means for you? Intrigued by the dance of Neptune and Chiron in Pisces? In our exciting new class with Eric Francis, The Astrology of Now, your questions will receive thoughtful and insightful answers — and you’ll have lots of fun in the process. You may sign up here.

All of A Sudden, Feelings

My week started off with clogged sinuses. Which led to plugged up ears. I’ve indicated in previous installments that my body is undeniably used as a message center for deeper issues that need attention. And if those aren’t addressed, the messages then extend out beyond me to my surroundings.

"Overtaken" by Rob Moore.

“Overtaken” by Rob Moore.

Oh, yeah… the toilet clogged up, too. And would not budge. And the landlord wouldn’t respond to my messages. And since all my calls went to voicemail on the first ring, I know he got them.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, a doctor or plumber to pinpoint the problem: something isn’t moving.

But since I wasn’t exactly paying attention or listening, more things stopped moving. It soon became apparent that what was stuck were feelings. And this external piling-on only exacerbated them.

Mercury having just turned direct as the week got underway, I could well have been experiencing that storm phase. If you have had a similar experience this past week, take heart that Mercury is now gaining some decent momentum.

So great have been the feelings going on for me, however, that I actually cannot pinpoint the last time it was this way. Nevertheless, I’ve been here before…spending a third of my day working through feelings in order to be something akin to productive. I actually started writing a completely different piece but because of so much heavy feeling unrelated to anything I was writing about, I’ve chosen instead to tell it like it is. Or, more accurately, like it has been.

I started to deduce that this may have had less to do with the Mercury storm phase and more about retrograde Mars’ reentry into Scorpio. There are some of us who tend to experience transits on the early side of things. Psychosomatic, perhaps? Could be worth looking into in another installment. This much I can say for sure: Mars officially exited Sagittarius on Friday. Whenever it’s felt, such ingresses by inner planets can be rather palpable for any of us. Eric has the full overview of current astrology including Mars’ reentry into Scorpio in this week’s Planet Waves FM.

I suppose having Mars in Sagittarius for the last few months, even if it is appearing to go backwards, has been a productive thing for me. Not only have projects been clicking, but my emotions and my spirits have been almost effortless to maintain. Well, it would appear all that is grinding to a complete halt. Without taking the time to work through a barrage of overwhelming feelings, the projects, personalities and petty issues are feeling like tortures to endure right now.

There’s an old one-liner about the world being a wonderful place except for the people. Indeed, people most often seem to be the source, the cause or the catalyst for my feelings. Actions… inaction… communicating one thing… doing another. Crazy-making.

Since this entire Mars retrograde transit has been underway, a number of notable individuals have entered my scene, each with a unique part to play. However, with all the retrograding of planets that has colored recent times, it hasn’t always been easy to get clear on who’s here for what reason. This can lead to feelings of doubt and instability. And that can lead to all sorts of other feelings.

Retrograde planets often bring back into the spotlight mistakes that have been repeated throughout our lives. It’s either a chance to once and for all not make the mistake anymore or to see just how far we’ve come since the last big mistake. One of my ongoing mistakes throughout my life has been prematurely granting my trust.

When such gifts are not appreciated or there is no response to a heartfelt gesture, this is where the feelings come rushing in for me. This is where clarity is lost. This is where things begin to look dingy and grey and disappointing. Scenarios begin to form in the brain. In turn, the brain takes those scenarios and runs with them, building ever more elaborate scenarios ad infinitum.

During the day while I’m working on my iMac, I generally keep a window open to a particular hook-up site. Virtually nothing has developed from that population for a ridiculous amount of time. Lots of lookie loos; lots of messages from guys who get scared and logoff before I can even respond. Yet, to my surprise, someone I had managed to have a couple of actual conversations with a while back recently indicated the desire to connect. As fate would have it, we actually did connect. I had a great time. He said he couldn’t remember the last time he was so completely immersed in the action.

With a desire to increase the quality of my connections, one of my emerging Mars retrograde objectives is to be able to repeat rewarding encounters with others while retaining our individuality. Liking what happened here, I extended the invitation. He accepted. Matter of fact, later this very week looked like the best bet for a while. We’d firm things up the first of the week.

First of the week came. Nothing. Before midweek, I took the initiative and texted. Nothing.

One of my recent topics here on Planet Waves was about a lifelong pattern of Mercury retrograde connections. Having experienced a few lasting triumphs after legions of failures, I was now feeling like those few triumphs were enigmas I never should’ve given any weight. I was now feeling like I had fallen for wishful thinking one more idiotic time.

Sinuses killing me, projects piling up, toilet clogged, messages not returned… it became clear that to find some kind of peace I’d have to take drastic measures. I would have to formally meditate. And bring every synapse into the very instant. And take the steps necessary to transform paralyzing feelings into something else. I honestly didn’t know what that was because all I could do was feel feelings. So into the moment I went.

I met my feelings one by one and felt them fully. Foremost was anger. I was angry at so much going on it wasn’t even necessary to contemplate any of that. I just felt the anger.

Sitting there just fully feeling, the anger transformed amazingly quickly into a kind of blissful thrill. Ahhh… yes… now I remember how this works. It’s almost like the feeling of coming over the big rise on a roller coaster. Scary, scary, scary… whoooo-we! Exhilarating!

Oh, but wait. Here comes the fear. Okay… feel it, feel it, feel it… aahhhhh, mmmmm, mmmm. Peace. Oh, yeah… that’s the stuff.

Once the fear and angst have given way to peaceful, blissful feelings, I ask this more-attuned aspect of myself for the truths I need to know. I ask what presently ‘is’ with any number of situations. I ask what is presently needed to restore peace and effectiveness to each physical-world situation. Having done this for many years, I will frequently perceive visual answers or otherwise gain a new perspective on a situation. When applying such techniques, the way each of us is inspired or brought to a different way of considering things will be different. It may even happen two days later.

In this particular instance, I got the impression there was more information available if I opened to audible perception, an aspect of meditative connecting that was a major breakthrough for me 10 years ago. Here’s some of what came through this week:

“You need be just you and be no other. There is no need to justify or clarify or nullify your endeavors or promises in the mist. Foremost you must see and know and have the light that rains in and be that which you are. Have this you do now be the guide.”

I just want to point out that I began seeking to yield my goings-on to whatever wisdom exists beyond my thinking brain in my 20s. By 26, I had experienced the indescribable transcendence that results from meditative contact. Twenty-five years later, I still to this day fall into the idea that I completely have this all handled and figured out. Even while everything is collapsing around me. Never ceases to amaze and scare me just a little.

Nevertheless, my cell memory (or something) clicked in and reminded me how to get to a better way of seeing things. And now the other part of all this that never ceases to amaze me:

As I brought myself back fully to the room following meditation, I realized my ears had unplugged. A bit later — after having already plunged the frick out of that clogged toilet for an hour to no avail — the clog gave way, sending gurgles echoing down the pipeline. Shortly thereafter the landlord came to the door with his plumbing equipment, followed by a text from my Internet ‘connection’ with possible times to meet.

Having such developments take place wasn’t the reason I at last came into the moment. Feeling good again was. Everything falling into place was icing on the cake, albeit a very delectable icing.

I’m telling you, more and more I find that the ultimate solutions to my problems aren’t so much about a phone call or a text or a particular action. It’s about how all things are really connected. And from what I can put together, that is in the moment. Hey, I don’t claim to fully understand it. I just know it works — and sometimes all of a sudden.


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If It’s Not Sex-Positive, What Is It?

By Rob Moore

Are you finding yourself to be of two minds about physical intimacy and sex lately? Does the idea that we need to feel free to choose what we most desire ring true to you? Yet with sex does this feel like a grey area? There’s an awful lot in the current astrology that suggests any number of us could be ironing out such ideas for ourselves.

"Black Bandana" by Rob Moore.

“Black Bandana” by Rob Moore.

This weekend is the Full Moon in Sagittarius. Full Moons are renowned for heightened emotions and urges; Sagittarius is the adventurous sign with a reputation for racking up sexual conquests. I’ll let you do the math.

Add to that Mars retrograde bringing our focus inward, plus the Sun’s new arrival in Gemini, the sign of the twins. Desire, sex, ideals, contemplation and a duality of any of the above are on the radar right now. In addition to Eric’s more comprehensive lay of the land in this week’s Planet Waves FM, I also recommend a look at Amanda Painter’s suggestions on constructively navigating this time period.

In the broadest of terms, there are those who feel a soul urge to explore their sexuality, those with a soul urge focused completely elsewhere, and those who are focused on trying feverishly not to focus on their soul urge to explore sex. In what shade of this spectrum are you?

Just to look back over humanity’s more recent sex-related movements: First was the free love movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Then came the ‘love yourself’ and ‘unconditional love’ ideology of the ‘80s and early ‘90s, coupled with protect-yourself-from-sex campaigns that ensued following the AIDS epidemic. What came next was a sort of rebellion against the latter as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and NSYNC ushered in an era of premature eroticism. I’m not perfectly sure what kind of corner that suggests we turned.

Wherever we are now, it is an era in which the term ’sex-positive’ is thrown around a lot. It was coined to represent the ideal that any consenting adult can have sex with any other consenting adult in any way they choose, as long as doing so brings no unwanted physical/emotional/psychological circumstances to anyone in the process.

Sounds wonderful as well as reasonable. I’m all in. And yet, the reaction that so often arises at the mention of sex still seems to be, “Bad” or “Naughty.” Or at minimum, “This isn’t really okay, is it?” Even if such ideas are very insidious and beneath the surface.

Sex is something that naturally lends itself to being very private; I will wholeheartedly give you that. In the grand scheme of things it’s only a handful of us in the artistic world who feel a strong urge to use sexual arousal as our canvas. And even amongst us, shame and embarrassment raise their heads during the course of our craft. Matter of fact, as much as I love creating erotic and compelling imagery, when it comes to joining sexually with another, I far prefer to demonstrate what I feel inclined to do rather than say what I’m wanting. Oh, us contradictory humans.

Okay, so maybe at least the one thing the majority of us living and breathing can agree on is that sex is a deeply personal matter that brings up many feelings. That’s okay. So does music. And great cinema. But then those latter two are art forms that are removed from real life just enough for the feelings to be considered safe. Now if we can just get okay feeling what is undeniably in our face, in our bed and very, very real, I’d say we’d be getting somewhere.

In so many ways, I don’t find sex to be our only innate internal conflict. It’s many things: It’s death. It’s over-excitement. It’s vulnerability. It’s chaos and confusion. It’s more going on than we know what to do with. In a nutshell, it’s feelings. I have certainly found the sooner I can get to a place of ‘it’s no big deal’ — about sex, anger, death… anything that seems all-consuming — the faster peace is restored.

In my college years, I think I mentioned one time that I liked Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can. Funny the things people take to heart. For my circle of friends, this was one of them. I was frequently taken to Warhol exhibits and given posters of his work, which made more people later in life conclude I was a hardcore fan. Anyway, for a long time I had an ongoing Andy Warhol theme happening in my life.

For my birthday one year a friend gave me a book on Warhol. It included quotes by him, many of them quite vain if not asinine. But an almost blank page in that book revealed what he claimed was his life philosophy. It was quite simply, “So what?”

Warhol explained briefly that he applied it to any situation and anything he might be wrestling with. This tiny notion turned out to be one of the most fundamental building blocks to living my life freely and peacefully. For a good year, I would stop cold and apply it to anything that was unravelling me:

For the third time this month the neighbors saw a hookup leave my apartment.

So what?

They know what I’ve been up to.

So what?

They might think I’m a ho-bag.

So what?

I’m embarrassed.

So what?

So I don’t want to feel that way.

So what?

So I don’t want to feel a way that I don’t want to feel.

So what?

Hmmm… so… maybe this is all about getting over a feeling.

As simplified as that example is, it always comes down to a judgment and how we feel about it. And although it can technically involve somebody else’s judgment, it ultimately comes down to our own judgments and our own feelings.

One of the more recognized ideas from A Course in Miracles is, “Guilt is always totally insane and has no reason.”

Just for the record, when I studied this channeled work in my late 20s, I didn’t merely buy such ideas hook, line and sinker. Just as Eric approaches these ideas each week in The Miracle Hour, I dissected such seemingly too-good-to-be-true concepts, turned them inside-out, flipped them on their sides and everything else.

In connection with other metaphysical works that spell out the same idea, I have come to realize that guilt is indeed totally insane, which completely supports the notion that ‘there are no big deals’. None. In this light, any sex we feel moved to have would better serve our overall lives by being completely embraced — as well as the feelings that are an integral part of the package. I do not mean a flip disregard as if it were nothing. I’m talking about a deliberate, considerate, caring integration into the whole of our lives.

I don’t find being scared of sex or repulsed by sex to be very metaphysical. I am more inclined to see such conditions as barriers to the metaphysical.

Another brilliant gem, which is credited to numerous sources: “Be for something and against nothing.” I really don’t care who said it or where it came from, I call it a ‘gem’ because my choice to actively live this way just feels so much more transcendent than grinding against a list of things. From this perspective, I identify more fully with someone who’d rather stay home and read a book than have sex than I do with someone who’s on a soapbox pushing abstinence.

I embrace — or at least fully consider — all forms of mutually consenting sexual expression. BDSM culture therefore figures into the landscape. As such, I quite frequently come across those who have gone from the extreme of fundamentalist abstinence to fundamentalist satanic worship. This is of no interest to me. I already walked away from Christianity. Satan worship merely serves to further empower Christianity; it’s all part of the same belief system. Besides, I went to such extremes in my youth. Balance in all things is what I seek now.

It has been my experience that making the choice to live a life unencumbered by guilt — and therefore taking the steps to recognize feelings of guilt for the nothingness they are — is far more than merely living without a care. It actually comes with a sense of gravity. You begin to see that you are totally responsible for your actions and how they may affect others. With no hell or punishment in the wings, it becomes imperative to uphold the highest ideal in all matters. For your deepest gratification and for that of all others involved.

I think the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians is a great example — in theory anyway — of personally upholding a high ideal. And while we’re at it, let’s consider what doctors do. Doctors wrap their heads and their hands around every body part and everything that comes out of those parts. Nothing is off limits, disgusting or prejudged. And doctors are members of society who are generally revered.

Similarly — if the Bible has any historic accuracy — then Jesus made the conscious choice to hang out with prostitutes. I suspect this wasn’t about trying to score with them, but rather about their firsthand experience of human nature. Some of my best friends are escorts. I have found them to be able to see, live and embrace a bigger picture that incorporates an absence of judgment, not unlike that of trusted doctors. Matter of fact, there are doctors who pay their way through medical school doing escort work. I personally know of two.

As we delve into Gemini energy in the coming weeks, there is much to support bringing such double-sided topics like sex into our own personal consideration. Actually, flipping any number of coins over and re-familiarizing ourselves with the other side could serve us rather well. The whole exercise may reveal something we couldn’t have noticed until now.

After all is said and done, who knows? Whether it’s meditation, video games, art, literature, fried chicken, a musical composition or sex, maybe the only thing we ever need to ask is, “How do I want to experience this very moment?”


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That Which Outlasts Mercury Retrograde

By Rob Moore

I have seen it time and time again: fragile new connections that undergo a shift during some part of a Mercury retrograde phase. Mark, Sandy, Travis and a position at an animation studio that was almost in my lap each disintegrated just as the communication planet turned either retrograde or direct. But then along came James, Zack, Ethan and a freelance opportunity that served, once and for all, to reverse my own thinking about Mercury retrograde.

"A Reconsidering" by Rob Moore.

“A Reconsidering” by Rob Moore.

Just under 20 years ago, while I was gathering enough evidence to feel confident in astrology, I became very astute about the regularly recurring Mercury retrograde. Back then, this transit was most often interpreted by astrologers as something of a horror. I’m certainly glad to no longer be that guy who, for all intents and purposes, hid under the bed for a month. I’m also elated that in more recent times our astrology consciousness has expanded significantly beyond such fear.

As we enter the last week of this year’s second Mercury retrograde, it is the effects on opportunities to join that I’m focusing on at today. If you’re looking for an article with more steam this weekend, I would recommend Eric’s feature article Mercury and Mars Retrograde: The Underlying Question that went out to subscribers Thursday. In addition to some pertinent sexual food for thought, Eric makes a valuable point about retrograde planets by stating, “There is the retrieval of something that was previously disowned or taken away.”

In my earlier years, however, I wasn’t trying to consciously apply Mercury retrograde. I was trying to go unnoticed by it. But it was only for a few years that I tried desperately not to do or — for this hoof-in-mouth Sagg — say anything at all for over three weeks straight. It was rapidly demonstrated that any attempts at completely shutting down were futile. Besides, like clockwork, I have regularly been bombarded with relationship and creative opportunities when Mercury performs its reversal illusion.

Still, I resisted. Hard. One of my deep dreads in this life is having nothing come of what I’ve given my all. The very idea that under Mercury retrograde I would accept the world’s greatest job and relocate (if merely across town), only to have them change their minds once Mercury went direct, is an idea that has never sat well with me.

A few weeks back I related the story of my relationship with Travis, which arose under Mercury retrograde and rapidly went south, albeit by my own heavy-handedness. This was my first conscious awareness that, like career opportunities, if Mercury was apparently moving backwards, the suitors will come a-knockin’. And as events with Travis seemed to demonstrate, such opportunities were better off left at the door.

So what is a diligent subscriber to astrology to do? Well, with each passing retrograde, I began to look deeper… for the exceptions. Among my most striking discoveries was that General Motors was founded during Mercury retrograde. Indeed, they have been through numerous changes — not the least of which involves heavy cutbacks in recent years — but hardly a company whose long history could be described as a failure.

There would, however, be a far more riveting discovery for me. Once I delved deep enough into astrology to have my natal chart drawn up, I learned that I was born under Mercury retrograde. Possessing cherished writing and communication ambitions, this really set me in a tailspin. I already had a history of having my intentions misunderstood by people. Mercury, I concluded, was the reason and that was the end of that.

My hope was soon restored, however, upon learning that Mercury retrograde was in the natal chart of arguably the world’s best-known astrologer, Jonathan Cainer, whose passing took us by surprise last week. I was quick to recognize that he had not only successfully brought a higher form of writing to astrology, but millions hinged on what he was obviously communicating quite clearly every day.

As the evidence piled up that my life assignment was to work with Mercury retrograde instead of run from it, I began to experiment. The greatest opportunities generally arose in the romantic and sexual departments. I basically took a deep breath and decided to dive headfirst into relationship situations I figured could be snatched away as soon as Mercury turned direct or be a nightmare or not be what they seemed — or all the above.

One pattern I have been faced with again and again involves those whom I feel an attraction toward despite the fact that they rarely give me the time of day. Mark was one such guy. After not seeing him for weeks, we began to run into each other during one particular Mercury retrograde. This time around he began to show an interest in me. He demonstratively wanted to get closer. He seemed deeply interested in the person he was at last getting to know.

Having decided to go with the flow of Mercury retrograde developments, Mark and I spent the retrograde period establishing our very basic mutual interest in each other. When plans were finally made to do something together, it fell on a date when Mercury would be direct again. By the time that day rolled around, Mark had lost interest again and the whole thing poofed into thin air. Except for the anger I was left to work through. Anger mostly at myself for giving Mercury retrograde a chance.

I could go on and on with tales of individuals who did an about face when Mercury turned retrograde. With each experience, however, I found myself able to get more philosophical about the whole thing. I began to look at what had transpired that somehow gave me vital insight into other areas of life.

As each retrograde suitor has come along, I have therefore offered the situation to my guidance and left the door open to whatever resulted. As I have stuck with it — both partnership interests and career opportunities — I have noticed another frequent pattern. Many times, the same exact people and opportunities return under each successive retrograde.

For the longest time, I still viewed this as a less-than-desirable set of circumstances. Desirable or not, for years and years now my most cherished opportunities have re-presented themselves during Mercury retrograde. So my next move was to determine how this could result in a flow of events that worked in the best interests of all involved.

Once in this frame of mind, the pattern I have noticed is actually rather encouraging. As time has marched on (or is it my consciousness?), key situations seem to have shifted to envelope the length of the entire retrograde phase. Connections and opportunities that have begun to solidify when Mercury is direct often enter some notable new chapter on the first day of Mercury’s shadow phase. This may be a planned event that falls on that first shadow day or an unforeseen convergence of factors.

In this set of circumstances, with Mercury still direct yet slowing, this leaves a great span of time for things to concretely develop. Once Mercury turns retrograde, it’s usually only small details that need to be ironed out. Maybe twice, even. Still, the big picture stays solidly intact.

 The Spring Reading is now published. Order all 12 signs here or choose your individual signs here for immediate access. You may listen to a free audio introduction here.

The Spring Reading is now published. You may order all 12 signs here or choose your individual signs here for immediate access. You may listen to a free audio introduction here now.

But there’s more going on here than the effects seen during retrograde. A shift has taken place in how I approach and appreciate relationships. A shift that would not have happened if I had not decided to give myself to the experience of Mercury retrograde.

I have been surprised, relieved and a little humbled in the last year or so by some Mercury retrograde newcomers on my scene — James, Zack and Ethan — whose integrity has not been dented during the length of these recurring transits.

Unlike the pattern in the past wherein such new connections rip off the mask (or slide one on) as soon as Mercury seemingly turns backwards, my heart has skipped a few beats to find that James has no mask. And that Zack’s personality has remained steady. And that mutual respect continues to grow between Ethan and me.

In terms of career opportunities that show up during Mercury retrograde, it’s a major overhaul of my own outlook and my own expectations that has resulted. Some while back I concluded that being a free agent is the most gratifying path for me. I have also seen through the years that I regularly need to pull back and refuel my creative stores. Therefore, if the big projects only come through around Mercury retrograde, I am beginning to see how that may be exactly what the doctor ordered. I believe there’s a reason things happen as they do. I would like very much once and for all to settle into that idea.

In all likelihood, many more Mercury retrogrades lie ahead of me. I have no delusions that no more masks will ever be involved, nor that a situation will never again do an about face. Today, however, I realize there are heartfelt connections that have their roots well outside Mercury retrograde; even if that’s when they appear to touch ground. Today, I am confident it’s worth finding out if that’s true. That has everything to do with deciding to give the oft misunderstood astrological transit-of-misunderstandings a chance to show me what it really means.

So How Does It Feel To Have That Body?

By Rob Moore

A while back I came across some proofs from a professional photo shoot of me taken when I was just barely into my 30s. I have to say I was rather disturbed by the person I saw staring back at me in those images. So uncomfortable. So guarded. I recall the photographer wanting to get some tough-looking photos as well as some pleasant ones.

"Being Physical" by Rob Moore.

“Being Physical” by Rob Moore.

Unfortunately, the only look he captured was ‘uncomfortable’. As in, ‘not comfortable in this life’.

With the Sun presently in earthy, sensual Taurus, I have noticed my thoughts leaning toward things of a more physical nature lately. It is quite possible you have, as well. To that point, Eric looks further into Mercury’s retrograde passage through Taurus in the latest Planet Waves FM and discusses the importance of claiming ‘our right to be in our bodies’.

Also, Eric describes his personal experiences with world-famous astrologer and my fellow Sagittarius Jonathan Cainer following his unexpected passing this week. If you think that might be a downer, think again. Eric’s accounts are as full of life as Cainer was himself.

Many years ago during a grave and extended illness, I briefly slipped out of the body. That turned out to be one of the greatest gifts I ever received because I was essentially reminded how there is nothing to fear or be sad about. Here or beyond. Yet upon learning that Jonathan had passed, I cried. Deeply and repeatedly. I believe this is the first time I have cried about a death since my own experience with it. But since Cainer has been amongst the brightest of guiding lights that has led me to a better way of living, I wept completely for myself.

I perceive Jonathan’s easy transition as a direct testament to how freely and comfortably he lived in the physical world. And that is an inspiring thing. Yet most of us do not plop out of the womb onto a direct path of living quite so freely. For a great many of us, it is a rather winding and tunneled path we have to navigate to at last feel all is well within our bodies, and therefore within our world.

My attention has been brought to all this recently by some people on the periphery of my life who are painfully uncomfortable in their own bodies. One of these individuals resides at my address. Seeing him walk around with his rigid limbs extended out like armor is so difficult to watch, I feel sure he has arrived on my scene specifically to teach me something.

One thing is for sure: Aided by finding those uncomfortable-looking photos of myself, I am now able to recall what it felt like to exist in a state of perpetual self-consciousness and being ill at ease. Are these feelings or states of being that you can relate to in any way? Such deep discomfort is not at all uncommon among us.

Also very notable to me have been some closed-off and guarded types I have encountered among my more recent sexual experiences. To me, kissing is just about the most sensual way to engage. But pressing my lips against a tightly held mouth that is so on guard its muscles can barely open I find to be a deeply saddening state of affairs. What’s deeply exhilarating, though, is having the opportunity to stick with the interaction and feel that partner physically soften, soften, soften until they let go fully into the very moment we’re sharing. Mmmmm. Good stuff.

To feel safe as a member of the world and to have the opportunity to extend a zone of safety to someone else — if only for a little while — is a direct result of all the unlearning I’ve done to be able to relax completely into myself. It started for me with the practice of rebirthing, which involves deep emoting but always aims to end in a place of deep peace. This is actually how I came to first discover the place of higher wisdom that resides in and around me.

This was a profound discovery for me. It’s how that frightened and guarded young man in those photos soon found it safe to relax into his true feelings and true self. And that never would have happened if I had blindly swallowed the think-only-positive-thoughts insistence handed down since the 1980s.

I have relished being reminded by Jonathan Cainer of the positive spin on things each and every day. I will miss his brand of that delicious nectar. But I have always been very aware of what different Sagittarius cloth Cainer and I were cut from. Whereas he seemed so often to go directly to the light, bright and positive, I have found myself to be more akin to positivity’s plumber. I feel drawn to locate and snake out the feelings, perceptions — and misperceptions — that block the brilliant truth. I mean, when we honestly can’t see any picture but a bleak one, this is very often the most direct route to realizing the perfection of ‘what is’.

I never found merely chanting positively spun sentences while feeling like crap inside to be genuinely seeing the positive. It always felt more like denial, which is how that 30-year-old me became guarded and closed-off and not at all comfortable with his life.

In 1999, after contemplating the idea for over a year, I took time off from work and poured my heart, soul and truth into compiling The Black & White Book. Using the palette of a black page and white page per spread, I expressed every emotion that had welled up in me about any and every topic that came to mind. What I allowed to spew forth led naturally and organically to an uplifting shift in perspective, which I joyfully recorded on that white page.

My hope was to demonstrate the transformative power of this exercise when our heartfelt goal is to find a way of looking at events in a new way. I invite you to see some examples on my site and find out if this approach speaks to you.

For a great many the idea of delving into such emotions does not seem inviting at all. I’m glad to say there are actually some simple-to-execute life improvements I also put into place that rapidly became so second nature, I rarely ever consciously think about them.

One is the often-overlooked practice of finding my ground. For much of my life I walked around with my head in the clouds ignoring whether or not my feet were firmly planted somewhere… anywhere. I didn’t care, didn’t want to be bothered with it and didn’t think it mattered. And yet I was completely, 100% baffled at how nothing was coming of my hopes and dreams. Quite simply, they weren’t gaining any ground.

Purely from a physical standpoint, I have a genetic predisposition towards a giant torso and skinny legs. This, I have learned, is a clear indicator of the need to consciously incorporate grounding principles throughout this lifetime in order to balance things out. The great news is that achieving this is no big deal at all. (Which is exactly why I skipped over it for so many years.)

In the simplest of terms, right where you are, consciously feel the Earth beneath you. Or feel the floor beneath you, which is, after all, directly connected to the Earth. Whenever I’m setting my sights for a new project, an excursion or just a new day, the first thing I do is stand up and acknowledge the Earth’s gravitational force that is literally anchoring me in place. Feeling solidly anchored, I then breathe in the energy that hums just beneath me, and proceed to lay out my intentions to my guidance.

The main thing here is to feel your body’s connection to the Earth however it works best for you; right there where you sit, stand or lie. And then above all, incorporate this acknowledgement into each day. It may not seem like much at first; God knows for me it sure didn’t. But I’m here to tell you, in the most physical of ways, certain tasks and movements that have been an arduous chore begin to lighten.

The most notable shift for me was working out legs at the gym. I used to actually cry on leg day because I hated and dreaded how terrible the exercises felt. Once I made that conscious connection to the ground beneath me, my workouts became less and less difficult. Today, not only do I look forward to leg day, I incorporate a little leg-strengthening exercise into every single workout.

Basically, that leg feeling was the feeling of fear. Tremendous fear. Bordering on internal terror. Just like ‘think only positive thoughts’ will never deal with any hurt or anger buried underneath, no amount of ‘just keep pushing’ my resistant legs would change the situation. Turned out there was a vital factor I was ignoring: the Earth. A remedy that is everywhere I looked, and basically its mere acknowledgement was all that was needed.

 The Spring Reading is now published. Order all 12 signs here or choose your individual signs here for immediate access. You may listen to a free audio introduction here.

The Spring Reading is now published. You may order all 12 signs here or choose your individual signs here for immediate access. You may listen to a free audio introduction here now.

Similarly, for so much of my life I wasn’t feeling or listening to my body. I mean in the most rudimentary of ways… like giving it the rest it was crying out for. It has been my experience that the more sensitive I have become to what’s going on beneath me and around me, the more sensitive my physical body has become. It is literally used as a message center for me to personally decipher.

I mentioned a couple weeks back that I haven’t been having sex lately. My body is definitely telling me that human touch is in order again. I have found that just the experience of touching others for a good, quality amount of time does much to alter my perspective. Following this enriching activity, I feel so much more connected with all those I encounter in the world. My sense of oneness increases. Interesting how engaging beyond my one body does that.

As we pass through this season of retrogrades, it is quite likely that our ability to be in touch with what our bodies need is heightened. What is your body asking for? More specifically, what does your body indicate it wants before the analytical brain makes a judgment about it? Whether it’s a sensation, sight, sound or feeling that you feel drawn toward, I would suggest merely considering how that can be realized. No matter what anyone would think should that desire manifest.

For now, maybe just get comfortable with the ideas that your body is suggesting. Maybe just get comfortable with what you’re feeling. Maybe just get comfortable.

More Things in Heaven and Earth than an Algorithm

By Rob Moore

At the very end of the movie The Social Network, young Mark Zuckerberg sits refreshing his browser window to see if his love interest has accepted his friend request through his newly developed Facebook algorithm. Over and over and over he sits refreshing the window. I act out a similar scene on my phone or computer almost daily. You?

"Gaining Perspective" by Rob Moore

“Gaining Perspective” by Rob Moore

It’s not without fulfilling reason. When that picture you posted a couple of days ago of being silly with your friends after work is still getting likes, it’s rather exciting and a little bit amazing. But when the video you posted today about your upcoming humanities exhibit has two likes — you and the host venue — it’s only human that some very heavy let-down would ensue.

Since the onset of social media — and Facebook in particular — there has been no shortage of articles and commentaries on the double-edged sword it can so often be. And the more any of us invest our hopes and feelings of self-worth in how things play out on this Internet craps table, the sharper those edges can seem.

With communication planet Mercury and sex-related planet Mars fully in retrograde, we’re in a period when it can be very easy to misinterpret what’s happening at the root of our communications. I think it’s an excellent time to step back and take a look at the bigger picture of how Facebook and other social media are operating today… on us and by us. Even when all the planets are direct, things are not always what they seem on the big FB.

Among the key ideas in A Course in Miracles is that we teach best what we most need to learn. In that regard, I may well be at college professor level today. Since the early days when the ads were but tiny, light-blue-colored text blurbs and the page was clearly about user content, Facebook has been a frustrating trial for me. I have therefore been through numerous FB incarnations, tactical game plans and attitude adjustments.

It was clear from the newsletter that went out to subscribers on Thursday that Eric and I have been thinking very much along the same lines this week. He asks a couple of questions in his article Mercury Retrograde in Taurus: The Search for Values that relate directly to the social network discussion:

“How do you manage your personal values? And perhaps a more difficult question, how do you manage the place where your values connect to those of the people in your life, and your wider connection to society?”

I believe Facebook is the most intimate of social media and there are a number of ways we can go these days. Among the most popular include: 1) Family and friends, as it was originally intended, 2) Business contacts and career-related themes, 3) The spiritual, metaphysical and faith populous, 4) Sex interests and related connections.

For those of us aiming to live authentic lives, being exactly who we are without apology, the answer seems quite simple. Just open an account and post what happens as it happens with everyone we ever knew looking on. But there is a major flaw in that concept when we enter matters of religion (or non-religion), politics and sexual interests into the equation.

Particularly for those of us who just as passionately want to live peaceful lives, sharing our belief systems and politics with the very people we moved away from in order to be ourselves is just asking for trouble. Besides, posting half-naked pictures that your Aunt Margaret can see is not only a recipe for disaster, it’s rather inappropriate.

Sure, these days we can choose who sees what on Facebook. For me, though, this exercise is not only forbiddingly time-consuming, it exacerbates feelings that I am not being authentic. Same as I feel if I have five different profiles.

After running into frustrating walls with those aforementioned FB routes, the happiest and most authentic solution I have found for myself is to take the low road: the sexually-oriented path. I don’t have any prior connection to most of these people other than what turns us on. Any politics or religion is either an interesting bonus or means absolutely nothing to me.

If you find that to be kind of a cold compromise, it kind of is. But like so many other individuals, there is no cut-and-dried niche for me. I like metaphysics but I don’t like religious New Age-ism. I used to enjoy those photo bonding-moments with cousins I hadn’t seen in 20 years and I thought it was cool seeing my college buddies’ families. But having to endure bigotry and religious rants from these deeply rooted connections outweighed and outlasted any enjoyment.

I really didn’t intend to head so deeply into this aspect of social media but these exact types of choices — or failure to choose — can have a strong impact on our self-esteem and feelings of security. In an imperfect world, choosing the path that offers our authentic selves the greatest peace and ease can sometimes be as authentic as it gets. Once we find that to be true, there is every reason to feel good about whatever conscious choices we have made.

Now to consider what we can often experience once inside the FB maze with a population who gets us.

I set out on my current sexually saturated Facebook incarnation because, at long last, it was a path that was genuinely exciting and fun to me. Having the repeated experience of being all but completely ignored during my previous Facebook attempts, I was passionately moved to crack the code this time around. This meant observing how others’ posts performed, noting the factors involved between those at the center of attention as well as those who were not.

I don’t care what’s been written or posted about ‘how to succeed on Facebook’; virtually none of it has to do with people authentically liking us. There is no formula to plug into for that. If any calculated move would help, it would be to throw out all formulas. So if your experience — like mine for so many years — has been infuriating or disheartening, if nothing else I hope my observations and experiences offer you a different outlook.

Scrolling through posts day after day, there are clearly individuals who harken back to the high school equivalent of ‘popular’. One selfie of them driving to the supermarket will get 175 likes in a couple of hours.

In my particular homosexual Facebook population, it is quite frequently a reflection of their porn actor status (even if they were in only one movie years ago), or they own the hot-spot bar, or they’re an escort or whatever. In a word, it’s politics… people who could potentially get us something we want if we were tight with them. Even if it’s a tumble with their body. Fame is in the mix, too, but the motivation for adoring famous people is quite similar to underlying political agendas.

I am glad to say that once I was on the other side of age 24, fame was something that did not seem attractive to me. I want people to want to know me and say ‘yes’ to my suggestions because they genuinely want to. Fame all but demolishes that possibility. And so, when I see dime-a-dozen photos from the same individuals racking up hundreds of likes, I move on past with disinterest. Whatever is at the core of that isn’t what I’m after.

But, alas… over time I have noticed something interesting about these same exact individuals that correlates very closely to my experience. Should any of these sexually high-profile guys post anything genuinely newsworthy or informative, those posts will only get two, three, maybe five likes on a good day. And just above that post is a photo of them holding up a box of screws at Home Depot with 387 likes.

From my own posts, a handful of people will respond to a wide variety of photos that are of me, sexually provocative or not. But as soon as I post a piece of original artwork or a link to something I created, more often than not there is no response at all.

Essentially, what I’m describing is the follow-the-herd mentality. Any post that falls outside the prevailing themes of a given FB populous has a great chance of being sidestepped. My hope is that others setting out to make sincere, heartfelt posts that seem to be overlooked will see there’s more at play here than just the public perception of us as individuals. A lot more.

Facebook, Twitter, even the Internet in general truly have striking parallels to playing the roulette wheel or slots in Vegas. I have noticed repeatedly that the visibility of a post depends more on its original trajectory than anything. If a post lands in a particular time period that misses initial viewers and responses — whether everybody’s getting ready for work or a barrage of other posts buries ours — it will just fall off the radar almost completely.

Add to that another factor I’ve noticed: there is a general hesitancy to like something that currently has only a couple of likes, no matter how hot, compelling or desirable. Conversely, if everybody else is apparently liking something, others seem more willing hit the like button themselves.

As an example, one of my profile photos that is very weak and unappealing has been liked repeatedly for some reason. The only thing that adds up is that it got on a high-profile trajectory early on and racked up a bunch of likes. Since then, when someone looks through my photos, they’ll hit ‘like’ on that photo probably because its high number says ‘this is the one to like’.

One final observation that I believe speaks volumes is an ever-increasing Big-Brother-is-watching syndrome. I noticed some while back just how blatant Facebook can be about showing posts that contain something you liked two hours ago. For instance, I rarely like or click on anything with a cat because I will soon be inundated with pussies. And I’ve noticed selecting the ‘show fewer like this’ option results in not seeing everything that friend posts… whether cats are involved or not. Therefore, I just refrain from liking or responding to such posts.

Similarly, the thought that other friends can see that we have liked some weird, freaky or kinky post has tremendous power to stop us from acting on our genuine impulses.

Today I have only barely scratched the surface of all the factors involved. There are script commands that determine whether or not our posts show up for everyone, not to mention how advertising preferences — or not even considering them — affects our posts. So, if you ever find yourself in complete awe at what appears to be total disregard for your life and interests by FB friends, you would do well to bear in mind very little is straightforward in the dollars-driven social media.

 The Spring Reading is now published. Order all 12 signs here or choose your individual signs here for immediate access. You may listen to a free audio introduction here.

The Spring Reading is now published. You may order all 12 signs here or choose your individual signs here for immediate access. You may listen to a free audio introduction here now.

So many complex factors are involved there is truly no way to ever know for sure what has influenced an outcome. Funny, isn’t it? The more intelligent and sophisticated humans have become, the more our experiences seem to rely on serendipity, God and the universe.

On that note, my experiences with Twitter, Tumblr and most intensely Facebook have been on a trajectory of greater enjoyment that began simply by acknowledging the tiniest of milestones. When I went from zero likes for weeks on end to one single other individual on Earth liking what I shared, I stopped and appreciated that little bond and breathed in the deep gratification of the movement it represented. This was no act, by the way. It was actual realization that some kind of shift was showing signs of being afoot.

Slowly, slowly, one like became two, two became five and so on. An even greater sense of gratification emerged through the process as I found I actually really did like what this handful of people connecting with me were generally up to. Sure, the momentum wanes from time to time, connections opt out of the game and factors change. As long as we can bring it back to the moment, though, we’ll find our footing again. And rediscover pure, simple enjoyment of what is actually a rather complicated process.

’The moment’ never ceases to amaze me. I mean, is there anything that coming into the moment can’t solve? I really don’t think there is. No matter how much we humans have complicated everything that surrounds it.

Pushing, Letting It Be and Other Options

By Rob Moore

I can still recall the excitement in my chest while I sat waiting in that coffee house all those years ago. When at last Travis walked through the door, he also walked right into my heart and staked a claim on every part of my being. God, I adored that guy. There was so much I got about him.

Calming the Storm by Rob Moore.

Calming the Storm by Rob Moore.

I knew, for instance, how his gruff exterior was merely covering a deeply sensitive fellow traveller underneath. After all, it was my story, too.

Nearly inseparable for two weeks, one night we entered into a rather deep and revealing conversation about our personal pasts. Travis began to relate stories from his upbringing that clearly indicated physical abuse.

Caring so deeply for him, I asked if he understood the misguided nature of those harsh actions taken out on him. He said he didn’t see it that way. He seemed puzzled by the suggestion and started getting a bit defensive.

Let me just say that — largely because of what happened next — today if I were in the same situation I would give the topic a rest for the time being. Perhaps set the intention to discuss this further once our relationship had established solid roots. But back then, all I could see were the facts of abuse pitted against misplaced trust. I so adored this sweetheart of a guy, I felt it was my duty to make the reality clear to him.

So I pushed my points. And persisted. He asked me to stop. I didn’t. He said he didn’t want to talk about this. I did anyway. I was certain he had to know. Everything in me said he simply had to understand. I pushed and prodded and persisted some more. In a matter of minutes, he snatched up his stuff and bolted out the door, never to return again.

My story involves several similarities to the current astrology, not the least of which involves planets in retrograde or about to be. Had I worked with astrology consciously, the outcome would have been exceedingly more favorable. Nevertheless, this direct experience is how I learned. Mistakes and missteps such as these were the exact moments when the light bulbs clicked on. That’s why I so frequently relate such things to you.

Right out of the gate in the latest Planet Waves FM, Eric considers current retrograde transits from a purely scientific point of view, pointing out that all astrology is really about what Earth is doing. I found this to be a remarkably simple yet remarkably clear explanation of how this system works with us and for us.

The more I have applied astrology, the more I have come to see it consistently maps out the most fortuitous general directions currently wide open to us. What we do from there is entirely up to us, and any solutions are as varied as we are as individuals.

Oh, if only in those Travis days I had understood the impeccable direction and timing that astrology affords us. I was just beginning to seriously explore it back then. I can tell you, though, that Mercury was retrograde. As my jury was still out on the validity of astrology, I ignored indications that meanings could easily be misconstrued during this phase. I instead clutched those misunderstandings ever tighter and just plowed them right on through.

I assure you things would be very different today. Very different. Retrograde planets or not, more than trying to pinpoint facts, I would instead set out to demonstrate care, affection and respect during the course of our connection.

Incidentally, in addition to the present Mars retrograde, Mercury is currently in shadow phase before heading into apparent reverse motion April 28. So if there were ever times to tread on the easier end of the spectrum with points of view and finalizing decisions, we are among them.

Are there such situations looming large for you now? Particularly where significant others are involved — and anywhere it appears some big, sweeping move needs to be made — there is a way to ease the undue pressure. Or at least to feel at peace with how you choose to respond. It’s something that is common knowledge to so many of us, yet so incredibly easy to slip out of our mental consideration just when we need it most.

Among the areas I touched on in last week’s post was shame following sexual interaction. It occurred to me afterward that it might do to explain exactly how it is that I am ‘baffled’ by what is such a common human condition. In my twenties, following an AA crash-course on no longer being a people-pleaser, I set out to find connection with what I consider a reliable ‘source’ of wisdom and direction in my life. That concept has had many incarnations for me over the years, the most recent being the very highest aspect of my own self — my own energetic presence.

Yet when it comes to feeling completely satisfied with our decisions and actions — be it sex or what we said to the server at Starbucks this morning — the solution is exactly the same regardless of our concept of ‘God’ or ‘source’. Even the old-man-on-a-cloud idea will do just fine as long as we understand to our core that he, she or it is pro-joy about life and therefore pro-joy about you and me.

Okay, at last… the big reveal. The way to feel at total peace with what transpires: stopping and offering the situation over to our personal source for the wisest and most fortuitous way to become clear. In all likelihood, not a ground-shaking revelation for you. Thing is, though, I have learned the hard way just how invaluable this practice is for even the minutest of things. Like how we respond to a text or something.

It is just so second nature when it comes to seemingly minor undertakings to think, “I got this,” and plow on ahead. Besides, it’s no big deal, right? But I’ve noticed whenever I feel the slightest doubt about what direction I’ll be happiest with, if I lay out my intentions before my guidance, nine times out of ten something will dawn on me that I overlooked. Something that makes my effort really worth it to me now. Something that I would’ve been kicking myself ten minutes later for not thinking about.

 The Spring Reading is now published. Order all 12 signs here or choose your individual signs here for immediate access. You may listen to a free audio introduction here.

The Spring Reading is now published. You may order all 12 signs here or choose your individual signs here for immediate access. You may listen to a free audio introduction here now.

As mentioned, though, so often when we could really benefit from taking this brief pause, it doesn’t even enter our mind.

The good news is that offering whatever has already happened for correction — to either the situation or our perception or both — works wonders, too. Honestly, just look for the shift that occurs or the opportunity to make one yourself.

Nevertheless, it’s so much more efficient to get our brains and our actions and the highest knowing available to us all on board from the get-go. Besides, I’ve noticed the brain alone has a chamber of guilt-trips it has no problem pulling from if given the upper hand.

And so it was with my brain in regards to my pushing, prodding and not even considering the prevailing vibe of the room, the sofa, the relationship or the moment with Travis. I bashed myself with regret for years for crushing something so delicate right into the dirt. For mirroring, albeit in a different way, the exact kind of disrespect I was warning Travis about.

These days, I would have offered the entire evening over to my guidance beforehand. At minimum, halfway through the first push, I would have remembered my earlier appeal for higher wisdom and then scanned inside for inklings of a more enlightened way forward.

Particularly where relationships feature during the stop-and-go nature of our current astrological environment, I highly recommend accessing the peace of mind this little practice offers. Wherever opportunities for deepening our connections are on offer — be it through sexual interaction, heartfelt conversation or whatever — knowing that a higher level of wisdom and foresight are actively involved in how things play out really eases the pressure and transforms the experience. So, if the most I’ve done today is remind you what a good idea this actually is, just wait till you remember how good it feels.