Photo by Andrew Crompton
Greetings everyone, and welcome to the April ChatterBulletin! Since last month, we have moved from the 12th sign of Pisces, into Aries, who is technically the 1st sign of the Zodiac celebrating the “New Year” and the start of the season of Spring. This, according to “Mother Nature” is when all new life begins, so perhaps some of you have noticed a little more energy already? We’ve all heard of “Spring Cleaning” and I literally found myself, after months of total resistance and lethargy, scrubbing down my kitchen this week. I also noticed that the “quality” of my cleaning energy was just like that of an Aries, aggressive, fast-paced and completely clumsy! I knocked over the bottle of cleaning fluid at least three times! Is it any wonder that April 1st is also April Fools day?
And now to this month’s theme, which continues on from last month when we talked about Creativity and the Arts. As the 1st sign of the zodiac, Aries is all about energy and inspiration. It is their job to get the party started. So this month I decided to write about the topic of Inspiration. My sister and I were fortunate enough to grow up in the beautiful English countryside and we found our selves close to nature from an early age. To this day, “Mother Nature” never ceases to amaze me and is an ongoing inspiration and source of comfort to both my sister and I. Whenever my mother was feeling troubled, she would go and look at the sea. Not only did it calm her, but it also reminded her that in the big scheme of things, we are but “grains of sand.” So, I am opening up this bulletin with an image that not only reflects a mere fraction of the beauty and inspiration of “Mother Nature” herself, it also demonstrates the extraordinary miracle of nature. The snowdrop in this photo was one of several that were planted last November in a wood, somewhere in Canada, in my mother’s honor. With no help from anyone, this little bulb survived the brutal winter and sprouted forth, just in time for the spring and the anniversary of our mother’s death. How inspirational is that?
April not only moves us into the season of spring, but the clocks have also now “sprung” forwards, giving us an extra hour of daylight. We celebrate Passover and Easter at this time and it is interesting to note where the tradition of wearing an “Easter bonnet” comes from. Once again, we look to the sign of Aries, that rules the head, and which produces wearers of all sorts of hats, not only Easter bonnets. For instance my German friend Horst (an Aries) not only made fabulous leather clothes, but one of his trademarks were his adorable leather hats. And there was my dear friend Linda, another Aries, with whom I spent several wonderful Easter vacations (notice I said Easter, not Christmas!) I fondly recall sitting with her in the Japanese-style hot-tub at her beautiful home in Northern California, drinking champagne, looking at the stars and wearing only our flamboyantly decorated “Easter bonnets!” Let’s connect the dots some more – Aries is associated with the ram, the sacrificial lamb, (which is why one traditionally eats lamb at Easter and not turkey!) but we also think of cute little chicks (the fluffy kind), Easter eggs and bunny rabbits, right? And, we have all seen the TV commercials featuring the energizer bunny, right? Well, this energizer bunny is displaying the energy of an Aries, who also has the ability to keep on going, and going, and going… Can anyone find the “off switch?”
As I continued to ponder who or what has inspired me in my life, I found myself on a magical journey of assorted artists and performers and I thought in particular about two huge influences, both of whom were ironically “changing history” during the exact same time period, but in totally different countries and cultures.