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This post predicting Whitney Houston’s death was first blogged September 15th, 2009.

With all those negative progressions I’m always talking about, you might think, considering Whitney’s fall from grace, that she would have run into a really bad cycle. But no. Whitney Houston had it all, and an addictive personality brought her down (Pisces rising). What happened to her was a result of her own bad decisions.

Is she clean and sober now? There is no way of knowing since she has a proclivity for lying (natal Sun square natal Neptune — think Sarah Palin). Although, her chart still has very little activity. She has no reason to fall back into her old habits.

So this post is a warning to Whitney. Your bad cycles are ahead of you and not that far away. As soon as March 2012 (2 1/2 years), you will experience what so many others have, negative  conditions beyond your control (progressed Mars square). Like all people who have great fame and fortune before getting a cycle such as this, it’s very difficult to be prepared for things going terribly wrong.

Whitney has time to get herself together in a manner that won’t allow another fall from grace. She needs to stabilize her life, create a strong support system, give up all her wild ways and keep her faith. The party is effectively over. Time to grow up.

Once these negative cycles start, they continue, off and on, for fifteen years.

Posted February 12th, 2012.







Posted March 2nd, 2011.

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Don’t you just get sick of someone who has it all going on? Katy Perry with her progressed Venus sitting right on her natal Jupiter is the “It Girl.” All is right in her world. Besides all the goodies that Jupiter brings, she’s got that Venus (love) thing, too. I want to be Katy Perry.

Her Sun is in the sign of Scorpio along with her Moon, Mercury, Saturn and Pluto. Kind of Scorpio I would say. And a 10th House/Career Sun, Mercury, Pluto. Things are currently running quite smoothly. And will continue for some time. Her negative aspects happening during Jupiter so, oh, well.

Posted January 13th, 2011.

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I don’t like her, Oksana Grigorieva, girlfriend, paramour, of Mel Gibson, who is currently bringing down Hollywood royalty. And there’s a reason. But is she mean or stupid?

Oksana is a Pisces, a sign known for it’s compassion. They’re dreamy and nostalgic, and the women are very feminine. Being ruled by Neptune, Pisces can see things through their own rose-colored glasses. As the highest sign in the zodiac, they’re wise. But wise in a way that most of us can’t comprehend, since it always has an element of a delicate balancing act with the facts.

She also has her moon in the charming, but more often than not, phony sign of Libra. Libra Moon people always say nice things even if they don’t mean them. But they won’t talk about you behind your back. Whatever they say, they stick with.

With her Venus in Pisces where it is exalted, she loves with all her heart. But as her album, BEAUTIFUL HEARTACHE, alludes to — it’s better for the people they love than it is for themselves.

So what’s not to like? When Mercury is the focal planet (two planets oppose and the focal planet squares both), you get cold, icy cold. It’s a detachment, a feeling you can’t get in. She evaluates things dispassionately and critically. The focal planet because of it’s extreme negativity can supersede good qualities. They’re in there, but they are not as obvious. When you see her, you see the calculated, analytical, perhaps, even defensive behavior. This apex planet drives one to learn a skill. Oksana is a songwriter and singer. She studied at The Royal Academy of Music. She’s educated and talented. Why don’t we know that?

Currently, Oksana has two inconjuncts — things that need to be balanced. One is her progressed Mercury (communications) to her Neptune. And that’s her other focal planet. So because she is a Pisces, she doesn’t see things clearly, because Neptune is a focal planet, she doesn’t see things clearly, and because PMercury is inconjunct Neptune, she doesn’t see things clearly. And progressed Mars is inconjunct her natal Moon, sometime around this time, because I don’t have her time of birth. Mars is violence and the Moon is feelings which vaguely translates into her pushing Mel’s buttons without knowing how to handle the ensuing publicity. Did she release the tapes of Mel’s rants? Someone probably talked her into doing it. She didn’t think it through.

I’m going with stupid. Coming up for her is progressed Venus (love) opposition progressed Jupiter (money). If she has a lawyer, she needs to listen to him, because her situation isn’t getting any better.

Posted October 6th, 2010.

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Mark Zuckerberg is worth $7 billion dollars, and he’s twenty-six years old. There has to be something unusual in his astrology. And there is — very, very unusual. Stay with me here. Progressions move very slowly because they are based on a day-for-a-year. For every year you are old, your chart moves forward one day. The slowest planet is Pluto. For Pluto to ever move out-of-sign (out of your natal sign), you would have to have a very high degree or low degree Pluto to begin with. Mark’s is 0 Scorpio 06 Rx. So it’s in the lowest degree it can be in (including minutes) and it moved lower because it is retrograde. That caused it to move into the sign of Libra. Because it is no longer in it’s natal sign, Pluto can now make aspects.

Mark’s natal Mercury is 29 Aries 25 (the first number is the degrees and the second is the minutes). Therefore when Mark’s Pluto moved into Libra at 29 degrees (there is no 30 degrees), it opposed his Mercury (communication). On February 4, 2002, when Facebook was launched, Mark’s progressed Moon was 29 Cancer 28. The progressed Moon squared both his Mercury and his progressed Pluto. This is called a T-square (two planets oppose, 180 degrees, and one squares, 90 degrees, both).

This is a rare astrological event. And even more interesting, it is a negative event.

How do you explain Mark’s seemingly amazing fortune? A couple of things come to mind. Astrologically, I say he did steal something (a lawsuit is pending). He is also a Taurus, the sign that rules the 2nd House of Money. And he is Jewish, a culture that puts a lot of emphasis on money as self-worth. What bothers me is that, if this is a negative event, what will this windfall of money bring to Mark’s life? Because it has an excellent chance of not being happiness. This is crazy money for someone so young. Where do you go from here?

A stable, happy person would use this gift to benefit others. Mark has donated $100 million to the Newark school system, but that appears to be in response to a movie coming out, THE SOCIAL NETWORK. It’s 2010 and it just occurred to him to be generous? That’s six years after the birth of Facebook. Also back to that thing where he may have stolen some or part of the idea for Facebook. All I can say is karma is a bitch. On paper we would all like to be Mark, but let’s see where this all takes him.

Is Mark extraordinary? In astrology, he definitely is. He got progressed Pluto opposing Mercury at the age of five, and he will have it for the rest of his life as his Sun, Mercury and Venus move forward to replace the Moon in the T-Square. There will be those Jupiter periods when he is protected, but overall, I wouldn’t want to have a negative progression almost my entire life. Not even for $7 billion. Seriously. I’ve been doing this too long. It isn’t worth it. Money really can’t buy you happiness.

Posted September 24th, 2010.

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TPB: First of all, Some Girls is a very powerful memoir, and I enjoyed reading it. When I first came across it, I was struck with the understated poetry of the title. Can you talk a little about how you decided on Some Girls as a title and what the title means in relationship to your individual experiences in the harem?

JL: SOME GIRLS is one of my favorite albums of all time. The refrain “some girls” kept coming popping up rhythmically in my sentences as I was writing, probably because the song altered my cellular structure at some point in my teenage years. I chose it as the title because the song is so raw and politically incorrect, and I believe the book is of the same tradition. I also chose it for the obvious, literal connection.

TPB: I was only familiar with your short stories before I read this book. Did you explore any of your experiences from Some Girls in your shorter work or did the memoir come out all in one piece?

JL: I never dealt with this particular material before I wrote the memoir. I actually avoided it for a long time.

TPB: To piggy-back on the last question, Some Girls is set primarily in your late teens. How has time and the writing of your story shaped the experience for you?

JL: The real lessons for me were learned as I looked back and reflected. I was able to discover a different level of compassion for both myself and for the other people who shared my story. I looked at pictures of myself from that time and I said, “What was so wrong with me? Why did I hate myself so much?” I was beautiful. I was hopeful. I was brave. I was adorable. I can see it now clear as day, but I couldn’t see it then. The story is about struggling to love yourself and learning to forgive yourself.

TPB: In the prologue and all throughout the narrative, there’s this reference to 1001 Nights and the power of the story to save a person’s life. How has writing, not just of this memoir, but in general too, been a positive force in your life?

JL: It was in Brunei that I started writing with some kind of discipline. That’s the only lasting gift I walked away with, other than the story itself, of course. Writing has been tremendously empowering for me. I’ve learned that whatever is going on and however out of control I may feel about it, I always have the power to put my own frame around it with words.

TPB: I was struck by a line in chapter seven in which you write: “I couldn’t summon a tear for anyone I was leaving behind, not even Sean. That, I imagined, was freedom.” To what extent has your definition of freedom changed, and how has your experience in the harem and since helped to shape that definition?

JL: My definitions of a lot of things have changed since I was 18! My definition of freedom, for one thing. My definition of love, for another. Then, freedom was not caring about anything enough that it could cause me pain. Now, freedom is knowing that there will be pain and that Ill live through it. But things like the definition of something as essential as freedom change from one minute to the next for me. In an hour I might have a different answer for you. My experience in the harem certainly shaped my perspective on freedom, but so has my experience as a mother or my experience as a student.

TPB: Another section that really made an impression on me occurs in Chapter 10. When you walk into the party room in Borneo you mention always liking rooms before the party has started. Then you extend that liking to include theaters: “Even more magical are theaters during the day, before the doors open, before the show begins, when the house lights are on and you can see the rafters and the scuffs on the floor. I love the feeling that anything could happen. After the party, when anything already has happened, there’s usually the inevitable fact to face that anything wasn’t all you’d hoped it would be.” It’s a great moment, one I think readers can really relate to. I know I did. Of course it has a sort of romantic, fairy tale feel to it. Do you still have moments of anticipation like this or has experience tapered this romanticism in you?

JL: I’m still a ridiculous romantic. I read somewhere that there are two kinds of writers: romantics and satirists. I’m definitely the former.

TPB: Many of the women in the harem were in constant competition with each other, and through the process of that competition became obsessed about their weight. You write: “This is the Faustian bargain for many women who make their bodies their livelihood. Your body will be worshipped by others but hated by you.” Of course we see women who are not making their bodies their livelihood suffering from the same conundrum. What are your thoughts about the extent to which women will hate their bodies to garner the attention of men?

JL: I don’t think there needs to be a man in the picture to inspire self-hatred and body image issues in women. I think its an epidemic in this culture and it’s one that’s carefully nurtured by the beauty industry to the tune of about one hundred and sixty billion dollars a year. Part of the reason I wrote this book was to be honest about my struggle with this kind of self-hatred and to invite woman into a dialogue about it.

TPB: In Chapter 13 you write, “Any set of circumstances can become the normal shape of your days if you let it.” Is it difficult to live a more tempered life after having experienced such extremes?

JL: I constantly strive for balance in the life I lead now. Sometimes I’m more successful than others. I’m a wife and a mother now, and I have a career where I’m valued for my mind, and that is ultimately so much more rewarding than being valued mostly for my body, even if I don’t get to wear the exciting shoes I once did. I think what I miss about the experience is how fearless I was. But I was extremely lucky that my recklessness didn’t get me into deeper trouble. I don’t have the luxury of being unaware of consequences anymore. I’ve lived with too many of them. I have way too much to lose now to be careless. And I wouldn’t trade it, but I think most of us look back with some nostalgia on the freedom of being young.

TPB: A very compelling moment in the memoir occurs when you are remembering your Bat Mitzvah experience. You mention that you believed God was “. . . in the scroll somehow, in the gaps between the words.” You go on to elaborate about your beliefs at the time a bit. I found it especially compelling that you talked to God during the day, but not at night before bed: “When faced with my nightmares, I had to think quickly and start negotiating with the monsters instead. But those kinds of negotiations/deals struck, promises made/dissolve with the sunrise. Most people I know who are agnostic tend to find God just before bed, because their fear leads them to ask for help.” But you had the opposite experience, which I think may speak to your sense of independence and your survivalist instincts. What are your thoughts and beliefs on God these days?

JL: I think its funny that it’s harder for me to talk about God than it is to talk about some of the more salacious aspects of the memoir. Maybe that’ll be the next book. But I’ll just say that I have a strong spiritual life now and I believe in prayer and in living in a way that’s of service to others.

TPB: There are constant references in the book to Patti Smith, as in “What would Patti Smith do in this situation?” Do you still ask yourself that question, or do you have a different person whom you consult in your imagination these days when youre faced with a difficult decision?

JL: I’m still wild about Patti Smith but I think that heroes are more prominent for teenagers. It’s not that I don’t have heroes now, I just don’t consult with them quite as often.

TPB: In the memoir, you go through a certain progression: dancer to escort to harem girl. What are you feelings about decriminalizing prostitution in the U.S.?

JL: I am all for decriminalizing prostitution. There are a lot of reasons I feel that way, but the bottom line is that prostitution carries terrible and unnecessary risks and that decriminalization will make women safer.

TPB: Any tips on becoming the Queen of the Harem?

JL: Don’t. It ain’t all its cracked up to be.

TPB: Your next book is a work of fiction entitled: Pretty. Can you tell us a little about it?

JL: Pretty centers around Bebe Baker, who is a self-described ex-everything: ex-Christian, ex-stripper, ex-drug addict, ex-pretty girl. A year after surviving a horrific car accident that killed her boyfriend, she serves out a self-imposed sentence at a halfway house, while attempting to complete her last two weeks of vocational-rehab cosmetology school. Pretty is about trying to find faith in a world of rampant diagnoses, over-medication, compulsive eating, and acrylic nails.

Contributor:  Dennis Fulgoni, B.A., M.F.A.

Posted June 25th, 2010.

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