Patti Smith book cover

“…When we got to the part where we had to improvise an argument in a poetic language, I got cold feet. “I can’t do this,” I said. “I don’t know what to say.”

“Say anything,” he said. “You can’t make a mistake when you improvise.”

“What if I mess it up? What if I screw up the rhythm?”

“You can’t,” he said. “It’s like drumming. If you miss a beat, you create another.”

In this simple exchange, Sam taught me the secret of improvisation, one that I have accessed my whole life….”

Patti Smith writing about what actor Sam Shepard taught her about impro.  She’s Capricorn – he’s Scorpio. So was Robert Mapplethorpe. I’m thinking she has a Scorpio man thing: her Chiron, Jupiter and Venus in Scorpio.

Shepard also told her “When you hit a wall” – of your own imagined limitations – “just kick it in.”

So Scorp!



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Patti and I have the same birthdate, same moon but she was born in 46 and I in 64. She had ties to the town I was raised so I feel a kinship towards her. Shes way cooler, freer and artistic though. Maybe it’s her Aquarius rising.


Anyone on here watching Game of Thrones ?!
Trust me, you Must Watch.
Last scene in last episode for season 1 –> so Plutonic I was *speechless*


yes, so true.

Lexicon Limbo

OMG I’m loving it too! First 10 mins of ep 1 were a tad gory but am now thoroughly addicted.


Isn’t it great !? love the whole she-bang: costumes, acting, script, sets. The friend who introduced me said ‘as good as Firefly’. true that.


This came out when I (Venus/Nept, Eros/Psyche in Scorp rising) was 15. Played it over and over and over again. Her rhythm/poetry/vocal sure was Venus in Scorp: Take me now baby here as I am Pull me close, try and understand Desire is hunger is the fire I breathe Love is a banquet on which we feed Come on now try and understand The way I feel when I’m in your hands Take my hand come undercover They can’t hurt you now, Can’t hurt you now, can’t hurt you now Because the night belongs to lovers Because the night belongs… Read more »


love that song


thanks Fi. Love Patti’s version best. Love Sam Shepard too.
‘Too real to feel’ is all me at the mo.


I have a 8th house scorpio moon

A “death” is required for growth which can only come from an inner experience.

So yes, milleunanotte, a “stuck” scorpio is beyond human aid.

But when they kick out of the chrystallis it is truly awesome.


that Neptuner is in Scorp square the 8th stuff. hidehidehide

natal Saturn Rx falling…feels like this goat ASC has been climbing the mountain upside down & backwards for 40 odd yrs ->
So close I can almost see the summit ! fook yea- then I’ll torch The Beacon


I haven’t read this book despite being a big fan of her music (i don’t read bio’s of music heros -usually, something ruins the privacy or magic of it for me) but yeah that’s a great passage. I love the context it’s in as well, sam is showing her which walls to kick down, he’s saying it’s a wall of her own perception and limits on the self- ie fear and she should liberate that to trust herself in the moment. and what good advice that was- she’s built her signature style right on top of that. One of the… Read more »




Yes, yes.

Je adore!

Mystic's Scorpio Intern

Indeed. I think it’s awesome that you validate people’s need to “follow their bliss.” The mark of a true counsellor.

The Empress

I love this.


yes. yes ! YES*
current astro has me grapling with this very thing. Wall of Self.
eclipse in 7 recently and stuggling to drag my frickin’ Neptooney outta the fog into the light. Self-doubt a biggie, and hiding, my specialty.
To progress into This Future I have to open like a lotus.


i’m loving the vibe you’re emanating of late ms – it’s like your mojo has returned.


Guess what – when I read this bio back in 2010, those were the two quotes I picked out to write in the front of my new poetry journal. You too are an inspiration Mystic 🙂


Kick in the door, to the World you’re waiting for…
It could be yours, do you ever wish for more?
yeah, yeah

Here’s the thing with us Scorps, we can obsessively over-think EVERYTHING, and become so full of self doubt that we must withdraw completely to contemplate ALL the finer details. But then something amazing happens. We get over that, and we burst forth from the flames of torturous introspection, guns a blazing – All “YAH BITCH, YAH!”


Exactly! And always surprising those who thought we were down for the count. 🙂


That’s because you guys are vibing HIGH and BEAUTIFUL. We can be patient for that 🙂


Indeed, yes – We are very accomplished at putting on a mask and WORKING IT!

Mystic's Scorpio Intern

That’s exactly how I described it to an astrologer once! Only with ‘rocket’ hand/arm gestures. My contemplation part has to encompasses the ‘bi-polarness’ of my chart, and then it’s like bringing forth a seed buried amongst the doubt. Trust is key.

My mum is reading this book at the moment.


*the ‘bi-polarness’ of my chart…*


It’s either black or white. We just don’t ‘do’ grey…

Mystic's Scorpio Intern

I meant oppositions et al. Especially to the moon.

I remember reading something metaphoric as a kid in that Scorps will take the whole loaf of bread or none at all — part of it just won’t do.


Yes. And nice to have you back. I was wondering where you might have gone…

Mystic's Scorpio Intern

Lost in the books – 3 courses. I must be crazy.


I have recently grown “away” from my scorpio friend.

Fixed, immovable, stubborn.

Change comes painfully to these people.

Can’t stand by anymore and watch.

Yes it’s a very hard feeling.

Yes, makes my heart sink.

Like it’s hanging in my stomach.


Do you feel as though you’re harder on ungrowing Scorpios because they have the awesome intensity and power to transform? I adore the higher Scorpios. That purity makes my soul bow. To the lo version, i still share honestly what i feel and why it is the end of the line. But the lo Scorp cannot hear anything contrary. They say what they think and run or close the door. Not very brave! I love how Sam Shepard encourages her to argue, with poetry. And doesn’t tell her what to say or how to express, just gives her the space… Read more »


my two fave people in the world….patti and sam
i loved this book!


Hmmm…when i hit the wall of my Scorpio’s limitations, i kicked that in as well.

Also, it is not only possible but necessary to always argue in perfect rhythm. Though apparently unsettling to the other.

May i share how supremely disappointing it was to unsettle a Scorpio. A few of them have widened their eyes and blinked at me at some point…fixed fixed fixed sign…and it makes my heart sink.


Oooh – sounds like you copped the killer Scorpio laser beam of death stare. Usually accompanied by one raised eyebrow and flared nostrils?!
…Ice ice baby…


no laser…just wide eyes, then blink blink. Seemed not to believe i would dare to hold my ground.

whatever it was, i stared right back.

it takes YEARS to surprise a Scorpio, but it takes years to wear away my patience and forgiveness in love, too. The lo-fixity seems to take it all for granted.

Copped the killer eyes before too. They’re very quiet and unmistakable.

year of the fox

I thought I would love this book when I read it but it was a bit of a disappointment.



year of the fox

ah well i had this crush on Mapplethorpe (even though I knew he was gay…yeah impossible crush even back then.) when I was a little girl in elementary school. So to read this book and realize that Patti Smith was like the brains of the operation taking care of a hopelessly impossible and unrealistic man was like…um….mind boggling for me. Just reading how practical and almost parent-like she was just made me dislike him and on some level her. I just keep wondering why.


wow I totally disagree fox.

I felt that they both were incredibly tough dreamers and in fact it was mapplethorpe that had more practicality. She did work a job and was supporting him, but that is only one level of work.

I found it very well written and emotionally clear.
It also made me sad how I do not think their paths would be possible now, now that dead hands grip the management of our creative industries.

year of the fox

To each their own. I know a lot of people got stuff out of the book that I simply did not. If you did, then awesome!!! Patti Smith is not a bad writer IMHO but it’s def. not her strength. She was though, I could feel in the book, a wholly humble person who is down to earth.

The book was peppered with funny anecdotes regarding Dali and Ginsburg and the like.

The Empress

This has been on my wanting-to-buy list for a while. Like Bluesky I’m curious why you didn’t like it. Love to get different opinions.

year of the fox

ah i replied to Bluesky above you…sorry.

but also don’t read this book if you are squickish about diseases. I mean it seems there is a lice infection about every 30 pages or so. I got really scared to every visit NYC or France after reading this. I also washed all my bed sheets after reading the book as if invisible lice were out to get me.


Scorpio Rising, this Scrop/ Cap loves that quote too! And I love Patti of course. Just saw a self-portrait of Mapplethorpe at LACMA yesterday. Synchronicity 🙂


Scrop? Scorp. Lol!

Bones & Roses

Me too! I’ve always adored Patti. She’s my only female role model. Must be my astro. Another Scorp/Cap rising here 🙂


“When you hit a wall” – of your own imagined limitations – “just kick it in.”

So , true!
I love Patti Smith!

Venus a-go-go

I agree whole heartedly. Scorp rising also!
Sadly my completely clear skin (toro/Scorp/libra combination) as decided that what I need to ‘do virgo’ is my first pimple in years, right on my cheek.
That last bit has nothing to do with the post. One is just grumbling.

Patty smith- the artist my mum would play whenever she was pissed with my dad. I have a healthy respect for her, but I find her work quite unsettling.

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