Whatever Replaces Vodka…

vintage fashion model pyramids

“I believe in maniacs. I believe in type As. I believe that you’ve got to love your work so much that it is all you want to do. I believe you must betray your mistress for your work, you betray your wife for your work; I believe that she must betray you for her work. I believe that work is the one thing in the world that never betrays you, that lasts.


If I were going to be a politician, if I were going to be a scientist, I would do it every day. I wouldn’t wait for Monday. I don’t believe in weekends.


If you’re headed for a life that’s only involved with making money and that you hope for satisfaction somewhere else, you’re headed for a lot of trouble. And whatever replaces vodka when you’re 45 is what you’re going to be doing.”

Image + Words:  Richard Avedon  

Sun-Moon in Taurus,  Mars in Gemini trine Saturn, North Node in Virgo, Icon & Genius.

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101 thoughts on “Whatever Replaces Vodka…

  1. Oh yes
    Work is love
    Work is the territory
    You earn it and it gives back what you invest
    Work is what you would do if you were the last person on earth and there was nothing and no one.
    Work is difficult
    Work is passion and yet it requires tremendous discipline.
    There is a force similar to gravity or entropy called the resistance which will try to stop us from doing our work.
    The resistance can take the form of a lover, a mother, a pet, an illness.
    Tolstoy had 13 children and managed to write War and Peace.
    Not exactly the Dan Brown or the Steven King of his day I imagine.
    The invocation of the muse is a beautiful thing to say out loud with absolute sincerity before beginning our work.
    When everything in my life feels as if its inspiring against me. I know that the Amygdala, the Lizard Brain, the Resistance is trying to stop me from doing the very thing I am supposed to be doing.

    Did you know that Hitler wanted to be a painter?
    He took his entire inheritance and enrolled at the Vienna University of Classical Painting.
    Alas, it was easier for him to start WW2 than it was to face a blank canvass and do his work.
    Work does not necessarily sustain you financially.
    Look at Van Gogh. Who wants to end up in a wheat field with a gun barrel between your teeth and having the world see you as a complete failure?

    Work will not bring you fame, money or happiness.
    Those things are not related to work except for the lucky few. And really isn’t worldly success the kiss of death to most artists?
    Stanislavsky said “chance is the enemy of are”
    Glory Player, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.
    Friedan Kahlo was not exactly little miss sunshine, nor was Coco Chanel.
    Work is hard.
    The Buddhists say it s our way to “activate our genius and give back to society and there make us belong and be happy even if we don’t know or feel it at the time.
    I’ve never EVER regretted a workout but most of the time I don’t feel inclined to work out. I just know that will “work”

    • I’m not certain now if work has ever killed someone, as a coalminer, I’m sure it has. But the word “work” makes me ill. It’s the love of what we must do to survive. “it was easier for him to start WW2 than it was to face a blank canvass and do his work” now that’s profound!! And we can name many….

    • Currently this has been my biggest prayer sent out, actually currently is wrong. For the past three or four years I have been waving my fist at the sky and asking that what I am supposed to be doing please come find me as I am such a directionless fool. Your words on work really hit home because work for me is not something you can be false about. My work has to be heart given and heart felt and therefore hardly seems like work at all. To go to work is or should be rather like going to play. Doing something that inspires, drives and pushes you on. I know when I’m in the right place as I’m limitless in energy and drive. I’m full of creative and hardly sleep, where as when I’m not in the right place work wise I am fatigued and lack all drive. I lost my drive for my work about five or six years ago as it morphed and changed into main stream and I hate main stream, rather I just don’t fit. So now I do it to keep a wolf from the door, I love my clients but not what and how I have to work. And I am waiting for the change to come. Stuff is beginning to happen now and things are beginning to glow on the horizon. I’m s**t scared but equally excited and filled with that buzz. Hence I know it belongs to me. Here’s to hours and hours of play that is called work. Ha yeah Mystic I gave up the work world I inhabited at 42. I’m 47 in a couple of weeks and I think my path is beginning to open up. I await my Chiron return to set me on that route without a back ward glance.

    • beautiful writing. i just got up off the computer … and started to do my work. you just reignited something

  2. Art replaced vodka for me at 45. And that is what I will be doing until I die.

    [But actually it was gin, champagne, tequila, cocktails, and delusional love affairs.]

    • Yes yes yes yes yes – i replaced vodka and delusional love affairs with fitness, beauty, therapy and trying to be a good woman.

      problem – if you remove the delusional love affairs are there any left?
      problem 2 – the more clear you get how do you stop yourself lying awake at night sad over the time tears and money you wasted on delusions?

      j’adore the picture, avedon was the ultimate. his Dovima elephant pictures were on here last year i think

      • Starting to wonder if too much clarity and ‘purity’ can be a bad thing. Once we know all the ‘cold hard facts’ where do we go from there? For me it brings critique.

        So, maybe poets are just scientists who have retained their belief in mystery. We can always cook with the best ingredients but the fun comes with when we vary the guest list.

        I don’t know why I am speaking(writing) in metaphors today. It’s more fun that way I guess 🙂

        • Poets are scientists who have retained their belief in mystery… love that Pi!

          I’m a fan of clarity and purity, but also of mystery, accidents, delusions, daydreams, and neptunian encounters/substances. We need to retain some illusions!

        • Brilliant. I heard 2 people talking about a friend who was constantly wasted (drink and smoke). He got clean. And they said, he looked better when he was drinking and smoking. So does Cary Grant.

      • Yes! love Avedon and Dovima as well… love beauty in any form. I don’t think it’s a problem not having delusional love affairs, you love yourself and people and things just not your neptunian ideas of unworthy men. Also believe nothing is wasted, time, tears or whatever, it gets you to where you are now…

        Also it sounded like I’ve given up gin and cocktails, but I was speaking metaphorically 😉

      • You start to think of your delusions as good ‘ol times that you won’t repeat because you’re upping your game now.

      • yes so true – the clarity does shine hard light on these issues – bottom line: its never too late. I own my regrets, and there are many, but I’m glad I got back on the pony and have lived with the lost and missed.

    • Art Saves.
      I’d rather create than drink now, but I can still both, if I need to. 😉

      • Quote from Yayoi Kusama: If it wasn’t for art, I would have killed myself a long time ago.

        In her 80s, still making art.

  3. LOVE! SO! HARD!

    Just what I needed at this crossroads…thank you, thank you, thank you. Realigning my compass and this is just what I needed. Outside input null. We know what we gotta do, we just gotta do it.

  4. Freakin great post. Hells yeah. The passion of it, of biting off your life and chewing! I feel compelled to confess that I actually WEAVE PONCHOS. I don’t sell them anymore, but if you want to see them, they are here: http://sainthelene.tumblr.com
    I want to go to the pyramids! I have never been! But I build them around people with tuning forks in sound healing session that I do, and then send them off to outer space to gather their missing parts and return refreshed and resourced anew! I wish I knew as much as the rest of you folks about astrology because of the 90 tuning forks I have, a number of them are tuned to rotational frequencies of the traditional planets (plus sedna, niburu and chiron) as designated by Kepler and extrapolated by Hans Cousto. I use the acupuncture meridian system and apply the tuning forks based on their archetypal and physics based properties. Anyway, I just thought I’d let you all know about it because it’s so I N T E R E S T I NG (the work is called Acutonics, I trained in Taos) that I can hardly contain myself. And if I knew more astro, I could apply Neptune (fore example) when it was astrologically appropriate! Coolness all the way!! Given all of the saturn I am contending with these days (six planets in scorp on me), all I am doing is work work work (studying and treating people), so I am focused as hell on the tuning forks stuff (read: obsessed!!) Regarding the post: it reminds me that I am (and we all are!) crazy and I/we just need to accept that we might not ever feel balanced and together, it’s just a question of what one makes of how crazy one feels and what one does with it…. amen (whoa, pronoun mess!) Much love to you astro-babies. You’re funny and cool and brilliant! Any other acutonics practitioners out there? Anyone else building spaceships out of sound?? Or something akin??

      • OMG I just clicked on your site and so want to do Indigo workshop… love the colour, it is so mystical, and I’m getting closer to a long cherished dream to visit Taos and New Mexico (live in Melbourne, Australia)… I will bookmark it and try to get in touch! My reiki master always talked about Taos and Taos mountain and vision quests, making me decide to visit when I can…

        • Hey GemYogi 😉 Hey thanks. Indigo dyeing is one of my major loves. It’s so magical. That blog is inactive as is the website for the weaving (Hey Mystic, important for me that you know that I’m not using your site for major self promo!) but thanks for the positive feedback and for sharing your enthusiasm! TAOS is another world. High crystalline mountainous see-through atmospheric genius!!! Heck yeah, stay in touch!

      • Sextuple Scorpio!!

        Have you heard anything about the sacred temples of Malta? Ancient ‘advanced’ Megaliths that pre-date Stonehenge & NewGrange by (possibly) thousands of years, yet are way more advanced both structurally & especially ‘sonically’. Legend has it that they were ‘originally’ constructed & used as healing temples, & not as places as sacrifice (that practice came later, after the original ‘temple builders’ disappeared). One temple site in particular was used as a university of sorts to teach Atlantean initiates energy mastery for healing, mostly with sound. The special limestone used in the megaliths actually rings like a gong when you tap it. Their five-apse (sometimes more, sometimes less) temple plans are designed to reflect sound into a figure eight/infinity configuration. One that even mimics the water molecule. The subterranean temple, referred to as the ‘hypogeum’ is an absolute natural wonder in acoustics. It was the final place for initiates to stay, for three days & three nights (sound familiar?) to meditate, stay open to ‘dream’, & receive essential insights. The many figurines found in the temple have been referred to as the ‘sleeping lady’ but it was essential to note that this was not a place to slumber – it was a sacred meditation/healing chamber.

          • The temples were built in perfect alignment to the planets,
            on the tops of mountains (well, they were ‘mountaintops’, before the mediterranean (middle earth) was flooded!). The original home of the Triple Goddess! When the earth’s alignment shifted the Temple Builders abandoned Malta and moved onto the British Isles .. Seriously interesting stuff!

            • I’ve just come back from an awesome four weeks there .. & I’m convinced that my visit to the Mnajdra temple (dedicated to healing woman) has done something to fix my stomach .. after two ‘decades’ of food intolerances I was eating pizza, bread & cheese like it was my last month on the planet!

                • Yes! .. & when I meditated on my stomach while standing in the temple doorway (for just 2 or so minutes) I had a symbol appear in my mind. It was the overlay two opposing triangles, ie: star of David, Mercaba, male & female symbol. My lifetime issue has been the balance of my male & female energies, esp the female (& I take DHEA because of this hormonal imbalance – DHEA is known as ‘the Mother’ hormone). I felt I had to Mother myself all my life & have always craved a strong female role model. When
                  I returned to talk to my guide about the symbol that I had just seen he was amazed .. & he showed me the sacred symbol that he had just had printed on cards to help explain the focus of the temple – rebalancing women using both the masculine/feminine energies .. Which I hadn’t seen until he showed me.

                  • amazing – what a profound experience. sounds like you were really tapped into the energy of the place. Hope it has long lasting healing effects! 🙂

                  • & a Welcome Swallow flew between my body & the temple doorway (5 cm gap at most) the second that he showed me the card!! We both jumped back in awe .. I’ll never forget the buzz of that moment!

              • Thanks so much for posting Sextuple Scorpio!! Because I’ve got a feeling that Acutonics (or something very similar) was what the Atlanteans were practicing on Malta way back then. The effect of this mega-scale earth acupuncture is still so powerful that even today it has given the islands crops extra vibrancy that can’t be explained when compared to other EU produce.

        • YES YES YES YES YES. This exactly. I do not know about the temples of Malta, I will look them up to be certain, thank you. Triple Goddess heck yes! (I’m a triple scorp, so hey! Well it’s actually 6 planets but I have sun,moon,rising all in scorp)… From what I have learned, the Atlantean societies lived using sound as a healing tool and then also as a technology. Many believe that it was vibration that was used to lift the bricks that made the pyramids (the man who build that crazy place coral gables in Florida did this also). It’s the only thing that can explain it. Further, Mr. Rife developed a machine that identified the frequency of cancer cells and then targeted them, destroying only them! He was harassed and robbed of his machine, though. and then further, Ella Fitzgerald shattered a glass with her voice! I don’t mean to mention all of this shattering because what I am into is HARMONIZING. Synthesizing…. like what you are talking about with the birds and your stomach and intention and synchronicity. It’s absolutely thrilling to see what kind of new states can be achieved through the application of sound. The chiron forks can help shift the liver heat that is the result of all kinds of emo frustration into a bit of a river where you can cry and alittle and empower the victim… and all with a little sound! I am a huge believer is staying away from sound pollution for this reason… Anyway, I could go on and on but I’m going to leave you with one last story… I heard a man speak on a sound healing panel in LA in November. I don’t know his name dammit. He reported that his colleagues were studying dolphin language. They were training a dolphin to tell it’s buddy to go and fetch a rubber ducky that they had thrown out beyond where the dolphins were swimming. When they fed the sound into the cymoscope (a surface covered in a liquid that will mimic the wave patter of a sound, essentially cymatics, the study of sound made visible) and they did not see that this sound made a wave as they had expected, they saw that the liquid had risen up OFF of the plate and created a three dimensional rubber ducky. It’s almost impossible to believe. The result then is the dolphins communicate HOLOGRAPHICALLY. Whoa! I will keep watching the internet for reports on this because I want to see it with my own eyes. Sound and vibration. What is. I am so happy for you that your stomach is better. Pizza is delicious stuff!!!! I love your healing story. Malta, malta, malta. Triple Goddess!!!! Mystic, thanks for the forum to get into this stuff. Thanks forever.

          • In one of Jane Robert’s Seth books he talks about a society – I believe it was Lumanians – that had advanced technology but died out. They lived under ground and used sound to create caves. They didn’t disturb the earth and bred out aggression and died out. Anyway, he suggests the cave drawings in France/Spain are left over from that era. Kind of like poor graffiti. Anyway – awesome stuff you’re doing!

            • lemurians, yes! just another interesting aspect to all this .. they were the antithesis to the Atlanteans (who were also peace -loving). The Lemurians were more free-spirited & into feeling in the body as opposed to the more restrained, high-level thinking Atlanteans.

              • re: the point about breeding out aggression .. there were no implements used for fighting found until the iron age .. the age of the great temple builders was an incredibly peaceful time in Earth’s history .. stretched out for centuries!

            • Ha! Thank you, I was delayed in my response & when I pushed comment, I saw this, 🙂 .

          • Wow, I love the notion of shapes being made by dolphins. The way I understand photons being recieved by the human eye as a hologram in light and the difference in sound I don’t quite get, but I love the idea!! If you remember his name do tell, I would like to understand this better.

          • I could rave to you for hours .. I wish you lived just down the road!!!!!

            • sorry, that was for you Sextuple Scorpio!! .. but now that I think about it .. I wish I could walk up to the local to find you all there hyped for a juicy rave!

              • ALL the way, we could rave like rock stars! And we are doing it already. But yes, Lemurians. I used to live on Kauai, where their Kingdom supposedly reigned. There was a lot of Lemuria talk. I wish I could have gotten some sleep there, but there was no sleeping there despite how peaceful it always was…
                The experience you had in Malta is extraordinary. Will you write a piece about it and share it somewhere? I’d love to read more. Power moments are kind of my major interest in life and it seems that was one! I’ll see ya at the canteen!!

                • .. will do!
                  I’ll keep an eye out for your postings & maybe drop in some further details if it appropriate to the topic of the day. Which shouldn’t be hard with all this Kataka work going on – because it’s only now that I’m really getting the chance to process the whole set of experiences .. & we’re already planning our next trip to go back in two years time .. lots to process between now & then .. chat soon 🙂 🙂

                  • wow! Amazing. going back!!! Brilliant. Malta. I’ll drop in on your too. Thank you for the Malta info and your incredible healing story. So entirely cool and beautiful!

      • Thanks, Z. Love your comments on here. Especially the poncho over the muu muu recent one!!! HA.

    • Please — tuning forks and manipulation of sound waves — could cure and penetrate. We are so behind as a race. It’s already out there but no on earth.

      • It is the most profound work I have ever been a part of. So much miraculous and spontaneous healing. DNA changing during gong sessions. Hans Jenny’s cymatics work…. yes, frequency!!! I am with you… and the work is emerging…..!!! I have hope!!

    • AMAZING!!! Gorgeous work – a real Poncho maker – here!!
      I wish you sold them still..

      • Yo! Andromeda, Thanks! You are such a rad comment-maker on here! Hiya! xx, Poncho Maker.

          • totally – they are gorgeous! I want a blue & white scarf that drapes beautifully!

            • 🙂 people, this is so great. Thanks for all of this positive feedback, it really lifts me up! All of the Saturn going on for me is fine and good, I know, but it’s also draining like crazy, so thanks!! And yes, Natural Fibers all the way, Andromeda, Lux, Calypso.

        • If my words equalled a pashmina of the quality I see here I would be a happy girl. You are talented. What is yr Sun/Moon/Asc – what does sextuple Scorp mean? After alllll the posts on ponchos being Cancerian are we to learn they are the dominion of the Scorpion? Because there are some Scorps on this blog that will need to take note, he he!! Xx.

          • Hello Pashmina Andy-
            Sextuple Scorpio means that I have six planets in Scorpio. It’s a little bit much, but I’m not dead yet! So the thing with the weaving is that it is very Plutonian. When I begin the steps of setting up the threads of a poncho, it’s like I am boarding the vessel and the weaving itself is like a full on voyage outward (but inward) in that I am doing a task in the same way as others for thousands of years and I am connected to that, and also because it’s methodical and puts me in a trance (a deep one because I also maintain a complicated pattern/intention all the while), and also because I generally do not stop until I am done- meaning either late into the night or all night. And then, voila! I pop back into this world, poncho woven. So maybe wearing them is cancerian but weaving them is scorpionic? With six planets (sun, moon, rising, venus, merc, and mars) in there, it’s hard to know what is what bc I have little to compare it to. THANK YOU very much.

            • I never thought I’d have poncho envy, but now that I’ve seen yours…gorgeous work!

            • Here’s another cool thing, and it’s fairly Plutonian. Mary Daly, one of the old school “founders” of Ecofeminism wrote in her book Ecofeminism that the craft, the act of making, is related to the noun craft (a vessel), because one goes on a voyage in the making of a thing, in crafting a thing. It’s quite poetic. And I think perhaps the makers on here can relate- makers, are you out there? Is it Plutonian for you?

            • they are magical! I’ve seen a bit of OLD film of indigenous Americans in….I think it was New Mexico… dying and weaving, have you seen anything like that? It was just beautiful.

              • Yes, I learned to dye with native plants with a book done by the Navajo. Then I made a Navajo loom and wove in their tapestry style. By no means, however, in any way, was I weaving in the Navajo way because their medicine is deep deep to their own. Their design is in their mind’s eye and what they can achieve without writing any of the math down is incredible!!! It’s pure prayer, all of it. Total genetic memory. I strive!!!!

                • yes, I think you are all doing your own version of channelling the divine.

                  I have a friend who’s a weaver – she does medieval and Nordic stuff. Just beautiful. She’s crazy about looms – loomy 🙂

            • OH MY GODD/ESS – hello Scorpio’s you ARE the Poncho 😀 Don’t deny.. you are warped/warpers extraordinaire..

    • hi. wow, that’s a whole lotta warpin’ going on. I love your elegant weave patterns and pared-back colours. Swiss wool-silk blend must be heavenly… good to see Kiwi wool in the mix… if you’re into Oz merino, you could delve too…
      Now I really AM inspired to weave my own poncho cloth. thank you xx

      • also are you associated with any west coast art institutions? sort of researching a few… keen to hear local opinions.

          • Pi, I’m actually living in Berkeley now, I’m not sure if I”ll head back to Santa Fe or not. But one of the places I honed my craft was at the International Weaving School in Picton, NZ! It was run by a Swedish woman about 15 years ago and I stopped in to just see it between a month of bike touring and riding that hippy bus around with other travelers! It’s not there anymore, the school, but please know that my training wouldn’t be complete without having been at that school and then volunteering on a sheep farm!! West Coast art institutions? How can I help?

    • They leapt out at me to cuddle SS. They look so soft. A friend came back from NZ recently with lots of gorgeous possum fur clothes.

  5. What replaced my, erh, well lets call it ‘green’ vodka for arguments sake at 40 was my miracle daughter.
    She is my one and only Great Work.
    That is All.

    • That’s so true. My life straightened out when I had my daughter at 35. Since then, it’s been beautiful. I feel my purpose has always been to be a Mother. Not necessarily paired up with a male. The male was an accessory to my purpose of motherhood. xo

      • Libra ascendant, and your daughter must be in your 7th house! Perfect. I have so many karmic conjuncts with my daughter. her Sun-my moon, my mars-her venus (exact at 22 degrees kataka), her venus is in my 7th (i’m a cap rising); and she has karmic conjuncts with her dad, both gem rising, her moon-his sun, and trines with his venus or conjuncts. I bet you have karmic conjunctions with your daughter.

  6. Thank you for introducing me to Avedon Mystic, this pic just slays me.
    As a Kataka in Venus, Poncho/Pashmina-fanatica & Egyptophile this image is like cat-nip to me.
    Or Bast-nip even. That sounds a bit rude actually.

  7. So true. I keep waiting for this “big break”, perhaps after I quit my job. Or take a year off work, etc. It’s like summer holidays after the school term. But that’s not going to happen.

    I need to make things happen as part of my routine. The events I want to go to, the holidays I want to take, the classes I want to sign up for. Now, now, now! Not going to wait for the “big break”. I know if I keep waiting, it will never happen. And at 45, I’ll still be that disappointed workaholic who is going to work more because I have given up on whatever it was that I wanted to do. No way!

  8. I love this quote. I love the passion it expresses. I agree even though I haven’t quite found the “work” that would evoke all this in me.

    I blame my Saturn (5th) conjunct Mars (6th) in Scorpio.

    Some of the things I like to do most are kind of tedious. Things that some people would consider work but I enjoy it so it doesn’t feel that way to me.

  9. Sublimation of desire, right? Even this Cap knows that hard work and type A mania doesn’t cure everything, though I wish it would. I’d be Queen of the World by now. There are also those small issues of climbing the right mountain, authentic connection, the Tao, flow and the wisdom of “being”. It’s not all Ubermensh territory / triumph of The Judge That Dances.

  10. I have a poncho I was going to give away because I feel it’s too ‘ethereal’ and light but it’ll do until I can afford a more colourful, substantial one.

  11. As I read the last 2 lines. I’m like I so agree. Only to see that I too have sun-moon in taurus, mars in gemini but pisces in north node opposite of his virgo. Hmmm…I love this :))

  12. HATE HIM.

    7 CELESTIAL BODIES IN VIRGO – inc Lust conj Sun, and Lillith conj NN
    …all in the 10th House.