The Woman Who Mainstreamed The Moon

Mary Fisher was technically a food writer who infused a poetic sensibility into what had previously been ‘the recipes section’ of the newspaper. A prolific journalist, she wrote for money, to support herself and her daughters through the Great Depression. Yet her sparkling, sharp advice ended up supporting countless readers through the stress and food deprivations of WWII.

“You can still live with grace and wisdom, if you rely on your own innate sense of what you must do with the resources you have to keep the wolf from sniffing too hungrily through the keyhole.”

How To Cook A Wolf – 1942

She was a Cancerian and not only that, M.F.K. Fisher (as she was more commonly known), was a multiple conjunct Cancer: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Neptune and the North Node. She became the prototypal lifestyle writer, intelligently chronicling phenoms such as stocking a kitchen or dealing with fussy eaters and fulfilling a therapeutic role in columns that covered how to maintain your sense of style/self-assurance in ‘ominous times.’ Her prose was so fantastic that everyone read her, even men who never intended to set food in a kitchen.

Following her instincts – to write what she needed for herself – she unintentionally forced a cultural and feminist revolution. In astrological parlance, she made the Moon mainstream. She gave ‘lunar consciousness’ a voice, paving the path for people like Martha Stewart, Elizabeth Gilbert, Anne Lamott, and Kim Sunee.

In her day and even years after she passed, she attracted criticism for her scorn toward ‘bourgeois morality’ – AKA being a bisexual, an avid traveler and a single mother. Most of it seems like abject jealousy although the protagonist of her one novel – Now But Now – is an amoral, time-travelling gourmet seductive sociopath who’s figured out a way to dimension-jump using a particular express train. 

Later in life, she saw “Zen” and the “Eastern fad” of yoga as a quintessentially male indulgence: “For me there is too little of life to spend most of it forcing myself into detachment from it.” Baking, in her view, was a superior aid to serenity:  “No yoga exercise, no meditation in a chapel filled with music will rid you of your blues better than the humble task of making your own bread.”

Was she or was she not the archetypal Cancerian?

22 thoughts on “The Woman Who Mainstreamed The Moon”

  1. was a film made about her? I vaguely remember watching a film about a lady from – oh I think between the world wars – who was a sensational cook for her time who remained single and publishing cookbooks. It was a french or italian movie from recollection and I was fascinated watching it. Some of the quotes remind me of this film. She had many lovers though she was married to an english bore who turned up from time to time

    1. I think it was a made for television film about Elizabeth David called Elizabeth David: A Life Of Recipes. She also was one fabulous lady with a life to match

  2. Ram Tormented by Librans

    My husband is Sagg sun, Sagg rising, Scorpio moon and is one fantastic chef. Beautiful food made with love, just absolutely crap on details and hates the who admin thing that goes with staff, running a restaurant etc.

  3. Luinae "Kataka"

    She looks absoloutely divine. I love reading about famous Cancerians. My Sun, Mercury, Venus are in Cancer. I also have Uranus in Capricorn. Similar to M.F.K Fisher.
    However, I really don’t like cooking at all. I really enjoy cleaning, but I find cooking dull. Maybe it’ll grow on my as I get older…..

  4. Lucky lucky you would love to be a top chef. I admire those who can cook up a storm
    in the kitchen…..then write a book about it.
    Friend has been trying to give me their copy of Stephanie Alexander’s CookBook, as we have the same surname, he reckons i’ll take notice & use it.

    What a love about Asia is food everywhere on the streets. One is often greeted by
    ‘Have you eaten?’ in Singapore. The aromas there really turn me on.
    Used to go yearly just to eat 5/6 times a day, 5/6 different styles.

  5. Linda Goodman I think it was put it out there that Aquarian Moons are great cooks….also, if Cancer is on your 8th house cusp, cooking is a self-replenishing & affirming thing to do. Given I am both Aquarian moon & the 8th Cancer cusp, with Leo sun, I can pull myself out of a bad hair day by mixing it up in the kitchen…aaay,purrrr.

  6. “Family dinners are more often than not an ordeal of nervous indigestion, preceded by hidden resentment and ennui and accompanied by psychosomatic jitters.”

    Thankfully this, in most cases, doesn’t apply in modern living. When I was very young meals were formal ordeals and children had to eat and remain silent. As time passed and the influence of grandparents faded meals became a pleasure because my parents recognised that we had minds and could be entertaining at mealtime so the discussions turned into a great blend of opinions. I made certain that the tradition continued for my offspring.

  7. with all the talk of worse to come re the economic climate, maybe the Government should reissue Make Do And Mend, which was my Grandmother’s bible

    1. Home Journal editor keeping chins up during the depression. I wonder if she would have been so positive if she’d known what was to follow 7 years later.

  8. Oh i get it. we can nuture peeps in different ways, guess my nature/nurture
    is with bodywork & creating pleasure for other senses.
    So now dont feel like a food failure:)

  9. My dearest friends, Aquaman & CowGirl are same & their relationship now in 8th year.
    She is a CEO & kitchen wizz. He loves to eat & now she has him cooking.
    A match made in heaven for sure & a joy to watch.
    Grace to you, G’friend.
    Me? Office has always been in kitchen, counteracting it’s true meaning of naturing & nourishing
    the body.
    Eat to live not live to eat, but i was wealthy would eat at the best resturants i could find.
    Can do only ONE dish superbly & that’s spag bol…lol.
    OH & soups:)

  10. Really great cooks are a combination of generosity, perfectionism and the need to nurture/please so Cancer fits better than most signs but I think Ceres might also play her part……also fits the bossy bit 😉

  11. Oh Mystic – thank you for this post – I’ve only come across her now and can’t wait to read her life and works – what a woman!

    My father was the cook (chef actually) in our family (we had restaurants) and I was always by his side in the kitchen watching (he’s always shoo me out. Consequently I have a passion for men/women who can really cook. There is nothing sexier in my opinion than seducing one’s lover with food…
    Dad installed a love of good, loving prepared food in our family – nothing processed. I loathe all this processed junk masqerading as “food” – it is soulless and disconnects us from nature and ourselves.

  12. matthew-minerva

    the cancerean = cook thing couldnt be more accurate
    both my nonno’s (Sorry grandfathers in english) are cancereans, one has sun, mercury & venus coming out in cancer – this man is an obsessed grower! like he grows everything in his garden! and nothing is morew important to him than his family!
    the other im uploading his chart now so i’ll let you all know!

    1. matthew-minerva

      2nd grandfather has sun, moon & pluto in cancer!
      his profession was a chef in over 9 different resturants (not at the same time of course lol)

    2. Do you think that might be a italian trait matt?? My dad (cancer),uncle (sagg) & now my brother (virgo) were/are into growing their own & cooking…it’s been really touching seeing how my brother has adopted a lot of things that my dad did when we were kids, now that he has a family. Kinda like keeping old traditions alive

      1. matthew-minerva

        yes and no lexicorn limbo
        i think that YES the Italian tradition of producing ones own food is very promanent in italian culture but i my grandparents are like the sorta people that you know = at a family gathering in which they meet new people ect. many turn to politics as a topic of discussion to break the ice, NOT MY GRANDFATHERS its just food food food pasta and more food!

  13. year of the fox

    Must agree too that cancers are awesome cooks!

    It was my father who taught me how to cook when i was a wee kit. He was Cancer Sun: Aries Moon: Aries Asc. My first recipe I did with him was Welsh Rarebit at age 9. It wasn’t healthy but it instilled a love of luxury and quality food.

  14. double crabby-ness

    Love her.. tried to resist the food-urge for a long time, but have succumbed to it and now am a happy lady-chef who’s worked on 3 continents! sun/moon/jupiter in cancer. But I think it’s my sun in the 9th house that causes my wanderlust?

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