In the beautiful redwood country of Sonoma County, California, a group of our friends had bought a mountainside ranch across the road (& up the mountain). A few families, couples & individuals lived on it in some old farmhouses and a geodesic dome they’d made from barn siding, making sure the large grape crop stayed healthy enough to harvest and sell to a well-known winery in town.
Not that any of these folks would touch alcohol. LSD eye drops, sure, psilocybin mushrooms, naturally, marijuana — well, if they could grow grapes there, take a wild guess. For minor personal use only, though.
One thing these folks had in common was that many of their initial mutual contacts resulted from attending the same fairly prestigious college together. Another was that, like quite a few other locals, they’d developed what seemed (to me, anyway) pretty intense interests in astrology.
Astrology was an interesting element in the hippy lifestyle. On one hand, it posits interconnectedness on a pan-galactic scale. On the other hand, it assumes differences that separate people into classifiable groups. I always found it strange to hear someone say something like, “Oh, he’s a Gemini – I couldn’t ever get along with him,” as if espousing a kind of cosmic racism.
I only bring up this planet-based faith regarding how the universe operates because of one particular visit up to the ranch. As night fell, while we were all finishing a delicious very-natural foods dinner, there was excited talk. Full moon tonight!
Now it’s true that the night skies in that area at that time could be awesome to behold; look straight up, and it looked like you were in a gigantic circus tent made of stars. Planetarium-quality stuff. And it’s true watching them for awhile could certainly feel like there was some kind of message of orientation in the local universe being beamed down. A telescope and a little knowledge of the physical cosmos could have been a groove.
But no one around the table was thinking about a sky show. It seems they all took it for granted that if you held your open wallet up to a full moon, money would come your way. It was apparently a well-known fact.
I’d never been aware it was that easy.
It got darker & the moon rose. We all went outside and away from the lights. Everybody took out their wallets and held them out, open, under the big shining moon. Then we went back inside. There was no chanting, no prayer or incantation, but still, standing with all these well-educated hippies, I felt like I was participating in some mysterious, possibly ancient ritual.
Just a really stupid one.
(And no sudden windfalls came my way either.)