Back when I was a reference librarian at the University of Oregon, I discovered the music of Tom Waits in an attempt to answer the question “where does leaving your life in a cheap hotel come from” (Townes Van Zandt). This was during my Saturn Return. I was in the process of divorce, just graduated with my Masters in Library Science, moved across the country, started my first real professional job, and was learning how to be a single parent with two little girls. Sometimes I was so tired, I would crawl under my desk in my cubicle and grab a power nap. I was so full of self doubt, wondering if I had made the right decisions. Wondering if I could be a good enough mom and professional and if I would ever adjust to this pace of life.
The music of Tom Waits, my favorite Sun in Sagittarius, entered in at this time and became a lifeline of hope. He sang of broken shoes, a sailor’s mouth and wounded eyes. Of people hard on their luck but still soft on the inside. Of chasing the dream, living the quest, goin’ out west where the wind blows tall. Of love, crumbling beauty, and a dogged perseverance. At the foundation of all of it was a yearning to really live… like a plant that struggles to bloom despite hard soil and no rain.
It’s not a surprise that Tom Waits has his Sun, Ascendant and Mercury in Sagittarius. His characters paint on a canvas that is larger than life. They quest, mythological style, with buck shot eyes and purple hearts on a road that promises nothing. You’ll find them in a circus, at the bar, in a Hong Kong Drizzle, in barns and basements always searching for meaning. It’s the same with The Archer… no matter how far that arrow sows its seed, there’s a homing signal that’s really trying to find the way back home. In the process, he inspires the rest of us to fully live.
Illustration by Anggia Anindita