September has been one of my favorite months of the year ever since I moved to Encinitas in September of 1976. Things got off to a bit of a rocky start for me in Encinitas. I arrived feeling like I had the flu—feverish and nauseated. Don, my new roommate in Encinitas, had recently graduated from nursing school and landed a job as an RN at San Luis Rey psychiatric hospital. He took at look at me and said, “You look a little yellow—your eyes and your skin—I think you might have hepatitis.” He probed with his fingers under the ribcage on the right side and asked if I felt any tenderness. I said. “No, but trying checking the other side. I have something called Situs Inversus, which means that all of my internal organs are on the opposite side.” Don probed under the ribs on the left side and I let out a wail and nearly jumped out of my skin. “A little tender?” he asked. “More than tender,” I said. Don took me to the local emergency room, where they took blood tests and x-rays. The x-ray showed that my liver was definitely swollen--and also on the wrong side--the blood test showed that my bilirubin levels were off the charts. When your liver is not working correctly it throws the whole gastrointestinal track out of whack. It becomes difficult to digest fats and proteins. Any kind of alcohol or sugar upsets the liver even more than it already is. Your urine comes out orange, your stools are a milky white color, and your overall vitality is significantly depleted. I was forced for the first time in my life to really pay attention to my body—to make sensible dietary choices, and provide some time and space for rest and recuperation. Each day I would walk the four blocks to Stonesteps Beach and spend several hours on the beach, reading The Lord of the Rings, taking periodic dips in the ocean, then walking back up the steps to go home. In the beginning I could barely climb the stairs, but by the end of September I felt much stronger. Based on this experience so many years ago, my association with September is that it is a healing month in Encinitas. The tourist season pretty much ends on Labor day, except for one more day of horseracing at the Del Mar track tomorrow. Stone Steps will return to being a “locals only” beach. The weather will be good and the water still warm enough for trunkin’ it.
The New Moon on Thursday at 4:36am falls in the Nakshatra known as Purva Phalguni, symbolized by a couch, a fireplace, and a platform. Purva Phalguni indicates a time when we look for rest, relaxation, and amusement after the fulfillment of our worldly responsibilities in the previous cycle. The ruling deity of Purva Phalguni is Bhaga, (Delight), the Vedic god of bliss. Bhaga is known for bestowing rest, relaxation, enjoyment, affection, sexual passion, and marital felicity. The power associated with Purva Phalguni is called “Prajanana Shakti”—the power to procreate. The impelling force here is called Kama, (Passion), associated with Venus, the planetary ruler of this nakshatra. Kama makes us enthusiastic about all that we undertake, giving us strength and virility, making us generally successful in our endeavors, and attracting the attention of those in power. We may receive recognition, royal favor, and lots of attention from the opposite sex. The danger here is the potential for becoming legends in our own mind and developing an insatiable thirst for self-gratification. We could end up relentlessly pursuing sexual conquests, drinking, gambling, or even practicing black magic or Left Hand Tantra. The key is not to become too self-indulgent. Ever since having hepatitis, my liver has become much more sensitive, and will always let me know when I have crossed the line into over-indulgence.