In high school, I was a band geek (which is apparently one of the most popular episodes of Sponge Bob if you're not familiar with it!). I played the bassoon in the symphonic band and was also the drum major of the marching band my freshman year. As a bassoonist, you're positioned next to the saxophones and in front of the trombones and brass.  I always felt it a bit of a reminder that you can play anything between the melody (saxophones) and the basslines (trombones). And in Gustav Holst's Jupiter from the Planets, as a bassoonist, you got to play bass to the saxophone's melody in one of the most profoundly moving phrases of symphonic music. (A beautiful demonstration is here - the bassoon is second in from the left on the bottom.)

Gustav Holst was an early 20th-century English composer and his most famous piece is The Planets. It's an arrangement of 7 pieces (we hadn't discovered Pluto yet and Earth was out for astrological reasons to be described below). Jupiter is the most well-known and probably most performed piece from the arrangement. 

Holst was also keen on astrology and the mystical side of things. In his famous Young Peoples Concerts, the world-renowned composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein referred to him as a likely a mysticism-freak - LOL!  Holst liked to write horoscopes for his friends and decided to pick a characteristic of each planet and write a piece for it which became The Planets. For Jupiter, he assigned Jupiter the characteristic of Jollity -- likely because in early Roman mythology Jupiter was also known as the God Jove, which was known for his jovial character. 


And I'm sure Holst would have appreciated what happened in late December of 2020 when the planet Jupiter met with Saturn (socially distanced we hope) for what was known as the grand mutation. In a recent interview, astrologer to the stars (pun intended!) Susan Miller points out that it only happens every 20 years and that it influences the values of the time. They met in Aquarius which is an air sign and also known as a humanitarian sign. Susan predicts that we will see "people helping people on a grand scale".  As noted in Wikipedia, In modern astrology, Jupiter is the primary native ruler of the ninth house, but traditionally, Jupiter was assigned to both the second and ninth houses: the house of values and the house of beliefs, respectively, and had its joy in the second house of good luck. 

What's interesting about the notion of joy in the second house of good luck is that luck in business is often described as preparedness meets opportunity. In his debut book, Heart Smarts Guts, and Luck (it's definitely worth a read) Venture Investor Tony Tjan defines luck as Lucky Attitude & Lucky Network noting such attributes as vulnerability, authenticity, generosity, and openness in order to experience what we call "luck".  And if we stay in the second house, the house of values and beliefs, we might deduce that if we are to also experience good fortune in business, drilling down into our most authentic values is key. 


Just before the Grand Mutation of 2020, Both CNN Correspondent and Washington Post Journalist Fareed Zakaria & NYU Marketing Professor and riled-up-newsletter-writer (we each wrote very different newsletters about scarcity last week, but similar in the fact that scarcity is a social construct), Scott Galloway, released books on how to prepare for a Post-Covid world. They are Ten Lessons For a Post-Pandemic World and Post Corona: From Crisis To Opportunity respectively, and each has valuable insight into what we might take into consideration in business and the economy as we move through this time and into a post-pandemic world. Scott Galloway goes so far as to say it's the official end of the Brand Age (something I've been preaching for years) and he says we're moving into the product age, though to be honest, doesn't do a great job at defining what that means. But from the examples, he gives in the book, we're talking about the same thing: that the facade of the company no longer matters to consumers, it's the experience itself of it that will. And in his book, Fareed warns us, among many things, that inequality will get worse and that we should pay particular attention to money and morality. 

If we align these predictions with the fact that the grand mutation occurred in the sign of Aquarius, also known as the humanitarian sign, can we heed their callings and prepare ourselves by creating more humanitarian businesses that are in full alignment with our most vulnerable, authentic, generous, and open values? Can we put in the effort to operationalize those values into every aspect of our business, in particular, our infrastructure, personnel tools, training, and mentorship? And in doing so, might we meet the moment of the age of Aquarius, and expect luck to rise up, and greet our efforts rewarding us with the joy, or jollity, only Jupiter can facilitate, thereby creating a more humanitarian experience of entrepreneurship and capitalism in the 21st century. 

INSPIRATION (There are many resources linked in this newsletter)

Last week, I wrote about Byron Katie and separately linked a podcast of Eileen Fisher speaking about vision (among other things). And a few readers called my attention to a series of videos of Eileen Fisher interviewing Byron Katie! You can watch them here and here

Also, someone shared with me this video of Alicia Keys talking about her own experience with scarcity.


This podcast on Coded Bias is terrifying and sad which is why we should double down on creating a more humanitarian experience of entrepreneurship. You can also watch the Netflix special here.

As a 2002 graduate of Berklee College of Music, myself, I found this video of students performing Holst's Jupiter particularly moving. I was also part of the Berklee Symphony in my day and I miss the transcendent experience of both performing and witnessing live music. 


S/O to St. John Frizell, a 2014 class graduate, and owner of Fort Defiance and Gage & Tollner who was featured in this NY Times series about resilience and the pandemic. St. John is a master of visioning, himself.

I'm a bit behind on my own reading, but a new book on my bedside table that I'm looking forward to diving into is Talib Kweli's Vibrate Higher.


Our next book club will meet next on Tuesday, April 20th from 7pm-8:30pm via Zoom. We will be reading The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins.  This is a free event, please email me if you'd like to join. 


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