Everything Counts or MAKE ALL THE THINGZ!

Curved stone walls, shot through with rivulets of silver, disappear into the high-domed darkness. The floor is an intricate mosaic: topaz and turquoise wildflower fields bloom, obsidian serpents and amethyst cephalopods play chase; a phoenix whirls in a glinting pattern of ruby and topaz flames, and an aquamarine sky swirls with diamond and onyx storm clouds. The farthest reaches of the mosaic are in-process, not-yet-finished: loose gemstones and buckets of grout await the final touch of the craftsman.

Across the vast room, a hammer strikes an anvil and bellows blow a forge ablaze. A nearby metallic contraption, its exposed cogs, sprockets, chains, and blades whirl and hum and spin. Chisels, sliding bevels, layout squares, and clawed hammers rest on a workbench while lathes spin. Fire-gilded clock dials, minute and second hands, springs, wheels, and pendula splay across the surface of a finely crafted figured maple table. From an unseen light source, a bitcoin ticker reads out against massive shelves lined with leather-bound books. A bank of giant monitors form a luminescent patchwork against the granite and slate: playing back the work of the day in music and sound and image— their many-zettabyte towers hidden in dark recesses. 

An hourglass sifts fine sand.

His Workshop.

Limiter and Shaper.
Maker of All Things.
Some call him Khronos.
Some call him Saturn.

Temple of Saturn. Roman Forum. Photo by Misha Penton

Temple of Saturn. Roman Forum. Photo by Misha Penton

Invest in your work every day.

Just like Saturn in his magnificent workshop.

Every. Single. Day. 

Saturn Energy is the poetic signature of the Planet Saturn, the planet that rules (in part) tasks, discipline, limitations, containers that offer shape, rules of the game, Time, and Getting Things Done: the every day work that accumulates into something big. One grain of sand into the bucket at a time and the next thing you know you've got Mont St Michel. Yeah, like that.

Cool, Beautiful and Poetic Saturn Science

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in our little Solar System. It has the most spectacular rings of all the ringed planets, 53 moons, and 9 provisional moons. It's also the farthest planet from Earth that we can see without a telescope. It spins super-duper fast (its day is 10.7 hours), and the fast spin create a bulge in its middle. Although Saturn is rotates fast, it makes a very slow trek: it takes 29 years for the planet to orbit the Sun, that's 10,756 Earth days.

Saturn is a 4.5 billion year old giant ball of hydrogen and helium, and its core is mostly rock, ice, and water. It's the only planet less dense than water, so "the giant gas planet could float in a bathtub -- if such a colossal thing existed."


Saturn is very stormy and windy, and its atmospheric pressure is so powerful it easily squeezes gasses into liquids. It's covered with clouds and storms: at its north pole, Saturn has this cool hexagon-shaped jet-stream with a raging storm at its center.

Saturn's rings are likely made of the skeletons of comets, asteroids and moons that broke up before reaching the planet— pulverized by the intense gravity. The ring's particles are mostly icy dust, with some chunks swirling around as big as mountains!

The ancient Assyrians named Saturn the "Star of Ninib" after a solar deity. Isn't that beautiful?

Here are some thoughts on Saturn Poetics— how the science of the planet relates to poetic meaning-making and metaphor for us Earthlings:

  • Fast rotation — Keep moving, keep energy moving.
  • Slow orbit around the Sun — Focus. Slow and steady wins the race. Tortoise, not hare.
  • Dense center and intense gravity — Centered and fiercely aligned with vision, insight, and purpose.
  • Overall, less dense than water — Don't take things personally and engage in self-care (the planet that's floating in the bubble bath!).
  • Tumultuous, steady, raging storms — Intense and committed vision.
  • High pressure — Like a diamond forming under constant pressure; keep the forge burning and the creative work slowly and steadily churning.
  • Particles in the Rings — Support networks: keep good company, surround yourself with those of like mind and like-goal.
  • Made of Hydrogen — The most abundant substance in the Universe. It's also super-flammable, which means it's a great source of energy and inspirational fire. Use The Force, Luke! 
  • Made of Helium - Non-reactive. The second most abundant substance in the Universe. Helium has the lowest boiling point of all the elements; so, poetically, it's slow to anger and slow to freak out. It's also non-flammable— again, calm the frak down, people, stay centered and stay focussed— it's a 29 year orbit. Easy does it.

Hydrogen and Helium are the building blocks of the Universe, they're symbols of an abundant energy resource to tap into:


In Western astrology (aka The Poetry of the Sky), Saturn is just now entering the sign of Capricorn where it will be for about 2.5 years. Saturn loves the energy of Capricorn: a sign that is another metaphor for structure and order. This is a great time to review how we organize our energies to Make Things Happen, one step at a time. In addition, the most recent New Moon, a time of beginnings and intention setting, was this past Tuesday, January 16— the New Moon in Capricorn. More Order to be made from Chaos and creative seeds to sow!

Forget About Thinking Big

Seriously. For now.

Just do the work — every day — and forget about everything else.

Do very, very, very wee bits of work. Wee. Super-Wee.

Pick the absolute teeny-tiniest smallest micro-task(s) possible and do at least one every day.

Everything Counts.


Sharpen a pencil: counts.
Put music on a the music stand: counts. 
Thread the sewing machine: counts.
Take paint out of the closet: counts.
Read one page from a book: counts.
Download a metronome app: counts.
Write a haiku: counts (ask Kerouac about that).
Choose the green tea instead of the black because you get a little tug in your belly (this is training for Listening to Creative You, btw): counts.
Make the bed: counts.
Mop the floor of your practice space: counts. (Creative Self is all like, “Yeah! Studio is clean! Yo!”)
Bad day? 10 minutes of a creative practice at 11pm: counts.

Yes, yes it does.

I call these tasks "Creative Procrastinating" because they’re actions which communicate to Creative Self that I’m serious. They also keep energy moving. Again, that is key. Repeat:

Keep Energy Moving.

Look up the word, “inertia” and its definition in physics— we usually use it as a synonym for "stuck" but it's really about the state of a body in motion. So, if you are in motion, you’ll stay in motion. The Universe says so. You hear that?

So, stay in motion, like Saturn orbiting the Sun.

I'll close with an oldie but a goodie— and if you're an artist, this quote is almost a cliché, but nevertheless, Ms G. rocks it hard:

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others” ― Martha Graham

everything counts

(PS. I think,the first time I heard the phrase, "Everything Counts," was from writer and activist T. Thorn Coyle).