How To Make Your Own Luck

You might think it takes luck for a group of people to write a script, rehearse it and perform it all within 24 hours — at least, if it’s going to be any good. But it turns out that, like most anything in life, the passive idea of luck is generally the least important factor of all (except for those times when it’s not).

Ferns unfurling at Prout's Neck, Maine. Photo by Amanda Painter. View a chart here showing the Sun at the Taurus midpoint making favorable aspects to Jupiter, Chiron and Pisces.
Ferns unfurling at Prout’s Neck, Maine. Photo by Amanda Painter. View a chart here showing the Sun at the Taurus midpoint making favorable aspects to Jupiter, Chiron and Pisces.

What matters is actually a handful of elements represented by today’s Beltane astrology as the Sun occupies the midpoint of Taurus; and which, therefore, you too can embody to make your own luck.

In a 24-hour theater festival, several teams each made up of a writer, a director and 3-5 actors have a night and day to write, rehearse and bring to full life a short play that includes three required elements common to all the teams (a setting, a prop and a line of dialogue). In the vast majority of cases, it matters less that your team get ‘the perfect script’ or have ‘the best actors’, or that the director have a magic wand.

What matters is that you (whatever role you play in this grand festival called life) operate from what you know is important to you (Sun in Taurus). Once you’ve identified that, persistence matters; you might not be trying to learn lines of dialogue in your life, but consider how many success stories involve multiple failed attempts and tremendous vulnerability before the person finally achieves that great thing that makes a difference.

You also need to feel your presence and tap into your knowledge — that is, be emotionally centered (Jupiter in Cancer). It’s called ‘stage presence’ for a reason in theater; we rarely hear anyone talk about ‘life presence’, yet it’s essentially the same thing. Acting isn’t about ‘faking it’, it’s about ‘living it’ in that moment — and life is just a series of moments.

Successful writers will tell you that writing is less about ‘inspiration’ and far more about using regularity and commitment to focus your creativity — which is, at its root, your erotic nature (Chiron in Pisces). Anyone who writes a play in a handful of hours does not usually do so because they were suddenly struck by a bolt of creativity while staring out the window (though this happens). They can do it because they are in the habit of channeling their creative spark, even on days when it looks like it might not go anywhere. But you don’t have to be ‘a writer’ or ‘an artist’ to practice focusing that energy.

As you do, consider that along with rising to the challenge and sticking to it, you also must have a respectful relationship to boundaries and authority (Saturn in Scorpio). If you’re in charge, directing isn’t about being bossy; it’s about conveying your vision to others so they’re excited to bring it to life with you. Time may be an ephemeral construct, but disrespecting the boundary it represents (especially if you’re not in the position of authority) can undermine everyone around you (say, blowing off rehearsal time while the rest of the cast keeps working at it). Luck can’t find you if you’ve gone AWOL.

Last but not least, don’t get hung up on your hang-ups (Sun square Psyche in Aquarius). Nobody is perfect. We’re all critical of ourselves. We all have some psychological tic or another that makes us feel like ‘the only one who can’t get [X] together’. Theater actors are at once some of the bravest and most neurotic people on Earth, and their art is gone once the curtain closes and the set is torn down. But that doesn’t stop them from getting up on stage in front of a roomful of people, including after a kamikazee 24 hours of very little sleep and nowhere near enough rehearsal time, to bear their souls for all to witness.

We get even less rehearsal in life. If you want luck, don’t wait for the stars to align (although this is a damn fine moment, that being said). Break the process down, add the pieces together step by step, be ready to keep the wheels turning and watch for the opening. It is, after all, your show.

— with Eric Francis

15 thoughts on “How To Make Your Own Luck”

  1. Beautiful article Amanda!

    My Dad ( a self-employed outdoor/adventure photographer) used to say something like: “The good wind can only take you where you want to go if your sails are up and rudder set.” Of course the assumption is that you’re already in the boat and you know where you want to go!

    Love the fiddle-head photo too… all that green life just waiting to unfurl….gorgeous! In Maori cultures the fiddle-head of the Silver fern is called a “Koru” and is one of their most important symbols in design and decoration. It represents peace, new growth, positive changes, awakening and Spiritual advancement. It seems a very fitting image for your article! Don’t you just love how these synchronicities work? 🙂

  2. Amanda, acknowledging a fine reading that I am going to have to read again. I just can’t take it in all at once, and that is a compliment!

  3. indeed — the Osiris part (parts?? 😉 ) is a really fun synchronicity, isn’t it? i had noticed it there in the mix last week, but hadn’t quite sussed it out in context.

    but by all means, let me know when you’ve written your play!

  4. Well shucks, never mind then, I’ll just file this storyboard away for the future. Still, when adding the pieces together I couldn’t help but think of Osiris whose pieces added up to a whole new him and he, today at 16+ Taurus, is hanging right in there with the Beltane Sun. Now THAT’S creative luck! Even Isis who trines Mars today thought there might be a prize for putting it altogether, but mostly we were just hoping to get lucky and find something that would interest most readers of your blog, just like your blog interests us. Thanks for playing Amanda 🙂

  5. Bless you, dear Amanda! Your interpretation of my dream has helped me so much. And you picked up that there was a cry for help in my comment, though the tone was jocular. You not only accurately interpret my dream. but also give me a picture of the astrology that is bringing these things up. I really can’t thank you enough.
    And yes – it all makes a lot of sense, especially as I feel creativity rising up in me in a way that it hasn’t since I was a child – and I’m rediscovering my singing voice, no less. And yes, it is threatening for me. Thank you, with all my heart!

  6. well, be — writing a play isn’t the exercise; i was just using the 24-hour play festival as an illustration, since i had just attended the performance of one last night, and i realized it fit perfectly into the outline eric had suggested. 😉 i’ve been involved in a 24-hour play fest once before; it’s exhausting but fun.

    i’d say the purpose of this “make your own luck” exercise is simply a reminder not to take any bullshit from anyone about creativity or “needing luck” — that includes the b.s stories we give ourselves about why we can’t seem to “get lucky” with what we want to do. heaven knows i’m guilty of that way too often!

  7. Lizzy — i don’t usually comment on others’ dreams unless asked to, but i have to say this is what immediately popped into mind when i read yours. it sounds like feminine creative energy (it is beltane, after all) rising up against some form of “male authority” that would have otherwise restricted it; the cops had entered “the lair,” or the domain, of a female singer who (in your dream) has some “magic” or occult/shunned-by-mainstream power.

    given that the sun and mercury are in taurus opposing saturn in scorpio, that actually sounds like a very positive image of some inner reclamation of territory/power/core authority within you — as unsettling as violent imagery can be in dreams.

    obviously how you felt in the dream and immediately upon awakening is more important than what *i* am projecting onto your dream from my perspective, but i offer this interpretation for your consideration.

    also, i have no idea what other “traumatic stuff” is coming up for you, as you mention, and i don’t want to be dismissive of whatever else you’re working through. but your dream has me wondering about how you feel about the power of your feminine creativity, whether it scares you (i think many of us have been conditioned to be terrified of it, and to assume that any “restrictions” on it placed by others in “authority” in our lives must be right, and we must be wrong).

    just some thoughts — take them or leave them! and good luck feeling your way through it all.

  8. I think if I were to write a play this very day (Beltane) it would be about the ship loaded with gold bullion that sank in 1857 due to a hurricane. This and a simultaneous bank scandal led to the Panic of 1857. On the day the ship sank (August 24) Jupiter was at 15+ Taurus, and today, as the announcement is released that further exploration of that shipwreck has begun, the golden Sun of Consciousness is at 15+ Taurus. There’s gotta be a story in there somewhere!

    At the time the Panic started and the ship went down, Black Moon Lilith was at 20+ Scorpio where transiting retrograde Saturn (what supports us) is today on Beltane. That should help the story line. Mars in Leo was square Pluto in Taurus just like Mars was square Pluto in the cardinal cross recently. Venus was about 18+ Cancer where transiting Jupiter will be in a couple of weeks. All this preceded the (U.S) Civil War by a couple of years. I’m beginning to sense a pattern here.. . . . hurricanes, gold, greed, sinking, bank scandal, panic, war; hmm.

    Since transiting Borasisi is so close to Chiron it could be just a fake similarity; something Chiron is trying to teach us. . learning from the past. Okay, now I think I have a plot. Maybe it could be something like that Meryl Streep movie where the character she plays is an actress in a movie about some historical situation that bears a strong resemblance to her present life and the scenes in the movie bounce back and forth between the (pretend) movie plot and her (movie) real life plot.

    Say, what’s the motivation for this exercise Amanda? A prize? Just for fun? Well, this was fun and I feel lucky to have read your piece today. Thanks!

  9. Such an inspiring piece and comments – but I seem to be on another page right now. Really traumatic stuff is coming up – last night I dreamed that Kate Bush was a witch and brutally murdered the cops who came into her lair (Blair Witch meets The Silence of the Lambs). Anyone else experiencing something wicked this way comes?

  10. Wonderful and timely for me. I am an organizer for a group of people who study positive spirituality. I have a vision that I very much want to convey and in the past I have found that directly pushing my agenda draws resistance. Today i feel compelled to try again to birth what is inside me busting to get out. The scenarios of past attempts are present in my mind. I can’t go about this in the same ole inhibited way and your advice is comforting. Your direction is my guide. I Will.

  11. Amanda

    Thank you so much for this piece. How validating and beautiful! Even though I am not familiar with theaters, your analogy clearly resonated with me. I guess the truth shines no matter what.

    Love the piece you’ve authored today and would love equally a video of any of the performances you mention, should you have access. Regardless, wonderfully inspiring script you’ve written today — as I act my bit out today I’ll think of you and the magic/luck you share.


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