Michael Barwick


Insight for Every Purpose under Heaven

Writing & Alchemy

The best metaphor I have for the writing process is an alchemical one. In alchemy, you turn lead, or some other worthless substance (referred to as the prima materia) into priceless gold. In writing, the prima materia is raw content and gold is the finished assignment. Writing work is a process of transformation just like alchemy.

Because each alchemist practiced their art in an individual… Continue reading

Factors of 12 and the Zodiac Signs

This post explores number symbolism as the factors of twelve and how they are expressed in the Zodiac. Twelve is a very useful number. Twelve signs work well because 12 is divisible in more than one way. In fact, there are three number combinations that produce it: 2 × 6 and 3 × 4 in addition to 1 × 12. One, two, three, four, six… Continue reading

Uranus square Pluto: 2012 to 2015

Uranus and Pluto are going to square each other (i.e. be exactly 90° apart) seven times starting in 2012 and ending in 2015. Between those times, and probably for a good time afterwards, serious astrologers will be interpreting the alignment. As a person born under the Uranus-Pluto conjunction and with (arguably) seven squares in my horoscope, I thought it apt to share my thoughts.

Even… Continue reading


Recently a professional friend of mine said that she was an “glass-half-empty” person rather than a “glass-half-full” person. She confessed she needed the latter around her because otherwise it would be a too much a of a catastrophic downer.

I’m sure she’s not an exception in wanting half-glass-full people around them. Optimists are more attractive than pessimists. Why? Pessimists have already decided on one… Continue reading

I am excellent

That’s what I say when people ask me how I feel.  And it’s true: work is going very well with creative possibility, the volunteer organizations I’m involved in are flourishing, and I have the luxury of time to dip my toe into blogging. And it’s summer! How bad can all that be?