MY WRITING TO JOHN MAYER 2010–THE PRESENT AND HOW IT BECAME AS LA DIVINA COMMEDIA WITH A TOUR OF HELL
by SHILOH RICHTER
31 January 2023
JOHN MAYER AND THE FEMININE LABYRINTH
John Mayer’s love life was in a landslide in 2010, thirteen years ago. It was protected by love.
Above: John Mayer, Andy Cohen, and Ricky Van Veen in New York City in the West Village, December 2010
“Where are your daring and your openness as long as there are three such blessed women concerned for you within the court of Heaven and my words promise you so great a good?” Inferno, Canto 2, Virgil to Dante
It just so happens that the Divine Comedy is set on Easter Weekend 1300, on the Thursday before Good Friday, and I just happened to be front row, center, standing right in front of John Mayer on Easter Weekend right on that Thursday and April Fool’s Day in April 2010 in Vancouver BC. (The Cosmos has a sense of humor, even when it’s about to put you through further Hell.)
“For I am Beatrice who send you on; I come from where I most long to return; Love prompted me, that Love which makes me speak.” Beatrice to Virgil, sending help for Dante
I would start writing to John from my paradisiacal mountain in New Mexico by the end of that April–in a protective way. I was upset about the media and how the public was blindly repeating what they heard as if it were their own thoughts and completely ignoring the artist and the human and how he felt and what he had given. I could see that they couldn’t see this astonishingly insightful and master musician was far beyond any brilliance and passion passing as “truth” as headlines. And so I wrote to him.
And then there were those who desperately needed to take him the rest of the way down for their own notoriety so that they could devour the body, an insatiable appetite for a brutal crucifixion and to sell that sacred for themselves.
John Mayer playing “Crossroads” on The Today Show 23 July 2010 in NYC; “I went down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees, Asked the Lord above for mercy, "Save me if you please", [ . . . ] And I'm standing at the crossroads, believe I'm sinking down.” I was also there that day in New York City when John played The Today Show in July 2010. Bottom: Katy Perry’s post today while I am writing, 31 January 2023 of her “Geli Combat Mary Janes”
John was, like Dante, kind of lost in a woods in 2009-2010 (before he would get to that landslide in October 2010 with Taylor selling him to the public in “Dear John”) and the journey was going to be a long one. Blinded, the Poet would have to learn to heal blindness. There was little I could do but write to him in 2010 before that landslide, and through him, to the artist friends surrounding him like Katy Perry, Kanye, Beyonce, Jay Z, and Alicia Keys, among many others. What I had to give was a weird insight into the numinous in ancient literature, art, music, that I approached jokingly, that I’d felt and known and seen all my life alive around me since going to the library as a child trying to heal a conundrum (and learning to read very strangely on the Hebrew bible because I was shown my name in there in Genesis, so I wanted to figure it out. I used to teach college literature starting at 25, but I left to follow creating and writing.) Who knew my entire ‘career’ (what actually was a meditative, exiled, monk-like life from the mountaintop) would be writing to John and to his friends. That’s how my books got written over these years. It’s how I came to see Beingness and the complete aliveness of the Cosmos and its eternal Poetry.
Photo: 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Show LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Musician John Mayer and Musician Alicia Keys on stage at the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the Staples Center on February 10, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
The Cosmos may have a wicked sense of humor, but it also evidently likes to show it is alive and well, and well, sublime. This was happening around John before I came to write to him. Who knew that cosmically, years before, with a tour with Sheryl Crow in 2006 and a Grammy performance with Alicia Keys in 2008 that the Cosmos was aligning and that John was being surrounded by angels and guides before the earthquake rock slide. (That’s one way you know it’s gonna be alright.)
Dante pays careful attention to the Cosmos, even while it is darkened out in Hell, and so I am going to show some of the extraordinary alignments of the love that was surrounding John in the years leading up to 2010 and seeing him through since, all the way to the Sun.
This “Primal Love” as Dante puts it at the gates of the Inferno, is before the 2010 Rockslide and the Minotaur in Canto 12, when Dante and Virgil are coming down from the 6th to the 7th Circle of Hell and have to pass the Minotaur:
Taylor Swift’s Murky Labyrinth
Taylor Swift, always taunting a false haze/maze of details about John publicly (and for the past 15 years) so that he will be hers or will be crucified, wants her fans to see into the labyrinth so that they will be trapped in fury with her, “like one whom fury devastates within,” will want to slaughter too, whatever untruths she has to tell, changing the walls of reality to suit. But what one finds inside the labyrinth is, as the ancients show us, likewise what one finds inside. It is actually self recognition.
In his “Daughters” from 2006’s Continuum John sings of the female unable to openly love:
“She’s just like a maze / where all of the walls continually change.”
Whatever in the past twisted that natural, primal love from birth is represented in mythology as the Minotaur which in its unnatural state wants to kill when it is found in the center of the labyrinth. In other words, it wants to kill when its identity is revealed through the initiate making it through the harrowing maze, or in this case, a murky “Lavender Haze.”
But the Minotaur, it turns out, has replaced in ancient Crete the symbol of what should be found at the center of the mystery rites labyrinths which awakens one to oneself and to the goddess in the center, who was there to be found before the invasion of the warring Minoans and the unnatural twist of culture to death and killing instead of the revelation of “no birth, no death”: BEingness. Inside the labyrinth had been the feminine revelation.
This “coming to know,” instead of Primal Love in Form, then instead was one’s unfortunate death. (And according to Dante, going to Hell angry.) Not a very fun end to a mystery rite. That’s why Dante can’t stop there, this “labyrinth” of the Divine Comedy is of the entirety, not just Hell.
In Coyote Weaves a Song (Volume Two) (2018) I wrote about the history and meaning of the Minotaur which in the Divine Comedy Dante then sees in Hell right at the bottom of this rock slide:
“An unbalance occurs too in Knossos Crete when the queen takes on the form of the cow–suggesting an imposter [of the cow goddess Io]–in order to mate with the sun’s bull. The offspring is the Minotaur [then hidden] inside the labyrinth which is in place of the [true] feminine recognition.”
Photo: The covers of my books Coyote Weaves a Song: A Mythological Song from the BEginning of Time (2018) that Taylor Swift copied along with the titles in 2020 for Folklore and Evermore.
(Io happens to be in my name, Shiloh.)
The Minotaur is the twisted nature imposter, the fury that awaits and wants to kill, instead of the goddess inside the feminine form. That revelation of what is in the maze transforms one by coming to know what is actually at the center, one’s core, one’s BEing. One hopes to find a goddess, of course. But in the Inferno when Dante is passing through, the monster Minotaur has already been slain (she’s in Hell) and is now here in the Inferno and incredibly angry right here at the feminine rockslide. Instead of Dante engaging one-on-one with the anger, Virgil shows that the Poet is to see what Hell is made of, see the “torment,” and pass on to see deeper–to see the further crimes, the further causes, and punishments of Hell so that something else is possible on Earth.
Katy Perry in the Garden and the Earth Moves
When I published the article “Katy Perry's Keys Beyond the Hate Gate: The Feminine Poetic Landslide and the Whole View of Taylor Swift's Hell” on Instagram last Friday, 27 January 2023, lovely Katy wore green in support. When I posted it I set the location at the Sierra Blanca Peak which is in view right behind my home in New Mexico. (I’m at 7500 ft. and the peak behind me goes up to 12,000.) The very next day, on Saturday, directly down from the peak, across the Lincoln National Forest (something like Katy’s “Roar” jungle) to Cloudcroft right where there is an old tunnel road through the mountain, so similar to what I was writing about in Dante’s trip down into in the Inferno and Katy opening a passageway down to the feminine landslide to the slain twisted nature Minotaur and from where just beyond all the teardrops from Crete fall forming a stream of human pain and sorrow through hell, and turning into a rancid waterfall down to fraud, and not 24 hours from my posting, right down from my mountain top there was a massive rock slide that, covering an entire highway, as in the Inferno, where they were standing as Virgil explained the structure of Hell to Dante, and this being where he “thought he felt love” before it happened.
And then, just as I’m writing this there was an earthquake near John’s home in Montana and where he and Bob Weir just played acoustic sets last summer for a flood. Oh, all I’m trying to do is break open the hidden view of Hell John has lived through in these past fifteen years, and the Cosmos (and John’s guardian angels) are helping.
Photos: PineCreekLodge and johntroyphotography
Last night, Monday, 30 January 2023, John appeared on Bill Walton’s NBA telecast stream Throw It Down. (Btw they are reading my articles, but I’m free to write whatever I want.) Bill Walton, the renowned basketball coach and tallest Deadhead in the crowd, appeared in Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish” video where she was taking on the ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ with inspiration from Nicki Minaj.
Reese Witherspoon in the Divine City and Kelly Rizzo as Olivia, Taylor’s “repeated” ‘inspiration’ for Red so that she would be trailing John’s “Something Like Olivia” in 2012 from his Born & Raised.
[Directly following my writing about these.]
So Taylor Swift Thinks She Can Show You the Cosmos
(It isn’t seen in Hell, and neither is BEingness; They are busy trapped, repeating forever what they heard and their past transgressions.)
Virgil, Dante, & the Current Cosmic
I wrote before how the members of the Grateful Dead are Pluto (transformation from the depths) Returns (which happens about every 248 years) of exactly Virgil’s life, Dante’s guide through the Inferno. Virgil’s passing was in 19 BC, directly before the birth of Jesus, and the Pluto Return is exact, especially Bob Weir whose birth is the planet return within two weeks, to the minute of the alignment of Virgil’s passing. Virgil was born in 70 BC; I was born in 1970, on the other side of the 2000 years.
And the alignments get even more surreal when you realize there’s more beyond that we have the ancient Poet Virgil, probably even Homer in the Rhythm Devils, walking amongst us. Renowned world mythologist Joseph Campbell himself felt like he had solved a lifetime of mythology in seeing the Grateful Dead.
Astronomy research shows that what was bright enough to be regarded as the Star of Bethlehem right after Virgil’s passing was a Saturn Jupiter conjunction in Pisces on the nights of 3 & 4 December that occurred in 7 BC, just eight years after his passing. Just in April 2022 we had another propitious alignment right there: a Jupiter Neptune conjunction in Pisces.
This Jupiter Neptune conjunction on 12 April 2022 was at 23°58 Pisces, within 1° of this 7 BC Star of Bethlehem that conjuncted on Kanye’s birthday in 7 BC, and on John’s birthday in 7 BC with the planets just a degree apart.
Of those same nights in December and back to NYC, John first debuted his song “A Face to Call Home" on the night of 3 December 2010 at the Village Underground in NYC (a place where I had visited that summer of 2010), and I heard it for the first time the next day on the 4th, matching the days of that Star of Bethlehem alignment in 7 BC, of course without being aware of that at the time. But it was propitious. That day, the 4th, the day I heard it, I happened to be photographing a fountain of sculpted birds in flight on the river in San Antonio, Texas, at the Ursuline Academy (est. 1851), that would later lead me to taking a closer look at the phenomenal writer Willa Cather’s work which contains an incarnation of la Madeleine in a garden and surrounded by birds. After noticing that, in these years, the further I looked into Cather’s writing the more astonishing things came to life. On the very day before John played this heartbreaking and small unpublicized gig in NYC, on 2 December 2010 author and researcher Roy Doliner held a press conference in Rome that he had found Michelangelo’s original model for his St. Peter’s Pieta. The path of sorrow was set, but also the path to understanding and seeing for ourselves.
Taylor Swift had just at the end of October crushed John by publicly falsely accusing him with no personal communication in an extremely public betrayal to which he had just shown kindness and been very careful to not hurt her. It was an exploitation and power play for her to force her name with his. The public was in for the crucifixion.
Photo: Getty Images, John Mayer and Justin Bieber attend Z100's Jingle Ball 2009 presented by H&M at Madison Square Garden on December 11, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Clear Channel Radio New York
But not those who knew John. John was a mentor for that generation and those with a view of what was happening included Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and Justin Bieber, all basically just kids at the time, but they were aware that what he had done with them, his kindness and openness to other musicians, had cost him. And so they never left his side. The inside of music became about this falsity. Taylor played the pristine white victim to the public and the cultural institutions such as the Recording Academy had found their stance. She could sell them anything. She knew they wouldn’t do their research, they never had, and anyone had been fair game.
Taylor Swift’s still capitalizing on John in 2023 with “Lavender Haze” with Speak Now replicating John playing “Little Red Corvette” from Prince’s Purple Rain. Alicia Key’s “Purple Reign” celebration, 2023.
Back to John’s angels coming to surround him in the years leading up to 2010. Astrologer Patrick Curry speaks of the date of 22 August 7 BC as being auspicious with all the personal planets being in their own houses that day and of “someone born under this conjunction of the planets would be destined to change the world,” and right at this Jupiter Saturn conjunction that aligns with the sighting of the Star of Bethlehem, an alignment also recorded in ancient Mesopotamian clay-carved records from the time.
Photo: John Mayer and Sheryl Crow during John Mayer and Sheryl Crow in Concert at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre - September 9, 2006 at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Chicago, Il, United States. (Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage) Getty Images.
Sheryl Crow co-headlined a tour with John in 2006 at the release of his wonderment Continuum and her album Wildflower with her newly released single, the auspicious “Always on Your Side.” Sheryl was born on 11 February 1962 at an exact Pluto Return of that exact day Curry identified in 7 BC, with her Natal Pluto matching to the minute at 9°16 Virgo. Their joint tour was announced on 15 June 2006. John released his single, “Waiting on the World to Change” within a month, on 11 July 2006. “Belief” and “Gravity” were released in September during the tour. John’s music had been clearly about a desire to change the world. It was that same year in February 2006 when Ye (Kanye) appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone as Jesus with the crown of thorns. 2006 is also when Taylor Swift was starting out and replicated Faith Hill–aptly named–in image, artwork, and relationship.
In 2006 Kanye had just been publicly crucified for speaking out for Black lives following hurricane Katrina, and that fate was coming again in September 2009 (the second of three public betrayals, one might say), the same moment John was trying to keep from being publicly exploited by the very same entity, Taylor, that Kanye would interrupt to speak out for Black people again, this time pointing out Beyonce’s unmistakable earth-shaking expression.
But why he stepped in front of Taylor was more than just interrupting an innocent young white girl.There had been a problem since at least 2008 with Taylor on John’s tracks and copying his and others’ words.
Katy Perry was even visibly close to John the very night before the 2009 VMAs on 12 September with E! News reporting on the communication and deepening friendship between the two, them even taking it public:
“Perry and Mayer met the previous evening at Gold Bar in New York, after weeks of exchanging flirty tweets and texts. ‘They'd never met in person, and she went to meet him there after she was at a Jay-Z concert at Madison Square Garden,’ a source close to Mayer tells E! News. Mayer had joined Jay-Z at MSG for a performance and afterward asked fellow showgoer Perry to meet up later that night.”
Photo: Getty Images, Jay-Z and John Mayer perform at Madison Square Garden on September 11, 2009 in New York City. Exclusive (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Katy and John were making the friendship public when the two had been in communication through the early spring. One might see the milieu that was building behind the scenes. Katy was already close to John and the next year would record with Kanye for her Teenage Dream. But Taylor in October 2010 would sell herself as the victim, and with no one in the public or media knowing her behind the scenes, it was an easy, yet hateful, sell. And her hate and anger sold.
Sheryl’s birthday with its astounding alignment in 1962 also has six planets in the sign of Aquarius: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn–the very planets in the extraordinary alignment Patrick Curry spoke of from 7 BC, meeting at Sheryl’s birth in Aquarius, the ‘house of the people,’ and remarkably, except for the Moon which only nights before her birth had moved from Aquarius to an auspicious 22°35 in Taurus (where the Moon was as I began writing this), the house of Venus in the body (Fixed Earth), and conjuncting with Michelangelo’s placing the Pieta on display in St. Peter’s at the exact timing of a Saturn Pluto Opposition in 1500. Right before Sheryl’s birth, the ground had already been broken in 1961 for the arrival of Jesus in the arms of Mary of that Pieta to New York City for the 1964 World’s Fair, the first and only time the Pieta had ever traveled. They came by ship up the Hudson, Katy’s last name, to Hudson and 44th.
Alicia Keys Celebrates Upcoming New Album "HERE" With Special Show in Times Square NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Alicia Keys and John Mayer perform in Times Square on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Alicia Keys)
It was 2008 that our current alignment began of Pluto in Capricorn, which is now reaching its critical degree of 29° (it will be there by Jennifer Aniston’s birthday on 11 February). John and I have an exact conjunction of critical degree, his Venus (love, music) and my Saturn (long-term) at 29° Virgo. The minutes of these make up what I wrote about in the last article, Genesis 49:10. His Venus is 29°10 and my Saturn 29°49. Pluto is entering exactly trine this, as well as exactly square my critical degree Rising Sign and Ascendant 29° Aries, 29° Libra. (Those are intense alignments.)
That is an alignment that astrologers such as Pam Gregory describe as a ‘death (Pluto) of the former “top-down” structures (Capricorn)’. At the very beginning of that monumental shift towards the actuality of the realization of “Waiting on the World to Change,” John appeared with Alicia Keys on 10 February 2008 at the Grammys to perform Alicia’s “No One” with the lyrics,
“People keep talking, They can say what they like, But all I know is, Everything's gonna be alright, No one, no one, no one, Can get in the way of what I'm feelin', No one, no one, no one, Can get in the way of what I feel for you.”
And that has proved, beyond measure, to be true of Alicia standing by John. They performed together in Times Square in NYC in 2016 for the release of Alicia’s Here.
On that day that they performed at the 2008 Grammys, I walked alone through the Plaza in Santa Fe, my first trip there (before what would happen with the fountain in December 2010), and found myself in San Miguel Chapel, the oldest church in the U.S., taking photographs, and just a block from Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, the site where Willa Cather’s Madeleine in incarnation Garden is. After sitting in the pew for a while in contemplation, I walked over to a camera shop just up from the Cathedral and across the street from the La Fonda hotel. I wouldn’t discover it until 2022, but I had stepped into a photograph right there of Willa Cather from 1925. It’s a very meaningful, propitious photograph with her in front of the Cathedral right before her novel Death Comes for the Archbishop, set there in Santa Fe, was published.
John would meet Jennifer Aniston two weeks later–which makes for an exact Pluto through the entirety of Capricorn, fifteen years, of their standing by each other while the structure of everything was shifted. Even the ground beneath our feet.
Photo: LNHS/Randall Michaelson; John Mayer joins Maren Morris to play guitar on "To Hell & Back" during her Humble Quest tour stop at the Hollywood Bowl in L.A. on Oct. 13.