Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Global warming is making hot days hotter, rainfall and flooding heavier, hurricanes stronger and droughts more severe. This intensification of weather and climate extremes will be the most visible impact of global warming in our everyday lives. It is also causing dangerous changes to the landscape of our world, adding stress to wildlife species and their habitat.
(See here).

While some regions of the USA have been experiencing more extreme weather, it's nothing like the extremes experienced in other parts of the world. In India, for instance, soaring temperatures are killing many hundreds of inhabitants - and people there are not unused to extreme heat.
(See here).

Oklahoma has never been short of some level of weather extremes, but the pendulum has been swinging ever more widely during the past few years, noticeable even during the relatively short time I've lived here (since late 2004). Our local newspaper's headline today was apt: "From the Driest to the Wettest". Texas, our neighbour to the south, is experiencing much the same, and worse in some areas. (See here).

This year's long, colder than usual winter followed a few very dry summer seasons. The state experienced ongoing severe drought conditions. These are suddenly ending with weeks of regular violent storms and torrential rains. I'll not even mention the attendant tornadic activity because that comes with the territory, always has.

In 2015 the annual rainy tornado season is lasting longer, with regular daily storms, heavy rainfall bringing flash floods. Rivers and lakes are filling rapidly, some overflowing. In many ways we are thankful - this is beneficial, much needed.

Yet, one does wonder.

What if this is part of a new pattern? Could the region cope with a regular mini-monsoon season? I doubt it. Drainage systems here have always seemed primitive to me, coming as I did from oft rain-soaked England where they have the drainage issue down to a fine art. Even there, though, flooding occasionally does cause problems.

Will local Okie and Texas politicians ever deign to accept that climate change is actually happening? If they do, eventually accept as much, will they have the gumption to do something about trying to slow down the rate of change?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Airy Ideas: Gemini etc.

By David Palladini
We're into Airy Gemini times once again. There are a few posts on Gemini stashed in the archive, accessible by clicking on "Gemini" in the label cloud in the sidebar. Apart from what's written in those posts, what more to say?

Louis MacNeice, in his book titled simply, Astrology, writes:
"All astrologers agree that the Gemini type enjoys argument; after all this comes naturally to a double man, born under a double sign.
[André] Barbault stresses this "bipolarity" and points out that Gemini rules the lungs with their double process of breathing in and breathing out. He adds that if Aries symbolizes the original fire at the source of life, and Taurus the condensation of this life in a material form (as it were, an egg) it is when the process arrives at the stage of Gemini that this egg is polarized and we meet the differentiation into the masculine and feminine principles."

Carrying the idea of a process of development through the signs, one could assess development of the zodiac's three mentally-oriented Air signs, Gemini, Libra and Aquarius in that way. Gemini could be seen as youthful Air - an impulsive, exuberant and flexible mentality. Libra, having learned a few lessons during the onward journey, matures to emerge in a more careful, deeply thoughtful state of mind. Aquarius has matured still further, to become more determined and stringently analytical and logical - in some ways mirroring its traditional ruler, Saturn.

So... the light gusty, playful winds of springtime Air, become the sweet, warm languid breezes of late summer, then finally, the more demanding chill winds of winter.

Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson, in Here and There in Astrology, wrote this:
In Air Signs, the Sun develops the individuality through logic, reason and keen insight into basic or underlying principles. It is therefore the most impersonal approach to the most personal development. In Libra, judiciously and calmly, sure of the laws and regulations he leans upon; in Gemini, with an open and inquiring mind, probing for what is factual; and in Aquarius, by depending on universal principles that he knows can ultimately be proven scientifically: an individuality at once remarkably human and godlike.

Back to Gemini!
Liz Greene, in her Mythic Astrology:
"Gemini is a fascinating sign, it presents a profound insight into life's diversity. In Gemini's world no truth is the whole truth, and nothing exists without its opposite...........For those with a strongly Geminian nature, there is often a sense of being several different people. Walt Whitman, the 19th century American poet, was born with Sun in Gemini, and wrote that he contained "multitudes".

Monday, May 25, 2015

Music Monday's Relationship Issues ("don't you love farce?")

Y'all know about iffy relationship issues, one way or another I'm sure. Many common ones have been put to words and music. For instance:

I still miss Jake Thackray and his fun songs, after all these years (he died much too soon in 2002). Here he is with a bit of La-di-dah on the in-law issue:

Sample lyrics:
....I'll be nice to your mother,
I'll come all over lah-di-dah,
Although she always gets up me nose.
(I love you very much.)
And so I'll smile and I'll acquiesce
When she invites me to caress
Her scabby cat;
I'll sit still while she knits
And witters, cross my heart,
And I shan't lay a finger on the crabby old batface.

I'll be polite to your daddy,
Frightfully lah-di-dah,
Although he always bores me to my boots.
(I love you very much.)
And so I won't boo and hiss
When he starts to reminisce

Then there's the general feeling of disappointment issue:

Sample lyrics:
Flowers and wine
is what I thought I would find,
when I came home from working tonight.
Well, now here I stand
over this fryin' pan,
and you want a cold one again.

I bought these new heels,
did my nails, had my hair done just right.
I thought this new dress was a sure bet
for romance tonight.
Well it's perfectly clear,
between the TV and beer,
I won't get so much as a kiss.
As I head for the door,
I turn around to be sure,
did I shave my legs for this?

And much the same issue from the male viewpoint:

He's been working all week he's got mental fatigue and that old couch sure looks fine
All week he's been gone she's been sitting alone slowly going out of her mind
As he kicks off his shoes for the six o’clock news she's getting all prettied up
Oh she's wanting to boogie he's wanting to lay there she's got the Friday night blues

And the Friday night blues they get in your shoes and they work to get you down
Oh and there ain't a lady that I ever knew who didn't need her a night on the town
But the hills and the bills and a week's worth of deals has got him feeling more than used
Oh, he's kicking his shoes off she's putting hers on she's got the Friday night blues

Then, as mentioned in the post's title, there's the timing issue:

Just when I'd stopped opening doors
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours
Making my entrance again with my usual flair
Sure of my lines, no one is there.
Don't you love farce? My fault, I fear
I thought that you'd want what I want, sorry, my dear.
But where are the clowns, send in the clowns
Don't bother, they're here.

Isn't it rich? Isn't it queer?
Losing my timing this late in my career
But where are the clowns? There ought to be clowns
Well, maybe next year.

  She wears it well  - 1995 above, 2010 below.

Any more iffy relationship songs to add?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

BLUES in the charts?

Dr. Cornel West, in his book Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir, wrote:

“I'm a bluesman moving through a blues-soaked America, a blues-soaked world, a planet where catastrophe and celebration- joy and pain sit side by side. The blues started off in some field, some plantation, in some mind, in some imagination, in some heart. The blues blew over to the next plantation, and then the next state. The blues went south to north, got electrified and even sanctified. The blues got mixed up with jazz and gospel and rock and roll.”

Iconic blues singer B.B. King died recently. His passing prompted me to seek out a post about some blues singers, including B.B. King, that I wrote in 2008. I've taken parts of that old post, edited, updated them and re-posted below.

Blues music is such a well defined genre, I had wondered if some of its best known stars might have something in common astrologically. As Ed Kopp wrote in "A Brief History of the Blues" :
"When you think of the blues, you think about misfortune, betrayal and regret. You lose your job, you get the blues. Your mate falls out of love with you, you get the blues. Your dog dies, you get the blues.

While blues lyrics often deal with personal adversity, the music itself goes far beyond self-pity. The blues is also about overcoming hard luck, saying what you feel, ridding yourself of frustration, letting your hair down, and simply having fun. The best blues is visceral, cathartic, and starkly emotional. From unbridled joy to deep sadness, no form of music communicates more genuine emotion.

The blues has deep roots in American history, particularly African-American history. The blues originated on Southern plantations in the 19th Century. Its inventors were slaves, ex-slaves and the descendants of slaves - African-American sharecroppers who sang as they toiled in the cotton and vegetable fields. It's generally accepted that the music evolved from African spirituals, African chants, work songs, field hollers, rural fife and drum music, revivalist hymns, and country dance music."
What astrological factors spring to mind? Saturn aspects, mainly with Mercury (communication - which includes singing). Saturn says angst, difficult times, limits, barriers. Next, some emotional depth: Moon and its aspects, Water signs, perhaps a lot of negative (Yin) polarity.
(Wikipedia: "Yin - shady place, cloudy, overcast; the dark element: it is passive, dark, feminine, negative, downward-seeking, consuming and corresponds to the night.")

I picked the first three names my husband suggested as being quintessential blues singers: B.B. King, Robert Johnson, and Muddy Waters. No times of birth are available for any of them, which limits search for Moon aspects and house positions, so I looked at their natal charts mainly for Saturn aspects, Water, and polarity.

B.B. King, born 16 September 1925, Berclair, Mississippi. has a rectified time of birth for him but I'll stick with a noon chart for this purpose.

Saturn sextiles Mercury and possibly Moon, (which could be anywhere from 1 to 12 Virgo). Jupiter trines Mercury. There's a loose Grand Trine in Water linking Pluto, Uranus and Saturn. Negative (Yin) polarity dominates 9 to 1!

Robert Johnson, born 8 May, 1911, Hazlehurst, Mississippi.

Saturn conjunct Mercury and 7 degrees from Sun, Saturn opposes Jupiter and sextiles Mars.Moon would be in Virgo and possibly in trine to Sun/Mercury/Saturn if born before 10pm.Grand Trine in Water, Jupiter/Mars/Neptune. Negative (Yin) polarity dominates 8 to 2.

Muddy Waters (birth name McKinley Morganfield) born 4 April in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, in either 1913 or 1915...or? (Note: Wikipedia and other websites have his birth year as 1913, some biographies state 1915, as does his gravestone.) From Wikipedia's page:
Although in his later years Muddy usually said that he was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, in 1915, he was most likely born at Jug's Corner in neighboring Issaquena County in 1913. Recent research has uncovered documentation showing that in the 1930s and 1940s, before his rise to fame, he reported his birth year as 1913 on his marriage license, recording notes and musicians' union card. A 1955 interview in the Chicago Defender is the earliest claim of 1915 as his year of birth, which he continued to use in interviews from that point onward. The 1920 census lists him as five years old as of March 6, 1920, suggesting that his birth year may have been 1914. The Social Security Death Index, relying on the Social Security card application submitted after his move to Chicago in the mid-1940s, lists him as being born April 4, 1913. Muddy's gravestone gives his birth year as 1915.

Doubt surrounding his year of birth is as muddy as his chosen name! An alternative place of birth, within a short distance, won't make much difference, but the year of birth will. I'll post charts for 1913, 1914 and 1915, maybe a clue will emerge.

4 April 1915
Saturn squares Mercury/Mars. Moon in Sagittarius (degree uncertain) might well be opposed by Saturn in Gemini. Stellium in Watery Pisces. Water predominates, negative (Yin) beats positive polarity 6 to 4.

Alternative chart #1
4 April 1913
Polarity is equally balanced negative with positive here (Yin/Yang), and elements are well balanced also.

Alternative chart #2
4 April 1914
Polarity favours positive (Yang) here, 6 to 4, and elementally Air and Water are balanced.

The chart for 1915 does best fit the pattern of the other two legendary blues singers, and one would expect his gravestone to be correct, but.... We'll never know why 1913 inexplicably changed to 1915 - or even whether either year was the correct year of birth.

Conclusion (if Muddy Waters' year of birth is taken as 1915): Saturn aspects Mercury in all three charts. Negative polarity dominates in all cases. The element of Water is a big factor in all three charts, via Grand Trine or stellium.

The blues these men sang, are traditional in style, blues singers from later years have expanded the range and flavour of the genre a little, but I think the three artists above illustrate the blues genre's very core.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Arty Farty Friday ~ Philip Pearlstein

Philip Pearlstein is an American painter, born
on 24 May 1924 in Pittsburgh, PA. He's known best for reinventing figure painting, a definite diversion at a time when Abstract Expressionism was the
"in thing".

Instead of writing more, or snipping sections from online pieces, I can do no better than post the following 10 minute YouTube video about Philip Pearlstein and his work. It tells us most of what we really need to know, in a nutshell, and offers a look at some of his paintings. Lots more of his work can be seen via Google Image.

His natal chart, set for 12 noon as no birth time is available.
Born on 24 May 1924 in Pittsburgh, PA

This is a chart where time of birth would be especially helpful. Rising sign and exact position of Moon can't be pinpointed.

Sun in Airy Gemini seems to be without aspect according to what there is to work with, but it does blend, broadly, with Moon which is likely to be somewhere in Aquarius - another Air sign. A Gemini/Aquarius blend signifies a mentally oriented personality, likely to be versatile and fluently communicative.

Venus, planet of the arts is conjunct Pluto in Cancer and sextile Mercury in Taurus, also forming part of a Yod with its apex at Jupiter in Sagittarius (see left). Jupiter also sextiles Mars in Aquarius and forms another Yod with apex at the Venus/Pluto conjunction (left below). So, Jupiter, in its sign of rulership, Sagittarius, is fairly significantly highlighted, but I can't link it especially to the artist's major choice of subject matter: the naked body. Perhaps that choice relates to the Venus conjunction with Pluto? Though I don't see his paintings (at least as far as they appear on a computer screen) as erotic - that would be a Pluto "influence". They seem, to me, to be too matter of fact to be intentionally erotic.

Natal Moon, if in late-ish Aquarius, could make a semi-sextile aspect to Aquarius' modern ruler, Uranus in Pisces, indicating a rather unusual set of sensitivities.

Finally, just one of his many paintings - I especially like those which include some choice objects along with the body, as in this case.

Hat-tip HERE

Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Astrologer's Words of Wisdom ~ On the topic of aspects

A few years ago I would do the occasional post under the heading Astrologer's (or Astrologers') Words of Wisdom: pertinent quotes from astrologers' books, articles or print-outs of their lectures. I haven't posted one of these for a while, but on reading once again the introduction to an old book I have on my astrology shelf, I decided to revive that Words of Wisdom idea, once more. The points made are a fairly obvious, once given a bit of thought, but do bear repeating.

From The Astrological Aspects by C.E.O. Carter (published 1930 - 1969)

From the book's Introduction:
 Hat-tip for image to  Astro-wiki
The difficulties of writing anything reliable and capable of helping the practical student are great. For, while we can understand the abstract significance of the planets and so form a conception of the theoretical meaning of each aspect, it still remains true that when we descend from these abstractions to the effects of the aspects in actual life we find ourselves confronted with a very intricate task. That which is unitary above becomes many below; the trend of manifestation is always towards increased diversity. Thus, even in terms of character, the same aspect exhibits great differences in manifestation according to the almost innumerable possible concurrent circumstances that may arise. When we seek to determine the probable external form of the aspects in the affairs of life, we meet yet greater variation. What is more absurd than to suppose that the same aspect (whether radical or progressed) will manifest in the same way in the case of a convict serving a life-sentence, a millionaire financier, a Bohemian artist, or a soldier on active service?
A little further on in the Introduction he writes (or scolds a wee bit):

I must frankly say that I doubt if anything has done sane Astrology more harm than our constant prating about "good" and "bad" aspects, like children talking of "lovely sweets" and "nasty medicine". Such a point of view is debilitating and unworthy, and it implies that astrologers are people whose chief concern in life is to find ease and comfort and avoid hardships. I do not mean that astrologers are of this frame of mind, but our language leads others to this conclusion. We must indeed employ the terms of ordinary language, but there is no need to speak as if comfort were the one good thing, and discomfort the one evil.