Saturday, June 24, 2017

Weekend Cyclic Wandering

I've not fallen down an internet rabbit-hole for a while, but did so this week, though this rabbit-hole was not as deep as many, and did eventually lead me back via a T-junction to my very own archives!
My stumble really began outside the internet, in reading an article in a February 1974 edition of The Saturday Evening Post I'd bought in an antique/vintage store on our last trip. I'd been attracted by the magazine's cover illustration of an astrological chart, with Henry Kissinger's photograph at its centre. Title of the article heralded by the cover:
Astrology - Who Believes in It?

The article which, oddly, is not credited to any specific author, is a long one - almost receiving the tl:dr from me(too long did not read). It's printed in fairly small, close font. I did skim it initially, going back to special tid-bits at different times. The piece is certainly not as dismissive as a comparable piece in any current national magazine would be, but then the 1970s were still under a fairly "New Age" atmosphere, astrology back then was enjoying a short respite from ridicule.

My tipping point for rabbit-hole entry was the snippet:
What has astrology to say further about mankind's future? The long-term 794-year recurrence of the two giant planets Jupiter and Saturn in the same part of the Tropical Zodiac correlates closely to a cycle found in history by the great British historian Arnold J. Toynbee. During about half of the cycle the component states of a parochial civilisation engage in civil strife and a "time of troubles". Then during the balance of the cycle they combine as a Universal State or Empire. Northern and Western Europe and North America comprise such a civilisation.......
A 794 year cycle, thought I - Saturn/Jupiter, astrological opposites: Saturn the restrictive limiter, Jupiter the excessive expander. When they come together in conjunction I'm not surprised they make a mark of some kind.

I then began my descent, finding the words of several astrologers on internet pages crossing my eyes, jangling my brain.

If Saturn/Jupiter cycles were the only cycles to watch it'd be easy-peasy, but there are numerous other cycles, certain of my archived posts have explored these. I'm thinking, though, that Saturn and Jupiter, though categorised as inner planets, and still far away are much, much nearer to Earth than outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto whose various cycles are discussed over and over again by mundane astrologers. Whether this fact makes Saturn/Jupiter cycles more significant to us here on Earth isn't clear.

From astrologer Mark Lerner:
[It's necessary to read the whole piece, but just a taster -]

It turns out that Jupiter and Saturn – major planets connected to the social realm, religion, philosophy, education, profession, government and economics – keep energizing the same elemental quality (fire, earth, air or water) in a series of 20-year conjunctions for almost 200 years. Then the Jupiter-Saturn unions shift to the next elemental quality for another series of conjunctions for around two centuries. After a long cycle of 794-800 years, the entire Jupiter-Saturn pattern begins over although never exactly energizing the same degrees of the zodiac as during the previous 800-year cycle.

What is particularly interesting to us, here in mid 2017, is the fact that the 794 year long Saturn/Jupiter cycle will hit a change point in December 2020, when the conjunction will occur in an Air sign, Aquarius, for the first time in around 180 years. Conjunctions have been occurring in Earth signs for the past 180 years. This could reflect the materialistic atmosphere the developed world has experienced during this almost two century time span. Does it indicate that, very gradually (VERY gradually) materialism might recede making way for more a more humanitarian, thoughtful and caring feel? Change of atmosphere will probably be kick-started by an Aquarian revolutionary period, gradually, oh so gradually, morphing into calmer airways during the Gemini and Libra phases.

Whether humans will still be around on planet Earth to encounter these changes is another matter. If climate change proceeds apace, perhaps only the very wealthy who have de-camped to the few safe places Earth will still afford, will be left. How long they could survive without an army of servants and protectors from who knows what, is questionable. So, in the end all speculation is somewhat, as they say, academic.

From my own archives, for any passing reader still interested in this topic, I'd recommend a look at these posts, not missing the comment threads attached too - some interesting stuff there!
Amalgamating the Jupiter/Saturn pattern with other, outer-planetary cycles is a bit like trying to follow a complex knitting pattern. The full beauty, or otherwise, of the item or garment will not be fully discernible immediately; in the case of planetary cycles, really not fully for centuries, or until, continuing the analogy, we've completed a good few "repeat the above pattern [...] times more". That's a bummer for the average human's less than one century life span!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Arty Farty Friday ~ Michael Whelan

Fantasy artist Michael Whelan was born on 29 June 1950 - this video is a good place to begin discovering his style.

The artist's own website has lots of interesting content.

For a few large-sized images of some of his work, take a look at THIS WEBSITE.

Lots more examples accessible via Google Image

Michael Whelan's art immediately brought to mind the styles of two other arty Michaels I've covered in the past (and more than once): Michael Parkes and Michael Cheval.

Michael Whelan's natal chart is available at Astrotheme
. It's easy to spot his "draw" to fantasy and sci-fi, his Sun and Uranus are conjunct at 7 and 5 degrees of Cancer. Uranus links to all things futuristic, unreal or "other". Neptune is thought to link to fantasy, yet, when one thinks on it, Uranus in its eccentricity has to have similar connection. His natal Sun at 7 Cancer, in any case, is in tight trine to Jupiter in Pisces (the Neptune-ruled sign).

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Nonagenarian Clancy Sigal

Counterpunch, on Tuesday, posted among its selection of articles: The Big Con by Clancy Sigal. I enjoyed the read, and admired the writer's style. I can't put my finger on exactly why, it's just that some writers chime and some don't - this one did!

First paragraph

A bunch of men in suits and ties in front of TV cameras investigating another bunch of guys in suits and ties could be one of the great shell games of the Trump era. Meanwhile, as the “Russia probes” go on, memos and tweets flying like paper shrapnel, many Americans not in suits and ties sicken and die as a direct result of the suits’ indifference or plunder or both.
Counterpunch offered, regarding the author of the piece:
Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset.

I searched around the net for more information on Mr Sigal and found that he has led a very eventful life - and a long one. He was born in 1926, making him to be 91 this year. His natal chart, for anyone interested, is available at Astrodatabank. He has Sun and Moon in Virgo (Mercury-ruled), so writing - good writing - comes as second nature to him.

Three of his books:

From a synopsis of Blacklisted, a feature documentary chronicling the incredible adventures of writer, blacklisted Hollywood player & dissident, Clancy Sigal, created by Cai Howells :
Blacklisted is an examination of an extraordinary man in extraordinary times. Clancy Sigal was raised in the gangland of 1930s Chicago, he served in the occupation of Nazi Germany and witnessed the Nuremberg trials. After returning home he became a Hollywood player, agent to the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyk and Errol Flynn. In 1957, under pressure from the studios and the McCarthyist witch-hunts he was exiled to London. There, Sigal became the lover of Nobel prize-winning author, Doris Lessing. He collaborated with the radical psychiatrist, R D Laing on a halfway house for schizophrenic patients and later, American deserters. He won world-wide respect as a novelist and cultural commentator before returning to Hollywood as a successful screenwriter.

Clancy Sigal's life story plays out like the fanciful yarn of a bombastic Hollywood hack. Like a fiercely political and intellectual Zelig, an everyman compelled to live at the very edge of his times. He seems to have been present at many of the US and UK's most pivotal moments of the last seventy years. .........................
During my search I came across an interview with Mr Sigal, where he was asked for a book recommendation he regularly makes to his fans, he offered that George Orwell's Politics and the English Language will always be a must-read, and is so especially nowadays. Upshot of this: I ordered a used copy, await its arrival, after which perhaps a marked improvement might be noted in my own writing style!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses...

It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses, When pleasant sights salute the eyes and pleasant scents the noses. (Nathaniel Parker Willis).
June....Juno: yes, in a handful of past posts I've confidently written that the month of June was named in honour of goddess Juno; such archived posts can be accessed via "Juno" in the Label Cloud in the sidebar. I've lately stumbled across evidence that I (and countless other writers, bloggers and internet websites) could be mistaken in this supposition. An excerpt from a book The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic by William Warde Fowler throws doubt on the June/Juno theory. The author includes a passage, in Latin, from Macrobius which he claims shows that Roman scholars were "at sea" as to the answer on whether the months of May and June were named after deities in the same way that March was certainly named in honour of Mars, god of war. There's more detail on the May/Maia question, which I'll not include here. As for June/Juno:

One source giving a hint that June/Juno might be questionable is Encyclopedia Mythica, where it is stated:
The fourth month
[In ancient Rome the year began in March] was named in honor of Juno. However, the name might also come from iuniores (young men; juniors) as opposed to maiores (grown men; majors) for May, the two months being dedicated to young and old men.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tinfoil Hat Time! Fire in the Sky; Jacques Vallée & Music Monday

We recently watched a 1993 movie, Fire in the Sky, didn't realise until around halfway through it that we had seen the film before. It'd be surprising if we hadn't already sampled it because sci-fi, UFO, speculative fiction in a movie always attracts our attention. This film, based on a true story, tells of what appeared to have been an alien abduction. One of a group of forestry loggers went missing for 5 days, in 1975, after leaving his co-workers and daring to investigate a strange, fiery looking object hovering over the Arizona forest in which they'd been working. There's a book by the abductee, Travis Walton, upon which the film is based. The story was met with general disbelief by the police and authorities, but each member of the logging group took lie-detector tests, and more than once, as did the abductee when he returned - all passed the tests.

In the movie, scenes aboard the space vehicle showing medical experiments on the abductee are made intentionally scary. The abductee himself has said, in more recent years, that he now suspects that he was not taken into the craft for experimentation, but to be healed after stepping into the space vehicle's power source and being accidentally lifted, then thrown violently to the ground unconscious. He now feels that he was being helped back to health - a different perspective entirely from the movie's story. Mr Walton has taken more complex lie detector tests over the years, using "state of the art" equipment, and has always passed the tests. There's a video, from a few years ago, showing Mr Walton, himself, explaining his thoughts, HERE.

Watching Fire in the Sky I recalled an old post of mine:

Back in 2010 I posted a series of pieces under a general heading of "Woo-woo". This is one of them: (Woo-woo (or just plain woo) refers to ideas considered irrational or based on extremely flimsy evidence or that appeal to mysterious occult forces or powers - Skeptic's Dictionary). If not already wearing one, don tinfoil!

Jacques Vallée, in a nutshell from UFO Watchdog's UFO Hall of Fame:
Astro Physicist, Author, Investigator, Silicon Valley computer scientist, author of numerous UFO books including Anatomy of a Phenomenon, Passport to Magonia, Challenge to Science, Messenger of Deception, and Dimensions among other historical UFO books. Testified at UN hearings stating that serious study was needed regarding UFOs, was reportedly the model for the government scientist in the move Close Encounter of the Third Kind, worked closely with Dr. Hynek.
Vallée initially supported the extraterrestrial hypothesis on the origin of UFOs, but was one of the first to change his mind. In Passport to Magonia he suggests the UFO Phenomenon has much in common with fairies, angels, ghosts, and other paranormal issues and that the sheer number of UFO sightings argues against their extra-planetary origins. In fact, he seems to believe in an Inter or Multi dimensional aspect to UFOs which would indicate they co-exist with us.
There's much more at Wikipedia.

In an even smaller nutshell, Vallée thinks UFOs could be looked on as windows to other dimensions, manipulated by intelligent, often mischievous, always enigmatic beings - as yet unknown to us, of course. As Vallée puts it: "I will be disappointed if UFOs turn out to be nothing more than spaceships."

I've oft surmised that UFOs could be visitors not from outer space, but from another dimension about which we currently know nothing, or even time travellers from our own planet. Vallée's theory is rather more subtle though. He had this to say in his book Passport to Magonia - reported at UFO Evidence.

When the underlying archetypes are extracted," he wrote, "the saucer myth is seen to coincide to a remarkable degree with the fairy-faith of Celtic countries … religious miracles… and the widespread belief among all peoples concerning entities whose physical and psychological descriptions place them in the same category as the present-day ufonauts.

When I speak of a control system for planet earth," he says, " I do not want my words to be misunderstood: I do not mean that some higher order of beings has locked us inside the constraints of a space-bound jail, closely monitored by psychic entities we might call angels or demons. I do not propose to redefine God. What I do mean is that mythology rules at a level of our social reality over which normal political and intellectual action has no power….

Yes....well, I'm lost already! A little further investigation turned up the theories of another scientist, Nick Bostrom who suspects that we may be living in some kind of simulation - computer simulation. I'm not surprised that some other UFO researchers, scientists also, became so disoriented as to commit suicide:
From the interview with Vallée at UFO Evidence, linked above:

Vallée:For another thing you don't want to go around chasing every UFO that's reported. If a sighting gets a lot of publicity, you should stay the hell away from it. Instead you should go after cases that you select yourself, ones that have received very little publicity and you've heard about through personal channels...........
Clark: Are you suggesting that the investigator should attempt to experience the phenomenon himself?

Vallée: Yes, I think that's sound scientific practice.

Clark: But isn't that rather dangerous - in the sense that there's a real risk the investigator, even if he is emotionally stable and intellectually sophisticated, might be overwhelmed by the experiences involved?

Yes, there are dangers. Witness what happened to Morris Jessup or to Jim McDonald. But I think that now we're more aware of what the dangers are. Once you realize the phenomenon may be deliberately misleading, then you can use certain safeguards. I'm not saying that safeguards are always going to work. There is an element of danger you really can't avoid. There's no way to do that kind of study just by reading books.

It's a little bit like the study of volcanoes. You can learn a lot about them by watching them from a distance but you certainly learn a lot more when you can be right there - even if it's somewhat risky.

I called up Wikipedia's pages on the two names mentioned, Jessup and McDonald and find that both men, serious scientists, interested in UFO research and/or The Philadelphia Experiment committed suicide.

This is getting a little weird, even for my tastes!

For any astrology fan passing by here, there's also investigation of Vallée's natal chart at my original post HERE.

Not forgetting that it's still Music Monday. How about Robbie Williams and "Arizona"? I hadn't heard this one before, and it proved to be rather apt for this post.