Monday, August 31, 2009


This is my 1000th post on this blog! I join the ranks of k-bloggers everywhere. Onward and upward to 2000 then - will I make it? We'll see.

Homing in today on an American TV comedy star of a younger generation than those already featured in earlier posts. This is one gal whose career is likely to take off into a much wider sphere in the future: Kristen Wiig from Saturday Night Live. Her comedic acting and timing are special, frenetic, outlandish and high energy.

Brief points from her natal chart, set for 12 noon in the absence of a known birth time, so Moon's degree will not be accurate, though it will be in Gemini; and ascending sign can't be determined without time of birth.

Sun and Mercury in Leo is an excellent fit for someone appearing regularly in the spotlight, and Moon in Gemini blends very well, bringing in a rapid fire mind and quick wit.

More unusual though is to see that Kristen Wiig has 4 Yods in her chart.

Yods, aka Fingers of Fate, are patterns formed by a sextile (60*) between two planets, each of which is then linked to the same third planet by quincunx aspects (150*). This forms a sharply pointed arrow shape. The astrological explanation is that the energies of the blended sextiled planets are blended and chanelled through the planet at the apex of the Yod.

Jupiter sextile Neptune with Saturn at the apex =
Jupiter's feel-good exaggeration mixed with Neptune's imagination anc creativity channelled through Saturn's discipline and hard work.

Saturn sextile Mars with Neptune at the apex =
Saturn's discipline and hard work mixed with Mars energy channelled through Neptune's creativity and imagination

Neptune sextile Pluto with Mars at the apex=
Neptune's creativity and imagination mixed with Pluto's intensity and sexiness channelled through the energy of Mars.

Sun sextile Saturn with Jupiter at the apex =
Core warm and bright Leo personality mixed with Saturn's discipline channelled through Jupiter's feel good exaggeration.

That's a wonderfully helpful integrated network for a TV comedy star!

There are some other very helpful aspects too - Jupiter in quirky Aquarius trine (120*) Venus/Pluto in Libra - two mentally driven Air signs.
Uranus in Libra sextile Mercury in Leo - Uranus the zany planet in harmony with Mercury, representing communication and mental processes.

There are many helpful aspects and formations in Kristen's chart. Pluto in Capricorn will transit right opposite her natal Saturn in November/December this year, which might well stir up some interesting career developments, and because Saturn is linked into 3 of the 4 Yods mentioned above, any development could be far reaching.

Copyright precludes embedding YouTube videos of her performances but there are 5 video clips from HULU at Chris Fullman's website: "My Favourite SNL Kristen Wiig Sketches". Each video has a very brief commercial at the start, but it's well worth wading through it to watch the sketch.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

SUNDAY SUPPLEMENT ~ Sounds like Virgo !

Ogden Nash is a favourite writer of mine - his poetry and comments on life never fail to bring a smile and a nod. Reading this piece the other day, it struck me that all unknowingly he had written a description of the person with a hefty dose of Virgo in their natal chart.

(Blogger refuses to adhere to the line breaks I (and Mr. Nash) inserted, so please excuse any odd-looking breaks.)

A Stitch Too Late Is My Fate

There are some people of whom I would certainly like to be one,
Who are the people who get things done.
They balance their checkbooks every month and their figures
always agree with the bank's,
And they are prompt in writing letters of condolence or thanks.
They never leave anything to chance,
But always make reservations in advance.
When they get out of bed they never neglect to don slippers
so they never pick up athlete's foot or a cold or a splinter,
And they hang their clothes up on hangers every night and
put their winter clothes away every summer
and their summer clothes away every winter.
Before spending any money they insist on getting
an estimate or a sample,
And if they lose anything from a shoelace to a diamond ring
it is covered by insurance more than ample.
They have budgets and what is more they live inside of them,
Even though it means eating things made by recipes
clipped from the Sunday paper that you'd think they would have died from them.
They serve on committees
And improve their cities
They are modern knight errants
Who remember their godchildren's birthdays and the anniversaries
of their godchildren's parents,
And in cold weather they remember the birds and supply them with
sunflower seed and suet,
And whatever they decide to do, whether it's to save
twentyfive percent of their salary or learn Italian or write a musical comedy or touch their toes a hundred times every morning before breakfast,
why they go ahead and do it.
People who get things done lead contented lives, or at least I guess so,
And I certainly wish that either I were more like them or they were less so.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


This week made me angry - very angry. The lovely and peaceful state of Oklahoma, where I've lived for the past 5 years has two of the most despicable senators in Washington. Yes, they are both Republicans, and espouse the opposite ideology to my own, but that's not the problem. There are a few Republicans and conservatives who I respect, and who conduct themselves with dignity and intelligence. Not these two!

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images: Tom Coburn on far left, James Inhofe on far right of photo.)

Senator Tom Coburn and Senator James Inhofe: it's past time that Oklahomans opened their eyes to see these two men for what they are. Why do they vote them into office, giving them power over their lives, when they patently do not give a damn about the people of their state? There are over 700,000 Oklahomans without health insurance, do these senators care? Do they?

This week brought two clear examples of the kind of men these are, and where their loyalties lie.

My blogger buddy, R.J. Adams at his blog Sparrow Chat has said things I want to say myself about Tom Coburn's actions this week. At a town hall meeting on health care reform a woman, in tears, told him of her husband's plight. RJ's two posts of 25 and 27 August relate:
"I'm Just Nipping across the Road to take Out My Neighbour's Appendix" and
"Health Care Reform? Don't let the Wealthy Suffer"

RJ has a much better turn of phrase than I can muster while feeling this angry.

Next, watch Senator James Inhofe declare that he'll vote against health care reform without reading the bill.

These men are public servants, it's time they started serving the public. They quite obviously have not the slightest inclination to do anything but serve their corporate masters, while undermining anything and everything the current administration is trying to do for the good of the people of this country.

Here are 12 noon natal charts for these two charmers. I'm going to point out one thing common to both - it's the key to the problem.

Look at the planets traditionally known as "malefics" Mars, Saturn, and in modern times, Pluto. (Malefic = having or exerting a malignant influence.)

In Coburn's chart Mars, Saturn and Pluto are conjoined at 12, 16, 19 Leo - a stellium of malefics, triple strength malefic energy!

In Inhofe's chart Mars, Pluto and Saturn form a Yod (Finger of Fate). Saturn is at its apex with a sextile between Mars and Pluto at its base. Astrologers say that the energies of the two sextiled planets are blended and chanelled through the planet at the apex.
Different pattern, same malefic blend!

I rest my case.

On a much calmer note, another blogger whose posts I sincerely respect and enjoy is Peter Clothier at The Buddha Diaries. Peter is encouraging his readers to join in a letter-writing and show of solidarity on behalf of the health care reform movement. He writes:

"So I'm asking the more than 70 percent of us who say we believe in significant health care reform to be "solid" with our friends, our neighbors, our families, ourselves--and yes, our online contacts. I'm looking for access to bigger platforms, more active support... Facebook (follow the link to the PO/PO facebook group), Twitter, big circulation blogs and political sites. Can you do this?

AND I want us all to show up at our local Post Office, letters or cards (expressing the hope that our senators will support reform) in hand, at HIGH NOON ON 09/01/09.

Will you help me? Will you broadcast this? Will you be there? Will you shake my hand? "
Yes, indeed - I'll be there physically at our local post office, and in spirit will stand with others elsewhere. I'm pretty sure that I'll be the only one at our post office. I encourage anyone who feels strongly that health care in the USA is in dire need of reform to write a letter to their senators and post it at 12 noon on the first of September. The letters, hopefully a lot of them, will arrive together - a show of solidarity, and proof that one person, even in isolation, can feel in tune with many other like-minded folk throughout this nation.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I wrote this a while ago for a website which now appears to be defunct (hope it wasn't something I said!) I'm re-airing it as a change from Arty-Farty this Friday.
Lauren Bacall's famous line to Bogart: "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? Just put your lips together, and blow," sounds good, it's catchy, but it doesn't always work. The equivalent advice on choosing an astrologer would be to stick a pin in a magazine page filled with astrologers' advertisements, then invest your hard earned cash with the impaled astrologer. If you were very lucky that might, just might, work.

There are so many variables and imponderables when choosing an astrologer, just as there are in learning to whistle well. Some extra effort will make disappointment less likely.

First consideration: how much money are you able or willing to invest?
Second, what kind of advice and insight are you looking for?
Third, and in some ways most important of all, how best to find someone on your own wavelength? Someone who speaks your language - not only literally, but metaphorically.

If money is no object, you have the option of choosing a consultation with an internationally famous astrologer. You might find there's a long waiting list though. And, unless the third requirement is fulfilled you might well waste your investment. What a disappointment it would be to find that the person sitting opposite you, or on the end of the phone, is speaking in terms and style you neither understand, relate to, nor enjoy.

To discover whether a particular astrologer is on your wavelength: read, read and read - anything and everything you can find that he or she has written, or in the case of video input, spoken.

If you are seeking an answer to a specific question, an horary astrologer is the one you need. Financial matters call for an expert in financial astrology, personal and relationship problems are the domain of most astrologers un-connected with the specialist ranges. Astrologers' websites and adverts will almost always specify their area of expertise.

With a modest amount of cash available, there's plenty of choice in all areas. Most astrologers who offer a service keep a website regularly updated, these sites often contain a selection of the astrologers' own articles, from which you can detect their general style. Some astrology bloggers, many of whom appear regularly on the Astro Dispatch widget in my sidebar, are also professional astrologers and their blogs provide an excellent source to discover someone to whose style you can easily relate. These astrologers, and others in the "TRINES" links in my sidebar, write regularly on a variety of astro-topics. Here you have the best chance there is of getting to "know" an astrologer before investing your cash.

For those seriously strapped for cash - many of us these days - some on-line astrologers might be willing to do a brief report or answer a question, for a small donation of your choosing. Otherwise, a reasonably priced computer produced report on your natal chart is a quick and economical solution. These do vary in quality, but many offer a lot of useful information, especially to a person fairly new to astrology. It's helpful to establish whether the astrologer in question has actually written the data for their computer reports, or if it has been obtained from commercially available software. I'm not saying the latter is bad, just that the former is way, way better, and worth any extra cost.

Some are cynical about computer produced reports, I share the doubt in certain circumstances. There are charlatans in astrology, as in all spheres of life. Again, research via the internet will illuminate the genuine astrologers, and show up the purely money-making enterprises with no grounding of expertise.

If you have some knowledge of astrology yourself, catching a look at an astrologer's own natal chart, sometimes available in their books or websites, might give you a hint of their wavelength. Sun and/or Moon and/or Mercury compatible with your own would be a good start.

Those who have been interested astrology for several years could probably take a stab at interpreting their own natal charts. I find this a useful exercise, and it helps in relating to any report produced by a professional. In the case of a specific problem or question though, consulting a professional from the outset is preferable. A professional is able to be quite objective, while you yourself are too close to any matter troubling you.

First and foremost invest time and effort in identifying an astrologer who appears to be on your wavelength, only then invest your cash, as much as you can easily afford, in a consultation or report. Good luck!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Allergies, astrology, and almighty whinges......

Hayfever has plagued me almost constantly for the past two years. Before I came to live in the USA I'd never suffered from hayfever at all - ever. Airborne pollens seem to be my worst enemy - tree pollens, grass pollens, flower pollens, weed pollens, in cyclic succession they come, with hardly time to draw a clean unadulterated breath in between.

Google "allergies and astrology", I told myself the other day, when feeling particularly fed up. Perhaps there'll be a clue, or an idea hidden there. One source blames the position of Mars in a natal chart, another says Neptune is the culprit. Order of birth among siblings might be involved. Yet another writer suggests that intercepted signs could be significant. I can't link my own problem to anything mentioned, except that I was my parents' first (and only) child.

Relocation has to be the key in my case - actual relocation from England to Oklahoma, but I still can't link the relocation of signs and houses to connect to my problem.

It's not only the incessant sneezes, runny eyes and difficulty sleeping - there are occasional severe, longlasting headaches to add to my menu of woe....and now I find that the tablets, which only partially help, have an especially unwelcome side effect: they bestow a propensity for weight gain. I wondered why I'd added 5 or 6 lbs over the past two years, after remaining much the same weight as when I arrived here for the first 3 years, and being very careful what I eat.

The last discovery pissed me off more than any of the others, or the constant expensive drain to buy medication which doesn't completely solve the problem, and to which I suspect my system will become addicted, making it well nigh impossible to ever stop taking the tablets. I use over-the-counter tablets: cetrizine, the generic of Zyrtec, and when things get especially bad, a nasal spray (cortisone) recommended by my doctor.

What's to be done?

Plodding on through Google, trying to remain undeterred I happened upon a website written by a fellow-sufferer who had tried something called the Qu Chi band - based on oriental medicine and acupressure. I've ordered one. It's worth a try!

I also read an article from May this year which indicates that experiments with folic acid (vitamin B9) are being carried out as it is suspected that a high level of this in the blood can help prevent the immune system from leaping into gear when triggered by allergens. Perhaps I'll top up my B9 intake then.

My impatient Aries Moon will not allow me to sit mildly by and sneeze my head off for 11 months of the year. Something has to be done!

The links below could be of use to a passing reader who is also a fellow-sufferer.


QU CHI band

Astrology and Allergy

No More Allergy

Astrology & Health

Allergies & Birth Order

A guide to summer allergies in your area (useful map of US and breakdown of allergens by monthly appearance)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

STEAMPUNK ? Uranus-Saturn!

In a nutshell (I like my nutshells) Steampunk borrows fashion from the late Victorian era, as well as embracing the art, literature and look of that first mechanical age, an age in its infancy; it also embraces a fantasy that is purported to be the ideology or philosophy behind it all.

Astrologically, this phenomenon could relate to the Saturn-Uranus opposition currently in place above us. Although the roots of the Steampunk fad do reach further back, it has penetrated into a wider public view during the past year or so. Could it be reflecting the old astrological theory: "as above, so below"?

Saturn, representing the past, engineering, tradition, etc. is in straitlaced Virgo and lies in opposition to Uranus. Uranus represents the future, technology and all it entails, and lies in dreamy, imaginative Pisces. These two planets and all they represent are symbolically pulling against each other above us; here below the concept and visual display of Steampunk reflects this.

There are multiple layers of Steampunk : a superficial layer of fashion and jewellery; a literary layer of novels; an artistic layer of illustration and design. There's an engineering layer, a musical layer, and, importantly, there's an ideological or philosophical layer. Overall too, in my opinion, there's a thick layer of affectation, and - dare I say it - misguided thinking?

Steampunk is escapism, for sure. Escape from what though? From the difficulties, dangers and fears of 21st century life? Life in the period they are embracing was far more dangerous, far less exciting than they are trying to convince themselves. It was smelly, unhygenic, and unless one was wealthy it could be downright unpleasant. The poor were very, very poor and under the heels of landowners and early factory owners - the poor were little more than slaves. That is not something to celebrate! Celebration of how far we've come would be more appropriate - even taking into consideration today's many remaining flaws.

Steampunk has been "bubbling under" for longer than 2 decades among a narrow coterie of artists, engineers, authors, designers. Only in the last few years has it started to surface sufficiently for outsiders to cotton on and jump onto a bandwagon which could be about to start rolling in earnest. Here's where the Saturn-Uranus opposition might be involved. The planetary opposition had been very slowly heading towards exactness for several years.

Morbid Outlook says:

"What is Steampunk, you might be asking yourself. Is it a celebration of imperfection in an imperfect world? Is it a reclaiming of lost physicality in an increasingly digital age? Or an amalgam of past and present filtered through a future that can never be; a way of destroying the linearity of time and history? A merging of the Cyberpunk hacker ethos promoting freedom of information with a Punk DIY attitude, or a re-creation and romanticization of a technologically advanced, steam powered Victorian Era that never was? Fortunately for us, there are as many explanations for this burgeoning subculture as there are participants. And that is what makes Steampunk so special – it is what you make of it.

Steampunk is adventure, fantasy. It hones in on an historical time, the Victorian Era, when many industrial machines had yet to be invented and there were still unexplored worlds a steamship away. Wonderment and astonishment were everyday experiences as technology progressed rapidly, and the world began its long journey towards hyper-connectedness. The Internet Age has made our modern society a place seemingly devoid of anything left to explore or discover. And so Steampunk appears to be mining the past for a time when the world was ripe with possibility and adventure. Steampunk is a way of creating sublime awe within an apathetic, overly-connected, jaded culture. "

One worrying thing I notice is the prevalence of weapons in the photographs of individuals togged up in beautiful vintage-style Steampunk gear. Not a good way to go guys! Not if you are hoping for a future of peace! Those guns are machines whose only purpose is to kill - that is ugliness at its worst and contrasts sharply with any beauty you may perceive in their design.

But fashions were interesting, intricate and have a particular nostalgic beauty. Machines appeared beautifully complex and today even they seem "pretty". As an artistic movement, I see some value, but as a philosophical one, I see only misguided thinking.

To end on a positive note, one good thing I can imagine coming from the artistic layer of Steampunk, is the re-cycling of bits and pieces from defunct objects and machinery to create new pieces of art.

Steampunk chronology - note its growth! Steampunkopedia -

Photographs of Steampunk fashion at Flickr

More Steampunk fashion: The Beauty of Steampunk

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

VIRGO, the zodiac sign & Opiconsivia

The Sun moves through the zodiac sign of Virgo during the period 23 August to 23September, give or take a day, for it can vary from year to year.

Astrologer C.E.O. Carter's take on Virgo is a good read, I like his style, it's a wee bit old fashioned, but he comes up with ideas others seem to miss.

Virgo is usually depicted by a woman carrying some ears of wheat. It's interesting that the first days of the period western astrologers call Virgo, in Roman times marked a festival called Opiconsivia. On 25 August a kind of state harvest festival for the stowing away of crops was held. It honored both the goddess Ops, also sometimes called Opis (statue below), wife of Saturn, goddess of plenty, & protectress of all connected with agriculture; and Consus, god of the granary. Remnants of Ops and Consus remain with us in our dictionaries to this day: the words "opulence", "copious", "conserve" are some examples.

Back to astrology!

"A Virgo" is used as shorthand form for "a person who was born when the Sun was in the zodiac sign of Virgo". But, as I keep reminding myself, and any stray passing readers, there truly is no such thing as "A Virgo" or "A....(insert zodiac sign of choice)". There are as many versions of a person born when the Sun was in Virgo as there are snowflakes when they begin to fall in a few months' time.

Theoretically the zodiac sign in which the Sun lies at time of birth ought to indicate a set of personality traits which can be identified quite clearly in the individual. More often than not, at least one of a fairly wide variety of traits for each sign IS present, but it's not the whole story, and quite often the whole story will dampen down or liven up the Sun sign's traditional signature.

Keywords for Virgo: modest, meticulous, practical, reliable, organised, analytical, fussy, critical, prone to worry too much, perfectionist.
The sign is one of two ruled by planet Mercury, the communications planet.

Right: Mercury, ruler of Gemini & Virgo.

I haven't knowingly crossed paths with many Sun in Virgo types. My husband's eldest daughter has the sign emphasised heavily in her natal chart, with five planets including Sun there. She has spent most of her career working in the newspaper business - which fits Virgo well, being one of the two signs ruled by Mercury, planet of communication. She also has Leo featured prominently, which tones her Earthy Virgo-ness to a brighter, warmer hue.

The only other Sun Virgo I've known was a gal I worked with for around twenty years. We used to tease her for her untidy desk and illegible scrawly handwriting, telling her that she was not a credit to Virgo, the neatest sign in the zodiac. She was, underneath the clutter, very organised mentally, and has over the years, since I retired, progressed to a fairly senior management post. She was highly conscientious, and one of the most capable people I've ever had the pleasure of working with.

There ends my own experience of Sun in Virgo people. My only planet in that sign is Neptune, which is generational rather than personal, though it is in trine to my natal Mercury in Capricorn, which might account for my compatibility with Sun Virgo people. Virgo, as a sign, isn't at all compatible with my own Sun sign, Aquarius. Aquarius and Virgo lie quincunx to one another in the chart, that's one sign beyond direct opposition - and is just about as incompatible as one could get. The two signs are Earth and Air, Fixed and Mutable, not harmonious at all. But, as I keep reminding myself, the Sun sign is but one part, though an important one, making up the whole personality.

Monday, August 24, 2009


It's hardly fair of me to single out just one of the Monty Pythons, when as a group they comprised nothing short of comedy genius, but it'd take pages and hours to investigate them all, so I've picked my favourite, the one who always made me laugh most often.

Let's see where Eric Idle's astrological funny-bone lies. He co-wrote many Monty Python sketches as well as acting in them, and since the group split up he has gone on to write and perform in all manner of comedy projects.
Details at Wikipedia.

Born on 29 March 1943 in South Shields, UK at 1:20 pm (Astrodatabank)

I'm not looking to interpret the whole chart here, just to pinpoint any factors which may relate to his talent for comedy.

A strong impulsive and spontaneous streak is always helpful in comedy and it comes here via Aries Sun conjunct Mercury - quick responses are what comic timing is all about. Even better, Sun/Mercury in Aries is closely sextile Uranus/Saturn in Gemini -this is a harmonious link to Uranus, the inventive planet of the unexpected, and here it's blended with Saturn, the more old-fashioned, rigid, but business oriented planet, which has probably, over the years been instrumental in keeping Eric's talent harnessed from going right over the edge. In the absence of this Saturn placement, who knows where his impulsive zanyness might have led - possibly not to the almost universal admiration, wealth and fame he now enjoys.

Neptune in Libra is in trine to Uranus in Gemini - this is a harmony between inventive Uranus and creative Neptune that all in Eric Idle's age group will share, but in his case, being linked via the sextile Uranus/Sun, it becomes far more effective in his nature.

Eric's Leo ascendant is no surprise - he's equally talented as performer and writer, a definite plus. Many writers need solitude and withdrawal - not Eric!

He loves to sing too, but only funny songs: "Galaxy Song" and "Always Look On the Bright side of Life" for instance. Venus, planet of the arts including music, lies in its own sign, Taurus and is tightly linked by semi-sextile on one side to Sun/Mercury and on the other to Uranus/Saturn, bringing the melodic gifts of Venus into play.

Here's a video compiled by another fan of Eric Idle, featuring a string of very brief clips from some of his best Monty Python work.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


The movie "Across the Universe" - a story written around, and drawing in, many of the Beatles' songs spawned a similar movie, which actually originated on stage, and centers around the songs of Abba: "Mamma Mia". I recently read that there's another, initially stage-bound show in the same genre coming soon:
"American musical theater's latest collaborators – Twyla Tharp and Frank Sinatra.......Atlanta's Alliance Theatre says it will present "Come Fly With Me" – a new musical conceived, directed and choreographed by Tharp. The show, which concerns four couples who fall in and out of love, uses more than a dozen classic Sinatra vocals backed by an on-stage 17-piece band." (Here.)
How long, I wonder, before that one hits the silver screen? I'll be waiting! I wonder, too, if this type of movie/show is something we'll be seeing more of. I can imagine stories being written around the songs of Simon & Garfunkel, Beach Boys, Neil Diamond.....and several others.

The BBC published a list of 100 of the the nations best-loved novels. I'm not an avid novel reader these days, but was surprised to note that I'd read about one fifth of them.

I wonder how a list of the USA's favourite novels would match up? I suspect quite a few would appear in both lists, "Little Women" and "The Grapes of Wrath" for instance.

Brian May's website and blog often has interesting input - click on "Brian's Soapbox" for the blog proper. He had something to say about the asteroid impact on Jupiter recently. (PS: Don't forget that he's an astrophysicist as well as an ace guitarist.)
Brian's opinion of astrology might leave a lot to be desired, but his views on guns are spot on ! See his entry of 20 August about the song "Put Out the Fire".

Lastly, a website where handmade items of all kinds can be bought and sold:ETSY.
More about it at Wikipedia, here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Time Traveler's Wife & Audrey Niffenegger

In the realm of science fiction, tales of time travel have always been my favourites, ever since reading H.G.Wells' classic "The Time Machine", long, long ago. Thinking on the topic bends the mind, confuses, yet fires the imagination. For writers and movie makers it has to be difficult not to let their creativity run amock, because nowadays scientists and physicists would eagerly leap upon any obvious deviation from supposed parameters of what "might" be a future possibility.

We saw "The Time Traveler's Wife" this week. Audrey Niffenegger wrote the novel upon which the movie is based. In spite of my interest in the concept of time travel, I just couldn't get into the novel, found it too confusing. It irritated and bored me enough to give up quite early on. Perhaps, for me, it combines two genres - romance and time travel; both can be utterly confusing on their own, so when combined, there was little chance of my assessing the book as "a good read". My husband enjoyed the novel though and he filled in any gaps in the storyline for me.

I hoped the movie would offer an easier-to-follow version of the inventive but rather complex story. It did, and yet it felt at times as though the bits which had to be omitted due to time constraints might have helped explain some still confusing aspects of the story.

I felt that the role of Henry, the time traveler, could have been better cast. Eric Bana is good to look at, but didn't strike me as a librarian, and this part of his "real" lifeline was skipped over, barely mentioned. I bet his superiors would have had plenty to say about his habit of unscheduled absence.

I could imagine Paul Giamatti in the Henry role, and though he's no glamour-pants, he has great depth, something Bana lacks. A non-glamorous actor who still entranced the female lead would, for me, have been an added layer of delight.

In a nutshell, the movie does its best with an almost impossible plot to put on film. Short of adding some helpful narration (perhaps by a grown-up daughter of the pair, from far into the "real" future) or pasting dates on the scenes where Henry had "jumped", I don't know how else it could have been tackled. There wasn't much in the way of props and background scenery to tell us what decade he'd fallen into, and Henry's appearance changed very little apart from a haircut at one point. An extra 30 minutes run-time would have given time for some additional clarification. It's annoying that those films which really don't need extra length have it, and those which truly need it, don't. I guess that this comes down, as always, to the almighty $$$$$$$$.

I have no idea how astrology might be involved in time travel! I'll not tackle that conundrum, but instead take a quick look at the natal chart of Audrey Niffenegger the writer who dreamed up this storyline.

Born 13 June 1963 in South Haven, Michigan. Time unknown. 12 noon chart below.

Oh yes - lots of writing planets here - Sun and Venus in Gemini, Uranus, Mars and Pluto clustered together in Virgo - both Gemini and Virgo are ruled by Mercury the writer's planet.

Saturn in its old-style home of Aquarius takes on a looser more quirky face than when placed in other signs - and this planet of discipline wears its quirky outfit well in this author's plot-work. I note that she has another novel due for publication in the Fall: "Her Fearful Symmetry", "a ghost story set around Highgate Cemetery in London." She has also written some graphic novels, including one called "The Three Incestuous Sisters". It seems that Saturn in quirky Aquarius and Uranus (Aquarius' other ruler) in writer's sign, Virgo, close to spooky Pluto shows through her choices of subject matter. Her natal Moon, somewhere in the first half of dreamy imaginative Pisces is easy to trace in her plot-lines too.

Ms Niffenegger, as well as being a writer, is an artist. Some of her paintings can be viewed at her website HERE.
A sample - and how apt for a Sun Gemini:

It's interesting that Mercury and Venus, the writers' and artists' planets respectively, are conjoined at the end and beginning of adjacent signs, Gemini and Taurus.

One other aspect which I like - as symbolic rather than astrological - is that Venus and Mercury are opposite Black Moon Lilith (the Moon's apogee - farthest point from Earth). Symbolically I see this as an extra indication that her writng and art are "far out".

Friday, August 21, 2009


A few cartoons or funnies, linking mirthmaking to art.....kind of. The first two are home-grown:

#1: A photograph found by my husband, captioned by him and used on his blog "Thinks Happen" earlier this week. #2: A cartoon drawn by my husband, captions chosen by both of us. The rest are "borrowed", with thanks to the copyright owners (clearly marked), in the hope they will not chase me for infringement for use on this "not for profit" blog.

"Oh Fudge!"

"My bad!"

Finally, verses from a poem by one of my favourite humorists of the 20th century. It was written c.1948, but it's oddly apt for how I'm feeling, right now!

In far Tibet
There live a lama,
He got no poppa,
Got no momma,

He got no wife,
He got no chillun,
Got no use
For penecillun,

He got no soap,
He got no opera,
He don't know Geritol
From copra,

Got no opinions
He never hear
TV commercial,

He got no teeth,
He got no gums,
Don't eat no Spam,
Don't need no Tums.

He love to nick him
When he shave;
He also got
No hair to save.

He use no lotions
for allurance,
He got no car
And no insurance.

If you will mind
The box-tops, comma,
I think I'll go
And join that lama