Thursday, May 31, 2012

Weapons of Mass Communication

Communication is Geminian. Jupiter (representing expansion) in Gemini would best represent mass communication astrologically. Jupiter takes around 12 years from one transit of zodiac sign Gemini to the next. As it happens, there's a Jupiter in Gemini transit coming up this year, starting mid-June.

Mass communications ramble coming up:

There are still a few of us around who are able to recall life before computers, and therefore before the internet. Heck - I can even remember life before television! Mass communication, in those days, came via newspapers and radio, and to a lesser extent via film and newsreels at the cinema.

First time I saw a TV working was for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Jupiter, appropriately enough, was in Gemini at that time! A few neighbours, my parents, grandparents and I piled into the home of a local business woman who had the only set in the village where my grandparents lived.

I remember when the very first mention of computers reached my delicate ears. It was around 1966/7, a little later than the 1965 Jupiter in Gemini transit. I'd been working for a few months for a local Devonshire (England) 'bus company in the accounts office. One of the senior employees had been sent on a training course, on his return he regaled us with tales of the binary system leaving our brains limp and imaginations reeling. All we had to work with in those days were very basic mechanical adding machines - one step up from the abacus; similar to but less sophisticated than that illustrated. Having, out of necessity, trained my non-mathematical brain to add long columns of figures in hotel ledgers, I often opted to "do it in my head" rather than tackle the awkward adder.

None of us could have possibly envisaged the amazing developments we've seen during ensuing decades and Jupiter in Gemini transits. Online banking, shopping, social networking, smartphones, ipads..... spam, porn sites, viruses, malware, trojans, Facebook, Twitter - the good, the bad and the ugly of it all. I am well aware that my own life turned in a very unexpected direction, all due to the internet, for it was through the net that husband and I met.

There's a downside to these developments and changes though - there's always a downside. Over roughly the same time span: from TV sets becoming commonplace, followed rapidly by computer development - up to the present, corporate power has risen in tandem. Now multinational corporations own media, at least they do in the USA and have tentacles worldwide. TV has become a major arm of the coprorations' mass brain-washing system. Oh, they'd been doing it before TV, but the opening up of mass communication made it so much easier!

I recently saw a remark in a thread of comments pointing out that mass communication has been the most powerful invention of man. The commenter was contradicted by another who proposed that nuclear bombs and weapons really take the "most powerful invention" title. The first commenter responded with: "What is more powerful...20 million dead people or 20 million people doing whatever you tell them?"

The solution? For ordinary souls such as I, and passing readers who do not wish to divest ourselves completely of access to television, computer and internet, all we can do is remain aware of the potential weaponry in our living rooms. We can try to limit corporations' access to our own grey matter by choosing carefully what to read, watch and listen to. We must never forget possible sub-text and remember to keep in mind always this question: who is "paying the piper"?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Extreme Thoughts

There are no straight lines in the zodiac or in planetary movement. There are cycles, some so huge that we never, in one lifetime, return to the point in the cycle from which we set out as a living being. Others, such as the cycles of the Moon, come around many times, even in a comparatively short lifetime.

In the circle of the zodiac, around which our planets and lights travel, the first and last signs are opposites, they are also neighbours. Aries, the initiator, full of energy, impatient to get things started; nextdoor is Pisces the loose, visionary dreamer in no hurry to "haul ass".

Circles don't have extremities, only departure and return points, which means that extremes flow into one another.

What follows one extreme is the other extreme - not moderation of either.

In the case of political opinion, the further left or right one moves in entrenched viewpoints, the more liable one is, without even realising it, to be assisting the very causes one started out opposing. For example: the more extreme right-wing, totalitarian or fascist a government becomes, what follows eventually will reflect the other extreme: revolution, extreme left-wing reaction.

Extreme right and extreme left are neighbours in the political circle of opinion, just as Aries and Pisces are neighbours in the astrological zodiac. I am not comparing those signs to political viewpoints, only illustrating how extremes are liable to produce an effect which can, taken far enough, turn out to have aided the rival viewpoint.
"Extremism is so easy. You've got your position, and that's it. It doesn't take much thought. And when you go far enough to the right you meet the same idiots coming around from the left." ~ Clint Eastwood
(Interview, Time Magazine, February 20, 2005)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


May 29, aka Oak Apple Day or Royal Oak Day in Britain is the anniversary of the Restoration of the Monarchy (1660). It was the date (according to the Julian calendar) when King Charles II returned to London after years of exile, during the rule of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector.
"Parliament had ordered the 29th of May, the King’s birthday, to be forever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny and the King’s return to his Government, he returning to London that day."
From the diary of Samuel Pepys, June 1, 1660.
The day used to be commemorated by the wearing of oak apples or oak leaves, recalling the Boscobel oak in which Charles II hid after the battle of Worcester. Numerous British pubs have names recalling the event (see right).
29 May was also the birthday of Charles II, but when converted to the Gregorian calendar his date of birth for astrological purposes becomes June 8 - still with Sun in Gemini. Astrodatabank has his natal chart HERE.

Chambers' Book of Days tells this about the King with Sun in Gemini:
It is a great pity that Charles II was so dissolute, and so reckless of the duties of his high station, for his life was an interesting one in many respects; and, after all, the national joy attending his restoration, and his cheerfulness, wit, and good-nature, give him a rather pleasant association with English history. His parents, Charles I and Henrietta Maria (daughter of Henry IV of France), who had been married in 1626, had a child named Charles James born to them in March 1629, but who did not live above a day. Their second infant, who was destined to live and to reign, saw the light on the 29th of May 1630, his birth being distinguished by the appearance, it was said, of a star at midday.

It was on his thirtieth birthday, the 29th of May 1660, that the distresses and vicissitudes of his early life were closed by his triumphal entry as king into London.

All of which allows a (somewhat contrived) segue into a ramble about the trees, past and present in our yards. Yards, by the way, is the term used in the USA for lawn areas or gardens in front of, and behind the house. In the UK "yard" usually refers to a concreted area, often called "the backyard" behind modestly sized, older style homes.

When, in early 2005, we moved into the house where we now live a big part of the attraction was its location. It's on the edge of town, necessities within easy reach, yet countryside lies just beyond the backyard fence, as husband's photograph (above), taken from the kitchen window, shows. Some lovely old shady Cottonwood trees stood inside the back fence, as well as two big Maples at the front of the house. I suspect that before a road and houses were constructed, the three huge trees in our backyard formed a semi-circle with three others in the pasture beyond our fence. Perhaps they were planted as part of the concerted effort, led by the government, to protect and change the face of a barren Oklahoma after the dust-bowl era of the 1930s.

Sadly, "old" often gets the better of "shady".

In 2009 one of the three huge Cottonwoods had to go. Cottonwoods, in old age, are apparently prone to atttack by borer beetles and disease. We resisted the loss for as long as seemed safe, but the thought of a wild winter and next tornado season overtook any sentimental meanderings. Last year another Cottonwood, badly damaged by an ice storm had to be taken down as it had become dangerous to the house, and the house nextdoor.

There's bad news this year too. One of the two tall Maples in front of the house was killed off by last year's drought. It'll have to go. We'll plant a young Cottonwood later to replace it.

A rotting Mimosa tree had to be removed from the back, then an old decaying fruit tree. Three years ago we planted a Crape Myrtle to replace the lost Mimosa tree. At the same time we also planted a small Smoke Tree in the front yard - very pretty little tree, I can't find our photograph of it. Both survived ice storms and other wild weather events, but last year's protracted drought and record high temperatures for weeks on end killed both, in spite of frequent watering.

Both Crape Myrtle and Smoke Tree had to be cut down, but have left us with some hope. New shoots appeared, and are now growing. The heat had killed only what was above-ground.

We hope for less extreme temperatures this summer, or at least for no extended period of drought, to give the new growths a chance.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Music Monday ~ John Fogerty

Today's the birthday of John Fogerty, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, formerly of the famous 1970s band Creedence Clearwater Revival (aka CCR), photograph below. I'm glad that I can feature this artist today, Memorial Day. He's a songwriter who has made his feelings clear about war. Here for instance:
I Can't Take It No More

Stop talking about staying the course
You keep a-beating that old dead horse
You know you lied about how we went to war
I Can't Take It No More


Deja Vu
Did you hear 'em talkin' 'bout it on the radio
Did you try to read the writing on the wall
Did that voice inside you say I've heard it all before
It's like Deja Vu all over again

Day by day I hear the voices rising
Started with a whisper like it did before
Day by day we count the dead and dying
Ship the bodies home while the networks all keep score

Did you hear 'em talkin' 'bout it on the radio
Could your eyes believe the writing on the wall
Did that voice inside you say I've heard it all before
It's like Deja Vu all over again.

I, along with most of my generation on both sides of the Atlantic, am familiar with his many hit songs: Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Rockin' All Over the World, Lodi etc. - whether sung by him or covered by others (eg Tina Turner, Status Quo).

Fogerty's musical style, according to music critics, can be described by any combination from the following list: swamp, roots, rock, country, blues, folk, gospel - throw in operetta and that'd be a full house! What the heck is "swamp"? I guess it's music of the Louisiana cajun must be added to that list, though nothing of his I've sampled has been quite that swampy.

Fogerty's star burned brightly for around three years in the early 1970s, along with CCR's, but the band disintegrated. Accusations of jealousy and betrayal were followed by years of litigation.

From Reclaiming My Voice at the Daily Beast website ~

.............. By the mid-1980s the emotional and financial toll of fighting these battles for so long came to a head. One day I was giving yet another deposition and found myself so angry that I couldn't remember my own address or telephone number! I remember going into a department store and being so fearful and dysfunctional that I could not ask a salesperson about buying a pair of socks. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't feel. Music was who I was and I could not understand why or how I could lose so much.
He withdrew from the music scene completely for several years, eventually returned with solo albums. At first he refused to perform CCR songs live, but began to do so again at a benefit concert for Vietnam Veterans, who made up much of the generation for whom his songs became the story of their lives. He said, in interview "Gradually I realized that these were not just my songs anymore."

Many of Fogerty's songs address important social issues. Though these originally related to events during a particular slice of time, they remain relevant, and timeless. Examples:

Fortunate Son A song written in part due to a response about Eisenhower's grandson marrying Nixon's daughter. It was meant to symbolize the frustrations by the common man, just drafted. During the Vietnam War, 234 sons of Congressman were drafted. Out of the 234, only 28 were actually sent to Vietnam and zero were killed.

Some folks are born made to wave the flag,
Ooh, they're red, white and blue.
And when the band plays "Hail to the chief",
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord,

It ain't me, it ain't me,
I ain't no senator's son, son.
It ain't me, it ain't me;
I ain't no fortunate one, no,

Who'll Stop the Rain
(2 verses)
Long as I remember the rain been comin' down
Clouds of mystery pourin' confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages tryin' to find the sun.
And I wonder still I wonder who'll stop the rain.

I went down Virginia seekin' shelter from the storm
Caught up in the fable I watched the tower grow
Five year plans and new deals wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder still I wonder who'll stop the rain.

Long Dark Night , relates to Hurricane Katrina and President G. W. Bush

I'll embed my own, non-political, favourite, Lodi, from the 1970s:

I'm Stuck in Lodi Again.....


John Fogerty's natal chart with data from Astrodatabank

Once again, I don't have far to seek to find rebellion against the establishment - Sun conjunct Uranus (planet of rebellion and revolution, change and the avant garde).
Don't need to say much more than that!

If pressed I might add that there's an opposition from Capricorn Moon (inner self) to Capricorn's ruling planet Saturn (business matters, restriction, limitation) in Cancer, linking to two square (inharmonious) aspects with Neptune (creativity) in Libra. This makes up what astrologers call a T-square, though to be an unstable, stressful aspect pattern but can also act as "a prod" to effectivness and dynamism. The signs involved in thsi T-square are cardinal signs, making the configuration extra-dynamic, a need to act at once - patience is not usually in an individual with this configuration in their natal chart. the planets and signs involved do fit the general "feel" and pattern of Fogerty's career.

POSTSCRIPT ~~~ After drafting this post and adding tags I noticed that I'd written about John Fogerty before, in 2007, after hearing him sing on a late night TV talk show. Dang! Never mind! Anyway, here's a link to the 2007 post: John Fogerty's Revival. There's more detail in that post on his wonderfully rebellious nature.

PPS ~ Also after drafting the post I saw John Fogerty perform on the American Idol finale show last Wednesday evening, singing with Phillip Phillips who was later announced as this season's American Idol.

Congratulations to both are in order:
Happy Birthday John Fogerty, and thanks for those wonderful songs!

Congratulations Phillip Phillips, and good wishes for quick recovery after surgery!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Tomorrow will be Memorial Day in the United States. I find it difficult - well nigh impossible - to write a paragraph or two on the topic of current US wars without losing my temper and raising my blood pressure, so I mostly avoid mention. Because tomorrow ought not to pass without notice, I'm taking the liberty of copying a few paragraphs by Tom Engelhardt from his recent piece:

How to Forget on Memorial Day by Tom Engelhardt
.......On this Memorial Day, there will undoubtedly be much cant in the form of tributes to “our heroes” and then, Tuesday morning, when the mangled cars have been towed away, the barbeque grills cleaned, and the “heroes” set aside, the forgetting will continue. If the Obama administration has its way and American special operations forces, trainers, and advisors in reduced but still significant numbers remain in Afghanistan until perhaps 2024, we have more than another decade of forgetting ahead of us in a tragedy that will, by then, be beyond all comprehension.

Afghanistan has often enough been called “the graveyard of empires.” Americans have made it a habit to whistle past that graveyard, looking the other way -- a form of obliviousness much aided by the fact that the American war dead conveniently come from the less well known or forgotten places in our country. They are so much easier to ignore thanks to that.

Except in their hometowns, how easy the war dead are to forget in an era when corporations go to war but Americans largely don’t. So far, 1,980 American military personnel (and significant but largely unacknowledged numbers of private contractors) have died in Afghanistan, as have 1,028 NATO and allied troops, and (despite U.N. efforts to count them) unknown but staggering numbers of Afghans. (My highlight)

So far in the month of May, 22 American dead have been listed in those Pentagon announcements. If you want a little memorial to a war that shouldn’t be, check out their hometowns and you'll experience a kind of modern graveyard poetry. Consider it an elegy to the dead of second- or third-tier cities, suburbs, and small towns whose names are resonant exactly because they are part of your country, but seldom or never heard by you.

Here, then, on this Memorial Day, are not the names of the May dead, but of their hometowns, announcement by announcement, placed at the graveside of a war that we can’t bear to remember and that simply won’t go away. If it’s the undead of wars, the deaths from it remain a quiet crime against American humanity:

Spencerport, New York
Wichita, Kansas
Warren, Arkansas
West Chester, Ohio
Alameda, California
Charlotte, North Carolina
Stow, Ohio
Clarksville, Tennessee
Chico, California
Jeffersonville, Kentucky
Yuma, Arizona
Normangee, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Rolla, Missouri
Lucerne Valley, California
Las Cruses, New Mexico
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Overland Park, Kansas
Wheaton, Illinois
Lawton, Oklahoma
Prince George, Virginia
Terre Haute, Indiana.

As long as the hometowns pile up, no one should rest in peace.

Hear hear! Thank you Mr. Engelhardt.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Au Revoir, Mr. Untouchable.

One public figure in the United States I can admire without reservation (and there are precious few) is US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. He has been in the news once more this week, this time announcing his decision to step down from his post in Northern District of Illinois after a stint of 11 years. From the end of June he intends to take the summer off before considering other job possibilities.
(Photo: Getty Images)

His 24-year, often high profile, career has included prosecuting terrorists, mob members, corrupt governors and a presidential aide - we can only guess at what job offers might be forthcoming. Possibilities mentioned here and there on the net would be to replace the current FBI director whose term will end in September 2013, or U.S. attorney general under a new administration.

Mr.Fitzgerald has never made his own political leanings known. He prosecuted Republican Governor George Ryan and Governor Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, with equal zeal.

On Thursday, speaking to reporters he said, "For the office, it's important that there be change. I thought this was the right time." Asked about future plans, "I don't know, and that's sincere," he told reporters. "Public service is in my blood."
(Photograph: Chicago Sun Times)

Fitzgerald's parents came from Ireland's County Clare, they met in the United States, raised their son in Flatbush and guided him to a scholarship at a Jesuit high school. He worked as a school janitor in Brooklyn to make money for college and spent summers opening doors at an upscale co-op building on East 72nd Street in Manhattan. His father worked at a building on East 75th. Fitzgerald says he remembers where he came from and pinches himself when he realizes where he is. "The values we grew up with were straight-ahead. We didn't grow up in a household where people were anything but direct," Fitzgerald says.

I've posted before about Patrick Fitzgerald -this comes from a 2008 post....
A writer called Fitzgerald an "Untouchable", in the mould of Eliot Ness ."The Prosecutor Never Rests", an article by Peter Slevin from 2005 gives a flavour of Patrick Fitzgerald's personality.

"His thoroughness, his relentlessness, his work ethic are legendary," says terrorism expert Daniel Benjamin, a former member of the National Security Council.

Seeing Fitzgerald in action, says Los Angeles lawyer Anthony Bouza, a college classmate, is "like watching a sophisticated machine." Colleagues speak in head-shaking tones of Fitzgerald's skills in taking a case to trial. A Phi Beta Kappa math and economics student at Amherst before earning a Harvard law degree in 1985, he has a gift for solving puzzles and simplifying complexity for a jury."

"The staff of the 9/11 commission called him one of the world's best terrorism prosecutors. He convicted Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and all four defendants in the embassy bombings, which had left 224 people dead. He extracted a guilty plea from Mafia capo John Gambino and became an authority on bin Laden, whom he indicted in 1998 for a global terrorist conspiracy that included the African bombings"

"People who know Fitzgerald describe him as anything but a stuffed shirt. During a key moment in one New York trial, he slipped a note to his co-counsel, who interrupted questioning to read it to himself. It said, "Is there beer in the fridge?""

"He's no slouch at stagecraft, either. At the trial of a Mafia hit man, the defense argued that a ski mask -- part of what Fitzgerald called a "hit kit" that included surgical gloves, a gun and hollow-point bullets -- was really just a hat. (The defense also said the surgical gloves were for putting ointment on the defendant's ailing dog.) During closing arguments, Fitzgerald startled the jury by rolling up one leg on his lawyerly dark suit. "These are just shorts, ladies and gentlemen," he said, according to one account. "These are just shorts."

Chart above is set for 12 noon as no time of birth is known.

I was confident I'd find Saturn and/or Capricorn very prominent in Fitzgerald's natal chart, and I wasn't wrong.

Sun, Jupiter and Saturn itself are all in Capricorn. Saturn is ruler of Capricorn, both are connected to law, as is Jupiter. Saturn and Capricorn represent the discipline, rules, and structures of law. Jupiter and its sign of rulership, Sagittarius represent the judgement and philosophical aspect of law and justice.
Very apt - and evidence of astrology in action - again!

Mercury at 22 Sagittarius harmoniously trines (120*) Uranus at 25 Leo - Intuitive mind with independence of thought - somewhat ahead of his own time.

Mars at 11 Cancer exactly opposes Jupiter at 11 Capricorn - indication that he seeks out challenges, has to temper a tendency to go over the top at times, but because Saturn is positioned close to Jupiter, such tendencies are held in check, and emanate in Fitzgerald's case mainly as the excess zeal for which he is famous and occasionally criticised.

The Moon's position can't be pinpointed without time of birth, but it would lie somewhere between 22 Aquarius and 6 Pisces. If born before noon (my bet) it was in Aquarius, along with his natal Venus. Analysis is key to his work, and that's a strongly Aquarian trait.

This is the kind of guy we need as president, but as long as he returns to some public office, it'll feel reassuring that good things and good people do happen here.... sometimes.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Arty Farty Friday ~ Iconic Image

A slightly different arty farty angle this week. A look at how an iconic photograph caught, and appears to hold, the creative imagination of so many.

Sun's in Gemini, Marilyn Monroe was born - Norma Jean beneath her iconic mask - with Sun and Mercury in Gemini on 1 June 1926. She had Moon and Jupiter in Aquarius, Leo rising. Her natal chart is available at Astrodatabank. An interpretation of it, written by Glorija Lawrence to celebrate Marilyn's would-have-been 80th birthday in 2006, is at

My husband (screen-name anyjazz) wrote of what he calls the "Marilyn Moment" phenomenon back in 2007 and constructed several blog pages on the topic. With his permission I've gathered a few of his remarks here, links to original pages follow.
The event was a publicity stunt dreamt up by director Billy Wilder and team to promote the 1955 movie Seven Year Itch. It starred Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell. The event was the filming of the sidewalk scene of Marilyn’s character enjoying the breeze coming up from the subway grating on a hot New York evening.

And so the little scene left a lasting impression on the world. More than fifty years later the scene is still quoted or remembered when anything resembling Marilyn Monroe’s blowing skirt is encountered.

Great statues or important portraits take us only to a general memory of something or someone, an ideal or an idea.

There have been only a scant few visual items that imbed in our memories so deeply that they become our signal reference point at each reminder. Can you look at two parallel smokestacks on a skyline without thinking of the Twin Towers? When you see two people running toward each other do you think of Heathcliff and Catherine from Wuthering Heights? These are unintentional or general stimuli that take your mind to a specific bit of time.

Non-visual triggers are fairly common. When the Johann Strauss “Blue Danube Waltz” is heard, who does not think of a space ship docking in 2001:A Space Odyssey? Few of us go anywhere else in our mind. If you hear the words “Grassy Knoll”, do you think of the Kennedy Assassination?

The “William Tell Overture” means the “Lone Ranger” to us older folks but that’s just a general memory, not a specific moment. In fact, sounds or music will often take our minds to something general. Now think of a visual image that takes a majority of people back to a specific event. There are only a few.

Pop culture and advertising have given us the orange Tide box, Mickey Mouse, Joe the Camel or Bart Simpson…These are visuals that take you to a GENERAL place, not a specific moment in time.

When seeing the delicate petals of a white poppy fluttering in the breeze, a bit of tissue caught on a twig, or a skirt caught in a sudden gust of wind, do you think of this brief publicity stunt from Billy Wilder? Do you think of Norma Jean Baker? Apparently a very broad spectrum of people do.
Those snips are from posts at the links below, there are lots more photographs to illustrate the topic there too.

Test Pattern
Marilyn Moment
Webshot Links

Some photographs to illustrate the phenomenon. In a few cases clicking on the photograph will take you to the source - often Flickr.

liberty dollars


Marilyn Merlot

Seen by us recently on the sidewalk of a small Texas town:

On a sidewalk in a small Texas town

In butter!

Marilyn Monroe -- in Butter


AND....I found these extras:

Forever Marilyn, a new 26-foot stainless steel and aluminum sculpture by John Seward Johnson II. (In Chicago, I think). See here. Photograph by Annalise Fowler:

Photograph below is by Christine Ayers (2008)~ "In touch with your inner Marilyn: So far, the Olympics don't have synchronized skirt-blowing, but if it becomes an event, the folks in Johannesburg have the symbol ready" (See here)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

ASTROLOGY BOOKS - going going.....

To make space on my bookshelves I'm offering a bundle of 8 astrology text books to anyone interested in having them. Read or re-sell, take your pick! All but the 2 hardback books are as new and could easily be sold on e-bay or elsewhere.

I will mail the books in a USPS single-price box and pay for postage to anywhere in the USA, if the receiver will pledge to donate an amount equal to, or more than the cost postage, to Elsa at Astro Dispatch. There's a "Tip Jar" on her website, link in my sidebar. Postage cost will be in the region of $12 to $15. While I'd be happy to send the books to an address outside the USA, cost would likely be prohibitive.

If interested please leave a note in the comment section.

The books are:

Chart Interpretation Handbook - Stephen Arroyo (1989). As new soft cover.

The Combination of Stellar Influences - Reinhold Ebertin (1940 - 2004). As new soft cover.

Astrology Karma & Transformation ~ The Inner Dimensions of the Birth Chart - Stephen Arroyo (1992). As new soft cover.

The Astrologer's Handbook - Frances Sakoian & Louis S. Acker (1973). Hardback good condition but with a former owner's name stamp.

Astrological Patterns - the Key to Self-discovery - Frances Sakoian & Betty Caulfield (1980). Hardback good condition - with name stamp as above.

The Wildman The Earth and The Stars - An astrology of masculine archetypes - Daniel E. Lorey (1994). Soft cover, as new, but with a dedication on flyleaf.

Do It Yourself Relationship Astrology - Lyn Birkbeck (1999) As new, soft cover.

The Zodiac Within Each Sign (Decanates & Duads) - Frances Sakoian & Louis Acker (1975). Soft cover, slim volume, not strongly bound, glue giving way in places.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


A topic ripe for tackling while Sun glides through Gemini is: writing. Good writing is an art, a craft and a skill. I do not pretend to be an authority, nor can I claim anything more than a modest level of competence in stringing the odd blog post together, and that'd be on a good day - but I do recognise good advice.

Simplicity and economy are key to good wrting. Astrologically those attributes relate to....let's see....Virgo, Capricorn, Saturn, with Mercury, the writer's planet overall. My natal Mercury is in Capricorn, I'm relying on that as credential enough for holding forth on this topic.

In a favourite book The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, the Strunkian half of that duo had this to say:
"Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all sentences short or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell."

Strunk was born 0n 1 July 1869 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Natal Mercury was in last degree of Gemini (its sign of rulership) and, what pleased me most, a Yod linking Cancer Sun and Jupiter Taurus by sextile then by two quincunx aspects to Saturn - putting economical Saturn at the business end of the Yod, symbolically channeling energies of his Sun and Jupiter through economical Saturn.

Another book, picked up secondhand recently, The Miracle of Language(1991) by Richard Lederer, has further advice on simplicity/economy in writing in a chapter titled The Case for Short Words :
When you speak and write, there is no law that says you have to use big words. Short words are as good as long ones, and short, old words - like sun and grass and home - are best of all. A lot of small words, more than you might think, can meet your needs with a strength, grace and charm that large words do not have.

Big words can make the way dark for those who read what you write and hear what you say. Small words cast their clear light on big things - night and day, love and hate, war and peace, life and death. Big words at times seem strange to the eye and the ear and the mind and the heart. Small words are the ones we seem to have known from the time we were born, like the hearth fire that warms the home.

Short words are bright like sparks that glow in the night, prompt like the dawn that greets the day, sharp like the blade of a knife, hot like salt tears that scald the cheek, quick like moths that flit from flame to flame, and terse like the dart and sting of a bee.

Here is a sound rule: Use small, old words where you can. If a long word says just what you want to say, do not fear to use it. But know that our tongue is rich in crisp, brisk, swift, short words..........

The title of this chapter and four paragraphs that you have just read are wrought entirely of words of one syllable.........

Keeping this post economically brief, a last note to highlight first lines of some well-known novels, illustrating how brevity can pay dividends :

Call me Ishmael. —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851).

Elmer Gantry was drunk. —Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry (1927).

It was a pleasure to burn. —Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1953).

It was love at first sight. —Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (1961).

All this happened, more or less. —Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969).

A screaming comes across the sky. —Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow (1973).

It was like so, but wasn't. —Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2 (1995).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Astrologers with Natal Sun in Gemini

Following the pattern I seem to have set for myself over the past few months of spotlighting astrologers with Sun in zodiac sign of the month........

(Names taken from Wikipedia's list, data from Astrodatabank, as linked.)

There are several well-known Sun Gemini astrologers. Gemini, ruled by Mercury, represents the stereotypical communicator, it is the mutable Air sign, versatile and mentally acute. Gemini provides fertile ground for astrology to blossom - provided that Gemini's Air is shot through with some emphasis on Water signs, for intuition and sensitivity.

Listed in order of Sun's degree in Gemini. Only one of these astrologers is still with us. I feel certain there are others around today, not included in Wikipedia's list.

22 May 1896 Cyril Fagan, Irish (died 1970)

22 May 1928 Lois Rodden, Canadian (died 2003)

8 June 1902 Grant Lewi, American - oddly absent in Wiki's list, but not in my memory bank!(Died 1951)

13 June 1835 William Butler Yeats, Irish, a poet, not a true astrologer but "into it". (Died 1939)

15 June 1920 John Addey, English (died 1982)

16 June 1880 Alice Bailey, English (died 1949)

17 June 1951 Zane Stein , American (still with us).

Anything in common other than their Sun sign and gravitation to astrology?

Four of the six named had/have interest and achievement in specific sections of astro-lore: western sidereal astrology; astro data collecting; Saturn Return; harmonics; esoteric astrology; Chiron.

Cyril Fagan best known for introducing the idea of Western Sidereal Astrology to astrologers in Europe and USA who commonly used (still do) tropical astrology. His system involved a correction of planetary positions to form a closer approximation to the astronomically-observed positions.
Excellent essay on Fagan by Ken Bowser at Radical Astrology.

Fagan had Sun and Moon in close Airy and harmonious trine aspect: 1 degree of Gemini & Libra. Saturn and Uranus in Scorpio provide the Watery intuitive sensitivity (and in his case, I guess, intensity). (Astrodatabank)

Lois Rodden, famous (and in my opinion ought to have been awarded some kind of medal) for her work collecting astrological data, and founding Astrodatabank. As Wiki states, and I can do no better: "Pioneer in raising awareness of the sourcing of data being foundational in the credibility of astrology."

She had Sun at 0.56 degree Gemini with Mercury at 20 degrees of the sign, and Moon in intuitive Watery Cancer. Her rectified ascendant, Aquarius adds even more mental acuity to Gemini Sun and Mercury. 3 planets in Aries and one in Sagittarius add sufficient elemental Fire to the mix to ascertain her work was widely noticed - and much appreciated. (Astrodatabank)

Grant Lewi, one of the USA's most popular popular astrologers and writers on astrology, mid 20th century.
From a post by astrologer Robert Wilkinson
"Before Grant Lewi, astrology was still a 19th Century art, filled with superstition and esoterica. Grant Lewi (and a few others)changed the way all of us would regard astrology forever, especially the Saturn Return.".

Lewi had Sun at 16 Gemini trining Jupiter in Aquarius, Mars at 0 Gemini and Pluto at 18 Gemini - lots of Airy, mentally oriented input there. Water (intuition ans sensitivity) came from Moon, Mercury and Neptune in Cancer. (Astrodatabank).

William Butler Yeats, poet rather than astrologer-proper, included here only as an "honorable mention" for his interest in astrology. I'll point out only that he had Sun Mercury and Uranus in Gemini, Moon in Aquarius. Uranus was a few minutes short of falling in Watery Cancer - there are no planets in Water signs in his chart, which I find surprising for a poet as well as for a potential astrologer. Astrodatabank has his ascendant in very early Aquarius with an AA rating (very reliable), so no Water there.

John Addey. Seeking to put the understanding of astrology on a more rational footing he devised the Harmonics system.
..... he found himself doubtful of his art and its scientific underpinnings. He turned to scientific research, his most important focus centering on longevity and people suffering from polio. His observations led him to the development of a "wave" theory of astrology. He subsequently moved to integrate completed and ongoing statistical studies of astrological effects and the insights of Hindu astrology into what he termed harmonics, a system of astrology that emphasizes the integral divisions of the horoscope chart. He saw in harmonics a method of bringing a united theoretical base to the many different systems of astrology that were emerging in the postwar world.

In 1958 Addey led in the founding of the Astrological Association, a professional association of astrologers primarily in Great Britain.

Harmonics was initially received with some enthusiasm by Addey's astrological colleagues; however, as astrologers worked with Addey's thought, they found it was too abstract and offered little insight to assist in the essential task of interpreting an astrological chart. As such, Addey's theoretical work was soon forgotten, though his empirical studies remain a major building block of contemporary astrology's attempt to provide astrology with an acceptable scientific base.
See here)
Addey had Sun, Moon and Venus in Gemini with Mars in Libra trine his Sun - lots of Airy input there. Pluto and Mercury in Cancer with Uranus in Pisces provide Watery intuition and sensitivity. (Astrodatabank).

Alice Bailey - I shrink from saying too much about this lady's contribution to astrology because, to my mind, she did the doctrine far more harm than good - but I'll not make many friends in saying so.

Her main contribution to astrology was her book on Esoteric Astrology. She generally wrote on spiritual, occult, esoteric and religious themes, including reference to "the seven rays"; she popularized the terms New Age and Age of Aquarius. She wrote twenty-five books, most of the content of which she claimed had been telepathically dictated to her by a "Master of the Wisdom" whom she referred to as "The Tibetan". Bailey's writings have much in common with those of theosophist Madame Helena Blavatsky, in that her followers believed her to be a mediator or channel for sages or wise men from the East.

Alice Bailey had Sun and Venus in Gemini, Moon in Libra, Mercury in Cancer, so the basic ingredients for an astrologer were there - Air and Water, but somehow, the Airy urge for rationality seen in some other astrologers here, got lost in the mix.

Zane Stein - modern-day astrologer who is credited with being the world's leading astrological authority on Chiron. For his work in this field, he received the Canopus Award For Excellence in 1998.

I became aware of Zane Stein some years ago when I used to contribute to an astrology forum where he often led discussion and answered queries. He was always helpful and generous with his time, always able to give clear concise responses - so essential !
Wikipedia's page
He has Sun Mercury and Mars in Gemini, Neptune in Libra. Moon in Sagittarius. Watery input from Uranus in Cancer and Pisces rising.

Conclusion: Once again it seems that, as a basic rule of thumb, a mix of Air and Water in the natal chart has clear potential to bring forth an astrologer, it could even be thought a necessary mix of ingredients to do so.