Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Another quote from 20th century British astrologer Ingrid Lind's out-of-print little book Astrology and Commonsense (1962). Here she considered astrological Sun.

SUN: Stands for the male principle. It "rules" or has affinity with the sign Leo.

Keywords: power, vitality, self-expression.

The sign of the zodiac containing the Sun at birth can be known by the birth-date alone, without reference to exact time. For many this constitutes the whole art of astrology and they will tell you that they are Leo, Taurus, Libra, as if by virtue of having Sun in a given sign they were the sign's embodiment. But while the Sun's position strongly affects the individual this is a gross over-simplification. In any chart the Sun should be studied quite separately from its sign-position before any conclusions are formed. Its strength is highly significant: for instance if rising exactly or overhead it fortifies the personality and enhances the likelihood of (or urge for) prominence. If it strongly aspects other planets the strength of such planets is increased, for the Sun empowers all it touches.

Solar traits are similar to those of the sign Leo, which is "ruled" by the Sun; and a strongly aspected Sun can correspond with characteristics associated with those of Leo regardless of the sign it is in. Too much Sun tends to make the individual overbearing ("too much" could be the Sun rising, where it strengthens the ego, and in strong but not easy aspect to other planets, or it could result from too many planets in Leo.)

When considering the Sun, as indeed any single factor, the general picture of the chart with its strengths and weaknesses must be kept in mind. A chart (or person) can be strong enough to support an overbearing Sun; but, if otherwise weak or afflicted, as will be shown in the chart, the pronounced characteristic is nothing but a nuisance to its owner, since it will only accentuate the difficulties of his make-up.
It's useful to be reminded that a "strong" position of the Sun in a natal chart can seem to endow the individual with Leo-type characteristics. There's a snag though: an exact time of birth is required before the Sun's position (chart-wise, not sign-wise), can be established.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Music Monday ~ Sport & Music ?

Sports and the Olympic Games are on the minds of many at present. I'm not, nor ever have been even a tiny bit interested in sport; nationalism and team-ism (as in the Olympics) isn't my thing either. Whichever astrologer first proposed that Aquarius-types enjoy group-ism must have been mistaken, according to my own experience of Aquarius-types, anyway. I've never been clear on exactly what that particular proposition was based.

Trying to concoct a Music Monday post linking music to sport turned out to be an awkward, nigh impossible task. Songs linking to sport I could think of, or find with Google's help, were only obliquely related to sports, and not exclusively to sports - rather to winning: We are the Champions, Simply the Best and suchlike. Take Me Out to the Ballgame, is the only song with a direct link, I came up with, other than a few songs from movies about sport, though the songs themselves could equally relate to other aspects of life too.

Sport and the arts tend not to mix. Whereas there are many famous actors who are also good musicians or singers, painters or writers, and vice-versa, it's rare to come across a sports person who has also made a name somewhere in the arts world. Johnny Mathis shone in sports during his high school days, he was a high jumper and hurdler, and played on the basketball team. Other singers and musicians were, no doubt, similarly talented in school - but in professional life the two talents must surely consitute an impossible mix, at least if the individual wished to excel in both spheres.

In astrology Mars and Aries represent the competitive spirit necessary for a person to shine in the wide arena of sports. But there's more to it than that - there has to be. Both husband and I have a good helping of Aries in our natal charts: his Sun, my Moon and Saturn, but neither of us has any interest in sport, nor are we in the least competitive in nature. I suspect that placement of the Sun and/or Leo in the natal chart could be involved. Again though, husband has Leo rising and Moon in Leo, so that doesn't work for him either.

The urge to shine - stand out - personally, is a major part of the competitive urge. A strongly-placed Sun in the natal chart, in whatever sign it happens to be, is a likely ingredient of such an innate urge. Strongly-placed could = first house, exactly on the ascending degree would be even stronger; at mid-heaven would be good, or on the descendant angle - that, along with a prominent Mars and/or Aries could be an ideal mix to bring forth a strongly competitive sports person with drive enough to succeed. If I'm wrong in this I'll be more than happy to be corrected.

For a music video today, theme from a film about athletes - Chariots of Fire. The music was written and recorded by Vangelis for the soundtrack of the movie. Wikipedia describes the film:
Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British film. It tells the fact-based story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

WHO IS IT?.......COULD IT BE.....?

This photograph was among a small collection of mixed old snapshots, cabinet cards and other photos my husband bought on a recent antique store trawl. There's a bigger version of it available on his Flickr page, together with a long string of comments from viewers, all surmising whether the woman might possibly be.......guess who? Lady Day: Billie Holiday? Husband researched the approximate date of the photograph using style of beer bottle labels shown in the photo, and puts it at around 1951.

As I commented at Flickr I'm not 100% convinced, it'd seem too good to be true that such a photograph would be lying around in a pile of old pics in an antique store in Clinton, Oklahoma, a town of less than 10,000 population on what was once the famous Route 66. Someone had thought it a photograph worth shooting though, either because the subject(s) was/were somebody well-known, or somebody who looked like somebody well-known, or because somebody who looked like somebody well-known was with somebody famous or......

The collection of photographs, possibly purchased by the store owner or or owner of a booth in the store, at an estate sale might have originally belonged to someone in the newspaper business, I guess, or it could simply have been a souvenir of a jazz fan. Anyway, the pic has initiated much Google-driven research.

Husband also has the photograph and some further detail up on his Lost Gallery pages, as well as in yesterday's post at his Thinks Happen blog, post titled A Familiar Face - or not?
There are dozens of photographs of Billie online, mostly studio or publicity poses though. Two examples:

As pointed out in Flickr comments: To further complicate things, not all Billie Holiday photographs look like Billie Holiday. Comparing album covers and promo shots, one might think that there were several people with that name.
Another "clue"....there's a photograph of Billie's fur stole, similar to the one in the photograph, preserved for posterity HERE.

An old post of mine touching on Billie Holiday's natal chart, for any passing reader interested is at
Magical Bonds: Billie Holiday ~ Lester Young

The mystery photograph will remain a mystery for all time, I guess, unless someone at some point sees it here, or more likely on Flickr, and recognises something about it that is decisive one way or another; it's unlikely to be the only shot taken at the time, maybe it was one of a set, or the best of a set. There could be others, similar, around somewhere with, perhaps, detail of who, when, where.

More views of the lady herself are shown in this video as she sings: One For My Baby (& one more for the road)"

Friday, July 27, 2012

An Artist & A Film Director with Birthdays on 30 July: Soraida Martinez & Christopher Nolan

Two artists of different genres, both born 30 July, the painter in 1956, in New York City; the movie director in 1970, in London, UK.

The painter first:

Soraida Martinez, born in New York and of Puerto Rican background, she studied art and psychology at Rowan University, specialising in design. In 1996, she was appointed by the governor to a seat on the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She developed a thought-provoking art style come to be known as Verdadism, addressing sexism, racism, and stereotyping, with the aim of promoting tolerance and social change. (Verdad in Spanish = truth). The style is defined by juxtaposition of figurative abstract paintings with written social commentaries.

Socially conscious, social commentary...which astrological factors are likely to show up?

I thought first (wrongly as it happens) of Aquarius, then its ruler, Uranus. Nothing in the chart emphasises Aquarius (apart from Chiron), unless Aquarius were rising as she came into the world, we cannot know this without a time of birth. But look at rebel planet Uranus sitting just 5 degrees from natal Leo Sun! Venus (art) in Gemini is in close harmonious trine to Neptune (imagination, creativity), and in helpful sextile to powerhouse Pluto in Leo - all at 27 degrees of their signs. Sun conjunct Uranus best represents this artist though.

Here are just a few examples of Soraida's work, more can be seen in the Gallery section of her website

The Terror Of Demasking Oneself

"In this society, we have been conditioned to be what people want us to be. We - as individuals - are afraid to be individuals. That's because American society, which is based on democracy, is actually not so open-minded when it comes to new ideas or different races. And, as human beings, we all know that; therefore, many of us have the terror of demasking ourselves. Most of us would rather die than let someone really know us...perhaps, because of the fear of rejection or a lack of awareness. So we live a 'so-so' life: never being ourselves; sleeping and wearing our daily masks; always afraid of being awaken."

Rage: It's My Body

"At a point in my life, I kept hearing politicians making decisions about abortion, sexual harassment and other issues about women. Most of them were men. Men telling women what to do with their bodies and men making decisions for women. What I felt was anger. How dare they not even include women in these choices. The tear in the female mask of Rage shows the pain and anger of living in a male dominated society that keeps women from making their own choices. The band across the neck is a man's red necktie which holds the woman in place and stifles her being. The red color represents a woman's blood as it is sucked out of her soul. The blocked hands depict the obstacles that are put before women. Rage: It's My Body is a painting about the violation of the female human spirit."

Guitar Player: A Symbol Of Hope

"When I was nine years old, I visited family who lived along the Puerto Rican Mountainside where I remember seeing the "cuatro" being played by many Puerto Ricans and I thought to myself that music was played everywhere to symbolize hope. Guitar Player: A Symbol Of Hope depicts the hope that we are all born with. Even though by the age of forty most of us have already lost that hope, Guitar Player is the embodiment of that desire to regain lost hope. The whites of the eyes of Guitar Player are able to penetrate deep into your soul to make a connection with your lost hope. The guitar itself is reminiscent of the everlasting, ringing sound that soothes us when there is hope and haunts us when there's no hope."

Second subject born on 30 July is Christopher Nolan, Anglo-American movie director whose recently released film The Dark Knight Rises became a tragic backdrop for multiple murders and injuries in an Aurora, Colorado cinema just a week ago. The movie is last of a Batman trilogy, and reportedly portrays a decidedly dark and violent version of the vintage comic book superhero. I haven't seen even one Batman film, ever, so am unqualified to comment on content. I saw another of Nolan's movies some months ago, Inception - found the plot difficult to follow.

No birth time is known, so 12 noon version of the chart is used. Rising sign and exact Moon degree will not be as shown.

In Nolan's case Leo Sun is conjunct Mars indicating energy, confidence and potential for an occasionally confrontational attitude. In Ms Martinez' case her Leo Sun was conjunct Uranus, so here's one important difference, another is that her Neptune was in Libra, Nolan's in Scorpio.

Unless born between midnight and 1:00 AM Nolan's natal Moon would have been in early Cancer - the sign ruled by the Moon. Cancerian sensitivity and intuition will play an important part in his nature, though will likely conflict at times with that poweful Sun/Mars in Leo.

Neptune is the planet astrologers link to film, photography and movies. Here Neptune is at 28 degrees of Scorpio, a sign known for darkness and even sometimes representing death. There's a chain of linked aspects leading from Neptune: Jupiter (publication, excess) at 28 Libra is in semi-sextile to Neptune; Pluto (Scorpio's ruler) is at 25 Virgo and conjunct Venus (planet of the arts at 20 Virgo)both sextile to Neptune; then Mercury (communication and mental orientation)is at 28 Leo squaring Neptune; Saturn at 21 Taurus opposes Neptune........So that "chain" links by one kind of aspect or another planets representing film, darkness, art, communication, publication - an apt "chain" for a movie creator, especially a movie creator able to produce films such as the Batman trilogy - "chick-flicks" are certainly not, and will likely never be, part of Mr. Nolan's reperetoire.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Senator Sanders On Behalf of The People

Senator Bernie Sanders once again comes forward to speak out and act on behalf of the interests of The People. A piece: The Road to Oligarchy has detail of his testimony, proposing a Constitutional amendment, to The Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights at a hearing on "Taking Back Our Democracy: Responding to Citizens United and the Rise of Super PACs."

A handful of billionaires own a significant part of the wealth of America and have enormous control over our economy. What the Supreme Court did in Citizens United is to say to these same billionaires: "You own and control the economy, you own Wall Street, you own the coal companies, you own the oil companies. Now, for a very small percentage of your wealth, we're going to give you the opportunity to own the United States government." That is the essence of what Citizens United is all about -- and that's why it must be overturned.

Let's be clear. Why should we be surprised that one family, worth $50 billion, is prepared to spend $400 million in this election to protect their interests? That's a small investment for them and a good investment. But it is not only the Koch brothers. There are at least 23 billionaire families who have contributed a minimum of $250,000 each into the political process up to now during this campaign; my guess is that number is really much greater because many of these contributions are made in secret. In other words, not content to own our economy, the one percent want to own our government as well.

The constitutional amendment that Congressman Ted Deutch and I have introduced states the following:

• For-profit corporations are not people, and are not entitled to any rights under the Constitution.

• For-profit corporations are entities of the states, and are subject to regulation by the legislatures of the states, so long as the regulations do not limit the freedom of the press.

• For-profit corporations are prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in political campaigns.

• Congress and the states have the right to regulate and limit all political expenditures and contributions, including those made by a candidate.

Is there some reflection of Senator Sanders' self-described democratic-socialist leanings in his natal chart? A strong Uranus connection would indicate rebellion against the status quo. I used to think that emphasis on Aquarius indicated a drive for social reform - it can, but not always. I now see Aquarius, when emphasised, as simply indicating a draw to, or interest in, politics (of one stripe or another).

Senator Sanders was born 8 September 1941, New York NY. No birth time is known, so this is a chart set for noon on his date of birth. Ascending sign and exact degree of Moon in Aries not known; Moon would have been in Aries, somewhere between 13 and 25 degrees.

His natal Sun in mid-Virgo indicates a discerning and critical nature, one that can separate the wheat from the chaff with consummate ease.

Natal Aries Moon was likely conjoined with Mars(though how tight the conjunction can't be established without his time of brth). This would denote a fighter, not a physical aggressor in this case, but a fighter for causes close to his heart.

Mercury (mental processes and communication) is in an early degree of the more tactful and dipolimatic Libra, and (importantly) trines Uranus at 00 Gemini - here's that rebel mindset! And.... Saturn is conjunct Uranus, albeit in a very late degree of adjacent sign, Taurus.

Saturn and Uranus are opposites in essence. Tradition versus the avant garde, the old versus the new, status quo versus change, capitalist versus socialist. Bernie Sanders has them well-blended in his personality blueprint. The signs the two planets occupy, Gemini and Taurus, could also be said to represent opposite ideas : free thinking, adaptable (Gemini) and the more traditional fixed mind-set (Taurus). The Senator has an innate understanding of traditional values, but with a yearning to modernise and improve them to fit 21st century needs; and the unusual talent of being able to communicate on both levels. These characteristics have helped him to shine in his own state, Vermont, one of the first 13 states of the Union, steeped in tradition, yet willing to step into the 21st century with Senator Sanders.

Would that the USA had more Senators and Representatives of the calibre of this man!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Astrologers with Natal Sun in Leo

Continuing a monthly pattern: a look at a crop of astrologers, this time those born with Sun in Leo; most names are taken from Wikipedia's list.

With these monthly posts I'm trying to test what could well be a half-baked theory of mine that a combination of Air (mental acuity) and Water (intuition) is often found in astrologers' charts.

Enter the Sun in Leo astrologers: in birthdate order - second and third on list were not strictly astrologers by profession, but are included because of their interest, writings and contributions to astrology. Joan Negus was not included in Wiki's list, I found her date of birth elsewhere.

Alan Leo Born 7 August 1860, Westminster, UK. Died 1917.

Prominent British astrologer, author, publisher and theosophist, often referred to as "the father of modern astrology". His work stimulated a revival of astrology in the Western world after its decline at the end of the 17th century. Leo was a devout theosophist and he worked many of its religious concepts such as karma and reincarnation into his astrology.
Leo (he took his Sun sign as a pseudonym) is credited with starting the movement towards a more psychologically-oriented horoscope analysis in astrology, being the first astrologer to argue for a loose interpretation of possible trends of experience rather than the specific prediction of events.

In 1914, aged 54, Leo faced prosecution against the charge that he "did unlawfully pretend to tell fortunes" through astrology. The case was dismissed for lack of evidence, but it led to Leo's belief that astrology needed to be revised in order to be legitimised. His advice to fellow astrologers was:
Let us part company with the fatalistic astrologer who prides himself on his predictions and who is ever seeking to convince the world that in the predictive side of Astrology alone shall we find its value. We need not argue the point as to its reality, but instead make a much-needed change in the word and call Astrology the science of tendencies.
Astrodatabank Air/Water theory not holding up too well here: Only Uranus in Air (Gemini) with Water represented by Venus in Cancer and Neptune in Pisces (where it is especially potent - being in its sign of rulership). Leo (the sign) takes centre stage: Sun, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter and ascendant all there.

Max Heindel 23 July 1865, Aarhus, Denmark. Died 1919.

Danish-American Christian occultist, astrologer, theosophist and mystic; founder of the Rosicrucian Fellowship of the U.S. He wrote Astrology and the Ductless Glands, Astro-Diagnosis, and Message of the Stars.
Astrodatabank :
My Air and Water theory for astrologers isn't as apparent in his case either. Heindel had only a generational planet, Uranus, in Water (Cancer); but in Air: Venus in Gemini, Saturn in Libra. Holding centre stage again: Leo with Sun, Moon and Mercury.

Carl Jung 26 July 1875 Kesswil, Switzerland. Died 1961.

Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology. A practicing clinician, he considered himself to be a scientist, but much of his life's work was spent exploring tangential areas, including Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, and sociology, as well as literature and the arts. His interest in philosophy and the occult led many to view him as a mystic.
Astrodatabank A better Air/Water showing here: Jupiter in Libra, with Saturn and ascendant in Aquarius. Mercury and Venus in Water: Cancer. Sun and Uranus in Leo.

Sydney Omarr 5 August 1926, 10:27 AM Philadephia. Died 2003.

Popular astrologer of his time, prolific writer and speaker on astrology and numerology.
From Obituary by Lois Rodden:

.....Each year, he produced 13 books, one for each sign of the zodiac, and his books sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, making him a wealthy man. Rarely granting interviews, he appeared confident yet modest, part mystic and part everyday-Joe. His disease of multiple sclerosis, diangosed in 1971, robbed him of his sight in the early 1990's. When he died at age 76, Omarr showed remarkable spirit and zest for his work with syndicated publications. Paralyzed from the neck down by MS, the world's most widely read astrologer was now blind, still working with the assistance of his aides. His column still appeared in more than 200 newspapers.
Astrodatabank This is more in line with my theory.
Water: Moon, Venus, Pluto in Cancer; Saturn in Scorpio; Uranus in Pisces. Lots of Water!
Air: Libra rising and Jupiter in Aquarius......not bad for Air.
Sun Mercury and Neptune in Leo.

Joan Negus Born 30 July 1930 at 6:04 AM in Trenton, New Jersey. Died in 1997.

American astrologer, educator and author of, among other titles, Basic Astrology: A Guide For Teachers and Students , and Cosmic Combinations. Recipient of the Regulus Award in Education, 1995, recognizing her work of teaching and inspiring further generations of astrologers. I have her book Cosmic Combinations on my shelf, and remember finding the sets of exercises it contains very helpful.
Ms Negus had Moon in Libra and Mars in Gemini, providing Air input. Water from Jupiter and Pluto in Cancer. (Air and Water theory standing up here too.)

Mystic Meg 27 July 1942 Accrington Lancashire, UK.

British Sun sign astrologer and alleged psychic who had regular astrology columns in The Sun and News of the World newspapers until their demise.

More good news for my Air/Water theory: Water represented by Mercury, Venus and Jupiter all in Cancer; Air: Saturn and Uranus in Gemini.
Sun, Mars, Pluto and ascendant Leo.

A. T. ("Tad") Mann 18 August 1943, Auburn, New York.

Highly acclaimed American astrologer, author, designer and artist with at least 18 books to his name. He is best known for books and paintings on astrology and Sacred Architecture, sexuality and gardens.

Some of Mann's astrology books are based on the concept of a logarithmic time scale derived from the work of G. I. Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky and Rodney Collin, and contributing to an application of astrology called Life Time Astrology.

No Water planets at all here! Air is represented by Neptune (Libra) Saturn and Uranus (Gemini).
Sun Jupiter and Pluto are in Leo; Moon in Aries; Sagittarius rising. Fiery!

Regarding my Air/Water "theory":
Four of these astrologers : Jung, Omarr, Negus and Mystic Meg uphold it; Alan Leo, Heindel and Mann do not. There's a difference in those two groups. The three who don't seem to fit my pattern are/were into the theosophical side of the subject. Of the others, two can be easily categorised as "popular" astrologers, one an educator in straightforward astrology, and Jung was more of a scientist than an astrologer, but not given to lofty flights of theosophy as far as I know.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Music Monday ~ Leo-tinted Songs

Sun is now in Leo. A list of Leo keywords from here set me delving into my memory banks for songs to match the Leo traits listed there. Among the songs to surface were a few from stage or screen musicals, very appropriate for spotlight-loving Leo-types.

Loving, loyal, faithful - Always ("I'll be loving you - always, with a love that's true - always...").

Self approval, self worth, self confidence - I Have Confidence in Me (Sound of Music).

Warm, affectionate, generous - Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (from The Lion King - there had to be one!).

Dignified, honorable, integrity - I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General (Pirates of Penanace).

Honest, direct - Would I Lie to You? (Air Supply)

Vital, commanding - If I Ruled the World ("every day would be the first day of spring") From West End musical "Pickwick".

Authority, teacher - The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Plain (My Fair Lady).

Arrogant, egotistical - I'm Too Sexy (by Right Said Fred).

Conceited, vain - It's Hard to be Humble ("when you're perfect in every way....") (Mac Davis).

Snobbish - Top Hat White Tie and Tails (Irving Berlin, Fred Astaire from movie Top Hat).

Creative, dramatic - We are the Champions (Queen).

Talented, artistic or musical - With One Look (With one look I can break your heart, with one look I can play every part) (Sunset Boulevard).

Fun loving, playful - You Make Loving Fun (Fleetwood Mac).

Finally, mustn't forget this - a tribute to all Leo-types: You Are My Sunshine - fun version from, would you believe: Star Trek ?

Happy Birthday to any Leo-types passing by!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ingredients of Tragedy

It's hard to know what to write about Friday's tragic news from Aurora, Colorado. So many families left devastated - for no apparent reason. Most that could possibly be said, from all angles and points of view, has already been written many times over, internet-wide.

I do not feel right talking about the astrology of James Holmes in current circumstances, but do understand why it is of interest to astrology fans. Lynn Hayes has investigated his natal chart HERE.

Placing blame on any one factor, including astrological indications, seems to me to be the wrong way to look at the tragedy. A lethal combination of factors contributed to it, some we can pinpoint now, others will become clear in the future, when further details on Holmes and his history are eventually released.

One obvious key factor is the easy availability of, not just "a gun" but several extremely powerful guns, and a ridiclous amount of ammunition, said to have been purchased online. If Americans must have a gun, because they believe it to be their right under the Constitution, then let it be "one gun" - no more than a single weapon, with limited access to ammunition. Without his AR-15 rifle, his 12-gauge shotgun, and his two .40 caliber handguns, and enough ammunition to start a small war, the scale of this tragedy would have been much reduced. More than 70 families would not be in shock today.

A second factor is the increasing amount and increasing depth of violence presented as entertainment. I know the old argument that people, and even children, have always been "entertained" by violence - in fairy tales, cowboy films and various comic books. When the violence is brought home in the form of interactive video games, or enlarged to massive screens with CGI enhanced images, violence is being ingrained into the psyches of viewers and gamers in a way comic books and fairy tales could never have achieved. In the case of this most recent deadly shooting news accounts suggest that Holmes had dyed his hair red and told the police he was the Joker, a character from the Batman series.

The killer's state of mind is a third factor - we cannot know his motive, or whether he had a motive other than to draw attention to himself. His mind must surely have been unbalanced though, either temporarily by drug use or chronically due to mental illness which had, so far, gone undetected.

A fourth key factor is the fact that people in general have become insensitised to violence, not only to mass murders on and by their own citizens at home, but also to what they allow their President and their government to do in their name.....drones are killing innocent bystanders, some children, on a regular basis and few in the USA seem to care.

A mix of all of the above coming together, not forgetting astrological pointers indicated by the astrologer's piece, linked above, brought this most recent tragedy to one of the US's most beautiful states, a state which has suffered badly, too, from destructive wildfire in recent weeks.

I still cannot understand, though, why young men - and it is almost always young men involved in these tragedies, unleash their rage on innocent people, with apparently no link to anything which might be the cause of such rage.

There have been 6 random mass-shootings in the US so far this year:
July 19, Aurora, Colo: Gunman shoots into a movie theater, killing 12 and injuring 50 others.
July 17, Tusaloosa, Ala: Gunman shoots into a bar, injuring 17.
May 30, Seattle, Wash: Gunman shoots into cafe and later carjacks a woman, killing five and injuring one others.
April 7, Tulsa, Okla: Two gunmen accused of shooting passersby in a north Tulsa neighborhood, killing three and injuring two others.
April 2, Oakland, Calif: Gunman opens fire on classroom at Oikos University, killing seven and injuring three others.
March 3, Pittsburgh, Pa.: A gunman opens fire on a psychiatric hospital in Pittsburgh, killing one person and injuring seven more.
February 27, Chardon, Ohio: Teenager shoots into high school cafeteria, killing three and injuring three others.

When will enough be enough?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Arty Flighty Spaced-out Friday

Mixed bag today, but there are fleeting links between items.

Last week I received a comment on a 2008 post about a piece of sculpture I'd bought back then in an Oklahoma junk store. The commenter told me that she/he has a similar piece. This commment is the third of a kind I've received during the past four years, from others who own similar sculptures. We'd all like to know more about it. There's an engraved name "Morfy" (or in one case "Morphy") on top of the base. It must be either the artist's name or perhaps the model's. On the back of the base is imprinted: "Austin Productions Inc. 1972 (c)". It's big, and very heavy. I promised to bump a photograph of the piece into 2012 to test whether some new information would surface.

Here she is, I originally spotted her on a very high shelf in a murky junk store. She was coated with grime. I bargained for my "Black Magic Woman".

Any information will be gratefully received!

Going off at a slight tangent - another piece of artwork I bought five years ago, whose origin and artist were unknown to me until just yesterday:

Pure Uranus this one, which is why it attracted me as it hung in a display tent at an Arts Festival in a nearby town. It now hangs by my desk with assorted other artwork. The limited edition print is around 18" square, marked 239/500 and, I now know it is by Brad W. Foster. Just yesterday I discovered more about it after finding the artist's own website. I obtained Mr. Foster's permission to show a small image of the print here -its title is The Stars at Night are Big and Bright (or Remember the Alamo?)
"Deep, deep, deep in space, the multi-species space cruiser Asimov and it's fleet of various support craft have come across a singularly unique artifact floating in orbit around a newly discovered ringed planet system. Many of the crew members with ancestors from the long lost planet of "Earth" insist that there is something very familiar about the design of this structure..............."
I took a quick look at the artist's natal chart from birth data given at Wikipedia.

Taurus Sun and Mercury (Taurus is ruled by Venus planet of the arts) reflect his obvious artistic talent, but it was seeing Jupiter conjunct Uranus (eccentric, futuristic, avant garde) that really "sealed the deal" astrologically. The artist is definitely Uranian in style - even the title of his website and publishing company "Jabberwocky Graphix" is Uranian. (Jabberwocky is a nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll who had Sun, Jupiter and Uranus in Aquarius, the sign ruled by Uranus!)

The artist also recommends:
"...that you look at it once it is up on your wall (at least six times a week is considered the minimum), or else it will get sad and lonely, and the tear-stains will make it look less attractive."
I've looked at the illustration many, many times and found new ingredients every single time! Love, love, love it!

Which segues rather well into:

Last Friday we were in Weatherford, 2 hours drive north west of our home, and coincidentally in the area where I bought "Black Magic Woman" (above). While nosing around town, with less than an hour to spare before closing time, we found the Stafford Air and Space Museum:

"Weatherford is the birthplace and childhood home of astronaut and flightpioneer General Thomas P. Stafford. The Stafford Air & Space Museum houses an amazing collection of air and space exhibits featuring flown-in-space artifacts and historically important aircraft. Founded in 1981 it is now thepremier museum of its type in the southwestern area of the United States."

Because it was so near to closing time we were allowed in without entry fee, to have a quick look around. The husband, a keen airplane fan, was thrilled to bits to see so many exhibits of planes from the earliest scary contraptions to more recent, terrifying, bombers. After our quick look-around I did my usual poseur inpression with a sculpture of General Stafford at the museum's entrance.

I preferred the space exhibits and wondered at the highly complex "guts" of space ships, sliced open and on display. The real thing reminded me of that print of mine (above). Those innards of a beast whose power can send humans all the way to the Moon and beyond. Somebody - many somebodies - understand how these are designed and manufactured with such precision, then put together, again with such precision! Not to mention the courageous individuals who actually choose to operate the things! Makes me feel such a darned ignoramus!

I picked out a small exhibit whach appealed to me as showing the essential normalness of those exceptional men and women who travel into space - especially the earliest pioneers. In a display case were some almost empty Scotch whiskey and vodka bottles covered with signatures and an explanation:

As it happens, today, 20 July, marks two space-related anniversaries:
1969: Apollo Program: Apollo 11 successfully makes the first manned landing on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first humans to walk on the Moon almost 7 hours later. (US Time).

1976: The American Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Menace of Stereotyping

A need to label, or resort to stereotyping seems to be part of human nature - must have something to do with the way our human brains are wired. Television and the internet have, inevitably, spread more and more examples of stereotyping to a much bigger slice of the population, to people who wouldn't, or couldn't, have thought them up for themselves. Yet TV and the internet also offer evidence, if sought, that stereotypes are nothing but misleading and potentially dangerous generalisations.

Generalisations are not always a bad thing. Wiki tells us: "A generalization (or generalisation) of a concept is an extension of the concept to less-specific criteria. It is a foundational element of logic and human reasoning..." It's easy to forget, though, that a generalisation is just that, and, human nature being what it is, a generalisation often contains, or gathers in the re-telling, embedded exaggeration.

An article carried in the UK's Daily Telegraph some years ago raised my hackles at the time sufficiently to post a wee rant. Helen Kirwan-Taylor's We're Having a Special Relationship discussed Anglo-American marriages.

I have personal experience of one of these, but the way the article portrays the situation is nowhere near reality for me, nor, I guess for the majority of people in Anglo-American marriages. The piece was filled with class-ridden, pretentious stereotypical nonsense. But then, I don't live in New York, and have never lived in London, both cities figured prominently in the article. Some Americans, and Britons, need to be reminded that New York is not America, and London is not Britain. The writer needed enlightening that hardly any US Americans or Britons fit patterns described.

The article, in common with many, leans heavily on stereotyping for quick, easy thumbnail sketches of people or situations: it's nothing but lazy journalistic shorthand. A tiny grain of truth may be present, but smothered beneath misconceptions, exaggerations and generalities. Using stereotypes saves the writer extra words and extra effort. This kind of shorthand stereotyping encourages readers and listeners to form opinions which can eventually develop into prejudice, then lead to discrimination and worse: dangerous, unless we remain aware of exactly what is going on.

In astrology proper, archetypes replace stereotypes. The existence of archetypes imprinted within the human psyche was proposed first by Carl Jung. There's a set of short pieces about Carl Jung's theories written in layman's language, by the Zodiac Master.

In everyday astrology the danger of stereotyping clearly exists. Referring to someone as "a Libra" or "a Leo" etc. is misleading, and saddles that person with a stereotype, which could be quite unwarranted. I've found it preferable to describe someone (if someone needs to be described/labelled in a couple of words) as "a Libra-type" or "a Leo-type", but even that is stereotyping. Once past the Sun sign stage of astrology it's practically impossible to indulge in any kind of shorthand - each person is unique. I think this is why I continue to cringe each time I read a "a Virgo" or "an Aquarian" etc.

The difference between archetypes and stereotypes is vast. I tend to think of a family tree image to clarify the differences : an archetype is placed in the topmost position; related icons through the ages on the branches immediately beneath; below them come a variety of stereotypes; lower still are the jokes, prejudices and bigotry encountered, thanks to stereotyping. Archetypes represent the original, perfect example of any given aspect of human experience - the pattern, the template, recognisable to all humans. The stereotype represents an opinion, often an over-simplification or caricature emphasising particular factors which support whatever prejudice the writer or speaker upholds.

I recall once reading an observation that: "An archetype is Marilyn Monroe, a stereotype is the dumb blonde." But to be accurate, Marilyn Monroe isn't the archetype, she is the icon of an archetype, an icon belonging to 20th century and beyond. Earlier icons: Cleopatra or Helen of Troy ? The textbook label of the archetype these women represented was, I think, "The Temptress". The "dumb blonde" stereotype (played up by Marilyn for the cameras) has fuelled countless jokes about blonde-haired women, fairly harmless, I guess - unless you happened to be a golden-haired beauty with a science (or any other) PhD.

From French philosopher Jacques Ellul:
“(Propaganda) proceeds by psychological manipulations, character modifications, by creation of stereotypes useful when the time comes - The two great routes that this sub-propaganda takes are the conditioned reflex and the myth”
and from former US Representative Tim Holden:
The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.

Monday, July 16, 2012

IMMODEST MONDAY ~ 3 Porn Stars Born 16 July

As I glanced down Wiki's list of births for 16 July, I spotted three female porn stars, two of them even born in the same year, same country! What was it in the astro-atmosphere on 16 July that might reflect this?

Any additional thoughts from passing readers will be gratefully received - I suspect there could be something useful I haven't spotted.

The three women:
Jesse Jane ~ 16 July 1980, Fort Worth, Texas.
Justine Joli ~ 16 July 1980, St. Louis Missouri.
Tina Tyler ~ 16 July 1965, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

I can only trust that these dates from Wikipedia are accurate, Astrodatabank hasn't dipped its toes into the 16 July porn star crop's data as yet.

The two 1980 births stood out, so I searched for other 16 July 1980 births and found no other porn stars, but several male sporting types: Australian golfer, Canadian cricketer, Jaspanese skeleton racer (whatever that is), female weightlifter, Turkish, Kazakhstani and Australian footballers - oh, and on that date a derecho (word I learned very recently due to one of these having occurred this month) in Michigan caused a lot of damage.

From Wikipedia's biographical information on this trio of porn stars it would seem that, apart from their gravitation to become porn stars, their earliest backgrounds have little in common, but later on in life the two born 1980 have described themselves as bisexual.

Jesse Jane: military "brat", cheerleader. In 2000, she gave birth to a boy. Has
described herself as bisexual. In 2004, she stated on the Howard Stern Show that she had a hysterectomy due to now dormant cervical cancer. Married to fellow porn star Rick Patrick 2007-2012.

Justine Joli: In her young days summers were spent between a farm in Hannibal, Missouri and Crested Butte, Colorado. She did ballet from age 3 to age 15.
She revealed on the Howard Stern Show and the Fox News program, Geraldo at Large, that she was molested from age 3 to 10 by three men, one of whom was her grandmother's ex-husband. Two of the three men were prosecuted and incarcerated. Justine has been in therapy since the age of 13. In her late teens, she moved to the Los Angeles area with her mother............................Joli describes herself as bisexual (being "60/40" in her preference toward men and women, respectively).
She is a self described geek with a love of anime, science fiction, Macs and cartoons. She is also into nude sports, naked bungee jumping and naked whitewater rafting. She was romantically involved with porn director D. Cypher for several years.

Looking at the natal charts of Jesse Jane and Justine Joli, without knowledge of their birth times can tell us only some basics.

Apart from zodiac sign Scorpio, 8th house, and Pluto, Black Moon Lilith is what springs to mind when seeking indication of anything related to sex and eroticism in a chart. Black Moon Lilith is a sensitive point in the natal chart, the point of the Moon's apogee (greatest distance from Earth). Two earlier posts on Black Moon Lilith are here and here.

In one of those posts I wrote: "Astrologers who choose to use BML seem to consider its significance to be somewhat negative, based purely on the mythical name it bears. "Lilith": a storm demon, prostitute goddess.... name anything female and negative, and Lilith is it! I'm sticking to my theory that Black Moon Lilith is, if anything at all, another sensitive point in the chart."

I cranked up my astro software to again show Black Moon Lilith's position in these charts. The BML glyph is a thick crescent atop a cross (obtusely, and because I've forgotten how to adjust colours, it came up in red.) I think my software shows the "true" rather than the "mean" position of BML, by the way.

If considering BML as a sensitive point, then any planet conjoining it could take on additional flavours and emphasis - as when a planet falls on one of the angles of a natal chart, or a Moon's node.

In Jesse's and Justine's charts BML falls close to Pluto (planet of passion, darkness, eroticism). Unfortunately, without times of birth we can't say exactly where the conjunction lies, house-wise, angle-wise.

At first glance, without BML, and with times of birth unknown, the charts don't offer much to account for the fact that two women born the same day, same year, same country would channel their energies into what is, after all, a fairly unusual occupation. The Moon's exact degree will not be exactly as shown, but would be in Virgo between 9 and 21 degrees.

Mars is conjunct Fixed Star Zaniah. Eric Morse in The Living Stars says about (Zaniah) a Mercury-Venus-type star:
"The name must bring a smile to astrologers who often associate Mercury with money and Venus with love, and Ptolemy having put the money first for Zaniyah means "Adulteress" or "Harlot". We have seen how Virgo has had such a reputation in past times, having been Lilith and Ashtoreth as much as more honored ladies like Mary. A little amusement is permitted in reading older books in which the word is either not translated at all, or the authors digress into a learned discussion on whether or not this star belongs to a group once known as the "Kennels", along with the title "little mosque" [for Zavijava], Victorian avoidance of the unmentionable does have its comic side!"
Not sure what to make of that!

Born in 1965, 15 years earlier than Jesse and Justine, Tina's chart is quite different, planets more widely spread across the chart - more versatile, wider interests than porn?

Tina Tyler created her stage name by combining the first name of actress Tina Louise and the last name of Aerosmith's lead singer Steven Tyler (LOL!) She grew up with her mother's family in Germany for the first three years of her life. She has said she was "painfully shy" and a bookworm in her childhood. She worked as a shoe salesperson and a receptionist at a modelling agency before becoming a stripper at age 19. She graduated to working as a feature dancer for eight years before entering the adult film industry.

She was married to fellow porn star Tony Tedeschi from 1993 to 1994 another marriage 1984 to 1985 and a third in 1999 . Tyler was diagnosed with skin and breast cancer in the late 2000s. In 2009, after a brief return to the porn industry, Tyler returned to her native Canada to undergo treatments for the cancer, and has said that the prognosis is excellent.

In her case my eye went straight to Saturn opposing the conjunction of Uranus/Pluto, with Neptune in Scorpio linked to Saturn and Sun via trine aspects and Neptune and Sun linked to Uranus/Pluto by sextile. The Grand Trine in Water signs, includes Neptune (illusion) in sexy Scorpio hooked up to Pluto/Uranus (sexy/experimentation) kind of says it all.

NOTE ~~~ Among my archives there's a post on another porn star and her astrology: Linda Lovelace. That post tends to receive "gluts" of hits from time to time, for some unfathomable reason.
Here's a link for anyone interested:
Linda Lovelace - A Star is Porn (groan!)