Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Planetary Ponderings

Perhaps it's today's alignment of Earth-Mercury-Sun that has me in pondering mode.

Does Mercury Retrograde really screw up communication lines and cause computerised items to act strangely? (We're in the midst of a Merc-retro period right now, the retrograde period will last until 9 October).

All about Venus - a good piece about the planet by Charles Q. Choi, from space.com:
Planet Venus Facts: A Hot, Hellish & Volcanic Planet.

Will some form of life be found on Mars ?
Mars Shows Signs of Having Flowing Water, Possible Niches for Life, NASA Says.

As for Jupiter: Juno is a NASA New Frontiers mission to the planet Jupiter. Juno was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on 5 August 2011 and will arrive on 4 July 2016.
See HERE - a short video, and HERE.

Saturn has recently transited from Scorpio into Sagittarius - thankfully at last hauling its ass off my natal Mars at 28.54-ish Scorpio!
Saturn orbits the Sun once every 29.4 Earth years. Its slow movement against the backdrop of stars earned it the nickname of “Lubadsagush” from the ancient Assyrians. The name means “oldest of the old”. (HERE)

Coffee Day on Tuneful Tuesday

Bet y'all didn't know - or had forgotten - that September 29 is International Coffee Day.

Cue for a song, or two.

Java Jive is an obvious choice. It was written by Ben Oakland and Milton Drake in 1940, originally performed by The Ink Spots. This is a later, 1970s, version by The Manhattan Transfer :

Not as obvious to most is the song that springs immediately to my own mind whenever coffee is mentioned. The song isn't about coffee, but the first line is.
Coffee black, cigarettes, start this day, like all the rest,
First thing every morning that I do, Is start missing you....

I like the song, it reminds me of an old friend who used to sing it often, and to my ear sang it even better than the original Don Williams 1970s recording. Don Williams sings it in the video below, backed by some images from the movie Brokeback Mountain. The song was written by Wayland Holyfield.

If you're a coffee drinker, why not have an extra cup in honour of the day? I'm a bit of a Philistine when it comes to coffee at home. I use instant, as do (or did) many Brits. I'm picky about the type and brand though. I'll use only Nescafé Colombian instant, Starbucks Colombian instant (a tad expensive, but good) and Nescafé Freeze Dried - but the latter is hard to find in Oklahoma, and exorbitant shipping charges preclude buying it online.

Monday, September 28, 2015

"Lost in the Fifties..." ~ Class of '55 Reunion

Husband's high school class reunion (60th) in Salina Kansas, as it turned out, was a pleasanter experience than expected - for us both.

There were some 50 to 60 attendees at the casual "mixer" meeting on Friday evening. Some people had travelled from as far away as New Hampshire, Michigan and Colorado. 1955 class members, according to notes on display, are now scattered through most of the 50 states, with Arizona and Florida vying with the home state, Kansas, in the double figure league.

A sad, but inevitable, inclusion was a lovingly prepared display, made up of photographs from the school yearbooks, of all those class members who are known to have died since 1955. The proportion is thought to be: around 178 still on planet Earth, from a total of 250 students in the 1955 graduation class. Not bad! It was sad to note, among the memorialised, a youthful photograph of my husband's best friend from school days and beyond, his nickname, "Z". We had attended his funeral in Wichita a few years ago.

On the lighter side, there was a fun display of some pages from the school's yearbook listing graduating students' "Pet Peeves and Future Plans". Husband's contribution went like this:

There he is (in the bottom photograph) with two re-united classmates. The lady on the left very kindly extracted three items from her scrapbook and put them in his keeping: two poems he had written, and an article, with his photograph (below), mentioning some of his doings.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall Equinox

 David Palladini's Zodiac, Summer thru Fall +
Happy Autumn to all!

Nathaniel Hawthorne, in The American Notebooks in October 1842, wrote:

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house."

I'm with Nat. So after today the blog will stand still until Monday. We are to attend husband's High School Reunion (60th) this weekend, up in Salina, Kansas. We shall probably only attend the "mixer" meeting(s), rather than any regimented dinners etc. Not sure how I shall feel about it - I resolutely refused to attend any such affairs relating to my own schooldays, back in the UK. Still, I do like Salina, and there are antique stores to explore, should things become depressingly...erm... elderly.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Chiral ?

Last week, in researching and featuring poet Jane Hirshfield, I learned a new word from a piece of her poetry/prose:

Left-Handed Sugar - Poem by Jane Hirshfield

In nature, molecules are chiral — they turn in one direction or the other. Naturally then, someone wondered: might sugar, built to mirror itself, be sweet, but pass through the body unnoticed? A dieters' gold mine. I don't know why the experiment failed, or how. I think of the loneliness of that man-made substance, like a ghost in a ‘50s movie you could pass your hand through, or some suitor always rejected despite the sparkle of his cubic zirconia ring. Yet this sugar is real, and somewhere exists. It looks for a left-handed tongue.

Chiral ? Was this word, I wondered, related to Chiron, "wounded healer" and centaur often found in astrology's broader reaches? No, it has no connection to Chiron.
Chirality /kaɪˈrælɪtiː/ is a property of asymmetry important in several branches of science. The word chirality is derived from the Greek, χειρ (kheir), "hand", a familiar chiral object.

An object or a system is chiral if it is distinguishable from its mirror image; that is, it cannot be superposed onto it. Conversely, a mirror image of an achiral object, such as a sphere, cannot be distinguished from the object. A chiral object and its mirror image are called enantiomorphs (Greek opposite forms) or, when referring to molecules, enantiomers. A non-chiral object is called achiral (sometimes also amphichiral) and can be superposed on its mirror image.

The term was first used by Lord Kelvin in 1893 in the second Robert Boyle Lecture at the Oxford University Junior Scientific Club which was published in 1894:
"I call any geometrical figure, or group of points, 'chiral', and say that it has chirality if its image in a plane mirror, ideally realized, cannot be brought to coincide with itself."
Human hands are perhaps the most universally recognized example of chirality: The left hand is a non-superimposable mirror image of the right hand; no matter how the two hands are oriented, it is impossible for all the major features of both hands to coincide across all axes This difference in symmetry becomes obvious if someone attempts to shake the right hand of a person using their left hand, or if a left-handed glove is placed on a right hand. In mathematics chirality is the property of a figure that is not identical to its mirror image.

I live and learn, sometimes on the ecliptic, sometimes elsewhere.

Using hands to explain chirality is the easy part. I shall delve no further into the scientific uses of the term, lest eyes (mine) begin to cross in trying to experiment with the chirality of eyes.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Music Monday ~ A Birthday

Happy Birthday to Leonard Cohen! Here's what I wrote back in 2011:

I've once or twice approached the natal chart of Leonard Cohen but was wary of featuring it in a blog post. I enjoy many of his songs, though preferably sung by others: Bird On a Wire, Hallelujah, Suzanne, Dance Me To the End of Love to name a few. The man himself, though, strikes me as being a wee bit "out there", farther out than I care to go!

When I first saw Cohen's chart I was surprised to note that he has no planets in Scorpio. The "feel" of nearly all his songs is most definitely Scorpio, for me. Death features often, as does gloomy self-obsessed melancholia.

So....where's the gloom ? Could it be that through emphasis on perfection-loving Virgo in his chart (data from Astrodatabank): Sun, Venus (the arts) and Neptune (creativity), he seeks a perfection that simply doesn't exist in this insane world, and his unsuccessful search tips him into gloom and despondency? Pluto, planet of death and darkness, in Cancer, lies in sextile to his Sun - perhaps that's an additional source of the dark feeling in his works. Moon in Pisces (ruled by Neptune) contributes that rather otherworldly flavour found often in Cohen's songs.

Wonderful, wonderful songs - it could be said that his vocals leave a bit to be desired, but as with Dylan and Kristofferson, the authentic version is definitive, but others can polish and shine the superb lyrics.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Mysteries of a Neptunian Sort

Neptune, our planet with closest connection to drugs, visions, and mysteries currently traverses its zodiac home, Pisces. I sometimes get to wondering whether, during its sojourn in Pisces, we're going to see a revival or "re-working" of something even more mysterious than we're accustomed to experiencing (which is mysterious enough, at any given time!)

During the 1960s, for the whole decade Neptune was transiting Scorpio, one of the three Water signs where Neptune is said to "feel most at home". Look what happened then! Neptune's "influence" was made clear in the prevalence of hippie culture and fairly widespread ingestion of mind-altering substances among members of the young generation. Some iconic music came forth from that decade, and that's no coincidence I feel sure.

In Pisces Neptune will be feeling even more "at home". I'll not be a bit surprised, at some point, to be reading of the emergence some new cult or mysterious goings on, involving new (or old) mind-altering substances. Neptune will move through Pisces until early 2025, so, though nothing of that nature has appeared so far - ten more years are still to go. However, with Pluto travelling through Capricorn and Uranus in Aries the outer planetary "atmosphere" might bring forth a different type of cultish mystery. The only current Neptunian mystery involves Neptune's other link - to the oceans: the disappearance of flight MH370. The plane is thought to be lying somewhere on the seabed of the Indian Ocean, but is eluding all discovery attempts.

Speaking of mysteries, Wikipedia tells me that tomorrow, 20 September, marked "The seventh day of the Eleusinian Mysteries, when the secret rites in the Telesterion began" in Ancient Greece. Ancient Greeks had no knowledge of planet Neptune, as far as we know, but the Eleusinian Mysteries seem to be purely Neptunian in nature.

From an archived 2011 post:
Long ago, humans felt a deep need to celebrate and honor times of sowing, reaping and harvest, keenly aware that, should anything untoward negatively affect nature's cycle, many people - perhaps all - would die in the ensuing famine. For instance, 20 September, in ancient Greece, would have marked the 7th day of the Eleusinian Mysteries: revered initiation ceremonies held every 4 or 5 years (sources vary), lasting 9 days, honoring Demeter the Mother Goddess of agriculture and fertility, and Persephone, Queen of the Underworld.

The Mysteries originated in the city of Eleusis, 15 miles west of Athens, possibly as far back as the early Mycenaean period (c.1600 B.C), and continued for almost two thousand years, in a world both alien yet oddly familiar to us, in the twenty-first century. Theirs was a world permeated with anxiety and dread, perhaps not unlike that of the USA after 9/11, or during the Cold War years. Famine was, for them, a persistent threat. A single crop failure could spell the difference between life and death. The risk of war, whether from marauding bands or organized armies, was constant. Death or slavery awaited the losers of a conflict. Family provided the only social safety net for most. People lived constantly on the edge of disaster.

The long drawn-out structured rituals of the Mysteries produced a change of consciousness in the participants bringing about a kind of spiritual birth, intended to reunite the person with the divine spirit of the cosmos. The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept strictly secret. Since The Mysteries involved visions of an afterlife, some scholars believe that the power and longevity of the Eleusinian Mysteries came from psychedelic agents. Before experiencing the final soul-shattering vision of the Greater Mysteries, initiates drank kykeon, an entheogenic potion made from ergot, from which LSD is derived. The initiates then spent the night in a darkened hall, where they beheld a great vision, which was “new, astonishing, inaccessible to rational cognition.”

 Pisces by Johfra Bosschart
Neptune's earlier transits through Pisces have been investigated by several writers online. A reliable source of such data is astrologer Steven Forrest's website here:
Timeline of dates and notable events under the transit of Neptune in the sign Pisces. Though interesting, I'm undecided as to how much of astrological use can be gleaned from this. During each of Neptune's trips through Pisces other patterns, made by the slow-moving outer planets, would have been different, those would have to be factored in to any conclusions reached about Neptune in Pisces "influence" on events.

During Neptune's previous transit of Pisces, 1847-1862, not long after the planet was discovered, there was a surge of interest in spiritualism in Britain and Europe. Spiritualist churches were founded, and spiritualism's attendant mysteries were on the the minds of many. At that time Uranus and Pluto were either in, or about to move into, Taurus. Though Taurus and Pisces are quite different "flavours", both have a strong creative side; Neptune in Pisces wouldn't have been overly watered down by the other outer planets' placements.

The Neptune-Pisces transit before 1847-62 was during 1664-1698. Though we have dry, factual history books to guide us, we can't imagine quite as clearly the general atmosphere of those times. I don't see that religious wars and expulsion of Hugenots relate to Neptune in Pisces. Religious wars had been more or less continuous for centuries. Witch trials seem to be the opposite of Neptune in Pisces. The other two outer planets during mid to late-17th century moved: Taurus and Cancer (quite friendly to Pisces), and Gemini to Leo (less friendly to Pisces). Perhaps witch trials reflected that move?

One more step backward in time.

1520 - 1534: Factually: Martin Luther condemned as heretic, excommunicated...Henry 8th cutting ties with church of Rome...Religious Peace of Nuremburg...Calvin's Protestant movement in France...etc. All religion all the time! Religion is traditionally Pisces territory, though I'd have said more linked to Pisces' traditional ruler, Jupiter than to Neptune. But religion is...well... something of a mystery itself isn't it, and therefore overseen by Neptune also! During that 16th century span the other two outer planets were in Taurus and Capricorn in the early stage, and had moved to Cancer and very early Aquarius by the end of the transit. Neptune's Pisces position didn't blend at all well with Pluto in logical Capricorn and early Aquarius, but got along reasonably well with Uranus in Taurus and Cancer (though not as well while Uranus traversed Gemini). So religion and its mysteries won some and lost some!

Beyond that time, I believe Neptunian mists become much too dense, and Neptunian mysteries too "far out" - just like the Eleusinian ones, to allow easy translation into 21st century logic and language.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Arty Farty Friday ~ Alexandra Exter

A look at Russian-French avant-garde painter, ceramist, graphic artist, costume and stage set designer, Alexandra Exter/Aleksandra Aleksandrovna Ekster. She was born near Kiev on 6 January 1882, into a wealthy Ukrainian family.

In 1904 she married a successful Kiev lawyer, her cousin. During 1907/8 she studied art at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Montparnasse, Paris. A comparatively wealthy background allowed her to travel widely in Europe during pre-war years.

She lived between Kiev, Odessa, Milan, and Paris. In 1924 she and her husband emigrated to France and settled in Paris.

Her circle of friends included famous painters Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Braque who is said to have introduced her to Gertrude Stein . She was strongly influenced by Cubism, and was a pioneer of Art Deco. As for the arty -isms, Exter's work embraced several: Cubism, Futurism, Suprematism, and Constructivism. She has been described as one of the most experimental women of the avant-garde, though was perhaps at her best as an artist in her theatrical work. She taught at the Academie der Moderne in Paris and later was a professor at Academie d'Art Contemporain, she also worked as a book illustrator. Alexandra Exter died in France in March, 1949.

A few examples of her work and a 5 minute video showing more. Even more examples can be seen via Google Image.


Sevr Bridge, Kyiv. 1912
 Stage set for Merchant of Venice
 Costumes for Romeo & Juliet

 Castles Under the Sea


An Earthy Grand Trine circuit dominates her natal chart, linking her Capricorn Sun/Mercury and/or Venus (planet of the arts) to most of the clustered planets in Venus-ruled Taurus, and inventive Uranus in Virgo. The Earthy yet Uranian flavour of her artwork is evident in her embrace of Cubist elements, and Constructivist art which was "committed to complete abstraction with a devotion to modernity, where themes are often geometric, experimental and rarely emotional". (See HERE).

Without time of birth exact position of Moon can't be established, but it's likely to have been in Leo - which would link well to her gravitation to, and evident delight in, stage and costume design.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Beliefs... and Open Thread

I trust the author of this cartoon strip, Eric Per1in (that isn't a typo by the way), will allow my borrowing it. It comes from from sometime in 2008, I think. There's a point embedded, one which could vary depending on one's own point of view:


OPEN for comment on this - and on anything else at all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Poet & Poems

Jane Hirshfield born on 24 February 1953 in New York City
"is the author of six books of poetry, several translations and two collections of essays. Her most recent volume After, on being published in both the US and UK, was nominated for the UK's T. S. Eliot Award and named one of the Washington Post's best books of 2006. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the Academy of American Poets and the National Endowment for the Arts; other awards include the Poetry Center Book Award, Columbia University's Translation Center Award and the Commonwealth Club of California Poetry Medal.
Her work gravitates toward the point where the philosophical, emotional, and sensual realms intersect...."

I like to read poetry, I do not like, as much, to read about poetry. I think a poem (or a poet) can be done to death by over analysing it and over-interviewing her/him. There are numerous interviews and articles about this poet online. I'll leave it to any interested reader to Google for 'em. I tried to glean enough for a post from one or two, but soon found them a tad irritating. Sorry. I'm sure Ms Hirshfield, and all of her interviewers, would find my views equally irritating!

There could be some astro-irritability here for me - though I'm not sure from whence it could come. Her natal Sun is less than a degree from my natal Jupiter in Pisces. There are other conjunctions too her Aries Mars conjoins my Saturn (maybe this!) Her Venus is close to my Aries Moon, Her Moon and Uranus in Cancer are close to my ascendant. She doesn't have much Earth - only Jupiter in Taurus and it's close to my North Node of Moon. I think the irritation factor must be her Pisces Mercury irritating my more down-to-earth Capricorn Mercury. I'll leave it at that.

I do like this poem of Ms Hirschfield's though:


More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs–all this resinous, unretractable earth.

And this one:

A Person Protests to Fate

A person protests to fate:

"The things you have caused
me most to want
are those that furthest elude me."

Fate nods.
Fate is sympathetic.

To tie the shoes, button a shirt,
are triumphs
for only the very young,
the very old.

During the long middle:

conjugating a rivet
mastering tango
training the cat to stay off the table
preserving a single moment longer than this one
continuing to wake whatever has happened the day before

and the penmanships love practices inside the body.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Guest Post ~ He Got Mail!

The mini rant below forms a guest post from my husband aka Anyjazz.
Who or what is the source of his annoyance? Guess!

In today’s mail came a slick advertisement for a meeting and entertainment with free admission to all. The meeting will be held in a building owned by the charitable organization that occupies half a city block near the downtown area.

The advertisement must have been expensive just to layout and print. Then there’s the postage which was discounted because it was from a “non-profit” organization. The cost of the mailer alone would have fed a poor family for a year.

But this organization is known for its charitable and generous works. They have centers in every city, sometimes several. Their real estate holdings alone would feed Rwanda, probably all of Africa.

There is nothing wrong with their ideals, their guidance, or their work, really. There are many folks caught up in their work, their campaigns; many contributors to the cause. They do good work.

You’d think that with all those resources, they would not be begging money every week; begging money with slick advertisements sent through the mail. Admission is free, but they accept (expect) donations.

Lately there are lot of people upset with the big corporations and their selfish, greedy behavior. These same corporations often complain that our lawmakers and government are not doing enough for them and yet, it has been shown that they do not pay their fair share of taxes to help operate that government.

The “non-profit” organization that sent the slick flyer inviting everyone to a “free” meeting and entertainment doesn’t pay any taxes at all: not on income or purchases or real estate holdings. None. I understand they too think the government isn’t doing enough for them and they think they should have a say. Doesn’t that sound a lot like a big corporation?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Music Monday ~ Purcell & Townshend

Pete Townshend of The Who has mentioned many times, in interview, that some of his music was heavily influenced by 17th century Baroque composer Henry Purcell. The opening bars of Pinball Wizard, parts of Won't Get Fooled Again & I Can See For Miles are usually cited as best known examples.

Let's compare:
Townsend shares, “The chordal structure for the intro was inspired by [English Baroque composer] Henry Purcell, who did this very short piece called ‘Symphony Upon One Note.’ It’s a very plaintive piece, almost like the [20th century U.S. composer] Samuel Barber composition ‘Adagio for Strings’ -- only the Purcell piece was written in 1600 or something. A single bowed note runs throughout that whole piece. I found that a stunning thing to call upon while I was in the process of writing ‘Pinball Wizard.’ I analyzed every single chord in the piece and found ways to play them on guitar.”
(See HERE)

Not sure I hear it! I'm the original cloth-eared twit, though, when it comes to chord structure and suchlike.

Won't Get Fooled Again...I see similarity better here - in the intro.

Whether or not it's always clear to the listener, it was clear to Pete Townshend.

Let's compare natal charts - as far as possible. Information on Henry Purcell's true date of birth is sketchy. He died at the very early age of 36. Wikipedia and Astrotheme have his date of birth as 10 September 1659, other sources are more careful and state only "circa 1659". Just for fun, using 10 September 1659 (Wiki's information must have come from somewhere) are there any harmonious astro-chords?

I've copied planet positions for Pete Townshend from astro.com and noted same for Purcell from astrotheme:

 Back then
Pete Townshend born London, England 19 May 1945 at 3.00 PM

 17th century sketch

Henry Purcell born in London, England (possibly on) September 10, 1659. Data at 12 noon on that date:

Sun 17.36 Virgo
Venus conjunct Jupiter 28/29 Leo
Saturn and Mercury in Libra 27 and 13 degrees respectively
Mars at 8 Gemini
Chiron 6 Capricorn

Compare: Townshend's natal ascendant and Jupiter with Purcell's natal Sun.
Their natal Venus (planet of the arts) Aries and Leo in harmonious trine.

There's some astro-harmony there, for sure! It looks, too, as though Townshend might have inherited Purcell's nose as well as his "ear".

Saturday, September 12, 2015

"Unelectable" ?

Too many of the USA's Democrats and so-called "progressives" get right up my nose. Some of them are even trying to undermine the current push for change by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. They whine that he's "unelectable", too old, too white, too socialist, not good enough on such and such platform...and so on. Don't they realise that by declaring him "unelectable" they are doing disservice to the very stances and policies he stands for - and which they themselves are supposed to stand for?

"Unelectable"? He'll only be unelectable if enough of us don't vote for him. Perhaps that's what the "unelectable" brigade wants. If the word unelectable is repeated widely and often enough in connection with Sanders, that's what he'll become. I have to conclude that these detractors simply do not want the changes they profess to want. I do seriously wonder whether many so-called progressives are really conservatives in disguise - Trojan horses.

During US election campaigns those candidates who are labelled "unelectable" can become that way by a deliberate, orchestrated repetition of that label loudly and often. Every time someone refers to Sanders as "unelectable" or a "long-shot" it's tantamount to an outright attack on his campaign.

"He's unelectable"...then will follow something along the lines of (mix and match):
He's (in hushed tone) a socialist (shock horror!) He is actually a self-termed Democratic Socialist - different animal altogether.

He's too old (ageist)

He's Jewish (racist)

He doesn't look presidential - what does a president look like?

They cannot say his poll numbers are low - they are not and are still climbing.

They cannot say he can't raise money - he's doing so, all the time, from small donations.

They cannot say he doesn't have name recognition - if someone doesn't know who he is by now they've been asleep for the past few months. It has been pointed out that Sanders is doing better than Barack Obama was in early fall 2007 - around the same time in the 2008 race for the presidency.

Nobody can say with any certainty that "He can't win". If We The People truly seek change, we'd better stop listening and reading about Sanders being "unelectable". After all, that's just a term tossed around by paid and amateur pundits. We have to get ourselves out of our communal stupor and support him - all the way to the presidency!

Words from a very good long piece by William Kaufman at Counterpunch (where the majority of articles on Bernie recently have been slyly or openly negative):
The Sanders Paradox: a Brief for Bernie
Sanders’s campaign, whatever its flaws, is thrusting front and center to a mass audience a whole series of principled, critical demands and issues (many of which overlap with those raised in splendid isolation by Jill Stein and the Green Party), the realization of which would markedly advance the material well-being and future prospects of ordinary Americans: $15 an hour minimum wage; union card check to expand organizing rights; improved Medicare for all; expansion (not retrenchment) of Social Security; revamped progressive taxation to reduce income inequality; a Wall Street transaction tax; a rapid transition to renewables to combat climate change; opposition to the ecocidal, neo-fascist TPP, NAFTA, and WTO; an end to the militarization of local police forces; cracking down on hate groups; free tuition at all public universities and colleges to alleviate student debt peonage; paid family leave; and so on. If realized in the aggregate, these demands would challenge the neoliberal logic of the prevailing order.
Do, please, go read the whole article.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Arty Farty Friday ~ Sad Anniversary

The anniversary. No need for me to define it further. I've tried to find something appropriate to Arty Farty Friday. There's this tale of a possible premonition, I hadn't come it across before.

The chilling chalk drawing of planes, the Twin Towers and a traumatised girl that has been hanging on a Scottish office wall since the 1980s
(Click on any of the images below for larger versions.)

There's more, in similar vein HERE.

What else? Just three paintings of New York City in happier times.

 Times Square, NYC by Guido Borelli

 New York City Through the Clouds by Manit

 New York Romance by Ylli Haruni

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursday's Poem and Poet

Theodore Roethke's poem, The Waking, is open to a variety of interpretations. I see it as positive, a hint, good advice: take things calmly, whatever events are before you, take each day as it comes, and keep on keeping on...just keep putting one foot in front of the other, learning by mistakes and from nature.

The poem, in villanelle pattern, has a kind of musical rhythm. In fact jazz singer Kurt Elling has recorded it - here it is at YouTube.

The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

Theodore Roethke, Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet, was born on 25 May, 1908 in Saginaw, Michigan. The death of his father and suicide of his uncle when Theodore was just 15 must have been engraved in memory and triggered a dark melancholy reflected in some of his poems. He suffered from manic depression (bi-polar disorder). His poetry must have acted as an escape valve. He was also an alcoholic - a less productive escape valve!
 12 noon chart

A glimpse of the man himself comes through from this piece: Stanley Kunitz on Theodore Roethke
For all his six-foot-three, two-hundred-plus pound build and his lumbering gait, he was amazingly nimble on his feet and ruthless at the kill, with a smashing service and a thunderous forehand drive. The daemon in him played the game [tennis] just as it wrote the poems. Whatever he did was an aspect of the same insatiable will to conquer self and art and others. He could not bear to lose. If you managed to beat him by cunning and luck, you could not expect to be congratulated; he was more likely to smash his racket across his knees. After the steady deterioration of his body had forced him to abandon the game—his knees in particular gave out—he retreated into croquet and badminton, which he played with the same rapture and schrecklichkeit [= "terror" or "frightfulness"].

As a young man he felt humiliated and disgraced by the periodic mental breakdowns that were to afflict him all his life. There were outbreaks and absences and silences that he had to cover up, partly because he realized what a threat they offered to his survival in the academic world
His Gemini Sun with Moon, almost certainly in Aries whatever time he was born, reflect an ease of communication and a driving determination to overcome difficulties (and, it appears, to beat opponents in games of sport). It's Pluto exactly conjunct natal Mercury, also in Gemini, which I suspect relates to the darker side of his poetry, and his nature. Mars, Neptune and Venus in Cancer reflect a deep sensitivity which must have made the tragedies in his young years even harder to cope with. I don't have a time of birth for him, but it's possible that Moon and serious Saturn were conjoined as well as Mercury/Pluto. The uncomfortable square aspects from Uranus and Mars to Saturn must be reflections of the emotional difficulties brought on by his life history's saddest moments.
(Click on chart image for a better view.)

A more detailed chart:

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Saturn at the Gates of Sagittarius - again

Astrologer Lynn Koiner has a piece

SATURN IN SAGITTARIUS - 2015 through 2017 - a new energy of Fire
A brief snip from it:
....What I am telling my clients is that early 2015 will be a sense of something new about to happen, a new vision and a new direction, but the timing is not right for bolting out of the starting gate. From June through September 2015, Saturn retreats back into Scorpio in the late degrees.

Many will be drawn to go back and finish up issues and projects from the past. We cannot move forward with a lot of loose ends from the past cycle holding us back.

When Saturn is in the late degrees, it is always an ending cycle, a time to end what no longer works in our lives. Once it returns to Sagittarius, according to Jeanne, it will lift the delusions created by Neptune in Pisces. The lessons of Sagittarius are connected with freedom, open-mindedness and truth. Of course, there is a big difference between the Facts and the Truth!..............
Ms Koiner also writes, about Saturn's last Sagittarius transit, from 1985. Looking back in my own history I find that in November 1985 I had just recovered from a major operation (hysterectomy), several weeks on sick leave, was about to go back to work, just as Saturn entered Sagittarius. So, for me it was good - all in all. Maybe I felt the difference as Saturn changed signs due to my natal Mars being "just behind the gate" at 28.54 Scorpio. Saturn didn't leave Sagittarius until early 1988. I've no other stand-out memories from that time. Anyone else have old Saturn in Sag. memories?