Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Memory by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

MY mind lets go a thousand things,
Like dates of wars and deaths of kings,
And yet recalls the very hour--
'Twas noon by yonder village tower,
And on the last blue noon in May--
The wind came briskly up this way,
Crisping the brook beside the road;
Then, pausing here, set down its load
Of pine-scents, and shook listlessly
Two petals from that wild-rose tree.

On human memory, astrologer C.E.O. Carter wrote in his Encyclopedia of Psychological Astrology :

"Memory depends chiefly upon Mercury. If this planet is strong, especially in fixed signs, the memory will be good. The Moon and Cancer should also be considered; they often bestow a very retentive memory if strong; and attention should be directed to the third house........Mercury afflicted by malefics in cadent houses or mutable signs generally impairs the memory and a strong Pisces element in the nativity often has the same effect."

I've read elsewhere that Cancer can bestow a retentive memory, I'm lucky enough to have one, so perhaps I should thank my Cancer ascendant for it. I'm not convinced that the ascendant sign is mainly involved in "how others see you and how you see the world", I've come to the conclusion, from experience and observation, that the rising sign simply becomes part of the personality mix, colouring, augmenting and modifying other factors. My natal Mercury's position, strong near the descendant angle, and in organised Capricorn, is likely to be helpful to memory also.

Husband has Mercury in Pisces, conjunct Saturn, and he can be pretty absent minded and forgetful. C.E.O. Carter nailed that one! I have to say though, when it comes to remembering anything connected with jazz husband is amazing. He might not know what day it is, or even what month, or what he had for breakfast, but he knows who's playing trumpet and who's on piano, etc. the minute he hears a piece of jazz !

Perhaps on some far future day, humans will be able to go to the store (or hospital), for a memory upgrade, to augment what Mother Nature bestowed.


mike said...

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"...there are recordings in my mind that, in my younger years, I would have preferred to have never taken residency, but over the years, the sharp edges have been erased and polished some. I can only speak for myself, but it seems the indelible memories contain some form of pain, often mixed with the pleasurable. I would prefer to have a more Pollyanna-ish form of recall, always focused on the pure scents of pleasure and comfort. I've known individuals that claim to present the better, more comfortable memories to their consciousness, but they seem to occasionally become caught-up with the surfacing of tacit life-replays to their consciousness and can be prone to occasional depression. I typically don't hesitate to open the door to unpleasant memories, should they knock. Quite often, it only takes something in the moment to hear the knock...a particular smell, sound, or some scene on TV or a movie. I invite them all in when they surface.

Three planets in cadent-house Scorpio, one being Mercury, so maybe there's comfort in my choice of dredging the depths of my discomfits and pleasantries...makes a nice juxtaposition to the here-and-now of life, when they are present. Always nice to know the ecstasy-and-agony are in the past and not part of the present...been there done that. I'm always one to notice and find awe in the more simple, natural-world: birds, flowers, GiGi, weather, air on my face as I bicycle. Easier to dismiss the inconvenient recollections when life is good...or good enough in the extant. That isn't to say that I don't have a lot of very pleasant memories dredged-up time to time, like when I smell bread baking, the aroma of Xmas trees, a particular phrase, etc. I like most of my memories, but I don't live there often. I've known individuals that spend too much time in their past.

There has been a lot research into the rewriting-revisiting of memory. Each of us has an ability to reformat reality into our own unique story, for better or worse. It's a common theme in novels and movies...a person tortured over memories that are somehow misconceived, with the individual's memories contorted by their viewpoint or assessment of the past. Or when incidents are placed in solitary confinement, vaulted, cemented into the deep, deep recesses, never to surface again until the individual has bizarre nightmares...LOL.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks for your thoughts on this - beautifully expressed!

There are two kinds of memory, I guess: the kind you've written about, and the kind we sometimes put to use in working or home life - the practical rather than emotional brand of memory. I used to have a good capacity for practical memory - remembering reference numbers, phone numbers, or other details involved in my working life - hardly ever needed the card index. That type of recall is a little different from emotional life memories, but must come from the same brain "mechanics".

My emotional memory often includes silly details such as what I was wearing, what the weather was like, how I felt - usually in relation to good memories. Sad memories come back as just sad feelings, don't know what I wore or what the weather was like in those instances.