Saturday, April 30, 2016

Inevitability or a Numbers Game ?

John Laurits (who is also an astrologer, according to links on his website) has invited his readers to "feel totally free to reproduce this article, re-post, re-use, re-cycle, or whatever, in whole or in part — credit would be lovely but, ultimately, I don’t really care! Do as ye will! Peace!" I'm doing just that - and thank you John! Comments are many at the website - linked in the article's title, below. Some commenters attempt to argue with John's findings. He politely and graciously responds to most of them.

Can Sanders do it? Or is Clinton truly inevitable?

Bernie Sanders has vowed to fight relentlessly for the 2016 Democratic Party’s nomination up to the convention and, despite the apparent consensus of the media’s talking heads that the campaign is a lost cause, he has held fast to his claim that there is a “narrow path to victory.” I am reminded of Galadriel’s ominous words of advice, in the Fellowship of the Ring: The quest stands upon the edge of a knife — stray but a little, and it will fail… ÷

It has even become something of a weekly occurrence for Hillary Clinton and her Wallstreet-backed campaign to imply, insinuate, or flat-out demand that Sanders withdraw his bid for the nomination — they are growing increasingly indignant about the fact that Sanders is trying to win. Which brings us to the heart of the issue — can Bernie Sanders–can we–win the delegates needed for the nomination?

The answer to this question is as simple as it is misleading — No. No, my friends, we cannot. And yet–! And yet, neither can Hillary Clinton — and I am going to show you what the media is willfully hiding from you. I am going to show you why, using the one thing that even the media can’t hide: Math.
Why Clinton Will Not Secure the Nomination, According to Math

According to the Green Papers, Clinton stands (today, April 28th) with 1,664 pledged delegates, while Sanders has gathered 1,371. The amount of delegates needed to secure the nomination is 2,383 and, if you’ll pardon me for my use of arithmetic, I will now demonstrate why that number is hopelessly out of reach for the Clinton campaign.†

Hillary needs 719 more delegates to reach 2,383 because:

2,383 – 1,664 = 719

Now, the pledged delegates that are available to grab in the remaining states all-together amount to 1,016 and in order to attain that blessed number, Clinton will have to win an average of 70.7% of the remaining states. This is because:

719 ÷ 1,016 = 0.707677 or approximately 71%

You might be thinking that 71% is not such an unattainable number for Hillary and her powerful Wallstreet backers — you might be thinking that but you’d be betting against longer odds than would be wise. You see, of the 1,016 delegates remaining, 475 of those delegates are to be won in California, alone — California, which has a semi-open primary. California, where Clinton is polling at a mere 49%. California, where Clinton’s support has been declining as the Sanders Campaign gains visibility and momentum. California — the ace that Sanders, as much as the media, have concealed up his sleeve.

It is no secret that Sanders, a previously invisible independent senator from the tiny state of Vermont, consistently climbs in the polls as he begins to campaign in the weeks before each state has had its primary. You don’t have to take my word for it — check the poll-histories for yourself or read this.

Because Bernie Sanders performs at his absolute best in open primaries and because he consistently rises in the polls, while Clinton consistently falls, it is extremely unlikely that Clinton will perform better than 49 points, let alone win the contest. Let’s do some more math:

Of the 475 delegates available in California on June 7th, lets say Hillary takes 49% of those (even though she will almost certainly take less). That would give her 232.75 delegates, which we’ll round up to an even 234.

475 x 0.49 = 232.75

Next, let’s add that to her current total of 1,664, bringing her up to 1,897. Now, she needs an additional 486 delegates to reach the magic number of 2,383, right? Let’s find out how many delegates Clinton would have to win in the remaining states (besides California, of course).

Of the 541 delegates left, once the 475 CA delegates have been subtracted from the 1,016 delegate total, Clinton is going to have to win almost 90% of the remaining non-California delegates! This is because, when you divide the number of delegates that Clinton needs after California by the number of delegates remaining after California, you get 0.898 or 89%, rounded down:

486 ÷ 541 = 0.898 or 89.8%

Now, how likely does that sound? It’s not likely in Oregon, a fairly progressive state that shares its general attitudes with Washington, a state that Sanders won with about 70% of the vote. It’s not likely in West Virginia, either, where Sanders is currently leading in the polls. Nor is it likely in Indiana where Sanders and Clinton are almost neck-and-neck, which votes on May 3rd. That nomination is feeling a lot further away now, isn’t it?

Okay, okay — maybe you’re thinking, “John, I think you’re being unfair, Clinton could certainly win California.” To which I would reply: I admire your optimism, my friend — and since you’re so optimistic, let’s run those numbers again — but this time, let’s assume that Clinton, for whatever reason, defies the consistent trends that have prevailed over the entire primary season. Let’s say, she jumps up 11% now, winning the California primary with 60% of the vote. So:

475 x 0.6 = 285

Now, add the 285 delegates to Clinton’s current total:

285 + 1,664 = 1,949


2,383 – 1,949 = 434

So, Clinton will still need to scrape up 434 delegates somewhere other than California, some how. Which means — Hold on, first we have to figure out how much of the remaining delegates she’ll have to win:

434 ÷ 541 = .802218 or 80%

Wow! Even if Clinton actually wins California with 60% to Sanders with 40%, she will still have to secure about 80% of the remaining vote! Again, this certainly doesn’t seem likely in Oregon, West Virginia, or Indiana, which means the actual percentage would climb each time she failed to take 80% of a state! Now, are you starting to see why I am saying that Clinton will not be securing the nomination before the convention?
Part Two: Why Sanders Will Win, According to Math

If you’ve found yourself thinking, “Well, Sanders won’t secure the nomination, either!” You are almost 100% right! Well, 99.6% right, anyway. Because, if we take Sanders’ current delegate total of 1,371, subtract that from the magic 2,383, then divide that by the remaining available delegates, we get 0.996, see:

2,383 – 1,371 = 1,012

1,012 ÷ 1,016 = 0.996 or 99.6%

Therefore, Sanders would have to secure a whopping 99.6% victory in all remaining states to secure the nomination! I think this may be one of the few things that both Berners and Clintonistas could agree on: that that is impossible. But to those of you that are thinking, “John! This is terrible” or “Haha! Take that, Sanders!” I would reply: You are both wrong. Mostly. Let me explain:

First off, let’s acknowledge that the math seems to prohibit both candidates from securing the nomination before the convention — so what does this mean? This means that, since Sanders will not give up before the convention, there will almost certainly be a “contested convention.”

“Um… But John…” you may be saying, “Won’t Hillary still be miles ahead of Sanders in votes at the convention?”

To which I would reply: I’m glad you asked, my paid Hillary-supporter friend! Allow me to demonstrate how that will also not be the case, no matter what the media would have you believe. Follow me!

Since neither of them will be securing the 2,383 needed for the nomination, let’s take a look at another number that has been hiding in plain sight for far too long. I’d like you to meet the number, 4,051. That’s the number of total pledged delegates that are available from all 50 states, plus DC, US territories, and the Democrats abroad. As it should be obvious, a majority of these delegates would be 2,026 because:

4,051 ÷ 2 = 2,025.5

At the convention, this number is going to matter more than the unattainable 2,383 delegates that no one will have. That being the case, let’s take a look at what Bernie Sanders would have to do to get there. If Sanders won 60% of the remaining contests (and remember how 475 of 1,016 are in California, where Sanders will do well), then the numbers at the convention would look like this:

1,016 x .60 = 609.6

Round that to 610 and add it to Sanders current total of 1,371, then divide that by the total delegate count, 4,051:

610 + 1,371 = 1,981

1,981 ÷ 4,051 = .489 or 48.9%

So, in the scenario where Sanders takes about 60% of the remaining vote, we’re essentially looking at a 49 to 51% vote total at the convention — not so bad, eh? And that’s easily within Sanders’ reach, if we do well in California (which we almost certainly will). Let’s look at what happens if he takes 70% (just like he did last time we went to the West/Left Coast):

1,016 x .70 = 711.2, round it down to 711, then:

711 + 1,371 = 2,082

2,082 ÷ 4,051 = 0.513 or 51.3%

If Sanders took 70%, the convention would look like 51.3 to 48.7%, in favor of Sanders! But 70%, while possible, is a bit of a stretch — the new magic number, for Sanders anyway, is actually 64.4% of the remaining states, which would mean winning 655 of the 1,016 remaining delegates, pushing his total up to 2,026, the bare majority of delegates, leaving Clinton one delegate behind at 2,025.

Now, does Sanders winning 64.4% sound too far-fetched? Not particularly, especially when we consider his advantages on the Left Coast, in California’s 475 delegate semi-open primary. An uphill climb, though? Certainly. Remember, though: it is all but certain that Clinton will not secure the nomination, while Sanders supporters are going to be pouring into Philadelphia for the convention by the tens of thousands. Even if Bernie fell short by a few points, we’re still essentially looking at a tie. And that’s when all hell is going to break loose.

Things are going to become very interesting if we have a near-tie at the convention to be decided by the super-delegates.

Things are going to become very interesting when they look back at the many states that are still crying out for a re-vote, states fraught with “voting irregularities,” polling station closures, and voter roll purges — all states which Clinton won and all states which so far have not received justice.

Things are going to become very interesting when the DNC and the super-delegates realize that Sanders, unlike the Wallstreet-backed Clinton-Machine, will bring in not only millions of independent voters that were unable to vote in the primaries, but even defecting Republican votes, sealing the GOP’s utter defeat in November.

Things are going to become very interesting when, while they are thinking about all of these things, they are doing so to the earth-shaking, thunderous chants of “Sanders! Sanders!” from his tens of thousands of supporters outside, who have time-and-again proven their ability to rally by the tens of thousands — do you think that we won’t do the same at the convention?

And finally, things are going to become very, very interesting when the super-delegates and the DNC are forced to choose, publicly, whether to hand the nomination to Clinton and watch the millions of independents walk away, along with millions of former-democrat Sanders-supporters, basically handing the general election to the neo-fascists Trump or Cruz — or, to hand it to Sanders, a leader who will have the support, not only of the entire Democratic Party, but of millions of Independents, Green Party voters, and — yes, indeed — even Republicans defecting from the extremist GOP. That will be the most interesting part, I think. I’ll see you all in Philadelphia.

In Solidarity,
John Laurits

P.S. Please feel totally free to reproduce this article, re-post, re-use, re-cycle, or whatever, in whole or in part — credit would be lovely but, ultimately, I don’t really care! Do as ye will! Peace!


†I have not counted the so-called “super-delegates” because they do not vote until the convention, which you might not know because of the media’s disgustingly corrupt attempt to warp the public’s perception of the election.

*All numbers pulled from the Green Papers, today 4/28/2016, at:

Part 2 of John Laurits' article is HERE.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ Mary Petty, Alan Dunn & the Fermi Paradox .

While searching for a painter, illustrator, photographer or sculptor to feature today I came across Mary Petty's name in a list of April 29 birthdays. She was one of The New Yorker's cover artists and cartoonists for many years.

From a 1994 article by Victoria Donohoe, Inquirer Art Critic:
It's said that the decades after the Civil War in America produced, in a rising level of prosperity, some of the most powerful and picturesque personalities in our nation's history.

That was an era of robber barons and incompetent politicians, to be sure, but also of utopian reformers with dreams for the betterment of mankind. And it was an era of major creative talents in the arts and literature who had to make their mark in Europe before finding patrons on this side of the Atlantic.

During this period, a series of women ruled social life in some major cities - in New York, for instance - with particular vim and vigor between the third quarter of the 19th century and World War I. Afterward came flappers and another round of prosperity in the 1920s, but those good times were quite unlike the ones experienced earlier.

Seemingly in response to this contrast of eras, Mary Petty staked her whole 40-year career as a cover artist and cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine between 1927 and 1966 on elucidating the difference. She zeroed in on what, to her, was the clear superiority of a way of life being lived around her in her youth

There are lots more examples at Google Image

 29 Apr.1899 New York City (12 noon)
There's precious little about Mary Petty's personal life on the internet, no photographs of her other than one from a school yearbook. I've added her natal chart, just for completion.
She was part of a generation with both Pluto and Neptune in communicative Gemini, a generation which, in adulthood during the 1920s onward gave us some memorable writers, artists and communicators in general. Her natal Mercury sextiles both Gemini outers, while Saturn opposes Neptune from Sagittarius. The Saturnian reflection upon Neptune's creativity could be seen as Ms Petty's gravitation to, and preference for, illustrating older, traditional lifestyles.

Ms Petty was married to another cartoonist, Alan Dunn, and thereby does hang a tale. A cartoon of Dunn's (below) is credited with inspiring the Fermi Paradox.

From Wikipedia:
In 1950, while working at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Fermi had a casual conversation while walking to lunch with colleagues Emil Konopinski, Edward Teller and Herbert York. The men discussed a recent spate of UFO reports and an Alan Dunn cartoon facetiously blaming the disappearance of municipal trashcans on marauding aliens. The conversation shifted to other subjects, until during lunch Fermi suddenly exclaimed, "Where are they?" (alternatively, "Where is everybody?"). Teller remembers, "The result of his question was general laughter because of the strange fact that in spite of Fermi's question coming from the clear blue, everybody around the table seemed to understand at once that he was talking about extraterrestrial life." Herbert York recalls that Fermi followed up on his comment with a series of calculations on the probability of Earth-like planets, the probability of life, the likely rise and duration of high technology, etc., and concluded that we ought to have been visited long ago and many times over.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Mess of Pottage or a Dish of Porridge?

Once upon a time I wrote a post about porage/porridge. I've dragged it out of the dusty archives, brushed it down, slightly expanded it - makes a change from staring, eyes wide shut, at the US political scene!

The word porridge itself has several historical variations in its spelling, porage/porridge being the two surviving. The word, and the food is an altered form of pottage. Porridge's long history and variations are set out at Wikipedia.

My old post was inspired by a 2008 article about the World Porridge Making Championship.
One line from the article had tickled my astrology bone:
"They managed to source their own oats and all came up with very different quality of porridge. They were all varied, which is amazing considering they only have three ingredients of oats, water and salt. "

Three ingredients/elements or, if one adds the necessary heat for cooking, four. Astrology also has four elements/ingredients: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Porridge: Oats, Water Salt and Fire .....hmm!

The four astrological ingredients can combine to produce very different personalities, just as the mix and proportion of porridge ingredients produce different tastes, textures and flavours.

In the porridge-making contest was a special section for more exotic porridge presentations. The winner of this section:
"Addy, a 38-year-old professional Dutch chef, made his special porridge with a mixture of marzipan and home-made ice cream with an 18-year-old Glenfiddich."

In astrology also, it's the addition of special ingredients to the basic mix which adds spice and interest to a personality. Neptune conjunct Sun emanating as a gifted artist or writer; or a Jupiter/Venus/Uranus stellium in Taurus - a feeling of overdoing the good stuff (as in the above special porridge recipe, perhaps ?) Combinations of ingredients, beyond basics, are endless in both porridge-making and astrology.

Astrology and porridge have much in common. Who'da thought it?

There's this too, from the linked article:
Over the centuries, porridge - described as "Chief of Scotia's food" by poet Rabbie Burns - has been surrounded by myths and customs in Scotland.

Traditionally it should only be stirred in a clockwise direction using the right hand to avoid invoking the devil, while legend dictates that porridge be referred to as "they", and should be eaten standing up.

The kitchen dressers of Highland crofts often contained a "porridge drawer" which was filled with freshly cooked porridge that could be cut into squares when cold and taken onto the hills for sustenance.
Relate that to astrology ! Alrighty! Erm... not sure about the clock-wise right-handed stirring, nor any devilish input... but the porridge drawer with handy squares of cooked porridge could be likened unto newspaper, or online, Sun sign columns/websites consulted while at work or during travel. There ya go!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Another "Eve of ..."

CERN just dropped 300 TB of Large Hadron Collider data free online.
Oh goody!

Things had been quiet on the "God Particle" front and Large Hadron Collider so far this year. We were reminded of the old excitements as we watched a two-part mini-series on Netflix at the weekend: The Eve of Destruction. It's a too long 3-hour TV movie served up in two 90 minute slices. We didn't hate it, it did bring up, albeit in a somewhat garbled way, many of the ills of modern life on planet Earth: the greed of corporate bosses, the manipulation of nature for corporate gain, the dangers of human error, the dangers of well-meaning eco-terrorism, for instance. Eve of Destruction is a mix: one part mild sci-fi and one part disaster movie, on a moderate budget, special effects are limited.

Plot (hat-tip to Moria)
In Denver, Karl Dameron and Rachel Reed head The Proteus Project funded by GMO foods magnate Max Salinger. Their project, the DRIL Trigger, when activated, will tap dark energy and provide a source of unlimited power. However, a test run causes an energy discharge that kills a technician. Lineman Ruslan, a Russian immigrant, panics when he sees the purple glow the reactor emits into the sky. He tries to get to Dameron to warn him, saying that he was witness when the same experiment was conducted in Russia a decade ago and ended up wiping the entire town of Lhitiska off the map. Dameron is troubled by these claims and starts to investigate what happened. Meanwhile, the unscrupulous Salinger, who has an important government contract dependent on the success of the Proteus Project, starts putting pressure on the team to ignore the negative results and push ahead. At the same time, Dameron’s daughter Ruby has been drawn in by the radical protest group P53. She is able to get them one of her father’s security access passes, only to find herself dragged along as the group plans to blow up the power plant. As the experiment is activated, these coinciding factors create a runaway surge of dark energy coursing through the power grid that threatens the entire planet.

There's the kernel of a good movie there, but Eve of Destruction was either too long or too short to make absolute sense - even with disbelief suspended. The basic tale, with some repetition eliminated, and faux scientific chat pared down, could easily have fit into around 100 minutes. Using the same basic premise and two long episodes - plus much bigger budget - the ending could have been vastly improved. Heck - the whole world was being destroyed one minute, but a few linemen (nice touch having linemen as "the cavalry" for a change) stopped the "malfunction" (or whatever). Everything is hunky dory once again, but the big bad boss, evil look in his eye, and his sidekick are about to hop onto a plane to Mumbai where another of those collider thingies is already installed. The rest of the world, bless 'em are still trying to put out the fires, draw breath, and dig out the millions of dead bodies. Denver has been more or less obliterated....but hey, a fighting father and daughter are reconciled....and... here come the end credits!

Best actor in the film, by far, is Aleks Paunovic (Ruslan) the immigrant Russian lineman. Steven Weber (Dr Karl Dameron), Christina Cox (Dr Rachel Reed), Treat Williams (Max Salinger) aren't too bad, but at times were unconvincing.

There's an old pop song, sung by Barry McGuire with the same title as this movie; there was a 1991 movie with the same title too. It'd have been a good idea for producers of this 2013 movie to have stirred the old grey matter a bit longer to find a fresh title! Something about linemen would have been good, they never receive much applause, and they have been doing dangerous and essential work for decades.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


The people of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are voting in primaries today. As things stand at present, halfway through the primary process, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the clear leading candidates for Democrats and Republicans.

Enough Republicans, at least, have been brave enough - even in the face of severe criticism of their choice, often well-deserved - to elect for change from the same old establishment politics. On the Democrat side there are still too many people satisfied with what they've had in President Obama, and wish to continue along that road. These people cannot, or will not consider that this country is being held hostage by corporations, plutocrats, war hawks, oligarchy - call 'em whatever one wishes. Electing Bernie Sanders might not be the solution, no single person ever could be, he realises this too, but his nomination would be one step forward in the long road needed to reach a fairer, more just state of affairs in the USA.

Bernie winning the nomination, though not 100% out of the question, has become much less likely after his loss in New York. That does not mean that supporters should abandon him in primaries to come - not if they ever believed in his vision for a better future for all the people of the USA. The closer Bernie Sanders can keep the race the better, to enable him to put his case, at the Democratic Convention, that some of his policies must become part of the party's platform. He needs to get as many delegates into the convention as possible, to use as leverage there.

Opening paragraphs from an inspiring piece
by Robert C. Koehler:
The New Enlightenment
What remains endlessly hinted at about the 2016 presidential race, but not fully articulated, is that something enormous — bigger than politics, bigger than America itself, perhaps — is trembling and kicking just below the surface, struggling to emerge.

I have a name to suggest for this hypothetical phenomenon: the New Enlightenment. Nothing less than that seems adequate.

There are millions of midwives at the ready — angry, despairing citizens — desperately hoping to assist in the birthing process . . . by being part of the Bernie Sanders campaign. I say this with full cognizance of the flawed, compromised nature of politics in general and the Democratic Party in particular. The political process is a stew of money and competing interests, power, compromise, cynicism and secret deals. But that’s not all it is.

It’s also the opening to our collective future. A failure to acknowledge this leaves the process in the hands of those who think they own it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive !

Tomorrow will bring another clutch of primaries.

Fair Game: Why Bernie Should Keep Going
by John Atcheson
"Sanders’ run was never about him," writes Atcheson. "It was about trying to seize the country back from the Oligarchy, and giving it to
the people."

Commenter "DL T88":
EXACTLY. This is OUR campaign and movement that is being sidelined and lied about in the media. It is the PEOPLE Hillary is running against -- not just Bernie.

Another commenter ("atelios") at Common Dreams has compiled a map showing Clinton's and Sanders' primary wins county by county, with this message:
Yesterday I spent all day working on a graphic I put together, from the graphic results I have been following over at Huffington Post (I took a plain map of USA I found on Internet, and then took each state's results map and sized/rotated that to fit on the USA map). See I noticed that Bernie kept winning lots of counties even though he wasn't always winning the eventual vote total. But it just makes him look like his popularity is sweeping the country. Go check out this graphic and decide who you think deserves to represent the entire country in the White House. And share it with anyone you care to. I'll try to update it as the primary races continue...

If the nomination was based on amount of land area won by the candidates, I think Bernie Sanders would win by a landslide! Too bad mother nature can't vote. .........atelios

Click on image for larger version. Blue = Sanders, green = Clinton

It's Music Monday, and it's the anniversary of the birthday of
Ella Fitzgerald. She has some wise words to share with any deflated Bernie supporters out there:

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday & Sundries

A long essay at Vox this week: The smug style in American liberalism, by Emmett Rensin puts forward a point of view with which I agree, but have never been able to clearly put into words - or maybe I've never truly understood the uncomfortable feeling I've had about US politics, ever since arriving on these fair shores in 2004.

I've never called myself "a liberal". This likely stems from the term in Britain relating to a type of politics that didn't match my own, more left-ish brand, known in Britain as Labour. The Labour Party is the party opposing the Conservative Party. The Liberal Party in the UK used to stand somewhere between, and has eventually morphed into something else. I realise, now, that what UK Liberals were was something akin to most modern US Democrats.

Emmett Rensin's essay puts into context my own uncomfortable feelings about "blaming" US voters (and non-voters) for being "dumb", "stupid" etc for their voting preferences. I've said in commentary here, in the past, that I prefer to think of those people who appear to be voting against their own best interests as being misguided, politically manipulated by mainstream media and sometimes even by their churches. I suspect Emmett Rensin would say that mine is still an attitude as smug as calling those people dumb or whatever.

In online commentary there's ample evidence that the chasm between the people "liberal" politics was supposed to be helping, and the people who ought to be being helped, is wider and deeper than the Grand Canyon. There has been little, if any, genuine attempt to cross it, and as long as "liberals" retain the attitude the essay writer defines as "smug" there never will be.

Anyway, for understanding it's essential to read the full, long essay. A couple of brief clips (my highlight):

Finding comfort in the notion that their former allies were disdainful hapless rubes, smug liberals created a culture animated by that contempt. The rubes noticed and replied in kind. The result is a self-fulfilling prophecy.........

....Abandoned and without any party willing to champion their interests, people cling to candidates who, at the very least, are willing to represent their moral convictions. The smug style resents them for it, and they resent the smug in turn.
The rubes noticed that liberal Democrats, distressed by the notion that Indiana would allow bakeries to practice open discrimination against LGBTQ couples, threatened boycotts against the state, mobilizing the considerable economic power that comes with an alliance of New York and Hollywood and Silicon Valley to punish retrograde Gov. Mike Pence, but had no such passion when the same governor of the same state joined 21 others in refusing the Medicaid expansion. No doubt good liberals objected to that move too. But I've yet to see a boycott threat about it.

It's good to see that my favourite biscuit (known in the USA as cookie) the chocolate digestive, retains its allure in England. It's the most charismatic biscuit ever created - the best, and original version is by McVities. Happily Walmart stocks them here, so I can still indulge (yes, I know Walmart is bad, but these biscuits are good enough for me to breach the bad barrier).

For an antidote to the tensions, tears or tantrums of the USA election season, take a look at THIS - it'll lift the mood at once:

This looks like a "must see" movie, later this year:

Blast from the past & the late lamented George Carlin. It's still relevant, though maybe will not hold good for the future!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ Vivian Maier - Another Eccentric

We watched the documentary film
Finding Vivian Maier on Netflix recently. Amazing story of a woman who worked as a nanny, took photographs on the street, good ones - thousands and thousands of them, but kept them hidden, sometimes not even printed. She was, or became, a compulsive hoarder. After her death her photographs and negatives were acquired by a young man who has undertaken the vast job of sorting them, and trying to discover who Vivian Maier really was. The film tells his story, and hers.

A New Yorker article on the topic is HERE, and a piece about legal problems arising from Maier's estate HERE.

Vivian Maier official website, lots of her photographs can be viewed there.

So, here was another type of eccentric personality - Arty Farty Friday has seen at least a couple of these in past weeks. In Ms Maier's case her eccentricity might have been the result of some unknown childhood problems, or perhaps even abuse - this is hinted in the film during interviews with people who knew her, but is now impossible to verify.

Vivian Maier was born in New York City on 1 February 1926. Her family came to the USA from France. Chart below is set for 12 noon, her time of birth isn't available.

A few points:

When dealing with eccentricity, first look to Uranus and Aquarius. A very clearly highlighted Aquarius is found in Ms Maier's chart! Sun plus three personal planets all in Aquarius. A good start - but not everyone with multiple personal planets in Aquarius is an eccentric (those born in February 1962 will attest to this - think Garth Brooks for instance). There has to be more.

Ms Maier's particular kind of eccentricity involved an addiction to hoarding, her urge to extreme privacy and secrecy about her undeniable talent as a street photographer - and her excessive, though secret, output.

The T-square linking an opposition from Venus (art) to Neptune(creativity, addiction) and squares from each to Saturn (restriction, rigidity) reflects discomfort of some kind involving those features.

Jupiter (excess) within her Aquarius cluster, conjunct Sun and Mercury, might relate to both her excessive output of photographs (millions of prints and negatives, all stored, unknown to the public during her lifetime) or to her possibly related habit of hoarding stuff - particularly vast piles of newspapers, the huge weight of which damaged the floor of her apartment.

I notice there's an emphasis on degrees between 21 and 25 around the chart; not sure that is of interest, except that a variety of aspects flow from it - semi-sextile, sextile, square, trine. Usually, this kind of thing indicates a well-integrated character, which Ms Maier, in her own peculiar way was, I guess.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Taurus Considered

 Taurus by Erté

In his book, Astrology (pub.1964) Louis MacNeice, not an astrologer, but a poet and scholar, gathered together much of interest from a variety of sources, ancient and modern. On zodiac sign Taurus, through which the Sun is beginning to travel as I type, he wrote the paragraphs below, often quoting from a variety of professional astrologers. The extract was copy-typed by my own fair fingers, by the way, not copied and pasted from elsewhere. As some of the astrologers mentioned may be unfamiliar, at the end of the extract I've added some links to relevant websites for each named astrologer.

To the layman it may seem comic that Taurus should be feminine, but the horned moonface of its hieroglyph certainly looks less aggressive than Aries' hieroglyph, which is almost all horns and nothing else. Moreover, Taurus is a fixed and earthy sign, and is ruled by the opposite of Mars, the gentle Venus. It is not surprising that Taurus is slow and long-suffering, in fact "bovine"; the hostile Robert Eisler even suggests that he was never a bull, only an ox, and quotes the ancient Roman champion of astrology Firmicus Maternus to the effect that this sign is responsible for the birth of important people and perverts. But most astrologers have been insulting. A slow sign, yes, but a sure sign certainly. Nor is the Taurus type traditionally a sissy: Pearce writes that he is "slow to anger but, when provoked, furious."

Just as Aries was connected with both Mars and the Sun, so Taurus is connected with the Moon as well as with Venus. Barbault describes the Taurus type as essentially "ruminant", a creature of a leisurely rhythm who tends to walk slowly looking at the ground, obedient to the law of his sheer weight. The physiognomists, of course, make him look like a bull: thickset, thick-necked, and thick-lipped, with a broad forehead, wide nostrils and a tuft of hair on the forehead. Countess Wydenbruck notes that he is "not very intelligent", but everyone agrees that he can be a tower of strength. Barbault, in discussing Freud (whom he makes a Taurus type) and his Taurine psychological universe, moves from the love of the child for its mother to the conclusion that "we are here at the heart of Taurus, which represents the meat-safe of the Zodiac...and, through displacement of the oral tendency, the strong-box of the Zodiac".

Working on the same strong-box lines, Tucker finds in Taurus a symbol of the Golden Calf; but he concedes that the Taurus man worships money not for itself but for the pleasure and ease it will bring him. He adds that, if the Taurus man does have enough money to eat well, he should cut down on the carbohydrates. He is a reliable husband and family man, pays his debts, and enjoys a joke; but too much of the "ruminant" quality can make him slothful.

The two points to remember are that Taurus is essentially fixed and essentially earthy. Gleadow instances as Taurus types George Washington and Arnold Bennett. Barbault gives Balzac and Karl Marx as well as Freud. Marx had Taurus as his Sun-sign and it contained at his birth both the Taurine females, the Moon and Venus. Dialectical materialism, Barbault says, falls naturally under this sign. The next, the first of the airy signs, is a very different kettle of flying fish.

Astrologers mentioned:
André Barbault
A.J. Pearce
Countess Wydenbruck
Robert Eisler
Dr. W.J. Tucker
Rupert Gleadow

My own experience of persons with Sun in Taurus, when comparing flesh and blood with the above descriptions, is mixed. My maternal grandmother and my late partner both had Sun in late Taurus (19 and 20 May). There were some basic similarities in their natures, but wide differences too, due of course to the rest of their natal charts. The nature of one of them was far more in line with textbook Gemini than textbook Taurus. There was great warmth and capacity for love and loyalty in them both, and roiling anger if provoked too...but those attributes could equally apply to other zodiac signs, even to my own - Aquarius!

It's not easy to pinpoint something peculiar to Taurus (the sign, not the person). Steadfast and stubborn applies to the other Fixed signs, Aquarius, Scorpio and Leo. Earthy equally applies to Capricorn and Virgo. Venus-ruled also applies to Libra.

What is exclusive to Taurus then? Well...there are the neighbouring signs. Taurus is flanked by Aries and Gemini. One or more personal planets, especially Mercury and Venus, will often be found in one of those adjacent signs for a person born with Sun in Taurus. That exact same trio cannot apply elsewhere. It's very likely that a person with Sun in Taurus will display characteristics of textbook Aries or textbook Gemini - maybe even both - or of all three signs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


Bernie did less well in New York than I'd hoped. Sigh. I got nuttin' for today, so will hand over to someone who had many wise and wonderful words for Americans - and others.

The Twain Well Met: Epigrams by Mark Twain

Facts are stubborn; statistics are more pliable.

There are lies, damned lies and statistics.

The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you do know that ain't so.

Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish.

The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.

It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.

If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do, you are misinformed.

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

There is probably no distinctly American criminal class, except Congress.

Reader, suppose you were an idiot. Now suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.

There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.

In our country we have three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Updating 2008 - rhyming but not repeating

As we wait, on tenterhooks, for results of the New York primary later today, I've decided to play around with an old post of mine from early 2008 during that election season, adjusting the detail - just for fun. The post was titled:
Spirit of Idealism in the USA:

It's fascinating to observe the patterns and passions erupting, from a variety of perspectives, during this long election season in the USA. The conundrum I puzzle over a lot these days: sidereal versus tropical zodiac, nags me regularly as I browse news articles.

There's an interesting phenomenon occurring in the USA now. On first thought it seemed to me to be classic Uranus in Aquarius Aries, tropically, but in the sidereal zodiac, Uranus is now in tropical Pisces. Sidereally Neptune is in Aquarius.

"Change", a keyword of Uranus and Aquarius, is the buzzword of the moment here. American youth has suddenly become avidly interested in politics, passionately supporting their almost messianic hero, presidential candidate Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, whose message encapsulates Aquarian ideals.

The movement towards Aquarian ideals isn't only for the youth of the USA. Those left unmoved by Obama's oratory and celebrity endorsements Bernie Sanders' proposals are enthusiastically supporting an equally determined Hillary Clinton, who passionately demands very little change from the way the country has been run for the last 7 years. Even the old-fashioned Republican party has taken a wee step towards more Aquarian thinking by supporting being shocked by the unexpected in the form of Donald Trump John McCain, who, though still something of an egomaniac warrior, is considerably ever so slightly more humanitarian (Aquarian) in his views on a scant few fronts than his party would traditionally have been.

Uranus in sidereal Aquarius Pisces initially seems like an odd good fit, but because we currently have Neptune in tropical sidereal Aquarius and Uranus in tropical sidereal Pisces, the two planets are in what astrologers call "mutual reception", each is in the home sign of the other. Astrologer Robert Wilkinson says (here) that mutual reception "is a very strong influence. It is as though the two planets feed each other, and grow stronger, for good or ill, in their ability to dominate those affairs in the chart." Using the sidereal tropical zodiac, Neptune currently lies in Capricorn Pisces, mutual reception with Uranus in Aries is absent.

It's not a clear-cut choice to decide which fits the situation better, sidereal or tropical zodiac. It could be argued that Uranus in sidereal Aquarius tropical Aries is a good match for events in the USA, it could also be proposed that Neptune's influence is involved from its home sign, Pisces. In a paragraph above I used the word "messianic" quite automatically, and only later, when searching for information in my astrology books, noticed that Grant Lewi, when describing Neptune in Aquarius in his book "Astrology for the Millions" said
"There is a tendency to messianic feelings of social and economic reconstruction, perhaps an inclination towards dubious methods of accomplishing worthwhile goals (an "end justifies the means attitude")".

Rosa Brooks' article "A National Mood Swing", in the Los Angeles Times discusses the current phenomenon (see here)
In conclusion, she writes: [my deletions and additions for 2016]

"It’s far too soon to say if the newfound spirit of idealism that’s sending voters (including many independents) to the Democratic primaries in record numbers will endure, paving the way for an era of energized new social movements and reforms. But I’d bet that we really have turned a page. On the Republican side too, there’s a palpable desire for a candidate who doesn’t fit into a rigid ideological box, one who can tap into and reflect our best instincts instead of our most craven fears.

Whether the idealistic yearning for change endures probably has little to do with who wins and who loses the Democratic nomination (or even the White House). Losses can galvanize social movements just as much as victories, and whoever wins the White House will be president of an America different from the one that greeted Bush’s inaugurations in 2001 and 2005 [ added: or Obama's in 2009 and 2013] It will be a more hopeful, less partisan nation, one united in its rueful awareness of the ways former Bush presidencies went wrong, a nation [hopefully] more ready to pull its socks up and get to work to put things right."

Conclusion: Tropical zodiac may describe this particular situation more exactly than sidereal, depending on one's viewpoint, but sidereal would still describe it well enough.

Astrology aside, the hope in the hearts of everyone is surely that the phenomenon occurring here [among young voters] survives the election, then grows and blossoms, so the world and the planet itself will benefit.

Monday, April 18, 2016

What to do - nest ....

My spring-time wreath hangs on the outside wall of our chimney breast on the front porch. A couple of wee birds discovered this to be a warm place during cool nights. I'd noticed one or both birds flying off from the wreath of a morning when I popped out to collect the newspaper from the driveway - assumed they'd just been perching there. After mentioning this to husband he went to investigate, then ran in for his camera, and to call me to see what he'd found. A nest with four eggs! We are very careful, now, not to pry further, wouldn't want to annoy the parents!

So, the theme for this Music Monday has to be:


And, instrumentally, Stan Getz & Albert Dailey - Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most

Saturday, April 16, 2016


The silly season has been upon us for quite sometime already this year, and is set to continue.

Example: from a local newspaper in the UK:
Town Prophet Fears Trump is the Antichrist

Ah yes - that old antichrist meme. Been there, I ventured down that rabbit-hole some 5 years ago, I recall:
Will the Real Antichrist Please Stand Up ? Donald Trump wasn't a blot on the presidential campaign season back then though.

A trio of other ideas on this topic :
Our blight is ide­olo­gies — they are the long-expected Antichrist!
Carl Jung
Television is the Antichrist, and I can assure you after only three or four generations, people will no longer even know how to fart on their own and humans will return to medieval savagery and to the general state of imbecility that slugs overcame back in the Pleistocene era. Our world will not die as a result of the will die of laughter, of banality, of making a joke of everything and a lousy joke at that.
Carlos Ruiz Zafon


Anti, anti, anti...anty, antish...

The Ant by Ogden Nash

The ant has made himself illustrious
Through constant industry industrious.
So what?
Would you be calm and placid,
If you were full of formic acid?

From our floral friends: the Antirinum, aka Antirrhinum or Snapdragon

And this cannot be forgotten:

antidisestablishmentarianism (here).

Friday, April 15, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ Robert Lenkiewicz , English Eccentric.

Robert Lenkiewicz - this artist's work is probably not too well known in the USA. He was born in London on 31 December 1941, son of Jewish refugees who ran a Jewish hotel. He spent most of his adult life in and around Plymouth in England's lovely south-west. He died in 2002. He is believed to have had around 12 children from a string of partners.

Lenkiewicz's work was shunned by critics and the established art world, but was always popular with the public. Known for his traditional realistic portrait style, his own lifestyle and the subjects of his works were anything but traditional. He was known for themes on sexuality, mental handicap, suicide and people on the margins of society. He worked via what he called ‘Projects’: large-scale exhibitions of paintings and research notes related to sociological issues. Themes included vagrancy, mental handicap, old age, suicide, death. He sought to illuminate the lives of those he called "the invisible people". Other Projects depicted falling in love, jealousy, orgasm, and obsessive attraction. Lenkiewicz looked at "addictive behaviour" of various kinds. Some colourful characters he painted became an integral part of the Lenkiewicz mythology, in particular Edward McKenzie, known as "Diogenes", and Albert Fisher, known as "The Bishop".

One of several videos about Lenkiewicz at YouTube, this one titled "In His Own Words":

For an all-round idea of his painting style and subjects, take a look at the Google Image page featuring his works.

From an obituary, published in edited form in The Independent (August 2002), under the title 'Radical and Charismatic Painter' by Francis Mallett, August 2002:

His Projects were large in scale and ambition. Lenkiewicz recalled his fondness for the epic scale whilst still a student. At St. Martin's College of Art, he painted a canvas 364 feet long. "What happened, Lenkiewicz?" asked the Principal. "I'm sorry?" Lenkiewicz replied. "Well, that painting, what happened?" "I don't understand," Lenkiewicz replied again. "Well, did you run out of canvas?"

In 1971 Lenkiewicz's taste for the grand gesture led to his creation of the famous Barbican Mural, a painting 3000 feet square, dealing with the influence of Jewish thought on Elizabethan philosophy. Although Lenkiewicz was later rather embarrassed by it ('fairly skilled but illustrational'), the mural became a landmark for Plymothians, as well as visitors to the city. Unforgettably on April Fool's Day, as a result of one of his regular disputes with the local Council, the artist with typical wit whitewashed over it and replaced it with three flying ducks! In many ways, the history of Lenkiewicz is also the history of Plymouth over the past thirty years.

He was the most hardworking of artists, obsessive in his desire to record the event in front of him. To Lenkiewicz there was more humility involved in presenting one hundred images on a theme that didn't worry about high art than attempting to make the perfect painting. This didn't stop him producing some haunting early individual pieces: Plymouth Mourning over its Unfortunates; The Lynch; The Burial of John Kynance; Belle and Diogenes at prayer. The sombre colours - greys, greens and earthy browns - give these paintings a reflective, elegiac quality.........

Final paragraph:

Lenkiewicz will be remembered as a genuine outsider and radical, consciously at odds with current thinking on ethical and artistic issues. He cared less about the opinion of the art critic than that of the man-in-the-street. His art is generous in its ability to communicate with ordinary people, who are little interested in the more esoteric world of contemporary art; it is democratic and humane but never sentimental. Above all, his paintings reveal people for what they are without moral judgment. If the task of the artist is to show what it was to be alive in a certain time and in a certain place, then the qualities of Robert Lenkiewicz's work will increasingly become clear to future generations.

Another side of Lenkiewicz which interested me - his extensive library of occult books, which have now been sold off by Sothebys. (See also here.) Many rarities such as a first edition Malleus Maleficarum were among his collection, and a 17th century spotter's guide to witches and demons, by Joseph Glanvill. Also:
[Waite, A. E.,] The Sophic Hydrolith; or, Water Stone of the Wise.
This is a privately bound photocopy version taken from A. E. Waite’s Hermetic Museum, probably made by the late Robert Lenkiewicz as it came from his collection and he was in the habit of making various versions and binding various texts for his own pleasure. Black and brown square binding with title in gold to front cover.
And from the collection of eccentric English artist Robert Lenkiewicz
‘The Astrologian’s Guide in Horary Astrology’ - Stella, Rupertus[pseud.]
"A rare early 19th century English book on astrology, and probably the only title dedicated to horary astrology published between 1700 and 1850.
This is the only copy of this title to have been sold at auction in the past nine years, to the best of my knowledge. Lenkiewicz established a formidable private library of occult and other literature, but debts he owed on his death in 2002 forced the sale of most of it by auction. Lyon and Turnbull auctioneers of Scotland handled a large part of the sales. "

Information in this post, other than that directly linked, came from:
Plymouth Herald.
The artist's website.


Lenkiewicz is thought of as one of England's eccentrics - England has long been known for its excellence in producing this breed, by the way. When there's eccentricity in the mix, first look to Uranus. Here Uranus trines Neptune, as it did for a generation, but Uranus is conjunct Saturn, an odd pairing of past/future, tradition/avant garde, regulation/the unexpected. That conjunction, in harmony with dreamy, foggy Neptune makes an ever weirder mix, not at all surprising that it would produce an unconventional character such as Lenkiewicz.

His Sun and Mercury in Earthy, business-oriented Capricorn, while being a good match to his Taurus Saturn, is bound to bring about a few itches to scratch via Uranus. Natal Moon, somewhere in Gemini (degree unknown without time of birth) is more than likely to be in friendly aspect to Lenkiewicz's natal Venus (planet of the arts) in Aquarius. So... Capricorn Sun/Mercury looks after the business side of things, albeit in a still unconventional fashion (I read that the painter, after carrying out a commission, instead of asking for cash from the buyer, would hand him/her a bunch of his bills to pay). In spite of his Capricorn input, though, Lenkiewicz did die in debt, and his estate took more than 10 years to sort out.

Oh yes...there's the Yod: Jupiter (excess) and Pluto (darkness, eroticism)in sextile both form 150 degree aspects to natal Sun (self). His love of excess, for example his large-scale projects, his obvious sexual charisma (or whatever), blend together, then in scratchy alignment point to his rather conservative Sun in Capricorn. Recipe for the outlandishly traditional, or traditionally outlandish?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Once Upon a Time in... Debate

Tonight there'll be another Democratic debate aired on TV, this one from New York City, after which Bernie Sanders will be travelling to the Vatican to take part in a conference tomorrow. It's all go !

The New York debate is an overture to the state's primary, due in 5 days' time. Result of the New York primary could well be the deciding factor, delegate-wise, as to whether Senator Sanders will still have any possible path to nomination; same could apply to Donald Trump for the Republicans.

There's a whole lot of New York state outside of New York City, but much attention will be on the City itself.

Never having visited New York City, I've relied on movies for my impression of it - there are many. West Side Story - iconic, musical, tale of life in New York City; Midnight Cowboy, Breakfast at Tiffany's all attempt to depict various facets of life in the city during certain decades.

The first film that comes to my own mind when thinking about New York City is Once Upon a Time in America, set 'twixt the 1920s and 1960s. Sadly the film on a tape we have is a truncated version of the original, made for US audiences. The film's original, almost four hours long, has been mauled terribly over the years, for showing in cinemas all over the world. I saw what I suspect was the longer (possibly original) version aired on TV back in the UK in (I think) the late 1980s, presented as a two part mini-series. After watching our thrift store VHS tape, I discovered that some scenes, important ones I clearly recalled from long ago, simply weren't there. There is, now, a special edition Director's Cut available which is said to be nearer to the original version. In general, I dislike gangster-type tales in the Godfather or Sopranos genre, yet this one had long remained in memory. It really is a classy production, great background music, great acting, a film not properly appreciated, initially, in the USA. It was before its time, I guess.

Speaking of class, and returning to the debate, I trust we'll see some of that tonight!

Husband's photograph titled "Are you here for the debate?" at Flickr (SEE HERE) was among the top 500 chosen from millions to be a part of Flickr Explore's "most interesting photograph of the day", during this week. I suspect the title, and comments under the pic, had as much influence in its choice as the photograph itself, taken in some antique store we'd visited.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dennis's "Dodgy" Doings

How could I not miss Britain, sometimes, with stuff like this going on in their politics... makes me quite nostalgic for the old days it does. The MP being upbraided for calling the Prime Minister, David Cameron, "Dodgy Dave" in the video is Dennis Skinner - a good lefty, former coal miner, and Sun Aquarian. Last time I saw him on TV back in the UK, his hair was still mostly black.

 Dennis Skinner (right) with the late Tony Benn

He has always been, and continues to be, a thorn in the side of Conservative MPs.

More Skinnerisms at this link - including my favourite:

Skinner:"Half the Tory members opposite are crooks."
When told to withdraw this remark by the Speaker:
Skinner: "OK, half the Tory members aren't crooks."

There is, by the way, a list of words not to be tolerated in UK's House of Commons:

stool pigeon

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Chaos Thy Name is Eris (or vice versa)

 Glyph used by Discordians
A couple of recent astrological articles have focus on Eris, and how that minor planet's position - now - might be reflected in current mundane events.

From Mountain Astrologer: article by Arielle Guttman
The Goddess of Discord, The U.S. Chart and the 2016 Election

From Diary of a Mundane Astrologer by Raye Robertson:
An Astrological Fairytale: The Evil Fairy, Prince Charming & the April 19 New York Primary.

 Alternative glyph
Eris, being so distant from Earth, with a l-o-n-g 560 year orbit, hasn't seemed to me to be highly relevant, other than maybe, for fun, playing around with the mythology involved in the name Eris. Goddess of Discord she's called. We have lots of that - all the time!

Astrologers professional, amateur, and mere dabblers like myself have no idea, (if they/we are absolutely honest), of what it is they/we are dealing with in astrology, so it's worth experimenting, using new possibilities, in the hope of discovering which, if any, proves to be a good fit. It's akin to Prince Charming's experiments with the glass slipper (he's mentioned, in another context, in one of the links above).

I've dallied with Eris in the past. Three of five relevant posts are:

PUMA Reflection of Eris ? That one harks back to the 2008 election season and PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) -remember that group?

Eris Cycles from 2011.

Still Cycling...With Eris from July 2014.

I'm still feeling much the same as astrologer Jack Fertig, in the PUMA post linked above:
Jack Fertig: "I want to caution here that I don’t really hold with the notion that the name that astronomers give a planet necessarily defines it. Remember that according to the astronomers, Pluto and Eris aren’t even full fledged planets right now.

Uranus could have appropriately been named Prometheus, and I do think Bacchus would be a better name for Neptune. We relate a lot to the mythological gods through our experience of the planets, and we attribute a lot to Uranus that frankly had nothing to do with the Greek Myth. We also see a lot to Neptune that the Greeks and Romans didn’t. And it’s perfectly fine to update the myths to contemporary realities.
...........We are starting from scratch and can at least use the mythic Eris as a touchstone for beginning investigations."

ALSO, from Jack Fertig (who surmises that Eris might rule Libra):
"But what I do see here with the so-called goddess of strife, is in fact striving, competition. I see her as an agent of group dynamics, how we define ourselves vis-à-vis others, not just as individuals but also as Libran team-mates, as members of a group within a larger group. At the wedding of Peleus and Thetis she introduced a competition that set off the Trojan War. But she’s only directly responsible for the competition; not the war!"