Monday, April 24, 2017

Profiling Writing ~ Regions of the Homewind (Part 1)

Returning to last week's series of posts reflecting the list of my interests - to be found in Blogger's profile, there's one last topic to represent: writing. What follows today, and for the next day or two has never appeared on Learning Curve on the Ecliptic before, though it has been available on an old Blogger blog of mine. I decided to make a little more use of my 2005 writing effort by posting it here, in several episodes. I make no claims for its quality - simply that it was imagined and written, originally on my WordPad, in the days before Learning Curve on the Ecliptic wandered into the curve leading to Blogland.

This was my first, and only, attempt to write a little science fiction, it's from around 12 years ago. It isn't a short(ish) story in the usual format, but is to be read as a series of communications which, taken together, tell a story. An illustration or two might be added here and there. It'll be posted in 2 or 3 slices, probably on alternate days.


"I am going, O Nokomis,
On a long and distant journey,
To the portals of the Sunset.
To the regions of the home-wind"

(From Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha")

Greetings to all who read here. I am Rethiko, Chief Recorder of The First City of Planet Alterion, in the year 800 EA.

The following communications, from two of my former assistants in the Great Hall of Records, have been permanently enrolled within the Central Data Bank of Alterion. Any who read these, in present or future times, will gain important insights which may illuminate a future pathway.

Peace be with you.
Rethiko of The First City.

To: Chief Recorder Rethiko,
It is with the greatest respect, and some regret, that we must inform you of our departure. Our research within the Great Hall of Records, under your tuition, has taught us much. Unable to resist the temptation, in our free time we continued with searches of our own, encompassing materials stored well beyond our designated limits.

We discovered, at last, what we have always instinctively known was waiting to be found. Hidden deep within the data banks was evidence of the origins of our ancestors. This knowledge has been protected and kept a secret from the people of Alterion by order of the Great Chiefs. You may be privy to their reasons.

We now feel a strong urge to act upon what we have discovered. To this end we have enlisted the help of an old friend who studied with us in our youth. Now an Astronaut of chartered craft, he will provide transport for part of the vast distance we must travel, he will also make available the means for us to complete the second part of the journey independently.

Regular reports of our experiences will be communicated to you via Starcast. We hope that you can forgive any wrongdoing on our part, and that you will try to understand what you must surely look upon as nothing but a reckless adventure.

Farewell Chief Recorder. Peace be with you.

First Report

This is transmitted from "Onedin Star", a spacecraft normally used to convey essential materials to Alterion from other planets in the System Ra. On this occasion it travels to a more distant galaxy to collect consignments of rare minerals

We approach the Great Space Spiral, main link from System Ra into outer Cosmic space, once this has been negotiated the Astronaut will navigate through a system of lesser spirals to bring us near to the first point of touch-down.

Cheroka and I both experience feelings of strangeness. We realise that for the first time in our lives we shall be independent. Away from the protective and supportive systems of Alterion, many new and challenging possibilities beckon.

Accommodation inside the spaceship is cramped, the space suits we must wear felt restrictive at first, for these suits are quite unlike our light robes.

Within the Great Space Spiral we experienced brief loss of consciousness, as if falling into a deep dreamless sleep. Wonderful vistas now appear from the observation deck.

The Astronaut warns us to adjust the instruments in our suits and relax our bodies as the spacecraft enters outer Cosmos.

Peace be with you.

Second Report

Now in deep space, the sight before us becomes ever more amazing. Such beauty and vastness, a limitless expanse of stars which shine more brightly than we have ever seen.

We are using the long journey time to study maps and scripts copied from the Great Hall of Records. The planet on which our spacecraft will first land was known in ancient times as "Mars". There we must disembark and detach a lesser craft from the main spaceship. Druid and I will then continue our journey in the small vessel, using programmed instructions, and an Autonaut to assist navigation to our final destination.

Mars is part of a group of planets which circle a star anciently called "The Sun". This group was known as the Solar System, in a galaxy known as "The Milky Way". According to records there was once a thriving mining community on Mars, but because of difficulties connected with the Martian atmosphere, the planet was abandoned.

Counting the passage of time in space is difficult. Alterion time is no longer useful. We have settled upon a method of numbering our periods of sleep. Our bodies are biologically programmed to take regular rest, this is the only reliable method of time-counting we have available to us.

Peace be with you.

Third Report.

After many periods of sleep we are now within sight of Mars, the planet seems shrouded in a dull red glow as we approach. Thoughts of our continued journey into the unknown make us nervous, but excited. Emotions alien to us on Alterion are starting now to surface. Throughout our lives, as you are aware, we have been taught to suppress strong emotion, to remain calm, retain peace within ourselves. Recently we have struggled to understand why these teachings are given such importance on our planet.

Peace be with you,

Rethiko of Alterion to Druid and Cheroka - Responding via Starcast.

Your reports have reached me in Alterion's Great Hall of Records. It is a privilege to share the experiences of your journey. I feel it incumbent upon me to offer some explanations, in light of your most recent report.

The Covenant of Peace and Tranquility was drawn up in the year 01 EA. As you may have learned through diligent research, the Covenant stood as a promise, and a tribute to the strength and courage of the people of a dying planet. A planet left desolate by wars, the after effects of which intensified a wave of natural upheavals which were already occurring. Greed, hatred and the mishandling of the planet's resources were major factors contributing to successive catastrophic events. Greed, hatred and catastrophe are words alien to you, and the people of Alterion. I trust you may never know or experience their full meaning.

The First Great Chiefs were themselves refugees from the dying planet known as Earth. They had suffered equally, or perhaps even more, than the people they helped to escape. Vows made, when a new home for their people was established, reflected an absolute determination that violence between any rival factions must never be allowed to occur again. The Chiefs made solemn vows to protect the new planet home, to educate their people in ways of peace. Meditation, calmness, pureness of thought, and a gradual elimination of strong or violent emotion is the thread which has run through life on Alterion. Many generations have lived peaceful, healthy and happy lives. Issues of conflict, on the few occasions they have arisen, have been taken to The Great Chiefs of Arbitration. Their decisions are never questioned, they are men and women of wisdom, deep insight and psychic powers.

In your present circumstances it becomes necessary for me to break my rule of silence on these matters, to make clear the reasons behind our Covenant of Peace and Tranquility. Neither you nor I know what might await you at your destination. The information I have given may be of help.

And now I take leave of my pilgrims. Go forward in peace and safety.

Rethiko of Alterion.

Fourth Report - recorded by Cheroka

We thank you for your kindness Rethiko. Your words have brought even more certainty that our pilgrimage is essential. What awaits us on planet Earth is unknown. We must summon some of the courage of our ancestors. When first they set foot upon Alterion. What awaited them was also unknown. Their bloodline flows through us, courage is awaiting our call.

The "Onedin Star" has reached the surface of planet Mars. Wearing pressurised helmets we disembarked. Stepping onto another planet for the first time, we felt invigorated. Our spacecraft landed on a plain strewn with large rocks. In the distance stand some ruined constructions which must be remains of the mines and laboratories of which we have read. Scientists from Earth tried to adjust the atmosphere here, but efforts were only temporarily successful.

The smaller spacecraft, in which we are to continue our journey alone, has been detached and prepared. After one sleep period the main spacecraft departed. We have checked equipment stowed on our small vessel. We have portable lights, clothing for a variety of climates, implements of sedation to use should we need to calm any violent creatures, also a selection of medicines.

We shall now continue to our final destination: planet Earth.

Peace be with you,

Fifth Report - recorded by Druid

We have now been travelling towards planet Earth for 10 sleep periods.

This spacecraft, though small in size, is extremely powerful, and has been programmed to find the most rapid route to our destination.

Today, for the first time, a tiny spot appeared on the navigation screen, the instruments tell us that this is planet Earth! We estimate that 30 to 40 more sleep periods will bring us close enough to see the planet clearly.

We meditate to access peace and patience. Our Alterian training helps, but it becomes ever more difficult to remain unmoved at the thought of what lies before us.

30 more periods of sleep have passed. Planet Earth can now be seen clearly in the observation bay. A wondrous sight! She is blue - a beautiful, intense blue, much bluer than the Alterian sky. Powerful ancestral memories seem to speak to us as we gaze upon our destination.

Few outlines of land are now visible, we have, so far, been unable to relate them to our maps. We fear that many things will have changed since these maps were produced. Copies of astronomical charts will be our main guide in calculating direction on Earth's surface.

Peace be with you,

Sixth Report - recorded by Cheroka

On waking we discovered that our spacecraft had touched down while we slept.

We disembarked slowly, wearing pressurised helmets to check the atmosphere. Instruments soon indicated that the air of Earth is clean and suitable for our systems. It was a moment of absolute joy to remove our helmets and take in first breaths of the air of planet Earth, the true homeland of our people. Sweet, clear as the crystals we find in the hills of Alterion. Sharp as the beak of an Alterian Wildjay. Cool as water from the springs of Mount Alteria.

The spacecraft has come to rest in an area of flat ground. There are hills and mountains in the far distance. In the near distance, some mounds of stones. Green vegetation lies tangled all around. There is silence. The sky is deep blue, and the star they called The Sun shines down, just as Ra shines down on Alterion. We feel the heat through our space suits and long to discard them.

Sitting on the ground, feeling the warmth rise through our bodies, we stripped off the space suits and wear only loose, short robes.

Among some piles of stones lying just beyond our craft, we saw evidence of ornamental carving, decoration which must have been made by people of Earth, so long ago. We placed our hands on the stones, allowing vibrations from the minerals to enter our bodies. It is possible that these stones once formed parts of buildings. Perhaps a great city once stood here. These were the kinds of intuitive signals we received. Vibrations are strong on planet Earth, and in tune with our own, giving us confidence for what lies ahead.

Peace be with you,

Seventh Report - recorded by Druid

Near to the craft, we watched the Sun disappear below the horizon. As the sky grew dark, more quickly than on Alterion, stars and planets appeared. The night sky is very beautiful! There is one Moon, somewhat larger than Alterion's two. It shines down very brightly, almost a complete disc. Studying star charts, we have identified what the ancients called "The North Star" or "Polaris". For a temporary method of estimating direction, we noted where the Sun fell beneath the horizon.

Cheroka and I enjoy heightened mental communication here. We know from our studies that few people in ancient times used this ability. The leader of our First Great Chiefs was one of the few. We were fortunate that she encouraged those she led to learn, use, and teach these precious skills to young successors.

The air grows cold quickly as darkness falls. When the Sun rises again we shall note its position, then adjust the craft's controls so that we may hover just above Earth's surface, and begin exploring.

Peace be with you,

Eighth Report - recorded by Cheroka

As the Sun appeared we completed modifications to our craft and began to travel towards the mountains. The Sun was high overhead by the time we approached our destination.

The ground had become softer, less dry, with a regular covering of green vegetation. Small trees, and coloured flowers lined the edges of a narrow stream of crystal clear liquid, which looks like water. We stopped the craft to examine it. The liquid is, indeed, water. Results obtained after testing left us in no doubt. We took our first taste of Earth's water: delicious!

Further into the foothills, small insects began appearing on the navigation screen, more evidence of life here. Druid sped the craft along, higher, enabling us to cover more distance before the Sun once again descended.

As darkness fell we arrived at the edge of the highest mountains. When light returns we shall continue exploring on foot. The temperature has dropped, space suits will be needed, for warmth and protection.

Further evidence of life has appeared in the damp ground on the mountain-side, imprints which may be footprints of a small creature.

In a clearing, surrounded by enormous rocks and tall trees, we saw the ruins of what looks like a roughly-built shelter. There are carvings on nearby rocks. We shall inspect more closely when light returns.

Peace be with you,

Ninth Report.

The clear fresh air and physical exercise have affected our systems. We slept so long that the Sun was already high when we returned to the mountainside to inspect the carvings.

Crudely carved inscriptions appear to be names. There is also a recurring symbol, a vertical pillar with a horizontal pillar across it; we remember that this sign was known as a "cross", and related to what some peoples of Earth called "religion". This was a concept we found incomprehensible during our researches. Perhaps this place marks a location where people died, or were laid to rest in the ground. It was, perhaps, intended as a memorial.

Higher on the mountainside the air became colder. We were amazed to see in the distance, and higher still, what appeared to be smoke. Could it be possible that humans have survived here, and still live in these mountains? A more likely explanation, we thought, was that the hot sun had caused some dried vegetation to blaze.

Tenth Report

Cheroka has fallen onto sharp rocks on the mountainside. Her legs and arms are badly torn. I left her where she lay in order to return to the craft to collect medicines. When I returned Cheroka was no longer where I had left her. She could not have walked unaided. I fear she may have been harmed. I shall search the surrounding area. My heart begins to pump vigorously - this is what I always imagined that fear would feel.

Peace be with you. I hope to return with better news soon.


Rethiko of Alterion responding to Druid via Starcast

Your latest report concerns me greatly. Please feel reassured that if Cheroka has been moved, then it would seem that something, or someone was trying to help her, not harm her. Bear that thought in mind, my pilgrim, as you search.

You mentioned, in an earlier report, the Earthly concept of religion. I will say little now, as I know that your mind must be preoccupied.

For thousands of years, before the migration, most peoples of Earth held belief in a "creator" known by a variety of names and worshipped or respected in various ways in different areas of the planet. Each religion used a framework of rules by which its followers were advised to live. Most retained ancient texts written by their founders.

We have learned from research that religions evolved over long periods of Earth time. They gradually moved away from their original purpose, of promoting peace, harmony, and a healthy way of life. Teachings of two widely followed religions strayed so far from their origins that followers began to destroy each other. This undoubtedly was a factor instrumental in bringing an end to Earth's period of civilisation and, as far as we know, life on planet Earth.

On planet Alterion, as you know, we believe that only life itself is sacred, that it arises from an interconnected universe, of which we all form a part. We are all creators. Peace has enfolded our planet for 800 Alterian years. We flourish, we have created our way of life from a wilderness.

These are matters to keep in memory should you find planet Earth proves still to be populated, however sparsely. The descendants of any who survived terrible destructive events might retain ancestral memories. It is well that you stay aware of this.

Proceed in peace and safety.
Rethiko of the First City.

To be continued.....

For Music Monday - a musical interlude, and a song of the right flavour to match the story being told: a great bluegrass version by Iron Horse of Elton's Rocket Man

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday & Sundries

There's still one topic left to be represented in this week's "profiling" series, it'll be dealt with after the weekend, though a couple of these sundry items do touch on it.

From this fairly recent Guardian piece on that dratted Oxford comma:

Never let it be said that punctuation doesn’t matter.

In Maine, the much-disputed Oxford comma has helped a group of dairy drivers in a dispute with a company about overtime pay. [Detail on this at the link].

The Oxford comma is used before the words “and” or “or” in a list of three or more things. Also known as the serial comma, its aficionados say it clarifies sentences in which things are listed.

As Grammarly notes, the sentences “I love my parents, Lady Gaga and Humpty Dumpty” and “I love my parents, Lady Gaga, and Humpty Dumpty” are a little different. Without a comma, it looks like the parents in question are, in fact, Lady Gaga and Humpty Dumpty.

The Oxford comma ignites considerable passion among its proponents and opponents. In 2011, when it was wrongly reported that the Oxford comma was being dropped by the University of Oxford style guide, there was uproar.

“Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?” opens one Vampire Weekend song.

The Guardian style guide has the following to say about Oxford commas:

a comma before the final “and” in lists: straightforward ones (he ate ham, eggs and chips) do not need one, but sometimes it can help the reader (he ate cereal, kippers, bacon, eggs, toast and marmalade, and tea).

Sometimes it is essential: compare

I dedicate this book to my parents, Martin Amis, and JK Rowling


I dedicate this book to my parents, Martin Amis and JK Rowling

While adding tags I noted that another aspect of the comma was mentioned in a past collection of bits and pieces:

Question: "Will we use commas in the future?" Article by Matthew J.X. Malady at Slate.

Answer: One would hope so, unless civilisation crumbles to the point where no human is capable of writing, reading and constructing an intelligible sentence.

From New Yorker article How to Stay Sane as a Cartoonist in Trumpland
By David Sipress:

Two pieces of wisdom from Henry David Thoreau:

Men say they know many things
But lo!they have taken wings, -
The arts and sciences,
And a thousand appliances;
The wind that blows
Is all that any body knows.

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Profiling the Arty Farty

Still on this week's theme, mentioned in Monday's post:
I'd not looked at my own "profile" on this blog for years. In 2006, when I opened Learning Curve on the Ecliptic, I listed my interests as: "astrology, psychic phenomena, music, politics, art, writing". This week, just for a change from random scribbling, I'm re-airing, at a rate of one topic per day, a past post - one that I feel remains relevant.

Today's topic, because it's Arty Farty Friday, has to be: art. So many artists have been investigated on Fridays, over the years, it's hard to choose just one. How about this somewhat ragged, forgotten post from way back in April, 2007?

Surrealism, Abstract Art and Astrology

Styles of art have always intrigued me, especially surrealism and abstract art, which tend to overlap. These are expressions of the unconscious mind, concepts, emotions and ideas. Some artists who embraced these styles eschewed representational art entirely, in favour of symbolism form and colour, while others retained almost photographic depiction of their subject, but set it in surreal situations.

I wondered whether any indication towards one or other of these styles might be found in the natal charts of some well known artists. Using the "stand well back" approach I concentrated on two generational planets, Uranus and Neptune, along with Saturn. Reason: Saturn represents the establishment, the status quo, and probably representational art - realism. Uranus represents the new, the avant garde, the inventive. Neptune is involved with the dreamy and imaginative. Although Uranus and Neptune are generational, I think that the way Saturn interacts with them might be significant here, in the way the artists gravitated towards two different styles of expression.

Next to each birth date below I've listed the sign positions of Uranus, Neptune and Saturn, in that order. (Harmonious and inharmonious aspects are within reasonable orb/limits.)

Salvador Dali used strange dream-like images in his pictures , yet the figures and objects he used were mainly recognisable and intricately drawn. Likewise in the case of Rene Magritte and Escher.

Dali -11 May 1904 Figueras, Spain. (Sag/Can/Aqua) - Uranus and Saturn in harmony, Neptune not.

Magritte (left) - 21 Nov. 1898, Lessines, Belgium. (Sag/Gem/Sag) - All in harmony.

Escher 18 June 1898, Leeuwarden, Netherlands. (Sag/Gem/Sag)- All in harmony.

Dali, Magritte and Escher are what I'd call "representational surrealists", depicting real people, creatures or objects in surreal situations. In their charts Saturn and Uranus are in harmony, perhaps giving these artists the wish, and the ability to express ideas in new ways, but without fully abandoning the traditional.

Artists such as Klee, Miro, and Mondrian used shapes, symbols, balance and colour to convey their message.

Paul Klee 18 Dec. 1879, Munchenbuchsee, Switzerland. (Virgo/Taurus/Aries) Uranus out of tune with Saturn.

Mondrian 7 March 1872, Amersfoort, Netherlands. (Can/Aries/Cap) Uranus opposes Saturn.

Miro 20 April 1893, Barcelona, Spain. (Scorpio/Gem/Lib) Uranus out of tune with Saturn

Klee, Miro and Mondrian painted in symbols, with forms and colour to get their message across - no hint of realism at all. In the natal charts of these artists Uranus and Saturn are not in harmony. The artists have moved right away from the traditional to new means of expression. There is no merging of old and new.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Profiling Psychic Phenomena

Continuing this week's theme, as mentioned in Monday's post: I'd not looked at my own "profile" on this blog for years. In 2006, when I opened Learning Curve on the Ecliptic, I listed my interests as: "astrology, psychic phenomena, music, politics, art, writing". This week, just for a change from random scribbling, I'm re-airing, at a rate of one topic per day, a past post - one that I feel remains relevant.

Today's topic: psychic phenomena, in particular, telepathy. A post from 2012.

Telepathy ~ Mary Craig Sinclair ~ Mental Radio

On our recent trip, in a junky antique store, I found a copy of one of the volumes from an old Time Life set: Mysteries of the Unknown - the volume on Psychic Powers. I couldn't resist it, marked up at a couple of dollars.

In chapter one, Beyond the Five Senses there's a section on Mary Craig Sinclair, second wife of novelist, muckraker and socialist Upton Sinclair.

Mary Craig believed she had telepathic powers, and was of the opinion that such powers could also be cultivated by others. She recommended a method of training involving intense concentration allied with relaxation. Upton Sinclair's book Mental Radio documents experiments in telepathy he carried out with his wife and presents illustrations of a few of the many sketches she had attempted to telepathically read from his mind. The Time Life volume I have contains 5 examples of those illustrations. Upton Sinclair's original sketches along with his wife's telepathically received versions are shown. The couple claimed, over time, a success rate far beyond what might have been expected by chance.

I do not wish to infringe copyright. A note at the end of the volume states that "brief passages may be quoted for reviews". I will hope that using a scan of two of the 5 sets of sketches can be classed as a quotation for review, explanation, discussion under the Fair Use guidelines.

It'd be interesting to look at Mary Craig Sinclair's natal chart. She was born on 12 February 1882 in Greenwood, Mississippi. No time of birth is available so a 12 noon chart must suffice. Rising sign will not be as shown, nor will degree of Moon, though Moon would have been in Sagittarius.

Sun and Venus in Aquarius, sign of mental acuity, with communications planet Mercury next-door in intuitive Pisces. As I wrote in a post about Sun Aquarius astrologers recently, when Aquarius planets are "assisted" by planet(s) in a Water sign, the mental acuity might take a turn towards astrology; equally, I guess, to other mysterious subjects such as telepathy.

Mary Craig's Mercury is in helpful sextile aspect to down-to-Earth Saturn, and Neptune (ruler of Pisces) in Earthy Taurus. Uranus in Virgo makes an harmonious trine aspect to Jupiter in Taurus. There's quite a strong Earthy feel to the chart, which could indicate that her mental acuity and intuition from Pisces Mercury is being "Earthed" - rather than remaining uninvestigated, unaddressed. Observers can consider, and possibly attempt to emulate Mary Craig's telepathic ability. She was keen to share information on how this might be done - again trying to "bring it down to Earth".

Upton Sinclair's chart, by the way, can be viewed at Astrodatabank HERE. He had a concentration of planets (Sun/Mercury/Venus/Mars/Uranus) in Virgo the sign ruled by Mercury the communications planet. His North node of Moon is in Aquarius.

Comments from Feb. 2012
JD said...Ah, but science has come a long way since then: [updated link].

Twilight - JD ~~~ Good video trailer! Some scientific minds have opened wider since the Sinclairs' experiments, that's true enough. I like the way one of the contributors used the term "supernormal" - it's a much better description than "supernatural".

Anonymous (Gian Paul) said...Super or extra-normal perceptions exist, experience them sometimes myself. Their significance or use? Subjectively (that's most I can say) such occurrences are a wink that other dimensions are, inducing from when and how they happen to me, more or less permanently "at work". Who is not permanently aware of it are we. And that appears meant to be.

Twilight said...Gian Paul ~~I think the significance of these supernormal experiences is that they are an accidental, or involuntary, & hint that "there's more". I suppose that we, as a race, are not yet ready to discover exactly what, and how extensive, the "more" is. We need to grow up, grow wiser, and use what we already know more usefully first.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Profiling Politics

Continuing this week's theme, as mentioned in Monday's post: I'd not looked at my own "profile" on this blog for years. In 2006, when I opened Learning Curve on the Ecliptic, I listed my interests as: "astrology, psychic phenomena, music, politics, art, writing". This week, just for a change from random scribbling, I'm re-airing, at a rate of one topic per day, a past post - one that I feel remains relevant.

Today's topic: politics. A post from 2010 - comments included.

Cameth the hour ~ Eugene V. Debs

"Cometh the hour, cometh the man" - that concept appeals to me. I think it originated, though not in those exact words, in Sir Walter Scott's novel Guy Mannering. There's a wee flavour of astrology about it. It has been known to work too, not always, but on many occasions. It's as though a communal need gathers critical mass and draws to it the right man/woman to deal with a serious or dangerous situation.

In the USA one such guy, in my not so humble opinion, was Eugene Debs. “A dynamic and visionary leader of the 19th century railroad workers; preeminent spokesman for the Socialist labor tradition; beloved by those whose lives he touched.” He came along when things in the USA were getting badly out of balance with the increase in industrialisation. Workers were being exploited, poverty was rife, inequality reigned. Debs didn't make it to the presidency, in spite of running in 1900, 1904, 1908 1912 and 1920 as Socialist Party candidate.His last campaign had to be conducted from behind prison bars, while serving a 10 year sentence for opposing America's entrance into World War I and denouncing the Espionage Act (designed to silence all anti-war sentiment). He was released under under a general amnesty on Christmas Day 1921 by Warren G. Harding.

Eugene Debs' noble ideals were noted and absorbed; some things improved then, and later, because of his efforts.

The late Howard Zinn's 1999 article, Eugene V. Debs and the Idea of Socialism is a good read, I shall take the liberty of using an extract from it here.
Debs was what every socialist or anarchist or radical should be: fierce in his convictions, kind and compassionate in his personal relations. ........................
In the era of Debs, the first seventeen years of the twentieth century-until war created an opportunity to crush the movement-millions of Americans declared their adherence to the principles of socialism. Those were years of bitter labor struggles, the great walkouts of women garment workers in New York, the victorious multi-ethnic strike of textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, the unbelievable courage of coal miners in Colorado, defying the power and wealth of the Rockefellers. The I.W.W. was born-revolutionary, militant, demanding "one big union" for everyone, skilled and unskilled, black and white, men and women, native-born and foreign-born.

The following paragraph I found surprising, particularly the part about our state, Oklahoma. Things have changed beyond recognition here. News came yesterday of a plan by the Oklahoma Tea Party to raise a "constitutional" armed militia here to oppose the Federal government: see here:

More than a million people read Appeal to Reason and other socialist newspapers. In proportion to population, it would be as if today more than three million Americans read a socialist press. The party had 100,000 members, and 1,200 office-holders in 340 municipalities. Socialism was especially strong in the Southwest, among tenant farmers, railroad workers, coal miners, lumberjacks. Oklahoma had 12,000 dues-paying members in 1914 and more than 100 socialists in local offices.

And the following states exactly my own view (thank you Mr. Zinn, RIP)

The point of recalling all this is to remind us of the powerful appeal of the socialist idea to people alienated from the political system and aware of the growing stark disparities in income and wealth-as so many Americans are today. The word itself-"socialism"-may still carry the distortions of recent experience in bad places usurping the name. But anyone who goes around the country, or reads carefully the public opinion surveys over the past decade, can see that huge numbers of Americans agree on what should be the fundamental elements of a decent society: guaranteed food, housing, medical care for everyone; bread and butter as better guarantees of "national security" than guns and bombs; democratic control of corporate power; equal rights for all races, genders, and sexual orientations; a recognition of the rights of immigrants as the unrecognized counterparts of our parents and grandparents; the rejection of war and violence as solutions for tyranny and injustice.

There are people fearful of the word, all along the political spectrum. What is important, I think, is not the word, but a determination to hold up before a troubled public those ideas that are both bold and inviting-the more bold, the more inviting. That's what remembering Debs and the socialist idea can do for us.

Eugene V. Debs was born on 5 November 1855 in Terre Haute, Indiana. I can find no time of birth for him on-line, which I find surprising; Astrodatabank doesn't even have an entry for him.
So, a 12 noon chart must suffice. Ascendant degree/sign is unknown as is Moon's degree, though Moon would be in Virgo until 8pm and Libra afterwards.

Debs' natal Sun was in passionate, magnetic Scorpio. I've noticed that Scorpio input can often translate into personality as someone who has an exceptional ability to use words to their most mesmerising effect - Carl Sagan springs immediately to mind. Debs certainly had this very special talent.

Outer planets Pluto (ruler of his Scorpio Sun) and Uranus the rebel planet were both in Taurus and loosely opposing his Sun/Mercury. This opposition reflects a dynamic push-pull between two transformative outer planets in the rather stubborn conservative sign of Taurus against his Sun (self) and Mercury (mental processes ) in passionate, determined Scorpio. Debs, fortunately, was able to harness this dynamic to draw the best from both.

The other outer planet, Neptune (imagination, dreams, creativity) lay in its own sign, Pisces in harmony with Debs' Scorpio Sun, and forming a wide Grand Trine with the addition of Saturn in the last degree of Gemini, about to move into Watery Cancer. The near-trines here are too wide to be strong aspects however, but the planets are in harmony. Neptune and Saturn in harmony bring the stability and common sense of Saturn into the often foggy dreams of Neptunian imagination. That's good! I'd guess this Water "circuit", and the fact that Debs' had no planets in the more potentially aggressive Fire signs, accounts in part for his reputation as a gentle, kindly guy. Howard Zinn starts the article linked above thus:

We are always in need of radicals who are also lovable, and so we would do well to remember Eugene Victor Debs.....Debs was nationally famous as leader of the Socialist Party, and the poet James Whitcomb Riley wrote of him:
"As warm a heart as ever beat
Betwixt here and the Judgment Seat."
These words from Eugene Debs himself are what endear him to me:

"If you go to the city of Washington, you will find that almost all of those corporation lawyers and cowardly politicians, members of congress, and mis-representatives of the masses claim, in glowing terms, that they have risen from the ranks to places of eminence and distinction. I am very glad that I cannot make that claim for myself. I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks. When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks."

Back my first thought: "Cometh the hour, cometh the man" - where is such a mortal in 2010? I suspect that "the hour" is nigh!


Wisewebwoman - Thanks for the intro to this wonderful man, T. I was struck, upon reading your thoughtful post, that how little has changed from when he was around. Theocorporatocracy still rules the day and the poor are no longer merely downtrodden, they are without expectation of betterment when there are no fearless leaders like Debs to shine HOPE on their plight. Was it ever thus?

Twilight - WWW ~~~ Yes - that's what prompted me to post about Debs. Things have changed in some respects - poverty in the USA isn't as intense, working conditions aren't as dreadful, in comparison with how they were then. But still the same pattern persists and, as you say, there seems little hope of it changing for the better without the emergence of another strong, sincere leader with no ties to the corporations or religion. I think there will be someone though, in the future, not sure how far ahead. Things are not bad enough yet, the communal need hasn't reached that critical mass.

Valus - Hi, I discovered Debs today (from a Chomsky documentary), and am eating up his quotes wherever I can find them on the internet. Stumbled on your blog post here while searching for his natal chart, and love it, especially the article by Zinn. Thanks for posting this. Oh, but Debs' Saturn does not trine his Neptune or his Sun; only his Jupiter in Aquarius.

Twilight - Valus ~~~ Hi there and thanks for reading and commenting here. :-)
Debs is a political hero of mine. Erm let's the chart aspects you mention that are not as I posted....Saturn trine Neptune & Sun. I do believe the trines are there, but agree they are too wide to be strong aspects. My software lists them, but I've noticed before that this software tends to be too generous with their trines. ;-) 8 degrees is usually max, 10 in some cases. These are more than that, of course, but I guess we could say they are still in harmony. (Saturn does widely trine the two planets, out of sign, Saturn being in the last few minutes of Gemini, about to move into Cancer.)

Thanks for pointing that out - I'll look to amend somehow - possibly by adding the word "wide".

mike - Thanks for providing the link to your Debs post, Twilight...I should have known you had covered this topic! It's interesting that he was not lost in the continuance of it is 2013 and he is well remembered for his efforts. I'm intrigued by his Pluto-North Node tight conjunction...a mark that would indicate influential fate of the masses, possibly, and he has that in spades.

In your post for November 16, 2013, I linked the Wiki quote showing that the younger amongst us are much more favorable to the socialist concept. Any of our contemporaries interested in socialism will find Debs front and center of their research.

Twilight - mike ~ In the floundering boat of US politics, when feeling seasick I always go to Eugene Debs to regain my, erm, composure, when all I've wanted to do is barf. :-)
Yes, a new generation will (I hope) help turn things around, especially when a few of them get their voices. This is exactly where people like Russell Brand can help bring it on.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Profiling Astrology

As mentioned in Monday's post, I'd not looked at my own "profile" on this blog for years. In 2006, when I opened Learning Curve on the Ecliptic, I listed my interests as: "astrology, psychic phenomena, music, politics, art, writing". This week, just for a change from random scribbling, I'm re-airing, at a rate of one topic per day, a past post - one that I feel remains relevant.

Today's topic: astrology, it's an important one, it was the sole reason for this blog's creation, though in time my other interests have overtaken constant planetary ponderings. Today, I'm back-tracking all the way to August 2006 and my first post on astrology:
"Astrology - How?"

I don't know how astrology works. Nobody does. Most astrologers find some way of explaining it. Some are unacceptable, even to me. This is how I see it:

The Universe is full of energies, forces, elements of which we know very little, if anything. More and more is being discovered with every month that passes.I believe there are "energies" for want of a better word, or perhaps a better description would be "a kind of atmospheric soup", to which our human bodies react, starting with our first breath after birth into this world as a separate entity from our mothers. With that first breath we are "imprinted" (again for want of a better word) with a pattern or blueprint based on the mix of energies at that very minute, in that particular place. This imprint blends with the genetically inherited flesh and blood from which we are formed. From centuries of observation, it would appear that these "energies" are somehow connected with the planets in our solar system, and their movements around the ecliptic.

As we grow, the planets and their movements continue to have some relevance, because our imprinted circuitry is sensitive, especially as the planets move over certain areas. From my own experience, this occurs on a much lesser scale than that which popular astrologers would have us believe. The outer, slow moving planets can affect our lives to varying degrees at a few specific points in any life span...not every day, every week, or even every year. Most of the time we are free-wheeling, using our inborn blueprint, living our lives using free will, making our own mistakes, enjoying our own triumphs. Just a few times in a life the Universe steps in and a particular configuration of planets - triggers our own imprint and re-directs matters. Even then, though, it remains in our hands as to how we react to this re-direction. These especially sensitive configurations can occur cyclically.

Astrology has a long, long history, reaching back in time further even than we know. The knowledge passed down through centuries might well have become mangled, mis-translated, and politically censored from time to time - rather like the Bible. Astrologers today still use many of the terms and methods of the ancient astrologers. This very fact is off-putting to many. In ancient times people understood the un-knowable in the best way they could. They used fables, deities, archetypes, and strange symbolic glyphs to describe ideas which could not otherwise be explained. I believe that the core of astrological knowledge comes from way beyond anything we can now trace. Perhaps from another dimension, or a past civilisation which, as yet, we know nothing about?

The notion that planets, and various accurately measured points in space can affect our lives may seem unbelievable, yet there ARE patterns. Just as the planets move in regular definable cycles, there are rhythms and patterns in all our lives. There are patterns of personality which can be seen to emerge based on positions of the planets and the angles they make with one another at the time of birth There are patterns in the stages of our lives. There is a rhythm which can be traced back to the dance of our planets.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Profiling on Music Monday

I'd not looked at my own "profile" on this blog for years. It'll have needed little change since 2006 when I opened Learning Curve on the Ecliptic. I then listed my interests as: "astrology, psychic phenomena, music, politics, art, writing". This week, just for a change from random scribbling, I'm going to re-air, at a rate of one per day (maybe) a past post I consider still to be of interest on each of those topics.

As today is Music Monday I'll begin in the midst of that profiled list of interests with an old post on music. I've chosen something I didn't write myself, but used as a guest post back in 2012. Oddly, this old journal post, written by my husband, wasn't originally posted on a Monday, though does fit Music Monday's category well.

GUEST POST by "anyjazz", aka my husband:

Miss Lindeman's 4th Grade Class, 1947.

“What kind of music do you like?”
“Do you play an instrument?”
“When do you find time to play all your records?”
“What started your interest in music?”

It’s a long story.

In fourth grade Miss Lindeman told the class, “Listen and see if you can hear the horses. Listen to this and imagine a gypsy dancing. Listen for the raindrops and the storm starting.” And we did.

It probably falls back to the trite old adage: “One must listen, not just hear.” Or something like that.

Lots of people hear music without really listening for the raindrops and the call to arms. Miss Lindeman told us to listen. She taught us that there was something in addition to the melody or the words. Treasures were hidden in those sounds.

So for those of us who really listen, we hear a painting, colors and feelings. The composer gathers his thoughts or the musician speaks to us. We experience layers and textures, emotions and ideas.

Most enjoy hearing music. Some only enjoy certain areas, country, jazz, classical. The Listener likes anything musical. Anything Musical.

Many people enjoy hearing songs with words so they can identify with the singer or the story being told. But for the Listener, it is a deeper experience. A Listener hears the music and sometimes knows the brand of the guitar playing, or when a breath was taken in a solo phrase. We know how hard a clarinet is to play. We know when a jazz artist has borrowed a bit of a solo from an old scratchy record. We hear the emotion coming from a breathy saxophone solo or thrill at the coda in a violin concerto.

Some hear a classical opus and find it quite satisfying. A Listener knows when a favorite classical overture is being played by a different orchestra or maybe led by a different conductor: a note held longer here, a cymbal a bit louder there.

Miss Lindeman taught us how to listen. Thanks, Miss Lindeman.

Dad had an old 78RPM record changer perched atop the refrigerator. It couldn’t be reached by six year old hands. He played a Benny Goodman record, “Sometimes I’m Happy” and said, “Listen to the sax section.” And a six year old listened not knowing what a “sax” was, let alone the mysterious “section.”

Listening began.

Thanks, Dad.