Thursday, May 26, 2016


National Paper Airplane Day is an unofficial observance, celebrated on May 26 each year in the United States to commemorate the simple aeronautical toy.

Paper airplane day celebrations typically include social gatherings at which participants create and fly paper airplanes.

Really? How odd!

All the while, we await news, still, after 2 years, of lost real plane MH370 in the Indian Ocean, and more recently lost EgyptAir 804 in the Mediterranean, with all souls aboard both. RIP.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bernie's Cool Choices

Seizing Chance, Sanders Makes Bold Progressive Picks to Shape DNC Platform. Though compromised allotment falls short of Sanders' suggestion, Vermont Senator doesn't waste opportunity to make progressive choices.
Seizing on the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) reluctant concession allowing him to appoint five members to the committee that writes the party platform, Bernie Sanders on Monday announced a suite of picks that included activists across the progressive sphere.

Sanders' appointees to the 15-member Platform Drafting Committee include: racial justice activist and scholar Dr. Cornel West, co-founder and noted environmentalist Bill McKibben, Native American activist Deborah Parker, Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), and James Zogby, a pro-Palestinian scholar as well as founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI).

Senator Sanders has picked wisely and well! I'm especially pleased about Dr West's inclusion. I've been a fan of his since I first saw him as a guest on Bill Maher's TV show, back in 2008. Below is the post I wrote then - it's relevant also, with regard to yesterday's post, because Dr West has natal Sun+ in Gemini.

Drive-by Astrology # 1 - Dr. Cornel West

More often than not "drive-by" is used in connection with shootings. I'm going to put the term to use in a more peaceful context: "drive-by astrology". Whenever I come across an individual whose natal chart proves, on first sight, to be an exact fit for the person I perceive, I'll post the chart with very brief reasons why it fits its owner so clearly. I hope this will provide a chance to see astrology working "before your very eyes" !

First up in the drive-by series: Dr. Cornel West, author, lecturer, public speaker, social activist, democratic socialist and major figure in African American academia, including the illustrious Princeton and Harvard. I've seen Dr. West on several occasions as a guest on Bill Maher's "Real Time". Each time I've been impressed by his eloquence, charm and ability to hold my interest, whatever the subject under discussion. He obviously has a brilliant mind, yet his approach is straightforward and lacking in all the scholarly affectation so often encountered among the egg-head community.
A descriptive paragraph from here:

"...... an eloquent lecturer, whose lithe and energetic body was
totally involved in the torrent of words and ideas that tumbled from his mouth. He asked his listeners not only to hear what he said, but to enter into his thought processes and share his enthusiasms or generate their own thoughts and enthusiasms. His speaking style was symbolic of his convictions, which rejected the divorce of body from mind, of emotion from intellect, characteristic of much philosophy since Descartes. In a time when many philosophers would be horrified to be called preachers, West (although not an ordained minister) was not embarrassed to preach an occasional sermon. For him a passion for social justice was as intellectually respectable and demanding as the most rigorous intellectual analysis of propositions, and the two were never far apart in his philosophy."


Born on 2 June 1953 in Tulsa, Oklahoma (I didn't have him down as an Okie!)Birthtime unknown.

Sun and 3 planets in Gemini (the sign of mental process, communication, a quick mind). Good start! Two of the Gemini planets are conjoined, Mercury and Mars at 22 degrees. Mercury is at home in its own sign, Gemini, therefore unadulterated by other influence, though strengthened and energised by Mars.

Saturn and Neptune are conjoined in Libra (diplomacy and justice), Moon is in Aquarius between 9 and 22 degrees (social awareness). So, Air, the mental element, rules - Gemini, Libra and Aquarius predominate. Gemini and Libra planets in close trine, and the Moon is very likely in trine to both, though how close we can't be sure. What a circuit, enabling all kinds of mental acrobatics!

One more point - in January 2002 Dr. West underwent surgery for prostate cancer. Saturn (restriction, limitation) visited Gemini from May 2001 to Dec 2002, hitting his 4 Gemini planets one by one along its journey, reflecting what must have been a very worrying and restricting time for Dr. West.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Gemini Considered

 Gemini by David Palladini

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 Gemini, through which the Sun now travels, he wrote the paragraphs below, quoting from a variety of professional astrologers. This 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.

A mutable, airy sign, Gemini is ruled (easy to guess) by Mercury. The word "dialectical" might be applied here too, but more in the original Greek sense where "dialectic" meant conversation - a quick and most argumentative conversation, full of twists and traps and contradictions. all astrologers agree that the Gemini type enjoys argument; after all, this comes naturally to a double man, born under a double sign. Barbault stresses this "bipolarity" and points out that Gemini rules the lungs with their double process of breathing in and breathing out. He adds that if Aries symbolizes the original fire at the source of life, and Taurus the condensation of this life in a material form (as it were, an egg), it is when the process arrives at the stage of Gemini that this egg is polarized and we meet the differentiation into the masculine and feminine principles.

Morrish, in a not altogether dissimilar way, having equated Aries with the male creative impulse and Taurus with the matrix, takes Gemini to stand for that "self-conscious entity which is the result" (being the third and last sign in his phase of unit germination). And in a discussion of "astro-symbolism" in which Aries represents motion and Taurus inertia, he makes Gemini represent "rhythmic balance or oscillation." Also, Morrish finds in the hieroglyph of his sign two pillars, one light and one dark, a "portal through which every human being must pass."
Alternatively, he suggests that the two uprights of  the hieroglyph, traditionally equated with the "heavenly twins" Castor and Pollux, could as well be equated with two apes - the divine ape of intelligence and the chattering ape of imitation. This last piece of symbolism brings us back to dialectic or, we might as well say, to the good and the bad sides of Mercury.

Being both mutable and airy, Gemini is intellectual but fickle. (Pearce describes the Gemini type as having "disposition fickle, understanding good.") Ingrid Lind writes that he goes to "extremes of rationality" and possesses the "ability to live a double life." It has often been claimed by astrologers that many intellectuals are born under this sign. But, as indeed is often the case with intellectuals, the Gemini person is often emotionally cold. His congenial signs are Aquarius and Libra; he would not get on with cosy old Taurus. When we are told by Gleadow that Gemini is "pure intellect" and that no one is more mobile (a word frequently used of this sign), it is surprising to find him quoting Queen Victoria as someone who was born with Gemini rising...........

As regards the minor characteristics of Gemini people, Tucker notes that, if this is your Sun-sign, you may be inclined to vegetarianism. Barbault observes that Gemini women prefer two-piece suits and checkered materials. The physiognomist John Varley writes: "Gemini, though a beautiful and human sign, yet occasionally gives to persons born when it is rising [note that he is concerned with the ascendant, not the Sun-sign] a strong resemblance in the head and neck to the characteristic forms of goats, kid and deer."

This sign stands for nervous energy; the United States is said to be very much under its influence. among people born with Gemini rising many astrologers include Dante, Kepler, Wagner, Bernard Shaw, and Clemenceau. Barbault includes Conan Doyle in his list of Gemini types; he adds that Sherlock Holmes is a "popular Gemini hero." On the debit side, apart from producing madmen, it can (like its ruler Mercury) produce crooks and very selfish people.
Once again, in moving from this sign to the next, we find a complete change of atmosphere.
Astrologers mentioned:
André Barbault
A.J. Pearce
Dr. W.J. Tucker
Rupert Gleadow
Ingrid Lind
I, with airy Aquarius Sun, usually find instant easy rapport with Gemini-types ( not necessarily those with Sun in Gemini) and, something I find strange, much easier with Gemini-types than with Libra-types (Libra is the other airy zodiac sign) with whom I often have had problems. I've come up with several possible reasons, none of which are a really good fit. The obvious one has to be that it's not a good idea to rely on Sun sign only - nor even on Sun, ascendant and Moon signs combined. Digging deeper is essential - that, or forgetting astrology altogether and going along with one's intuition - which has been known to work out better at times!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cosmic Tunes

Tracking back to a May 2007 post:

"Do Cosmic Forces Control life on Earth?"

I found that the linked article, by Ker Than, provided food for thought. If scientists are right, isn't this a pinprick of light at the end of an astrological tunnel? Of course, even if the theory were found to be correct, it would not automatically validate astrological doctrine, but it could provide a starting point.

The fine detail of astrology will, in my humble opinion, never be capable of proof. I often feel that much of astrology is superfluous anyway - the product of centuries of attempts to unravel a mystery. It's all we have, and we pick and choose from it the bits that make sense to us personally. I just know that astrology is a broad natural phenomenon, which man will be able to better understand, someday in the far distant future (should the human race survive long enough). Until then, astrologers and interested parties will muddle along using whatever ancient, and modern, tools are available.

The last paragraph of the article states

If future studies confirm the galaxy-biodiversity link, it would force scientists to broaden their ideas about what can influence life on Earth. “Maybe it’s not just the climate and the tectonic events on Earth,” Lieberman said. “Maybe we have to start thinking more about the extraterrestrial environment as well.”

Amen to that!

“Our biological rhythms are the symphony of the cosmos, music embedded deep within us to which we dance, even when we can't name the tune.”
― Deepak Chopra

Saturday, May 21, 2016

"As the images unwind, like the circles that you find......"

Looking back to my posts during the 2008 election campaign, I'm reminded that I was once a Hillary supporter - after Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards had disappeared from view that is. My post headed Hopes fade...but... is a good example. Hey...maybe that Bible code thingie is going to come true after all - apart from the date. Oh joy (not)!

Below are a few cartoons of 2008 vintage, some bear an uncanny resemblance to 2016's dramas, one member of the cast being different, of course. Clicking on images might bring up clearer versions.

As 2016 rolled around - this one turned out to be spot on:

I noticed this comment yesterday, under a thread at Common Dreams, and thought it a good fit to add here:
The day that Obama received his first nomination as the official candidate of the Democratic Party for the national election I told a co-worker, "Well, the fix is in. Obama will become the next President. Let's hope he fulfills some of those campaign promises he made. When Obama leaves the White House at the end of his eight year residence there, Hillary Clinton will be moving in. She's stepped aside for now, but only after she was promised she would be the candidate and nominee in 2016."

She's followed a career path designed to persuade the Public she has "experience" that counts when it comes to serving as President of the United States. Experience is important in many fields of endeavor. When it comes to the office of President however, character is a much more important qualification to bring to the table. Of the two Democratic candidates running today, which has character? When it comes to experience, Sanders has as much as Clinton, though his experience tends to have been gained by listening to Citizens and Residents, and by advocating for the needs of the People. Clinton ... let's just say that her expertise lays in the field of basking in the lime light, and leave it at that.

Clinton resigned as Secretary of State to enter into an intensive period of preparation to handle questions about policy issues, and to make the rounds of executives and boards of directors and so-called super delegates to assure them she would not upset the apple cart once "elected."

Get ready for the velvet glove, America. It's nearly made its way around your neck.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ Albert Newsam, 19th century deaf mute artist.

 Self portrait attributed to Albert Newsam c. 1850
Albert Newsam (1809-1864)
Albert Newsam was born deaf and mute May 20, 1809 in Steubenville, Ohio. At the age of eleven years Newsam was taken to Philadelphia by William P. Davis, who posed as a deaf-mute brother. Davis intended to exploit the boy's artistic skills for his own gai n but Newsam was rescued by the president of the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, Bishop White. This enabled Newsam to secure a safe haven at the institute where he received an education.

In 1827 Cephas G. Childs took on Newsam as an apprentice at his engraving, and later, lithography firm. By 1829 Newsam was supplying Childs with many of the prints he offered to the public. When Childs left the business in 1834 Newsam continued to work for the new owners, George Lehman and Peter S. Duval.

Newsam was most noted for his portraits. In the early part of his career he often drew them from life; in later years he worked from photographs and daguerrotypes. Eventually Newsam became the principal artist at Peter S. Duval's firm. In 1838 Duval issued ten numbers in a series called the Parlour Review. This weekly magazine was issued in French and English and included four pages of music per issue. It also featured portraits drawn by Albert Newsam of famous composers and performers, including Beethoven, Bellini, Cherubini, Rossini, Paganini, Talma, and Catalani.

Newsam's eyesight began to fail in 1857 and in 1858 or 1859 he suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed. He died November 20, 1864, near Wilmington, Delaware.

Some of Newsam's lithograph portraits and artwork can be seen in the right-hand column HERE, clicking on a thumbnail image will enlarge it.


Born on 20 May 1809 in Steubenville, Ohio. Chart set for 12 noon - no time of birth known.

Albert Newsam was cruelly denied communication by speech and hearing, relying only on sign language, and his art. Is this indicated, or reflected, in his natal chart by the conjunction of Saturn and Neptune in early Sagittarius opposing his Sun, Mercury and Venus conjunction which straddles the cusp of Taurus/Gemini ? Pluto squares natal Mercury too, but Chiron, "wounded healer" trines Mercury from Aquarius, allowing some relief.

Interestingly (perhaps) Louis Braille, the blind organist who invented the Braille system of communication for the blind was born in 1809, on 4 January. He was of the Neptune conjunct Saturn group also, in his case the Neptune/Saturn conjunction semi-sextiled (a tad widely) his Sun and Mercury.