Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Lively Concert and Latter Day Astrology

Yesterday evening we saw Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band performing at our local theatre. As Wikipedia says, the band is "unique and different...... They have a country bluegrass sound with pop/rock stylistics." It was a fun, and very lively, show. Instruments played were guitars, bass, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and drums - with gusto and a lot of skill. The band members obviously enjoy every minute, as do their audience. Ryan Shupe is said to have been playing the fiddle from the age of 5 and is a 5th generation fiddle player. "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" was probably the showpiece of the evening, and was an absolutely wonderful rendition. Most other numbers were self-penned. We were told that the band's main claim to international fame was a big surprise to them. They discovered that one of their numbers had made #1 on the bluegrass charts in France. I wondered to myself whether the French call this style of music "l'herbe bleu" or struggle like Inspector Clouseau with "blergrasse".

A blog entry suggested itself, but more research was needed. Oh what a many-forked road we follow when searching via almighty Google! I discovered that Ryan Shupe hails from Utah and is said to have links with The Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church). I decided not to look into his astrology. I couldn't find his birth date, in any on-line biography. This may or may not be a deliberate omission - I understand that astrology is not approved of by his church. Why am I not surprised?

There was, though, a surprise to be found along a fork in the Google highway. It appears that Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints had a close connection with magic, the occult and astrology. Later church authorities have denied as much, but a book entitled "Early Mormonism and the Magic World View" by Michael Quinn, which is reviewed HERE makes no bones about the matter.

A brief extract, relating to astrology, from the review states:
"Both friendly and unfriendly sources show that astrology was important to members of the Smith family" (p. 72). They believed that the success in their pursuits of buried treasure "depended in a great measure on the state of the moon" (p. 74). In fact, Smith's mother and father as well as Smith himself and Emma were married on days that coincided with favorable days related to the new moon. Smith founded his church on a Tuesday (April 6, 1830) rather than a Sunday to coincide with the full moon (p. 291). In addition, the children Smith fathered both by his wife Emma and other polygamous wives were, for the most part, conceived in either February or September when his "ruling planet (of Jupiter) governed generation." Mormon scholars, he notes, don't like any correlation between astrology and Smith, but "where LDS apologists claim to see only coincidences, I see logical consequences of astrological belief" (pp. 76-79). "

The living and learning goes on and on! I knew hardly anything about the Church of Latter Day Saints, now I know a little more, at least about its founder (left), for whom I admit a sneaking regard!

Photographs can be enlarged by clicking on them, and were taken by the husband, otherwise referred to as "HeWhoKnows".

Friday, March 30, 2007

American Idol's Melinda and Blake

I've been fairly underwhelmed by American Idol so far this year. I'm not sure whether this is due to the format seeming stale, or to lack of sparkle in the final line-up of contestants this season.

It's not that there aren't some very good vocalists among the last 10 singers, it's that there's no magic going on - at least not for me. Although I admire the vocal skills of both Melinda Doolittle and LaKisha Jones, neither seems to have that extra bit of star quality, nothing to do with voice, or even looks - just that they seem to lack that special "something" which comes out from the screen and imprints itself on the memory.

I've been waiting to see some of the contestants' birth dates. Wikipedia is showing several now, though no birth times. Melinda Doolittle was born, according to Wikipedia, on 6 October 1977. Place of birth is doubtful. She now lives in Brentwood Tennessee, but went to school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The best I can do with that is to say that her Sun Mercury and Pluto lie in Libra. At noon the Moon was at 27* Cancer, so it could have been in Leo if she was born later in the day. Mars and Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Scorpio, Neptune in Sagittarius. Her first Saturn Return will occur in August this year, probably when the Idol bunch are on tour - so lots of work will be on the cards, and almost certainly the start of a whole new way of life from then on.

In mid-May, around the time of the American Idol final, transiting Uranus in Pisces will be exactly opposite Melinda's natal Venus in Virgo - Venus is one of the musical planets, I believe. Is this a good or bad omen? I don't know, Uranus is the unpredictable planet! Neptune, also sometimes associated with music, now transiting in Aquarius, will be within 4 degrees of opposing her natal Saturn in Leo in mid-May. There's something going on there, but I can't quite grasp it!

Of the remaining contestants I think Melinda has the best opportunity of achieving a longterm solo singing career, but whether she will appeal to a wide enough Idol audience when it comes down to the nitty-gritty final, I'm not sure. Younger viewers are more likely to vote for someone nearer to their own age. Blake Lewis seems to be coming to the fore now, and though he's not "my cup of tea" I can see how teenaged fans would prefer his style to Melinda's.

Blake Lewis was born 21 July 1981 in Bothwell, Washington. Sun in late Cancer. Moon at noon @ 25 Pisces. In mid-May, at Idol final time, transiting Neptune at 22Aquarius will exactly sextile his natal Neptune at 22 Sagittarius - a good time for realisation of dreams, perhaps? Transiting Uranus will be at 18 Pisces, and if his natal Moon happened to be near, as it would be were he born around 1 or 2am, this could be significant. But that timing is just supposition.

There's professional astrologer Renee Francis's take on Melinda's astrology HERE - though she has the birth date one day ahead of Wikipedia's.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Squaring the Circle in Northern Ireland?

Following a news story which particularly interested me - the meeting of Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams earlier this week, I had to smile at this from the Canadian Press.

BELFAST, Northern Ireland - It proved jaw-dropping stuff: Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams, implacable enemies for four decades, sitting side by side for the first time and declaring they will soon form a Northern Ireland government................................
Paisley, 80, and Adams, 58, are polar opposites who share almost nothing but an air of self-righteousness and an iron grip over their parties. Before Monday, they had never negotiated face to face, such is Paisley's aversion to a man he long decried as a terrorist mouthpiece. "

I love it when an unintentional astrological truth pops up like this! Polar opposites indeed. Ian Paisley born 6 April 1926 and Gerry Adams born 6 October 1948 - Their Suns in Aries and Libra . Cardinal opposites. I'm tempted to comment on their charts, but feel certain that expert astrologers have already done so, making my own ramblings about these men superfluous.

Might we hope that this agreement, however flimsy and superficial, is the forerunner, or microcosm of other peaceful settlements in the world in the near future? Is that too whimsical?

The Northern Irish problem has trundled on for decades. Most people in Britain experienced effects. In my own case, I worked in offices in the centre of the city of Leeds. We had to evacuate many times due to IRA bomb alerts during "the troubles". Leeds was luckier than some other British cities who suffered actual attacks causing destruction and death. My late partner was from Northern Ireland and felt passionately about events, his passion stemming from the fact that his father had been killed as a result of IRA activities during WorldWar 2. He has now passed on also, but I wish that somehow he could know that peace did come at last, for his beloved Northern Ireland, as well as for himself.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sam Walton, his Walmart, his astrology.

Sam Walton - the founder of American supermarket giant Walmart was born this week in 1918, on 29 March.

On the night I first arrived in Oklahoma with HeWhoKnows, after fighting my way for many months through visa and immigration red tape, house sale, and a variety of other obstacles, my very first experience(at 2am!)was a trip to Walmart to fill up the fridge.

Since that night I've grown to realise that though Walmart has many benefits, especially for the inhabitants of small towns in rural America, it has grown into a monster.

Sam Walton was born in Oklahoma, in a small town called Kingfisher. After reading a little of his biography I was struck by a similarity between Sam Walton and Earl P. Halliburton (about whom I wrote HERE). Both men rose from poor backgrounds and through sheer hard work and determination became owners of two of the biggest companies America has known, companies which in later years, after the deaths of their founders, have become two of the most hated comapnies, in America, and in the world. Walmart is accused of using virtual slave labour in developing countries to produce goods to sell at low prices in America, of treating its staff abysmally, not providing adequate health cover for them, and generally acting like the big bully in the world of retail.

"Sam Walton, with his brother Bud Walton, founded Wal-Mart, the chain of discount variety stores that in the 1990s became the world's largest retailer. Sam Walton went into the retail business in 1945, and by the time Wal-Mart first opened in 1962 he owned a chain of 15 variety stores in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Walton's savvy marketing skills and attention to detail led to Wal-Mart's expansion throughout the United States. By 1990 Wal-Mart was the nation's top retailer in terms of sales, and Walton was one of the richest men in the world. After his death in 1992 the company continued to expand, including online commerce and stores around the world. By 2001 there were more than 4,500 Wal-Mart stores worldwide.
Since Walton's death the chain has come under fire for its labor practices and aggressive marketing tactics. Arguing that Wal-Marts drove out other merchants, many local communities fought to keep new stores from opening, and in June of 2004 a lawsuit
was filed on behalf of 1.6 million women, charging that Wal-Mart discriminated against female employees".

Sam Walton was born with Sun and Mercury in Aries. Again and again in various biographical articles he is referred to as "a pioneer in the retail industry" - very appropriate ! "Pioneer" is a standard keyword for Aries.
Venus and Uranus are conjoined within 2 degrees in Aquarius, from which placement, no doubt came his drive towards implementing massive change in the retail industry, in the form of supermarket merchandising. Venus/Uranus sextile Mercury and form a "Yod", which is an arrow like configuration formed by two inconjunct aspects from the sextiled planets,to Mars in Virgo. I'd read this as signifying Mr Walton's ability to combine his Aries pioneering with Aquarian foresight and innovation and to channel them through a dynamic and service oriented Mars in Virgo. We cannot know for certain the position of the Moon or ascendant in his chart as birthtime is unknown. At noon Moon was at 1* Scorpio, so there's a possibility that it could have been positioned in Libra had he been born early in the day - I'd guess that he DID have Moon in Libra, for with Sun in Aries he'd have two main bodies in cardinal signs (the initiators), as well as Pluto in Cancer, another cardinal sign. I'm surprised not to see business-oriented Capricorn figuring in Mr Walton's chart. Perhaps his ascendant was there. Had he been born around 2 or 3 am his ascendant would be Capricorn and Moon in Libra - I like that!

Both Earl P. Halliburton and Sam Walton personified "The American Dream" in those early days. Their dream gradually, over many years, has grown into a nightmare. I often wonder how these two men would now view their 'progeny'.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Al Gore under fire.

I avoided reading or listening to much news while we've been away during the past week. I'm disappointed now to see a more insistent swell of anti-Gore feeling on the internet and in the media . I've found only two items supporting Al Gore, but dozens trying to discredit him.

I notice that transiting Saturn is conjunct his natal Mars in Leo, while Pluto is currently on natal Jupiter and transiting Jupiter is conjoining his Vertex ! Saturn and Mars together make for a hard time, I'd say. That will pass, though. I think Jupiter is a more significant feature in the configuration. I continue to hope that he will run, and win, in the presidential campaign.

I guess it was inevitable for that old see-saw effect to come into play now, with avengance. Al Gore has received so much acclaim, has had so much success, he has raised awareness on climate change to a level that even the most ardent of his supporters could not have envisaged. Current school-yard taunts from bloggers, snide remarks from journalists, all indicate, in my opinion, fear rather than reasoned consideration. Are they afraid of having a man of conscience and dedication in power in the United States? There seems to be a plan afoot to discredit Al Gore to the extent that, should he decide to run in the presidential election of 2008, he would be unlikely to win. If that is what a majority of Americans want, so be it. But the planet deserves better!

I've opened my own mind to doubts about the extent and true cause of global warming, and climate change. Scientists are divided, or so they say. There's an unknown factor of who is backing whom, and who is in the pay of whom. That unknown element might make a world of difference to public opinion.

I think it's safe to say that nobody knows for sure the certain outcome of, or reasons for, climate change, not even Al Gore and the best scientists in the world. It's not possible to know, this is a totally new situation in the recorded experience of humankind. Scientists, politicians, and astrologers can only put forward their best guesses about the future, based on the evidence as they see it.

When things are uncertain, I find that the way to go is towards risk limitation. In this case the potential risk is to mankind . How can there be any doubt which way to go ?

Monday, March 26, 2007

A trip to the Land of Enchantment, a strange experience, but no astrology.

Garrison Keillor remarked on his radio show this weekend that Spring Equinox inclines us all towards adventure, after a long, dark and cold winter....but, "Be careful", he added, "there'll be another storm coming!"

We set out on our own spring adventure last Monday morning, one with Aries Sun, born a day after solstice, and one Aries Moon with itchy feet, travelling west, hoping to avoid a wave of stormy weather hovering over this part of the U.S.A. With the anticipated destination of San Antonio postponed, we aimed even further west, eventually reaching Santa Fe in New Mexico. We did, indeed avoid the storms - until Friday. Heading back eastward, we ran into many waves of severe weather, culminating in a violent hailstorm in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Hail the size of marbles soon covered the highway to a depth of an inch or two, coming down with great force for about 20 minutes. Luckily we were able to shelter the car under the I-40 overpass. Thunderstorms followed us all the way to Hereford, Texas. We spent the night there, and the television weather channel warned of tornado watches and "rotations" (precurser of tornadoes) within 10 miles of Hereford. Eliza Doolittle said "In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire hurricanes hardly happen", but she hadn't been to Hereford, Texas! By Saturday morning all was well, blue skies were back, and by Saturday evening, so were we.

(Clicking on our photographs should produce a larger version).

On the journey out, last Monday, we came across a Bob Wills memorial monument in a little Texas town called Turkey, the birthplace of this legendary figure in country music history. Later, after we had crossed into New Mexico, we saw the Billy the Kid museum and his grave, at Fort Sumner.

On Tuesday afternoon we reached Santa Fe, and spent 3 nights there in a delightful "casita" (apartment). The city was as lovely as I remembered it from a brief visit in the summer of 2005. This time the weather was, thankfully, much cooler. The city's unique look and atmosphere stems from its pueblo style adobe architecture, all in an earthy pinkish brown colour . There's a complete lack of the usual skyscraper-style city buildings. Not for nothing is Santa Fe known as "The City Different" , and New Mexico as "Land of Enchantment".

We wandered the streets, drooled over expensive merchandise in the stores, and explored some of the artists' studios and galleries on Canyon Road. The altitude (over 7000ft above sea level) affected us both a little. When walking around we experienced a slightly 'woozy' feeling, not altogether unpleasant, rather like having had one drink too many and needing to take a nap.

On Thursday, 22nd March, the spotlight was on HeWhoKnows - it was the "big" birthday!

After a trip into the surrounding countryside, which proved reminiscent of some Georgia O'Keefe paintings, in the evening we propped up the bar of the La Fonda hotel in Santa Fe's famous plaza. Here I had a strange

We had wandered into the hotel lobby thinking it to be the entrance to an arcade of shops. We noticed a bar, still early evening quiet, and decided to have a birthday drink there. I considered taking the seat near the wall at the end of the old copper lined bar, but decided it looked rather dark. I pulled out the next stool along, then felt guilty for leaving a single stool empty, in case a couple might want seats later on - but still, it somehow didn't feel right moving to the end stool. Later in the evening, when some live entertainment was about to begin, it was announced that a well-loved regular in this bar, a lady well known in Santa Fe (ex-singer or musician, I think) had died of cancer on Monday. The seat at the end of the bar had been her usual place to sit. The barman brought her usual drink and placed it there, in her memory. The hairs on the back of my neck began to prickle !

A couple of hours later, as we walked back to the "casita", we came upon a street singer in the doorway of an elegant store. He was no ordinary street singer, however. He had guitar, fiddle and two accordians at his feet. A small crowd had gathered. Eventually, one by one they drifted away, and we got to chatting with him. I suspect that he is not as old as he appears at first glance. I'd have loved to know his date of birth! A charming fellow, fine musician, and a great personality was he, by name of Michael Combs. When he heard that it was my husband's birthday he sang a special birthday song for him, in Spanish, afterwards explaining its meaning. This rounded off the great day beautifully - leaving us with a magical memory. He then sang a Beatles song, in honour of my nationality! He asked how an American guy and an English "lady" had managed to meet. When we told him "on the internet" he laughed and said he has often thought about re-writing the pop song "On the Radio" as "On the Internet" - he sang us a few lines of the new version.

On the journey home, on Saturday, we stopped in a little town called Dimmit, Texas to get a shot of a mural depicting the town's history, painted on a long stretch of wall. At the far end of the mural was an inspired touch - the "Future Room", with packing cases outside the door. these labelled "Faith" "Hope" and "Charity". I guess we all will need little else, as we travel through that doorway to The Future.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Eclipse - bah humbug!! 'Bye for now.

According to yesterday's post we should be heading for San Antonio. All hotels in the area we wished to stay were reported full to overflowing when I tried to book on-line yesterday. The weather forecast was pretty grim too, thunderstorms expected most days this week. Once again that trip has been postponed. It wasn't 'third time lucky', after all.

Perhaps we're just not meant to go there. Or perhaps the eclipse had something to do with it? Dang!!! It was trine Scorpio (5th) in my chart, but within a degree of Mercury in my husband's, in 9th house. Sigh....I should've known.

We're still intending to head off somewhere - no idea where. If we have no plan maybe we can bamboozle the fates!

'Bye 'bye....

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Alamo, garnished with astrology.

There's a proposed trip to San Antonio, Texas, on the cards this week . A trip that's been postponed twice already, from New Year's Eve, then from my birthday in late January. Perhaps it'll be 'third time lucky'. Jupiter has just reached natal Venus in my chart, and HeWhoKnows will celebrate a birthday later in the week - a couple of good omens! The Alamo and the Jim Cullum Jazz Band on Riverwalk are two highlights we hope to include.

Having read several accounts of the Battle of the Alamo and its background history, I'm beginning to realise that there's a lot more to it than could be gathered from that old film starring John Wayne! Movies almost always gloss over some historical aspects, and skip over others which might detract from a well-loved legend. It's hardly possible, anyway, in the 21st century to appreciate 19th century values, especially for a non-Texan and even more so for a 'furriner' like me ! But the courage those people showed is undeniable.

In a nutshell"The Battle of the Alamo commenced in February 1836, and lasted 13 days. The fact that the Texan defenders - who numbered just over 200 - withheld the Mexican Army troops of about 1,500 showcases just how dedicated to the defenders were to the concept of a free and republic Texas. While today the Alamo serves as a symbol of pride for many Texans, it is also a reminder to many around the world of the heroes that perished in the pursuit of freedom."

Looking at a chart of the sky for the fateful date of the fall of the Alamo, 6 March 1836, time 9am (it's said that the battle was over around then), I note that Neptune at 4 Aquarius was in exact square to Saturn (4 Scorpio). The Moon (27 Libra) and Saturn were both in degrees which form part of Via Combusta - thought in traditional astrology to be very unfortunate, especially for the Moon. North node of the Moon(23.32 Taurus) was within 2 degrees of fixed star Algol, also thought by ancient astrologers to be malefic. The sky was distinctly unfriendly!

I noted from many and various reports that the Alamo ruins are said to be haunted. Investigation or cameras within the site itself are not allowed, as it is a burial ground, of course, as well as an historical monument. I'm looking forward to the experience, whether or not there are ghostly apparitions to greet us.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Demotivating the Zodiac

Providing balance for the ever-growing motivation and self-help industry, one comapny has come up with a book entitled "The Art of Demotivation" and some related products, lithographs, mugs, etc. The illustrations with captions, below are from that company's website Despair Inc - there are many others other similar pictures there, in "demotivational" vein, I picked 12, because their titles whispered to me "astrology keywords" (not Sun signs ! )

I have to thank friend and relative Jeff for leading me to Despair Inc. via his column in last week's Sunday newspaper, written he claims, while wallowing in aimlessness.

So.....tongue firmly in cheek (of course!)












Friday, March 16, 2007

What Secret?

Watching Larry King interview someone in connection with"The Secret", the latest phenomenon in the self-help genre, set me thinking about the whole self-help industry. I took an instant dislike to the intviewee, who I thought came over as just another slickeroony out to fleece a gullible public, especially when a fee of over $900 was mentioned for a weekend seminar!

Because I didn't like the messenger does not mean the message isn't of value. It's an old message. It's not a "Secret" either - at least not to those of us of a certain age. When I mentioned to HeWhoKnows that I intended writing on this topic today, he wandered off into the garage, where he stores an obscenely large collection of LPs, and came back with "The Strangest Secret" an old 10-inch LP narrated by one Earl Nightingale (record sleeve above). I'd never heard of this gentleman, but apparently, in America he was one of the the motivational gurus of the 1950s.

The message contained in "The Strangest Secret" is the same as in countless other books, tapes, records, films, some from even before the 1950s, and many more since. For successive generations the message has been presented differently packaged in a variety of guises : Creative Visualisation, The Power of Positive Thinking, How to Make Friends and Influence People, Cosmic Ordering, and even in astrology we have New Moon Wish Lists. These are but a few examples which spring immediately to mind - and now we have "The Secret". A whole industry has sprung up, ostensibly advising people how to enjoy their lives more.

The message, or "secret", in all of the above can be distilled to two words "think positive!" For some of us this is sufficient, and a natural part of our makeup. Others need to be coaxed and given confidence, helped by anecdotes, examples and illustrations. Still others just need someone to "flick the switch" for them, and a dormant natural tendency will come to the fore.

I got to thinking that our natal chart might well incline us to one of the above groups. I feel certain that anyone whose chart is weighted towards cardinality, is unlikely to be at the front of the queue (line, in American) buying self help literature. Likewise for anyone with an abundance of planets or sensitive points in fire signs. Most of us, though, are not so clearly defined. I'm not a great fan of this type of product, as Danny Glover often says in the "Lethal Weapon" films, "I'm too old for this shit!" I've managed to positively think myself this far, I'll probably be able to negotiate the last lap.

One of the most frequent criticisms of "The Secret" is that it concentrates on, and creates a materialistic mindset. There's a downside to everything. Perhaps in today's climate, materialism is the only thing strong enough to attract the attention of a great number of people. I did buy Jonathan Cainer's "Cosmic Ordering" book which, I was pleased to find, proved to be based mainly on non-materialistic goals. It's an enjoyable read and does not cost a lot.

In "The Strangest Secret" the accent was somewhat different. Mr Nightingale's aim was to inspire listeners to form a "worthwhile goal", imprint it in their mind by writing it down and repeating it every morning. They were then advised to work day by day, without fail, towards that goal, and to keep the goal in mind in every small decision, every minor action, every day.

To my mind, "working every day towards that goal" is the key in this endeavour. If you don't follow through with THAT, nothing will happen - trust me ! It's in the small print of this, and every other "Secret".

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Rhythm of (Real) Life

In the April/May issue of Mountain Astrologer there's a re-print of a very good article by Bill Herbst "On Coincidence". He relates a real life event to planetary positions and transits in his natal chart. He warns "Don't presume that a certain combination of symbols means what you read in a textbook or hear from some hot-shot astrologer at a conference. Instead, file away the insight as a "possible" meaning and let your own real-life experience gradually confirm or deny that particular interpretive slant".

That is as good advice as I've ever read !

At the times of most pivotal events in my life I had no means of investigating their astrological connection - I was quite unaware which transits were occurring, although I did have a rough idea of some planetary positions in my natal chart. In a way this was a good thing, because it proves that I had no part in chosing dates or manipulating events to coincide with the planets' movements.

I've found, looking back on my life history, that there has been a distinct rhythm. At the times important turning points took place, the Moon's nodes were involved. Either the Taurus/Scorpio nodal axis had returned to its position at my birth, or to its inverse position, and/or a planet had conjoined one of the nodes. Perhaps this rhythm is governed by my Cancer ascendant, ruled by the Moon, intensified because Uranus (natal Sun's ruler) is conjunct natal South node. Another, intertwined, rhythm is connected with the vertex, which, if my birth time is correct, is conjunct natal Mars, also in Scorpio.

Scorpio/Taurus is definitely the 'b' of the beat in the rhythm of my life. Both my marriages, important career changes, and all the significant love-related first meetings have these connections.

Another important event - my only stay in hospital so far , also followed this rhythm.(I'm using only real celestial events, no progressions or directions.) In August 1985 I was admitted to hospital for, first, investigative procedures, then, in early September for a major operation (hysterectomy). The nodal axis was in the inverse natal position, exact when I entered hospital in August. On the day of surgery, in September, Jupiter was one degree away from my natal Sun (6.46 Aquarius). A couple of days after the operation the surgeon described me as his "star patient", because my recovery had been so much faster than that of other women who had the same operation on the same day! I was obviously under a benign sky! Transiting Saturn conjoined natal Mars, in Scorpio, a short time later , just as I returned to work, in November, good as new, after several very pleasant weeks off on full pay. Had I been in a position to look at my own chart in those days I'd have expected November to be the problematic never can tell!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Another thought about 2012

Below is an extract from an almost 3-year old item by George Dvorsky on the BetterHumans website. The full article, entitled "Evolving towards telepathy" is well worth reading. I came across it accidentally and was intrigued. It does sound like science fiction, but it appears that something similar might be waiting in the wings for us. Astrologers and others have spoken a lot about an evolutionary step for mankind being likely in 2012, when one great cycle of time is due to end, might this be the step?

"As I thought further about this similarity it occurred to me that the technology required to create a technologically endowed form of telepathy is all but upon us. By combining Jorgensen's device and a cochlear implant with a radio transmitter and a fancy neural data conversion device, we could create a form of communication that bypasses the acoustic realm altogether.

I decided to contact Jorgensen and other researchers about the prospect of such "techlepathy." While I have always entertained the idea that we'll eventually develop telepathy-enabling technologies, the optimistic responses I received from these researchers startled me nonetheless. And as I suspected, the technologies and scientific insight required for such an achievement are rapidly coming into focus—an exciting prospect to be sure.

The dream of mind-to-mind communication and the desire to transcend one's own consciousness is as old as language itself. You could make a strong case that there's a near pathological craving for it, a tendency that manifests through the widespread belief in paranormal telepathy.

ESP aside, it seems that this craving will soon be satisfied. Several advances in communications technology and neuroscience are giving pause about the possibility of endowing us with techlepathy. As we continue to ride the wave of the communications revolution, and as the public demand for more sophisticated communications tools continues, it seems a veritable certainty that we are destined to become a species capable of mind-to-mind communication.

This prospect is as profound as it is exciting. Such a change to the species would signify a prominent development in the evolution of humanity—a change that would irrevocably alter the nature of virtually all human relations and interactions. "

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

YouTube and Astrology

I try to avoid YouTube, I find it irritating, I'm not sure why. However, led there yesterday via an astrologer's website, I watched several videos on the topic of astrology. Oh dear! So now there's another arena in which skeptics and astrologers will clash.

One of my favourite men, Carl Sagan, is shown denouncing my favourite subject, astrology. This wasn't new to me, I got the "Cosmos" DVD set for Christmas. Carl can do no wrong in my estimation - well, maybe just a little bit of wrong! We must not forget that this film was made many years ago. Perhaps, had Carl Sagan and some of the more enlightened astrologers of today (no names, no pack drill) ever had an opportunity to get together and discuss matters in depth, Carl might have had something slightly different to say on the subject. When feeling depressed about his views I return to his famous quote "We are star stuff contemplating the stars". For me that says it all. Carl just needed to reach the next chapter, but tragically he was not allowed to do so.

The other astrologers and skeptics on YouTube, so far, only serve to muddy the water even further in my opinion. It has all been said and written before, and the fact that we can look at the face of the presenter adds little to the proceedings.

As usual, Sun sign astrology bears the brunt of the criticism. Up to a point, this is warranted. The "astrology" column in our local newspaper, for instance, is a synicated and synthetic offering, completely meaningless, possibly written by a group of monkeys, after experimenting with the old idea that if you have enough monkeys banging randomly on typewriters, they will eventually type the works of William Shakespeare. This kind of thing obviously gives astrology a bad name. But a good Sun sign astrologer can be the catalyst who sends a proportion of his/her readers off to find out more, and perhaps even take up the profession themselves, eventually.

Imagine a world with no Sun sign columns, daily, weekly, monthly. No books of the "What's Your Sign?" variety. A world where only "real" astrologers lived, cloistered in their ivory towers, keeping mysterious secrets from the "great unwashed". Wouldn't that be a dreadful step backwards?

Astrology would have sunk without trace decades ago had it not been for the Sun sign astrologers. I look on them as flag-bearers, ensuring that astrology is kept in plain sight of all - whether they like it or not!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Toning the Blogging Muscle

Somewhat optimistically, I set myself a target of writing something here every day, mostly something astrology-related. It's akin to exercising each morning, I suppose. I'm strengthening my blogging muscle!

Some days I know immediately what to write about, on other days I stumble around searching for a topic. While waiting for the next idea to hit me, I often trawl the bloggy ocean via 'Next Blog'. Occasionally I'll find a hint of inspiration there. I have yet to reel in anything resembling an astrology blog, or even a new-agey one, which probably indicates how much in the minority we are.

When I do pull up a blog which appeals to me, after reading a little I click to the blogger's profile. It's interesting to see whether they have opted to omit the question on zodiac signs. If so, and many do omit this, I confess that, initially, I become wary, perhaps prejudiced would be a better word. I don't care which sign they have inserted, as long as they have inserted one. Oddly (or maybe not) I find that blogs written by Geminis and Aquarians appeal to me most often. I know well enough that a Sun sign is no proper guide, in real life, or in blogging, yet I suspect that in Gemini's case the Sun cannot help but shine through - this is Mercury's domain, after all. As for Aquarius, it's probably a case of "it takes one to know one". I enjoy that 'eureka!' experience, and I can often be heard to mutter "I knew it" as I trawl among the blogs.
"Knew what?" asks the husband, if in earshot.
"It's hard to explain, I don't think you'd understand", I reply.
Shrug of the shoulders, exit left.

So....I managed to reel in a brief blog entry after all. The blogging muscle is still in need of further toning, I think!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Mystical Arts of Tibet -"Those Guys Really Meant It!"

Yesterday evening, 10 March 2007 we saw a performance of "The Mystical Arts of Tibet" at our local theatre. Coincidentally Saturday 10 March was the 48th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprisng. On 10 March 1959 Tibetan people in Lhasa rose up against China's occupation of Tibet and as a result tens of thousands of innocent Tibetan men, women and children were killed by the occupying Chinese forces. Since then Tibetans have waged a non-violent campaign for freedom from occupation.

The Tibetan Monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery are masters of a performance tradition which dates back 2,500 years. Their performance features multiphonic singing, in which the monks simultaneously intone three notes at the same time, as well as traditional Tibetan instruments such as 10-foot long dungchen trumpets, and a variety of horns, drums, bells, and cymbals. Rich brocade costumes and masked dances, such as the Dance of the Sacred Snow Lion, add to the splendor. The Washington Post calls Sacred Music, Sacred Dance “A universal expression of the human subconscious "

The Mystical Arts of Tibet tour has three basic purposes: to make a contribution to world peace and healing; to generate a greater awareness of the endangered Tibetan civilization; and to raise support for the Tibetan refugee community in India.

It was an extraordinary event for this small(ish) Oklahoma town. The theatre was almost full, for the event had attracted extra visitors from outside the local area. I was unsure what to expect, even though I'd read a lot of information on the internet, my western mind couldn't translate it sufficiently.

What we saw and heard was quite amazing. 9 monks made up the troupe of performers, with another acting as narrator. The monks had an aura of peace about them, their frequent smiles were genuine. Although we couldn't understand some of the narration, due to accent difficulties, we caught enought to get the gist of what was being presented, and how the symbolic dances related to life on Earth. Vocal performances were hypnotic, the monks' gentle voices blending , and descending so deeply it seemed impossible for those sounds to come from humans.

The instruments used were unknown in the west. Some are shown in my husband's photgraphs. You can click each thumbnail to see a larger version. The costumes worn by the dancers were quite beautiful.

A favourite part of the performance, for the audience, was the Snow Lion dance. Two snow lions form part of the Tibetan Flag. (See above.) At the end of the dance the lion opened its mouth and a banner proclaiming 'WORLD PEACE' unfurled, to rapturous applause and cheers. The performance was certainly doing its work!!

It was something I'm very glad I had the opportunity to see. Later, in the foyer, the monks were selling a variety of goods in aid of Tibet. I smiled as I noticed some of the local men there in cowboy hats, some in dungarees and bib overalls - almost "straight from the fields" next to them were the Tibetan monks with shaved heads and wine coloured robes. East met West, indeed!

As the performance ended my husband turned to me and said "Those guys really meant it - they're not politicians !" Yes siree - they sure did!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Week That Was

First, a thank you note to John and Susan Townley of Astro Cocktail for their article on "The Astro Blogosphere", and for including me in the list of blogs featured. I'm surprised to be there, among so many experts, but feel very happy to tag along.

Thank you!

This week's news left more questions than answers.

Is that really the tomb of Jesus?

Why is there a hole in the earth's crust in the middle of the Atlantic, and why do I keep thinking about Atlantis when I read about his?

Are the two items above linked by a common astrolgical factor ? Neptune (mysteries) and Uranus(discoveries) currently in each others sign of rulership, Neptune in Aquarius, Uranus in Pisces (known to astrologers as mutual reception).

What is a "mensch"? I discovered the answer to this question, which arose after reading Michael Winship's article "The Voyage of the Snark". Mensch is a Yiddish word, and according to Wikipedia it refers to a particularly good person, like "a stand-up guy," a person with the qualities one would hope for in a dear friend or trusted colleague. This excellent article comments on the level to which some journalists and other media people are sinking these days. Mr Winship awarded the title Mensch of the Year (thus far) to fellow Brit. Craig Ferguson, who hosts the Late Late Show here in the USA. Good!

It was sad to read that John Inman, British comedic actor died on Thursday, aged 71. He was always able to make me laugh. His humour was never hurtful to anyone - it's a great and rare talent to be able to make people laugh at nobody else's expense, John had this talent.
In his natal chart the Sun was in the kindly sign of Cancer, Mercury in lively Gemini, possibly the Moon there too, and Venus in Leo - the consummate showman. "An excellent fit, Sir", as Mr. Humphries would have said. He'll be missed.

Tonight we'll be going to the local theatre to see a group of Drepung Loseling Buddhist Monks perform Sacred Music and Dance for World Healing - "The Mystical Arts of Tibet". The Loseling Monks are renowned for their multiphonic chanting known as zokkay (complete chord). Each of the chantmasters simultaneously intones three notes, thus each individually creating a complete chord. The Tibetans are the only culture on earth that cultivates this most extraordinary vocal ability.

It should be a memorable experience. More on this tomorrow, no doubt.

PS: I obtained the instructions for converting my long list of labels (index) into a "Cloud" from phydeaux3 at THIS LINK. The instructions are clear and easy, even for a cyber-klutz like me!