Saturday, May 31, 2008

He Lived the American Dream - and Nightmare

Gone, it seems, are the days when a modest High School graduate could become President of the United States of America. Now candidates of choice have Ivy League education, many years of college, a variety of degrees and impressive resumes. The American Dream, that anything is possible in this wonderful land, is now much less attainable, if attainable at all.

Harry S. Truman, President of the USA from 1945 to 1953, lived The American Dream. He was no Ivy League graduate. In his youth he attended High School and some evening classes at a local School of Law. His farmer parents were unable to finance 4 years of college. Harry Truman's first jobs included timekeeper, bank clerk and farm worker. He joined the National Guard in 1905, and when the USA entered World War 1 Truman was promoted to Captain and served in France. After the war he and a friend opened a haberdashery store, which failed in the recession.

Harry S. Truman's political career began after serving as judge in County Court from 1922.

In 1934, a Democrat, he was elected to the US Senate. By 1944, he was nominated to run as Vice President for Franklin D. Roosevelt. 82 days after being sworn in as VP, President Roosevelt died unexpectedly. President Harry S. Truman became the USA's 33rd president on 12 April 1945. At the time, the new President told reporters, "I felt like the Moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me."

Below is his natal chart (centre ring), along with a chart for Washington DC on 12 April 1945 (outer ring). He was born 8 May 1884 in Lamar, Missouri. Time of birth according to Astrotheme was 4pm.

Astrology can be seen in action here!

Transiting Uranus, planet of unexpected change was at 10 Gemini, exactly conjoining Truman's natal Saturn - planet of career, laws, authority. Transiting Saturn at 5 Cancer conjoined natal Venus at 3 Cancer. It is well documented by his personal letters that he hated being separated from his beloved wife and daughter - Saturn conjoining Venus seems to reflect the future in this regard, for they were often separated by his demanding duties as President: Saturn= career/status restriction, affecting Venus = love, harmony, relatedness.

Truman's natal Mercury(communication) and natal Pluto (transformation and sometimes death) are at 00 and 01 Gemini - an eery reflection of the nightmare in his future. It was his word (Mercury) which gave the order, late in World War 2 after victory in Europe, for the dropping of atomic bombs (Pluto) on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japanese cities devoted to war work. Hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, immediate and eventual were the result. Japan had refused to surrender, but after this surrender quickly followed.

President Truman made that difficult and frightening decision. He always stood by it. Whether it was right or wrong is not for us to judge. We cannot know for how much longer the Japanese would have continued to fight, or how many Americans and allies would have died at their hands, and in their prison camps. In my own humble opinion we ought not to even set ourselves up as judges. The only thing we, in the 21st century, should be doing is trying to ensure that nothing comparable ever needs to happen again.

The USA's 33rd president led his nation through the final stages of World War II and early years of the Cold War. He vigorously opposed Soviet expansionism in Europe and sent U.S. forces to turn back a communist invasion of South Korea. He wiped out segregation in the military, expanded the Social Security program initiated by President F.D. Roosevelt.

He also brought in a Fair Employment Practices Act, and a public housing and slum clearance program, a higher minimum wage; these became known as his "Fair Deal". President Truman was determined that his nation’s growing economy would provide increased opportunities for all Americans, particularly those with low incomes.

"The buck stops here", and "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" are President Truman's words, still often quoted some 60 years on.

As the cover of this DVD declares, he was "A simple man. A Legendary President."

Friday, May 30, 2008

Neptunitis #3

Things often seem to come along in threes, and here's post number three of a trio looking at Neptunitis (an excess of Neptune) in the US primaries.

I've searched without success for the source of a remark which I recall was written by one of our astrology bloggers around the beginning of the primary campaigns- seems like aeons ago now. In what appeared to be a throw-away line at the end of a post the astrologer in question said.....something like: "It's possible that the people of the USA could, once a new president is installed and functioning, turn around in amazement and say......"How did that happen?"" I don't remember the full context, perhaps it was relating to Neptune, perhaps some other component in the US chart. But whoever said it, in whatever context, I now have no problem seeing the pieces gradually shifting into place for that eventuality to come about. And I'd guess that Neptune IS closely connected.

Barack Obama has managed to shoot up the political ladder rapidly with, apparently, little investigation into his background. It may be that Neptune has provided a cloak of foggy confusion.

Astrologer Beth Turnage, at Astrology Explored, yesterday pointed out that Obama and G.W. Bush share a Neptune aspect (Sun Square Neptune). Red flag? It could be said, I guess, that the Bush elections were "stolen", but if sufficient numbers had voted against GWB the confusion could not have occurred. Did Bush's Neptune aspect have voters bamboozled?

The picture of Barack Obama now emerging, pixel by pixel, is not always pretty. The first worrying cluster of pixels showed us Rev. Wright. Many people seem content to accept most of his rantings, or are happy to point out that Senator Obama has distanced himself from them. Rev. Wright is but one part of the emerging background though. Articles and video clips linked at No Quarter(HERE) tell a wider story of political intervention and anti-white sentiment by other churchmen with whom the Senator associates himself. I found these disturbing. Separation of church and state? Racial integration? Love thy neighbour? My Aunt Fanny!!

Matters of church aside, more pixel clusters are appearing daily to fill in gaps. Alleged past associations with known terrorists William Ayers and his wife, with Louis Farrakhan, Tony Rezko, and other members of Chicago's murky and mucky political scene. Many well documented articles at No Quarter provide evidence. As Ol' Blue Eyes used to sing, Chicago is "that toddlin' town" where "they do things they don't do on Broadway". Right!

It would be wonderful to to see an African American as president of the USA, it really would. Is this the kind of background, though, suitable for a new president of the "most powerful nation in the world"? If only Representative Harold Ford Jr. had run! Or any of the African American Democratic Representatives in Congress. There are even city mayors and company clerks who have sufficient talent and a far more reliable background than the one we are considering.

Only in America!

Oh Neptune ! What are you doing?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Detecting Neptunitis

After publishing yesterday's post (Neptune's Election Fog) I happened to read an article which provides yet more evidence of "Neptunitis" infecting the US primaries.
Nothing, it seems, is quite as it seems, and it's helpful to bear this in mind - at all times !

At The New Republic website, 27 May, there's an article by Isaac Chotiner, titled "Dangerous Liaison".

Mr Chotiner compares the way the media, MSNBC in particular, has reported on the Democratic primaries. He points out that they have regularly painted a picture which does not match reality - very Neptunian.

Here's the last paragraph of "Dangerous Liaison". For anyone as interested as I am in this election, the full article is well worth your time.

"Dangerously, too, MSNBC's coverage can lead to a perverse sort of cognitive dissonance in viewers like, well, me. Throughout the primary process, I often found myself much more bullish on the Illinois Senator's chances after watching MSNBC than I had any reason to be. After Obama's Iowa victory, for instance, I remember hearing Matthews' description of a giant "wave" of Obamamania sweeping across the nation; surely, the race was over. Likewise, during the month of February, when Obama won eleven straight primaries, I recall watching the network and occasionally convincing myself that Clinton was certain to drop out before Texas and Ohio because her chances had become so diminished. The problem here is that when supposedly "straight" news anchors phrase questions in leading ways, and report one campaign's spin as if it were fact, it distorts what is actually going on in the campaign--even for those of us who make a living obsessing over and writing about politics. And when anchormen themselves shill for Obama, the distinction between his talking points and the truth grows even blurrier still. So, as much as I find MSNBC entertaining, their creation of a parallel, pro-Obama universe is the type of thing I'd expect of Fox. That's when I know it's time to change the channel."

With my Neptune Detection hat on, I'm finding evidence of that planet's influence all over the place!

Here's a little more. A brilliant amateur video maker known as Flineo has launched his latest, and I believe he's illustrating a little of the way Neptune is affecting the Senator from Illinois: fuzzy thinking, blurred memory.......And yes, I realise that Senator Clinton has had her share of Neptune moments too, but the mainstream media have seen to it that those got overkill and a half. I'm attempting to redress the balance.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Neptune's Election Fog

I've been trying to recall where I read something which might link a group of theories I've come across during the past week. A search among the usual suspects led me to the article I was looking for. At Astrotabletalk, in February, Dharmaruci wrote the following in a post dealing with the next two years for Aquarius:

"The people of the USA are Aquarian (Moon of the Sibly Chart). As Pluto has entered the Aquarian Solar 12th House, so has the politician Barack Obama risen spectacularly. Many people view him as either a cult leader or the potential saviour of America, depending on their political point of view, but in each case he is Neptune. The USA is also about to have a Neptune-Moon conjunction by transit. The first rule of a Neptune transit is that in certain respects things/people will not be what they seem. Personally, I would feel a lot easier around Obama’s popularity if he were not being voted for under the early stages of this Neptune transit. "

Neptune, it seems to me, is the astrological common denominator of these three theories. They reek of Neptunian mystery, fog, illusion, and imagination

Here are the theories (not my own, I hasten to add):

1) Tactically, the Democratic National Committee doesn't want a Democrat to win the 2008 election. The DNC is content to lose, and pretty certain that they will do so with Obama as nominee. There are too many huge problems to be cleared up after Bush and Co. They may be thinking: "Let a Republican clean up, get the blame for enormous problems which will ensue, and leave the field wonderfully clear for Democrats to sweep in in 2012, reputation unsullied".

2) The Democratic National Committee really wanted Hillary Clinton to be nominee all along, but faced opposition from many of their party who dislike her due to so-called negatives. So the DNC got behind Obama, as a good "straw man", who as first potential African American presidential nominee, would look good here and abroad. All the while the elders of the Democratic party, knowing of Obama's iffy Chicago background, felt certain news of it would emerge eventually and help catapult Hillary Clinton into the lead, overcoming earlier objections from party members.

3)The Republicans (possibly Karl Rove in particular) are behind Obama's quick rise to the top - they invested money (anonymously of course) and used media, much of which they control (eg MSNBC owned by General electric) to support him and discredit Clinton on a regular basis. They know they are on a sticky wicket this time, after 8 disastrous years, but think they could easily beat Obama, due to shady, potentially dangerous, elements in his background, of which they will reveal more once he's nominated and Clinton is out of the way.

Holes can be found in each of those, of course, but Neptune's fuzzy hand is detectable in all of them. Is it entirely unthinkable, though, that when history is written and Neptune's fog has cleared, it could be discovered that one of the above theories was, in fact, fact?

There's one more avenue down which Neptune's fog has silently crept during this election time, but an investigative journalist, Evelyn Pringle is hard at work trying to blow it away. Her detailed accounts of murky goings on in Chicago politics are hard to digest. I tried and gave up. Blogger Joseph Cannon, at Cannonfire on 27 May, under the title The Obama Trail, made an initial attempt to produce a precis of Ms Pringle's accounts, rendering them more easily absorbed and suitable for the average blog reader on-the-run. Disturbing stuff. Neptune driven?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

About turn!

It's that pesky Mercury Retrograde time again. That's an inconvenient truth, for me. Mercury will be in apparent retrograde motion from 26 May until 19 June, in addition we are warned to allow several days either side of those dates for "a shadow period" before things return completely to what passes as normal.

Astrologers advise that these retrograde weeks are not good times to buy electronic equipment, sign contracts, do deals, or enter into any kind of important contractual arrangement, e.g. marriage, or attempt to organise matters involving communication of any kind. Activity during Mercury retrograde periods in these areas is apt to bring forth results which appear to be influenced by some perversely obtuse celestial manipulator.

That's fairly inconvenient on two fronts for yours truly. As reported over a week ago I had trouble with a brand new computer and had to send it back for refund. UPS returned it to the manufacturer in double-quick time, but I have still not received my refund, 2 weeks later, so I've had to chase 'em up and give 'em the hard word. I'm promised a refund this week. Promises, promises.... It's an inconvenient truth that I'd be unwise to buy or even order a replacement computer during the retrograde period. I'll hope that my old Dell, with a little TLC, stays the course.

It's inconvenient, also, that my re-scheduled US citizenship interview will take place on 19 June, the last day of Mercury's retro-motion, still "under the shadow". It could have been worse, I guess, if the date had been smack dab in the middle of the retrograde. "Be thankful for semi-mercies", I advise myself.

The citizenship debacle has been fraught with delays from beginning to end, and has spanned many retrograde periods of several different planets. First there was a 16 week wait from July 2007 for receipt and acknowledgement of my application and cheque for $400. Then I had to attend twice for fingerprinting because the FBI couldn't read the first batch - which caused at least a further 4 weeks' delay. Then I attended for interview as instructed on 11 April but was sent away, the interview having been postponed due to "staff sickness" - a further 10 weeks' delay has followed. I sometimes wonder why I bothered in the first place, but keep reminding myself that I shall feel much more secure, living in this crazy US world, as a US citizen with a US passport.

(Sigh.) Inconveniences and irritations will be over soon enough.

"You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should
(From Desiderata by Max Ehrmann).

And, as the late great Douglas Adams used to say:

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chad, chad, retrograde & "Recount"

When I first heard the word 'chad' being used in the USA, it conjured up a long-ago vision from my UK childhood.

Graffiti (as shown left) used to pop up in all kinds of locations with little messages, always referring to shortages civilians faced during, and for a while after, World War 2.... "Wot no bananas?" "Wot no sugar?" The little graffiti character was called, for some reason not clear to me, "Chad".

Ahem....that memory dates me terribly.

In the USA I struggled to get to grips with how on earth "a hanging chad" could be a serious political problem. Recently, due to publicity about HBO's new film "Recount", I have been enlightened.

It's appropriate that "Recount" is first being shown just as Mercury is about to begin a period of retrograde motion. Astrologers tell us that during Mercury retrograde periods some of the safest pastimes, not prone to problems and hitches, are reviewing, re-visiting and reflecting on past endeavours and decisions. "Recount", the TV movie, will be doing all of those things.

I'm drafting this post before having seen the film, I'm looking forward to doing so. It will shine a light on American history of the recent past, of which I have only sketchy knowledge. I remember watching TV reports, in the UK, of the goings on in Florida in 2000. I had scarcely any knowledge of US politics then, I had difficulty remembering which party, Democrat or Republican, equated to British Conservatives and which to the British Labour Party. I'm a bit better informed these days, learning fast.

When the current Mercury retrograde phase ends, will the USA be any nearer to a clear decision on who is the Democratic nominee ? It's doubtful. Let's hope that by November, though, things will have clarified sufficiently that chad will not be a factor in the coming General Election. If this doesn't happen, I might feel tempted to go grafitti-writing with my own version of Chad, and the legend "Wot, no president yet?"

PS: We watched "Recount" yesterday evening. Wow! That was some confusion! In a country often called "Leader of the Free World", how come those who set rules and organise elections couldn't (as we say in England) "organise a piss-up in a brewery"? After watching "Recount" we didn't switch channels but watched the movie shown next - "Evan Almighty". You know, the plot of that movie was almost more believable than the true tale of "Recount".

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My sad tarot news

When I mentioned tarot cards in my blog of 20 May, I was assuming the very negative set of cards I drew were answering the question I'd asked, regarding the week's primary election. As it turned out they didn't answer that question, but I now see that were telling me, personally, something else. Something I found out first thing yesterday morning when I opened the e-mail which awaited me. I've checked planetary transits and found that Jupiter and the Moon were conjunct my natal Mercury (21 Capricorn) yesterday. An important and emotional(Moon) event did occur, via communication (Mercury).

Pat, a friend of mine for over 30 years, in the UK, had died very unexpectedly in her sleep on 16 May, just three days before her 61st birthday. Yesterday her brother, after dealing with his own shock over several days, sent an e-mail to the many friends in her address book as the only way he knew to break the sad news to us. As I read the mail the phone rang: another friend, hoping to catch me before I opened the mail.

Photo below is of Pat(left), the friend who called me(centre), and me, taken during a visit back to the UK in April 2005.

Pat was always such an inspiration to me and to everyone who knew her. She suffered from polio as a child, spent several early years in an "iron lung" and the rest of her life in a wheelchair. She allowed me to practice on her natal chart when I first bought astrology software. I was interested to find what I saw as a connection between her chart and that of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had also suffered from polio.

In spite of her difficulties she was one of the most optimistic people I've ever met, in love with life, and always up for adventure and a laugh. She travelled widely, all over Europe and America, cruises, fly-drives, all kinds of excitement, with the help of a good friend and carer. They even had a trip to Australia planned for the coming November. I worked alongside Pat for 24 years, and cannot remember ever seeing her downhearted.

Pat was awarded the M.B.E. when she retired, in recognition her lifetime of government service (Member of the Order of the British Empire). She was so thrilled to attend the ceremony at Buckingham Palace and meet Prince Charles.

Both her aged parents have outlived her, both are in very frail health. I can't bear to think how they and all the family, must be feeling now.

Pat adored Cliff Richard. I think that she once even met him in person, at a concert.

I'm posting this in geat sadness, in her memory.

Rest in Peace, dear friend.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Michelle, Obama's Belle

There's a lot being said about the spouses of the three presidential candidates. For me, a Brit in the USA, this is a fairly new element in politics. Tony Blair's wife, Cherie came into public view quite a lot when he was Prime Minister, but before his reign we knew little of our PMs' spouses, they remained in the shadows, usually doing good and worthy works, or knitting quietly in a corner.

In the USA some past presidents' spouses have taken a prominent part in public life: Jackie Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton, during Bill's presidency, Nancy Reagan, to name the best known. So, if we were to see a President Obama, we'd no doubt see his wife Michelle in the news - a lot. She has already been quite outspoken on various matters, while campaigning vigorously for her husband.

Michelle was born 17 January 1964, Chicago, Illinois. I've searched for her birth time with no success, but did find a couple of astrologers' views on her chart, to which I'll add a few thoughts of my own.

Michael Lutin wrote about Michelle in Huffington Post back in March - "Michelle Obama: The Ultimate Capricorn". He appears to know her time of birth, but doesn't give it away. He seems sure that her natal Moon is in Pisces and Saturn in 2nd house - (or maybe he's talking about the Sun sign method of house counting?)

Elaine Douglass has a mention of Michelle HERE - scroll down to the section headed: "Additional on Barack Obama".

From Michelle's 12 noon chart, I'll concentrate only on what's sure to be accurate - not the Moon's position, for it was right on the cusp of Pisces/Aquarius at noon - it could be in either sign, and the ascendant is unknown (I want to guess Leo was rising though!) Mars lies close to the Sun, but in a different sign - I think this still qualifies as "conjunct", so Mars adds its energetic and assertive, even aggressive influence from humanitarian but rebellious Aquarius to her more staid and steady Capricorn Sun. If people see Michelle as something of a hard nut, this conjunction is probably where the impression comes from. Her personal planets all lie between Capricorn and Aries, you could say that she's a winter and early spring kind of person. There's a certain coldness about her public face, but on better acquaintance the warmth and promise of spring would no doubt come through.

As Michael Lutin said, the main transit Michelle Obama faces in the near future is that of Pluto. The transformative planet will be moving, slowly, ever closer to her natal Mercury in coming months, not actually reaching it until 2010. I will not hazard a guess how this might affect her, readers can surmise for themselves, there are 101 ways things could pan out, but affect her it will - I'd bet on that. Pluto's transits to personal planets are always felt, sometimes painfully at first, but eventually Pluto transits bring benefits - like walking through a storm, into the fresh sunlight.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Andrew Sullivan - is Aries Moon to blame?

The declarations of my fellow-countryman Andrew Sullivan often make me squirm. If I accidentally stumble across him in a TV show my stomach starts to churn. I do so wish he wasn't an Englishman, he lets the side down badly.
We English are supposed to be phlegmatic, fair-minded, mellowed by centuries of history. I guess that's why he took himself off to the USA then! Perhaps that's a factor in why I'm here myself - we didn't quite fit in.

A blog entry by "Pagan Power" at No Quarter reminded me how little respect I have for this man. The piece is titled "Is Andrew Sullivan a Sociopathetic Hack?" the writer quotes Sullivan several times, but the following quote from him really fired me up:

"I think she (Hillary Clinton) has now made it very important that Obama not ask her to be the veep. The way she is losing is so ugly, so feckless, so riddled with narcissism and pathology that this kind of person should never be a heartbeat away from the presidency."

This man is so incredibly arrogant. Narcissism? He wrote the book! What right has he to make pronoucements such as this about a national figure who deserves respect - he's not even a US citizen! He doesn't have to like Senator Clinton, nor agree with her on anything at all, but he has no right to publicly disparage her. Yes, I'm aware of freedom of speech, but there's also a matter of taste and courtesy to be considered.

Let's see if his natal chart gives a clue why I should find him so objectionable. Born 10 August 1963 in Godstone, Surrey, UK. No time of birth available - 12 noon chart below:

Mercury conjunct Pluto and Uranus - together in critical Virgo - ouch, and double ouch! The lad can't help being ultra-critical(Virgo), at times outrageously so (Uranus), and sometimes hurtful(Pluto). His Leo Sun endows him with kingly arrogance, Saturn in Aquarius opposes his natal Sun bringing a push-pull effect between the brightness of Leo and dull strait-laced conservatism of Saturn, with a hint of rebellious nature coming into play.

Unless he was born in the last few minutes of 10 August his natal Moon would have been in Aries, along with Jupiter. Mars, ruler of Aries lies opposite in Libra (but perhaps not tightly opposing), here's another, weaker, push-pull effect between an Aries Moon (impetuous, impatient) and a Libra Mars(passive-aggressive procrastinator). I understand an Aries Moon - I have one of 'em, and can see where part of his attitude comes from ( only have to read this to understand).

By a weird coincidence, today I found myself looking at the chart of someone I know, who happened to have been born just 3 days away from Mr. Sullivan, in a different country, and (I'm pretty sure)at different time of day. Planets, except the Moon, are in very similar positions. The difference in personality, and in how the two come across, is quite stark. This brought it home to me, once again, how extremely important it is to know the accurate time and place of birth when considering a birth chart in any depth. Sullivan's Moon in Aries is one key to the contrast in these two people's personalities, his ascendant remains an unknown factor and is the other placement which would account for vast differences in the way these two people come across.

It pains me to post the following YouTube video featuring not one, but two Englishmen, Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens, both high on my list of those to avoid like the plague. I'm posting it to illustrate attitudes. Passing readers may or may not agree with what they say about Senator Clinton (please note, it's Senator to you, not "Mrs" Clinton, Mr Sullivan!) Personally I strongly disagree with their comments, I see no attitude of self-pity in Senator Clinton - the opposite in fact. Sullivan admits here that he idolised Margaret Thatcher - for me, that says it all.

PS - an article by another Andrew, Andrew Stephen, in the UK's 'New Statesman' acts as an antidote to the above "Hating Hillary". Thank you, Mr. Stephen !

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gemini/Mercury/Uranus - A Kick-ass Combination

It's Gemini time!

I'm highlighting just two individuals from Astrotheme's lists of well known people with Gemini as dominant sign in their natal charts. These two stood out as I glanced down the long lists. They are not today's glitzy idols, but two who represent a quieter, more academic side of Gemini.

Gemini is possibly the most staightforwardly mentally wired of the three Air signs. Aquarius mentality bends towards humanitarianism, Libra towards diplomacy, but Gemini's mental-wiredness emanates in academic and communicative skills.

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit and Alois Alzheimer, two German-born men from past centuries, were both strongly Geminian.

Fahrenheit invented the alcohol thermometer in 1709 and five years later the Mercury thermometer. You couldn't get much more appropriate than that for a Geminian - inventor of the Mercury thermometer! He also developed the Fahrenheit temperature scale, still in use in the USA.

He was born 24 May 1686 in Gdansk, Poland (no time of birth known, 12 noon chart below).

Sun, Mercury and Mars in Gemini, Moon too, were he born before 6pm. Saturn lay in Virgo (also ruled by Mercury, by the way). Uranus (the planet of invention) is semi-sextile Mercury - that's a mildly helpful aspect. Uranus is opposing Jupiter in Scorpio providing a kind of dynamic push-pull between avant garde Uranus and expansive Jupiter - probably helpful in prodding Mr. Fahrenheit to work on and on, always perfecting and expanding his ideas. Gemini, Mercury and Uranus - in today's vernacular "a kick-ass combination"!

Alois Alzheimer was born 14 June 1864 in Marktbreit, Bavaria (Germany). No time of birth known. (12 noon chart below)

A medical doctor whose surname has become all too well-known in our world today. He was a pioneer, specialising in research and identification of causes of mental disorders. A particularly tragic form of pre-senile dementia was named after him.

Sun conjunct Uranus, with Venus and Mercury all in Gemini, Saturn lay in Libra widely trining these planets. Mars in Aries opposes Saturn in Libra, so as in the previous chart we have an opposition providing dynamic push-pull energy, this time between energetic Mars and work-horse Saturn.

In the natal chart of Alois Alzheimer Uranus was the dominant planet, with Sun second, Mercury third. But Gemini is way out above any other sign in strength - 60.7%. Gemini with Uranus is a formidable combination, and probably more productive than Aquarius with Uranus, for it lacks the rebellious streak. Gemini seems to harness and draw out the best from Uranus, whereas Aquarius tends to tease out its revolutionary tendencies.

These were two Gemini-born men who used their innate talents to guide human knowledge several steps further along the road of progress, aided and abetted by that kick-ass combination: Gemini/Mercury/Uranus.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Carry On Clinton!

My tarot cards didn't reflect last night's results (see yesterday's blog). No dramatic tale of woe was told. Things remain much as they stood before, but with fewer opportunities for a dramatic change in the status quo to occur. Only three more primaries to go, not forgetting wrangling still to come about delegates and votes from Michigan and Florida.

A woman interviewee on TV last night responded, when asked if there is any way Senator Clinton can still achieve the Democratic nomination, "Something has to happen". Yes indeed, and I suspect something will!

I'll keep the 4-card tarot response in my mental pending tray for a week or two, and watch events.

Several writers and commentators have brought up the fact that this current election season reminds them of 1972, when George McGovern was the Democratic nominee opposing incumbent president Richard Nixon. Similar opinions, that just about any Democrat could win the election because the sitting president was so unpopular, prevailed then as now. But McGovern lost that election by a landslide.

I'm not well enough informed to argue the pros and cons of similarities. Instead I looked at the outer planets' positions for November 1972 and for this November. A clue may be found there. The outer planets relate to the collective, communal atmosphere, in contrast to the faster-moving "personal" planets, whose positions tend to be reflected in personality traits of individuals.

In early November 1972 Uranus lay at 20 Libra, Neptune at 4 Sagittarius and Pluto at 3 Libra. Saturn was at 19 Gemini. Saturn and Uranus were in trine, Neptune and Pluto in sextile aspect. The planets were in cardinal and mutable signs, Fire and Air.

In November 2008 Uranus will be at 19 Pisces, Neptune 21 Aquarius and Pluto at 29 Sagittarius, Saturn at 19 Virgo. Saturn and Uranus are in sextile, and, more widely, so are Neptune and Pluto. The outer planets this time around are in a mix of mutable and fixed signs, covering all 4 elements, Water, Air, Fire and Earth.

In both years two pairs of outer planets are harmoniously aligned - here's a similarity.

Here's a difference: symbolically - and this is only symbolic - 2008 is more fragmented elementally than 1972, between all four elements. In actuality the opinions of the US population have become fragmented in more and different directions. The two Democratic candidates are both "firsts" - first woman and first black candidate. This has brought about additional divisions. Most election years will have seen splits class-wise ("blue-collar" versus the more academic community), religious divides, and splits relating to policy choices, but never before have there been splits caused by loyalties to colour of skin or gender.

I'm not convinced yet that 2008 will progress in the same way 1972 did, election-wise. The differences are more evident than the similarities, as I see it. The Democratic nominee for 2008 is not yet finally determined, in spite of what the media like to assume. Choice of nominee is, of course, the key factor needed before trying to compare 1972 with 2008. The comparison is certainly worth keeping in mind as events unfold.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cup and Lip

More presidential politics! Today the people of Kentucky and Oregon get an opportunity to vote for their choice of Democratic candidate. Reports indicate that Senator Clinton is favoured in Kentucky while Senator Obama seems to be the preference in Oregon.

For Senator Clinton, at this stage winning seems like a tall mountain to climb, as her rival is too far ahead in pledged delegates for her to overtake him. She still has transiting Uranus, planet of the unexpected, conjunct natal Moon, in much the same position as during the last few primaries. Transiting Jupiter, planet of luck, is now sextiling both natal Moon and natal Mercury - both helpful aspects to key personal planets.

If Senator Clinton manages to rack up a very wide margin in Kentucky and holds Senator Obama to a close race in Oregon, she will be able to mark time, hoping to perform in similar fashion in the few remaining primaries, and then wait for the Democratic National Committee's decision on how to treat the delegates of Michigan and Florida. That decision could swing the pendulum a little more in Senator Clinton's favour. All indications though seem to me to point to the fact that the DNC wants to nominate Senator Obama. The superdelegates hold what might be called the casting votes in this race. If it turns out, after this long drawn out, hard fought struggle, to be a very close finish, their votes will make or break the hopes of millions of the candidates' supporters.

Some people, Senator Obama included, already consider this primary race all but over. There is however, as we all know, "many a slip 'twixt cup and lip". It would be foolhardy for Obama fans to feel over confident, or Clintonista's too downhearted. Even after the last primary of all there will still be time for any number of upsets before the Convention in August, when nomination is made official. Several astrologers still retain confidence that Hillary Clinton will be president of the USA. Uranus and the unexpected events for which that planet is famous cannot be overlooked, any more than can Senator Clinton's steely determination.

In my latest tarot experiment, I asked "what do I need to know about Tuesday's primaries?"

I inadvertently pulled out 4 cards instead of the intended 3. All are unfortunate in tone, and rather puzzling. I considered keeping this episode of my tarot experiment secret as the cards looked so depressing, but that wouldn't be fair to my tarot deck. So.......

1~ The Tower aka The Lightning-struck Tower - A card of the Major Arcana, and the most significant of those drawn. In fact, apart from the Queen, the 2 remaining Minor Arcana cards serve to echo what The Tower tells. Some keywords for The Tower from Tarot Teachings - (where I double-checked for confirmation):

Sudden Shift

2~ Queen of Swords - Senator Clinton ?

3~ 10 of Swords - Defeat or ruin - but sometimes relates to a group rather than an individual.

4~ 3 of Swords - Strife. Emotional conflict. Disappointment.

The cards are not in conflict with each other, the story they tell seems like clear tale of woe.

I find the cards hard to interpret in this particular context. I've read recently that in spite of earlier reports that Senator Obama expected to be able to claim the nomination after Tuesday's voting, after winning a sufficient number of pledged delegates from these two State primaries, it's now said that he does not intend to do so. Apparently this decision has been made to foster party unity and avoid further upsetting Clinton supporters whose votes will be required at the General Election in November. Upheaval caused by an announcement by Senator Obama is unlikely to be what the cards are describing, then. I guess he could change his mind on this, or the media could do the trumpeting for him, which I'm sure they can't wait to do! That eventuality doesn't seem to quite fit the tone of these cards though.

My first thoughts on seeing the four cards was that something pretty decisive must be coming up. An upset of a kind not yet contemplated perhaps?

Irrespective of what tarot or astrology seem to indicate, there's a wild and woolly feel to it all, and it's getting wilder and woollier by the day. It's just the right kind of atmosphere where a cup might easily slip before reaching the lips!

With the above thoughts in mind, a couple of long articles I read yesterday are worth mentioning:

"Follow the Mecca Brick Road" by a contributer known as ShallowHal at Savage Politics


"Not now, not ever - "A Repudiation of Obama and the New Bolsheviks, and an Interesting Possibility", by Craig della Penna at No Quarter.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Family Celebration for a Gemini

The Sun is moving ever closer to the zodiac sign of Gemini. My husband's son-in-law, a Sun Geminian - and if ever I met a "typical Gemini" he's it - is being inducted into the local High School's Sports Hall of Fame this evening. He is a journalist, now Editor of a local newspaper, but earlier in his career, a Sports Editor, first in his native Illinois, then for our town's daily newspaper. In addition to his wide knowledge of sport, he's a music nut - all genres, he takes a keen interest in politics and will chat about almost any other subject you could name. He's a fun guy. He is leader of his own (tongue-in-cheek) political party, "The Gemini Party", and is a fantasy candidate in the coming presidential election, treating his readers to progress reports in a regular Sunday column. He's an active member of the local Arts Committee, and responsible for booking performers for monthly concerts, October to April annually. He's such a good example of this sign - if we had a Gemini Hall of Fame, I'd nominate him! (Sketch by my husband).

Best wishes to you "TNPOTUS", and hearty congratulations on the honour to be bestowed tonight. We, along with all the local family, and visiting dignitaries, will cheer you on with gusto.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Moon in Scorpio - again

When the Moon is full or almost full, as it is now, around midnight it shines into one of the north-facing windows in our bedroom, the one close to my side of the bed. Lying there looking upward through the gauzy drapes and venetian blind I watch it. When the sky is clear, as it often is in this part of the world, the Moon's light illuminates the room with a silvery glow. I can't get my head around exactly why the full Moon lies in this position each month around midnight, but it does. Because my ascendant sign is Cancer, I'm said to be ruled by the Moon, so it's a little bit magical to regularly see my ruler when she's at her brightest and best. She's in Scorpio just now, for a second visit this month.

One night as Dick lay fast asleep,
Into his drowsy eyes
A great still light began to creep
From out the silent skies.
It was the lovely moon's, for when
He raised his dreamy head,
Her surge of silver filled the pane
And streamed across his bed.
So, for a while, each gazed at each-
Dick and the solemn moon-
Till, climbing slowly on her way,
She vanished, and was gone.
By Walter de la Mare

Speaking of Scorpio - yesterday we visited a picturesque little town called Medicine Park with my husband's second son, who's visiting from Ohio. We spotted this scorpion sculpture. It'd make an unusual garden ornament, but as it wouldn't fit in the car, I had to make do with a photograph.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mr. Seacrest

A post from 18 January 2007 in honour of next week's American Idol finale. This one is about the person I see as the unsung hero of the show, Ryan Seacrest. Not many writers have a good word for him, but I did then, and still do after watching yet another season of the show.

This morning, just before posting this I noticed an article in Huffington Post relating to a Larry King interview with Ryan Seacrest. Interesting, but maybe just gossip.

Here's a copy of my post from January 07, with a 12 noon version of his natal chart added.

After watching Ryan Seacrest doing his thing on American Idol once again, I was curious to see his natal chart. From the whole crew of that incredibly popular show, and I'm a great fan, he strikes me as the most professional. He's not treated too well by critics and comedians who often have him at the butt of their jokes and bitchy comments.

I knew absolutely nothing about Mr Seacrest, or his other professional endeavours and was initially surprised when I saw his chart. Born 24 December 1974, Dunwoody, Georgia. No time known. The Sun, Mercury and Venus are at 2, 5 and 14 Capricorn respectively. Surprising to me - until I Googled for more information, then all became clear. He's a workhorse, and an ambitious businessman.

12 noon chart(ascendant and Moon position uncertain).

Seacrest already has a full plate — besides his radio shows On-Air with Ryan Seacrest and American Top 40, his gigs on E! News theLive from the Red Carpet specials, and Idol, he is co-owner of eight restaurants and a clothing line (The R Line). He is also busy producing E!'s Paradise City, a Vegas-based half-hour reality series about twentysomethings trying to make it in the entertainment industry (debuting in 2007), plus he's working hard rooting for his famous friends. And if that weren't enough, he's working on a new ndustry-related project that is too secret to divulge just yet, but which he hopes to announce in the beginning of the new year.

Each day at 4 a.m. Ryan Seacrest, the tireless host of "American Idol," is wide awake staring at a schedule that frightens even him at times. "There are certainly days when I'm brushing my teeth and thinking, 'How are you going to have the energy to do all of this today?' " he said in his sparsely decorated dressing room, a half-hour before he was due to direct traffic on "Idol." "But it's like running. The first few minutes are difficult, and then you find a rhythm."............
"I'm frightened by the thought of being out of work," he said. "Growing up, there were people on shows like 'Diff'rent Strokes,' 'Facts of Life,' 'Love Boat' that you thought would be huge stars for the rest of their lives, and they've just vanished. You never want to be that person."

Ryan's Moon is in Taurus (unless he was born at 1am or earlier), likely to be opposed by Uranus in Scorpio - emotional commitment may not be easy for him, he craves excitement, novelty, challenge. Saturn at 16 Cancer opposes his Venus, possibly bringing limitation to his love life. He can't possibly have much spare time! Ryan is presently single. Gossip seems to have surfaced from time to time as to his sexual orientation. Who cares?

Jupiter lies in Pisces, Neptune and Mars are conjunct in Sagittarius. Pluto's in Libra(the only Air planet he has), and Uranus in Scorpio. I feel certain that if his birth time were available we'd see some planets in Air houses, probably his ascendant in Air too - I think he's too good a communicator to be lacking in that element.

One surprising piece of information at
Ryan - "I was bullied," he confessed. "I used to lock myself in my room and scrape the skin on my cheeks because I wanted to be thinner. It wasn’t that big a deal. I just was teased. I had braces, I had glasses, I had Simon’s haircut -- so I was teased when I was a kid."

That early experience, together with his natal Jupiter in gentle Pisces no doubt contributes to his compassionate approach when, during auditions, he deals with some VERY eccentric, often pitifully misguided would-be singers.

I feel I understand Ryan Seacrest a little better now. In a nutshell: a compulsive worker and achiever, foregoing emotional relationship for the sake of his future career, but with an underlying base of compassionate understanding. Difficult, but nice!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Learning the Language

When shifting computers around last weekend I cleared some bits and pieces from the shelves under my desk and came across a book I'd forgotten I had. "Cosmic Combinations" by Joan Negus. She's a teacher, lecturer and consultant. This is a book of astrological exercises. I used it as part of my do-it-yourself astrology course. Should anyone reading this be similarly disposed - to using the do-it-yourself approach - I recommend seeking out a copy of this book.

The author begins with sets of straightforward exercises which help the student to identify and understand astrology's basic underpinnings, whilst becoming familiar with astrological glyphs. Years ago I used to find these off-putting, they presented a mental block.

Exercise 1, for example, lists 9 combinations of zodiac signs (by glyph) and asks 9 questions: e.g. "Which signs are initiating and interested in being directly involved in situations?" The student considers 9 sets of 4 or 5 signs and should choose the set of 4 cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) as the correct answer.

The exercises develop gradually to show how signs and planets are combined, then later the astrological houses are introduced.

By excercise 29 the student is confronted with 12 sets of glyphs and houses, progressing to consideration of planets in aspect and major configurations. Extensive exercises accompany short introductions to each stage, with answers listed at the end of the book.

Finally the author presents examples of full chart interpretation and an opportunity for the student to find out just how much he/she has learned.

I don't pretend that these exercises are all-encompassing, but they are very helpful in establishing a basic grounding, and very importantly, becoming at ease with the glyphs. The book is best used in tandem with an astrology text book, or access to on-line astrology sites, so that any queries along the way can be clarified.

Learning astrology is much like learning a foreign language. "Cosmic Combinations" is akin to a phrase book, astrological fluency is not its aim, but it offers a useful base upon which to build.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

David Cook, Pluto & American Idol

One week to go, and David Cook (see my earlier blog including natal chart) will be competing with David Archuleta in this season's finale.

David's natal Sun and Neptune at 28 and 26 degrees of Sagittarius respectively will be in the path of retrograding Pluto throughout the coming summer months. Pluto is creeping slowly back to the last degrees of Sagittarius for another short stay, and has been close David's Sun for months, during all of this American Idol series. He has been under additional strain throughout the series. His elder brother is battling advanced brain cancer which has spread to his spine (see here). David himself was taken to hospital last month suffering from heart palpitations and stress. His brother's illness must have affected David very deeply and has no doubt transformed his way of looking at life (very Plutoesque). As Pluto retrogrades to meet his Sun again, what he experiences may act as a kind of healing balm, or buffer against continuing stress.

When Pluto transited my own natal Venus some years ago, first I lost a loved one, then things turned around. I met the person who became my husband as Pluto re-traversed its earlier route. I hope current events will help David, his parents and two brothers get through difficult days ahead. Winning American Idol, or being runner-up can't possibly make up for having to watch a loved one's suffering, but perhaps it will re-energise the family, giving them a new source of physical and emotional strength.

Here is David singing the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby".

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pat Buchanan

When I first started taking an interest in American politics my husband warned me about Pat Buchanan (and a few others often seen on TV shows offering political commentary). He is apparently well known for his conservative/Republican stances, all more or less opposite to my own.

It's been very strange lately to find that Pat Buchanan is one of very few voices I can listen to without wanting to hurl something at the TV screen. Perhaps he's pandering to the anti-Obama people in the audience, and in his own party by putting forward reasonable and fair opinions about Hillary Clinton, against the avidly pro-Obama mob on MSNBC. Some say that he's likely to turn smartly against Hillary Clinton, should she manage to achieve the Democratic nomination.

I prefer to think though (Pollyanna-ish) that he truly understands Clinton and her approach, even though he disagrees with her policies. The two work from a basically similar astrological base. Both have Sun in Scorpio, Mercury in Scorpio, Moon in Pisces (if times of birth are correct).

Buchanan was born on 2 November 1938 in Washington DC according to Wikipedia, but according to Astrotheme in Mount Vernon, New York. Astrotheme has his time of birth as 12.20 am. That time puts Moon just into Pisces, at 00 degrees, even if it's not correct, but later Moon would still lie in Pisces. Both have the same nodal axis, Taurus/Scorpio, but in reverse. Buchanan's South node is Taurus, which is Clinton's North node. I don't go along with some interpretations of the N. and S. Moon's nodes, but prefer to see them as just two more very sensitive points in any natal chart, bringing extra emphasis to transits or conjoined natal planets. Buchanan's ascendant is 22 Leo, and Clinton has Saturn at 21 Leo, close to midheaven, so there's emphasis there on the same Leo degree.

So, though cynics might say Pat Buchanan is being somewhat hypocritical, ready to turn immediately if Hillary Clinton were to be the Democratic nominee, I prefer to believe that he understands her better than the rest of 'em, feels empathy, is sincere and willing to give her a fair shot at the prize for which she's aiming.

Pat was in good form last night during post-primary discussions. Hillary Clinton's big 41 point victory didn't protect her from many snide remarks from the usual suspects insisting that "it doesn't change anything - it's the math". Pat stood firmly in her corner. He admits, however, that for her to win the nomination, as the math stands now would be very difficult - something unexpected has to happen. With Uranus in the picture, I'd say it's practically a certainty that something will.

PS: My tarot cards did behave themselves.(See Monday's blog)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Computers & Catastroscopes

Mercury has been transiting natal Uranus/South Node in Taurus for the past couple of days.
Mercury + Uranus, for me, seems to equal catastroscopes (a play on Jimmy Durante's version of catastrophes).

On Sunday evening my new computer went dead and refused to re-boot. We'd already found a fault on it earlier, we could get no sound, in spite of trying all recommended adjustments. Then, amazingly, another catastroscope occurred. My old computer refused to fire up again.

After spending what seemed like hours on the telephone, Monday, with a very good technical support guy from the manufacturers of the new computer, my husband and he managed to get the ailing machine started with the help of -- a paper clip wiggled around in its innards! They remained unable to solve the audio problem, so we were told to either send the damned thing back for repair, or they would send us a new motherboard to fit ourselves - they had to be kidding!!

After reading their subsequent curt e-mail giving warnings and instructions about returning the computer, I blew my top. I called customer support and told them in no uncertain fashion my opinion of the way they treat a new customer. They tried to brush me off but I insisted on speaking to someone in management. Eventually they were persuaded to waive a 15% charge normally levied in cases of refunds, and assured me that they will refund the full price when the computer is received back at their factory. I insisted I did not wish to have a repair carried out nor a newly built replacement. I had chosen to buy an American-made 'puter deliberately, as a sign of support for USA trade, (no names until I get my $$$ back!) I'm disappointed.

My old faithfull Dell came back to life when it was re-attached to its own monitor, but another catastroscope surfaced. My astrology software refused to function. Something we'd done when transferring data had gummed it up. The problem was eventually sorted by the husband.

Phew! Thanks, Mercury! (I think).

Pending reimbursement, fingers are crossed that the two old girls will soldier on for a while longer - computer and owner!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Clincher or Passport?

Will tomorrow's West Virginia primary be the event which clinches Senator Obama's claim to the Democratic nomination, or will it be the passport for Hillary Clinton to continue her quest for the same?

Senator Clinton has been encouraged, over past days, to "step down gracefully", often in less than graceful terms by Obama supporters. His on-line supporters, by the by, do him no credit whatsoever. Where the idea that he attracts the progressive, highly educated elite comes from, I know not, they certainly don't seem to be in the majority to this observer. It'd be comical if it weren't so important!

That being as it may, onward and upward, to the planets. Tomorrow's astrology isn't much different from that affecting last Tuesday's two primaries in Indiana and North Carolina(mentioned HERE). The faster-moving personal planets have proceeded a little further along their orbit, of course, but the outers, which I believe are more relevant to the current conundrum, are in much the same positions with regard to the candidates' natal charts.

I'm looking only at transiting Uranus. This could be seen as unwise, because the whole picture should be taken into consideration. When interpreting a natal chart there's no argument, but for something like this I choose a different view. If you see a flock of birds in the sky, pick one and follow it - you see where it goes. Try to follow the whole flock and your eye, and mind become confused, you are no wiser. My method simple, it can't tell the whole story, but it could offer a pointer in the right direction. Uranus is this election season's signature planet. Change. It's a great pity that the planet in question is such a maverick though, its changes don't always come about in well-planned and organised fashion - they usually arrive via unexpected routes.

Uranus hovers over Clinton's natal Moon, and trines natal Mercury. Her win in Indiana last week wasn't as big as some people expected. Uranus, bringer of the unexpected might deliver another disappointing and emotionally depressing blow tomorrow should she not achieve the wide margin of victory the opinion polls are indicating. Obama's insistence that he will be able to declare himself the Democratic nominee on 20 May might possibly have swayed enough voters to believe that a vote for Clinton is an empty vote. But Uranus is nothing if not consistent - consistently inconsistent that is! If West Virginia Democrats are hard-headed, independent-minded people, Senator Clinton's support could hold and bring her a massive victory, along with re-energised optimism.

I'm wary of jumping either way this time. The most unexpected way is probably the right one.

I pulled out my tarot deck once again on Saturday night. Question asked: "What do I need to know about the outcome of the West Virginia primary?"

3 cards drawn: High Priestess ~~ Judgement ~~ The World.

Wow! Three major arcana cards, that was unexpected - first time it's happened in response to a question about these elections. As always, I used the full deck.

An important outcome then - one way or t'other.

The High Priestess often signifies new and previously hidden revelations, and always relates to feminine principles.
Judgement is not a negative card (though it sounds as though it could be). It can indicate a pivotal time, and is often seen as indicating some kind of re-birth.
The World - difficult to pin down in this context : completion, end of a cycle, it's not a negative ending card though. I see it here, because of the other two cards, as representing a justification of her insistence to continue her quest. This in turn must indicate a win with a good margin over Senator Obama, and that her supporters have stood firm.

There is nothing inherently "bad" or even disappointing in those cards. I'd say that the overall indication is that whatever happens in West Virginia will be for the best, and that there may well be more to learn about the situation in general. (High Priestess).

Bear in mind, though, that I asked only about West Virginia. Let's see whether the tarot behaved well this time.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Standing - Astrologically & Otherwise

On this Standing Women Day 2008 I stand by the pledge below and trust that we, and generations still to follow, will:

Take physical strength from the Sun,
Emotional strength from the Moon,
Contact and fellowship with others, worldwide, via Mercury,
Love for all of humanity via Venus,
Courage from Mars,
Good fortune via Jupiter and
Stability from Saturn.

Standing Women Pledge:
We stand for the world's children and grandchildren, and for the seven generations beyond them.
We dream of a world where all of our children have safe drinking water, clean air to breathe, and enough food to eat.
A world where they have access to a basic education to develop their minds and healthcare to nurture their growing bodies.
A world where they have a warm, safe and loving place to call home. A world where they don't live in fear of violence-in their home, in their neighborhood, in their school or in their world.
This is the world of which we dream.
This is the cause for which we stand.

John Lennon stands:

Norman Rockwell stands:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Venus, Mercury & Standing Women

Michelle at "Crow's Feet" has written this week about Standing Women Day, Sunday 11 May. There's also an explanatory video at her blog.

This is a beautiful idea, tapping into collective consciousness, to send heartfelt hopes and wishes for the future of our planet out into the ether.

Google led me to a Standing Women Blog I've taken the liberty of copying some text from there - one person's experience of last year's event:

"First there were two, then four, than another three, then two more, then.... From down the hill, over the fence, up from the street, from across the stairs, they came to answer the call from We intuitively formed a circle. Women and men and children and Coyote, the dog, came together in the lush clover with the majestic Loretto Convent building boarded up and empty behind us. We casually introduced ourselves to one another as we rang our Tibetan bells and cow bells and school bells and silver bells to announce the location. And then at 1:00, we held the silence. Sometimes the noise from the busy street or voices from the top of the hill intruded, but this circle held the silence. In those five sacred minutes, our silent intentions joined the bustle and rode the gentle spring wind to join with others who were also standing. A chill snaked up my spine as I looked around and beheld the circle of strangers and friends and family standing together to change the world. This silence was golden indeed! When the bells rang out to end the silence, my soul sang." (May 2007 Standing in Ontario, Canada.)

This Sunday, Mercury, planet of communication and all mental activity, will be in one of its own signs, Gemini, at 11 degrees. Venus, planet of love will also be lying in one of its own signs, Taurus at 12 degrees. So, it could be said that the influence these two celestial bodies, planet of communication and planet of love, on Sunday will be unadulterated, their qualities strong and unimpaired, helpful to the kind of enterprise in question - Standing Women Day.

I couldn't help recalling, as I read Michelle's blog, a character in the movie "Dances With Wolves" - a woman who had been captured as a child, and lovingly brought up by a Native American tribe. Her Native American name was "Stands With A Fist". I have a feeling that today's women will need to "stand with a fist", showing resolute determination, if anything is ever going to change in this world.

The pledge of Standing Women:

We stand for the world's children and grandchildren, and for the seven generations beyond them.
We dream of a world where all of our children have safe drinking water, clean air to breathe, and enough food to eat.
A world where they have access to a basic education to develop their minds and healthcare to nurture their growing bodies.
A world where they have a warm, safe and loving place to call home. A world where they don't live in fear of violence-in their home, in their neighborhood, in their school or in their world.
This is the world of which we dream.
This is the cause for which we stand.

I intend to join in, in a way others have suggested, by making my blog for tomorrow my own "stand".

Friday, May 09, 2008

Changing Horses

It's Mike Gravel's birthday in a few days' time, on 13 May. He's a former Democratic Senator for Alaska, and was one of the original eight Democratic candidates for the US presidency.

The YouTube video below reminded me of how things were not that long ago. It was featured on the Savage Politics blog yesterday. After watching it, then reviewing my own creation, the first video I ever attempted, in June 2007 (re-aired at end of this post), underlined for me how much things have changed politically over past months.

Mike Gravel was, at the start of the primary season, one of 3 American politicians I instinctively trusted. Al Gore (who chose not to run in the presidential race) and Dennis Kucinich were the other two. Dennis withdrew from the race very early on, due to lack of media coverage resulting in little public support, apart from a core of faithful fans. Mike soldiers on to this day though, but since March as a Libertarian, not a Democrat. He changed horses, not in mid-stream but approaching the far bank. I was happy to see him expressing views which still exactly coinicide with my own. The way things are heading, perhaps I should consider following his example and find a new horse for myself!

I wrote a little about his natal chart in a blog titled "Soapbox Time" last October. A quick look at current transits tells me that transiting Jupiter at 22 Capricorn trines his natal Sun at 22 Taurus and transiting Uranus at 21 Pisces sextiles his Sun - both are helpful, harmonious aspects. Whereas there's little chance of us ever seeing a President Gravel (more's the pity) he'll probably be enjoying some support for his views, with a consequent morale boost.

My own first attempt at compiling a video: "The Impossible Dream"