Monday, June 30, 2008

More Obama/Neptune Fog

Barack Obama's certificate of live birth which appeared on-line a short time ago, hailed with glee by astrologers, is surrounded by the same Neptunian mist of illusion and delusion which, for me, accompanies all things Obama.

The certificate displayed on-line has been well scrutinised, and it appears that technically it could turn out to be a fabricated product of Photoshop. That is not certain, of course. The main issue throwing up doubt is that there does not appear to be any imprint of an official seal, or signature of an official included in the certificate, and the serial number is blacked out. Also, it has been discovered by researchers that certificates such as this are routinely sent by snail mail only, and always have folds evident - a similar document displayed on-line, belonging to another person born in Hawaii clearly shows folds and imprint of official seal. A contrubutor to No Quarter, screen name "TexasDarlin", has a series of detailed posts on this topic, the latest, "Fight the Smears: Show the Proof Now" outlines the situation, previous posts in her series outlining her series are linked below it.

A passing reader might feel inclined to consider this just another conspiracy theory dreamed up by Clinton supporters resentful at their candidate's loss. I'm not big on conspiracy theories of any kind, I get an immediate conspiracy siren going off in my head when confronted with a good juicy theory. I don't get that signal here. I think there IS a mystery which needs to be resolved. Possibly the mysterious element will turn out to be inconsequential - more an embarrassment to Obama than an impediment to his presidential run, but things ought to be clarified to stop further speculation.

The Constitution states that one of the requirements for a person to be President of the USA is that he/she must be not just a US citizen, but a natural born US citizen, born on US soil. We assume that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961: US soil, but if it were ever to be proved that he wasn't born in Hawaii, things would take a swift about-turn! This is why it's so very important for the presumptive nominee to clarify this issue.

Time of birth, as stated in the on-line certificate, might still be accurate of course, even if the certificate itself is a Photoshop construct. That would entail the constructor having seen a real certificate however, and could implicate others in what might be a Federal offence (fabricating official documents). Then again, if the certificate was constructed by some well-meaning supporter, using most of the information already widely available, the time of birth could be entirely fictional. Had the constructor been an astrology buff they might have used 1.06pm!

Oh Neptune! You sure know how to mystify!

(Statue of Neptune in the market place of Durham, UK.)

PS: There's another update by TexasDarlin today, for those of us with analytical Mercury or Virgo-heavy birthcharts.

AND the beat goes on... yet another update - curiouser and curiouser.....

AND another blogger
,Joseph Cannon has weighed in, using Photoshop to investigate the latest findings, and now considers that the certificate shown on-line does contain a seal on its reverse side, and very faint evidence of folds. He still has some reservations, however. And there is still no serial number, which could be used to authenticate the certificate.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Random Sunday Rambles.....

Spiritualism: C.E.O. Carter, British astrologer of the mid-20th century, in his Little Green Book, "The Encyclopaedia of Psychological Astrology" defines an attraction to spiritualism thus:

"This is one of the interests usually connected with the watery element and the corresponding planets and houses. The scientific investigator into phenomena will usually have Uranus strong and very likely the Mercurial signs, and Scorpio. Cancer and Pisces are probably the commonest ascendants, both among mediums and the rank and file of their followers, and it is probable that Mercury will often be found in these signs."

In my younger years, in the UK, after losing confidence in the Chruch of England due to the attitudes of our local vicar, I experimented with spiritualism, attended several different spiritualist churches and meetings. I was moderately interested in it all, but not sufficiently so to continue the experiment for more than a year or two.

I suppose natal Cancer ascendant, and Jupiter in Pisces semisextile Aquarius Sun might have had something to do with the initial attraction to the concepts of spiritualism. Mercury in pragmatic Capricorn, close to the descendant might have influenced the fairly quick move away from the spiritualist path. I do understand its attraction, but it just wasn't right for me. One side of me was drawn to it while the other side remained too sceptical to accept it.

I remember one occasion, when working in a previously unvisited part of the UK, I sought out a spiritualist church and attended an evening meeting. Several of the congregation eyed me with suspicion, making me feel decidedly uncomfortable. After the meeting one member approached me and asked if I was representing some monitoring or Watchdog Group. I immediately set them straight. The incident did bring it home to me how insecure the people felt and I thought that was a great pity. I doubt that established traditional churches have watchdogs monitoring their proceedings. It's an example of how those outside the mainstream often feel very vulnerable.

Another sighting

On a trip to a trio of Oklahoma towns which used to stand beside Route 66: Clinton, Weatherford and Elk City this weekend we happened to spot another component of a wind turbine. I mentioned here having encountered a section of the stem of a wind turbine as it was being transported. On Friday we saw one of the blades of a turbine, displayed in Weatherford, Oklahoma with information about a local company's wind farms close to the town - right beside the road, actually. This was the first time I've seen wind turbines in action, close-up.

More power to the element of Air! That blade seemed enormous - in the photo above I'm standing near it to give an idea of just how big these things are. When assembled and in action they don't look anything like as huge and heavy as this, in fact they appear almost delicate!

Friday, June 27, 2008

PUMA - Reflection of Eris?

When dwarf planet Eris entered the astrological scene a couple of years ago I was cynical about the way some astrologers immediately began to use the symbolism of Greek and Roman myths associated with Eris, goddess of strife/striving, and discord, to interpret the planet's meaning. I felt much as astrologer Jack Fertig describes:

"I want to caution here that I don’t really hold with the notion that the name that astronomers give a planet necessarily defines it. Remember that according to the astronomers, Pluto and Eris aren’t even full fledged planets right now.

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

The astrologer discusses possible rulerships and relates briefly the mytholgy of Eris.

That is just background to what I'm getting around to saying. I can see Eris mythology personified in a current (mainly)women's poltical movement in the USA. There's an article in the Washington Post today which explains it well.

Several blogs have sprung up in support of the movement, three which come immediately to mind are:

PUMA (Party Unity My Ass), at the Confluence

Just Say No Deal

I OwnMy Vote

These groups, made up of large numbers of disaffected Hillary Clinton supporters are now resisting the call to unify the Democratic party by supporting Barack Obama as nominee.

From Jack Fertig again (who surmises that Eris might rule Libra, odd as that might sound):

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

PUMA and associated groups are symbolically throwing an apple into the Democrats' wedding party, causing potential chaos. If events do not change current circumstances, and the groups remain strong in their intention: vote McCain, or a third party candidate, or stay home on November 4, chaos for the Democratic party might well ensue. That well worn phrase "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" could once again prove to be apt.

More strength to PUMA! I'll enthusiastically join in once I get my vote.

Postscript: Last night I saw evidence that several PUMA-type blogs on Blogger have been locked out, "pending review", causing their owners to have to consider opening a blog elsewhere. (SEE HERE) This is thought to be the result of Obama supporters' mischief-making. Is this sort of thing likely to encourage unity?

If my page doesn't appear tomorrow, chances are not that I'm locked out due to the subject matter of this post, but that we have decided to stay overnight at a venue near to a Route 66 Festival we intend seeking out - but you never know....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

America's Talent judged by....

The past couple of Tuesday evenings have seen us in front of the TV, amused by America's Got Talent. I say amused rather than entertained because the two two-hour shows have covered auditions in various cities, the proportion of acts worthy of the word "entertain", even for the least demanding of viewers, was very, very small. I've spotted only two acts likely to survive to the final so far.

Just for fun I'm taking a brief look at natal charts of the three judges: Sharon Osbourne, Piers Morgan and David Hasselhoff. Why it was deemed necessary to have two Brits judging the standard of American talent I haven't yet fathomed - it does seem particularly odd. Still.....

Sharon Osbourne 9 October 1952 London, England. (No time known)

David Hasselhoff 21 July 1952 , Baltimore Corner, Maryland, at 6.20am (Astrotheme's time)

Piers Morgan 20 March 1965, Newick, East Sussex, England (No time known).

The triple chart below is for comparison of planetary positions only. (Centre is Morgan's chart, middle ring Osbourne's, outer ring Hasselhoff's)

Osbourne and Hasselhoff were born in the same year, she in October, he in July, so they share some outer planetary positions, he has Sun in Cancer with clusters in both Cancer and Leo, around the Leo ascendant. She has a cluster in Libra. Morgan, a Sun Aries born 13 years later, oddly has natal Jupiter in a very similar position to the two other judges: in Taurus. Lining up their natal charts, Jupiter (coloured bright blue) can be seen at 17, 19 and 25 degrees of Taurus. Not sure whether this is of any significance but I thought it worth a mention.

Originally I'd intended featuring just Sharon Osbourne and her natal chart today, but Google sent me to another astrology blogger's website, Collaborate With Fate, where, last year, Osbourne's chart had already been discussed in some detail. The impression I'm getting of Ms Osbourne doesn't quite match the one described there, however, but then I've not seen much of her. She so far has appeared typically Libran - always encouraging, charming and helpful to the contestants - playing "good cop" to Piers Morgan's "bad cop". This, of course is nothing but an act, someone doing a job, it doesn't necessarily relate to the real Sharon at all.

I talked about Piers Morgan myself in a blog post some time back (HERE) - not one of my favourite people!

David Hasselhoff comes over as a sweetie. The press regularly ridicules and maligns him, but I've come to realise that one shouldn't take any notice of the USA media, "form your own judgment and stick to it", is my motto. I warm to Hasselhoff. I remember him from Bay Watch with affection - all fluff and bubble gum, but the show used to fill an hour's viewing pleasantly enough, back in the day. I like the guy, he seems genuine. He blends the sensitivity of Cancer with Leo's ebullient nature, and it's a good combination in my book. I used to have a couple of friends with charts similar to his, they could both be ultra sensitive, disconcertingly so at times, but both were such fun and genuinely kind souls.

One similarity between the three judges' charts, apart from Jupiter in Taurus, is the fact that in each case Saturn (coloured grey above) is close to another planet. Osbourne has Sun conjunct Saturn. Morgan has Moon close to Saturn (we don't have a birth time, so exact degree of the Moon is uncertain, but the two bodies are going to be close whatever time he was born). Hasselhoff's natal Saturn is ten degrees from Neptune. Nothing spectacular, but something about which I'll make a mental note. Maybe when restrictive law-driven Saturn lies close to another planet its strength is intensified and a penchant for being judgmental could be one result of this - just a thought. My husband has Saturn conjunct Mercury and he....shhhh!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Beehive" and Planets in the '60s.

On Friday, after Thursday's citizenship interview, we drove from Oklahoma City the 20 or so miles northward to Guthrie, and decided to stay overnight. Guthrie was the original state capital, and retains some lovely Victorian red brick architecture - fairly uncommon in this part of the world, and looked on, quite rightly, as something to preserve and treasure. For entertainment, Friday night, we had a choice of a drive-in movie or a visit to the local theatre, currently in the midst of a run of the musical "Beehive". I've always fancied experiencing a drive-in movie, a typical, now almost vanished, 20th century American pastime. It was so hot and humid though, we'd have needed to keep the car's the air conditioning running all the time. We opted for a theatre visit instead.

I'd never heard of "Beehive" the musical. It's a 40-song revue, a tribute to female pop stars of the 1960s. A cast of six amateur, semi-professional and professional female singers entertained us for a couple of pleasantly nostalgic hours. The show's songs usher the audience through girl groups of the early sixties: Shirelles, Chiffons, Shangri-las and the like, then solo artistes Lesley Gore, Connie Francis etc. to some female singers who skipped across the Atlantic from Britain on the coat tails of The Beatles :Lulu, Dusty Springfield, and Petula Clark. A sombre rendition of "The Beat Goes On" follows, with narration recounting how the innocence and froth of the very early 1960s was replaced by songs about civil rights and political activism. On to the divas of that era, most still with us today, mature versions of their '60s selves: Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Tina Turner and last but not least Janis Joplin. By this time the beehive wigs had been swapped for long and straggly or straight and smooth.

The six Guthrie gals were great, especially the ones singing Janis Joplin and Diana Ross. The only weak part of the show, I thought, were the costumes. But heck, this isn't Broadway, it's just a medium-sized country town, and an independently run theatre, the gals probably had to sew their own. Hair-dos weren't really quite extreme enough either, the costume department must have had to make do with standard off-the-peg wigs.

It was nice to see the ladies having it all their own way for once !

Did 1960s astrology reflect the swing away from a fairly innocent, old fashioned style into something completely different, then on to more politically motivated music ? Well, the outer planets are the only ones which might tell a tale here. Neptune was in Scorpio and Pluto in Virgo right through the decade. Uranus shuffled a little between Leo and Virgo, but remained in Virgo most of the time. So there was an underlying base of passionate emotion (Scorpio) tempered with a more earthy sensibility (Virgo). Most of the shift was provided by Saturn, whose orbit takes 84 years, spending around 7 years per sign. Saturn moved from commonsense, old fashioned earthy Capricorn, where it was more or less in tune with the other three outer planets into airy Aquarius in 1962 until early '64 - just the time the Beatles erupted onto the scene in the USA and changed popular music forever! Saturn then moved on to compassionate Pisces, and by the end of the 60s into aggressive Mars ruled Aries, coinciding with the tragic events of 1968. (See earlier blog about 1968 here).

Here's an advertising clip for a "bigtime" version of the show. The hair and costumes may leave Guthrie's in the shade, but I suspect the voices were as good, maybe even better, here in Oklahoma.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"The truth is rarely pure and never simple" (Oscar Wilde)

Only a handful of political blogs saw fit to discuss the Larry Sinclair debacle in any detail. Mainstream media have studiously avoided the issue. To my mind this is a dereliction of duty.

In case the name Larry Sinclair has managed to elude a passing reader's attention, he's the individual who claims to have used cocaine and had oral sex with Barack Obama in the back of a limousine and in a motel room in 1999. Sinclair's past record of petty crime, 20 years ago, and history of drug taking doesn't make his story at all credible, yet at a press conference at the National Press Club last Wednesday, 18June, he came over as sensible, articulate, clear and thoughtful. He's certainly no out-and-out nutcase. More information can be read at Citizen Wells blog, where there is also a link to the official video of the NPC conference, at the 19 June entry.

Sinclair didn't pull any punches when speaking to the press, nor did he ignore his sordid background. He asked not that the journalists believe him, only that they hear him and investigate his story using the information he gave, which included some relevant telephone numbers and the name of the limousine driver. Sinclair seems to have little to gain, but everything to lose by what he's doing.

Larry Sinclair's birth data isn't available on-line, making it impossible to use his natal chart to assess what kind of guy he really is. I'm not inclined to believe every single detail of his tale, but on the other hand I don't think his story ought to be dismissed out of hand. Senator Obama aims to be President and Commander in Chief of the USA, one of the most powerful nations on the planet. If he was taking drugs as recently as 1999, voters should be aware of the fact. Gay sex is not important, drug taking is, especially for someone who could have his finger on the nuclear button or be answering that infamous 3am phone call. Members of the media fall down badly in their duty to the public if they do not undertake some serious, in depth investigative journalism here.

What's available to astrologers in the absence of Sinclair's date of birth? Not much. Looking at planetary positions on the day of the NPC conference is about the only thing possible, aside from using horary astrology to answer a question on the matter. It'd be interesting to hear what an horary astrologer could come up with.

On 18 June retrograde Mercury was at 13 degrees of Gemini. The communications planet was about to station and turn direct in just a few hours. The Moon, which is thought to represent the public in matters such as this was in expansive Sagittarius, more or less opposite Mercury as it happens - it seemed as though Mercury was shouting out to the public at large, across the zodiac! Saturn, the planet connected with law, rules, restrictions and authority lay at 3 degrees of critical Virgo, with no major aspects from inner or outer planets. Oddly enough The Law (Saturn) in the form of two FBI officers turned up as the conference ended and arrested Sinclair on some, as yet, unlinked and unknown charge emanating from Delaware. As there were no aspects to Saturn the fact that the charges were unrelated to the event in question seems appropriate. Nothing to be gleaned from that brings us any nearer to the truth though.

Sinclair remained in custody until yesterday afternoon.(see Citizen Wells blog, linked above for Sinclair's report of the circumstances surrounding his arrest).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cancerian Woody Guthrie

To mark our move into the zodiac sign of Cancer I've chosen a son of Oklahoma, singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie, to represent this sign.

"I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you." (Woody)

Born 14 July 1912, Okemah, Oklahoma. No time of birth known - 12 noon chart below.

Sun Cancerians are ruled by the Moon, their traits are generally understood to include sensitivity, caring, nurturing, love of home, a tendency to withdraw from life, intuition, creativity, and moodiness. Cancer made up 51.5% of Woody's natal chart (Astrotheme). His time of birth is unknown, so that percentage might be even higher. We don't know the exact degree of the Moon nor which sign was ascending at the time of his birth.

Woody certainly didn't have the look traditionally associated with Cancer (round, pale face), he looks more like Gemini to me, skinny, gangling - perhaps Gemini was rising as he was born. His version of the Cancerian's love of home seems to have related to his entire country rather than to a particular place or house. Whether he matched other traits of Cancer Sun isn't clear from the brief biographies I've seen on-line - there's a good one HERE.

Sun conjunct Neptune and Venus could not be more appropriate for a singer/songwriter/musician. Neptune relates to imagination and creativity, Venus is planet of music and the arts, both within a couple of degrees of natal Sun (the true self). If the Moon were indeed to form a part of the Cancerian cluster, as it almost certainly did, that would add an emotional depth to his work - and there's no denying that depth when you read his lyrics and relate them to the era in which he lived.

Woody's dominant planet is, unsurprisingly the Moon, followed fairly closely by Uranus which lay in it's own domain of Aquarius, and trined Saturn in Gemini.

Uranus in Aquarius trining Saturn in Gemini is a rather odd link-up between the new and forward looking (Uranus) and old traditional (Saturn), yet his songs rely heavily on tradition whilst at the same time looking to the future, the righting of social wrongs, the fight against injustice. Woody had a strong and clearly identifiable Aquarian streak in him. His natal Mercury in Leo provided the fiery mental spark to ensure his writing and playing reached a wide audience.

"The local radio airwaves also provided Woody a forum from which he developed his talent for controversial social commentary and criticism. On topics ranging from corrupt politicians, lawyers, and businessmen to praising the compassionate and humanist principles of Jesus Christ, the outlaw hero Pretty Boy Floyd, and the union organizers that were fighting for the rights of migrant workers in California’s agricultural communities, Woody proved himself a hard-hitting advocate for truth, fairness, and justice." (From biography linked above)

Woody's most famous song "This Land Is Your Land" isn't always quoted nor sung in its entirety. Three verses which reflect the rebel soul and social conscience of Uranus in Aquarius are sometimes omitted:

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

Woody Guthrie was a traveller - often on foot. He walked the highways and byways of the the USA, the land he loved so deeply, the land which was born on 4 July, under Sun sign Cancer as was he. Jupiter, unadulterated in its own domain of Sagittarius reflects his love of travel - I'd not be a bit surprised to see Sagittarius on an angle. If Gemini had been rising at his birth, as mentioned above, Sagittarius would have been near to the descendant angle.

Here he is, singing the shorter version of his famous song:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Presumptive US Citizen aided by Jupiter

Transiting Jupiter, hovering around natal Mercury during past months, at last brought me some luck on Thursday. The tale of woe I recounted in my previous post turned out to have a happy ending after all.

We were at our local Sheriff's office by 9am Thursday with a request for a signed and sealed statement of my criminal history (or lack of it) - this was forthcoming in record time - about 10 minutes. Onward to the town's Police Department, where we obtained a similar statement very easily. By 10.30 we were on our way to Oklahoma City, to find the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to obtain the third required background statement. Finding the building took longer than actually obtaining the document I needed. There was a whole department set up for the purpose of obtaining background statements, so with the exchange of $15 and a short wait I had the third document in my hot sticky hand - hot and sticky because temperatures were already in the nineties.

We headed for a soup and salad bar for a bite of lunch then decided to book in to a motel for the night, in case of unforeseen requirements post-interview. A couple of hours relaxing after the morning's efforts, then off to the USCIS building around 5.10pm My interview was scheduled for 5.30. It appears they are working overtime to deal with their enormous backlog of applications, and I suspect that the lady who interviewed me isn't one of the usual interviewing officers. She was a lovely lady, and the whole interview was relaxed and easy-peasy. I answered the first six civics questions correctly so no need to go to the remaining four. When she came to the part concerning my rejected fingerprints I was was able to wave my three documents trimphantly before her. She laughed and said, "When someone rang me about your application last evening, fortuitously your file was open on my desk and I took the opportunity of mentioning the fingerprint problem, wondering if you'd be able to rectify it." I refrained from asking, or showing any annoyance at all, why the office hadn't written to me about the problem during the past 3 months. I was so relieved to have had things go so well, so far. I wanted to avoid a sour note so bit my tongue - hard!

Here is the luck of transiting Jupiter conjunct natal Mercury: a chain of consequences. My husband's daughter-in-law had been visiting our home each afternoon last week to use our treadmill, as she's recently undergone an operation and needed some gentle exercise as therapy. In normal circumstances I'd probably not have had any opportunity to chat to her about my citizenship application. She happens to know a lady whose friend works in a congressman's office. The chain continues - phone calls via local offices and Washington DC eventually reached the lady who was to interview me, who at the moment of a phone call to her had my file open on her desk. It was evening too, well after office hours. The interviewing lady was a kindly soul, a big lady, Jupiter personified! I strongly suspect that regular staff wouldn't have been anywhere near as accommodating as to give out that information which helped me so much. They would have been likely to inform me of the fingerprint problem at the interview, then put my file back at the bottom of the pile - AGAIN!

A chain of events - happy happenstances which served to smooth my ruffled feathers of Wednesday evening.

Now, all I need is an Oath Ceremony. The interviewer told me it could be two or three months before I'm called, but they are arranging extra ceremonies because the courthouse can't accomodate a large enough number. They are swearing in an extra 150new citizens at three ceremonies at the USCIS office next week, and may do the same in July. I might get included in the next batch, but no guarantees - it could equally mean a wait until August or September. Sigh.

So now I'm what could be termed "a presumptive citizen". I'd bet my bottom dollar that they know more about my background, from cradle to.....well, not quite grave yet, but near enough, than they do about the presumptive President of the USA !

Since my first application for a marriage visa, in 2004 they have sifted through my life history, medical background and investigated my lack of criminal history both in the UK and USA with a fine tooth comb. They have seen my bank statements, birth, marriage and divorce certificates for both me and the husband, given me a chest x-ray and medical back in London, and generally made me feel like something that crawled out from under a stone. The fact that I still want to be a part of this beautiful country says a lot for the land and its people, and little for its Immigration Depatment.

Oh - and thank you kindly, Jupiter!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Frustration As Mercury Stations

We're not sure whether we'll return home from The City immediately after my citizenship interview at 5.30pm today. Another chapter in my citizenship tale of woe has begun.

My husband's daughter-in-law, who "knows somebody who knows somebody" yesterday very kindly made some enquiries for me after asking how my citizenship application was proceeding. She decided that a couple of phone calls on my behalf were worth a try, to find out whether, provided that I pass the interview today, I might be included in an early Oath Ceremony, this month, or next month at latest. She eventually got responses and has spoken to someone who contacted the person who will interview me. They were told that my fingerprints were still not clear enough for the FBI, I shall therefore be asked to provide three signed police statements from my town, county and state police departments to confirm I have no arrests, convictions etc. since living in the USA.

When she told me this over the phone my head almost exploded. I've waited 10 weeks since being sent away from my original interview due to "staff sickness". Why haven't I been informed of this requirement during that time? I could have obtained the necessary documents very easily.

My fingerprints seemed fine, according to the operative who carried out the procedure for a second time back in February. Perhaps years of typing, doing handwashing in biological detergents, washing dishes, and just simply the passing of many years may have blurred some parts of the prints. I accept that, but what I cannot accept is not having been informed of the problem weeks and weeks ago.

Mercury Retrograde and, I suspect, some other malefic force has been working overtime! I'm beginning to feel seriously worried about all this - really! I've encountered obstacles and long delays at every single stage since applying for citizenship on 26 July 2007.

I pulled up my re-located natal chart and noticed that transiting Neptune is just 2 degrees past my re-located ascendant, transiting Mars is exactly on my re-located descendant and transiting Jupiter has been hovering around natal Mercury for weeks, but not bringing me much luck, it seems.

However, forewarned is a chance to be forearmed and we have a few hours to attempt to gather up the information they apparently need - and have needed for the past 3 months but didn't see fit to tell me!

City and county records might possibly be obtainable quickly here in town before we leave, and later today in The City if we arrive in time, but we'll need some luck. It would be wonderful if I could hand the three documents to the interviewer... "Neener neener neener!" It's unlikely, though, that we'll be able to do it all, or even any of it, in time for 5.30pm.

It's barely dawn as I finish editing this, having been woken by a severe thunderstorm at 4am. I truly feel I don't want to carry on with my application for US citizenship. Quite by chance, reading around the blogs to pass time, I spotted that someone had quoted Winston Churchill, from a speech given to Harrow School in 1941. ".....never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense." That spurred me on! Thanks Winston!

There is a bright side. If I don't get to vote due to yet another delay, I won't have to choose between You-know-who and You-know-who in the General Election on 4 November! Wouldn't that be a relief!

And, as we might not be back by Saturday morn:


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

His passion for old photographs

My husband has always been a keen photographer. His other loves, sketching, painting and writing tend to come and go, but photography has been a constant. He has a large number of boxes filled with his produce over the years. As well as taking photographs he collects old ones, from discarded collections to be found in junk stores and antique shops. He feels a visceral connection to old photographs, says they "speak to him". He's not usually so esoteric - I have to add. He'll tolerate astrology with a slightly cynical countenance, but that's the extent of his interest in the unexplained. His attachment to old photographs seems special, to me.

He has a collection on Flickr, and occasionally posts some of them on his blog along with Flickr members' comments. There's a good example of his passion for his hobby in the comments copied to his blog "Thinks Happen" this week - SEE HERE. Scroll down through the comments to his long response near the end of the string.

Husband is happy for me to waffle on about his natal chart, and whether I can spot some aspect or placement which ties in with the above.

He has Sun at 1* Aries, Mercury at 29* Pisces and Saturn at 26* Pisces, so those three personal planets, within a few degrees of each other, form a stellium, even though they are not all in one sign. The mix of Aries and Pisces has always been apparent to me in his nature - I used to think it was a "cusp thing", in a way it is. Pisces' ruler is Neptune and Neptune connects to photography. (His Moon and ascendant are both in Leo, for basic background.)

Analysing a particular attraction to collecting antique photographs: Neptune, as I said, connects to photography, Saturn connects to age, and antique items, as does Capricorn. Collecting, I suspect, connects with Jupiter and Saturn -(the inclination to collect many items of a particular kind and give them structure - Saturn.) In the days of LPs (long-playing records) he was an avid collector of those - he still has them all, in their thousands. Collecting seems to be one of his natural traits.

I notice that there is an aspect pattern in his chart which links Neptune in Virgo with Saturn and the Pisces-led stellium, Jupiter in Capricorn and Pluto in Cancer. The pattern is known as a Mystic Rectangle formed by a pair trines and a pair of sextiles forming the rectangle, and two oppositions crossing inside it.

Here it is:

"A Mystic Rectangle will always be in the same polarity, either masculine (Air and Fire) or feminine (Earth and Water). This is another "soft" aspect pattern in that it does not generate friction, discomfort or a need to take action. What a Mystic Rectangle does offer, however, is an extremely strong sense of balance and structure, of harmony between the four planets involved. Finding this balance is not a given, it will still take conscious effort and awareness.."
See here

Each of the aspects which form the Mystic Rectangle has a part to play:

Jupiter in Capricorn sextile the mainly Pisces (ruled by Neptune) stellium links the urge to collect with Sun(self) and Saturn (age and old items, and structure).

The Neptune in Virgo/Pluto in Cancer sextile is generational, and found in the charts of many in the same age group, so isn't as significant, but because here it's linked into the pattern, it serves as a symbolic conduit aiding the flow, also bringing neat and organising Virgo into the mix - organising is also involved in collecting.

The trine between Jupiter and Neptune reflects a harmonious connection between photography and collecting.

The trine between Saturn and Pluto, will appear in charts of a group of people of similar age, but it does bring the passion of Pluto to the age/antique, structure link with Saturn.

The two oppositions between Jupiter/Pluto and Saturn/Neptune add dynamic crosswise pulls to the harmony of the outer rectangle - signifying energy, staying power and determination to keep on keeping on with the hobby from which he finds so much satisfaction.

I'd say that the ingredient mix in that aspect pattern, the Mystic Rectangle, contains everything necessary to produce a collector of old photographs.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Turn, Mercury, Turn!

I'll be glad to see the end of this Mercury Retrograde stint - not long to wait now. The communications planet will appear to stop, or station, and turn direct on Thursday 19th June, appropriately enough the re-scheduled date of my US citizenship interview. The 10 weeks since my original interview date, when I was sent away due to staff sickness has dragged dreadfully. I've watched members of immigration forums, who applied many months after I did, reporting back on their interviews and oath ceremonies. Some people who applied as late as March of this year are already being interviewed, and I applied in July 2007! It feels as though something has been deliberately holding me back - but why, I have no clue. Everything happens for a reason, they say.

As well as waiting for the interview, the little matter of a refund for a faulty (brand new) computer I had to return to the manufacturer has dragged also. Countless phone calls, promises, promises, but no refund. Eventually, last week, my call to Customer Service was answered by a person who actually seemed interested in my problem. I felt as though I'd hit the jackpot after experiencing several earlier brush-offs. He reviewed the records and expressed amazement and disgust that I was still waiting, after 4 weeks, to be repaid. He rang the "drop-shipper" while I waited and assured me that he will chase up progress. We'll see. There was such a marked difference in the way he approached my problem and the way the other 3 telephone operatives I'd encountered did, that at last I feel slightly optimistic about seeing my $800 again. To date though, still no sign of it.

As Mercury nears its station, I'll give my Mercury video compilation another airing.
It's a collection portraying everything Mercurial with musical clips to match.


Monday, June 16, 2008

George Orwell & "1984"

I've noticed mention of George Orwell's "1984" around the internet in recent weeks, usually with the premise that "this is where we're heading if......." (insert opinion). I must have read the book as a teenager, and remember seeing a TV series based on the novel, but, unlike the futuristic novels of H.G. Wells, the story of "1984" (first published 1949) didn't have the same appeal.

George Orwell (real name Eric Blair) was born on 25 June 1903 in Motahari, Bihar, India. Time of birth, according to Astrotheme, was 11.30am. He was taken to England when one year old, was educated there and spent much of his life in Britain.

If I'd been given this chart without knowing to whom it belonged I might have guessed that the owner was a writer of some kind - journalist or novelist - he was both at various stages of his career: Virgo ascending, if time of birth is correct, and Mercury in Gemini are both good indicators of someone adept with the pen, or in today's world, the keyboard. Sun conjunct Neptune and Moon in Cancer - hmmmm - lots of scope for a fertile imagination and creativity there, but Cancer is usually seen as a rather gentle, passive sign. I'd have guessed Orwell's writing might reflect that - historical dramas, mild romantic sagas - something along those lines. How wrong I'd have been!

There's a Grand Trine (3 linked 120 degree aspects) in Orwell's chart, in Air signs (intellect, ideas, communications). Mars in Libra, Saturn in Aquarius and Mercury in Gemini are connected in this formation, it's an excellent harmonious link-up for a writer. However, the planets involved with Mercury in the Grand Trine: Mars and Saturn, are both traditionally labelled "malefics", this might reflect an attraction to subject matter which is less than uplifting. Had that Grand Trine linked, for example, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury, we might have on our bookshelves some wonderful Orwellian visions of a future filled with art, philosophy and beauty. Just a thought!

Scooting around Google I hit upon a possible reason for Orwell's very depressing subject matter, not only in "1984", but also in "Animal Farm".
At Live Science this article: Study: George Orwell's Illnesses Influenced '1984' provides some insight:

"He suffered multiple bouts of bronchitis and other respiratory ailments, Ross writes. As a young man, Orwell had several episodes of bacterial pneumonia, and also contracted dengue fever while in Burma. He was a heavy smoker, and he suffered fits of coughing from a condition called bronchiectasis.

In 1938, Orwell went to a sanatorium because he was coughing up blood. He was eventually diagnosed with tuberculosis..............Eight years later, depressed by his wife’s death, Orwell moved to a windy and damp Scottish island. His health worsened significantly just as he was working on the first draft of "1984," Ross reports. Fever, weight loss, and night sweats sent him to the hospital, where he underwent “collapse therapy,” a treatment designed to close the dangerous cavities that form in the chests of tuberculosis patients.
Relying on Orwell's own descriptions of the treatment, Ross says it "may have influenced the depiction of the tortures of Winston Smith in the Ministry of Love" in "1984.""

Confirmation from the man himself:

"Orwell himself told his friends that 1984 would have been less gloomy had he not been so ill—it was a very dark, disturbing, and pessimistic work," Ross said. Orwell's illnesses "made him a better and more empathetic writer, in that his sense of human suffering made his writing more universal."

And, finally, from "1984":

"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?… Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?…The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness." —Syme, pg 46-47

Newspeak narrowing the range of thought hits uncomfortably home after media performances in this year's US primaries !

"1984" wasn't meant as prophecy. I suppose that having experienced the Spanish Civil War and World War2, the idea of totalitarianism was an unwelcome spectre in the minds of many people, and was played upon by this novel. Had he been aiming at prophecy, a more appropriate title might have been "2024"!

I suspect Orwell was actually writing out his anger, frustration and resentment at his lifetime of ill health. I'm not sure where the health problems show up in his natal chart. Chiron is the usual suspect, and it lay at 21 degrees of Capricorn, sextile Jupiter, semisextile Uranus, but those aren't really challenging aspects. Jupiter is just inside 6th house (health matters), but is usually thought to be a benign planet. Mars, in first house (self) lies just 3 degrees from natal North Node of the Moon (a sensitive point in a natal chart), so when transits hit that point, through the years, maybe nasty old Mars bared its teeth and delivered a blow to Orwell's health. I don't know. Those are just wild guesses.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

David Lynch & "Twin Peaks"

On several occasions The Husband had talked about an old TV series "Twin Peaks", said that he didn't watch it back in the 1990s but always thought it'd be interesting to see it, if only because it was one of David Lynch's babies. We aim to please, so I bought Himself the DVD set of the whole series for - can't remember if it was Christmas or birthday - but we've only now got around to watching it.

I remembered only that, in the UK, "Twin Peaks" started, I think, around the time that "Dallas" breathed its last, for which I grieved mightily and refused to watch any more American shows for some while, missing David Lynch's famous series.

"Twin Peaks" is turning out to be quite different from what I'd expected. We're only into the early stages, but already it's....well....weird. There can be heard, coming from our sofa, alternate loud guffaws and gasps of consternation. The series is a kind of hybrid of "Psycho" and "The Three Stooges", my husband commented. He's spot on with that. Personally, I'd add Monty Python into the mix. It seems that Lynch was attempting to lightly parody some of the more hokey soap operas of the time.

I took a look at the natal chart of David Lynch, the creator of this peculiarity. As well as being a film producer he is also an internationally acclaimed painter, photographer and sculptor, he designs furniture, composes music and lyrics, and works as an author too - in his spare time. All of that is weird enough in itself!

His artwork can be sampled at The City of Absurdity - and, you've guessed it - it's weird. There's more unsavoury detail at BBC News "David Lynch's Dark Side Laid Bare" ..." much of it resembles blackest nightmares or darkest hidden fears splattered onto canvas".

David Lynch was born 20 January 1946 in Missoula, Montana, at, according to Astrotheme 3am. I don't know how reliable that birth time is. Born later the same day Lynch would have had Sun at 00 degree of Aquarius.

Sun, Mercury and Venus are all positioned in Capricorn, opposing an exact conjunction of Mars and Saturn (Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn). If he was born at 3am Scorpio was rising and Virgo lay at midheaven with Virgo Moon just 2 degrees from the midheaven angle. Neptune Uranus and the Sun form a slighly out of kilter Grand Trine even though natal Sun is in the last few minutes of Capricorn - the three bodies are linked by trine aspect, allowing for harmonious flow between imagination, illusion, the unexpected and quirky, and the inner self.

Scorpio ascendant definitely relates to the preoccupation Lynch seems to have with death and life's darker side.

Here's a quote from the man himself:

"The whole Twin Peaks series wouldn't have been possible without the trust in the power of subconsciousness. I show in my movies thoughts and situations that preoccupy my mind. And I'm mainly interested in the dark side of life, the unknown, the frightening. That leads automatically to the controversy about violence. I'm tired of the perpetual arguing about the alleged brutality in my films. Violence exists in our world and you can't simply ignore it. You have to show it, especially if you want to tell powerful stories as I want to. Those who only want to tell about the joys of being and the art of picking cherries shouldn't start making films at all. Because good people are boring. Only the bad guys have style."

"Only the bad guys have style"? I would argue strongly against that, but what do I know?

In a nutshell, I'd guess that it's the opposition between Sun/Mercury/Venus and Mars/Saturn which provide his driving force. The Capricorn planets reflect a capacity for hard work and a well-developed business -sense. I saw this in Ryan Secrest's chart - he too has Sun/Mercury/Venus all in Capricorn. with Saturn opposing, and a multi-layered career. The opposition of Mars and Saturn add to the energetic work ethic feel of the chart, with some potential for aggression or fascination with violence(Mars) thrown in. Virgo Moon widely trines Mercury in Capricorn, so his communication style is bound to be emotional, as he hinted in the above quote.

I've kept this brief - a simple broad brush astro-portrait of a very complex individual. We're all very complex individuals, each in our own sweet way, astrology helps to define every sweet way in which we differ.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Energy of the Elements

At a gas station recently we saw this oversized load, stationary, its driver visiting the convenience store. The Husband, ever watchful for a photo opportunity, leapt out of the car, camera in hand for a shot. The truck driver emerged before photography was completed, and asked, "Know what that is?"

"A sewer pipe?"

"An oil pipe?"


It was part of a wind turbine - a section of the upright "stem", bigger than I'd have expected.

My mind wandered off, pondering energy and the astrological elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. All offer opportunities for man to extract energy. The Earth gave us oil and coal - overused through long centuries, to its eventual detriment. Fire gives us heat energy, thermal dynamics, and solar energy, increasingly being harnessed using solar panels.

Water and Air offer some relatively new opportunities to harness their energy on a big scale, both will probably move more to the fore in coming decades. Wind turbines are already showing up, even in supposedly backward Oklahoma. A regiment of these elegant structures can be seen topping a ridge beyond the Wichita Mountains. Water offers hydro-electric power, of which man has already made good use for several decades, and a newly tapped source from the ocean - wave energy.

It's interesting that Neptune and Uranus, outer planets which could be said to rule Water and Air respectively are currently lying in each other's domain or sign of rulership - Uranus in Pisces, Neptune in Aquarius. Their planetary energies combine and gather strength - perhaps heralding an incoming prominence of the energy derived from their elements.

These two artworks illustrate energy from Water and Air rather nicely:

Water: by English Golden Age illustrator Walter Crane

Air: by Russian-born surrealist painter Vladimir Kush

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Week That Was - and Is

Pulling together a few of the week's news items which particularly appealed to me:

# 1: Dennis Kucinich (aka The Best President America Never Had) introduced into the House of Representatives a resolution to impeach President Bush. It took him five hours to read the lengthy Articles of Impeachment.

Rep. Kucinich had already presented impeachment articles in respect of Vice President Dick Cheney some months ago, those currently reside with the House Judiciary Committee. No action has been taken, thanks mainly to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's determination to avoid impeachment action at all costs.

Dennis Kucinich has natal Sun in Libra, but with Mars, Jupiter and Mercury in Scorpio and Aries rising he has the energy and determination to stick to his political guns. Clicking on his name in the Label Cloud will bring up a selection of relevant posts, as well as the one already linked above.

Action by Congress on impeachment might not follow, but Dennis Kucinich's efforts will go into the record, so that in decades to come, historians will realise that there was one politician in the early 21st century with his eyes wide open.


# 2:
Representative Dan Boren is Oklahoma's only one Democratic Representative and we have no Democratic Senator. He was in the news this week after declining to endorse Barack Obama. He said Obama was not his first choice as Democratic nominee, and he is not the candidate for whom the majority in his constituency voted. He will, however, vote for the Democratic nominee in the General Election.

Oklahoma's zodiac sign is said to be Scorpio, by the way, because of the date of its statehood. Okies are a warm-hearted, kindly bunch, but there is an air of Scorpio passion and determination blowing through the wide open spaces of this lovely state.

Rep. Boren's decision rattled the cages of a few of the more rabid Obama supporters, calling forth bitchy comments about Oklahoma and its inhabitants. Clinton supporters are well used to such attacks. One commenter had the temerity to say that many Oklahomans have probably never seen a black man, so would never vote for one. As it happens, our town in SW Oklahoma has a black mayor, who won the position running against two white male candidates and a white female candidate. Obama supporters do their candidate no service at all by antagonising many of those they should be trying to appease.


# 3
There's a large and growing on-line community who declare they will not support Barack Obama to be the USA's next president "under any circumstances". For confirmation see this entry at No Quarter PUMA ROARS (PUMA = Party Unity My Ass). A long and growing list of blogs, have formed a coalition: "Explosion of rogue grassroots organizations coalesces overnight to form Mega-Coalition:"

I see this as a reflection of the polarising opposition in the USA Armistead Chart, mentioned HERE and HERE. Some of Barack Obama's personal planets connect to that opposition.

As I don't write a purely political blog, I can't add mine to their list, but am pleased to offer what support I can with this brief mention and future updates.


# 4
A certificate of Barack Obama's birth appeared on-line yesterday, said to have been obtained from the Obama campaign by the owner of Daily Kos (an avidly pro-Obama blog). The time of birth stated is 7.24pm. Astrologers had originally been working on a birthtime of 1.06pm , then from a later source of information, 7.11pm.
So we now know that Aquarius was the zodiac sign coming over the horizon as Obama drew his first breath. It's odd that I feel zero empathy. My re-located rising sign is Aquarius, as is my Sun sign.

The rising sign or ascendant is often described as a person's astrological mask. Looking back, there was an initial impression of Aquarius about him in the early days of the primaries, but I think that, even before the emergence of this new birthtime, I'd realised it was superficial.

I note also that Neptune, planet of illusion, now lies at the top of his natal chart, not actually on the midheaven angle, but still with some prominence, in 9th house (connections with philosophy and religion). I've mentioned before that I suspected Neptune would be close to one of the angles - not a bad guess for a beginner!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Aquarian On A Wire

Rob Brezsny at Free Will Astrology, one of my two all-time favourite Sun sign astrologers, gives this forecast for Aquarius for the current week:

"In his song "Bird on a Wire," Leonard Cohen says, "Like a bird on a wire / Like a drunk in a midnight choir / I have tried in my way to be free." Your assignment, Aquarius, is to wail, moan, or croon your own personal version of that song. Here's how I suggest you proceed. First, identify specific actions you've taken to advance your quest for liberation. Include even the modest accomplishments and goofball attempts. Second, imagine the strategies you'll pursue in the future to get more leeway and latitude for yourself. You might want to start by purging your mind of beliefs that place unwarranted limitations on you. Now start singing!"

Okay - carrying out my assignment, as a good Aquarian should:

Once upon a time I hated the regimentation of school, couldn't face more years of the same, so chose to start working instead of attending university - I have tried, in my way, to be free.

I stayed in my first job for more than two years then left home to live the life of a gypsy hotel office worker, moving around from season to season - I have tried, in my way, to be free.

I married the wrong man and we quickly parted - I have tried, in my way, to be free.

I met a better man but declined to marry him, ever, even though we were together for 33 years - I tried in my way to be free.

I met a foreigner from a strange land across the sea and travelled there with him. I have tried, in my way, to be free.

As an alien beholden to the whims of my new country's immigration laws, I decided I must become a citizen - I have tried, in my way, to be free.

After watching the 2008 primary elections in the new country, I decline to belong to any political party, will register Independent - Still trying, in my way, to be free.

kd lang sings Leonard Cohen's songs so well. She can do the singing for me :

"Bird On A Wire"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Marc Bolan

I feel a blast from the past coming on, courtesy of retrograde Mercury.

Marc Bolan, lead singer of T.Rex, British glam-rock band from the 1970s. Born 30 September 1947 in Hackney, London, died tragically in a car wreck on 16 September 1977, just before his 30th birthday. It's difficult to visualise that, had he lived, he'd be over 60 now.

Below is a dual 12noon chart for (inner ring) the date of Marc's birth, and (outer ring)transit chart for the date of his death.

Natal Sun, Neptune and Venus lie within a few degrees of each other in Libra, along with Mercury in a later degree. Libra is ruled by Venus planet of art, music and beauty. That Marc should have gravitated to the glam-rock style seems highly appropriate. Before his musical career took off he'd worked as a model in a men's clothing catalogue - very Venus/Libra!

Without an accurate time of birth it's not possible to pinpoint the position of his natal Moon, but it would have been in Aries, whatever time he came into the world, and more than likely it opposed one or more of those Libra planets, bringing some dynamic energy to compensate for a surfeit of laid-back Libra. I notice that Astrotheme gives his time of birth as 12.30pm - Sagittarius rising. I don't know how reliable that is, we Brits aren't usually too sure of our birth time, it's not required to be officially recorded. I'll stick with the 12 noon version for the purpose of this broad brush sketch. Sagittarius rising wouldn't be a bad fit for his exaggerated style, though.

The maverick planet Uranus in Gemini trines Mercury in Libra - a reflection of his somewhat outlandishly glam(ourous) psychedelic syle, and quirky stories such as this (Wikipedia):

"Bolan claimed to have spent time with a wizard in Paris who allegedly gave him secret knowledge and could levitate. The time spent with him was often alluded to but remained "mythical"; in reality the wizard was probably U.S. actor Riggs O'Hara with whom Bolan made a trip to Paris in 1965."

At the time of the car wreck which took his life , 16 September 1977, transiting Pluto (planet of transformation, and occasionally death) lay exactly conjunct natal Venus in Libra, the planet which seemed to define him so well. Transiting Saturn was just 5degrees beyond natal Saturn, Marc's first Saturn return had occurred, exact, in August 1977. In case any young passing reader might feel anxious, I must add that Saturn returns do not commonly manifest in ways as tragic and dramatic as this - of that I'm absolutely sure. Were it so, there'd be no population over the age of 30! Marc's companion was driving at the time of the crash - and was probably under the influence of alcohol. Ironically, due to a fear of premature death, Marc had never learned to drive.

A swan-shaped floral tribute was displayed outside his funeral service in recognition of his breakthrough hit single:

"Ride a White Swan", Marc Bolan & T.Rex