Thursday, July 31, 2008

Floating Bits and Pieces

“Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope. You look at a set of elements, the same ones everyone else sees, but then reassemble those floating bits and pieces into an enticing new possibility." So said Rosabeth Moss Kanter, an American social scientist and business expert.

I'm not feeling particularly creative these days, there's an uncomfortable feel to things in general, I find. "Enticing new possibilities", especially in politics, are thin on the ground, unless you are a fanatical Obama supporter. Still... I'll try looking at those "floating bits and pieces", otherwise known as celestial bodies in our solar system, the seven planets the ancients traditionally used in their astrology, and see what they seem to be representing, to me, at this point :

Sun, now residing in kingly Leo brings thoughts and predictions on who is likely to be the next president of the USA. Predictions vary - a lot! The only common factor I can detect is that astrologers foresee trouble brewing at the Democratic Conference at the end of August, and/or later, after the General Election in November.

Moon - representing the public: a public sharply divided (and sub-divided) in the USA in opinion of presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama, and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain

Mercury represents all forms of communication. It seems to me that the blogosphere and the internet in general is fast overtaking traditional media, and in particular is making itself strongly felt during this election season. An astrological communications matter which has surfaced, or rather sunk, in the past week or so is the blog link-up "Astrology News" with its widget, which used to appear in my sidebar. It was a really useful grouping and quick reference place for daily links to a large number of astrology blogs. I miss its convenience, as I'm sure do many others. I hope it will return soon. Elsa, of Elsa Elsa Blog , who ran the Astrology News facility gives an udate on the situation HERE .

Venus the love planet brings to mind two items: First, the recently publicised alleged infidelity of John Edwards. If true this is very, very sad for his wife and family. Love and its partner lust are strange and powerful, it often seems that those who hanker for power also possess an overload of hankering on this other front........Second, because Venus is ruler of Libra and 7th house matters - partnerships etc. I'm thinking about the announcement of running mates by the two presumptive candidates, which must surely be imminent. From what I've been able to glean on-line, it seems my tarot deck's answer (here) seems unlikely to be accurate in the case of Obama's pick, unless perhaps he chooses Joe Biden, or Bill Richardson who would loosely fit the description, as both were defeated in the primaries.

Mars represents energy, some aggression and at present I see these in the clear determination of PUMA and other groups who are opposing an Obama presidency. Aggression and determination flow in the opposite direction too, towards these groups - often in far more vitriolic style.

Jupiter, planet of travel, publication, and exaggeration calls to mind Obama's recent "World Tour" which covers all three Jupiter matters, as well as touching on Jupiter's other domain, religion.

Saturn, planet of laws, restrictions, authority, for me brings to mind two matters: (1) the quest of Larry Sinclair to have his allegations against Senator Obama officially investigated. He has been hounded, his life threatened, his family threatened, at least two of his blogs closed down, and he has been generally dismissed as a fraud. InformationHERE. I don't necessarily believe that everything Sinclair alleges is true, but his story ought to be properly investigated by the authorities, and soon.

(2) The matter of Barack Obama's eligibility to hold the position of President of the USA. There has been much written in blogs recently about his birth certificate. Another issue has now been raised by an historian, Judah Benjamin in a two-part article HERE and HERE. There is a question as to whether Senator Obama has ever held dual-nationality, and if so, would this disqualify him under the US Constitution from holding the country's highest office? Again, something which needs to be properly investigated by consitutional lawyers, the results to be made public. A further article by the historian appeared yesterday (HERE). Judah Benjamin's articles are painstakingly researched and scholarly, and perhaps too detailed for passing readers here, if so, blogger Texas Darlin' has a handy summary: - "Birth Certificate: Obama, Soetoro or Dunham?"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

UFOs & Dr. Edgar Mitchell

Molly Hall of Molly's Astrology Blog alerted me to the recording of an interview with American astronaut Edgar Mitchell (see below). She wrote about him yesterday, 29 July, linked above.

I find it rather creepy that on 22 July I'd written about something Dr. Mitchell mentions in the interview of 23 July, The Roswell Incident, (HERE).

Neee-noo nee-noooo Twilight Zone? Or pure coincidence?

Molly has pointed out the salient points in Dr. Mitchell's natal chart - I'll post a chart from my own software here, so's to mention a couple of things:

I looked at the chart with skeptics in mind, to see whether Dr. Mitchell might be what the courts call "a credible witness". With Neptune in his first house and that stellium (cluster) of 4 planets in Cancer, he is going to be, if not psychic, then very sensitive and intuitive....might one also say imaginative? Well, one might if it were not for the fact that Neptune is being reined in by sensible, strait-laced Saturn trining natal Neptune in Virgo from Capricorn where Saturn is at its most pure and unadulterated. Dr. Mitchell may well have some hallmarks of a psychic, but I doubt he could ever be described as delusional, with Saturn's input so strongly featured.

I'd give Dr. Mitchell benefit of the doubt any time! In Molly's comment response to me on her blog she indicated a note of caution and need for balanced consideration. There is often more to these things than meets the eye, or ear, I agree - but not always. Sometimes something is what it is - simply that. The trouble is, we can never be quite sure, we have become cynical of government, with good reason, and wary of almost everything we see and hear. As with all things, time will tell!

PS -For anyone who hasn't time to watch the almost 10minute video, I've found a brief list of points made in the interview and copied them from

Edgar Mitchell says there IS life in the Universe.

He says we have been visited, and that UFOs have been covered up by the government for a long time.

The host almost has a stroke during the interview he's so shocked.

Edgar says it is a real phenomena.

He says he's been inside military circles and they know we've been visited and talk about it behind closed doors.

He says he's been involved in certain research committees and knows people who know the real story.

There is quite a bit of contact going on.

The Roswell crash was real.

Doesn't know if Disclosure will be this year or not...

Public acceptance is increasing.

Not all UFOs are of ET origin. Some are home-grown. But some are ET crafts.

He's not concerned about his safety talking about it openly anymore.

Alien intent is not hostile.

Some others involved in the Moon landing also know the truth.

The host made the point that this is the first time Edgar has stated so clearly that ET life exists and UFOs are real. He's hinted at it, but this is the first time ever...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bhrigu Samhita

An article at pulls together, in brief, most of the scattered and often garbled information on this topic so far available on the net: BHRIGU SAMHITA
It begins: "Bhrigu Samhita: An ancient Hindu astrological treatise, said to contain details of millions of lives, with horoscopes drawn for the time of consultation"

It's not easy to be clear on how much of the story is legend, grown gradually around some original facts, but it certainly is fascinating to consider that an Indian astrologer, many centuries ago, with his students, could produce horoscopes decades or centuries in advance, for anyone who would ever visit and seek the wisdom of their predictions in the future. The date and time of a seeker's visit would lead the astrologer to the correct horoscope from the thousands, or millions, originally prepared. Well - that was the theory before the Bhrigu Samhita was partially destroyed, and the remaining parts scattered to several different locations.

A type of horary astrology in reverse must have been involved, together with interpretation of natal planetary positions and predictions based on these and future cycles, and perhaps other factors of which I'm ignorant.

Some researchers have come to the conclusion that there is much fraud perpetrated in the name of Bhrigu Samhita in India. I don't doubt that over many years use of the legend was seen by some astrologers of lesser integrity as a way of enticing clients. This doesn't mean though that the whole story is untrue or in any way fraudulent. If true, in its entirety, though, it does rather point towards the fact that we humans have a fated destiny rather than the free will many of us assume is ours.

Another brief informative piece can be read at , and Googling "Dr David Lane Bhrigu Samhita" will point any interested passing reader towards several links describing Dr. Lane's quest, as mentioned in the article.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Billy Connolly & X-Files Movie #2

On Friday night we went to see the new X Files movie, "I Want To Believe". We've both been fans of "The X Files" TV series from early on, though from different sides of the Atlantic Ocean. We had high hopes for this movie, but left the cinema somewhat unsatisfied.

It wasn't a bad movie, but it just didn't have the weirdness we've come to know and love, which has always been part and parcel of "The X Files". If it hadn't been for the main characters, Mulder and Scully, played expertly as always by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, the movie could well have been a jazzed up episode of Law and Order: a run-of-the-mill thriller. The plot did include a psychic, which I expect was meant to supply its X-Files credentials, but it didn't work for me. I've seen too many episodes of TV's "Medium" with much cleverer and more complex plots.

It was good to see Billy Connolly again though. He plays a rather unsavory character who claimed to have psychic visions. He's an amazingly talented guy. I've always found his stand-up comedy hilarious and totally infectious. He obviously finds everything in life so funny himself, this is such an endearing quality! He's a natural actor too. After seeing him in "Mrs. Brown" I was surprised how convincing he'd been in the role of John Brown, servant and confidant of Queen Victoria. His performance in this X Files movie was equally good.

Billy Connolly was born on 24 November 1942 in Glasgow, Scotland. Astrotheme gives his time of birth as 4.30am(Libra rising).

Billy's jovial attitude to life is reflected by a Sagittarian Sun, (ruled by Jupiter), conjunct Venus and opposite Saturn and Uranus in Gemini. Some opposite signs are quite different in approach (Leo and Aquarius for instance) but I see Sagittarius and Gemini as much more compatible, they're mutable signs, with flexibility built in. An opposition between them then is likely to bring a useful pull of energy into things, rather than a challenging or obstructive one. Uranus forming an important aspect to his Sun is indicative of Billy's often unexpected, sometimes outrageous, style of humor. If the time of birth supplied by Astrotheme is accurate, his Libra ascendant brings charm a-plenty - sufficient to allow him to get away with comedy which might well be classed as offensive in other hands. Saturn, the strait-laced planet, keeps an eye on things close by, ensuring that any outrageousness is chanelled so as to fill the coffers - good business sense brings method to his madness! Four personal planets in 2nd house of finances, possessions, property, etc. underlines his good business sense. 2nd house is ruled by Venus, as is the Libra ascendant, and in addition his natal Sun conjoins Venus - it all ties in rather well!

Natal Moon was in versatile Gemini, along with Saturn and Uranus, when Billy was born, it's not surprising that he possesses another major talent: acting, as well as comedic skills. I notice that Mercury(communication) in Scorpio is trined by Jupiter (publication and excesses) in Cancer - these personal planets in harmonious aspect in Water signs bring emotional depth to his personality blueprint - another hint as to the source of his acting talent.

The movie trailer: "I Want To Believe":

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Ceremony & An Aquarian Vision

On Friday the Naturalization Ceremony proceeded as planned, though with much unexpected waiting time.

After staying just south of the city center overnight Thursday, we set off downtown around 8am, Friday and found a carpark close to our venue. We listened to the car radio until 9, then wandered up to the Courthouse. A few people had already arrived and were going through the usual "take off your shoes and walk through the archway, empty your pockets, take off your belt, and put your bags here to go through the scanner" routine. We joined them, duly passed through, having been proved pure and without sin.

The Ceremonial Courtroom is on the 3rd floor. Already in the corridor a group of people had gathered and were being informed by an official of proceedings to come. She said that the actual ceremony would not start until 12 noon, there would be a large number of applicants. Paperwork must first be processed. Meanwhile family and friends could wait in an adjoining courtroom, or visit a snack bar on the ground floor.

After a while I moved into the designated courtroom to await arrival of INS officials, my husband waited in the courtroom nextdoor. The paperwork, I eventually found out, entailed waiting to be called up to INS officials at a bank of desks, hand in our greencards, check and sign our Naturalization Certificates, and be handed a form to make the change in our Social Security status. We were also given a seat number for the ceremony. A separate bank of seats for the 140 applicants was arranged to the right of the judges' bench. Paperwork processing seemed interminable, it was well over an hour before my own name was called.

At 11.30 applicants were told to take their seats, according to the number they'd been given (mine was 69 - no sly grins please!) By this time my husband had managed to slide into a seat towards the back of the Ceremonial Courtroom, now filling rapidly with families and friends of applicants. The overflow, and there was a large one, was accommodated in another court equipped with a large screen for viewing the ceremony.

At exactly noon, five judges filed in. Everyone rose as the judges took their places on the bench. The chief judge, a female, welcomed us, said a few words then handed over to a designated INS official to "present" the 140 applicants who came, we were told, from 42 different countries. The official spoke briefly then named, in alphapbetical order, the native countries of all the applicants, asking each to stand when their country was called. I was the only one of the 140 from the UK. Every continent was represented. This, of course, was just one of many similar ceremonies, held monthly in three areas of Oklahoma, and regularly in every one of the other 49 states. I find this a mind-boggling proposition!

Next, we, the applicants, were asked to stand, raise our right hands, and repeat after the Clerk of the Court the words of the Oath of Allegiance. Each of the five judges then spoke briefly, after which the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all present. The judges then left and a video of President G.W. Bush, welcoming us as new citizens, was shown, followed by another video of scenes of American life, a patriotic song playing in the background.

I hadn't expected to feel as emotional as I did. I joked later that it was the sight of G.W. Bush that made my cry, but I lied. I had an overwhelming sense of the nobility of the original vision for the United States, as I sat there in the midst of 140 people, born in so many different countries. Many of my companions had experienced a far greater struggle than I'd had to reach this point. The thought passed through my mind then that the USA is truly an Aquarian country. Whatever chart is used by astrologers cannot change the fact that, in essence the vision was, and is, pure Aquarius. There have been broken dreams and wrong turnings, but beneath it all, I'm confident that vision remains intact.

Applicants were then asked to file out in seat number order to officially receive their Certificates of Naturalization, and some other paperwork, along with a small US flag - I can be seen waving mine in the photograph immediately below. The second photo, taken in our hotel room, shows the end result of the journey I embarked upon back in 2004 - my Certificate of Naturalization.

Reunited with my husband, I was happy to see that his son, daughter-in-law and grandson had also been present in the adjoining room watching the ceremony. We all went off to enjoy a celebration lunch, by-passing a huge and very slow-moving line of folks waiting to process their Social Security amendments at a desk out in the corridor. We decided to deal with this little matter at our local office early next week, rather than wait for what could be a further hour or two at the court.

A remark of one of the judges has stayed with me. His words: "The United States of America is no longer just your home, now it is your country."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Almost there!

Tomorrow, 25 July 2008, will mark the climax of my immigration journey, UK to USA. After the Oath Ceremony I'll be a fully-fledged naturalized US citizen. It has been a long and winding road, frustrating too - no blood was shed but a lot of sweat and more than a few tears!

I notice that 25 July is the day the Incas dedicated to Illapa, their god of thunder and lightning - their weather god. He was said to keep the Milky Way in a jug and use it to create rain. I hope Illapa doesn't decide to treat us to a display of his prowess, thunder and lightning could lend a somewhat menacing air to the proceedings! According to the weather forecast, however, rain and storms are not on the agenda for Oklahoma City, but remnants of Hurricane Dolly are dumping rain on Texas.

Astrologically the outer planets have been either whipping me on throughout this journey, or holding the carrot - not sure which. Uranus conjoined my natal Jupiter at 6 Pisces for much of the early stages, and Pluto conjoined natal Venus in Sagittarius. These two planets seem to have orchestrated or choreographed the whole show!

It all began at the end of 2003, when my now husband visited me in the UK from the USA. We decided that our future was together, and would need to be in the USA, because I had no remaining close family ties and he had many, back in the United States.

After much research and reading of immigration message boards, I came to the conclusion that, of the 3 methods available to us, one had the potential to be less painful than the other two. This method would involve himself coming to live in the UK, with me, for a while, so that we could qualify to apply for a marriage visa for me via the US Embassy in London. Both the other methods would have involved long spells apart, and having to rely on notoriously slow-moving USCIS Service Centers on the other side of the pond. The route we chose was more expensive, but we considered it worth the extra outlay.

First the husband-to-be had to return home to the USA, from whence he had to apply for a UK Fiance Visa. With this in hand, in the spring of 2004 he returned, and we were wed at the end of April. The husband then had to apply at the nearest immigration office (Liverpool) for an extension to his visa, for what's called "Further Leave To Remain". This stage proceeded rapidly and painlessly.

Next step: the husband had to petition for permission for me, as his wife, to emigrate to the USA. Then I, potential immigrant, was required to apply for a visa on the ground of marriage to a US citizen.

An incredible amount of information and documentation was called for at this stage. The photocopies we had to provide must have caused the downing of large areas of rain forest somewhere in Brazil.

Once submitted there was a long wait for the US Embassy to process our petition and application. During this interval I put my house on the market. I was called for interview and medical examination in London at the end of August 2004. By then we were on tenterhooks, waiting to give a buyer for my house in Yorkshire the go ahead. We dare not risk doing so until I had visa in hand, which I did, on 1st September, (below, left, in front of the US embassy in London).

Next stop Oklahoma, after disposing of most of my worldly goods, packing the rest in several large boxes and shipping 'em to the USA, then finally selling the house.

Once in Oklahoma my visa remained conditional on the marriage remaining intact for 2years, at which point, in the summer of 2006, I had to apply to have conditions removed, and prove that the marriage was, indeed, intact by providing financial and other proof. This was done relatively quickly, my Permanent Resident's Card ("green card") was then made good for a further 10 years.

Another year had to pass before I became eligible to apply for US citizenship, thus ridding myself of the USCIS for ever, becoming eligible to vote and hold a US passport. As it happened, I became eligible to make my citizenship application on 26 July just a few days before a fee increase was to be implemented. A huge frontlog of applications was the result of this, and caused the process to take around twice as long as normal.

After a variety of delays, obstacles and long postponements, I attended my citizenship interview on 19 June 2008, passed muster, passed the civics test and have waited a mercifully brief time for the next available Oath Ceremony to finish the job. That will be tomorrow, 25 July, at 9.30am, just a year after applying for citizenship, and almost 4 years since I obtained my first visa.

I dare not add up the cost in either $$$$ or nervous tension. I'd like to say the process has been fun....but it hasn't! We are near the end of the road now though. We'll spend the night in The City so as to be sure to be at the Federal Courthouse on time in the morning - in "proper attire", as instructed. Perhaps we'll be joined later by some family members for the ceremony, that will help make it even more special.

See y'all later!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bill Engvall: Standard-bearer for Leo

As we slide smoothly from sensitive, shy Cancer into brightly ebullient Leo, I've been trying to decide who should be standard bearer for Leo on this blog. I browsed Astrotheme's list of well known folk who have Leo dominant in their natal charts, and the first name I recognised, from the top: Bill Engvall, American comedian. Bill is a good choice. Astrotheme calculates that he's 67% Leo. They don't have a birth time for him though, so that's not an exact calculation.

Born 27 July 1957 in Galveston, Texas.

I first encountered Bill in DVDs of the TV "Blue Collar" comedy shows in which he starred with Jeff Foxworthy and others. He comes over as a very likeable guy, his humour has a universal flavour, yet retains a heavy hint of the Texan drollness, which I've come to really appreciate.

Wow! 6 planets in Leo. (Even though we have no time of birth, it's certain that the Moon would have been somewhere in Leo). That's a lot of Leo. Bill has to be a good advert for the sign. To use his own famous catchphrase:
Bill,"Here's your sign!"

Leo loves the limelight, a natural on stage, warm hearted, exudes the warmth of its planetary ruler, the Sun, unless afflicted by harsh aspects from colder planets. Leo is a fixed sign, so on the plus side there's loyalty, on the downside, stubbornness. Usually outgoing, even over-exuberant at times, again, unless afflicted by hard aspects. Likes to be boss. (Don't we all? No.) Leo really likes to be boss, if not of others, then of his/her own future, prefers to steer his/her own ship, and has the creativity and sufficient self-confidence to do so.

I can't find much personal detail about Bill Engvall. He's married with two children, started working as a DJ before finding his niche in comedy. He has acted in movies and TV sitcoms, presented TV shows in addition to his stand-up comedy and work with the Blue Collar gang.

Bill's natal Saturn in Sagittarius trines his Leo Sun/Uranus conjunction. That's a nice mini outline of his work - Leo the stage, mixed with Uranus the humour, trined with Saturn, the hard work and business sense.

Here's Bill with some examples of his best known catch phrase
"Here's your sign"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Roswell Incident

We visited Roswell, New Mexico in 2006, the UFO Museum and Research Center was then situated in the main street, in what appeared to be an old movie theater. A new center for the museum was under construction further down the road.

We read many of the numerous exhibits: newspaper articles, sworn affidavits and other printed material displayed around the walls. The main part of the museum deals, unsurprisingly, with the reported UFO crash near Roswell in 1947. There are, among many other things, reports and signed statements from witnesses who saw evidence of the crash and collected wreckage. Evidence of a request for "child size coffins". In several of the statements, witnesses reported seeing purple colored symbols, heiroglyphic-like, on a strip among the wreckage. There's a statement by a woman medical officer, detailed to take notes at an autopsy of bodies following the crash. She was later sent to England, and subsequently is said to have disappeared - or has not been heard from again.

Who can say how genuine any of the material is, after 60 years have passed? And yet, why would ordinary, everyday people have fabricated such a story, back in 1947 on a summer evening just before midnight, without reason? In those days there were few, if any TV programmes about extra-terrestrial phenomena to ignite the imagination. There were few sci-fi movies. What else but "a happening" could have sparked reports of such a bizarre occurence as this?

I've drawn up a chart for 4 July at 11.30pm. which seems to be the most popularly reported time and date for the actual incident:

Is this the kind of astrological atmosphere which could reflect something unusual and unexpected? The unusual and unexpected relate to Uranus, which was close (2 degrees) to Venus in Gemini at that time and in the 3rd house - house of communication. Neptune was strong - smack dab on the descendant in fact, which seems eerily appropriate for the descent to Earth of an alien (?) craft - Neptune relates to illusion, imagination, and mystical matters. The Moon in Aquarius, Mars in Gemini and Neptune in Libra formed a Grand Trine in Air signs- again, eerily approriate for anything pertaining to a flying craft. Sun in Cancer, close to the nadir at 11.30pm, trined Jupiter in Scorpio - Jupiter can relate to publication, expansion, exaggeration. So.... we could spin this either way. Neptune on the descendant may indicate illusion on the part of the observers of the incident, OR a later deception of the public by the authorities. Jupiter trining Sun may indicate exaggeration on the part of witnesses. I suspect Neptune is the key here, but the question remains - does it indicate illusion or deception in this case?

My husband and I discussed our feelings about the whole Roswell story later, after our museum visit. We came to the conclusion that "something" did happen on that night in 1947. The "something" was covered up by lies from those in authority at the time. Lies from government downward are not unknown, even in current history, which fact inclined us to believe at least some of the stories told by witnesses.

Another photo from the husband's camera: of one of the documents displayed (click on it for a larger, legible view) "The initial cover-up makes sense, but why continue it into the modern era?" That's a very good question!

More food for thought:
Interesting report of a deathbed revelation here.

Details of the full incident by a researcher here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

More Pluto in Capricorn

A major planetary move will occur at the end of this year when Pluto moves into the zodiac sign of Capricorn. Related changes should eventually become easily identifiable by future astrologers and historians studying the goings on here below. I found yet another article on the topic at Astrology on the Web, this one written by Neil Giles. It's in two parts, and takes us through history, tracing Pluto's last eight transits of Capricorn, then surmising what may be in store for us during the coming dozen or so years. It's an absorbing article, well worth reading and saving.

Part 1

With this topic in mind, the very brief clip below, from one of Barack Obama's recent speeches sent discordant alarms sounding in my head, "Pluto in Capricorn....Pluto in Capricorn!"

The video was featured at Savage Politics recently HERE .

The speech featured in that video was reported at World Net Daily on 16 July:
(Obama's)"stunning assertion in a recent speech that the U.S. needs a "civilian national security force" that would be as powerful, strong and well-funded as the half-trillion dollar Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force" is not included in published transcripts of his prepared remarks.

In the July 2 speech in Colorado Springs, Obama insisted the U.S. "cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set."

More coverage at No Quarter yesterday, with transcript of the speech from which the above clip was omitted.

"Civilian national security force?" I'm (just) old enough to know for what a civilian force known as The Brownshirts were responsible in the 20th century.

Although implications of the above are somewhat worrying, we should avoid waxing too dramatic about it. Pluto in Capricorn will not be a speedy transit, effects are unlikely to be easily identifiable within the first year or two. It could well take the whole 12/14 year transit, or longer, before it becomes clear how the world (not just the USA) reacted and responded to the planetary move. Even if Barack Obama does become the USA's next president, his input will be a mere first act from a play of multiple acts, and not necessarily of any great importance in the great scheme of things. But, on the other hand.........

Extract from Part 2 of Neil Giles' article linked above:
"So, what can we expect of this new era as it unfolds? When one of the outer planets changes sign, there is a marked generational influence and a shift in the nature of our social experience. In time, we will all be touched by a destiny we cannot escape. As the destiny of Pluto in Capricorn takes hold, we will run the gamut of our control systems, from the humble administrator through to the megalomaniac as governments, organizations and key individuals encounter the testing pressures of Pluto and make their response. Will it be death, figurative or literal? Or will it be transformation? "

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Photographs - a search for astrology

After deciding last week to try to avoid using any photographs other than those from our own cameras in my blog posts, I felt doubtful that I'd find anything even vaguely astrological among the pics we've saved over the past few years. Clicking disconsolately through folder after folder of our old photographs didn't inspire confidence that I'll become self-sufficient any time soon, graphics-wise.

One folder of photographs from my husband's long stay in the UK afforded a few possibilities.

In the summer of 2004 we visited an Elizabethan stately home Burton Agnes Hall, - a few miles from where I lived.

Among the photos we took in the beautiful grounds are these which easily relate to
(1) Mercury, (2) Moon, (3) Mars.

It's a start!

This gorgeous astronomical clock is in York Minster, a memorial to the airmen from the north of England who died in World War 2.

From my time in the USA..... here are wheels, which could represent astrological cycles, from a display at an arts fair in Salina, Kansas in 2005. And a sculpture of a goat (Capricorn) made from scrap chrome car parts.

I shall dust down my neglected digital camera and keep an astrological eye open for useful shots from now on. I'll need to be imaginative and resourceful though, likely subjects aren't going to be too obvious!

(Top: Mural advertising a hairdressing salon - somewhere in Oklahoma.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

HUMOR/HUMOUR (tomayto/tomahto)

Humour defies definition, like beauty it's in the eye or ear of the beholder. Astrologers have tried to isolate it in natal charts, but I doubt it would ever be possible to come up with an all-encompassing explanation.

20th century British astrologer C.E.O. Carter had this to say about humour in his "Encyclopedia of Psychological Astrology":


"Each sign has its special kind, but the general astrological indications of this gift are Venus and Taurus, Jupiter, Neptune, Sagittarius and Pisces; Moon, Cancer and Uranus. Humour in the strict sense, I put under the Moon and Cancer.

Venus and Taurus seem to have to do with laughter and amusement generally; Moon, Neptune and their signs with whimsicality (which is also noticeable in many Virginians (I think we usually call 'em Virgoans these days!), Uranus with incongruity and unexpected effects; Jupiter and Sagittarius with fun and satire. Mercury must, of course, be prominent where the power of humorous expression is involved. Humourous persons, unlike witty ones, have not always the gift of speech.

Wit depends upon a strong Mercury, the quality of wit being determined by the chief aspecting planet........ The signs which most commonly lack humour are Leo, Scorpio and Capricorn, as these often produce persons with a strong case of personal dignity, not to say self importance. They can seldom appreciate a joke at their own expense, as the Jupiter person can. It is probable that Saturn afflictions to the Moon tend to destroy humour, while Martian ones coarsen it, and incline to horseplay."

Hmmmm. I'm not sure that I agree with everything Mr. Carter said, though most of it makes a lot of sense. I certainly don't see Capricorn as lacking in humour. I've found those with strong Capricorn in their natal charts often have a very dry wit, a droll turn of phrase, and while they may not be into a rough and tumble type of humour, they're not in any way devoid of fun.

Because our natal charts are webs of connections, mixtures, blends and conflicts, it is no straightforward matter to see humour or lack of it there.

This week some disagreements erupted following the appearance of a cartoon on the cover of The New Yorker depicting Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. (SEE HERE) . Some saw this as satire, others as an insult, others saw it as representing a good slice of truth: all in the eye of the beholder!

Political humour and satire are especially necessary in our lives these days, to stop us all from going stark staring mad. If we can't laugh at the buffoons who purport to lead us, then we are good as lost. It has been obvious throughout the US primary elections that American comedians are afraid to joke about Barack Obama. This a sad state of affairs - and almost racist in itself! In the fear of appearing racist, they have become what they most fear. Equality of treatment is supposed to be the aim of discrimination laws.

Here's a YouTube presentation I came across yesterday: good, even-handed political humour:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Arty-Farty Friday: Michael Parkes & Venus

Here's an interesting artist who has, so far, escaped my blog: Michael Parkes.

I'd never heard of this fine artist until we visited the home of my husband's younger daughter in Austin, Texas last year. She has a number of large Parkes prints in her apartment. Coincidentally, her birthday is the day before my own in late January, different year of course. I discovered that she has a liking for the magical, surreal yet realistic/representative style, which I share. Early Aquarians of similar taste!

In Michael Parkes' style I see echoes of Magritte, Dali, Maxfield Parrish and the English Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood - all great favourites of mine - yet he brings something else, something quite unique into the mix.

It's not possible to look into Michael Parkes' astrology. His birth date, other than "1944", doesn't appear anywhere on-line. I suspect that he has deliberately kept his birthday secret. He is of the hippie generation, no doubt aware of astrology and unwilling to share his own. He and his wife have travelled widely in the East, and Europe. They lived in India for a time, and now in Spain.

From Wikipedia:

"He studied the esoteric doctrines of the East and the West, and his imagery is drawn from a range of traditions including the cabalistic and the tantric, but embodied in forms from his own imagination which are immediately accessible. Here strange beasts encounter mysterious winged women, good and evil fight out their immemorial conflict, and in this weightless environment worlds are unmade and remade nearer to the heart's desire."

I found a YouTube presentation featuring an interview with Michael Parkes who discusses a new painting of Venus, and talks about cosmic symbolism - I found this fascinating. I doubt I shall fall foul of copyright if I embed the video, as he took part in it himself, and the embedding is freely available. So:

There's another video, "Homage to Michael Parkes" at YouTube, featuring many of his paintings.

Elsewhere there's information and illustration of Parkes' work HERE and HERE , or via Google Image. I'm conscious of copyright laws now, after my last week's post on the topic. I shall restrict myself to two pictures, to better illustrate the style of this artist. If the copyright police come to get me - well, - it's been fun, y'all!



(Small illustration, top, is a Michael Parkes' gallery, from one of the above links.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Computer Confusion /Dennis Dream

Mars and Saturn in Virgo inconjunct my Aquarius Sun didn't help much yesterday as I struggled to adjust to my new (refurbished) computer box. It seems to be working well in general, but my astrology software wasn't sitting quite right, it wouldn't access the atlas - which really is key to the whole caboodle.

I enlisted the help of my more technologically savvy better half, which led to a few hard words along the way. Mars and Saturn were working well, Moon almost full too, I should have had a health warning printed across my forehead - I realise as much now, typing this.

Eventually we decided, after some, erm - to put it politely - debate, to re-install the software, but put it loose, floating in C drive rather than in the program file, where, logically it ought to be installed. When this was tried, all was well, the atlas opened! Now, apart from deleting the version which didn't work, and re-setting all optional choices (which I've forgotten how to do), it should be full steam ahead. Searching for the manual is the next step.

All seems both familiar yet strange, using my old monitor, keyboard and mouse with the new box - which had Windows XP Professional installed, rather than the Home version I'd used previously. It's a bit like "wearing in" a new pair of shoes, while wearing old socks, which is why today's post may be a bit of a ragbag.

I had meant to write about Dennis Kucinich. I dreamed about him, Tuesday night, a really clear dream that he came up to me put his hands on my shoulders, arms outstretched, no intimacy, looked right into my eyes and was about to tell me something when the dream changed and I was running through heavy rain and woke up!

Kucinich's natal Sun in Libra, with Mars, Jupiter, Mercury in Scorpio and Aries rising has afforded him energy and determination enough to stick to his political guns yet again. This week he tried once more to get Congress to take some action on his repeated calls to impeach the President and/or Vice President. See here.

"The House on Tuesday voted 238-180 to send his article of impeachment - for Bush’s reasoning for taking the country to war in Iraq - to the Judiciary Committee, which buried Kucinich’s previous effort.....This time, the panel will open hearings. But House Democratic leaders emphatically said the proceedings will not be about Bush’s impeachment, a first step in the Constitution’s process of a removing a president from office..........But this time, Pelosi said with a conspicuous lack of enthusiasm, that it would see some committee action......."

It was when I attempted to create a chart for Dennis Kucinich on my newly hooked up refurbished computer that I discovered my astrology software wasn't working.

This plot thickens. Don't they always? Especially in the USA at election time! Just before posting this blog entry I noticed that Joseph Cannon at Cannonfire reveals a mysterious development regarding Kucinich and his impeachment proposal - "Impeachment: Surprise Witness?" (Post and comments dated 16 July). In one of the comments it's surmised that George Galloway, a UK Member of Parliament might, be the "surprise". What a treat that would be! He's a true firebrand. He would certainly wake up a few of those sleepy congressional Democrats, and he wouldn't be nearly as polite as dear Dennis!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Terrifying Trinity

On this day in 1945 "Trinity", the first test of technology for a nuclear weapon was carried out by the USA, at what is now the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Around a month later nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Information at Wikipedia HERE and HERE .

Here's the chart for the date, exact time and place of the "Trinity" detonation. This is another experiment to discover some easily identified evidence for my proposition that: "something is going on, astrology-wise, but we don't know what it is".

Two major factors leap out at me from this chart. Mars, representing war, energy, aggression conjoins the fixed star Algol at 25 Taurus. Algol is traditionally defined as the most malefic star in the heavens. It's thought to have connection to beheadings, sudden death and all manner of nastiness. I've mentioned before in these blog posts that just because a person has a planet conjunct Algol, or Algol in a prominent position in their natal chart, it does NOT automatically indicate anything negative. I suspect there has to be a kind of linking of the astrological cogs - several other aspects all occurring simultaneously before any malign event will surface.

Other notable placements here, are Saturn (also traditionally considered a malefic) at 15 Cancer just 2 degrees from the ascendant, so in a very strong position. Uranus(invention, technology) at 15 Gemini, semi-sextiles Saturn and sextiles Mercury (communication) at 19 Leo. There is a string of sextile aspects (60 degrees) linking to Pluto - and Pluto rules nuclear energy! Pluto sextiles Moon, Venus, Uranus and Neptune. The Sun sextiles Mars(war) and Jupiter(excess or "publication" something made public). Here we have planetary chains, they could be likened to stacks of dominoes tipped over by a tap on the first one. The main chain links to Pluto governing nuclear energy, another links to Saturn (control), and the Sun links to Mars and Jupiter perhaps representing a trigger for the explosion.

The result of those fateful planetary chains haunts us still.

The area of White Sands where missile tests were/are carried out is, of course out of bounds to the public, but there's a large area still open to visitors. We visited in 2006 - it all looks so serene, and, well.... white. It was white hot that day too, as I recall. (Photos from my husband's camera below):

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

David Icke

Astrologer Molly Hall at Molly's Astrology blog, last week wrote about David Icke -"David Icke and Heart Intelligence".

It's been a while since I've seen Icke's name mentioned. He used to be a soccer star in the UK, then a TV commentator, then, all of a sudden (or so it seemed to onlookers like myself) he "flipped his lid" and started writing books about a global elite, a reptilian bloodline of world leaders, and various conspiracy theories. This started in the early 1990s, in Britain, where his books and theories were met with almost universal derision. (See Wikipedia entry)

Molly Hall linked to a Sky TV video of David Icke speaking at a meeting in Yorkshire, UK, last week. He ran as a candidate in a by-election for the constituency's Member of Parliament. According to Wikipedia he lost his deposit (which means he was forced to withdraw because he garnered only 110 votes.)

After watching most of the almost 3 hour long video presentation linked on Molly's blog, I was pleasantly surprised that Icke has toned down his early outlandish approach. He now displays a distinctly more down to earth attitude, without, however, reversing his views about a global elite. Now, some ten to fifteen years after his initial propositions, his theories do not seem nearly as unacceptable as they used to back then.

His natal chart: born 29 April 1952 in Leicester, UK. Time of birth, according to the link below, was 7.15pm.

A basic rundown of planetary placements and their interpretation can be seen HERE .

I have looked specifically for something to explain his New Age-type mysticism and outlandish theories. I didn't have to search very hard. Moon conjunct Uranus in Cancer in 9th house, probably says most of it, Neptune and Saturn opposing Mercury adds more to the mix.

Moon represents the inner self, and conjunct weirdo planet Uranus (representing the unexpected and oft before-its-time stuff) becomes the undoubted key here. In the water sign of Cancer, home sign of the Moon there's additonal strength in this conjunction, and, when placed in 9th house which represents religious and philosophical matters the picture starts to form. Neptune/Mercury and Saturn/Mercury oppositions indicate an imaginative, creative mind, often with unrealistic aspirations, perhaps some self delusion too(Neptune), and plenty of traditionalist opposition (Saturn).

Icke's North Node of the Moon at 27 Aquarius (a sensitive point in his chart) will coincide with transiting Neptune in 2010, it'll be interesting to watch what he's doing around that time.

With regard to his global elite theory and any attached conspiracy theories, the jury is out, for me. I do believe David's heart is in the right place - he pursues what he feels the need to pursue, and for the best possible reasons. For that alone I give him a lot of credit. I'm more inclined to give him a fair hearing now, which is all he asks of his audience and readership.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Anniversary brings on a rant.

More Saturn-related business, some Virgo too.

Monday 14 July. That date tinkles a bell in my memory. On Monday 14 July 1975 I started a job which would shape my career for the remainder of my working life. I joined the UK civil service to work in what were then called The Industrial Tribunals. The title was later amended to 'The Employment Tribunals'. It may seem odd that I would remember the date, but for some reason it has always remained in my memory.

I joined the civil service as a Clerical Officer, initially acting as tribunal clerk where my duties included explaining procedure to the parties, sitting in the tribunal hearings, keeping records, swearing in witnesses and assisting the chairman and tribunal members. After a few years I progressed to Executive Officer and managed the Listing Section, where I and 7 staff had the hairy job of ensuring that parties, witnesses and their representatives all turned up at the right place at the right time, and that there was a tribunal (chairman/judge and two lay members) booked to hear their cases. Sounds easy when I type it, but believe me, the job of listing manager was the least envied of all, but I've always enjoyed a challenge! (Aries Moon, with a lot of help from Mercury in Capricorn).

The tribunals deal with cases of unfair dismissal, breach of contract, discrimination on the grounds of sex and race, equal pay claims, redundancy pay claims, and a variety of minor matters. Hearings could last for hours, days or weeks. It was all very Saturnian, but it also satisfied my Aquarian (power to the people) nature. The tribunal chairmen, lawyers of long experience had my total respect, every one of them. Lawyers often come in for much derision, not from me, not ever, unless they go into politics! I worked with some of the best.

The above thoughts came to mind, not only because of that anniversary date, but also because of what I read on Saturday at No Quarter about Barack Obama's fund raising event of the previous evening. (SEE HERE). Comedian, Bernie Mac performed there, it is reported that he told several sexist jokes, very poor taste at such an event. Now, I realise that tribunals and employment law in general, whether in the UK or USA have no connection at all with what comedians choose to use in their acts, but I do believe that the spirit of the discrimination laws, values inherent in them, both here and in the UK, translate very easily into areas other than employment, and it ought to be incumbent upon one who fancies himself as President of the United States to ensure that, at least in his public life, he seeks to uphold the spirit of the law.

A political fund raising event is no place to be telling tasteless sexist jokes, which fly against all aims of anti-discrimination legislation. Barack Obama should have exercised a little more judgment and control over the event. It's not a matter of law, it's a matter of class, and good taste - as in Virgo. He did apparently gently chide the comedian, but then immediately took back his criticism by adding he was "just messing with you".

I wonder what would be the result if a candidate held a fund raiser and a comedian there told crude racist jokes. Not much doubt, is there? I notice this morning that someone else feels equally angry - a new post at No Quarter, written by "Ani":
"Women get crapped on; Obama laughs along". The author also points out other examples of comedians' disrespect. If a passing reader has skimmed through my own post, please - go read this one.

I see what happened at Obama's fund raising event as further evidence, if any were needed, of his double standards, poor judgment and lack of calibre necessary to do the job of POTUS.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Copyright Purges (Saturn in Virgo again!)

The following is yet another reflection of Saturn in Virgo : Saturn = restriction, laws, regulations. Virgo = precision, order, attention to detail, striving for perfection.

There's a purge going on at YouTube to take down any videos which infringe copyright laws. This may have been proceeding for some time, but I wasn't aware of it. It apparently is a consequence of a $1billion lawsuit by Viacom Inc. accusing Google Inc's YouTube of enabling copyright infringement. There could well be some dead links or blank spaces in my archived posts where I used YouTube videos which have since been purged. Photobucket, too, now has copyright detection on their upload tool.

In past months I've used videos, some of my own, some from YouTube, to illustrate something astrological, or to show how the work of a particular artist fitted their astrological makeup. I do believe I used them under what's called "Fair Use" or transformative use - to illustrate a point, or as educational tools, but terms of Fair Use are not crystal clear. I make no money from my blog, display no advertisement of any kind, offer no services and seek no donations. My blog, to me, is a kind of scrapbook, from which I derive much pleasure, and hope that a passing visitor might occasionally find something of interest too.

Anyway, in view of the current climate, the only video compilations I shall make in future, if any, will contain photographs by my husband or myself and music which is in the public domain.

I can't help but feel a little sad about such tight restrictions. I appreciate, of course, the need for copyright laws (Saturn). The banning of use of very short clips, though, typically 3 or 4 minutes, which do little but help the flow of creativity around the internet, and out into the real world, seems to me to be nitpicking in the extreme (Virgo). Short clips containing a music track or a few minutes from a movie or show would seem to me to be acting as an advertisement of the creator's skill, rather than doing them any harm, as long as the creator/artist is credited, of course, that goes without saying.

But what do I know?

There's a clear explanation, "Copyright Explained" at Smashing Magazine, some of the comments bring up additional points, for instance pointing out that copyright laws vary from medium to medium and country to country.

My blog from now on is likely to be a desert of text then, with no eye candy unless the product of camera or paintbrush belonging to himself(with permission!)or me. And/or I'll buy a CD Rom containing royalty free clipart.

A side issue from all of this, but worth mentioning, is that a Federal Court judge ordered YouTube to disclose its viewership logs, so any privacy protection of YouTube viewers has disappeared.

Big Brother is drawing ever closer.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Black Stuff

No, not that black stuff! Nor is this about race issues.

At home and away we enjoy stopping off at junk and antique stores, he to search for old photographs, me to nose around everything - I'm just naturally curious. It's amazing what can be found in these treasure troves. The merchandise is certainly different from what's on offer at the usual mall stores, which is exactly the same whatever the state or city. That's their main charm for me - something different to explore, and often little whiffs of nostalgia: "Ooooh! - My grandma had one just like that, back in Yorkshire!"

Recently I've felt drawn to black ceramics and sculptures, and have watched for these on our junk store visits. Maybe it's natal Pluto (dark things) in my astrological first house, and Sun in 8th : a housey mutual reception. 8th house belongs to Pluto, 1st house belongs to the Sun and self, and they are in each other's house or domain. Pluto and its zodiac sign, Scorpio (where my natal Mars resides) both connect to the colour black. Transiting Pluto just now is forming an almost 150 degree angle (quincunx) to Pluto in my natal chart - an itch that needs scratching.

A recent junk/antique store acquisition pictured below. I spotted her on a very high shelf, coated with grime, and bargained for her. My "Black Magic Woman". It's signed "Morfy" and marked on the back of the base "Austin Productions Inc. 1972 (c)"
It's very heavy.

And one I bought a while ago, no marks on this one - it's probably just a fairly run-of-the-mill factory produced large ceramic, but eye-catchingly unusual.

Morfy, Austin Productions inc,


SEE ALSO THIS POST (Oct. 2012) and comments there.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Obama's VP

Barack Obama said some time ago that he would announce his Vice Presidential pick in July. It has been announced, too, that he plans to visit Europe and the Middle East in the near future. Exact dates are not discussed, probably for security reasons, "this summer", "soon" and "before the election" are the only clues we have. Will he go before August? If so, announcement of a running mate must be imminent.

It seems unlikely, though, that he'll buzz off before the Democratic Convention at the end of August, because until then he's not officially the nominee - it would seem like jumping the gun. So he has another three weeks in which to name a name.

Astrologers haven't been able to glean much on this topic. It isn't known who was on Obama's shortlist. In any case it would be an almost impossible task to look at four or five charts and be able to tell which would be the most likely choice. Each individual has so much going on in their life, it would be difficult to disentangle the threads to identify one as a "positive VP thread".

The shortlist could easily include Al Gore, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, and of course Hillary Clinton, as well as other names, not well known in national politics, for example Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of Kansas. Some, whose names might have been expected to be under consideration, such as Jim Webb, have openly stated that they will not consider being VP under any circumstances.

In the spirit of an exercise and experiment, once again I've consulted my tarot deck this week, and asked "What do I need to know about the person to be chosen as Obama's Vice President?" I drew:

5 of Swords
3 of Wands/Rods
10 of Coins/Pentacles

Without a second thought, or having to refer to a source I thought: This is someone who has suffered defeat in the past, is about to move forward to a fresh start, will achieve some of their dearest wishes, and a big material gain (possibly, but not necessarily related to a kind of inheritance from family).

Tarot readers say that it's always the first impression which counts. That was my own. Checking with tarot websites later I confirmed that it does fit with traditional interpretations of the three cards.

Does that tarot portrait fit any of those named above? It fits Al Gore, who was defeated in 2000 (allegedly!) It fits Hillary Clinton - very obviously. It could also fit Edwards, Dodd, Biden or Richardson - all were defeated in the primaries.

I'm no nearer to a precise prediction.

The 10 of Coins/Pentacles is possibly the key card to the identity of the VP. All the 10s, in every suit, represent culmination of one cycle and beginning of another. This particular ten relates to earthy matters, houses (painted white?), homes and matters of wealth. Aleister Crowley in his "Book of Thoth" defines this card astrologically as Mecury in Virgo and says (he refers to Coins or Pentacles as "Disks") -

"The Ten of Disks is called Wealth. Here again is written this constantly recurring doctrine, that as soon as one gets to the bottom one finds oneself at the top; and Wealth is given to Mercury in Virgo. When wealth accumulates beyond a certain point, it must either become completely inert and cease to be wealth, or call in the aid of intelligence to use it rightly. This must necessarily happen in spheres which have nothing whatever to do with material possessions, as such. In this way, Carnegie establishes a Library, Rockefeller endows Research, simply because there is nothing else to do.
But all this doctrine lies behind the card; it is the inner meaning of the card.
There is another view to consider, that this is the last of all the cards, and therefore represents the sum total of all the work that has been done from the beginning.

(Here) .

I can see Al Gore in that description. He has accumulated a great amount of wealth, whereas Hillary Clinton is in debt after her primary run. "There is nothing else to do" in Al Gore's case, in aid of his dearest wish to address climate change, but to be in a position of power.

That is what tarot tells me. What my own gut feeling tells me is that Al Gore wouldn't want to be Obama's VP. He has said that politics is toxic. So, although Hillary Clinton is currently in debt, rising to the position of VP might ensure that her debts would be paid off, a new cycle could begin.

Wishful thinking? I guess so. I think Obama needs Clinton, but doubt he'd ever admit it. His Leo pride could mean he won't offer her the opportunity.

The 10 of Coins doesn't fit the other potential VPs nearly as well as Gore or Clinton. We shall see, soon.