Saturday, December 31, 2011

Into 2012: "A Going On"......

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. (Hal Borland).
Last New Year's Eve I posted some predictions for 2011 from around the net and via my tarot deck. (Relevant post is HERE). First 3 featured were, very predictably, winners.
They were part of a list drawn up by John Derbyshire, who is a contributor editor of National Review:

Numerology: People will make a great fuss about 11/11/11. Didn't they!

Vocabulary: The word “austerity” will be heard a lot. We heard it!

The culture: Obsessive texting on tiny communication gadgets will become so widespread that at some moment in some daylight hour of 2011, nobody in the U.S.A. will be speaking to anyone else. Yep!
See the rest, including my rather wishy-washy tarot offering, at the link above.

With hindsight, regarding the tarot cards drawn, I might possibly relate two of them to the Occupy movement - 8 Cups -a turning away from the status quo by many of the (Page Wands) younger generation (+ others); the third card (6 Cups) - nostalgia or the return of someone from the past....still a mystery.

I usually find that without a card from the tarot's Major Arcana turning up in the draw, it's barely possible to read stuff that could cover a whole year for the whole world. So.... as a Major card didn't turn up this time either, I'll give tarot a miss in this post. It could be a good sign, by the way: certainly no end-of-world scenario coming up! But we knew that.....didn't we?

It's good that, nowadays, it's custom to limit predictions to the year ahead -ish. Some really, really bad predictions from the past show us how mindset of any given era cannot possibly embrace thought of change on a vast scale over long periods. We have been, and still are, necessarily limited in how much future change our brains are able to process. Perhaps we have improved some, from ongoing experience, and yet, because science and technology have progressed at an ever-incresing pace, can we hope, ever, to keep up?
The ordinary "horseless carriage" is at present a luxury for the wealthy; and although its price will probably fall in the future, it will never, of course, come into as common use as the bicycle.Literary Digest, 1899.

Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.
Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1904.

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.

It's a great invention but who would want to use it anyway?Rutherford B. Hayes, U.S. President, after a demonstration of Alexander Bell's telephone, 1876

X-rays will prove to be a hoax.Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883.

More bad predictions HERE

Astrologers give us their best shot at foretelling the future with each New Year. They can match coming planetary transits to potential (underline potential) outcomes. The best we can hope for is a picture painted with very, very broad brush. In 2012, for instance, the three outer planets (the ones to watch in relation to predicting the future) will all three be in, or about to enter the early degrees of a new sign. During 2012:
Uranus 0 to 4 of Aries
Neptune 28 Aquarius to 1 Pisces, having reached 3 then backtracked.
Pluto 7 to 9 Capricorn.

That could be interpreted as indicating an overall change of atmosphere - everywhere.

Pluto moved from Sagittarius to Capricorn at the end of 2008, so has been at the avant garde, the initiator of a changed atmosphere poised to develop further in coming months.

The election of Barack Obama as President of the USA in 2008 can be seen as evidence of this change. First African American president of the US = a change all by itself. Unfortunately enticing promises of change in Washington which accompanied this new phenomenon have not manifested.

As Uranus creeps ever so slowly, (with a bit of back-and-forthing too) into Fiery Aries we wonder exactly how this new transit will manifest, bearing in mind that around the Fall of 2012 Uranus and Pluto will "square up", that is form a challenging square (90*) aspect. Most astrologers agree that this is the key time to watch for unexpected (Uranus' signature) events in 2012.

The broadest possible astro-brushwork indicates change, but of what type, how deep, at what rate, and where it will manifest most clearly, cannot be made clear by the planets.

I'm sticking to an earlier thought of mine - that the Occupy movement could have been a very, very early sign of change-to-come, but we shouldn't expect to see spectacular, long-lasting change for some years - until Pluto transits Aquarius in fact: 2025 onwards.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Arty Farty Friday ~ Georgia O'Keeffe

I recently received a comment on an old (2006) post of mine on the artist Georgia O'Keeffe. That post was more than a tad ragged, but in those days I was new to blogging and to Blogger. I believe I can do a little better now; so - an improved offering:

Georgia O'Keeffe born 15 November 1887, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin - time unknown. If I had been unable to find Georgia O'Keeffe's birth data, I could have made a guess from her choice of subject matter, and I'd have been correct. The lady, whether she knew it or not, was a Scorpio-type through and through.
(Photo by Alfred Stieglitz)

Her subjects were often enlarged views of the skulls and other bones of animals, flowers and plant organs, shells, rocks, mountains, and other natural forms. Her mysteriously suggestive images of bones and flowers set against a perspectiveless space have inspired a variety of erotic, psychological, and symbolic interpretations. Her later works celebrate the clear skies and desert landscapes of New Mexico, where she moved after her husband's death in 1946. She is regarded by critics as one of the most original and important American artists, and her works are highly popular among the general public. ~~ Britannica

Some of her best known work includes her flower and plant forms such as a 1925 painting. 'Black Iris' - (see right) an elegant work construed by many as being sexually suggestive, though this was denied by the artist. ~~"

Georgia O'Keeffe's natal chart shows 3, and possibly 4, planets clustered in Scorpio: Jupiter 17*, Sun 23*, Mercury 27* with Moon at 28* at noon, and definitely in Scorpio if born before 2:00PM, otherwise Moon would have been in early Sagittarius.

Venus, planet of the arts is at home in Libra, one of its signs of rulership, along with with Uranus (the eccentric and revolutionary planet). O'Keefe's style must have seemed somewhat eccentric when first encountered - different from almost everything else on the early 20th century scene. As Wikipedia states: "She revolutionized the tradition of flower painting".

Whether some of her representations were intended to be overtly erotic or simply sensual has to be in the eye of the beholder, I guess. But how could an intense Scorpio-ness not shine through her work? She denied any intention of eroticism, and yet the idea has secured itself in the public imagination. Those studying her paintings may, involuntarily, have been sensing her astrology seeping through!

Here is another of that ultra-talented Pluto in Gemini generation. Neptune (creativity), in O'Keeffe's chart is close to Pluto, though in the last degrees of Taurus (another arty sign ruled by Venus).

Georgia O'Keeffe's family background was a blend of Irish (her father) and Hungarian (her mother). After a childhood spent in Wisconsin her early career was as a commercial artist in Chicago. She went on to teach art in Texas. She later lived with, and eventually married, renonwned photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who had noted her talent and organised her first exhibition. Without his help it's doubtful that her career would have taken off as it did. Opportunities, in those days, for a female in the art world were few, even for a woman as talented and determined as Georgia O'Keeffe.

She was said to have a "prickly personality" (more reflection of Scorpio?). Portraits by several diferent photographers present her as a "loner, a severe figure and self-made person." She spent much of her life in her beloved northern New Mexico, died in 1986 aged 98. Her ashes were scattered from the top of a mountain she had looked out on from her home. She had received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Gerald Ford in 1977 and the National Medal of Arts from Ronald Reagan in 1985.

One sample each of her several styles/subjects:

The skulls ~~~

Summer Days

The abstracts ~~~

Blue and Green Music

The flower studies ~~~

Red Canna

The New Mexico Landscape (my own favourite, for I love New Mexico too).

Black Mesa

For hundreds more examples of O'Keeffe paintings a good place to start is at Google Image, then simply follow the trails.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's Still the Jolly Silly Season....

The few days between Christmas and New Year are always something of a silly season. Nobody's sure exactly what they're supposed to be doing: predicting ? (I'm not getting into that can of worms); celebrating; trying to lose weight; preparing resolutions; drinking up what's left of the Christmas booze; grumbling about TV repeats; trawling end of year sales events; stocking up for extreme weather incidents; or just lollygagging around waiting, but for what, nobody's certain.

No astrology today, by the way.

I lollygagged through some of my husband's Flickr/Lost Gallery old photograph collections. A favourite of these is a collection he calls "Talking Pictures". He has written captions or brief storylines for each -
He says:

"How often have you looked at a picture and thought about what was being said or what was happening as the picture was taken. Sometimes the less you really know about a photograph, the more it speaks.

This then is a collection of photographs that spoke. Sometimes it is just a passing impression and other times it is an event with details and nuance".

Here are a few I especially enjoyed. None is serious - if you knew my husband (avid Monty Python fan) you'd expect no less.

It had been two days and five nights of continuous driving. Grandpa Baub and the Krinkley family finally arrived at the memorial to Randolph the Rude-Nosed Reindeer. They posed on the remote hilltop in Bono Wildlife Preserve and UFO Landing Field while one of the hitchhikers captured the event with a box camera. It was a solemn moment.......Then young Bristol dropped the skunk.

Hi Ma! Who's the dude?
Mom forgot to tell junior about her plans for the day.

Hermione gathered everyone in the drawing room. Bela gasped when she saw the box camera.
The photographer fainted.
“Just as I suspected,” Hermione thought.

They followed us home Ma. Can we keep 'em?

After ninety-six minutes Cynthia decided to turn on the television. Now, she thought, next is the prom dress. What color?
The world turned.

Even though Leona kept flags in her hair, the Marines still wouldn’t take her.

The Martin Springs Basket Ball Champs and the water boy.
They all suspected Faye wasn't one of the guys. There was only one shower so no one ever mentioned it. It was her car too.
This is the '26 basketball team picture and the '26 class picture.

Hello, Microsoft Help Line. May I please to be helping you, this fine morning or afternoon as your case may to be?

The boys didn’t quite grasp the concept of having their photograph taken. Besides, Aunt Marge had tripped and rolled down the hill. Now they knew the answer. It was neither bloomers nor pantaloons. It was plus-fours!

The girls were happily singing their chanting song over and over. Michael, thoroughly sick of it, rowed the boat ashore and stomped off to the nearest pub where he ordered a pint, a half dozen pickled eggs and three prunes. Or maybe it was three pints, half dozen…oh never mind.

The girls of the “Mickey-Girls” club had been celebrating their 45th consecutive dateless weekend. The meeting was held in a hired row boat from the Hammer, Tackle and Boat Rental of Piedmont Beach, Montana.

Startled and puzzled by Michael’s abrupt behavior, the girls voted they would never hire him to row their boat again.

Velda suggested they all go into the pub and get out of the sun. Charlotte and Heidi objected to that because there appeared to be some crawling things in the sand around the boat. Myra said Cleo ate one of them. Cleo denied it but you know she would.

Juno was just glad they didn’t have to swim ashore. Her secret would be safe for another chapter meeting at least.

All credit for photos and captions goes to my husband, "anyjazz": Lost Gallery and Flickr.....many more Talking Pictures there, and many more old photographs in numerous categories - see Lost Gallery Index Page.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thoughts on Saturn & Growing Older: A Privilege Denied to Many

While the Sun is in zodiac sign Capricorn, planet Saturn, as ruler of that sign could be said to be "in its element". Astrologer Ingrid Lind wrote that Saturn corresponds with the side of a character that is respected, or feared, rather than loved. Sense of duty, responsibility, caution, commonsense, sobriety, punctuality - all that good stuff is the reserve of Saturn. Saturn, aka Chronos, Greek god, lord of time (as against Dr. Who, Time Lord) also governs old age.

Trawling through my husband's archive (Saturn must rule archives too) at Thinks Happen the other day I came across something he wrote back in March, 2006, which seems to me to be rather Saturnian, not at all his usual style. It must have been written on a 'bad back day" - replacement for bad hair days which no longer trouble him. He titled the post The Sixth Sense: Gravity. Personally, I'd hoped that age would bring a different sixth sense - something more esoteric, other worldly: ability to read minds, the gift of prophecy, talking to the animals....or suchlike. But no, it seems something far more mundane awaits, or is already here.

The Sixth Sense: Gravity
The human body seems to compensate for its own inadequacies or attempt to balance for missing parts. Blind people seem to have an acute sense of smell. Losing an arm means the other arm will grow stronger to make up the difference. That seems natural.

Growing older includes among other things, a lessening of all of the senses it seems. The muscles soften, the organs work slower, weaker. The menu narrows so the sense of taste goes bland. Glasses and hearing aids are often required to boost those senses. The odors that used to be annoying, overwhelming or embarrassing before now seem to have become tolerable or maybe stinks have gone extinct. And dressing in the dark is no longer an option. Is that corduroy or velvet? Green, blue or black?

But in growing older one does seem to develop a sixth sense, maybe to sort of compensate for the slowing of the other five: The sense of gravity tunes up. Our awareness of gravity approaches the acute at about the same speed as the trudging, then galloping years.

Everything gets heavier. Picking up small objects such as a coffee cup cannot be done at arms length anymore. Too much strain on the elbow. So the time spent getting closer to things increases, new methods are learned to get things moved from one table to another; new rationalizations are developed to just leave things where they are. It’s the new sense of gravity teaching us new skills.

Getting the local newspaper from the driveway must be done much like young mothers are taught to pick up youngsters: squat at the knees, keep the back straight. Keeping the back straight seldom gets easier as years go but then bending the spine enough to pick something up from between your feet is impossible. So our knees and back contribute to that sixth sense of gravity by learning to cooperate in order to reach objects on the floor.

Now, since newspapers and other common objects are much heavier than a few years ago, because of that increased sense of gravity, obviously, getting back up in a standing posture is even more of a challenge. But our bodies develop ways to compensate for gravity. Pushing with one hand on a knee will aid the spine and knees in returning to the erect position. But we would never have thought of that before our sense of gravity began to develop.

All of which brought to mind a little-known song I've always loved Defying Gravity. It was theme of a TV mini-series The Executioner's Song, and sung by dear ol' Waylon Jennings, written (I think) by Jesse Winchester.

I live on a big round ball
I never do dream I may fall
And even one day if I do
Well, I'll jump off and smile back at you

I don't even know where we are
They tell you we're circling a star
Well, I'll take their word, I don't know
But I'm dizzy so it may be so

More Saturnian words on the coming of old age, this time from one of my favourite poets: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - last two verses of Morituri Salutamus (See full poem here)
As the barometer foretells the storm
While still the skies are clear, the weather warm,
So something in us, as old age draws near,
Betrays the pressure of the atmosphere.
The nimble mercury, ere we are aware,
Descends the elastic ladder of the air;
The telltale blood in artery and vein
Sinks from its higher levels in the brain;
Whatever poet, orator, or sage
May say of it, old age is still old age.
It is the waning, not the crescent moon;
The dusk of evening, not the blaze of noon;
It is not strength, but weakness; not desire,
But its surcease; not the fierce heat of fire,
The burning and consuming element,
But that of ashes and of embers spent,
In which some living sparks we still discern,
Enough to warm, but not enough to burn.

What then? Shall we sit idly down and say
The night hath come; it is no longer day?
The night hath not yet come; we are not quite
Cut off from labor by the failing light;
Something remains for us to do or dare;
Even the oldest tree some fruit may bear;
Not Oedipus Coloneus, or Greek Ode,
Or tales of pilgrims that one morning rode
Out of the gateway of the Tabard Inn,
But other something, would we but begin;
For age is opportunity no less
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day
Gotta love that last line!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


We have to wonder what new technology, inventions and discoveries, all stock-in-trade for Uranus, we'll see during the eccentric planet's transit through Aries, between now and 2018, Aries being the sign of initiative and initiation. Inventions and discoveries quite often emerge unexpectedly, signature style of Uranus.

We regularly read of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC),and the search for what's termed "the God particle". Perhaps these coming years will see fulfillment of scientists' hopes in that direction, and what might spin-off from that has to be mind-blowing. (See HERE)

There has been talk of much improved battery technology coming down the pike:
HERE and HERE are two examples.

And another, barely believable, possibility:

This painting by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, The Arming of Perseus shows sea nymphs giving Perseus a helmet which renders him invisible, the winged sandals of Hermes, along with a goatskin pouch for the head of the Medusa.

It seems that man is slowly catching up with myth. First, a few examples of the latter:
The hero Perseus went equipped with a cap of invisibility to kill Medusa.

A magic cloak, made by Alberich the dwarf, granted invisibility to Sigurd.

In German fairy tales, magical caps called tarnkappes are worn by dwarfs.
The caps can make an entire village of dwarfs invisible.

In The Twelve Dancing Princesses, the old soldier is able to follow the princesses by use of an invisibility cloak.

In The King of the Gold Mountain, the hero can sneak into the home of his treacherous wife by means of a cloak of invisibility.
In real life:
From November 2011:
A University of Texas Dallas scientist is working on developing a technology that would delight Harry Potter fans everywhere--an invisibility cloak.

Ali Aliev uses carbon nanotubes--which look like pieces of thread--and then heats them up rapidly until the objects beneath them effectively disappear. You can watch the threads disappear as they are heated up in the video below. (at link)

From August 2008:
Scientists in the US say they are a step closer to developing materials that could render people invisible.

"Researchers at the University of California in Berkeley have developed a material that can bend light around 3D objects making them "disappear".
The materials do not occur naturally but have been created on a nano scale, measured in billionths of a metre. ..............................

"This is a huge step forward, a tremendous achievement," says Professor Ortwin Hess of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey.
"It's a careful choice of the right materials and the right structuring to get this effect for the first time at these wavelengths."

There could be more immediate applications for the devices in telecommunications, Prof Hess says. What's more, they could be used to make better microscopes, allowing images of far smaller objects than conventional microscopes can see. And a genuine cloaking effect isn't far around the corner.

"In order to have the 'Harry Potter' effect, you just need to find the right materials for the visible wavelengths," says Prof Hess, "and it's absolutely thrilling to see we're on the right track."

If, and when, a cloak or any other method of bringing about invisibility, is perfected, the possibilities of its use would be mind-blowing, some too horrendous to contemplate - in warfare for example. Let's hope that Uranus holds back a little on that one!

On a lighter note:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Music Monday ~ OSCAR LEVANT ~ Unusual Capricorn-Type ?

Oscar Levant would have celebrated his 105th birthday tomorrow, 27 December. He died in 1972. He has been largley forgotten now, I guess, except among keen musicians, Gershwin fans and those keen on old movies, TV and radio shows. I needed a reminder of which face fit his name. Recalling the movie An American in Paris did the trick. Levant played a concert pianist, still struggling to make it in the business, good friend of Gene Kelly's character a US ex-pat and would-be artist living in Paris. (Photograph from Virtual History: Oscar between Georges Guétary and Gene Kelly.)

Oscar Levant, in real life was something of a renaissance man: pianist, composer, author, comedian, wit, and actor. His "shadow side": hypochondriac, neurotic, addicted to prescription drugs, spent time in mental hospitals. He was considered to be near-genius. His own comment on this: "There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line."

Levant was a brilliant pianist, his renditions of his long-time friend George Gershwin's compositions are considered second only to Gershwin's own. During his time in Hollywood he wrote/co-wrote music for 20 or so movies and several popular songs. Blame It on My Youth, one of his compositions from 1934 is now considered to be "a standard".

Levant's ascerbic quick-wittedness took him to radio and TV (in the 1950s TV was still in its infancy):
Levant began to make the circuit of radio and television shows where his biting wit delighted listeners across America. In 1950, he suffered a heart attack and subsequently developed an addiction to the pain medication, Demerol. Despite his exceptional musical skills and quick wit, Levant was plagued with lifelong uncertainty and depression. As his bouts with depression progressed, he turned these sad episodes into biting commentary about himself, drawing out his lack of self-confidence for the world to see.

In the early 1950s, Levant hosted his own television talk show with guests of the stature of authors Aldous Huxley and Christopher Isherwood. He even brought his own psychiatrist, Dr. George Wayne, on the show from time to time. Television in its infancy was live. No one could be sure what Levant would do or say as the program progressed, and this show was often considered "must see TV" for everyone in Hollywood. His wit was notorious and, while he frequently used it against others, he more often used it against himself. Although Levant had the potential for becoming a success in this new medium, his increasing episodes of depression took their toll on his career. He recognized the affect his addictions had on his health and checked himself into Mt. Sinai Hospital each day after his show, but with little or no positive effects. He soon began to fade from the public's view.

In 1958, television host Jack Paar convinced Levant to appear on his program. For the next six years the composer appeared with regularity, amusing viewers with his neurotic satire. Levant both shocked and intrigued viewers with his open discussions about his neuroses and his addiction to painkillers. While his illnesses became more apparent with each appearance as his speech slowed, his wit remained as sharp as ever. FROM:

Born 27 December 1906 in Pittsburgh, PA at 11:45 PM (Astrodatabank).

Hey! Lookee here! A serious, steady Capricorn Sun conjunct eccentric Uranus! I could not have imagined a better signature for Oscar Levant! Who says astrology doesn't work? (Photograph from HERE).
Had Levant been born in a generation with Uranus well away from his Capricorn Sun, who knows what he'd have become? A straight-forward classical pianist/composer perhaps, or a novelist? Quirky Uranus irritates that serious Sun so much, is there any wonder he became neurotic and eventually depressive?

What else? Opposition to Sun/Uranus from Neptune conjunct Jupiter in Cancer - these two planets, conjoined, indicate an excess of creativity - or, alternatively propensity for addiction to something. The opposition to Levant's irritated Capricorn Sun must have produced even further irritation, and perhaps a choice of "outlet": using his a super-creative mind to its optimum, or deadening all feeling via drugs.

His Virgo ascendant didn't help at all. He would seek perfection, in his music and in life itself, thus bringing about yet more irritation.

Gemini Moon was a saving grace for Levant I think. His draw to communicate (Gemini) released some of that irritation safely, while entertaining an audience. Both Venus (music) and Mercury (communication, Gemini's sign of rulership) oppose Gemini Moon, more as balancing outlets here, rather than irritations. There's another indication of his outlet through communication too - a Yod (Finger of Fate) funneling "energies" of sextiled Sun/Uranus and aggressive Mars through - again, communcative Gemini Moon.

Sun's ruler, Saturn was in gentle, emotional Pisces (not terribly compatible, but indicating, maybe, a less rigid Capricorn-type) and in harmonious trine to Neptune/Jupiter, which, in turn were opposing Sun/Uranus - bit of a tangled yet inter-connected web there. I'm not surprised to learn that Oscar Levant had difficulty coping with life.

Below: Oscar Levant plays part of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor op. 23

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The 12 Zodiac Days of Christmas (and a Josh Krajcik update)

First a quick update about X Factor USA - this week's finale: Our favourite, Josh Krajcik, didn't win, after all, but was runner-up. 19-year old Melanie Amaro took the prize of a 5 million dollar recording contract with Simon Cowell's record label, and an appearance in a Pepsi-Cola commercial. Had any other contestant beat Josh I'd have felt annoyed, but Melanie, with her flawless voice, deserved to win, and in my opinion she needed the win more than Josh. He will do well, now, on his own terms - the way he has performed throughout the competition. I'll be buying his cds, and watching for an opportunity to see him live at some point. A favourite performance below, Up to the Mountain - the song he sang at "bootcamp" - chosen here because there's no bandzilla and loudly screaming audience to spoil the sound; it's a lovely song too. I still haven't found Josh's birthdate. A comment on Josh's birthdate, received this morning, to an earlier post about him, will be copied below, later.

Back to Christmas......

The Twelve Days of Christmas always seems to me to be crying out for an astrological parody: 12 days, 12 zodiac signs! Passing readers who have been wandering into this blog since 2007 (not many, I fear) may possibly recall having seen a version of this post before.

The 12 Days of Christmas is a simple enough traditional song celebrating the season. There have been attempts to attribute to the song some weird code relating to religion, Catholocism in particular, but clears that up - at least to my satisfaction. There is a possibility that the song has been confused with another old song, The New Dial, aka In Those Twelve Days, assigning religious meanings to the 12 days of Christmas in a question and answer style, for example; "What are they which are but six? Six days to labor is not wrong, For God himself did work so long."

Anyway... I decided to haul my old parody from the archives, add different illustration, and post again for this Christmas, 2011:

On the first day of Christmas
My astrologer showed to me
Aries in a big hurrreee

On the second day of Christmas,
My astrologer showed to me
Two Taurus bulls
And Aries in a big hurrreeee

On the third day of Christmas
My astrologer showed to me
Three chatty Gems
Two Taurus bulls
And Aries in a big hurrreee

On the fourth day of Christmas
My astrologer showed to me
Four Cancer moms
Three chatty Gems
Two Taurus bulls
And Aries in a big hurrreee

On the fifth day of Christmas
My astrologer showed to me
Five...... Leo........ kings.......
Four Cancer moms
Three chatty Gems
Two Taurus bulls
And Aries in a big hurrreee

On the sixth day of Christmas
My astrologer showed to me
Six Virgos checking
Five....... Leo...... kings.....
Four Cancer moms
Three chatty Gems
Two Taurus bulls
And Aries in a big hurrreee

On the seventh day of Christmas
My astrologer showed to me
Seven tactful Librans
Six Virgos checking,
Five........ Leo... kings........
Four Cancer moms
Three chatty gems
Two Taurus bulls
And Aries in a big hurrreee.

Onthe eighth day of Christmas
My astrologer showed to me
Eight Scorps seducing
Seven tactful Librans
Six Virgos checking
Five.......... Leo..... kings.....
Four Cancer moms
Three chatty Gems
Two Taurus bulls
And Aries in a big hurrrreee

On the ninth day of Christmas
My astrologer showed to me
Nine Saggies expanding
Eight Scorps seducing
Seven tactful Librans
Six Virgos checking
Five....... Leo.... kings.......
Four Cancer moms
Three chatty Gems
Two Taurus bulls
And Aries in a big hurrrreeee

On the tenth day of Christmas
My astrologer showed to me
Ten Capricorns counting
Nine Saggies expanding
Eight Scorps seducing
Seven tactful Librans
Six Virgos checking,
Five...... Leo...... kings.....
Four Cancer moms
Three chatty Gems
Two Taurus bulls
And Aries in a big hurrrreee

On the eleventh day of Christmas
My astrologer showed to me
Eleven Aquarians knowing
Ten Capricorns counting
Nine Saggies expanding
Eight Scorps seducing
Seven tactful Librans
Six Virgos checking
Five..... Leo....... kings.....
Four Cancer moms
Three chatty Gems
Two Taurus bulls
And Aries in a big hurrreeee

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My astrologer showed to me
Twelve Pisceans dreaming
Eleven Aquarians knowing
Ten Capricorns counting
Nine Saggies expanding
Eight Scorps seducing
Seven tactful Librans
Six Virgos checking
Five..... Leo........ kings......
Four Cancer moms
Three chatty Gems
Two Taurus bulls
And .... Aries in a big hurrrrreeeeee

And.... a version of the original song performed here by John Denver and The Muppets.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas the Re-Make

Christmas. It's one giant re-make really isn't it? We follow roughly the same pattern, year in, year out, with tweaks here and tweaks there to adjust our mistakes in former versions of the celebration. Eg: decide not to give auntie Sylivia so much sherry this year; leave the turkey roasting for an exta hour; make sure the tree is firmly anchored so as not to fall over - again; wear layers you can discard without appearing to attempt a seasonal striptease.....and do not, under any circumstances mention "you know what"!

I can often be heard complaining of movies and TV, "Why do they produce so many movie remakes?" A person wearing blindfold could go into any library, pick out four books at random and find four new plots for movies. Why are we subjected to remakes, sometimes even more than one remake? Just the other day I read of an upcoming remake of Dickens' Great Expectations (and, hellfire! They've changed the ending!)

Here on Earth, living creatures, trees, plants, climate, and the old spinning rock itself could be said to be the product of cycles and re-makes. Everything is a cycle, many things are re-makes. I ought not to be surprised about movie and TV remakes. They are as inevitable a part of life on Earth as the turning of the hands of a clock or the run of seasons, Christmas - and the Moon's waxing and waning. Hollywood moguls probably don't realise this, of course, all they care about are the $$$$$$$.

Planetary cycles, especially those of Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, often bring along a remake of one's own life story, and - back to the current season - the kind of Christmas each year brings. Hoping that passing readers experience a good re-make this time around. If, for any reason Christmas turns out to be less than magical this year, we always know that there'll be another re-make along in 12 short months.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


As Sun has now entered Capricorn I'll post the last excerpt from Ingrid Lind's out-of-print little book Astrology and Commonsense - her entry on the sign of the sea-goat. Before flexing my typing fingers for that, just a word about Capricorn's symbolic depiction as a goat - properly a sea-goat (fore-part goat, hind-part fish)but often nowadays the sign is depicted by a common-and-garden goat. There's all manner of explanation of the whys and wherefores of the mythological seagoat online. Accept whichever feels right, it makes little difference. But it can be an interesting study for its own sake. Skyscript's piece on Capricorn addresses the symbolism, and serendipity has an interesting page on the various strands of mythology associated with Capricorn.

So...from Ingrid Lind (who, given the title she chose for her book, probably had a good helping of Capricorn in her own astro-makeup)~~~


Quality: Cardinal
Element: Earth
Ruler: Saturn

Capricorn is a straightforward sign in the sense that it is at one in character with its ruler, Saturn. It will be remembered that Aries, first of the cardinal signs, combines action with fire and passion (Mars); Cancer is action in emotion and sensitivity (Moon); Libra is action in airy, mental concepts and in art and co-operation (Venus). In Capricorn cardinality combines with Earth and we see action allied with caution and commonsense. The ruler, Saturn has a chilling effect and there is no heat in Capricornian activity; no hurry, no impatience. Earth signs know and understands the rhythms of nature and Capricorn knows that the seed must be given time to grow and bear fruit. Steady, driving ambition and one-pointedness will bring the Capricornian slowly but surely to the top. He can be a hard taskmaster, for he will exact from others just the amount of work he feels it is their duty to perform. Sentiment, compassion, do not enter into the bargain. An eye for an eye.

No one, fortunately perhaps, is all Capricorn, any more than any one person can embody or exclusively manifest any one of the signs; but for the man or woman who wants to succeed in the world the chart will disclose no better ingredient than Capricorn.

Regarding Taurus, the first Earth sign, I remarked that it was like the flour in the cake. Capricorn is like reinforced concrete in the building, giving human character the core of toughness, the quality of endurance, so necessary if one is to cope with the difficulties of human life.

Whatever the profession, Capricorn gives the ambition, cool and deliberate, to ensure success. A successful actress who combines Capricorn with one of the Venus signs (Taurus, Libra), will put her beauty to effective use. A politician or orator who combines it with the communicativeness of Mercury will do the same with his gifts. The general balance of the chart may indicate aptitude for any career; but Capricorn will provide the will to succeed.

Capricorn Qualities (notes in brackets are mine)
One-pointedness (I think this means single-mindedness)
Coolness (not the "hip" kind -the cold kind)
Steadfast endurance
Reliability and commonsense

Capricorn Faults
Nagging persistence
Rigidity and coldness.

As we approach Christmas once again, a time traditionally set aside for honouring the birth of Jesus Christ, even though it's been pretty well established that he wasn't born on 25 December, and nor was he as Kris Kristofferson's lyrics proposes, "a Capricorn".


Jesus was a Capricorn
He ate organic food
He believed in love and peace
And never wore no shoes
Long hair, beard and sandals
And a funky bunch of friends
Reckon we'd just nail him up
If he came down again.

From all that we read about Capricorn in modern astrology, it'd seem the least likely of all the 12 zodiac signs to fit the personality of Jesus, as told. And yet - dip into the mythology of the seagoat (mentioned in para.1 of this post), then maybe Capricorn isn't as bad a match as modern astrology might indicate. The fish tail of the goat is thought by some to indicate the emotional depths of the sea from which life originally emerged, while the goat's fore-parts indicate the earthy substance of life. The compassion of Jesus for the suffering of others matches the emotional element of Water indicated by the fishtail, and his flesh and blood presence as a teacher on Earth could be said to relate to the earthly image of the goat's fore-part.

Doesn't much matter what one chooses to believe, or whether one feels the need to belong to any organised religion - the key is to try to live by a single tenet of Christ's teachings: "Love one another". We truly need nothing else, no further embellishments.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


In the northern hemisphere Winter Solstice this year will occur, for us in US Central Time Zone, at at 11:30 PM - tonight. In the UK, at the same point, clocks will say 5:30 AM GMT on 22 December. We've arrived at the shortest day, longest night - after which light will begin, slowly, to return. In the southern hemisphere, of course, Summer Solstice is being celebrated. Wherever you are,

An urge to mark and honour solstices and equinoxes - has to figure somehow in our DNA. Humans have been doing so for as long as we are able to see into the distant past. Indigenous people of every corner of the world had an awareness of the Sun's changing path through the sky. Their lives relied heavily on the Sun's lighting and warming of the land, and on its part in producing life-sustaining vegetation and crops.

Countless structures, still visible, served ancient civilisations as natural calendars to mark solstices, equinoxes, and sites of sacred ceremony, honouring the Sun. Britain's Stonehenge is one of the most famous of these. I read an article just this week on the BBC website, concerning expert research on the source of the stones. It appears that some of them originated in Wales. How the dickens those massive stones could have been moved to Wiltshire in England remains a fascinating mystery to which we shall never know the answer.

Here in Oklahoma, nearest natural structure used for tracking the Sun's path is in New Mexico, the state adjoining Oklahoma's panhandle, to the west.

At the southern entrance to an area known as Chaco Canyon stands 443ft high Fajada Butte, where in 1977 Dr. Anna Sofaer discovered the "Sun Dagger" - a petroglyph thought to have been carved some 1000 years ago by an ancient people, the Anasazi, who inhabited the area. Archaeologists still debate when a distinct Anasazi culture emerged, but the current consensus suggests they first appeared around 1200 B.C. The Ancient Puebloans first settled in the plateau area where water was plentiful, with their initial locations at Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, and Kayenta. Later they spanned across the entire Colorado plateau including northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado.
The Anasazi were ancestors of modern Pueblo peoples. (See also HERE)

We haven't visited Chaco Canyon, but we've been close to it. In 2005 we visited Mesa Verde, in the same general area, though now it lies across the manmade state border in Colorado. The Anasazi abandoned the area around 700 years ago, for reasons unknown, one possibility is crop failure due to climate deterioration.

It was about a 40 minute drive from the highway, along winding roads up to Mesa Verde, then a long walk downhill to reach the dwellings site, and an exhausting one back up, at 7,000 ft. above sea level, and in the heat, the thinner air gets to you! We explored the remains of ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings, 3 photos from our trip are below - that's my back in #4. the first photo is not one of ours, but from HERE.

Artwork at THIS website gives an idea of the populated cliff dwellings in ancient times.