Thursday, March 31, 2011


A look at Aries and Scorpio, as seen by 20th century American astrologer, Carl Payne Tobey in his book Astrology Primer for the Millions. His assessments show us some similarities and differences between two zodiac signs traditionally ruled by the same planet.

Most of what Mr Tobey has to say about the individual signs is much the same as other astrologers have said, many times. What I like about these comparisons is the way a fundmental similarity can be seen, shining through the differences - something I hadn't fully appreciated before.

Mr.Tobey's comments about Aries and Scorpio can be applied not only to Sun Aries or Sun Scorpio people, but to anyone with emphasis in these signs (e.g. a cluster of planets, or Moon, ascendant or ruler of natal Sun in one of the signs.) He considered that both signs have relationship with Mars and Pluto, but states in this book that Mars rules Scorpio while Pluto rules Aries - the reverse of what most astrologers suggest. Pluto ruling Aries doesn't sound quite right to me.

(For brevity I have not copied the author's exact words throughout, and have omitted remarks about personalities who are no longer in the public eye.)
Both signs are aggressive, impulsive, but executive. Alike, but different.

Scorpio tends towards family or group loyalty whilst Aries is more of an individualist, independent and daring.

Both have drive but Scorpio's is emotional in source, Aries drive is vital, from the spirit. Aries initiates, Scorpio reacts. Aries burns, Scorpio boils.

Aries is the natural pioneer, able to survive alone if necessary. Business pioneers are often found to have Aries strong in their charts, and many Taureans who are pioneers are often found to have a cluster of natal Aries planets. Scorpio believes in working as a team. Wary of the stranger considering him a potential enemy, suspicious and alert for possibility of betrayal.

Scorpio expects loyalty and is badly hurt if let down by others.

The ancients associated Scorpio with sex and it is a strong feature in the Scorpio individual, but can also be associated with a guilt complex (Scorpio ministers Billy Sunday and Billy Graham preaching against sin).

Scorpio produces excellent executives, loyal and inspiring loyalty, able to be secretive when secrecy is called for.

Both Scorpio and Aries are accident prone. Aries often sustains injuries to the head, Scorpio seems to undergo more surgery than average.

Will power is a strong feature of Aries people. They are capable of fighting off great physical pain, and even disease by strength of will.

Aries intends to be master of its own destiny. Unlike Taurus/Libra(Venus People) it does not wait for opportunity too come along, it goes after it.

Both these signs are always active, nothing lethargic about them. Aries tends to live in the present and future, Scorpio in the present and past, but both emphasise the NOW.

A characteristic difference between Aries and Scorpio is that Scorpio cannot hide its feelings, being too emotional for that. Aries can - completely - it is too proud to let others know it needs then and can always find a way of going it alone if necessary.

Aries strength comes from inside, Scorpio draws strength from others, in some cases to the extent of becoming a psychic vampire.

Aries finds it easy to break away from its heredity, Scorpio is the reverse. Aries is likely to marry into a different race or religion, Scorpio more likely to marry someone who resembles a member of their own family.
Illustration at beginning of post is taken from Medizinisch-Astrologisches Hausbuch, 1429. Nuremburg. (Medical Astrology Housebook). It shows Mars overseeing Aries and Scorpio.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Zodiac sign ARIES

Another extract from Astrology & Commonsense (1962) by 20th century British astrologer Ingrid Lind. In the first paragraph Ms Lind states very clearly one of my own favourite warnings, which ought to be repeated along with any and all interpretation of the characteristics of a given Sun sign. A little later in the extract I could not stop myself from commenting (in italics) politely I hope, on a couple of issues arising from social change over 5 decades: 1962 (when the book was published) to today in 2011.

Ingrid Lind wrote:
"ARIES I had better repeat here that no one is solely and wholly Arien, Libran, Taurean, or whatever sign it may be that corresponds to the birth-month. As I have insisted, the sun in a given Sign does not necessarily give the most prominent feature in the make-up. Indeed, if you read through the following Sign descriptions you may well recognise some friend whose Sun-sign is in fact nowhere near the Sign in question. For example, you may detect strong Arien qualities in six people of whom only one has Sun in Aries, for which the following is one explanation among others:(for Aries read any other Sign that may apply)

A has Sun in Aries.
B has Aries rising over the Eastern horizon at time of birth.
C has Mars or ruling planet in Aries.
D has no planet in Aries, but the planet Mars (ruler of Aries) exactly rising.
E has Moon in Aries (Moon affects manner).
F has a group of planets in Aries and strong aspects to Mars.

Quality: Cardinal. Element: Fire. Ruler: Mars. Positive.

If Aries figures prominently in the chart the native will be decisive, quick, self-assertive. There is something primitive and simple about the Arien, whose attitude is somewhat that of the "cave-man" who knows he depends on his own courage and initiative and does not disrelish the struggle for survival: such a man (note from me: or woman) as responds well in moments of crisis or danger and is at best in emergency. The Arien will cut his/her way through, often literally, for Ariens are at home with weapons, offensive or surgical, and if there is any red tape about, this too will give way to the shears. Deeds not words is the Arien's motto; but when he/she has done the heroic deed he/she is by no means shy of adulation. At home he needs (sorry - can't type this without another note : this next bit is sexist Ms Lind!) a wife who responds warmly to his endearments and appreciates him for his cleverness and resource; but she had better not be too much of a talker if she does not want to be silenced by a blow with the club. (Really, Ms Lind! I trust you were jesting!) Of course, there are Arien women. (You don't say?! How strange!) these will be frank, warm-hearted, decisive and capable of rising to the occasion. But what they really derive, so to speak, from Aries is their more masculine traits. If an Arien woman begin a sentence with "if you really want to know", you may be sure of a home truth.

(Note from me: I think I just proved my Arien credentials there!)

Ariens may in fact be brusque and aggressive; but they do not shrink from these qualities in others. A wire-haired terrier has a lot of Aries in his personality: he enjoys a good fight and bears no malice when it is over.
Arien Qualities Courage, initiative, decisiveness, frankness, quickness, warm-heartedness.

Arien Faults
Aggressiveness, egoism, bullying, rudeness, violent temper, lust."

Your friendly neighbourhood blogger here: I have Moon and Saturn in Aries, Saturn being traditional ruler of my Sun sign (Aquarius). Mars, ruler of Aries is in Scorpio the twin rulership of Mars. So.....

My husband has Sun in Aries, Leo Moon, Leo rising, Mars in Sagittarius but in some ways he is less Arien than I am (I think). However, neither of us likes weapons, except (in my own case) to cut through red tape.

NOTE: My earlier, archived, posts on Aries can be easily accessed by clicking on "Aries" at the Label Cloud in the sidebar.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011



Is a 'Porsche Spyder Hybrid 918' selling for $918'000 any progress? Even if only manufactured in a limited edition of 918 units? The progress may be there, limited production! And also, it's being sold "exclusively" in America, the land of abundance.

To respond to this, in my view most silly Porsche of all times (commercially it's probably even a success...), I would say that a hybrid car these days at best is a fashion, a gag. In a crammed Porsche some of those extra electric devices can only be a hindrance to comfort. Never liked Porsches, two of my former bosses were driving such a thing. One of them, when going on vacation, had his driver following him and his wife with a Mercedes, carrying the luggage. Wasting energy with two cars!

I had to think of that "Porsche story" when I red Twilight's post of walking a dog in the park and showing a locomotive (steam variety) with the caption by H.H. Ellis: "What we call progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another!"

But more seriously: Energy, what should humanity do about it, besides driving a hybrid Porsche sports-car? It's becoming a real problem, if one considers that soon there will be an unsustainable quantity of water (and of the drinkable variety) wasted for each mile per gallon driven. This because of "shale oil production", "horizontal drilling" and "fractioning", using enormous amounts of good water, often also contaminating, as a side effect, other good water in the surrounding grounds.

As for nuclear: the latest preoccupation these days, since the earthquake in Japan has brought fears of similar tragedies elsewhere.

The way out, progress never ending, is to move away from uranium/plutonium to a new technique, with apparently even some merit. The main merit being that instead of producing plutonium (the stuff used in nuclear bombs), this technique burns it off!

The champions in this field are, you possibly guessed it, the Chinese. (Another Sputnik moment for Obama, if he already has heard of it...).

The miracle-to-come is THORIUM. The Chinese are not the only ones experimenting with it. So are the Norwegians, fearing to run out of oil one day, and the French - never short of experimenting new things when it comes to nuclear. The thorium nuclear story has indeed some convincing arguments going for it:

(Right: Thorium proton accelerator).
1) Thorium can be found in many granite rock deposits all over the world.
2) In case of a melt-down of a nuclear reactor the process would stop by itself as to burn thorium one has to bombard it with plutonium originated particles. This process, by definition, would cease to operate when things start to "melt-down". Everything stops, so we are told.
3) As already mentioned, instead of producing plutonium, it would help to dispose of this dreadly stuff, although in very small amounts, compared to all the plutonium already "laying around" in provisorical or improvised deposits as now visible in that Japanese nuclear plant.

But who knows, there is maybe no need to worry about our "energy-future". Something positive might happen and these hybrid cars (Porsche-Spyders and other, more normal ones) possibly are already on the "right track". It's either gasoline (and a lots of precious drinking water wasted to get there) or plenty of electricity from Thorium. Up to the driver "to switch the button", as simple as that.

I like, besides astrology, Greek mythology. It always struck me that the ancient Greeks had the right idea when imagining that various "Gods" were having a ball experimenting with the creation and periodical extinction of various species (mammoths and others). Thinking of it, modern scientists are quite boring in comparison, starting with Darwin.

(Left: THOR by Johannes Gehrts.) What we do not know, is why are humans on this earth allowed to experiment the way they do. It may be more than just accident. Possibly those "Greek or other Gods" are even keeping a closer eye on earthly affairs than we dare to think. I personally, admitting to being a romantic, at least hope that such is the case.

Under an astrological angle, as seen from today, with all those significant planets in Cardinal Signs (Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus - and soon also Mars - in Aries; Saturn in Libra; Pluto in Capricorn, one may wonder if there is any connection with what possibly, in a few years, will already be called
the "Era of God-blessed-Thorium" - Thor, being a Nordic deity, by the way.

Monday, March 28, 2011

We're back (no astro today).

Back in the saddle again!

Not wishing to bore passing readers with too many details of our trip, I'll condense this post into some "special moments" much for my own delight on future reading really, but y'all are very welcome to share.

Instead of heading directly for our destination - Austin, Texas we travelled southward around 360 miles, then 80 miles west of Austin to take a look at Fredericksburg and Luckenbach, with a couple of stops to investigate antique stores on the way. "Special moments" often happen during chats to antique store owners/assistants. This time we met a 92-year old lady in charge of her store, whose son was in Tokyo when the earthquake hit.

In another store, the lady proprietor told me she had been married to an Englishman and had lived in London years ago; they'd split up, but she still visits London's Camden Market twice a year to bring back antiques for her store. We exchanged views on how different is the lifestyle of ordinary folk both here and there. On hearing my accent these friendly souls all begin a converastion with "Where are y'all from then?" I usually say that we live in Oklahoma now, but I come from England. One assistant asked, "How do you like Oklahoma? Do you have a ranch?" Enquiree, who as it happens hightailed it out of East Yorkshire when aged 18, in order to avoid marrying a farmer's son, stifled giggles sufficiently to smile and shake her head.

Fredericksburg itself didn't provide many "special moments". It wasn't exactly as I had imagined, and turned out to be a wee bit touristy. There was German influence there via a few German eating places, two of which we sampled. The mix of Texas, Mexican and German had gelled into a rather odd mixture. Problem with German food (as, similarly, with Italian) is that original ingredients aren't easily available in deepest Texas, or in most other states for that matter.

Luckenbach provided more of those "special moments". Made legendary by the song (as in video in previous post), I've wanted to see the place for years. It's teeny-tiny, not even a village. A stone mason's installation billed laughingly as "uptown Luckenbach" was the first thing we saw after a 12 mile rural drive from Fredericksburg. The stonemason is an artist and engraver too, and specialises in engraving pictures for tourists. He engraved our names onto a beer bottle with a "happy birthday" message for my husband. His signature avatar is a "fast armadillo" drawn at lightning speed with the engraving tool. We bought one of his small pieces of engraving after chatting with him for a while. His grandparents had come to the USA from Germany long ago, he was born in the cottage next door. A sweet and happy guy.

A little further down the road we found Luckenbach proper - mainly composed of a saloon and outdoor tables where local musicians gather and jam together most of the time - afternoons onward. It was around 5.30pm, a small crowd had gathered, with three or four guitarists and singers "doing their thang". This was a special moment for me. A beautiful cockerel roamed the site, flew up into a tree to crow during each break in the music. On to Austin next, for a series of "special moments" with my husband's daughter, granddaughter and great-grandson, born 9 months ago.

Austin guitarist (excellent one too), Gary Shackelford, played outside the restaurant where we all ate a late breakfast.

As it's Music Monday - a sample:

Up Mount Bonnell, overlooking the city, with husband's daughter on our last evening. After negotiating a longish flight of stone steps we were greeted with a sunset about to happen, and a group of musicians making a video.

Pic below shows two Sun Aquarius-types doing what Sun-Aquarius types are supposed to do: consider the universe, the meaning of life and all that stuff !

The weather was peculiar. In Austin on Saturday temperatures hit the low 90s, but on Sunday, from 150 miles north of Austin we found it a shivery 45 degrees or so for most of the day, and all the way home. A cold front had rolled in overnight. Now that's pretty darn extreme! The TV told us that in Georgia overnight they'd had 4 and a half inch hailstones - even more extreme!

(To enlarge a photo, click on it.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vernal Equinox ~ Japan. (& Music for a Monday Trip.)

Thoughts go to our sisters and brothers in Japan at Vernal Equinox, first day of Spring. Hoping fervently that this will mark a turning point and that the worst is over.

Shunbun no Hi, the Vernal Equinox Day, has been a National Holiday in Japan since 1948.

The week of the Vernal Equinox is known as Haru no Higan (Spring Higan). The word higan means “the other shore", and the festival comes from the Buddhist beliefs that there is a river full of illusions, passions, pain and sorrow, that divides the earthly world from Nirvana. In order to gain the enlightenment, the soul must fight with all these and cross the river. When the night and day are equally divided, at the equinox, Buddha appears on earth to save stray souls and leads them to Nirvana.

On the Shunbun no Hi, the family and friends visit the cemetery wash the tombstones…bring flowers, burn incense, pray for deceased and bring offerings: sake and ohagi (rice balls covered with azuki bean). Shunbun no Hi is also a nature festival and a day of prayers for future crops. (See here.)

The cherry blossom is the national flower of Japan. The Japanese celebrate its annual arrival -- friends will gather under the trees to enjoy sake, sing songs, and celebrate the coming of spring. Traditionally, Japan has offered cherry trees to foreign countries as symbols of peace. Designed by the Rabbit Air creative team, this simple silhouette of a tree was inspired by shadows cast by cherry blossom trees on white sandstone in early spring. (See here.)

Some journal entries of an American teacher, Anne Thomas, living in Sendai are online at Ode Magazine. The entries from 14 March are especially moving, and even uplifting, strange as that might seem. Do take a look.

Blog on hold for a few days. We are going to Austin, Texas, with a stop in Fredericksburg and nearby Luckenbach on the way there, or on the way back . We're going to see my husband's second great-grandchild, as well as his daughter and granddaughter. Husband has a birthday on Tuesday too.

It's Music Monday (almost forgot). Here's Waylon (still sadly missed) singing Luckenbach Texas.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Walk in the Park (No Astro)

We were on dog-walking duty for a few days this week, while relatives were away from home. We took Casey, the Jack Russell, to walk in Memorial Park; I took my camera for a walk too. Within a stroll of a few hundred yards I snapped both the beauty of new spring growth and the ugliness spawned by 20th century growth - and necessity.

Clicking on pics should enlarge them.

Statue of Erle P. Halliburton, founder of the giant oil & gas equipment services corporation we know as Halliburton - the roots of which are in our town. His statue sits in Memorial Park overlooking Highway 81, and "Auto Zone" - very appropriate!

They civilize what's pretty
By puttin' up a city
Where nothin' that's
Pretty can grow....
They civilize left
They civilize right
Till nothing is left
Till nothing is right

~Alan Jay Lerner, "The First Thing You Know," Paint Your Wagon, 1969

A little further along the path, where it ends, is an ugly power station

And more ugly signs of "progress" and technology

Just across the highway, another park houses evidence of how our old friend coal was once put to use to power travel, via the manufacture of steam.

What we call progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance. ~Henry Havelock Ellis

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Uranus/Neptune Conjunction in Charts of American Idol Finalists. Any Indigo Kids in the House?

Wikipedia has published birthdates and birth places for the remaining 11 American Idol contestants. Wiki isn't always 100% accurate on these details, but this week the young singers were asked to perform a song from the year they were born, and each did tell us their birth date in video clips during the show. Yours truly wasn't ready with pen and paper however, but Wiki's details do match my memory of the data.

This season's crop is an unusually talented collection - the judges keep telling us this, but it's quite evident to Idol junkies like me. I'm not sure that it would be ethical to display natal charts of the young people at this stage. Most will be eliminated during the next few weeks anyway. Until the crowd thins out a bit I'll limit myself to a few general notes.

I've set the full list of birth dates below in zodiacal Sun sign order. No remaining contestants have Sun in Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Leo or Sagittarius. So no Fire Suns this time around - a little surprising.

Full list of birth dates:
Jacob Lusk (born June 23, 1987) is from Compton, California. SUN CANCER

Paul McDonald (born August 24, 1984) in Auburn, Alabama. SUN VIRGO

Haley Reinhart (born September 9, 1990) is from Wheeling, Illinois. SUN VIRGO

Pia Toscano (born October 14, 1988) is from Howard Beach, New York. SUN LIBRA

Scotty McCreery (born October 9, 1993) in from Garner, North Carolina. SUN LIBRA

Naima Adedapo (born October 5, 1984 in Maywood, Illinois) is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. SUN LIBRA

Lauren Alaina (born November 8, 1994) is from Rossville, Georgia. SUN SCORPIO

James Durbin (born January 6, 1989) is from Santa Cruz, California. SUN CAPRICORN

Casey Abrams (born February 12, 1991 in Austin, Texas). SUN AQUARIUS

Thia Megia (born January 30, 1995) is from Mountain House, California. SUN AQUARIUS

Stefano Langone (born February 27, 1989) is from Kent, Washington. SUN PISCES

Back row left-right: Casey (in hospital when pic was taken), Pia, James, Paul, Jacob, Scotty. Front row left-right: Haley, Karen (eliminated this week), Stefano, Naima, Thia, Lauren.

Their birth years span 1984 to 1995. Steven Tyler quipped to one of the youngsters when giving his birth date: "I've got spare sandwiches under my bed that are older than that".

Around 1989 to 1996 there was a building conjunction in Capricorn of slow-moving planets Uranus and Neptune. That conjunction, near or exact, is a feature in several of the contestants' charts. A Uranus/Neptune conjunction affects a generation or age group rather than an individual, but when personal planets link in to such conjunctions, the "power" and "flavour" will seep through into the personality.

My favourite go-to for generational thoughts is Horoscope for the New Millennium by E. Alan Meece (see extract HERE.)
In considering the generation with Neptune/Uranus conjunction he writes:

"The committed ones," 1988-1995 (Generation Y-b) (Uranus conjunct Neptune in Capricorn, Pluto in Scorpio) This is a group with outstanding potential. It is a very precocious generation, but won't burn itself out in youth. They are steady, persistent, determined, ambitious and passionate. They have great talent in the arts, politics and organization, and they may be the great leaders who lay down lasting foundations for a new age of civilization. On the other hand, some might consider them too cold, calculating, rigid, worldly or obsessed with their own goals."

A question sprang to mind as I drafted this post: were some of the above young people among so-called Indigo Children? This from astrologer Donna Cunningham:

I’ve been an astrologer for over thirty years, and some time ago I began wondering about an astrological pattern unlike any I had ever seen. Parents were suddenly asking me about the charts of some very unusual children - gifted yet struggling to fit into the system - and these charts were unique. Uranus and Neptune had been conjunct - that is, traveling been together in the sky - for a number of years when these children were born, first in Sagittarius, then in Capricorn, and finally in Aquarius. (The years 1984-1999 were especially significant). These strangely gifted youngsters tended to have Uranus and Neptune highlighted in their charts, perhaps connected with their Sun, Moon, or Rising sign or with several factors at once.

Both Uranus and Neptune are planets that grant out-of-the-ordinary gifts and out-of-the-ordinary difficulties in fitting into the mainstream - standing together they would be at the outer limits of anything already known! Applying traditional astrological interpretations to these children charts seemed both inadequate and needlessly alarming for the parent. I went to a metaphysical bookstore, and The Indigo Children, by Lee Carroll and Jan Tober came home with me. Immediately, the book provided some important answers, for the traits given for indigo children were very similar to the traits of people who have Uranus and Neptune as prominent features of the chart. Uranian types are highly intelligent, inventive, extremely independent, visionary, and follow their own guidance rather than submit unquestioningly to authority. Neptunians are sensitive, dreamy, creative, imaginative, often psychic, and with a strong sense of compassion for the vulnerable. Many indigo children display both sets of traits.

No times of birth are available, making it impossible to see exactly where the Neptune/Uranus conjunction and associated planets lie in the charts. If positioned close to one of the angles (ascendant, midheaven and opposite points) that would add more strength to both conjunction and associated links.

Will a personal link to the conjunction be a help or a hindrance in these American Idol competitive circumstances though? My guess: it will be extremely helpful

The four contestants below (love 'em or hate 'em) have been "stand-outs" from the get-go:

Scotty McCreary has the conjunction exact, both planets at 18 Capricorn, with personal planets Mercury and Venus in sextile and trine aspect to it from Scorpio and Virgo respectively. Unusually deep voice for his age - ideal for singing traditional country music, which he does with a poise far beyond his years.

Casey Abrams has Neptune @ 15 and Uranus @ 12 Capricorn with Mercury semi-sextile at 10 Aquarius and Venus sextile from 18 Pisces. He has been hospitalised twice already since the season's shows began, suffering from ulcerative colitis. He's probably the most original of the whole bunch. I hope health issues don't spoil his chances.

James Durbin has an interesting planetary cluster around his 16 degree Capricorn Sun: Neptune 10, Saturn 6, Uranus 2 degrees Capricorn, flanked by Venus @ 25 Sagittarius and Mercury @ 5 Aquarius. James has Tourette's and Asperger's syndrome, by the way. He's the would-be rocker of the bunch, and good enough for Steven Tyler to have told him that he's showing "an inner vein of crazy" - so necessary to be a true rock musician.

Lauren Alaina has Neptune/Uranus at 20 Capricorn with Sun and Jupiter sextile from Scorpio; there's also a possible Moon link to the conjunction, but without time of birth, I cannot be sure. She's talented, very young - though her looks belie this. Precocious too.