Saturday, March 31, 2012

ET CETERA......other thoughts I've thunk this week (a bit of astrology, Obama, Mad Men, L' Aguilera)

Caveat emptor

Could there be a better illustration of what I've thought and written, in this blog and elsewhere in comment form, during the last few years: that President Obama is drenched in Neptune's illusion? On the book's jacket: "Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion".

This book has not yet hit the stores, but at Amazon, a book description:
“Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank have skillfully smoked out the real Barack Obama . . . the technofascist military strategist disguised as a Nobel Peace Laureate, but owned, operated, and controlled by Wall Street, Corporate America, and the Pentagon.”—Thomas H. Naylor, co-author of Affluenza, Downsizing the USA
Classic Neptune, and it's there - in his natal chart! See any of several articles by professional astrologers, a good one, from 2008, is at Astrobarry:
Who is He? Obama's Sun-Neptune Square

a posteriori

Many words have been written this week about Mad Men's return to the TV screen; I even wrote a few myself, last weekend.

I've read half a dozen or so articles, written from several different slants - each writer trying to find a slant not yet tried. My conclusion: Mad Men is being seriously over-thought! Heck! It's a glorified soap opera not a documentary history of the 1960s! If there's a communal ability to over think matters, let more of the same people start overthinking the current political situation in the USA for goodness sake!

Something to keep in mind, too about Mad Men: it is written for viewers with 21st century sensibilities by someone who was not around the advertising world in the period he's writing about. A few who were, say the portrayal is reasonably accurate, while others beg to differ. I've been mentally comparing Mad Men with fiction such as The Forsyte Saga. Now that was by an author (John Galsworthy) who was alive, and in the know about the exact state of things, in the period about which he wrote so engagingly.

In spite of the over-thinking and over-analysing that sometimes happens regarding a popular show, TV series remain one of the few areas (sport may be another) where people in the USA can hold reasonably friendly conversations on a topic - "around the water-cooler" is the way they put it, I think. The USA is so vast, TV channels are so many, such widely popular topics do not come along very often in this country. In the UK, a country only the size of an American state, such as Wisconsin, with less choice of viewing material for most people, topics of common interest were easier to come by. Almost anyone could and would share views on Coronation Street, Eastenders and any number of mini-series and weekly shows. I used to find this phenomenon endearing, this easily shared interest and chat, even when the relevant topic wasn't always my favourite cup of tea.

Mad Men is one of few US TV shows with that rather sweet "communal" ingredient. Intellectuals can intellectualise and analyse it, while the average viewer, slumped on the sofa, drink in hand, will take it at face value as soap-opera-like fiction, a piece set in an era long gone with love, sex, betrayal, success and failure coming in equal measure. Everyone's happy!

Ad absurdum

If you've got 'em, flaunt 'em ? I don't have enough of 'em to flaunt, so can't possibly know what I'd do if I did. It does seem, though, that gals who have 'em are flaunting more of 'em more often these days. On the red carpet, at awards shows, I guess it's to be expected. Showing-off is part of that game; one "celeb" aims to out-boob another.

But context is everything, in some contexts less really is more. In TV's The Voice, for instance. The one female judge/mentor, Christina Aguilera, tends to let 'em have more air than is entirely necessary in the circumstances. The camera regularly moves in close and we get an uncomfortably full view, when she leans forward, of something we really don't need. The show is not about Ms Aguilera, it's about the hopeful singers competing for a chance to get where she is, professionally. It'd be courteous for the judge to cover up a wee bit, and allow all attention to go where the show purports to focus.
A look at her natal chart (Astrodatabank)revealed something I should have suspected: Sun, Mercury, Venus and Neptune all in Sagittarius - the sign known for exaggeration - "over-doing things".

Friday, March 30, 2012

Arty Farty Friday ~ VINCENT

Vincent van Gogh was born this day, 30 March, in 1853.

When I look at paintings by van Gogh the first thing I feel is energy, both from the colours he used and from his style of brush stroke. This is not one of your namby-pamby, delicate painters. He doesn't always paint in purely representative fashion, yet we know exactly what it is he is portraying, we don't need to interpret. The style of his later paintings (The Starry Night, as below, for example) came to be known as Expressionism: using exaggeration and distortion for emotional effect. What we get also, from van Gogh, is an almost throbbing energy.

"Vincent van Gogh, for whom color was the chief symbol of expression, was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland. The son of a pastor, brought up in a religious and cultured atmosphere, Vincent was highly emotional and lacked self-confidence. Between 1860 and 1880, when he finally decided to become an artist, van Gogh had had two unsuitable and unhappy romances and had worked unsuccessfully as a clerk in a bookstore, an art salesman, and a preacher in the Borinage (a dreary mining district in Belgium), where he was dismissed for overzealousness. He remained in Belgium to study art, determined to give happiness by creating beauty."
Astrotheme and Astrodatabank both give his time of birth
as 11 AM (Astrodatabank gives the time an AA rating, so it must be reliable).

The energetic thrust of his chart comes from Aries, Taurus and Sagittarius. All dynamic signs, Aries with a touch of aggression, Taurus adding a stubborn, if artistic side. Moon and Jupiter in Sagittarius shed a feeling of exaggeration overall. Here is the pulsing energy which can be felt from his paintings. There's significant input, too, from sensitive, emotional and intuitive Pisces and Cancer, endowing this artist with two distinct faces. A difficult combination to harness I would imagine! The quote above mentions his lack of self confidence, giving weight to the 11 AM time of birth - a sensitive Cancer ascendant can link to lack of confidence - I know this from bitter experience.

Van Gogh had no planets in Air signs to help lighten the hard-to-handle combinations in his nativity and nature.

A well-known biographical movie on van Gogh, Lust for Life, had Kirk Douglas in the leading role. Douglas's natal chart contains a couple of strange coincidences
Douglas - natal Mercury at 25 Sagittarius
Van Gogh - natal Jupiter 24 Sagittarius.

Douglas - natal Jupiter 25 Aries
Van Gogh - natal Mercury 25 Aries.

Mercury and Jupiter in trine, in similar degrees of Fire signs in both cases. Jupiter and Sagittarius connect very well to the exaggeration of Expressionist painting !

Casting the lead role of Van Gogh was easy. Kirk Douglas, who by then has become Minnelli's favorite Hollywood actor, was ideal to play Van Gogh in both physique and temperament. As Minnelli recalls, "Once we got the green light to proceed with the picture, there was no question if Kirk would play Van Gogh. No other actor was even considered for the part." (SEE HERE)

The Starry Night

The Sower

Country Road in Provence by Night

Evening Landscape

Café Terrace at Night


And 2 of Van Gogh's many lovely sketches:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Supreme Court's Debate on Health Care/Health Insurance

Topic of the week around political blogland is the Supreme Court's current debate on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the "landmark" healthcare reform bill signed by President Obama a couple of years back.

Comment on this issue is really "beyond my pay grade" (nada). Attempting interpretation of astrology relating to this debate would become tangled up in too much fog, variables and complexity to be useful. The only time I've ventured into anything connected with the Supreme Court was in noting that Chief Justice John Roberts shares my birthday, 27 January (but not birth year). When mentioning this in a post several years ago, while still very wet behind the ears as far as US politics and the finer points of applied astrology were concerned, I wrote:
US Chief Justice John Roberts has Sun and Mercury in Aquarius, with Aquarius' modern ruler Uranus conjunct Jupiter in Cancer. Jupiter is traditionally connected with law, and government. Incidentally, with his natal Moon almost certainly in Pisces, Sun in humanitarian Aquarius, and that conjunction in sensitive Cancer , I'd say Chief Justice Roberts is a compassionate man, it's good to see such a person occupying that lofty position.(27 Jan. 1955, Buffalo, New York)
Since then I've come to the conclusion that my Pollyanna-ish view of Chief Justice Roberts and the impact his astrology were mistaken. If he is indeed compassionate and sensitive he reserves these traits for his intimate relationships. Compassion for, and sensitivity to the needy masses doesn't seem to enter much into his professional decisions.

Surfing the net for related astrological insights, I stumbled upon a non-astrological blog: His Vorpal Sword written by Hart Williams. Hard to resist a blog title taken from Jabberwocky, one of my favourite poems by Lewis Carroll:
.....He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.....
Mr Williams' post dated 26 March is titled Athena and the Jurists and opens like this:
Any astrologer worth her salt would tell you that there is not a lot of good that you can expect from a grand Supreme Court argument over the future of health care, held on a day when Mercury is retrograde, Saturn is retrograde, and Mars is retrograde. And, since, like global warming, astrology is easily refuted, except by observation, allow me to make this observation on the madness of the zeitgeist.
That's the only mention of astrology in the complex and interesting post. I was very glad to find this unusual non-astrological writer who doesn't immediately disparage astrology. Thank you Mr. Williams! That was rather a good astrological point he made too.

My experience of US health care isn't wide enough to write about the current issue with any grain of credibility. I've lived here only since 2004. All I know for sure is that the National Health Service of the UK, flaws and all, beats the current US system, or the system that would come to pass if the Supreme Court upholds The Affordable Care Act, hands down.

This quote from a debate about the debate, hosted by Amy Goodman, reported at Truthout outlines what I think needs to be said:
DR. STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER: Well, the insurance industry wrote the framework for Romneycare in the form of Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation in Massachusetts that wrote the original framework. When it came time for Obamacare, the Senate framework, which became the backbone of the law, was written by none other than Elizabeth Fowler, whose previous job had been vice president of WellPoint, the nation’s largest private insurance company. The insurance industry spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying on this bill. They gave hundreds of millions to the Democrats and hundreds of millions to the Republicans, both supporting and opposing the bill, but assuring that voices from the left who supported real universal healthcare, real single payer, were shut out.

The only way those voices ultimately got heard was because people showed up in front of the White House in white coats and demonstrated. Doctors and nurses got arrested in Senate hearings. We forced the issue of single payer back onto the agenda against the wishes of the private health insurance industry. And that’s what needs to happen if we’re ever going to get to a real universal system that’s affordable, that gets rid of the private health insurance industry, and recaptures that $380 billion in excess paperwork costs and uses it to cover everyone.

I found this this morning - Will Fudeman sings Charlie King's parody of John Lennon's well-known Imagine- advocating for universal single payer health care in the United States. I'm absolutely certain that John Lennon would approve and would have added his voice to this. Oh my - if only he could!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

US Astrologer Zolar and British Writer Richard Garnett (aka A.G. Trent)

The History of Astrology by Zolar - a used book (published 1972)I bought last weekend had me curious about the author. This was the first time I'd come across 20th century astrologer Zolar. There's scant information about him online, most of it is contained in a piece by Christina C. Santos at Metamorphosis: Zolar The Men Behind the Crown.

Ms Santos indicates that, over time, there were actually two men behind the name Zolar (the pseudonym = combination of zodiac and solar). Bruce King was the original Zolar, Robert Donald Papon took over the name after King's death in 1976. Ms Santos has detail on Papon in her article.

Apart from the information at Metamorphosis, and Astrotheme between them tell that the original Zolar, Bruce King was born in Chicago on 22 July 1897 at 5.55 AM. He was
A modern tycoon of astrology who used the pseudonym Zolar. Born in Chicago, King became an actor, stockbroker, and eventually part owner of a radio station in Los Angeles. The station had an astrologer named Kobar as general manager, and King was impressed with his financial success. In the same week that Kobar left the station to go to Hollywood, another astrologer demonstrated a dime-in-the-slot horoscope machine to King. The two men went into partnership in the Astrolograph Company, putting the machines in movie theaters.

King later conceived the idea of making horoscopes for chain stores and established a highly successful business. It was then that he took the pseudonym Zolar, derived from the word zodiac with echoes of "Kobar." He later sold approximately 100 million horoscopes and published a variety of popular books on astrology and occultism.
King died January 16, 1976.
Zolar's natal Sun was in the last degree, and last few minutes of Cancer, with Mercury in Leo, and Leo rising; Moon in Taurus. Venus/Neptune/Pluto in Gemini. He matched what I suspect is a classic astrologer's mix: Water for intuition and sensitivity (Cancer); Air for mental acuity (Gemini) and (possibly optional) Fire for dynamism, to ensure he/she is noticed (Leo).

Photograph, right, is from the book's jacket. The author's style, in this work, is a little dry for my own taste, not exactly "a good read", but the book does contain lots of useful information. In his preface the author begins: The objective of this volume is to summarize briefly the historical vicissitudes of astrology - which he does, and in some detail.

Towards the end of the book Zolar mentions one Richard Garnett (1835-1906) an English librarian and man of letters, eminent for his work for the British Museum library, born February 27 1835, his pseudonym was A.G. Trent.

Since he (Garnett) was interested in astrology, he delved considerably into the tremendous stores of astrological books at the Museum and gave out a great number of old charts. He contributed in 1884 to the University Magazine and in 1894 some of his material was collected into a book called The Soul and the Stars. In this book Dr. Garnett stated that the people still need to be taught to regard astrology as a definitely empirical science, because the public has been told for so many years to regard the astrologer as a kind of wizard. He thought the best way to offset this wrong opinion that there was something occult about astrology was to compile statistical data. He himself proceeded to show how he compiled some of this material concerning the planet Mercury and its relationship both to mental ability and to mental instability. In spite of his very sound advice, no statistical group of any consequence was formed in England during his lifetime.
Richard Garnett sounds to have been a man after my own heart! His book is now on my list of stuff "to buy".

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lots of Lub.....

We spent the weekend in Lubbock, Texas, my husband's birthday was the excuse - if we needed one!

Lubbock is a biggish city (pop. around 230,000) in the north western part of the state, known - by those who know - as the Llano Estacado. Buddy Holly and Mac Davis are a couple of Lubbock's famous sons - each has a road or avenue named after him. Lubbock houses three universities incuding the huge Texas Tech University. The city's nickname, Hub City, stems from the fact that it's the economic, education, and health care hub of a multi-county region, the South Plains, and largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the world. "

"Gem of the South Plains
" is how Lubbock is described in the visitors' blurb. Now, "gem" is rather over-stating it! I think Mac Davis's song, "Oh Lord it's hard to be humble...." has been taken to heart by the department putting out visitors' information leaflets.

Another example of "hard to be humble": on a local Tex-Mex cafe a signboard proclaimed "come and try our world famous burritos" - when translated from Mac Davis speak = "come try our burritos, people around here seem to like 'em".

Lubbock, even with around 230,000 inhabitants is like an overgrown small to medium sized town, it doesn't feel at all metropolitan. The people of Lubbock are super-friendly (no Mac Davis speak there!) They are even friendlier than in our S.W. Oklahoma hometown - where they are pretty friendly. Whenever one passes someone in a street, store, parking lot in Lubbock, there's an exchange of smiles, greetings, sometimes a wee wisecrack....even to us, total strangers. This is the sunny side of Texas. We won't talk about the shadow side today....

John Steinbeck on Texas:
"I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study and the passionate possession of all Texans."
-John Steinbeck, 1962.

The weekend's weather was on our side. We left home Thursday, in heavy rain, temperatures struggling to reach 50 degrees (Fahrenheit.) Rain followed us for 100 miles or so, until we were around halfway to Lubbock, when the skies cleared. Friday and Saturday we had clear blue skies all day, temperatures reached the mid-80s, remained so as we drove home on Sunday.

Photographs from my husband's pocket camera :

We saw this large, solid concrete, very heavy zodiac sculpture for sale in the outdoor area of an antiques mall. If we'd had the space in the car, and arms strong enough to lift it, it might have come home with us - not sure where I'd have put it though.

One astro item I did find and bring home, from a used book section of an antiques store. More on this tomorrow.

In an antiques mall where husband searched for more vintage photgraphs for his collection, this gorgeous old juke box with 78 rpm records. Price $14,500 !!!

And a Buddy Holly LP going for a song - $250

Buddy Holly, like Mac Davis, was born and raised in Lubbock. The Buddy Holly statue was down for cleaning and repair so a pic from Texas :

And a little something that nearly put me off my breakfast in a down-home cafe across the highway from our motel:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Music Monday ~ First Decan Aries ~ The Divas?

First decan Aries Sun people (born during the first ten days of the sign, roughly those born in March) unless weakened by a strong conflicting Moon or cluster of planets elewhere, are likely to display the most Aries attributes of the sign. This effect can be seen in a group of music stars whose birthdays fall around now.

In no particular order:

Lady Gaga 28 March

Aretha Franklin 25 March

Mariah Carey 27 March

Reba McEntire 28 March

Diana Ross 26 March ~ Happy birthday to her!

Elton John 25 March

Celine Dion 30 March

Eric Clapton 30 March

Steven Tyler 26 March ~ Happy birthday to him!

Sarah "Sassy" Vaughn 27 March

How many of those have been labelled "diva" because of their rather demanding natures, their drive and ambition? Quite a few - and it seems to manifest most noticeably in the females, probably because females in general, accurate or not, are considered to be less "pushy", so we notice when they display this tendency.

Because it's their birthday today, one performance by Ms Ross and one by Mr. Tyler:

Steven Tyler singing Beatles for a change, at the Kennedy Center:

PS: there are some posts on Steven Tyler and his astrology in the archives - access them by clicking on his name in the Label Cloud in the sidebar, at right.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

MAD MEN returns

Mad Men is back! Season 5 opens this weekend on AMC channel with a 2 hour episode, Sunday. We haven't decided whether to watch it on TV or wait for the commercial-free DVD set. As mentioned in early January we caught up with Seasons 1 to 4 via a DVDs, and found ourselves well and truly hooked on this saga of the 1960s advertising world in the USA.

John Hamm plays the lead advertising executive, Don Draper, a character with something he'd rather forget in his past - something he was eventually forced to admit and to come to terms with over the course of the first four seasons of the series.

The series was created and written by Matthew Weiner who wasn't even born in 1960 - his birth data: 29 June 1965, in Baltimore Maryland. He's not writing from personal experience then, so while the series is entertaining, one has to suspect there's a fair amount of stereotyping and cliché involved. Interestingly Matthew Weiner has natal Sun in Cancer, John Hamm, his leading actor has Sun in Pisces....both Water signs, they probably get along well.

From Wikipedia
(Hamm) went through numerous auditions, and explained each time to the casting directors what he could bring to the character, if given the part. Alan Taylor and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner thought that Hamm was too handsome for the role, but decided that "it was perfect to cast sort of the perfect male in this part"; Weiner also sensed that the actor had not been raised by his parents, similar to Draper's backstory.
Cancerian intuition and sensitivity in action?

The female character I've enjoyed most so far is Joan, the office manager and red-head sex-pot played superbly by Christina Hendricks, natal Sun in Venus-ruled Earthy Taurus - just the right base-line for playing a sex-pot? Moon in Aquarius - possibly the reason she has appealed to me - or to my own Aquarius Sun.

Apart from Don Draper (John Hamm), I've found the female characters of the cast more engaging than the the males, which is unusual for me I might add! Two other female characters have prominent roles to play:

Peggy Olsen (far right), the new girl secretary of season 1, whose imagination and determination set her climbing the corporate ladder rather quickly - she's played by Elisabeth Moss (Sun in Leo). And Don Draper's wife Betty a Grace Kelly look-alike, down to earth in some ways but spoiled rotten. I began by thinking she was the only sane and decent one out of the lot in season 1, but had changed my mind by season 4. Betty is well- played by January Jones (Sun in Capricorn).

We left season 4 in October 1965, whether it'll pick up at exactly the same point isn't clear. I read that the producer intends to screen 7 seasons in all, and by the end of the 7th season will have brought the story right up-to-date. (I hope they'll have first-class make-up artists in the wings for that!)

The only clues available so far, as to how the new season will unfold, stem mainly from something in a promotional photograph for season 5: an issue of Life magazine dated March 1954, Rita Moreno on its cover, is in clear view on a table. Avid fans have commented on possibilities for this seeming anachronism. Will there be a long flash-back in the opening 2-hour episode? Or, is the magazine simply a red herring for fans to pick up? It could easily have been used in a scene - for ad research or new/old ideas. Or is there an article in the mag. relating to something or someone in Mad Men's cast of characters? Best comment I've seen on this issue:
Gee, you people have never been to my Doctor's office. He still has magazines from the 1970s in his waiting room. Come to think of it, some of his patients have been waiting there that long.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Arty Farty Friday ~ My Hero, William Morris

Tomorrow would have been the birthday of a longtime hero of mine, artist and designer William Morris.

William Morris was a pioneer of socialism and ecological thinking in 19th century Britain, as well as being a multi-talented artist, member of the Pre-Rafaelite Brotherhood, and Arts and Crafts artistic movement, a poet, novelist, translator, embroiderer, calligrapher, engraver, gardener, decorator, dyer, weaver, and architectural preservationist. He designed furniture, printed and woven textiles, stained glass, tiles, carpets, tapestry, murals, wallpaper, books and type. He believed that art should be affordable and available to all and that every craftsman was an artist - he eschewed any form of elitism.

"My hero" on all counts. Before looking at his natal chart I half- suspected Aquarius would be somehow prominent.

William Morris was born 24 March 1834 in Walthamstow, Essex, England. Astrodatabank ives 1:00 am as his birth time, but with a "C" rating only = not always reliable.

An Aries stellium (tight cluster of planets): Sun, Venus, Mercury and Pluto in the energetic sign of the initiator. And I was right about Aquarius: Neptune, Mars and Uranus in Aquarius, Mars (ruler of Aries) and Uranus (ruler of Aquarius) conjoined. Mars energy links to his leaning towards the new and unusual, Uranus, unsullied in its own sign, Aquarius links to his socialism and humanitarian sensibilities. Jupiter in Taurus and Saturn in Libra are in exact quincunx (150*) a rather uncomfortable aspect. Saturn represents work and discipline, Jupiter is excess and expansion, these two planets in quincunx = a tendency to overwork and overstretch oneself. Additionally, Saturn is in opposition to Morris's Aries stellium, adding further to his obsessive work ethic.

Moon could well have been in Virgo, it's not possible to be sure without a time of birth, but Virgo does match that tendency of his to overwork. In his own words he confirmed this: "Give me love and work - these two only."

So, William Morris was a dynamo, physically and mentally.

"When William Morris (1834-1896) died at the age of sixty-two, his physician declared that the cause was "simply being William Morris, and having done more work than most ten men." This multi-faceted man was at one time or another (and sometimes simultaneously) a designer and manufacturer of furniture, stained glass, tapestries, wallpaper and chintzes; an accomplished weaver; a pioneering preservationist; an active Socialist and social reformer; a successful poet and novelist; and in his last years, the founder of the Kelmscott Press. Yet all of these activities were of a piece, unified by several threads in the tapestry of Morris's life.
One continuity, dating from early childhood, was his love of nature, evidence of which may be found in the fond natural descriptions of his letters and poetry, the patterns of his tapestries, and the vining borders of the Kelmscott book. There was also his passionate devotion to the Middle Ages and to everything they represented; romantic Medievalism informs Morris's literary output, as well as his arts and crafts work and the books from his Kelmscott Press.
A third thread was his belief that it is impossible to separate esthetic issues from social and political ones. Morris often contrasted the social organization of the Middle Ages with the present condition of England, which led him to advocate a complete reform of industrial society. At first, he advocated an overhaul of the flawed esthetics of the age and later, realizing that such reform alone was insufficient, a thoroughgoing political revolution."

"News from Nowhere", Morris’s famous Socialist novel, is a Utopian fantasy that tells the story of a man who awakes the morning after a Socialist League meeting in a Socialist paradise, where people are free and equal and poverty has been abolished. At the book’s end, the man returns to his own time, but is inspired to bring about what he has dreamed.

Wisdom from William Morris, equally valid today, long after these words were spoken or written :
I hope that we shall have leisure from war, -- war commercial, as well as war of the bullet and the bayonet; leisure from the knowledge that darkens counsel; leisure above all from the greed of money, and the craving for that overwhelming distinction that money now brings: I believe that, as we have even now partly achieved liberty , so we shall achieve equality , and best of all, fraternity , and so have leisure from poverty and all its griping, sordid cares.

History has remembered the kings and warriors, because they destroyed; art has remembered the people, because they created.

I do not want art for a few any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few.

I pondered all these things, and how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name.

If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

No man is good enough to be another's master.

A few of his designs, there are dozens more at Google Image - all gorgeous:

La Belle Iseult by William Morris

A William Morris sofa:

World Beyond the Wood (fantasy novel by William Morris)

See also
William Morris : The Soul of Arts and CraftsBeing a brief account of his life and values and the beginnings of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Aries & Astrologers

Four well-known astrologers with natal Sun in Aries, from Wikipedia's list:

Linda Goodman born 9 April 1925 American astrologer best-known for her book Linda Goodman's Sun Signs (1968), first astrology book ever to earn a spot on the New York Times Bestseller List. There's an Aries signature - "first": Aries the initiator! It was a must read for any fans of astrology. Mine went missing after lending it to countless workmates. I put the book's success down to 80% entertaining writing style, 20% astrological assistance, because as we all know (don't we?) Sun signs are but the tip of the iceberg that is astrology. All credit to Linda Goodman, though, for getting so many people interested.
Natal chart at Astrodatabank Her Moon was in Libra, Mars in Gemini, adding that seemingly essential Airy input which aids the mentally-oriented understanding needed to "pierce the shell" of astrology.

Joan Quigley, born 10 April 1927 Was the American astrologer who was called on by First Lady Nancy Reagan in 1981 to advise the president on astrological matters, after an assassination attempt. She remained as White House astrologer in secret until 1988 when she was "outed" by a former chief of staff. Here's another "first" - perhaps not the first astrologer in history to advise a president, but the first to be known about by The People.
Natal Chart at Astrodatabank Mercury/Jupiter conjoined in Pisces, on the descendant angle aids intuition.

Dane Rudhyar, born 23 March 1895, French/American pioneer of modern transpersonal astrology - another "first" - a classic pioneering Sun in Aries.
Natal chart at Astrodatabank
Mercury in Pisces, Moon in Aquarius. Mars/Neptune/Pluto in Gemini. With those additional Airy attributes from Aquarius & Gemini, and communications planet in intuitive Pisces, Mr Rudhyar had best of all astrological worlds!

Maurice Woodruff, born 2 April 1916 was an English astrologer and clairvoyant. He was known for his accurate predictions, delivered via TV and newspapers. He predicted the death of President John F. Kennedy and the end of the Vietnam War. His list of "celebrity" clients was said to include Lionel Bart, Diana Dors and Peter Sellers.

There's no entry for Mr. Woodruff at Astrodatabank - here's a 12noon chart for him:

He was possibly the most emphatically Aries-type of the four! And there was even more Fire there with Mars in show-bizzy Leo in harmonious trine to the Aries planets.
Neptune, Saturn and Pluto in sensitive Cancer, one of the Water signs, likely source of his alleged psychic abilities.

Three of the four astrologers are no longer with us - I'm not sure about Joan Quigley, she'll be 85 this year; there's no note of her death online.

Aries, in general, represents all that's bright, fresh, energetic, warm, enthusiastic and full of potential. That's the essence of Aries. The essence can get pretty mashed up and diluted though, when it becomes a part of that peculiar life-form known as a human being.

There is no such creature as "an Aries". It's convenient shorthand, I use it myself. I should stop doing so!

The beauty and individuality of Aries, and of any other zodiac sign, is in the way it blends with the rest of the chart's contents. How does a hint of impulsiveness, a little impatience, a yen for leadership, or a habit of walking and doing most things quickly and with enthusiasm, mix with and match other chart ingredients?

If Sun, Moon and rising sign were all grouped in Aries, there'd be an outside chance of encountering a near-stereotype - but even then, a stray Mercury in Taurus would slow it down. Venus in Pisces would soften it. All manner of combinations could get to work on the Aries essence to modify it. The result: something unique.