Monday, August 31, 2015

Music Monday ~ Hugo Montenegro - "The Quadfather"

Hugo Montegro, described (HERE) as "One of the great chameleons of space-age pop, Montenegro could be wild, innovative, swinging, sedate, tame, or mundane, depending on what the contract called for. ......"

He was born on 2 September 1925, in New York City; died in early 1981.

Most will know Montenegro best from his 1968 recording of Ennio Morricone's theme from the classical Sergio Leone spaghetti Western, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, featuring whistling by Muzzy Marcellino. It was an international hit.

He rose to recognition through his work as a film and television composer and introduced the use of synthesizers to movie and television soundtracks. In the early 1970s Montenegro became known in some circles as "The Quadfather", due to his pioneering work in quadrasonic recording. He began to do research into psychoacoustics. He had realized the potential of quadrasonic sound, and believed he could use the technique to create a complete circle of sound, motion in every direction, as well as a feeling of spaciousness. Having discovered the tricks and techniques to composing music for quadrasonic sound he produced the first ever four-channel pop album, Love Theme from the Godfather, hence his nickname "The Quadfather."
Source:See HERE

I'll not dive into his natal chart too far - but will just note a sextile chain linking
Jupiter to Saturn to Sun/Mars to Pluto. I'm not sure what such chains indicate, other than some kind of natural coordination in the native. Perhaps in Montenegro's case, an inbuilt sense of rhythm?

If only Uranus (new ideas) and Jupiter (expansion) were a little closer - close enough to be in sextile, there'd be a nice Yod with its apex at Neptune/Mercury (imagination, creativity, communication). Maybe Moon forms a sextile with Jupiter instead though - not as good but it'd still produce a nice Yod. Without time of birth this remains unknown.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Venus Retrograde in Retrospect

Flicking through my archives, looking back for a spot of inspiration I came across three posts written in August/September of 2007, during a Venus retrograde period (these occur once every 18 months or so). Back in August 2007 I was complaining about delays in getting my US Citizenship application in motion. Delays had, it seemed, occurred due to a huge backlog of applications brought about by an imminent fee hike. The authorities had taken many weeks to even cash my cheque for the fee involved. Anyway, three of my posts at that time focused on this frustration linking it to Venus retrograde. I was especially wishing to achieve US Citizenship in time to vote in the 2008 General Election.

I remind myself that we are, right now, nearing the end of another period of Venus retrograde - and I am, once again feeling frustrated by lack of news, this time about something quite different, but still involving laws and lawyers!

This is what I wrote on 11 August 2007:
I'm trying to follow the advice of astrologers (Jonathan Cainer, for instance) to look back to between late July and early September 1999, when Venus was in retrograde motion in the same part of the zodiac as now, between the latter part of Leo and early Virgo.

Jonathan says:

"Think about the dramas that were being played out in your life, in the lives of those around you, and on the world stage. Now look carefully at what's going on. The details may be different, but in the sentiment and spirit of many a situation, there is an uncanny echo."

That is not as easy as it sounds - not for me, anyway. Life has changed so much, both personally, in the USA, and in the world. If, as astrology teaches, the patterns of life are cyclic, like the movement of the planets ("as above, so below") I'd best steel myself and do as I'm told!

1999 was another lifetime. Before 9/11, before I owned a computer, before my late partner's health slipped into its last slow decline, and of course, before I left the UK. I could, with the benefit of hindsight, see 1999 as the run-up to a gateway, which led to a dark tunnel, through which it became essential to travel before being able to re-emerge into the light. In a way it was the same for the USA, it was just prior to the 2000 election. That election led into years of murkiness, 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, etc. from which the country still hasn't emerged.

It's not that any of those difficulties can be blamed solely, or at all, on poor old Venus retrograde - that would be silly. But I'm trying to see a parallel between what I experienced personally between then and now, and what this country (USA) has experienced. We've both moved on so far since 1999, that I can't begin to envision what, if anything, the current retrograde period might mean as part of a cyclic pattern. I only sincerely hope that it will not in the same league as the cycle which followed 1999! If I'm still around in 8 years' time, when Venus reaches the same point again, - I'll let y'all know how it went.

Hey! Eight years have passed and I'm still around! Yay!!!

My frustrations came to an end, my citizenship application got underway and I did become a US citizen a year later, in August of 2008, and in time to vote in 2008's election.

Snips from the other two related posts of summer 2007:
On 26 August 2007:
One of my current irritations: I posted my application for US citizenship to the appropriate service centre on Thursday 26 July, the day before the current retro period period began. My packet, containing a cheque for $400 and all required enclosures was signed for at USCIS (Texas) on Monday 30 July. To date my cheque has not been cashed. I did expect a longer wait than normal for acknowledgement, due to possible flood of applications trying to avoid July 30's hefty fee increase. I didn't expect such a long wait before someone even got around to opening my packet! My wait for citizenship is looking likely to stretch well into next year, and perhaps even beyond that.

Thanks a bunch Venus retrograde! I wonder if the coming lunar eclipse might help to shake things up - it's going to occur almost opposite my 6 Pisces natal Jupiter.

Looking back to a previous Venus retrograde time, between mid-May and August 2004 - I find, to my surprise, that I was in a comparable situation then ! I'd just mailed my application for a US immigration visa based on my recent marriage to HeWhoKnows. We were both back in England, and feeling anxious that things would get underway quickly so that I could sell my house, pack up and head west. I'm not quite as as anxious about things this time around, but it'd be nice to get my fingerprinting behind me soon, so's we can plan a short trip. Oh - and I really would like to be able to vote in 2008 - it's looking more and more unlikely as weeks go by.

And on 20 September 2007

I'm needing to curb my impatience currently. To date the cheque which accompanied my application for US citizenship, sent to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service on 26 July, almost 8 weeks ago, has still not been cashed. USCIS has issued notices on-line indicating that they have what they call a "front-log" of cases. In normal circumstances cheques are cashed and applications get underway within a week to 10 days of receipt. We've now been told that it's taking up to 90 days to issue receipts due to this front-log.

It'll be interesting to see whether things start to move around the time when Venus reaches 2* Virgo again, the point at which the recent retrograde started, but I shall not hold my breath - even that is far too optimistic an expectation as things are turning out. I must also bear in mind that Mercury will turn retrograde on 12 October, almost dovetailing Venus. Nice! Citizenship in time for the 2008 presidential election is looking ever more unlikely. I'm beginning to wonder why I bothered to apply in the first place. Grumble....grumble.

While my own historical experiences are - well, just my own, I thought, in the interests of astrological research, it could be useful to gather these posts here.

I've now skidded around the net looking for interesting articles on Venus Retrograde in general. These are some good ones:

Venus Retrograde for 2015 by Lynn Koiner.

Venus Retrograde 2015: An Archetypal Journey in Relationship
By Henry Seltzer for Astrograph Astrology.

Venus Retrograde + 8 Year Cycles by Kelly Surtees

Chuckling about a warning, in one of the above, about buying a car during Venus retrograde. We did! It wasn't a new car though and, after a bit of hard haggling, it became a bargain...and that's good for Venus retrograde, so they say. I didn't know that at the time though!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Arty Farty Friday ~ Alexandre Hogue, Artist and Ecologist.

 Howdy Neighbour (1936)
Alexandre Hogue. Who was he? I didn't know. I do now.

Born on 22 February 1898 in Memphis, Missouri, moved with parents to Texas at a young age. A He was, by style, a realist and regionalist painter associated with the "Dallas Nine"; he also taught art in the region. The majority of his works focus on Southwestern and Midwestern landscapes during the time of the Dust Bowl.
From the Wikipedia link above:
Hogue’s mother had a huge influence on his work; she taught him about “Mother Earth,” which became a key concept to most of his paintings, specifically Mother Earth Laid Bare in 1938. Hogue connected the human body to the natural world, recalling his mother’s words that “...conjured up visions of a great female figure under the ground everywhere- so I would tread easy on the ground." In addition, the effects that the Dust Bowl had on the land that Hogue had grown to love had a profound effect on his works

 Erosion #2 - Mother Earth Laid Bare (1935 /1938)

The Modern West: American Landscapes, 1890-1950
By Emily Ballew Neff

Interesting video - just 2 mins and 44 secs.

A few of his paintings (more can be seen via Google Image).

 Drought Stricken Area (1934)

 Red Earth Canyon

 The Crucified Land

 Oil in the Sandhills

From NCBI, here.
Hogue described his work as “psycho-reality,” involving “mind reactions to real situations, not dreams or subconscious.” He converted his thoughts into abstract visual terms, which were stronger than nature itself. In his work Drouth Stricken Area, “The windmill and the drink tub are taken from life,” he wrote. “I worked on that windmill. In fact I was knocked off it by lightning. It was the windmill that was on my sister and brother-in-law’s place―the Bishop Ranch near Dalhart, Texas. The house was strictly my own. I just depicted it so it would be typical of the time…. The placing of a top of a shed coming in front of the tank is strictly a matter of composition. The whole thing is just visually built.”

“Some may feel that in these paintings… I may have chosen an unpleasant subject, but after all the drouth is most unpleasant. To record its beautiful moments without its tragedy would be false indeed. At one and the same time the drouth is beautiful in its effects and terrifying in its results. The former shows peace on the surface but the latter reveals tragedy underneath. Tragedy as I have used it is simply visual psychology, which is beautiful in a terrifying way.”

“I don’t like to be called a ‘regionalist’ or ‘American scene painter,’ or, as Life magazine called me, ‘painter of the Dust Bowl,” proclaimed Hogue even as he urged farmers to cooperate with federal soil conservation efforts. “My paintings are as much a statement of what may happen as what has happened―a warning of impending danger in terms of present conditions...."


No time of birth known, chart set for 12 noon.

Most surprising factor about Hogue's natal chart: no planet in an Earth sign. Perhaps he had an Earth sign rising - if we only knew his time of birth!

He does have a very nice Grand Trine in Air, sharpening his intellectual understanding of environmental matters, and related issues. The Grand Trine can take in Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune.

Sun conjunct Venus (planet of the arts) in Pisces speaks of highly sensitive emotion in his artwork. Natal Moon's position isn't known exactly, but would be either in late Pisces or early Aries - and quite possibly in trine to Chiron (known as the Wounded Healer) in Scorpio. That would fit very well!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Police Drones + Open thread

Not much today - just a link to this:
Police Drones Can Fly with Tasers, Tear Gas in N. Dakota,
by Tracy Staedter.

end, a, wedge, of, the, thin - Arrange these words into a common phrase or saying.

OPEN THREAD from here............

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"People who get things done..."

Ogden Nash's poetry and comments on life never fail to bring a smile and a nod. In this piece he had, all unknowingly, written a description of the person with a hefty dose of Virgo in their natal chart. Sun is now inching into zodiac sign Virgo so:

A Stitch Too Late Is My Fate

There are some people of whom I would certainly like to be one,
Who are the people who get things done.
They balance their checkbooks every month and their figures
always agree with the bank's,
And they are prompt in writing letters of condolence or thanks.
They never leave anything to chance,
But always make reservations in advance.

When they get out of bed they never neglect to don slippers
so they never pick up athlete's foot or a cold or a splinter,
And they hang their clothes up on hangers every night and
put their winter clothes away every summer
and their summer clothes away every winter.

Before spending any money they insist on getting
an estimate or a sample,
And if they lose anything from a shoelace to a diamond ring
it is covered by insurance more than ample.
They have budgets and what is more they live inside of them,
Even though it means eating things made by recipes
clipped from the Sunday paper that you'd think they would have died from them.

They serve on committees
And improve their cities
They are modern knight errants
Who remember their god-children's birthdays and the anniversaries
of their god children's parents,
And in cold weather they remember the birds and supply them with
sunflower seed and suet,
And whatever they decide to do, whether it's to save
twenty-five percent of their salary or learn Italian or write a musical comedy or touch their toes a hundred times every morning before breakfast,
why they go ahead and do it.

People who get things done lead contented lives, or at least I guess so,
And I certainly wish that either I were more like them or they were less so.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Online astrologers have recently been regaling us with theories of how Jupiter's recent move, from Leo into Virgo, will "affect", or be reflected in, both mundane and personal ways.

Jupiter takes around a year to travel through a zodiac sign. To find out whether Jupiter's previous transit through Virgo brought anything of note into one's personal world or into the world at large, there's a list of Jupiter transits through signs at, here:

The last Jup/Virg meetup was during late August 2003 to late September 2004. Well now...during that time (in August '03) I was involved in sorting out a "doable" visa/ route for me to emigrate UK to USA, were anyjazz and I to decide to marry; then (September '04) having got me a visa and married Himself, we were embroiled in selling the house in the UK where I then lived, and getting rid of most of my "stuff". I don't think Jupiter in Virgo had much to do with any of that, to be honest, but who knows? It's coincidental though.

By Sun Sign, several astrologers have predictions for us all. Not to be self-indulgent, but simply as a guinea pig test, here's a sample of mine - Aquarius Sun:
Aquarius: (at
Under the radar? While Aquarians aren’t exactly the hermit type, Jupiter’s move into your intense and intimate eighth house could find you consumed by research or a new obsessive interest. This could be a bountiful year for joint ventures, investments, real estate, spirituality, sex and marriage (yes, the eighth house rules all of these things). Is it time to make things official? You could make a large sum of money through a smart investment, a sale of assets, an inheritance, a divorce settlement or royalties. Think: passive income.

Aquarius (at - by Jennifer Angel)
You connect with people who have expertise of business and monetary matters, people who can help you build security through clever financial knowhow. Business partnerships are favored. This placement of Jupiter in your chart can also indicate an inheritance or lucky windfall, but above all, it implies support, or benefit from other peoples' resources. Your life can become richer with a greater understanding of life itself. During this transit, relationships can be physically rewarding with a sensual chemistry connection.
Hmmm - notice the word "inheritance" in both. Interesting! Regular readers will know why.

Virgo in my natal chart, by the way, contains only Neptune at 23*, in 4th house, probably. Neptune is in trine to Mercury in Capricorn and (rather widely) to Uranus in Taurus. My natal Jupiter is at 6* Pisces in exact semi-sextile to Aquarius Sun.

The Oxford Astrologer wrote:
• Jupiter in detriment in Virgo opposes Neptune empowered in Pisces, and that aspect is functioning right now. It’s a fascinating one because Jupiter and Neptune are both rulers of Pisces, and here they are pulling opposite directions on the wheel of the Zodiac, with one side much stronger than the other. The last time this aspect happened was 27 Aug 1849: it’s rare.
Look at the axis of Pisces-Virgo in your chart and planets around 8° Pisces, Virgo, Gemini and Sagittarius. The aspect becomes exact in mid-September and carries on until early October. There is only one hit, so pay attention around September 17.

Anyone else have Jupiter in Virgo stories or "great expectations"?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Music Monday ~ Classical Gas and Classical Class

 Mason Williams & Smothers Brothers.
Happy Birthday Mason Williams!

Mason Williams (born August 24, 1938), an American guitarist and composer, best known for his instrumental "Classical Gas". He is also a comedy writer, known for his writing on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and Saturday Night Live. He is also an eclectic poet and lyricist who has published several books.

And... tomorrow will be the anniversary of the birthday of powerhouse composer and conductor, Leonard Bernstein. See Astrodienst for natal chart.

Leonard Bernstein was born on August 25, 1918, in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Flamboyant, inspired and voracious in his conducting style, Bernstein got his big break conducting the New York Philharmonic in 1943. He was one of the first American-born conductors to lead world-class orchestras. He composed the score for the musical West Side Story. After battling emphysema, he died at the age of 72. (From

For a good read about Bernstein, see an article written by Alex Ross for The New Yorker, in 2008 : The Legend of Lenny...New York celebrates Bernstein the composer.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fantasy ? ~ Sanders vs Trump

This piece, by Chris Weigant, puts forward an intriguing possibility - he does state emphatically that he's writing not about probability, but mere possibility.

Sanders Versus Trump Would Be Fun.

A few snippets:
Could the next presidential election be one where both sides get the candidate who inspires the most passion among the base? It would have seemed almost ridiculous to suggest as recently as last month, but the possibility that America could be given the choice of Donald Trump versus Bernie Sanders doesn't seem so far-fetched nowadays. If these are the choices the two major parties coalesce behind, it'll certainly be one of the most unique presidential elections ever.................
The case for Trump becoming the Republican nominee is the easiest to make. He's leading in all the polls, and he has yet to be bested by any other Republican candidate, or even tarnished badly enough by his own off-the-cuff comments that the Republican base starts flocking to someone else. ...................Making the case for Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic primaries is harder, of course, because Hillary Clinton is still far and away the Democratic frontrunner. But Bernie's fortunes have been on the rise, while Clinton's have shrunk somewhat.............................
The Donald Trump phenomenon, of course, isn't really about being the most pure conservative out there. The analogy's not perfect. Trump is truly a politician who defies pigeonholing. His breaking ranks with conservatives on certain issues hasn't hurt him one bit, at least so far. His fans love his brash style so much they don't really care if they don't agree with everything he says. Bernie Sanders is closer to the idea of a party purist, since on pretty much every single issue, he's been out there fighting for years for things that other Democrats have just recently gotten on board with (such as gay rights or reining in Wall Street, to give just two examples). While Trump is mostly all about style, Sanders is mostly all about substance.
............Which is really why it's so fun to speculate about. America would, for once, get two candidates who refused to put on their party's usual muzzle. Issues the candidates champion simply couldn't be ignored by the mainstream media (they way they normally do for "populist candidates"). This is already happening over on the Republican side, mostly due to Trump's oversized personality.................
Do, please go read the full piece - I read it to the end without skimming, which is unusual for me!

So...let's carry the fantasy into the astrology of it. From their natal charts does Sanders or Trump have the better chance of winning an election to be president of the USA?

Bernie Sanders, born in Brooklyn, New York on 8 September, 1941. No time of birth known. Chart set for 12 noon.

Donald Trump, born on 14 June 1946 in Jamaica, New York at 10.54 AM

For good measure, the USA chart, borrowed from Astrodienst:

Trump has an astrological advantage in that we have his time of birth, and none for Bernie Sanders.

Looking to Moon positions first, because it's said that, in astrology, the Moon most represents the people. Whose Moon is most compatible with the USA chart's Aquarius Moon? Trump's Moon in Sagittarius is, sign-wise helpfully sextile US Moon, and in the same sign as the US chart's ascendant. Bernie's Moon, though we can't know its degree without time of birth, would have been in Aries, which would be very roughly in helpful sextile to USA's Aquarius Moon, and Sagittarius ascendant. So, I'd call that a tie. These men each have the possibility of being "in tune" to a good proportion of people of the USA.

Bernie's Virgo Sun and Donald's Gemini Sun are both ruled by Mercury. In Astrodienst's version of the USA chart mid-heaven is in Mercury-ruled Virgo. Bernie's Virgo Sun blends more easily with USA's Sun in Cancer. I'd say Bernie wins that one.

And yet, and yet - Donald Trump's chart screams success in general. I don't know - any ideas - not forgetting that this IS fantasy, not reality - yet!

Postscript ~ Bob Burnett's piece at The Smirking Chimp on Friday,
Bernie vs. Donald: Rebel vs. Insurgent sets out factual differences in the two candidates' stances.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Arty Farty Friday ~ Nathaniel Everett Green, Artist & Astronomer.

Born this day in 1823, Nathaniel Everett Green, artist, teacher and astronomer. To save my typing fingers a little biographical detail borrowed:
Born: 21 August 1823 in Bristol, England.
Died: 10 November 1899 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England.
Source: See HERE


I don't immediately see a clear art/astronomy signature....

His generational Nepune (creativity) conjunct Uranus (pertaining to the future and the unexpected) has to be a part of it, and because the conjunction widely trined natal Sun and Mercury, this draws the conjunction more closely into his personality.

Without a time of birth it's not possible to place Moon exactly and ascendant not at all. If his natal Moon were in late Aquarius (ruled by Uranus), that too would tend to indicate an interest in the science of astronomy.

The Grand Square/Grand Cross stands out quite clearly in this chart. It can signify a challenging side to the chart owner's nature, about which, in Mr Green's case, we know little. Venus, planet of the arts is a part of the Grand Cross - I find that surprising.

Any ideas, anyone?


Many of the images of his paintings available at Google Image are very small, so choice was limited to those of useful size.

 The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

 A Street in France

 Beverley from Westwood
I chose the painting of Beverley from Westwood because I worked and lived in Beverley, East Yorkshire, as general assistant to the County Archivist for 6 years in total. Lovely old town; the Westwood area contains a now well-known course for horse-racing.

Click on this one for a clearer view:
1877 "marked a turning point in the cartography of Mars. On 5 September of that year, Earth and Mars stood in “perihelic opposition,” as Earth came into line between Mars and the sun when the two planets were also nearest to the sun and to each other along their respective elliptical orbits. With the disk of Mars fully illuminated by the sun during this close approach, terrestrial astronomers enjoyed incomparable views, not only on the day of the opposition itself but also in the days and weeks leading up to and following the event. Taking advantage of this rare occurrence, the English amateur astronomer Nathaniel Green departed from his usual observing station—in the back garden of his home in St. John’s Wood, a suburb of London—and traveled with his 13‐inch reflecting telescope all the way to the Portuguese island of Madeira in search of good atmospheric conditions for extended observations. Over two months, Green’s effort was rewarded with forty‐seven nights suitable for Mars observation, sixteen of which he termed “good,” “excellent,” or “superb”; this was fewer than expected but “considerably in excess of the average of an English climate.” During his expedition he produced a series of exquisite sketches that he later compiled into the most detailed map of Mars to date (see Figure 1). The expedition to Madeira was a major event in Green’s avocational career, cementing his status as a serious amateur." *K Maria D Lane,Isis,Vol. 96, No. 4, December 2005
Mercator and planar projection maps by Nathaniel Green, 1877. Originally published (using reddish‐orange color tones) in Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1877–1879, p. 44.
Hat-tip: Pat's Blog

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mr Irrepressible ? + OPEN THREAD

What was I thinking, back in 2008 when I wrote this in part of a post titled Irrepressible Leo?
It would be a shame if Mr. [Mike] Huckabee limited himself to a political talk show, or "religion-on-the-box" though. He'd also limit his audience, and I think he has a lot to offer that is neither political nor religious - just warm, wise, humorous and human. Still, it would be a start, once into the loop his irrepressible Leo could lead him elsewhere in TV-land.

From Learning Curve on the Ecliptic 25 February 2008
"The man's a natural. I wish he'd give up his current career and get himself a chat show or something similar. Something far removed from religion or politics. He's entertaining, warm and charismatic, you can't learn those qualities, they come part of your astrological package. Five Leo planets form a big part of Governor Huckabee's astro-package. He has already tried two professions suitable for a quintuple-Leo personality, one more remains: show-biz! I'd bet good money that he'd be a bigger success there
than he could ever be in the other two. "
From Learning Curve on the Ecliptic on 30 November 2007 [Chart at link]
All those Leo planets must incline him towards the public stage, be it pulpit or political platform. What would he like to hear - in his wildest dream? "Lights, camera, action!"
I wonder if anybody has noticed the likeness between Mike Huckabee and Kevin Spacey? They do share some Leo natal degrees. Spacey was born 26 July 1959, South Orange, New Jersey. His Uranus is at 15 Leo, Mike Huckabee's Jupiter is in the same Leo degree. Huckabee's Uranus is at 00 Leo, Spacey's Sun at 2 Leo. Their natal Mars are just a few degrees apart 28 Leo for Huckabee, 3 Virgo for Spacey. The likeness may be pure coincidence, but when Kevin Spacey's face flashed across the TV screen last night in a trail for a movie, I was surprised at the similarity.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Netflixing ~ Off time travelling once more...

I enjoy a bit of "timey-wimey", so when I noticed a recently added movie, titled Flight World War II in Netflix's catalogue, with a hint that time travel is involved, I had to investigate. The movie is a low-budget 2015 release, a tale about a present day 757 on a flight from the USA to the UK. The plane travels through a mysteriously violent storm and afterwards occupants gradually discover that they've travelled through time, to find themselves over France in June 1940. Not a healthy place to be!

In spite of the drawbacks of its low budget, we found it an enjoyable movie. Husband spotted a few flaws, disbelief definitely needs to be suspended. Some anachronisms and "goofs" can be covered by the fact that the 1940 they experience wasn't exactly the same 1940 as the one we know about.

The Doctor, written by Steven Moffat

After reading around a bit, I found that the movie has some similarities to a 1980 film, The Final Countdown. That one was a bigger budget movie with starry cast including Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen. It was a tale of an aircraft carrier in the Pacific... occupants also mysteriously finding themselves transported back to...well you can probably guess the rest. I've ordered a second-hand DVD of The Final Countdown to check it out. I never could resist that old timey-wimey!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Selfishness is that detestable vice which no one will forgive in others, and no one is without himself.(Henry Ward Beecher)

I never loved another person the way I loved myself.
(Mae West)

Section headings from: 5 Signs You Are Selfish - detail at the link.

1.Unaware of Imbalance in Relationships
2.Control Freaks and Manipulative
3.Hate Team Work
4.Only Think About Yourself
5.Constantly Give Negative Feedback and Get Nagged

What had astrologer C.E.O. Carter to say on selfishness in his book An Encyclopaedia of Psychological Astrology, first printed 1924, re-printed many times during 20th century?
Mr Carter first directs the reader from "S" for selfishness to "E" for Egoism.

Egoism and Selfishness are essentially exaggeration of our instinct of self-preservation and of the individualizing principle. These probably come respectively under Cancer and Aries, but the faults of egoism and selfishness can hardly be ascribed to one sign more than another; they occur in all of them,except where the ego is of a relatively high type. Even many martyrs and protagonists of causes are essentially egoistic (although not selfish). It has been said that "it is really setting a rather high value on one's opinions to be willing to die for them!"

In a very general sense it may be said:
Aries is usually egoistic, but not necessarily by any means selfish.
Taurus is good natured but selfish and lazy.
Gemini is egoistic, but also often selfish, frequently in a rather childish way.
Cancer is as a rule neither one nor the other, although Saturn in affliction with the Moon is often very mean.
Leo is, in good types, very unselfish, affectionate and ready to help others; but it is frequently egoistic in the extreme.
Virgo is self-centred.
Libra is often lazy, and dislikes contact with the sadder aspects of life, but is distinctly unegoistic.
Scorpio goes to extremes, but is usually devotedly selfless towards its special idols.
Sagittarius is generous with material help, but often careless of others and slapdash in manner.
Capricorn acts from principle rather than from the heart; it is self-protective, and is seldom willing to do more for others than is strictly due to them.
Aquarius is unselfish in the service of causes and ideals, rather than individuals; it is not egoistic, but in present day types the Saturnian rulership often causes a good deal of selfishness; in good types the reverse is true.
Pisces is good-natured and as a rule far from selfish; it can, however, show a certain amount of egoism in its liking for preaching at others.

Turning to the planets, afflictions to the Lights or to Mercury are always liable to produce an over-accentuation of the individualist tendency. Mars and Uranus tend to self-assertion and extreme independence; Saturn narrows the sympathies and general outlook: hence the Moon or Mercury afflicted by Saturn is a common feature in the nativities of tyrants and absolute monarchs.

The great star Sirius, now [1924] in about 13 Cancer, [in 2015 Sirius is at 14.17 Cancer] has relation to inordinate self-opiniativeness, self-esteem, and self-will. This must be considered principally by conjunction and opposition, above all with the Sun. (Note: This may, however, be a "degree-area" value, and in no way connected with Sirius. Henry VIII, who had the Sirian characteristics, had Sun in 14 Cancer, but in his day the star was in about 7 Cancer.)

I don't understand what Mr Carter meant in the note to the last paragraph relating to Sirius.

With regard to his remarks about each zodiac sign, I think it should be added that the Sun, in astrology, is directly related to one's core self, so when investigating "selfishness" one's Sun sign could be more directly and strongly related than when investigating other psychological issues, when other planets in signs could have equal or more importance than the Sun's sign. It's still worth bearing in mind, though, that extra emphasis on a sign other than the Sun's placement (e.g. a sign/planet on the ascendant or mid-heaven or opposite angles, or a tight cluster of 3 or more planets in a sign) will have importance here too.

I doubt that any human on Earth could, hand on heart, proclaim that they are not selfish, at least in some ways. Without a certain amount of self interest we'd be squandering our precious time here. In my opinion the ideal will be found in balancing a healthy amount of self interest with the interest of others - others both close and distant, those related by love, friendship, profession, race, creed, and not forgetting those simply related by inhabiting the same planet.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Music Monday ~ Those "Few Words in Defence of......"

Some seven years ago, in 2008, my husband's son-in-law pointed me in the direction of this song by Randy Newman : "A Few Words In Defense of Our Country". It's more of a "closing statement" than a song, I guess, but coming across it again I decided to listen once more - to see whether anything has changed. What do you think?

The lyrics:
I'd like to say a few words
In defense of our country
Whose people aren't bad nor are they mean
Now the leaders we have
While they're the worst that we've had
Are hardly the worst this poor world has seen

Let's turn history's pages, shall we?

Take the Caesars for example
Why within the first few of them
They were sleeping with their sister
Stashing little boys in swimming pools
And burning down the City
And one of 'em, one of 'em
Appointed his own horse Consul of the Empire
That's like vice president or something

That's not a very good example, is it?

But wait, here's one, the Spanish Inquisition
They put people in a terrible position
I don't even like to think about it

Well, sometimes I like to think about it

Just a few words in defense of our country
Whose time at the top
Could be coming to an end
Now we don't want their love
And respect at this point
Is pretty much out of the question
But in times like these
We sure could use a friend

Hitler. Stalin.
Men who need no introduction

King Leopold of Belgium. That's right.
Everyone thinks he's so great
Well he owned The Congo
He tore it up too
He took the diamonds, he took the gold
He took the silver
Know what he left them with?


A President once said,
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself"
Now it seems like we're supposed to be afraid
It's patriotic in fact and color coded
And what are we supposed to be afraid of?
Why, of being afraid
That's what terror means, doesn't it?
That's what it used to mean

[To the first eight bars of
"Columbia The Gem Of The Ocean"]

You know it pisses me off a little
That this Supreme Court is gonna outlive me
A couple of young Italian fellas
And a brother on the Court now too
But I defy you, anywhere in the world
To find me two Italians as tightass
As the two Italians we got

And as for the brother
Well, Pluto's not a planet anymore either

The end of an empire is messy at best
And this empire is ending
Like all the rest
Like the Spanish Armada adrift on the sea
We're adrift in the land of the brave
And the home of the free

Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Astrology in Pictures and Poem

Four illustrations, originally from sources as indicated in the captions, scanned from my volume of "Astrology", compiled by Louis MacNeice, published in 1964. A poem from the same book follows.

The Star-doomed Infant

No sooner does he peep into
The world, but he has done his do . . . .
Married his punctual dose of wives,
Is cuckolded, and breaks, or thrives, . .
As if men from the stars did suck
Old-age, diseases, and ill-luck,
Wit, folly, honor, virtue, vice,
Trade, travel, women, claps, and dice;
And draw with the first air they breath,
Battle, and murther, sudden death.
Are not these fine commodities
To be imported from the skies?

By Samuel Butler, from Hudibras, 1664.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Arty Farty Friday ~ Adolf Wölfli, Outsider Artist.

There's a post from earlier this year about an Outsider Artist, George Widener, here.
A look at another "Outsider" today:
Adolf Wölfli.

Adolf Wölfli, born on 29 February 1864 near Bern, Switzerland, suffered an horrendous childhood: mentally and physically abused, orphaned early, failed attempts in a variety of manual work roles, and some army service brought on withdrawal and social isolation. Aged 26 he was imprisoned for his attempted molestation of two young girls; then aged 31, after molesting a 3-year old girl he was committed for life to Waldau, a mental institution near Bern, and diagnosed as being schizophrenic. After 4 years in the asylum he began to draw.

This 3 minute video shows a few examples of Wolfli's art, and musical composition. Many more are at Google Image .

Some detail taken from a 1989 article in the LA Times by Kristine McKenna follows.

ART REVIEW : Adolf Wolfli: His Art Emerged From Madness

....He began to pour out the tormented workings of his memory and imagination onto paper. Drawing and writing obsessively, this untrained novice who'd had no known exposure to art hammered out a visual vocabulary of such originality and power that his body of work stands as one of the cornerstones of Outsider Art (the popular designation for art created by persons who, either by choice or fate, are isolated from society). Working up until his death in 1930, Wolfli completed 25,000 pieces and went through several distinct periods.

The first thing one notices about Wolfli's work is how suffocatingly dense it is. Walking a tightrope between picturing and manic patterning, Wolfli constructed labyrinthine mazes with no point of entry or exit. Pulsating with organic life, his patterning--which employs everything from clock hands and buildings to snails and birds--is evocative of musculature one minute, an illuminated manuscript the next.

Executed in plain and colored pencil on newsprint that was bound into books, Wolfli's largely autobiographical art was essentially an attempt to mythologize himself. Interspersing real facts from his life with fantastic tales of adventure that constituted the life he longed for, Wolfli chronicled scientific explorations and pleasure trips, personal disasters and redemption, tales of war and reconciliation.

Encrusted with musical notation and beautifully scripted German text, his drawings also feature maps of cities from around the world, an occult numbering system, ideas for social and political reform, and investment strategies with interest calculations. Wolfli had a highly pronounced sense of order, and his detailed renderings of elaborately developed systems are widely interpreted as his defense against his chaotically schizophrenic interior life. Simultaneously perceiving himself as a persecuted child, an intellectual giant and a god, Wolfli had several different signatures for his work, including "Cast-Off Accident," "St. Adolf-Great-Great-God," and "Grim Casualty"; three or more of his identities often appear on the same drawing.

Empty space terrified Wolfli and he rarely used perspective or attempted to depict three-dimensional forms in space, because such forms imply a surrounding emptiness. Ascending balloons, a favorite recurring motif, represent Wolfli's yearning for heaven, but alas, Wolfli had no faith that his sins would be forgiven and his balloons always plummet to earth. Unsociable and plagued by hallucinatory voices that were often violent, Wolfli gave further evidence of his conflicted inner life in his depiction of himself; the eyes of the male figure who appears in most of the drawings are dark, hooded and filled with fear.

One of the many astonishing things about Wolfli's work is the fact that while all of his work bears his unmistakable stamp, no two works are remotely alike. The tonal range he got out of a simple lead pencil is astonishing, as is his feverishly inventive imagination. He had no musical training, yet he composed reams of music over the course of his life, and productions using Wolfli's richly cadenced text as librettos have been staged in Europe and the United States. Though he had no more than rudimentary training in math, numbers fascinated him and "Wolfli the Allgebrahtor," as he dubbed himself, devised impossibly complex formulas and equations.

In 1915, Wolfli began constructing collages that combined his drawings with images cut from popular periodicals, and his unerring sense of composition really shines in these remarkably modern-looking works.


Born on 29 February 1864, Bern, Switzerland. Chart set for 12 noon - time of birth unknown.

The Grand Trine in Air signs linking Mercury, Uranus and Saturn offers a hint that Wolfli would always have had a good measure of mental acuity, however his life pattern had unfolded. His early background of abuse would have affected this in ways we cannot properly imagine. A close sextile between Venus (planet of the arts) in Aquarius and Neptune (planet of creativity) in Aries led his gravitation to art during his long incarceration. Another close sextile, this between Sun (self) and Pluto (darkness), can be linked by two quincunx aspects to Saturn (work) in Venus-ruled Libra - which does kind of describe the way he was able to channel his own darkness through working on his art.

Without a time of birth Moon's exact position can't be established, nor can his rising sign and degree.

UPDATED chart showing position of Chiron:

Four more examples of his work: