Thursday, March 31, 2016


Seems like light years ago, during one of the earliest TV-aired Democratic Debates, when Bernie Sanders said, in response to a presenter's question, something along the lines of: "The people are sick of hearing about Secretary Clinton's e-mails, let's talk about important issues". I haven't heard of Senator Sanders mentioning the subject since. Many others are talking and writing about it. Perhaps it's time, now, for Bernie to visit the topic.

After reading this piece at Naked Capitalism: Hillary Clinton’s Email Hairball Summarized in 11 Points (a Test of Presidential Character), posted on March 29, 2016 by Lambert Strether, I followed several links from commenters there, resulting in one click landing me at Current Affairs website and a piece by Nathan J. Robinson:
Nominating a Presidential Candidate Under Active FBI Investigation Is An Incredibly Risky Gamble. Unless, of course, there is some kind of separate system of justice for the powerful…

Final paragraphs
In a world where we expected the law to be equally applied to all, Democrats should be panicking right now over the status of the investigations against Clinton and the Clinton campaign’s troubling responses. The Washington Post has documented numerous misstatements and evasions made by Clinton around the emails, concluding that “it appears Clinton often used highly technical language to obscure the salient fact that her private email setup was highly unusual and flouted existing regulations.” All of this should be making Democrats panic, and sending them scrambling to find a non-indictable nominee.

But that’s not happening, for a very obvious reason. Nobody seriously believes the law would be applied to Clinton with the same pitiless irrationality as it was to Bryan Nishimura. Yet that leaves us with a stark choice: either treat the Clinton scandal as troubling and a major campaign issue, or acknowledge that we are entrusting an oligarchical justice system to make the issue go away for Clinton in a way it wouldn’t for anyone else. Neither choice should leave Democrats comfortable.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


I'm in need of a non-political, non-astrological interlude today. I remember, long, long ago and far away, at the cinema, when watching a double bill - common in those days - there'd be an interlude between films when a vendor would move along the aisles with trays of little tubs of ice cream and at the same time, magically, a lighted organ would suddenly erupt from below the screen, with organist playing a jaunty selection of tunes, to accompany the quiet slurps of folk scoffing their ice creams. This'll have to do in place of such delights today, y'all will have to imagine the ice cream vendor though.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Conventionally Speaking

"Hot time in the old town of Philly in July?"
by: Dave Lindorff. The piece was also carried by The Smirking Chimp yesterday, with comments added.

If things go well for Sanders, and he even comes close in pledged delegates by winning handily in most of the remaining primaries, Clinton will be seen to be winning only based on having done exceedingly well only in the “front-loaded” southern states which neither she nor Sanders stand a chance of winning in the general election, making those delegates’ votes really marginal if not meaningless. At that point it would be fair, as the Sanders campaign plans to do, to press the unpledged so-called superdelegates -- party hacks, elected officials and big Democratic donors -- to reconsider earlier pre-primary pledges to back Clinton. If enough of those superdelegates were to follow calls to vote the way their states’ primary voters voted, it could tip the delegate balance to Sanders.

Meanwhile, if they do not do that, Philadelphia, the site of the July Democratic Convention beginning on July 25, could be a scene of chaos and mayhem reminiscent of the 1968 convention in Chicago, which featured riots both on the convention floor and in the streets of Chicago, as masses of peace activists and backers of anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy protested the railroading of pro-war candidate Hubert Humphrey. A similar thing could easily develop in Philadelphia if Sanders backers feel that their candidate and they themselves are being robbed by party leaders of a victory they feel they’ve won.
After reading the full piece, pulling out my 20th and 21st century ephemerides I checked to see whether any astrological similarities stood out for dates of 1968 and 2016 Democratic Conventions. The only similarity, degree-wise, I noted were degrees close to 24 Aries.

In late August 1968, time of the Democratic convention, Saturn was at 25 Aries, in July 2016 Uranus will be at 24 Aries.

In August 1968 Saturn at 25 Aries and and Neptune in Scorpio were in scratchy quincunx aspect, and Uranus and Pluto at 28 and 22 Virgo formed quincunxes to Saturn also.

In 2016 Uranus from 24 Aries will make an uncomfortable quincunx to Mars in Scorpio, while Jupiter from 21 Virgo will also be in quincunx aspect to Uranus.

Dang! Eyes and brain have crossed in trying to compare these placements via ephemerides - may as well post a chart for middle date of both conventions, set for 12 noon.

28 August 1968 Chicago

26 July 2016 Philadelphia

Well, just from the chart formations, visually, I'd say 2016's convention ain't gonna be a lot like that of 1968!

This is interesting though! In 2016 Uranus (the rebel, the unexpected) at the apex of a Yod involving 2 quincux aspects from Jupiter (excess, expansion) and Mars (energy, aggression) in sextile. In 1968 Saturn (law, status quo, the establishment) was at the apex of a Yod involving sextile of Neptune and a group of Virgo planets including Uranus.

I'd like to think that whereas 1968's concentrated and drastic events didn't, in the end, move much away from the status quo and establishment rule represented by Saturn; in 2016, with Uranus at the apex of a Yod, perhaps non-establishment, and mild revolutionary events might filter out more of the status quo, and filter in something new, even something mildly revolutionary.

Any thoughts?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Voting Conservative/Republican

I've pondered before on the question of why some people's political preferences are as they are. Three of my archived posts, with interesting commentary beneath, from 2011, 2012 and 2014:

Political Preference - Brain Differences? Astrology in there anywhere?


All in the Mind

Astrology apart, I can understand why the wealthy, and better-off land-owners, farmers, ranchers, lesser aristocracy (in the UK), or well-heeled professionals etc would vote conservative/Republican. I have never understood why everyday people of modest means at best, ranging to those in virtual poverty, would even consider voting conservative/Republican. They do. They vote conservative/Republican in droves.

I lived in various locations in the UK for more than 60 years, and in south-west Oklahoma for the past 11 years. Same thing happens in both countries, though I do believe it's more obvious here in the USA where, in certain areas, there exists more severe poverty.

Googling around the net, realising that many others must have puzzled over this same question, I found a few suggestions, which boil down, in a few words to:

Pursuit of aspirations, a bit of mild social climbing - mistakenly assuming conservatives will help lift them "up" to join, if not the golden ones, at least the rhinestone crowd.

The "I'm alright, Jack!" syndrome (well-known in the UK) prevalent in those who have secured a decent job and could not care less about other unfortunates, so vote conservative to ensure their taxes remain at lowest possible level.

Propaganda from radio, newspapers and TV (I'd add churches too, for the USA). Misguiding gullible, trusting folk whose knowledge of politics is skimpy, if any at all, and they lack or energy time to pursue more information, being hard pressed to work enough hours to feed their families.

A feeling that "liberals", who are often seen as "the elite" in the USA, look down on the less well-off and the poor, who then group together and vote "the other way", not realising that voting conservative/Republican is not going to change a darn thing - only make it worse!

Personally, I could never ever, ever, ever vote conservative/Republican - nor for any Democrat who is not truly of the left-wing (most of 'em here in the USA are really not of the left). Whether this is due to something in my astrology, or in my ancestral DNA of generations of serfs in feudal England, I know not.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Primarily...on we go, while I wander back & forward in time

Democratic primary caucuses are taking place today in Washington State, Alaska and Hawaii. Caucus states tend to be Bernie-friendly, so I'm hoping for happy-making results tonight!

Digging around in my archives, this from August of 2008 reminded me of how I felt back then. Nothing much has changed:

Last week I sent off my voter registration application to the State authority, and await the return of a Voter Identification Card for use when I cast my first ever vote in the USA at the General Election in November (2008).

I registered myself as "No Party", unable to conscientiously relate to what I've seen from either party during past months. "No Party" satisfies my Aquarian hankering for freedom and innate obtuseness in any case. Until the primary elections kicked off I always assumed that when I became eligible to vote there was absolutely no question but that I'd join the Democrats. It came as a surprise to me that when the opportunity at last arose, I felt quite unable to do so.

Although I've been here nigh on 4 years, I'm still obviously not translating British political labels into American accurately, or perhaps there is no precise translation. Back in England when US elections were reported on TV and radio I could often be heard asking for a reminder as to which equated to Labour - Republican (symbol the elephant) or Democrat (symbol the donkey). I just couldn't get my head around it. To me Republican sounded more revolutionary and therefore more like Britain's Labour party, the party of "ordinary people", as against the aristocracy and wealthy land owning classes (and those who aspire to, or have delusions of belonging to those groups). The Democrats are the nearest thing to UK's Labour Party I guess, but they aren't extreme enough, I can't really tell "who they are". I'm not sure they know themselves exactly who they are at present, come to that.

I used to describe myself as a European style socialist, but the word socialist here in the USA is almost a dirty word. I think many people equate it with communism. I've learned to keep my mouth shut and my keyboard clamped on that score!

Astrologer C.E.O. Carter said in his "Encyclopedia of Psychological Astrology" (first published 1924 in Britain) that "Socialism is one of the manifestations of the Uranian Age, it being an attempt - whether or not a happy one is, of course, beside the point - to realise fraternity and justice. In this it is distinct from the Pisces methods which had been in vogue before, i.e. private philanthropy in the form of foundations, institutions, and alms."

Dear Mr Carter lived in a different era, of course. I wonder what he'd make of the corporatism which we see taking over now? Private philanthropy may still exist in isolated local areas, but on the whole, philanthropy has gone out of fashion in favour of greed. Never has there been more need for "fraternity and justice" - but when will The Uranian Age begin again? I think Mr Carter was referring to the time when Uranus transited its own sign of Aquarius in the early 20th century, from around 1912 to 1920. Uranus has visited Aquarius again since then, a fact which I have engraved on my heart because of what went on then in my life (1995 to 2003). There was no great uprising of socialism as far as I recall - in the USA it was the opposite in fact.

The People will have to wait for the real Age of Aquarius to dawn, before things really start to change. According to the experts it may not dawn in the lifetime of anyone alive now, or even in the lifetimes of their grandchildren...nor even their grandchildren's grandchildren.

In the absence of fraternity and justice until the New Dawning, it would be nice if we could simply have a bit of philanthropy back.

Absent the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, we could at least acknowledge the fact that a herald of "fraternity and justice" is among us right now in Bernie Sanders. He has been ignored, dismissed, ridiculed by Republicans, establishment Democrats and mass media, but gradually has gained respect from some of those who hadn't been aware of his views previously. For me, personally, he's the candidate I've been waiting for.

I'll go out on a limb to say that, however unlikely it might seem, at this point, for Bernie to achieve the presidency, if he were to do so, he would become the most beloved president in anyone's lifetime. That is my deepest feeling about him. If that were to be proved merely a dream, well then, he still should go down in history as a true herald of things to come - at some point in the future when the stars align for The People more strongly and clearly than they do right now. Some of The People, on both sides of the political divide (supporters of Bernie, and those of Donald Trump) may be ultra-sensitive and feeling an advance pull of Saturn's entry into revolutionary Aquarius in late 2020, and an even more advanced pull of Pluto's entry into Aquarius in the Spring of 2023.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ Nathaniel Currier of Currier & Ives

Currier and Ives, for me, used to be merely part of some old Christmas song lyrics, back in the UK. I surmised their likely relevance from context, much the same thing used to apply to a few other words, names or expressions purely American in origin.
....As they pass around the coffee
And the pumpkin pie
It'll nearly be like a picture print
By Currier and Ives
These wonderful things are the things
We remember all through our lives

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling
Ring-ting-tingling too
Come on it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you...........

This Arty Farty Friday required a post so, as I noticed in lists of births for late March one Nathaniel Currier, I decided to take a closer look. Yes, this is indeed the "Currier" from those old song lyrics. He wasn't a painter or illustrator himself, but did become a famous print maker.

Nathaniel Currier (March 27, 1813 – November 20, 1888), born in Roxbury, Massachusetts was an American lithographer, who headed the company Currier & Ives with James Ives.


Wikipedia again -
Currier and Ives was a successful American printmaking firm headed by Nathaniel Currier (1813–1888) and James Merritt Ives (1824–1895). Based in New York City from 1834 to 1907, the prolific firm produced prints from paintings by fine artists as black and white lithographs that were hand colored. Lithographic prints could be reproduced quickly and purchased inexpensively, and the firm called itself "the Grand Central Depot for Cheap and Popular Prints" and advertised its lithographs as "colored engravings for the people".
In 1850, James Ives came to work for Currier's firm as bookkeeper. Ives' skills as a businessman and marketer contributed significantly to the growth of the company; in 1857 he was made a full partner, and the company became known as Currier & Ives.

The Firm
The firm Currier and Ives described itself as "Publishers of Cheap and Popular Prints". At least 7,500 lithographs were published in the firm's 72 years of operation. Artists produced two to three new images every week for 64 years (1834–1895), producing more than a million prints by hand-colored lithography. For the original drawings, Currier & Ives employed or used the work of many celebrated artists of the day including James E. Buttersworth, Charles R. Parsons, George Inness, Thomas Nast, C.H. Moore, and Eastman Johnson.[9] The stars of the firm were Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, who specialized in sporting scenes; Louis Maurer, who executed genre scenes; George H. Durrie, who supplied winter scenes; and Frances Flora Bond Palmer, who liked to do picturesque panoramas of the American landscape, and who was the first woman in the United States to make her living as a full-time artist. All lithographs were produced on lithographic limestone printing plates on which the drawing was done by hand. A stone often took over a week to prepare for printing. Each print was pulled by hand. Prints were hand-colored by a dozen or more women, often immigrants from Germany with an art background, who worked in assembly-line fashion, one color to a worker, and who were paid $6 for every 100 colored prints. The favored colors were clear and simple, and the drawing was bold and direct another page


Nathaniel Currier born 27 March 1813, Rochester, Mass. Chart set for 12 noon, birth time unknown.

Briefly: Grand Trines thrown up by my software are variations using the similar groups of planets. I see these as key to his professional successes, especially that one linking Venus (art), Jupiter (publication) and Uranus (innovation) into a harmonious circuit - i.e. bringing artworks to a wider swath of the public using modern processes.

Without a time of birth Moon's exact position can't be calculated, but I suspect it would have been somewhere in early Aquarius, as shown in the noon chart above. The flavour of that sign shows through clearly in Currier's aims to provide art accessible to ALL "The People" - very Aquarian!

Thursday, March 24, 2016


We arrived home late yesterday afternoon, having decided to take the long, peaceful route back.
'Twas a pleasant change of scene, in honour of husband's birthday, but peculiar range of weather. It was raining quite hard as we set out on Friday morning, dry but chilly on arrival in Joplin, MO that afternoon. It got progressively colder until hitting well below freezing on a couple of nights, and very very cold during Saturday/Sunday (winter jacket and muffler weather) plus the previously mischievous breeze turned into a biting bitchy wind. Monday was milder but still very windy. As we drove part-way home on Tuesday temperatures climbed, and today from a warmish windy start in McAlester OK, temperature had reached mid 80s by the time we reached home - definite short sleeve weather. A whole year's climate in just a few days!

The very sad bad news from Brussels, received from the hotel breakfast room's TV came as a shock, as I'm sure it did to everyone.

I dreaded finding out the results of Tuesday's three primaries, especially after Arizona's loss for Bernie. But, surprise, surprise, this morning brought brighter information - how does that song of Meatloaf's go? Two out of three ain't bad! Good wins too, landslide proportion even. Those results must have encouraged Bernie no end! Sneaky Democratic senators had been hinting, again, that it's time for him to drop out and let Hillary concentrate on the job of fighting Trump. Hmm! How about allowing all those people, who have not yet had a chance, to state their preferences? Important states are still to vote. Even if Bernie has hardly any chance of beating Hillary delegate-wise, surely the rest of the population's preferences ought to be made clear. that exactly what establishment Democrats are afraid of?

 Anyjazz looks on, as I snap a sign from my seat in the car, and wonders:
"Will it though?"

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Weekend Wandering

We're off a- wandering for a couple of days or so, in honour of the approaching birthday of anyjazz. Next post will be Tuesday or Wednesday. In the meantime, a video passed to me by "JD" in the UK relating to Donald Trump as experienced by a well-known and well-respected English news reader, Selina Scott.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ Albert Pinkham Ryder

This artist is another whose name isn't well-known these days, but in his own time he was considered to be one of the leaders among modern American painters. Many of his paintings, most of small to medium size, have deteriorated over time, due to his somewhat eccentric techniques. He didn't sign his work, which led to forgeries appearing on the market. His work now exhibited in galleries is often displayed under glass to preserve and protect what's left. In his later years Ryder became a recluse and, it is said, ever more eccentric.

Born on 19 March 1847 in New Bedford Massachusetts, Albert Pinkham Ryder later
"attended a public grammar school for boys and began to paint, but impaired vision, the result of a faulty vaccination, prevented him from continuing his education. After the Ryder family moved to New York in 1870, his application to the National Academy of Design was rejected, and he was admitted only after a period of study with the portraitist and engraver William E. Marshall (1837-1906), a former pupil of Thomas Couture.

[Later in his career he began to] paint dramatic and emotionally charged subjects based on classical mythology, biblical incidents, poetry, plays, and Wagnerian opera. He occasionally wrote poetry to accompany his paintings. This transformation was also brought about by his visits to the major art museums of Europe and an excursion to North Africa......By the middle 1880s Ryder had the support of influential critics, and attracted a number of important patrons....

Around 1900 the increasingly reclusive and eccentric Ryder ceased producing new compositions and began to rework and repair existing paintings. .....His work appealed to the new generation of American modernists.... After his health began to fail in 1915, Ryder moved to Elmhurst, Long Island, where he died in 1917.

One of the most enigmatic figures in the history of American art, Ryder was an imaginative and innovative painter who worked in the late nineteenth century visionary tradition. Long considered an isolated and uniquely American phenomenon, his personal idiosyncracies overemphasized, it has only recently been recognized that Ryder was keenly aware of European art and techniques. His chronological development is impossible to trace because he never dated his works, rarely signed them, and obsessively reworked his compositions after they had been exhibited or sold. His unorthodox technical procedures, by which he strove to achieve rich, dark colors and enamel-like surfaces through multiple layers of glazes and pigments, left his works unusually susceptible to changes and deterioration, so it is difficult to determine their original appearance. Although he produced only 160 pictures, his works were widely forged, and some authentic ones were altered by others after his death. Ryder never had any pupils, but he exerted a powerful influence on his contemporary Ralph Blakelock, and a generation of younger artists [This is an edited version of the artist's biography published, or to be published, in the NGA Systematic Catalogue] See HERE.

Chart set for 12 noon (no time of birth available) on 19 March 1847, New Bedford, Mass.

Unorthodoxy in his painting methods and modernist styling, as well as what seems to have been a growing general eccentricity, has to link to Uranus conjunct Mercury and Venus. Uranus also sextiles Jupiter.

There's a three-fold semi-sextile thing going on between his Pisces Sun, to Pisces' ruler Neptune in Aquarius, then to Mars in Capricorn. That mini chain also includes a sextile from Sun to Mars. This seems to me to be reflection of what was described as his enigmatic nature : kind of mystic, kind of eccentric, but kind of practical too.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

17 March Meant Hanky Panky in Ancient Rome

Almost shoulder to shoulder with ancient Rome's Ides of March on 15th came Bacchanalia and Liberalia on 17th.

The ancient Roman calendar had only ten months and started the year on 1 March. It was dedicated to Roman God of War, Mars who was honored daily with parades of the priests of Mars dancing through the streets. The culmination of the year end celebration was March 16 and 17th which were the feast days of Bacchus which was how Dionysus was known throughout the Roman empire. Fear of a powerful non-roman religious hierarchy resulted in restrictions by Senate decree in 186 AD which were not repealed until Julius Caesar was in power. Into this vacuum flowed numerous other cults whose mythic stories often replayed the great cosmic drama of life-death-rebirth. (See here)

Roman historian Livy took against all that Bacchanalian cavorting, but quite likely slid into hyperbole - a slide not unknown among writers in the USA, in our own time:

When wine, lascivious discourse, night, and the intercourse of the sexes had extinguished every sentiment of modesty, then debaucheries of every kind began to be practiced, as every person found at hand that sort of enjoyment to which he was disposed by the passion predominant in his nature. Nor were they confined to one species of vice -- the promiscuous intercourse of free-born men and women; but from this store-house of villainy proceeded false witnesses, counterfeit seals, false evidences, and pretended discoveries. From the same place, too, proceeded poison and secret murders, so that in some cases, not even the bodies could be found for burial. Many of their audacious deeds were brought about by treachery, but most of them by force; it served to conceal the violence, that, on account of the loud shouting, and the noise of drums and cymbals, none of the cries uttered by the persons suffering violence or murder could be heard abroad.

While it does seem that the religious activities of the Bacchanalia did expand to include violence against its initiates and apostates, some of Livy’s criticism may have been directed at the co-mingling of different types and classes of citizens and residents.

Between whatever the reality was and the opposition Livy was able to motivate, Rome eventually decided it had had enough. Not only were the Bacchanalia severely regulated, many of its practitioners were persecuted in a violent campaign not matched until Rome went after the Christians.
According to Livy, 7,000 people were arrested. More than half of them were killed.(See here)

Interesting considerations:
It is possible that Dionysian mythology would later find its way into Christianity. There are many parallels between the legends of Dionysus and Jesus; both were said to have been born from a mortal woman but fathered by a god, to have returned from the dead, and to have transformed water into wine. The modern scholar Barry Powell also argues that Christian notions of eating and drinking the flesh and blood of Jesus in order for individual followers to feel Jesus within them was influenced by the cult of Dionysus.

Certainly the Dionysus myth contains a great deal of cannibalism, in its links to Ino. Dionysus was also distinct among Greek gods, as a deity commonly felt within individual followers. In a less benign example of influence on Christianity, Dionysus' followers, as well as another god, Pan, are said to have had the most influence on the modern view of Satan as animal-like and horned. It is also possible these similarities between Christianity and Dionysiac religion are all only representations of the same common religious archetypes.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that the story of Jesus turning water into wine is only found in the Gospel of John, which differs on many points from the other Synoptic Gospels. That very passage, it has been suggested, was incorporated into the Gospel from an earlier source focusing on Jesus' miracles.
(See here)

The Bacchanalia proper was, later on, generally replaced by the Liberalia on 17 March, in honor of another aspect of Bacchus, Liber or Liber Pater.

Liberalia, a rustic festival when Roman youths generally first assumed the male toga, began dressing like adults - akin to moving from wearing short trousers to long trousers for youths of our day, perhaps.

...young men discarded the Etruscan-derived toga praetexta, which was decorated with a broad purple border and worn by boys and girls. The boys then donned the clothing of adulthood, the pure white toga virilis (man’s gown). The garment identified him as a citizen of Rome, making him an eligible voter. This ancient ceremony was a country or rustic ceremony. The processional featured a large phallus which the devotees carried throughout the countryside to bring the blessing of fertility to the land and the people. The procession and the phallus were meant also to protect the crops from evil.

At the end of the procession, a virtuous and respected matron placed a wreath upon the phallus.
While Liberalia is a relatively unknown event in the modern time, references to Liberalia and the Roman goddess Libera are still found today online and in astrology.
See here)


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Primarily - morning after a disappointing night for Bernie. Standing by: Turn of the Century Radical

What I didn't want to believe would happen, has happened.  It has been proved that Bernie is too good for this place, this nation!    They don't know a good thing when it's put right under their noses.

I'll continue to support him to the end of his run, whenever that turns out to be.  If he continues to hold Hillary Clinton to tight races in more states, he will, perhaps, gain some foothold in being able to have a say in future policies.

Edited and expanded re-run of an archived post.

Emma Goldman was born on 27 June 1869 in Kovno, Lithuania, then part of the Russian Empire. She emigrated to the USA, with her sister, in 1885 and found employment in a New York clothing factory. Soon after her arrival in the states an uprising of workers in Chicago resulted in the execution of four anarchists, who came to be known as "The Haymarket Martyrs".
They had been prominent trade union activists leading the struggle for an eight-hour day. Framed for a bombing, the authorities hoped that this would scare off the emerging trade union movement, especially its anarchist component. The international outcry which followed these executions on trumped up charges helped to shape Emma's radical and anarchist ideals, which lasted throughout her long life..............

Emma Goldman was a formidable public speaker and a prolific writer. Her whole life was devoted to struggle and she was controversial even within the radical and anarchist movement itself. She was one of the first radicals to address the issue of homosexuality, she was a fighter for women's rights, and she advocated the virtues of free love. These ideas were viewed with suspicion by those who placed their faith in the cure-all solution of economic class warfare and they were denounced by many of her contemporaries as "bourgeois inspired" at best.

To mainstream Americans, Emma was known as a demonic "dynamite eating anarchist". She toured the States, agitating and lecturing everywhere she went. She was hounded for much of her life by FBI agents and was imprisoned in 1893, 1901, 1916, 1918, 1919, and 1921 on charges ranging from incitement to riot to advocating the use of birth control to opposition to World War 1.

A self proclaimed anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, assassinated President William McKinley in 1901 and this event unleashed a massive wave of anti-anarchist hysteria throughout the States. Emma was blamed for his action and was forced into hiding for a time. She was deported from the United States, Holland, France, and was denied entry to many other countries. None of this daunted her, she began publishing 'Mother Earth' magazine in 1906 and was very active in the No-Conscription League.

Emma Goldman died in 1940, and though exiled for many years, her body was allowed back into the USA for burial in Chicago, not far from the graves of the "Haymarket Martyrs".

Entire books have been written about the life of Ms Goldman, it's impossible to cover it sensibly in a brief blog post, but there's enough information in the extract above to get an idea of one side of this lady's character. Another side of her personality emerges through a cache of her letters to a lover. These were mentioned in a 1992 article in the Los Angeles Times:

All About Emma : Letters... by JOHN BOUDREAU |
But despite her reputation as a firebrand, the real Goldman also was a woman tormented by jealousy and doubt, the collection shows. Through her prolific letters, readers come to see the feisty revolutionary who espoused the eight-hour workday, contraceptives and "free love" but who was haunted by depression and anguish over her blatantly promiscuous longtime lover, Dr. Ben Reitman.

.....the letters were very jealous. She said his letters to her were like a narcotic: They made her heart beat faster, but they put her brain to sleep. And she had these terrible moments of feeling her life was not meaningful.

Falk adds: "A lot of people think they know her, or else they've never heard of her. It's fascinating for people to see she was just like anyone else."

Here's her natal chart set for 12 noon. Astrodatabank has a 3pm time of birth, but it is categorised as "DD" - dirty data, and unreliable. That time puts her natal Moon in mid-Aquarius with Scorpio rising. I'll rely on a 12 noon chart to note some interesting factors.

Most significant of all is rebel planet Uranus conjunct Venus, part of a cluster of personal planets in Cancer. Cancer isn't the first sign that springs to mind when considering a radical and anarchist whose life's work consisted of fighting the system, the status quo. When Uranus is closely involved though, Cancer's homely cuddly sentimentality goes out the window. Her natal Moon would have been in Aquarius whatever time she was born, and more likely than not in scratchy aspect to either her Sun/Mercury or Venus/Uranus in Cancer. Aquarius and Cancer are not best pals of the zodiac, any aspect between them is going to be scratchy at best, accounting for her less than typically Cancerian nature, at least as portrayed to the public.
However, her private letters, mentioned in the article linked above, expose another side of her nature, more aligned with what's typically thought of as Cancerian: clingy, needy, sentimental, in stark contrast to the Aquarian independence of her natal Moon.

Mars in Virgo on one side and Jupiter in Taurus on the other form harmonious sextiles to Uranus/Venus. Saturn in Sagittarius could well form a sextile to Moon which then links Moon and Saturn via two quincunx aspects to Uranus, forming a Yod. Astrologers consider that the "energies" of the sextiled planets emerge via the qualities of the planet at the apex of the Yod, in this case, what could seem more appropriate : Moon (inner self) and Saturn (career) emerging through Uranus (rebellion)?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Primarily - here we go again!

This Tuesday's primaries, held on the date ancient Romans called The Ides of March, date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The death of Caesar made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history, as one of the events that marked the transition from the historical period known as the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. Let's not go there!

The states voting today are coloured pale mauve on the map below: Florida, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina and Missouri.

Dunno what to say anymore, except "GO GET 'EM BERNIE!" Paul Edwards' piece at The Smirking Chimp this weekend is a good read - for Bernie supporters.
Two snips:
Even after Michigan, and unsavory Republican Neocons jumping ship to back Hillary over “Little Parts” Trump, the Dem Power Trust sticks to its lack of principle, to nominate a reliable corporate tool come Hell or high water.

And that’s what they’ll get. There’s a delicious parallel existing in politics now that might blow both wings of the Bankers’ Party up for good. As Repugs are trying to wrest their ethically moribund Party away from their foremost candidate, Dems are bent on making their rank and file swallow a slab of stale Marie Antoinette-style cake that it’s gagging at and rejecting.

One Party is mad to disengage from a candidate that may destroy it; and the other is wild to crown one that could have exactly the same effect on it.

It would all be great fun to follow if the long-term fate of the country we live in were not so horrifyingly at risk, but it is.......................................

You Criminal Syndicates have had it your way for generations. You’ve kept us ignorant, mesmerized and baffled, by lying and deceiving us, manipulating our fear and anger, and misdirecting them at bogus targets that never threatened us, and never mattered. You’ve kept us from the justice, domestic tranquillity, general welfare, and blessings of liberty our Constitution promised us. No more!

You have, at long last, as a reward for your exploitation and betrayal, lost our trust and our respect, and you will never regain it. You may hang on in some form, gutted and discredited, but know that you are no use to us now, or in the future. We expect nothing from you, and we want no more to do with you. If you doubt us, watch what happens. You’re about to find out.

I don't pray these days, but I send a heartfelt request the universe to please, please, protect Bernie and his people from here on. There is a whiff of madness in the air.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Something in the way they something something

Reading around the net, through many threads of comment on you know what and you know whoms, I came across an expression, joke, trope...not really sure what to call goes "something something"....something something(or something).

I first noticed it in a thread of comments at the website of Charles Pierce of Esquire, at the weekend (link in sidebar). A commenter there began his response with: "something something wind...something something whirlwind". There followed a flurry of comments with some loose wit, concerning peas and penguins and peeing into the wind - but that's beside the point. I "got" the idea of "something something" as it was being used there. That commenter knew very well what were the missing words, it was a satirical use of "something something".

I then noticed "something something" used again elsewhere, in a different context. Smelling a potential idea for a post I was off, scurrying deep into Google's back rooms to discover if this is one of those newfangled "viral" somethings, picked up from who knows where to become the cool person's style du jour.

It took several pages of Googling to reach the information I sought. I had to travel via TV tropes:
Something Something Leonard Bernstein, and in that vicinity also picked up another fascinating tid-bit, used in drama and writing known as "lampshading"

Lampshade Hanging (or, more informally, "Lampshading") is the writers' trick of dealing with any element of the story that threatens the audience's Willing Suspension of Disbelief, whether a very implausible plot development, or a particularly blatant use of a trope, by calling attention to it and simply moving on. The reason for this counter-intuitive strategy is two-fold. First, it assures the audience that the author is aware of the implausible plot development that just happened, and that they aren't trying to slip something past the audience.

Back to something something...then came headlines by writers obviously in on this "something" thing:

Something Something "Privilege"

Rand Paul says something something Bill Clinton therefore Hillary bad.

Several similar uses, here and there then, from 2010 - something useful:

Something Something Roots

Apparently the expression/joke/idiom whatever is not new, but likely surfaces anew now and again as years go by. Comments at the linked site describe earlier examples of "something something" (or similar). My favourite is one I recall seeing via DVD - and the simplest version of "something something". The way it's used now is with more snark, cynicism, an exhibition of supposed coolness.
On an episode of The Bob Newhart Show (the one where he was a psychologist in Chicago), there was a very funny episode where he and his old college pal The Peeper (Tom Poston) went back to their old burger-and-beer joint before attending a Loyola basketball game. Nothing was quite the same as they remembered it - the beer wasn't ice cold and was a bit flat, the bar now sold frozen sandwiches instead of two-inch-thick burgers. At one point Peep said to Bob "We should sing our old school song - how'd it go.....'Something something rah-rah-rah!'" Bob shook his head and said "No, that was the school fight song. The school song was 'something something alma mater.'" "Boy, they don't write 'em like that anymore," Peep commented. Later he lifted his mug and said to Bob "Let's sing our old drinking song. How'd it go again?" Bob thought for a moment and said "I think it was 'something something down the hatch'."

Dunno if this was the first use of that joke, but it's the first time I heard it, and this was back in the late 1970s.
Posted by Oriole Adams at 10:24 AM on April 8, 2010

All of that something something coolness brings me to Music Monday's offering -
Something's Coming - and this one is for Bernie and Bernie supporters:

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saturday and Sundries

The Vertical Oracle
Fun way to get a quick, do-it-yourself answer to your question of the moment. Answers can be cheeky, occasionally spooky. The idea, and the deck of cards were creations of astrologer Antero Alli, and Sylvie Pickering. Illustrations from the deck of cards are also featured at Free Will Astrology, with weekly horoscopes there.

Robert Crumb taking on Donald Trump in 1989. Nothing’s changed in 26 (or 2,000) years.

Rest of cartoon at link.

Staying with bilious thoughts of Donald Trump, a poem by Ogden Nash who, if time-travelling, could've had Trump in mind as he wrote the following ditty. One might say the poem could equally apply to Bernie - or to my husband anyjazz - but neither would, I suspect, ever be "at the club", and in the case of anyjazz at the barber's either; my own "nimble fingers" are in charge of what remains of his hair.

"Once eager for, I've come to dread
The nimble fingers of my barber;
He's training strands across my scalp
Like scimpy vines across an arbor.
The conversation at the club
Is all intestinal or molar;
What dogs the class of '24? ['64?]
Another day, another dolor."

(From A Man Can Complain, Can't He? (A Lament For Those Who Think Old)

Hair we go again...I've always included a bit of the old back-combing technique to boost my baby-fine hair, but this is ridiculous! (More at the link)

This May Be the Weirdest Beauty Moment of Paris Fashion Week

Backlash against Bernie- clip from RT America with Ed Schultz & Thom Hartmann
As the Democratic Primaries become tighter and tighter, negative press against Bernie Sanders has some questioning his earlier decisions. But what’s the story behind that?

Goodness me! It'll be time to move our clocks an hour forward tonight, or first thing tomorrow.

I'm "livin' on Tulsa time" myself these days. In the 1990s, back in Yorkshire, we saw Don Williams, on good old Greenwich Meantime, sing this song live during a concert in Harrogate.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ Hans Bellmer, Psycho-Sexual Surrealist

Hans Bellmer, born on 13 March 1902 in what is now Poland, isn't an artist/sculptor/photographer whose work I admire, but his natal chart could be of interest. His surrealist psycho-sexual style strikes me as generally unpleasant.

From a book cover at Amazon: Hans Bellmer - The Anatomy of Anxiety

The German-born Surrealist Hans Bellmer (1902-1975), best known for his life-size pubescent dolls, devoted an artistic lifetime to creating sexualized images of the female body - distorted, dismembered, or menaced in sinister scenarios. In this book Sue Taylor draws on psychoanalytic theory to suggest why Bellmer was so driven by erotomania as well as a desire for revenge, suffering, and the safety of the womb. Although he styled himself as the quintessential Oedipal son, an avant-garde artist in perpetual rebellion against a despised father, Taylor contends that his filial attitude was more complex than he could consciously allow. Tracing a repressed homoerotic attachment to his father, castration anxiety, and an unconscious sense of guilt, Taylor proposes that a feminine identification informs all the disquieting aspects of Bellmer's art.

Most scholarship to date has focused on Bellmer's work of the 1930s, especially the infamous dolls and the photographs he made of them. Taylor extends her discussion to the sexually explicit prints, drawings, paintings, and photographs he produced throughout the ensuing three decades.

At this link is a 7 minute video outlining his life story and showing some of his work.

Alternatively, if in a hurry, for a quick look at some of his sculptures here's a 90 second video:

Hans Bellmer born on 13 March 1902 in Kattowitz, now in Poland.
Chart set for 12 noon as no time of birth is known.

Oppositions from Uranus to both Pluto and Neptune are generational aspects, but linked as they are here, to Bellmer's natal Sun and/or Mars, forming what astrologers call a T-square makes the generational aspect more personal. The formation reflects difficulties in areas represented by a sensitive but potentially aggressive or overly energetic (Sun/Mars) personality fighting against, challenging or addicted to erotic imaginings (Pluto Neptune), in some out of the ordinary (Uranus) manner.

Venus, planet of the arts, one of 3 personal planets in Aquarius, is in harmonious trine to Pluto (eroticism) and (a little widely) in trine to Neptune (creativity, imagination, addiction).

Natal Moon could be in Taurus, or possibly very late Aries. Moon is said to represent the mother in astrology, It's not easy to speculate which is more likely, Taurus and Pisces are friendly, Aquarius and Aries are friendly He loved his mother but hated/despised his father - said to be represented by Saturn. Perhaps his ascendant was opposite Saturn - not far away, by chance, from how the noon chart is aligned.

After mention of Theodore Adorno in Monday's post, coming across a further mention of him in the extract below, which also mentions Hans Bellmer, prompted me to cut and paste it here.

Extract taken from HERE. Click on it for larger, clearer version:

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sir George Martin RIP

Sir George Martin died on Tuesday, aged 90. He produced much of the Beatles' classic catalogue, and has oft been called "the fifth Beatle". RIP.

Re-airing my archived post, from Sir George's birthday in January 2013:

3 January is the birthday of Sir George Martin, the man whose work with The Beatles helped propel their music to the iconic status it will likely retain forever. There's a good article about him at Salon by Frank Houston, from 2000.
"He was the only "fifth Beatle" who really deserved the title -- without him the '60s' greatest group might never have happened."

"With the exception of Phil Spector’s syrupy post-production on the “Let It Be” album, Martin produced every Beatles recording — from the first single (“Love Me Do”) to the last album (“Abbey Road”). Manager Brian Epstein, their most fervid salesman, may have given the scruffy Liverpudlians an initial gloss, but Martin gave them real artistic polish. He supervised the band’s transition from precocious boys to mature artists, harnessing all that wild genius into the most efficient and dazzling hit-making unit in modern pop.

In all he produced more than 700 recordings in a career spanning 50 years and genres as diverse as jazz, rock, classical, comedy and film soundtracks, with an unprecedented 30 No. 1 Beatles and post-Beatles hits to his credit in the U.K. Now Sir George, Martin may be the most influential and prolific record producer in history."

Sir George describes his job thus: “The producer is the person who shapes the sound. If you have a talent to work with — a singer together with a song — the producer’s job is to say, right, you need to put a frame around this, it needs a rhythm section to do this or that and so on,” he told the Irish Times in 1999. “He actually decides what the thing should sound like, and then shapes it in the studio. He may also be an arranger, in which case he may write the necessary parts … he shapes the whole lot. It’s like being the director of a firm.”

Beatles Historian Mark Lewisohn affirms that:
"George Martin was the perfect producer for the group -- creative, keen to experiment, willing to listen, an expert about music but nicely inexperienced in pop and rock, and a veteran of comedy-sound effects records." Indeed, George's experience with the Goons
[The Goons = British radio show starring stellar comic actors Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine, Martin produced comedy records with Sellers and Milligan] had provided him with a diverse repertoire of recording trickery, which came into play when the Beatles, worn by the pressures of live performance and touring, progressed in the studio to ever more complex tracks.......... Martin's patient nature was invaluable........ it took extraordinary diplomacy, exceptional musical expertise, limitless patience and visionary clarity to bring these ideas to fruition and greatness. Sometimes George's genius was knowing when to jump in and offer musical advice; sometimes it was knowing when to go down to the canteen and have a cup of tea, letting them get on with whatever they were up to."
Sir George's personality is said to be a blend of "giddy enthusiasm with cool intelligence and eloquence" and I'd add it has to include a shrewd business sense, and as highlighted above: patience and intuitive tact. His time of birth isn't available online, so I took a look at a 12 noon chart for his date of birth:

Lots to see here - I'll simply pick out what jumped out to me first, a network:

Ruler of his steady, businesslike Capricorn Sun, Saturn, is in emotional Water sign Scorpio and in harmonious trine to Uranus in Pisces. Uranus in Pisces is semi-sextile (helpful) to Venus, planet of the arts in Aquarius (ruled by Uranus and co-ruled traditionally by Saturn). Venus, planet of the arts, in Aquarius is in opposition (balancing) to Neptune (planet of creativity and ruler of Pisces) in Leo.

Yes....I know that sounded like a huge muddle. It is, but it reflects Sir George's mixed bag of undeniable talent, a linked network of astrological traits: steadiness, patience and business sense from Capricorn and Saturn, emotional intelligence from a Water link Pisces/Scorpio, a certain appreciation of quirkiness and fantasy from Venus in Aquarius, and Uranus in Pisces.

His natal Mercury (mental orientation) in easy-going Sagittarius harmoniously trines creative Neptune in Leo - more evidence of an ability to appreciate fantasy, softening and adding colour to a potentially more staid and rational Capricorn nature.

It's a pity we can't pinpoint his rising sign or natal Moon position, his birth time being unknown. Moon would have been in either Leo or early Virgo. Virgo would fit an obvious urge for perfection in his work; Leo would fit his draw to musical show-biz. Hard to say which is the more likely.

A SIDELIGHT on Son of Sir George

In the course of preparing this post I noted that Sir George Martin's eldest son from his first marriage, Gregory Paul Martin is, among other things (writer, actor, producer, playboy of the western world), and an astrologer. He looks uncannily like his Dad, but apparently they are not very close in anything but looks. From the pieces I've read, Gregory Paul prides himself on being "a bit of a lad", magnet to the fairer sex and all that. Born 21 January 1957 (1.33 AM) in London, England, he has Sun in Aquarius, Scorpio rising. That could be a difficult mix to handle, but his Libra Moon should help! His natal chart is available at Astrodatbank.

[In 2013 I followed a few leads to discover what kind of astrologer he is. His astrology website is no longer available and a link to a video talk by him in February 2012, with Dr. Hildegarde Staninger is also defunct - I wrote in 2013: "In her second hour, Dr. Staninger is joined by Gregory Paul Martin, Astrologer, as they discuss 2012, the Age Of Aquarius and the return Of Divine Feminine/Magdalene energy and why it matters. The eldest son of Beatles producer Sir George Martin, writer/producer Gregory has practiced astrology for 25 years reading privately for colleagues…"]

Wednesday, March 09, 2016


In Sunday's Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan, aired by CNN, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were asked this question by American journalist and television news anchor Don Lemon:
"I want to ask both of you this question. I appreciate you responding to that question, but I want to ask both of you again. In a speech about policing, the FBI director James Comey borrowed a phrase from the Broadway show Avenue Q, saying, "Everyone is a little bit racist." What racial blind spot do you have? Secretary Clinton, you first."

I read Charles Pierce's piece on this, along with always good commentary at his website, then began to ask myself the same question.

Actually, I asked myself a two-part question

#1 What blind spot do I have regarding my native Britishness while trying to understand the way of life in the USA.

#2 What racial blind spot do I have, bearing in mind my own Anglo-Saxon ethnicity.

Trying not to sidestep both by saying a blind spot is a blind spot is a blind spot, so I can't see it, I tried to come up with something. It's a difficult question to answer.

#1 = I have a blind spot in the USA in not being able to understand why so many people here vote against their best interest, and why, oh why they had not risen up and demanded a national health care system for all, long before now. My blind spot remains blind because I don't have a long background of political experience here.

#2 = I have a blind spot as a British-born Anglo-Saxon person because I didn't live in the USA during the years of horrific segregation. Having read about it and heard about parts of it from my husband, I can only try to empathise and understand how African Americans felt. Those who did not experience segregation cannot possibly appreciate the true horror of it, and the scars it has inevitably left behind.

We can't help our ethnicity, our nationality, the colour of our skin, our gender, our varied cultures, they come with our human packaging as we plop into what becomes our stint on planet Earth. What we can help is not being alert and openly opposed to all kinds of discrimination related to any of those factors, from whatever source.

How would you answer Don Lemon's question?

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Primarily today...

Another smattering of primaries today - states coloured pale green on the map:

Michigan's result is going to be interesting. Flint's terrible poisoned water situation will be at the forefront of voters' minds. Hillary Clinton is ahead in the polls there currently, but with a tighter margin than was the case a few days ago. In Sunday evening's Democratic debate in Flint, which we watched in full, I thought both candidates gave an impressive performance.

Bernie's wins in Kansas, Nebraska and Maine over the weekend have been encouraging to his supporters, myself included. He still has a steep uphill task delegate-wise, but states still to vote are likely to be more Bernie-friendly than some already primaried southern states where, for some strange reason, he's been less enthusiastically received, especially among African American groups.

Later today there'll be a solar eclipse, in Pisces, at around 18 degrees.

There are lots of astrological writings on the topic around the net, I've picked this piece from the many for a link. The astrologer, Clarissa, at Viva Combusta (cute blog name!) currently lives here in Oklahoma.

Real Time Astrology: New Moon Solar Eclipse Supermoon in Pisces March 8, 2016

There's a selection of other good stuff accessible from the sidebar there too.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Astrology & Authoritarianism ?

There have been, of late, articles and commentary around the net about authoritarianism, mostly in relation to the surge of support for Donald Trump in presidential primaries. This Vox article by Amanda Taub is the most recent, but broadly similar pieces can be found from earlier years.

Curiosity led me to Google search "authoritarianism and astrology", not expecting to find much at all. There was this though, at The Conversation website:

Some people think astrology is a science – here’s why - by Prof. Nick Allum.

Articles by sniffy astrology skeptics are not hard to come by, but this one proposes a rather strange linkage of astrology with authoritarianism.

Under a section headed "Take things as they are", following much of the usual anti-astrology spiel, the Prof. wrote [my own highlighting]:
The most interesting result, however, is based on an idea proposed more than 50 years ago by the German sociologist Theodore Adorno. In 1952, Adorno carried out a study of a Los Angeles Times astrology column. He is witheringly critical of astrology, dubbing it, with the rest of occultism, a “metaphysic of dunces”, suggesting “a climate of semi-erudition is the fertile breeding ground for astrology”.

What is particularly interesting, though, is the connection drawn between astrology with authoritarianism, fascism and modern capitalism (remember that this was in the aftermath of WWII and the Holocaust). For Adorno, astrology emphasised conformity and deference to higher authority of some kind. As some researchers put it: “Take things as they are, since you are fated for them anyway”. In short, Adorno believed that “astrological ideology” resembles “the mentality of the authoritarian personality”.

People high on authoritarianism tend to have blind allegiance to conventional beliefs about right and wrong and have high respect for acknowledged authorities. They are also those who are more favourable towards punishing those who do not subscribe to conventional thinking and aggressive towards those who think differently.

If this hypothesis is correct, then we should see that people who value conformity and obedience will be more likely to give credence to the claims of astrology. In the Eurobarometer survey, there was (by chance) a question that asked people how important they thought “obedience” was as a value that children should learn.

I used this question as a rough and ready indicator of whether a survey respondent was more or less authoritarian in their outlook. And, again, I used regression analysis to see if there was a link between people’s answers to this question and what they thought about astrology. In line with Adorno’s prediction made in 1953, people who attach high importance to obedience as a value (more authoritarian) are indeed more likely to think that astrology is scientific. This is true regardless of people’s age, education, science knowledge, gender and political and religious orientations.

So, on one hand, it seems that horoscopes and astrological predictions are, for most people, just a bit of harmless entertainment. On the other, the tendency to be credulous towards astrology is at least partially explained by what people know about science – but also what kind of personality traits they have. And these factors might prove useful in understanding beliefs about a whole range of pseudo-scientific fields.

Although I understand the thinking, I still find the connection a reach - and that's putting it politely. What do others think?

NOTE: There's a loose, non-astrological, connection here to matters mentioned in a post last month: