Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Marking Mr Twain

Mark Twain (birth name: Samuel Langhorne Clemens) was born this day, 30 November, in Florida in 1835, he died 21 April 1910. His natal chart can be viewed at
Astrodatabank HERE.

Quotes from his writings and speeches are many and varied, in honour of his birthday I've picked out a few - in some of them echoes of his Sagittarius Sun can be detected.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
(The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It)

“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”

“The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man's.”

“Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal... In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately.

Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh--not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.”

(Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings)

“Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out... and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.... And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for the universal brotherhood of man with his mouth.”

“If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.”

“Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”

“It has now been many months, at the present writing, since I have had a nourishing meal, but I shall soon have one—a modest, private affair, all to myself. I have selected a few dishes, and made out a little bill of fare, which will go home in the steamer that precedes me, and be hot when I arrive—as follows:

Radishes. Baked apples, with cream
Fried oysters; stewed oysters. Frogs.
American coffee, with real cream.
American butter.
Fried chicken, Southern style.
Porter-house steak.
Saratoga potatoes.
Broiled chicken, American style.
Hot biscuits, Southern style.
Hot wheat-bread, Southern style.
Hot buckwheat cakes.
American toast. Clear maple syrup.
Virginia bacon, broiled.
Blue points, on the half shell.
Cherry-stone clams.
San Francisco mussels, steamed.
Oyster soup. Clam Soup.
Philadelphia Terapin soup.
Oysters roasted in shell-Northern style.
Soft-shell crabs. Connecticut shad.
Baltimore perch.
Brook trout, from Sierra Nevadas.
Lake trout, from Tahoe.
Sheep-head and croakers, from New Orleans.
Black bass from the Mississippi.
American roast beef.
Roast turkey, Thanksgiving style.
Cranberry sauce. Celery.
Roast wild turkey. Woodcock.
Canvas-back-duck, from Baltimore.
Prairie liens, from Illinois.
Missouri partridges, broiled.
'Possum. Coon.
Boston bacon and beans.
Bacon and greens, Southern style.
Hominy. Boiled onions. Turnips.
Pumpkin. Squash. Asparagus.
Butter beans. Sweet potatoes.
Lettuce. Succotash. String beans.
Mashed potatoes. Catsup.
Boiled potatoes, in their skins.
New potatoes, minus the skins.
Early rose potatoes, roasted in the ashes, Southern style, served hot.
Sliced tomatoes, with sugar or vinegar. Stewed tomatoes.
Green corn, cut from the ear and served with butter and pepper.
Green corn, on the ear.
Hot corn-pone, with chitlings, Southern style.
Hot hoe-cake, Southern style.
Hot egg-bread, Southern style.
Hot light-bread, Southern style.
Buttermilk. Iced sweet milk.
Apple dumplings, with real cream.
Apple pie. Apple fritters.
Apple puffs, Southern style.
Peach cobbler, Southern style
Peach pie. American mince pie.
Pumpkin pie. Squash pie.
All sorts of American pastry.
Fresh American fruits of all sorts, including strawberries which are not to be doled out as if they were jewelry, but in a more liberal way.
Ice-water—not prepared in the ineffectual goblet, but in the sincere and capable refrigerator.”
Mmmmm- pass the potatoes - all of 'em - please - and the apple dumplings with real cream.....dribble....

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sagittarius Considered

 Sagittarius by Erté

In his book, Astrology published 1964, Louis MacNeice, not an astrologer, but a poet and scholar, gathered together much of interest from a variety of sources, ancient and modern. On zodiac sign Sagittarius, through which the Sun now travels, he wrote the paragraphs below, quoting from some professional astrologers, whose works may now be lesser known by the average astrology fan.

(This extract was not copied and pasted from elsewhere, but copy-typed by my own fair fingers; illustrations were added by me.)

Sagittarius the Archer
November 23 to December 21

Ruled by Jupiter, Sagittarius is accordingly an expansive sign. From ancient times it has been represented by a centaur drawing bow, which is why Ptolemy classed it as a "bicorporeal" sign, and many astrologers nowadays lay stress on this double nature. So after all it is not 100% straightforward. With its animal half and its human half, it provides a good theme for a sermon or, as Barbault puts it, gives "the best image of sublimation". It has four feet (or hooves) firmly on the ground and yet is shooting at the highest targets. On its centaur makeup Varley comments that whereas its human half signifies "the deliberation or temperate resolves of humanity", its latter half "often exhibits more of the excessive impulses and nature of a race horse, an animal most specifically described by Sagittarius." It is the latter half that may affect you if you were born roughly between December 6 and 20; it can lead to nasty accidents.

As one would expect with a ruler like Jupiter, it is a success sign. Abraham Lincoln and Cecil Rhodes were born with Sagittarius rising, and Winston Churchill had it as his Sun sign with Venus also present. (Countess Wydenbruck, however, did point out that Churchill's horoscope shows him "likely to be subordinate to others in his profession.")

As to the fire of Sagittarius, Barbault describes it as purifying fire, very different from that of either Aries or Leo, and suitable to later or middle age when the desires of the flesh are waning but the spirit can still have a burning desire for social, political, intellectual, or spiritual objects. Morrish writes "Whereas Aries represents the red, smouldering fires of creation, and Leo the yellow-golden fire of organized mentality, Sagittarius represents the blue fire at the heart of the flame. This is the hottest part of the flame." Sagittarius always wants to go further: He is born explorer and adventurer and loves the wide open spaces. Everything he does is done in a big way. In music the Sagittarius type is Beethoven.

In the Zodiacal Man Sagittarius is concerned with the thighs, which brings us back to the power of horse and horseman. Many astrologers use this horse motif literally as well as symbolically. We are told that many Sagittarians are very horsey (and for that matter doggy) people: the eccentric and dynamic Queen Christina of Sweden, who dressed like a man, was mad about horses and also had something of a "horse face". (So had Milton, who was born with Sagittarius rising.)
America's James Thurber (1894-1961) often illustrated his humorous essays with cartoons of which the best known are probably "Thurber's dogs." An affinity with animals is a key characteristic of Sagittarius (Thurber's Sun sign) - an association that perhaps originated from the idea of the sign as half-man, half-beast. We are also told that the typical Sagittarian is "as strong as a horse."

He has a very healthy appetite and in middle age has a tendency to embonpoint [plumpness, stoutness].

 Sagittarius by David Palladini
He is a very strong individual but, like Jupiter his ruler, is a good mixer and, indeed, finds himself only in communal concerns. Barbault does suggest that there is an introverted subspecies (where Saturn dominates) whose member is concerned with the "beyond" within himself, but the typical Sagittarian throws himself into things outside himself, sometimes even achieving "global vision." He has a hearty handshake, slaps his cards on the table, and tends to be euphoric. It is a little hard to recognize him in Morrish's system, where he stands for the "abstract, higher consciousness."
But then Sagittarius has to conclude the second of Morrish's four stages, the stage of "control emotion." In this sign human emotions have to emerge from animal desires (the centaur again) and these emotions, in turn, must be directed into lofty aspirations - the arrow must leave the bow. Morrish squeezes his next and third stage, the "control of wind". into the confines of one sign only, which is naturally our next sign. [Capricorn]

Astrologers mentioned:
André Barbault
John Varley
Morrish (L. Furze-Morrish?)
Countess Wydenbruck

More Sagittarius posts can be accessed via Label Cloud in the sidebar.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Counting....and Waiting....and Music Monday

 Hat-tip to Kevin Henkes
People in the USA remain in a kind of limbo as to certainty of the name of their next president. There will be re-counts in, perhaps, three "swing" states: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Jill Stein of The Green Party has been rather successfully "fund raising" (see here) to pay for such re-counts; that in Wisconsin has already been formally requested. The deadline for a formal request for re-count in Pennsylvania is today, Monday 28 November, and Michigan's deadline is Wednesday 30th December. I understand that a re-count in Pennsylvania would be especially complex, requiring petitions submitted district by district - just for starters! For more detail/opinion on the wisdom of these re-counts see The Trouble With Recounts in the Name of Hacking, by Dan Lohrmann. Of the points made, this one struck me as being particularly pertinent:
3) Are politics the real motivation? If this recount were truly about the election’s integrity and improving public confidence in the process, why not include recounts in New Hampshire and Nevada — which were states that Clinton won with very narrow margins? In New Hampshire, Clinton won by 2,700 votes — which is the smallest margin of victory in any state. In Nevada, the Hillary Clinton margin of victory was 26,000 votes — far less than the Trump margin of victory in Pennsylvania.
As well as the uncertainty caused by re-counting votes, there will also be a question mark hanging over the Electoral College vote on 19 December. It appears there's a possibility that some Electoral Voters might decide, or be persuaded, to vote against the candidate who was declared winner in their state, in an attempt to ensure that Donald Trump would not become president. How likely it is that such votes would swing the presidency from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton - or even be the cause of neither of those candidates reaching the necessary 270 votes to be declared president - isn't clear. Back in England we'd describe such mucky, messy muddles by declaring: "What a flippin' dog's breakfast this is!"

Results of re-counts will not be known for a few weeks. There's a deadline for those results: 13 December. As mentioned, the Electoral College will vote on 19 December; a further wait, until 6 January 2017, follows then.....

The Congress meets in joint session to count the electoral votes. Congress may pass a law to change this date.

The Vice President, as President of the Senate, presides over the count and announces the results of the Electoral College vote. The President of the Senate then declares which persons, if any, have been elected President and Vice President of the United States.

If a State submits conflicting sets of electoral votes to Congress, the two Houses acting concurrently may accept or reject the votes. If they do not concur, the votes of the electors certified by the Governor of the State on the Certificate of Ascertainment would be counted in Congress.

If no Presidential candidate wins 270 or more electoral votes, a majority, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution provides for the House of Representatives to decide the Presidential election. If necessary the House would elect the President by majority vote, choosing from the three candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by state, with each state having one vote.

If no Vice Presidential candidate wins 270 or more electoral votes, a majority, the 12th Amendment provides for the Senate to elect the Vice President. If necessary, the Senate would elect the Vice President by majority vote, choosing from the two candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by state, with each Senator having one vote...........

Apt songs aren't easy to come by, but Music Monday it is, so I shall try these for size:

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday & Sundry riddling of the inevitable

In the following lines from T.S. Eliot's The Dry Salvages, third of his Four Quartets, after the poet used water and the ocean as metaphors, the ocean symbolising the collective unconscious, later in the poem, in Part V, Eliot describes interest in mystical arts used as guides - something he saw as mistaken attempts to uncover the future.
(Note: a haruspicate = Taoist method of fortelling the future by the examining animal entrails. Scrying = act of gazing at a shiny stone, mirror, or crystal ball. Sortilege = casting or drawing of lots.)

To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits,
To report the behaviour of the sea monster,
Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry,
Observe disease in signatures, evoke
Biography from the wrinkles of the palm
And tragedy from fingers; release omens
By sortilege, or tea leaves, riddle the inevitable
With playing cards, fiddle with pentagrams
Or barbituric acids, or dissect
The recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors—
To explore the womb, or tomb, or dreams; all these are usual
Pastimes and drugs, and features of the press:
And always will be, some of them especially
When there is distress of nations and perplexity
Whether on the shores of Asia, or in the Edgware Road [London]............

....For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.

Eliot didn't use the word "tarot" in the poem, but I suppose the term  "playing cards" covers that genre. Reading these lines again tempted me, later, to unwrap my tarot deck from its silken cover once more, and ask a question.

"What do I need to know about Donald Trump?"

Cards drawn, in this order, after giving the deck a good shuffle.

9 of Pentacles/Coins
6 Rods/Wands
The Hermit
(I've used illustrations of cards from my own David Palladini deck: "Aquarian Tarot";
and interpretations from Learn Tarot, here)

9 Pentacles/Coins

being disciplined
exercising self-control
showing restraint
reining in impulses
sacrificing to reach a goal
sticking to a program
taking a step-by-step approach

relying on yourself
handling the situation alone
acting on your own
falling back on your own resources
doing it all by yourself
wanting to be alone
feeling sure your way is best

pursuing refinement
achieving a comfortable lifestyle
avoiding the coarse and unsavory
being tactful and diplomatic
seeking high-minded activities
enjoying the finer things of life
remembering to be gracious
enjoying leisure

6 Rods/Wands

having your day in the sun
being vindicated
walking away with the prize
prevailing against all comers
coming out on top
achieving success

receiving acclaim
being acknowledged
getting a pat on the back
receiving an award or citation
getting praise or a compliment
earning applause
achieving recognition

feeling pride
enjoying healthy self-esteem
strutting your stuff
holding your head up high
feeling worthy of notice
having a high opinion of yourself
putting yourself above others
being arrogant
feeling self-important

THE HERMIT (Major Arcana card)

being introspective
thinking things over
focusing inward
concentrating less on the senses
quieting yourself
looking for answers within
needing to understand

seeking greater understanding
looking for something
wanting the truth at all costs
going on a personal quest
needing more
desiring a new direction

receiving/giving guidance
going to/being a mentor
accepting/offering wise counsel
learning from/being a guru
turning to/being a trusted teacher
being helped/helping

seeking solitude
needing to be alone
desiring stillness
withdrawing from the world
experiencing seclusion
giving up distractions
retreating into a private world.

I'm quite surprised at the level of positivity here. Many strands of interpretations for the first card, 9 Pentacles/Coins are nowhere near a comfortable fit for The Donald, as we have come to know him, but some certainly do fit. Second card definitely fits as regards his attaining the position of President-elect. The third and most important card, from Major Arcana, tells of a future Donald. As past, present and future these cards do not, I suspect, tell an unremitting tale of doom for us. However, it is left still to unfold as to whether the Hermit card tells of Donald Trump, in the near future "retreating" (as in resigning) or of him being overtaken after a vote recount, then replaced by Herself, resulting his withdrawal from the [our]world or... simply becoming far more thoughtful and introspective due to the rigours of office.

It ain't over 'til it's over!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ George Segal, artist - another look.

Having identified an artist born this week (26 November, in fact) I began reading up on his career, it wasn't until I reached links in the nether regions of Google that I spied....a link to my own blog. Well, well, well! I'd already covered Mr Segal back in 2011. I think the post will stand another airing, with a layer of dust blown off it - same applies to my memory bank!

George Segal (not the movie star, the artist) was born 26 November 1924 - tomorrow would have been his birthday. He died in 2000. Segal is considered to be one of the founders of the 1960's Pop Art movement. His works include abstract paintings, pastels, very large portraits, but possibly best known are his reliefs of human figures and plaster scupltures.
"My teachers were abstract painters. But I was overwhelmed by the necessity of reality-by the real world."
It was this philosophy that separated Segal from his fellow Pop artists. Segal surpassed their focus on wit and sophisticated attachment, in favor of displaying the human condition, its solitude and fragility. He placed his sculptures in modern, everyday settings and situations and gave them an eery feeling of isolation. It is this look that gives his figures a humane quality. Segal is quoted as saying in The Christian Science Monitor:
"I note [my subjects'] gestures. I depend on my language [plaster] to communicate anguish. I really am interested in provoking a state of compassion."
He drew inspiration from everyday life, but also from film, literature, and the Old Testament.

From Wikipedia:
In place of traditional casting techniques, Segal pioneered the use of plaster bandages (plaster-impregnated gauze strips designed for making orthopedic casts) as a sculptural medium. In this process, he first wrapped a model with bandages in sections, then removed the hardened forms and put them back together with more plaster to form a hollow shell. These forms were not used as molds; the shell itself became the final sculpture, including the rough texture of the bandages. Initially, Segal kept the sculptures stark white, but a few years later he began painting them, usually in bright monochrome colors. Eventually he started having the final forms cast in bronze, sometimes patinated white to resemble the original plaster.

From the 1950s until his death Segal lived on a chicken farm in South Brunswick Township, New Jersey, and used the location for displays of his work.

Replacing a dead link in the original post, I'm adding a link about Segal's work in a Smithsonian pdf and an obituary in the New York Times - HERE.

George Segal, born on 26 November 1924 in New York. No time of birth is known, a 12noon chart is shown below. Rising sign will not be as shown and exact position of Moon remains unknown.

Sun, Mercury and Jupiter in Sagittarius, with Moon also in that sign, with a birthtime after 6:00 AM, otherwise in late Scorpio. Jupiter is in its sign of rulership here, George Segal likely fitted well most textbook descriptions of Sagittarius: optimistic, good humoured, straight-talking, philosophical. There's little online about the private side of his personality, all we can be sure of is what shines through his artwork. He was certainly unafraid to say (through his sculptures) exactly what he thought on contraversial topics...which would be seen as typical Sagittarian bluntness in any other context. His work indicates a definite philosophical mindset too.

However, in addition to Sagittarian Fire there's a strong showing of the element of Water in Segal's chart. Saturn in Scorpio, Mars/Uranus in Pisces and Pluto in Cancer - in harmonious aspect, together forming a loose Grand Trine - signifying a depth of emotion, empathy and intuition, quite apart from the Fire optimism and straight-talking of Sagittarius. This emotional strength shows through clearly in many of his sculptures and choices of subject - see below.

Rush Hour

The Fireside Chat (FDR used radio talks to speak directly to the American public).

Breadline Words etched on wall to left of sculptures are worth copying here: "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Woman on White Wicker Chair

Street Crossing

The Holocaust

In Memory of May 4, 1970: Kent State-Abraham and Isaac ~ created in response to the shooting of anti-war demonstrators by the National Guard, on the Kent State campus during the Vietnam War. Segal used the idea of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac in order to complete God's will, to represent the National Guard's willingness to sacrifice American people to make a point. The sculpture shows Isaac on his knees in front of Abraham, seemingly begging for his life. This work was considered to be politically controversial and rejected by its comissioner Kent State for being "unpatriotic". The sculpture is now part of Princeton University's modern sculpture garden.

Farewell to Ishmael (Abraham bids farewell, embraces Ishmael with deep regret. Hagar's expression is grim, almost like controlled panic at what is virtually a death sentence for herself and her son. Sarah watches, half-hidden, as the anguished farewells are made.)

Gay Liberation


Circus Acrobats

Couple On Two Benches

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Jupiter Here and There

The Sun has just moved into zodiac sign Sagittarius. Jupiter, being ruler of Sagittarius makes this a good time to investigate the giant planet's place in our natal charts.

These notes are taken from Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson's book
"Here and There in Astrology" (1961).

Jupiter is the planet of abundance, generosity or over-generosity so that he also rules obesity; great respect for formality, protection when in an angular house (1st, 4th, 7th, 10th), and for the bestowal of honors when well aspected to the ruler of the ascendant. He rules philosophy and all forms of higher wisdom including religion, and also philanthropy. As a rule, he represents wealth.

So, the relationship between Sagittarius, the sign and Jupiter, its ruling planet becomes clear.

Mrs. Jacobson's notes relate to astrological houses. Houses are a tricky concept to explain, it would be all too easy for me to create a huge muddle for any passing reader not familiar with this part of astrology, so I'll skim over it by saying that the houses are a kind of overlay to the signs. Houses relate to areas of life where the "flavours" of the planets and signs involved are most likely to manifest. There's straightforward explanation at Astrologyzine: "What is a House in Astrology?"

Mrs Jacobson goes on to list some likely results when Jupiter is found in particular houses in a natal chart. Now, while her assertions are no doubt accurate, there's a problem. To establish the exact position of the house cusps (dividing lines) in a natal chart an exact time of birth is needed - exact to the minute, really. Few people are lucky enough have this type of exactitude, having to rely on the efficiency of hospital staff or relatives' memories. An additional snag: there are several different systems for calculating the house divisions. Astrologers cannot agree which is best, so tend to use the one which works best for them. Bearing these imponderables in mind then, and as a basis for a bit of light investigation, I'll add a few of Mrs Jacobson's notes.

Jupiter in any house increases the number there of whatever that house represents. In 7th house, more than one marriage. In 11th - many friends. In 3rd many blood relatives/neighbours. In 5th many children, and so on.

Jupiter in 10th gives the native great luck in achieving his chosen career.....

Jupiter in or ruling 4th house gives a large home and family, generous father and many gifts from him unless badly afflicted. Some affiliation with a religious organization. Many changes of address - will not continue to live at the birthplace.

Jupiter in or ruling an angular house (1st, 4th, 7th, 10th) denotes the wearing of a uniform at some time of life.

Jupiter in 6th - expensive pets, indulgent habits difficult to overcome.

Jupiter in or ruling 9th house or any angle promises long journeys or voyages not necessarily at the native's own expense. Friends are easily made.

Jupiter in aspect with other planets brings out the best the other planets have to offer.

In my own natal chart Jupiter in Pisces is in 9th house.... long journeys or voyages not necessarily at the native's own expense. Half right! Lots of long journeys, including one which led eventually to emigration from my homeland. All, unfortunately, at my own expense though! Something similar regarding travel is signified by my natal Venus in Sagittarius - sign ruled by Jupiter. So if, in my case, the house placements aren't quite accurate due to some slight discrepancy in time of birth, there's a back-up!

Transiting Jupiter is currently (November 2016) to be found moving through Libra, around mid-sign right now, and in square (challenging) aspect to Pluto. Here's a link to astrologer Chani Nicholas' thoughts on this week's astrology, including Jupiter's aspects.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Jefferson (Jeff) Sessions - A Donald Trump Pick for High Office.

Taking a look, astrologically, at another member of Donald Trump's picks for "high office" in his administration (see also my post for Tues. 15 November on Stephen Bannon).

Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III, junior United States Senator from Alabama. First elected in 1996, Sessions is a member of the Republican Party. The President Elect, Donald Trump has nominated Senator Sessions to be Attorney General, succeeding Loretta Lynch.

Senator Sessions had been a loyal supporter and endorser of Donald Trump from early in the presidential campaign. Here, I am going to attempt to remain strictly neutral, politically, in order to look at the chart without prejudice.

Born on 24 December 1946 in Selma, Alabama. Time of birth not known, chart set for 12 noon.

Though exact position of Moon can't be known without Sessions' time of birth, Moon would have been in Capricorn, either a little earlier or later than the 12 noon position shown. Sun, Moon and Mars in Capricorn - I'm not a bit surprised to find the Senator a Republican! Sun and Mars conjoined, and it's not surprising either to find him to be a rather energetic supporter of ideas and ideals he holds dear. Venus and Jupiter conjunct in Scorpio - here's another Scorpionic strand - there was one in Stephen Bannon's chart too. I'm a little surprised that Trump is leaning Scorpio-ward for "his people", because really, he's not at all Scorpionic himself - not to my eye anyway. Perhaps he appreciates in others what isn't too obvious in his own nature - emotional intensity and fixity.

Sessions has Uranus in Gemini opposing his natal Sagittarius Mercury, with a Pluto/Saturn conjunction in trine to Mercury, from Leo. Hmmm. My translation of that little lot: Mercury being this guy's manner and style of communication, though he may appear genial, even at times looking a tad quirky, in reality he's determined and unwavering in his views.

A quick look at Donald Trump's chart for comparison:

There's not as much compatibility here as between Trump and Bannon. Sessions' Sagittarius Mercury is just a few degrees from Trump's natal Sagittarius Moon - that's going to be helpful.

Interesting sidelight: Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions were both born in 1946, as were former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush - was there something in the air that year? Born a year or so after World War 2 ended, these were among first of "the Boomer" generation. Pluto by then was well into Leo, Uranus in Gemini, Neptune in Libra, with Saturn moving from late Cancer into Leo by early August. Trump and Bush missed Saturn (the law) in Leo (a ruler) by a few degrees, otherwise that'd have been a nicely appropriate link. Three presidents of the USA all born in the same year - there surely ought to be an astrological link/key. Maybe the link is to the USA chart? Only clear link I can see is that Uranus was in Gemini in 1776 and in 1946. Each individual has their own links to the USA chart, no doubt, but as a group born 1946, not very clearly.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Back to it...Trump-related talking-headitis

Yes, that's me. We spent couple of days in Paris, Texas, just for a change of scene.

I saw more political commentary on TV during the last few days than I'd seen during the past 6 months, partly due to the hotel's numerous TVs forever broadcasting Fox or CNN throughout the hotel: in the breakfast room, on the walls outside the elevators on each floor. I must've been feeling masochistic because I actually watched a bit of MSNBC one evening, on the TV in our room, when waiting for something else to begin. Missing Netflix is an unfortunate side effect of taking a trip away from home!

Those darn talking heads are so irritating! Back home on Saturday, after Netflixing we caught the later part of SNL. I was happy to see some of their skit writers must have been feeling the same - suffering from talking-headitis. Watch the skit HERE.

A level-headed article by Luigi Zingalesnov in the New York Times on 18 November:
The Right Way to Resist Trump is one of the few reasonably sane pieces on our political situation I've seen so far. A snip from the early paragraphs:

Five years ago, I warned about the risk of a Donald J. Trump presidency. Most people laughed. They thought it inconceivable.

I was not particularly prescient; I come from Italy, and I had already seen this movie, starring Silvio Berlusconi, who led the Italian government as prime minister for a total of nine years between 1994 and 2011. I knew how it could unfold.

Now that Mr. Trump has been elected president, the Berlusconi parallel could offer an important lesson in how to avoid transforming a razor-thin victory into a two-decade affair. If you think presidential term limits and Mr. Trump’s age could save the country from that fate, think again. His tenure could easily turn into a Trump dynasty.

Mr. Berlusconi was able to govern Italy for as long as he did mostly thanks to the incompetence of his opposition. It was so rabidly obsessed with his personality that any substantive political debate disappeared; it focused only on personal attacks, the effect of which was to increase Mr. Berlusconi’s popularity. His secret was an ability to set off a Pavlovian reaction among his leftist opponents, which engendered instantaneous sympathy in most moderate voters. Mr. Trump is no different.

We saw this dynamic during the presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton was so focused on explaining how bad Mr. Trump was that she too often didn’t promote her own ideas, to make the positive case for voting for her. The news media was so intent on ridiculing Mr. Trump’s behavior that it ended up providing him with free advertising.

Unfortunately, the dynamic has not ended with the election. Shortly after Mr. Trump gave his acceptance speech, protests sprang up all over America. What are these people protesting against? Whether we like it or not, Mr. Trump won legitimately. Denying that only feeds the perception that there are “legitimate” candidates and “illegitimate” ones, and a small elite decides which is which. If that’s true, elections are just a beauty contest among candidates blessed by the Guardian Council of clerics, just like in Iran..............

It's Music Monday - almost forgot! Something else we watched on TV in the hotel, on PBS - Friday, was Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs. I like Alan Cumming - I would wouldn't I, his birthday is the same day as mine, but his was many years later, of course. He's not a great vocalist by any means, but does know well, using his impressive acting abilities, how to present a song - that is very, very important. Here are YouTube clips of a couple of the numbers Alan sang in the show:

The Ladies Who Lunch

And in calmer mode - before he took his jacket off: Somewhere Only We Know

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Apt Poem & Back Soon

I'll be off-blog for the rest of the week. We're intending, if enthusiasm survives, to go peeping at autumn leaves in some nearby areas before they all, finally, descend. Should enthusiasm not survive, I shall content myself by contemplating my own navel for a day or two.

Here's a rather apt poem for right now, by John Haines (more on him here).

The Last Election

Suppose there are no returns,
and the candidates, one
by one, drop off in the polls,
as the voters turn away,
each to his inner persuasion.

The front-runners, the dark horses,
begin to look elsewhere,
and even the President admits
he has nothing new to say;
it is best to be silent now.

No more conventions, no donors,
no more hats in the ring;
no ghost-written speeches,
no promises we always knew
were never meant to be kept.

And something like the truth,
or what we knew by that name –
that for which no corporate
sponsor was ever offered –
takes hold of the public mind.

Each subdued and thoughtful
citizen closes his door, turns
off the news. He opens a book,
speaks quietly to his children,
begins to live once more.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Stephen Bannon, a Trump right-hand man (for now).

Stephen Kevin "Steve" Bannon (born November 27, 1953)
(SNIP from Wikipedia's page)
is an American businessman and media executive. He is the executive chairman of Breitbart News, a politically conservative American news, opinion and commentary website noted for its connection to the alt-right. Bannon will be Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor of the upcoming Trump Administration. He became chief executive officer of the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump in August 2016.

He is the co-founder and executive chairman of the Government Accountability Institute and the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, the parent company of Breitbart News. He has been involved in the financing and production of a number of films, including Fire from the Heartland: The Awakening of the Conservative Woman, The Undefeated (on Sarah Palin), and Occupy Unmasked. Bannon also hosts a radio show (Breitbart News Daily) on a Sirius XM satellite radio channel.

This guy is one of several reasons why it's becoming harder and harder to see any good side of the Trump presidency-to-be. Scroll down to Wiki's "Personal Life" section for worse. The only hope I can imagine is that, after the new President get his "feet under the table", he will stop feeling the need for this guy's support, and prove it in an early "You're fired!" session. Wishful thinking though, that!

A look at Bannon's natal chart - I've not seen it elsewhere on the net, yet.

Born in Norfolk, Virginia on 27 November, 1953. Time of birth unknown, chart set for 12 noon.

The opposition and some of the square aspects forming possible T-square rely on the inclusion of North node of Moon and Chiron, neither of which are classic components - which is not to say there's no information to be gleaned from these indications, as well as the squares from Uranus to Mars and Neptune. All of these aspects indicate challenge of one kind or another, mental and physical.

What I noticed next - actually first - was that Mars, Neptune, Saturn and Mercury all lie in the area known traditionally as Via Combusta (Burning Road). In ancient times this region was thought to be an unfortunate, or difficult, sector of the chart. Perhaps this has significance here, perhaps not, but it's something I keep in mind. (There are several posts relating to Via Combusta in the archives - accessible from Label Cloud in the sidebar).

Sun in Sagittarius would seem pleasant enough, but isn't linked closely to much else in the chart - unless time of birth linked it to the ascendant.

Moon's position is uncertain - could be late Leo or early Virgo, might be conjuct Pluto, which would be a hint of the darkness some onlookers see in this person. Jupiter sextiles Pluto anyway, bringing some heaviness into the picture. Jupiter in Gemini also trines Neptune in Libra, while Pluto sextiles Neptune from Leo. So there is clear aspect harmony between Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune - the Good, the Bad and The Ugly? (wink) Neptune links to Bannon's career in film-making, mustn't forget that.

There's little astrological Earth (practicality, feet on the ground) in the chart - other than via Chiron and N. Node, though rising sign could change that.

We are not likely to find direct links in a natal chart to such traits as anti-semitism, white supremacisism or any other -isms, we can only (especially without time of birth available) assess basic tenor of the person's character. In Bannon's case, the feeling I get, from a 12 noon chart, is that there's certainly potential for darkness, but, if ascendant were to be supportive of it, also potential for some lightening of that darkness.

Let's have a look at Donald Trump's chart in relation to Bannon's - see where the compatibility might originate:

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

Immediately seen: Trump's Sun conjunct Bannon's Jupiter.
If Bannon's Moon were in late Leo it'd be close to Trump's ascendant and Mars.
Trump's Jupiter is conjunct Bannon's Mars.
Trump's Jupiter sextiles his own Pluto - the Jupiter Pluto link occurs in Bannon's chart also.

Any ideas?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Music Monday ~ Sadly

We've lost two more genius song-writers/artists. They have left us with so many never-to-be forgotten wonderful songs, several have been featured here in the past, as well as a birthday post in Leonard Cohen's honour last year (see here.) There's an old post about Leon Russell, "Master of Space and Time" HERE. We saw Leon on stage in our town's theatre some years ago, he was an Okie by the way. I thought I'd blogged specifically about that, but so far have not found such a post, just a mention that we did see him perform in town.

Message to the Great Reaper: Enough now!! Go away for a while. Thanks.

This song by Leonard Cohen includes a valuable piece advice I often find myself remembering :

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.”

And this by Leon Russell will always be a favourite of mine:

Supermoon - November 14 - the full moon will appear larger than it has since the 1940s, 14 percent bigger in fact, and 30 percent brighter compared with the smallest full moons. She deserves a song in tribute.

Here's a lesser-known Moon song, it comes from Mike Batt's musical version of Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark:
As Long as the Moon Can Shine, sung by Art Garfunkel.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday and Sundry Thoughts (on a word, an election and a result).

After voting on Tuesday we had a few errands to do, including a visit to our doctor's office to change the date of a routine twice-yearly appointment for yours truly. I had to wait a while for attention as the clerk was busy with other enquirers; while waiting my eye travelled to the decorative wooden sign above the appointments desk window. In decorative script on a brown wooden plaque, the word TETELESTI, and in small faded script beneath, what appeared to be a Bible reference (John... something something). Illustration shows a similar sign in less ornate script.

This sign had caught my eye many times during previous visits to the office, but I could never remember the word long enough to look up its meaning after reaching home and Google. This time, I stood in front of the sign for long enough to engrave its spelling in memory.

I discovered that the word Tetelesti is translated: “It is Finished!”

In John 19, verse 30, Jesus cried from the cross, “It is finished.” In English it may be three words, but in Greek, it’s one word - Tetelesti. When Jesus died on the cross, there were some things that were completed, for the word means paid in full, completed, summed up in essence.
I guess the doctor, his predecessor or one of his staff had placed the sign above the appointments desk window as a rather strange way of saying "That's it, yer good for now - need another appointment?" Alternatively implicit in the word also is: "Paid in full." Maybe a polite hint that as well as being an appointments window, this is the window where one pays the piper...I mean doctor. For a heretic like me, though, this oblique hint might as well have been stated in Swahili!

After my long day's journey into election night, and the shock result, the word on that sign and its meaning (outside of the Biblical) came to mind again. The election was finished. The people will, over coming years, pay for their choices.

In the online babble that has followed, one might come to the conclusion that the USA is finished also! Most writers have, as my Dad would have said, "gone off the deep end". There's a list of "celebrities" who've declared that they will "leave the USA if Trump becomes president" in several places online. (Don't let the doors hit you on the arse on your way out, I mumble!) I tell my British self that it's just typical American/USA exaggeration, paranoia and hyperbole. Thankfully I have found a few calmer voices offering points worth noting. The following comments or excerpts from comments at Naked Capitalism (link in sidebar) on Thursday, for instance:

fresno dan (10 Nov 11 32am)
........I really didn’t think Trump could win the presidency, but at least in getting rid of Hillary, Trump is also causing a re-evaluation that is much more critical and open to reality than I thought possible so soon.
Will the dem establishment (i.e., the Clinton foundation) rebound?
I can only hope this is the end of both the conventional dem and repubs….

Tom (10 Nov 10.11am)
I agree that Trump represents a risk.
In terms of what happens when he encounters obstacles/obstructions, I would say look back on what just happened.
Trump almost single-handedly closed the biggest political deal on the planet after successfully facing down opposition of almost incomprehensible magnitude from every quarter — political, media, corporate, Wall Street etc.
If that doesn’t represent one of the most determined accomplishments by anyone in recent history, I don’t know what does.
At the risk of being overly dramatic, Trump took on the world all by himself — and he won.
Same commenter,
Tom at 10.44am)
I was mainly talking about Trump’s accomplishment as a remarkable example of sheer willpower and determination.
As to what happens next, yes, it could get ugly.
However, if he follows through on:
1) Normalizing relations with Russia
2) Reducing military misadventures around the world
3) Killing TPP
4) Implementing an infrastructure program
then I think we will already be light years ahead of where we are right now.

fresno dan (10Nov 9.20am)
The Source of our Rage: The Ruling Elite Is Protected from the Consequences of its Dominance Charles Hugh Smith.

Always like Charles Hugh Smith’s links to FRED graphs that irrefutably show the downward slide – uh, I didn’t say that right. I enjoy his use of data to show the point that it is pretty easy to understand why our politics is collapsing – most people are in fact getting poorer. And a very few are getting much richer.
Trump is the beginning of the collapse. I doubt Trump will be very successful at rebuilding, but he is a necessary precursor.

IMHO the repubs are even more “politically correct” than the dems ever were.
Poor Hillary got in a situation where the first repub in history unabashedly said that the country is not great (as opposed to temporary economic difficulties) and had to had to carry the awkward phrase “America never stopped being great”
Just like Nixon had to be the one to go to China, Trump had to be the repub to say this place isn’t so great. – – what with Bush as president and another in the offing.
Trump won’t be able to fix it, but like they say in 12 step programs, the first step is admitting you have a problem. And if Trump fails, Trump opens the resulting brawl to a much wider debate than we have had going on 50 years. Maybe even its NOT JUST a bigger pie inanity we hear so often, but who has been getting to cut the pie???? And maybe the person with the knife isn’t just some nice official (NPL – national pie league referee) who is always scrupulously fair and gives everybody the precise meritocratic earned slice of pie
Remember – Trump at least started the first step: got rid of the Bush and Clinton dynasties….

Vatch (10 Nov 10.12 am)

It’s great that Clinton lost, and it’s a disaster that Trump won.
The Democratic party insiders who torpedoed the Sanders candidacy are responsible for this catastrophe.

This thought (from the above quote)"...he [Trump] is a necessary precursor" is key to remaining sane and healthy during coming months. If Trump's reign quickly turns out to be as bad as many are expecting, Democrats and others will be energised to attack, protest, make trouble. These Trump years are, if he's as bad as most expect, the necessary catalyst for big leftward swing in both 2018 mid-terms and the 2020 General.

If still puzzling over "how could this happen?" this exchange yesterday at Naked Capitalism:
grayslady. November 11,3:46 pm
Once Bernie was out of the race, I was convinced Trump would win. There were so many indicators of a Trump victory. This was the year of the anti-establishment candidate–not out of pique, but out of real desperation by millions of Americans. The press (and the Hillary surrogates) tried to shame potential Trump voters as racists and bigots, and Bernie’s voters as anti-capitalists, all the while forgetting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Faced with the choice of unaffordable health care or being called a socialist, thousands of people suddenly found themselves saying, Yeah, I’d rather be a live socialist than a dead capitalist. On the Trump side, he never denigrated blue collar workers, who would be quite content with a decent-paying factory job instead of a white collar high tech job, so they were willing to give him a pass on being politically incorrect. These are very basic issues that polls can’t capture and that newspapers chose to ignore. There were many other indicators, but,again, they couldn’t neatly be placed into the categories that pollsters seem to favor.
Reply ↓

Iowan X. November 11, 6:52 pm

I think you hit the nail on the head. This was a “change” election–they always are after a two-term run by an incumbent in either party–and Hillary was by far the weaker D candidate. The Super-Delegates did not do their jobs. I got an email today from Allen Grayson, saying he did a poll at the end of the campaign, Bernie v. Trump, and it was 56-44 Bernie. That sounds right to me.

Pollyanna-ish, I tried not to give up hope, yet, that Trump as Prez would not be as horrendous as Trump as candidate. His reported cabinet choices soon silenced Pollyanna. Whatever else he does, though, he will be unlikely to get us, and much of the world, into a war with Russia. That, for starters, is not to be sniffed at! I came into this world within months of the start of an horrendous bloody World War, I'd like to leave it (whenever I have to) in a peace that was hard fought for, at great cost to so many.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ A rare, 3-generation, Female Painting Dynasty.

First, and most importantly:

Many Arty Farty Friday posts relate to male artists, today a refreshing change, not only one female but three - a three generational female painting dynasty!

Margarete Bagshaw (November 11, 1964 – March 19, 2015) was an American painter and potter. She was the daughter of artist Helen Hardin and grand daughter of artist Pablita Velarde. Together, they formed one of the only three generational female painting dynasties known. Their work is on permanent exhibit at the Golden Dawn Gallery in Santa Fe.

To write full rundowns on each lady would be taxing for both writer and reader so I'll mainly be linking to other sources regarding biographies and artwork; here I'll do nutshell bios, show something representative of their artwork, and compare their natal charts, looking for familial similarities, if any.

Margarete Bagshaw, born this day, 11 November in 1964, she sadly died last year, aged only 50. She had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and suffered a stroke, leading to her death.

From an obituary By New Mexico reporter Jackie Jadrnak HERE
“Painting in complex compositions that feature a dynamic color palette, her work is instantly recognizable. Her large monumental canvases honor the work of her mother and grandmother, and are truly a testament to the significant place the women of her family hold in the art world …,” says the Golden Dawn Gallery website in describing her work.

She often worked on several paintings at a time, like a chess master moving down a row of tables playing multiple games.

Kate Nelson, author of the Helen Hardin biography, wrote in a tribute to Bagshaw, “… she emboldened her friends to dream big and strive past their supposed limits. She donated her time, money and heart – even a kidney in 2002 – to various causes and people.

“She held a rock-hard work ethic and lived with gusto. She threw lavish dinner parties, loved dogs (especially Maggie the goldendoodle) and indulged an unapologetic weakness for cute shoes. Her laugh could melt icicles.”

McGuinness called Bagshaw “without a doubt the most spiritual person I ever met,” adding that she was anti-religion. “She saw things differently, in more ways than one.”

More at pdf on THIS website

and for examples of her artwork see Google Image HERE

Margarete's mother, Helen Hardin (May 28, 1943 – June 9, 1984) (also known as Tsa-sah-wee-eh, which means "Little Standing Spruce") was an American painter. Her parents were Santa Clara Pueblo artist, Pablita Velarde and a Caucasian former police officer and Chief of Public Safety, Herbert Hardin..........Hardin's relationship with her high school boyfriend, Pat Terrazas, continued after graduation and they had a daughter, Margarete Bagshaw, in 1964. Hardin had to sneak opportunities to paint because both her boyfriend and her mother disapproved. She went to Bogotá, Columbia in 1968 as a respite from the abusive relationship with Terrazas and an unhealthy relationship with her mother. She said of that time, "I awoke to the fact that I was twenty-four years old, I was locked into an unhappy [relationship], and I was not painting. I didn't know who I was or what I was. In search of personal freedom, I took Margarete... and left the country."

In 1973 she married Cradoc Bagshaw. Her relationship with her mother improved in the 1980s, and Velarde began to be supportive of her work. Hardin was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1981 and died in New Mexico in 1984.

Pablita Velarde (September 19, 1918 – January 12, 2006), Helen's mother and Margarete's grandmother.


Velarde was born on Santa Clara Pueblo near Española, New Mexico. After the death of her mother when Pablita was about five years old, she and two of her sisters were sent to St Catherine's Indian School in Santa Fe. At the age of fourteen, she was accepted to Dorothy Dunn's Santa Fe Studio Art School at the Santa Fe Indian School. There, she becomes an accomplished painter in the Dunn style, known as "flat painting".............In 1942, Pablita married Herbert Hardin, a graduate of the University of California who she had known for some time. Her daughter, Helen Hardin, and her granddaughter Margarete Bagshaw became prominent artists in their own right.

Pablita Velarde's paintings via Google Image


(All 3 charts are set for 12 noon, times of birth unknown.)

Margarete Bagshaw born 11 November 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Helen Hardin born 28 May 1943 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Pablita Velarde born 19 September 1918, Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico.

Starting from the eldest of the trio, Pablita's chart, last of the 3 above: her Uranus in Aquarius (its own sign of rulership) and in opposition to Aquarius' traditional ruler, Saturn, might be seen as translating into her daughter Helen's natal chart as Sun conjunct Uranus and Saturn. This was, perhaps, an echo of their seeming incompatibility. Pablita's Sun/Mercury/Venus in Virgo would have reflected a rather strict, critical nature in the mother figure, especially difficult for her rebellious Sun/Uranus daughter. The mother's nature was, however softened by a natal Moon somewhere in Pisces, and Jupiter in Cancer.

Helen, Pablita's daughter, had Sun/Saturn/Uranus in Gemini, a heady mix to deal with I guess! Her natal Moon would have been found in either Aries or Pisces. Pisces Moon would have matched her mother's Moon, but Aries Moon would add fire to that Airy Gemini trio, possibly more potential for trouble - of which she appears to have experienced a bundle!

Margarete, daughter of Helen, grand daughter of Pablita, had Sun conjunct Neptune in Scorpio (17 and 19 degrees), close to her grandmother's Mars at 21 Scorpio - possible an astro inheritance. Her Aquarius Moon, degree is uncertain without knowing time of birth, and Saturn at 29 Aquarius could echo another "inheritance" from grandmother's Uranus at 24 Aquarius. Pluto/Uranus/Mars in Virgo in Margarete's chart are yet another reflection of the Virgo flavour of her grandmother.