Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pisces Considered

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 Pisces, through which the Sun now travels, he wrote the paragraphs below, quoting from some professional astrologers whose works may now be less known by the average astrology fan. Some related links identifying those astrologers are added at the end of this post. The excerpt has been copy-typed by my own fair fingers, rather than copy-pasted from elsewhere on the internet. Illustrations here were added by me.

 Pisces by Erté
Pisces the Fishes
February 20 to March 20
A mutable, watery sign. To be both mutable and watery might be thought to be overdoing the fluid element; traditionally Pisces types are liable to lack both stability and precision. But the ruler of this sign is Jupiter (though some would substitute Neptune), which tends to correct the balance. The water symbolism is made much of by astrologers (Pisceans are said to be wonderfully adaptable and to make good actors) but the actual fish reference has mostly been dropped. Varley provides an exa of the latter: "Pisces was found to signify persons who were employed in fishing, and in other watery concerns...It is a sign under which many fishmongers were born...and some of the persons born when it is rising approximate to fishes in their eyes, which are somewhat conspicuous and phlegmatic."

 Pisces by David Palladini
Modern astrologers do not mention fishmongers but they stress the fact that Pisceans at their best are idealists and, at their worst, drifters. They are not individualists and in fact seem hardly conscious of their own individuality. And they certainly are not go-getters: They are gentle, shy, sensitive (often hyper-sensitive), vague, and prone to melancholy. Some retire from ordinary life by drifting (astrological textbooks always warn them against drink); others retire into lives of dedication, in cloisters or hospitals. They are extremely malleable, often hesitant, and keep changing course; Barbault says that the Piscean voluntarily loses himself in a labyrinth. When they lie it is not usually intentional but just part of their general confusion. The Moon in Pisces is dangerous for she encourages fantasies and hallucinations. At one extreme the Piscean can lapse into schizophrenia.

All this being so, it is not surprising that some of the artists born under this sign (it could be said to be a natural sign for artists) should have had tragic careers. It was the Sun-sign of the unfortunate German poet Holderlin, who went mad. Nijinsky was born with Pisces rising, and also went mad. And the pessimistic German philosopher Schopenhauer was born under Pisces with Saturn very prominent in his horoscope. A tragi-comic example from fiction is Dickens's Mr Mickawber in David Copperfield, a person who (according to Gleadow) is "notoriously Piscean."
On the brighter side of the picture, Pisceans are very lovable people because they are very loving. Not only is Pisces rules by Jupiter (which tends to redress the shyness, neurosis, etc.) but it is in this sign that Venus is exalted. And, true to the oceanic nature of the sign, the Piscean tends to "lose himself" in love. In Morrish's scheme there is a similar merging or fusion but here it is a "liberation" in the symbolic ocean of the cosmos: We have reached the highest point of yoga or spiritual consciousness, the top of the Zodiacal ladder. As usual, this is Morrish's own formulation, but he also accepts the traditional idea of the Piscean Age and, unlike Gleadow and others, deplores the fact that it is passing: Everywhere he sees a "characteristic destruction of Piscean values."

With this we have come the full circle of the Zodiac.

John Varley
Morrish (L. Furze-Morrish?)
Rupert Gleadow

For more posts on this sign - please click on Pisces in the Label Cloud in the sidebar.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Music Monday ~ Front Porches & A Guest Post - by Anyjazz

If the world had a front porch like we did back then
we'd still have our problems but we'd all be friends
Treating your neighbor like he's your next of kin
Wouldn't be gone like the wind
If the World had a front porch, like we did back then

Front porch family

In the 1990s my husband relinquished his job in Oklahoma to move to Kansas and take care of his ailing mother who suffered from Parkinson's Disease. Below is what he wrote in his journal from that time. I found it particularly appealing, and use it here (again) with his permission - a guest post of sorts.

Sunday, July 27, 1997

After mother finished pushing her dinner around on her plate, spilling her water and dropping her pills, I ushered her in two cycles around the kitchen table for exercise and returned her to her TV launching chair.

Then I went out, with all necessary accessories to stay in contact, including beeper and telephone, to sit in the front porch glider. A couple small pillows from the couch and an icy bottle of tea went with me too. And a book to run competition with the busy activity on the street and sidewalks that pass my line of vision in the apron of the front yard.

Across the street, little Desiree was at work schooling her invisible playmate in the fine art of ballet and cheer leading. The new neighbor on the east kept to the house mostly, and the stout pair on the west did their usual, arrived and left, arrived and left. Nothing much new in the front yard world so the book had little competition for my thoughts. I read until nearly nine.
"The highest function of love is that it makes the loved one a unique and irreplaceable being. The difference between love and logic is that in the eyes of a lover, a toad can be a prince, whereas in the analysis of a logistician, the lover would have to prove that the toad was a prince, an enterprise destined to dull the shine of many a passion." Tom Robbins in “Jitterbug Perfume”

Proving a toad is a prince or a prince is a toad.... Ponderings that take my mind. All the interactions of humans, luring, flirting, leading, flashing, feeding the mind, grooming the hair, daring to judge what's fault and what's fair, move only to a conclusion. A conclusion as certain as the last stop on the bus line, as illuminating as an eclipse and as dreaded and elusive as a cherry pit in a hot cherry pie. Nothing is certain. Everything changes. Toads are toads. Princes are princes. Fools are fools.

Of course to a cynic, the looming sunset of life can produce little beauty and not much comment except "I told you so!" But to a romantic a toad is a prince. The ends are merely a part of the beginning and all the pudding in-between. Life to the cynic is a clanking chain of events that prove everything is related, everything is temporary and everything is eventually as worthless as the inevitable last link.

But the romantic knows a secret. Life is the memories you make. Nothing more, nothing less. If you plant nightshade, as Mr. Nightingale quoted, you get nightshade...

The conclusion for the day is, I shouldn't sit for long periods in the glider by myself. In only a short time, so many thoughts float like dumplings in my brain soup that the bowl expands and the scalp stretches and separates the strands of hair across even greater expanses of bald. Sitting in the front porch glider is one of the known causes of baldness. In men.

Women have to go to the bathroom more often. Women think in little concise thoughts that mean something useful. They dispense their considered wisdom to the summer air around a glider and then go to the bathroom. Women perform their magic daily. They run the world and all of humanity and make it seem as if they don't know the first thing about it. Magic. Daily magic.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Nullify ?

A tid-bit of news not, as yet, made much of: there's a petition for a writ of mandamus seeking to nullify the results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election on a current SCOTUS docket.


While the world is paying attention to theatrical battles over President Trump’s executive orders and cabinet nominees, a largely unnoticed and potentially landmark case sits before the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. A petition for a writ of mandamus seeking to nullify the results of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election sits on the SCOTUS docket..........
Commenters at naked capitalism.com:

(sleepy): SCOTUS will view it as a political issue, not a judicial one, and punt.

(Pat):That would be the best choice. Probable worst outcome more tantrums from those behind the case and their supporters. Anything else spells violent response to me.

The Resistance has taken the first official step toward ending the nightmare that is Trump’s presidency. The Supreme Court of the United States has just advanced a case that could kick Trump’s entire administration out of office.
I've nothing to add other than this, if successful (highly unlikely), would be preferable to impeachment of President Trump, leaving us with President Pence - not a beneficial exchange! But, but...violent response....rock and hard place! Better to stick with what we've got, all things considered.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Arty Farty Friday ~ Richard Hamilton, Father of Pop Art.

 Heaventree of Stars
Some seven years ago, searching for artwork related to astrology I came across this print by English pop artist Richard Hamilton. Its title is from a quotation from James Joyce's Ulysses:
“The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit.”

Richard Hamilton was dubbed "Father of Pop Art". It was he who coined a name for the genre in fact; he influenced many artists who came after. Mr Hamilton died, aged 89, in 2011. Today, 24 February is the anniversary of his birth in 1922, it seems appropriate to add to an old post of mine and re-air it.

Hamilton's best known work is a 1956 collage often cited as the beginning of English Pop Art: Just What Is It That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing? It was originally intended to be a poster advertising a famous London exhibition, This Is Tomorrow.

'Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?'

From a piece by Fiona MacCarthy in The Guardian in 2014:
In Britain in that early postwar era there was a sudden thrilling influx of sophisticated, streamlined consumer goods from the US. It was bonanza time for British housewares, too, as the government-supported Council of Industrial Design (now the Design Council) campaigned to improve standards in British manufacturing and a new breed of industrial designers emerged from British art schools. In 1956, exactly coinciding with Hamilton's collage, the Design Centre opened in the Haymarket, a heaven for aspirational homemakers. There was even a royal seal of approval when Prince Philip's inaugural prize for elegant design was awarded to the Prestcold Packaway refrigerator.

But, as Hamilton was well aware, a backlash was beginning. Richard Hoggart, in The Uses of Literacy (1957), voiced the misgivings of many in lamenting the pervasive influence of American mass culture, "full of corrupt brightness, of improper appeals and moral evasions". There was a dawning consciousness that have-it-all housewives could be less than happy. The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan's bestselling analysis of female domestic frustration, would be published in America in 1963. Labour-saving appliances were certainly seductive, but there was now a movement of suspicion and distrust that one might define as Tupperware resistance. As an artist, Hamilton thrived on this ambivalence.

That Hamilton was anti-capitalist is an understatement. But he still adored the uninhibited plenty of American culture. Like other contemporary artists, Allen Jones being an obvious example, he devoured and then recycled the imagery of popular American magazines. He spoke of this as "plundering the popular arts". By popular arts, Hamilton emphatically did not mean the folk arts, which turned him very squeamish. The neo‑romantics, the Kitchen Sink School and the St Ives artists were similar betes noires...........Hamilton's art contained the shock of the eclectic. His all-embracing attitudes caused widespread puzzlement. He challenged the traditional hierarchy of values, the purist view held by the British art establishment of what was proper subject matter for a work of art. Hamilton was a knowledgeable, deeply serious artist who loved and respected the great artists of the past. But he was also determinedly responsive to the modern. The critic David Sylvester, a friend of Hamilton's, described this as verging on madness, a consuming obsession with "modern living, modern technology, modern equipment, modern communications, modern materials, modern processes, modern attitudes"....

Hamilton took pride in variety. His work ranges from book illustration, for instance his 50-year stint illustrating James Joyce's Ulysses, through collages, sculptures, politically charged pictures, digital images, and straight-ahead painting. He was a friend of Paul McCartney and designed the now famous cover of the Beatles' White Album along with the poster which accompanies it. The album cover, one might think, needed little in the way of design, but the story goes that it was made deliberately simple after the uproar following a previous album cover showing the lads with butchered body parts and dolls' heads.


Richard Hamilton was born in London, UK, on 24 February 1922. No birth time available so a 12 noon chart is shown below.

Sun conjunct Venus and Uranus in Pisces; Moon (whatever the birth time)was in Aquarius with Mercury. It's all there, in a nutshell! Sun (self) Venus (art) Uranus(the unexpected, avant garde, eccentric) all closely linked in Pisces (imagination and dreams.) Moon (inner self) and Mercury (communication, mental process) in Aquarius, sign ruled by Uranus (as above).

As if all that weren't enough to describe him, there's a Yod (Finger of Fate) linking Saturn (work, business) and Neptune (creativity) via sextile, then connecting both planets via quincunx (150 degrees) to Uranus and Venus. This formation can be interpreted in astrology as a funnelling of the sextiled planets' blended characteristics through the planet(s) at the apex. So here, creativity (Neptune) and business (Saturn) are blended, and channelled into the world via art (Venus) in a changeable and often unconventional style (Uranus).


Barmaids Miss Douce and Miss Kennedy from the "Sirens" episode of Ulysses.

The Transmogrification of Bloom (Ulysses)

Shock & Awe (Y'll know this one!)

English politician of the mid 20th century Hugh Gaitskell, disguised as Phantom of the Opera . Hamilton was furious about his refusal to get rid of Britain's nuclear deterrent.

Guggenheim in Chrome

Mick Jagger, and the art dealer Robert Fraser, in handcuffs following a drug raid ( from the Swingeing London series, 1967 - 1972)


Five Tyres Remoulded

The White Album + Insert

The Artist

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, National Security Adviser.

President Trump this week named Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security adviser, replacing Michael Flynn.

A look at the natal chart of the new national security adviser, with a little information as to how this gentleman is seen by another who knows him well - and how the Lt.General's chart links to the president's own.

From a piece at pri.org
by Christopher Woolf:

“H.R. is the most bull-headed, nicest, smartest, most ego-free person I think I have ever met,” says retired Army Col. John Nagl, who has known and worked with McMaster for more than 20 years.

“He is absolutely dedicated to taking care of America’s national interests,” adds Nagl. “Razor-sharp, and actually every once in a while even a little bit funny.”

As a soldier, Nagl says McMaster is the most demanding trainer of forces, and “the best implementer of both tactics and strategy, and the best military leader, I think, of his generation.”

Like McMaster, Nagl is a scholar, with a PhD. Together they helped reinvent the military’s counter-insurgency doctrine in 2006 and 2007, using techniques McMaster pioneered in Iraq's Tal Afar district with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in 2004. In addition to outstanding service in Iraq and Afghanistan, McMaster was awarded a silver star for gallantry and leadership during one of the largest tank battles since World War II, in the Gulf War in 1991.

But he has a reputation as a maverick..........

“The president has chosen a man who is absolutely unafraid to go toe-to-toe with anybody, including the president of the United States,” says Nagl. He will "fight absolutely tooth and nail for what he believes is right.”

As a serving soldier, Nagl expects McMaster to salute the president and execute his decisions to the best of his abilities. “But I tell you, I think the President is going to have a hard time convincing H.R. that he’s wrong.” .....

“He’s not ideological,” adds Nagl. “He understands, for instance, that while we are facing threat in radical Islamic extremism, the Islamic world is not our enemy.”

However, the president’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, does see the world in ideological terms. Nagl does not disagree with the idea that McMaster may come into conflict with Bannon.

“I’d buy tickets to watch that fight,” he says.

Herbert Raymond McMaster born on July 24, 1962 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chart set for 12 noon as no time of birth is available.

McMaster's Fixed Leo Sun and almost certain Taurus Moon (degree unknown without time of birth) indicates a strong-minded, tenacious, determined and at times stubborn nature, and that's brought out in the excerpts above. "Maverick" mentioned above is, I'd bet, related to Saturn in Aquarius in harmonious trine to Mars in Gemini. Saturn in Aquarius (its traditional sign of rulership) is also opposing Sun in its sign of rulership, Leo. What that adds, I suspect, is a certain intensity in relation to, yet a balancing of, needs of self with needs of others.

Venus conjunct Pluto in Virgo opposite Jupiter conjunct Chiron in Pisces...hmm? Another balancing act, a strange one: soft, sweet Venus joined with hard, dark Pluto balanced by wounded healer Chiron and expansive optimistic Jupiter. Make of that what you will!

There's more, but this is a brief, Twilight's eye view.

What particularly interested me to discover here was how, or whether, McMaster's and Trump's charts correlate at all.
 President Trump's natal chart

First I noticed that McMaster's Uranus at 29 Leo is tightly conjunct Donald Trump's ascendant degree and Regulus (Fixed Star); it's also conjunct Trump's natal Mars at 26 Leo.

Second: McMaster's natal Mercury is conjunct Trump's Venus/Saturn conjunction in Cancer.

Most important difference, between these two characters, as I see it, is that President Trump has Mutable Sun and Moon, whereas McMaster has Fixed Sun and Moon. McMaster is steadfast and determined, Trump is changeable, flexible, ultra-communcative. It's mainly the links in late Leo that can draw them together...plus McMaster's somewhat softer Mercury will understand Trump's softer, Cancerian side.

 Lt.Gen. McMaster and wife Katie host a Holiday party at Fort Benning Dec. 2016 Photo here by Ashley Cross/MCoE PAO

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

WORDS (or, in this case, Word.)

Whenever we have cause to drive into our local hospital/medical providers complex I notice a hospital building with signage in large letters above the wide doorway: "PAVILION". I usually mutter to the husband, "Why do they call it a pavilion for goodness sake?" "Don't know" he responds. At last I've bothered to look into my wee mystery.

Pavilion, to me, indicates some kind of tent or marquee type impermanent structure with canvas walls - the kind sometimes used at weddings for housing the reception. Alternatively I recall a book by M. M. Kaye, also adapted as a movie some years ago : "The Far Pavilions". The pavilions in that case were, I think, the peaks of the Himalayas, which were to provide sanctuary.
"An epic tale of forbidden love during the British Raj. British botanist's son Ashton Pelham-Martyn is orphaned in India and raised to believe he's an Indian boy named Ashok. Anjuli is a neglected princess, condemned first to an unwanted marriage and then to suttee when her husband dies — but happiness beckons for Ash and Anjuli in the "far pavilions" of the Himalayas, away from the prejudices that have kept them apart.

Or...in Brighton, on England's south coast, there's an ornate building: The Royal Pavilion (see below)
Royal Pavilion
Eccentric, extravagant, extraordinary…
One of the most exotically beautiful buildings in the British Isles, the Royal Pavilion is the magnificent former seaside residence of King George IV. Its fantastic domes and spires make it an easily recognizable icon, to both residents and visitors to Brighton & Hove alike. The story of the Royal Pavilion includes parties, hospitals and flower shows, contains influences from China, India and France, and includes characters as diverse as fishermen, monarchs and soldiers. As a unique palace, with a fascinating history and breathtaking decorations to discover, the Royal Pavilion has also played a key role in the development of Brighton and its international reputation for over 200 years.

The Oxford Dictionary informs me: that the word's origin is Middle English (denoting a large decorated tent): from Old French pavillon, from Latin papilio(n-) butterfly or tent.
A building or similar structure used for a specific purpose, in particular:
1.1British A building at a cricket ground or other sports ground, used for changing and taking refreshments.
1.2 A summer house or other decorative building used as a shelter in a park or large garden.
1.3 Used in the names of buildings used for theatrical or other entertainments:
‘the resort's Spa Pavilion’
1.4 A detached or semi-detached block at a hospital or other building complex:
‘the form of alternating pavilions also allows the site to be developed in depth’
1.5 A large tent with a peak and crenellated decorations, used at a show or fair.
1.6 A temporary building, stand, or other structure in which items are displayed at a trade exhibition:

So, the orignal meaning of pavilion has been expanded and modified over the centuries. The word comes up in the bible on several occasions, in its original meaning of tent, tabernacle or dwelling.
"He made darkness his secret place; his PAVILION round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire." ( Psalm 18:11-12 )

Pavilion Class is a very good and well-illustrated history of pavilions in the old meaning of the word.
Paintings exist illustrating tents and pavilions of various shapes and sizes through several centuries and numerous countries. This class will evaluate extant illustrations to glean what information we can about the types of tents and pavilions that were used, how they may have been supported and how they were decorated. The analysis will primarily look at tents and pavilions in the late medieval and the Renaissance time periods. Earlier than that, there are few illustrations and even fewer extant items available for research.

Pavilions were used for temporary living quarters, such as by noblemen on a military campaign and courtiers following the king on progress. It is likely that only the well-to-do with a significant train of their own servants would be carrying the large loads required to assemble and furnish a large pavilion. Lower classes in the campaign or progress would use simpler structures made by draping a large fabric over some rough sticks that were likely collected onsite. While a few simple shapes will be examined, most of the discussion on structure will apply to the more complex round pavilions seen in many of the illustrations.

I love the joy of mountains Wandering free with no concerns Every day I find food for this old body There’s leisure for thinking, nothing to do Often I carry an ancient book Sometimes I climb a rock pavilion To look down a thousand foot precipice Overhead are swirling clouds A cold moon chilly cold My body feels like a flying crane.
Han Shan

For after the rain when with never a stain The pavilion of Heaven is bare, And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams Build up the blue dome of air, I silently laugh at my own cenotaph, And out of the caverns of rain, Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb, I arise and unbuild it again.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Monday, February 20, 2017


You remember how it feels after eating too many chocolates, or too much cream cake, too many curly fries? Queasy! That's how I feel reading around the net these days, or watching bits of late-night TV shows, live or via random video clips offered as...whatever.

TRUMP! Too much, far too much TRUMP!


Don't these people realise that, though some repetition assists in embedding an idea into brains, too much of it has the opposite result? I'm actually beginning to feel sorry for President Donald Trump. It's their fault! A year ago, even six months ago, I felt appalled that the position of President of the USA could ever be held by someone like Donald Trump. I was certain it would never be allowed to happen. It did. Sufficient numbers of We the People wanted it - and got it. Done. Deal. Under current US electoral law. Next? Day after day, week after week, month after month the same old same old from those who didn't get what they wanted.

Yes, we know he's unreliable, we know he tells fibs and tall tales, we know he panders, we know he's this, that and the other; if we don't know we've been down Alice's rabbit hole for 2 years. It feels that way in any case!

There's one lone voice out there, managing to remain focused and practical, on policies the country needs for the benefit of all: the voice of Senator Bernie Sanders. Headlines have continued to screech, causing hysterics among their readers, viewers, listeners, over one issue or another touched upon by President Trump, in Tweet, speech or a "he said/she said" (and there are a lot of those around).

For the gods' sake give it a rest people! We know, we know! You've become sickeningly boring and quite ineffectual through this constant parroting! We know how virtuous you all are, we get it but, as the Pythons once declared:

It's Music Monday: I really do wish I could've "made it more like the movies" for y'all, "some pretty Technicolor way it's never been"!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State

A look at the natal chart of the USA's new Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson, noting a few pointers from online sources as to the kind of guy he is, as perceived by those who know him.

Two key factors routinely mentioned by commentators are Tillerson's long career in ExxonMobil - at retirement at the end of last year he was the company's CEO; and that, via his Exxon career, he has crafted close ties with Russia's President Putin. Neither factor is seen as being beneficial by many Democrats. He does consider that climate change is real - that's an improvement on the ideas of some of his colleagues in President Trump's cabinet. However, he qualifies his belief: “The increase in greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is having an effect. Our ability to predict that effect is very limited,” he answered to a question posed in his confirmation hearing.

What little I've gleaned about Secretary Tillerson's personality from a handful of articles online tells of a man who quietly projects power, discipline and control (NPR). Those who know Tillerson consistently describe a disciplined and effective communicator with an engineer’s logical approach to solving problems and the ethical compass of a Boy Scout. “What you see is what you get,” said John Stuart, a longtime Dallas banking executive who has known Tillerson for a decade. “He’s a straightforward, honest, honorable person.”

Tillerson is an Eagle Scout himself, and a longtime booster and national leader of the Boy Scouts organisation. He helped to engineer a recent change allowing gays to join the Boy Scouts.

From Dallas News:
More than 40 years after Rynd and Tillerson met, the memories that stand out for Rynd surrounding his former housemate revolve around one central concept: work. The Tejas Club was an old house that needed many repairs, and Tillerson would organize the projects, then complete them.

“He wasn’t just a delegator. This sounds corny, but he led by example. There was no project that was beneath him or too hard for him,” Rynd said. “He was busy -- if not busier than the rest of us. ... If it needed to be done, Rex signed up and got it done.”

Tillerson graduated in 1975 and weighed a higher-paying offer at a steel company. But in Exxon, he found a company whose highly regimented approach mirrored his own.

“It’s very demanding and competitive,” said Coll, the author. “It’s a very rule-driven institution. But it also requires something on the dealmaking side, a little bit of a sense of subtlety and resilience because most of these places where they work, these things don’t come easily.”

Tillerson worked for Exxon’s upstream division -- the rough-and-tumble business of exploring and developing new resources. His early days found him in East Texas, a time he later described as “sheer joy” in solving complex problems out on the oilfield.

He steadily rose through the ranks and by the 1990s, he landed career-defining assignments in places like Yemen and post-collapse Russia.

Well....in theory that all sounds like good news! Does his natal chart reflect the above?

Born on 23 March 1952 in Wichita Falls, Texas. No time of birth known, chart is set for 12 noon.

Without knowing his time of birth only a sketchy outline is possible, Moon's exact position and rising sign cannot be established. First thing I noticed - no planets in Earth signs, I found that surprising. The unknown rising sign might provide an Earthy footing.

His lifetime career closely connected to oil is nicely represented by Saturn and Neptune close together, close enough to be termed conjunct, in Libra. Saturn links to career, Neptune links (among other things) to oil.

His natal Sun, Mercury and Jupiter are all in Aries, sign known as the initiator, with the Saturn/Neptune conjunction opposite, providing a balancing, steadying factor to any native Aries impulsiveness. Mercury conjunct Jupiter in Aries reflects the important part international travel (Jupiter) has always played in his career, and will continue to do so as Secretary of State.

I see that, in his natal chart, there are two challenging square aspects to Uranus, planet of the unexpected and eccentricity - in Secretary Tillerson's case this is no bad thing. We have quite enough eccentricity and unexpectedness emanating from President Trump - we need no more, and especially not from the Secretary of State! It's interesting, though, to note that transiting Uranus, at 21 Aries, is currently conjunct Tillerson's natal Mercury/Jupiter. Change is, indeed, visiting his life, both planet-wise and in reality!

At 12 noon on Secretary Tillerson's date of birth Moon was at 5 Pisces; for natal Moon to have been in Aquarius his time of birth would need to have been in the very early hours - not a lot later than 1 AM; it seems most likely that natal Moon was in early Pisces, reflecting a more gentle and imaginative inner-self than his dynamic Aries core-self.

Due to comments on his personality quoted above, I'd bet on a solid Earthy rising sign (Capricorn, Virgo or Taurus), alternatively Saturn in Libra sitting on the ascendant with Neptune close by.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Arty Farty Friday ~ Carrie Ann Baade

Carrie Ann Baade's surreal oil paintings, rich with allegory inspired by literature and art history are peculiar, discomforting but intriguing. The artist's own website, portfolio & archive is HERE. Or, for a quick look at some of her work see
The oddly disturbing royal portraits of Carrie Ann Baade by Ann VanderMeer. More examples, in one place, can be seen at the Google Image page HERE

As a single example, I like this one, it's one of the least depressing and easier to interpret:
Lady or Tiger

This 51 second video shows a few more samples of detail from her artworks.

From a piece at denversyntax.com - which also has a series of illustrations attached.

SNIP ....admittedly, her work is complex. It is rich with symbols and it speaks to traditions of the past. And when somebody is as hyper-intellectual as Baade – you can be certain that she has a wealth of commentary, both in her work and in her life.

Baade is not an erudite, even though she is a professor. She is not pedantic, despite her rich vocabulary, love of creating sniglets (made-up words) and knowledge about the history of art. She is not crazy, but she will admit to having lived a pungent and somewhat extraordinary life.

Working with traditional painting techniques, Baade is a steward of history. At times she employs the works of old masters in her paintings. In this she is interested in creating a meta-narrative of a work, commenting on its original context as well as its contemporary relevance.

For Baade, her picture planes are compact. And this is exactly her aim – to pack her canvases with as much information as is possible. At once hyperbolic and overly-dramatic (placing your head on the body of Christ certainly is just that), Baade has an astute interest in being a storyteller. And with her rich color palate, on her canvases and in her life – the aim is for something extraordinary. The aim is to live a life less than commonplace.

ASTROLOGY: A 12 noon chart only, for a brief look in relation to the artist's style - no time of birth known so Moon and rising sign will not be as shown.
Born on 18 February 1974 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A Grand Trine predominates - in Air signs - linking Sun conjunct Jupiter in Aquarius to Saturn in Gemini and Uranus in Libra. An Airy circuit combining the two rulers of Aquarius, Saturn and Uranus = traditional and modern; that must give extra significance to this particular Grand Trine, bearing in mind Ms Baade's style does combine traditional painting style with modern/avant garde surrealist subject matter. Venus, planet of the arts in Capricorn (Saturn-ruled) echoes again the traditional link, Capricorn and Saturn have links to tradition, time etc. Venus is also semi-sextile Sun/Jupiter, hightlighting a kind of hybrid combination, which sometimes might be an uncomfortable link, but here has been cleverly combined - perhaps thanks to that Grand Trine in Air (mental acuity).

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dennis Kucinich warns us to "Wake up!" (again).

'Wake Up!': Kucinich Says Intel Community Making 'Unprecedented' Effort to Upend Trump

Dennis Kucinich's is one of only two voices I trust in US politics, the other is Bernie Sanders'.
Whatever one's views on Donald Trump, Kucinich's words here need to be heard.

Do see the video linked above: Dennis Kucinich at Fox News (I know!) with his thoughts on the Mike Flynn affair.

A little light sleuthing on "Mike" Flynn's d.o.b.

News of Michael Flynn's resignation as President Trump's National Security Adviser sent me searching for his date of birth so's to do a quick check on possible astrological correlation. His date of birth, beyond month and year isn't available. "December 1958" in Middletown, Rhode Island is all Wikipedia and other websites reveal. 20th century Ephemeris to the ready, with a piece from The New Yorker, November 2016 to hand I shall do a little light sleuthing!

The Disruptive Career of Michael Flynn, Trump’s National-Security Adviser
by Dana Priest

SNIP only:

A lot of reporters and other civilians found Mike, as everyone called him, refreshing. A plucky Irish Catholic kid from Rhode Island, he wasn’t impressed by rank. He told his junior officers to challenge him in briefings. “You’d hear them say, ‘Boss, that’s nuts,’ ” one former colleague said. The colleague asked not to be named, as did others I talked to for this story, either because they wanted to maintain a positive relationship with Flynn or because they did not want to criticize the incoming Administration. “When he would walk in a room, they would look up like little dogs. They just loved him.”

Flynn broke rules he thought were stupid. He once told me about a period he spent assigned to a C.I.A. station in Iraq, when he would sometimes sneak out of the compound without the “insane” required approval from C.I.A. headquarters, in Langley, Virginia. He had technicians secretly install an Internet connection in his Pentagon office, even though it was forbidden. There was also the time he gave classified information to NATO allies without approval, an incident which prompted an investigation, and a warning from superiors. During his stint as Mullen’s intelligence chief, Flynn would often write “This is bullshit!” in the margins of classified papers he was obliged to pass on to his boss, someone who saw these papers told me...........
In December 1958 Sun was in Sagittarius, 8 to 29 degrees, until around 23rd, then moved into Capricorn. Mercury was in Sagittarius all month with retrograde motion included. Venus was in Sagittarius until 15th, then into Capricorn. Mars was in Taurus all month with retrograde motion included. Jupiter in Scorpio all month. Saturn in Sagittarius between 25 and 29 degrees. Uranus in Leo. Neptune in Scorpio. Pluto in Virgo.

From the above paragraphs, and from the full linked article, I got more of a Sagittarius "vibe" than Capricorn, though initially, and from his facial appearance I'd have guessed Capricorn. Even if his birthday were in late December with Sun in Capricorn he'd still have Mercury and Saturn in Sagittarius. I suspect that's most likely - birthday 23rd or later, Capricorn's staid solidity tempered by Sagittarian risk-taking, hot-headedness. If that be so, it'd also mean that transiting Saturn (restriction, limitation, career) currently at around 25 Sagittarius would likely be conjunct natal Sun. President Trump's natal Moon is at 21 Sagittarius, by the way - not surprising that both are, and recently have been experiencing challenges.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


"I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon."

Monday, February 13, 2017

Eugenics & Other Yous

At some point last year we had begun to watch season 1 of the TV series Orphan Black via Amazon Prime; something must have happened to distract us (maybe a time away from home) because we then forgot to continue watching the series. Casting about for something different the other evening I again spotted Orphan Black decided we'd pick it up, not where we discovered we'd left it earlier on, but from the beginning again. In the series a young woman discovers that she is a clone, with numerous "sister" clones scattered around the world, she meets several of these; lots of adventures and dangers ensue. Amazing performance by Tatiana Maslany playing multiple parts and personalities - it's well worth regularly suspending disbelief just to watch her talent.

All that rambling was to justify a re-airing of this 2011 post on eugenics, a topic front and centre of Orphan Black.

Here's the relevant post, with appended 2011 comments for added interest.

Eugenics ~ Designer Babies ~ Astrology

I recall a conversation on an astrology message board, many years ago, touching on the question of whether it'd be wise for a couple to use astrology to try to plan a birth date/time which might produce the type of characteristics they'd prefer to see in their proposed child. My immediate feeling was that it'd be an unwise thing to try. I believe that nature knows best, and that there's an inbuilt heredity factor that will come into play, irrespective of attempts to displace it, or parts of it. Something from that conversation remains etched in memory: from a professional astrologer - well known one too, regularly commented and helped astrology students on the board. He told us that he and his wife had tried to astrologically design their child, and had done so successfully - a beautiful child was the result. But the child died at a young age.

An article in an old book, mentioned before in these posts "The Best of the Illustrated National Astrological Journal 1933 - 1934" prodded me into a little research into the controversial topic of eugenics, which has to be said is loosely linked to the idea of astrologically designing a baby.

The article, An Astrologer Looks at Eugenics was a report of an interview with one Robert De Luce, an astrologer and mathematician. The interview took place in the early 1930s. It's important to realise that at that time eugenics, as a general concept, had not attracted the dark, evil connotations gathered from the use of it by Hitler's Nazi regime a few years later. It's also important to realise that the theory of eugenics arose in early 20th century England, not Germany, and flowed (as things usually do, one way or another) across the Atlantic to the USA. The original purpose was not ethnic cleansing, but a desire to rid the human race of what proponents of eugenics saw as defective beings, and thus improve the species, and possibly avoid over-population as a side effect. Among what these elitists saw as defective beings, of course, were ordinary folk like thee and me who didn't measure up to their own supposed brilliant intellectual height. Oddly, although these eugenics peddlars were the progressives of their day, what they were proposing was fascistic in tone. Strange how things turn around!

I found what Robert De Luce had to say to be somewhat unpleasant. Worrying about "the existing sociological situation" and the then remedies (prisons, asylums, reformatories, public financial offerings etc...) he wrote

..They may for a time gloss over the cataclysm but they cannot permanently cure or avoid its recurrence.....

If the public will accept on faith the findings of astrological scientists, sufficiently to give them a fair test, we can readily assist the development of this new race of supermen.


Then again eugenists have a fear that the masses of lower intelligence, such as the moron and imbecile, will overpower and destroy, by their greater numbers, those who are intellectually endowed. There is nothing to it. No form of society has yet ever existed where the imbeciles and morons are the controlling factor.
That last sentence is a perfect straight line for a comedian to take up - I'll resist the temptation!

Back in the early 1930s perhaps a pervading astrological atmosphere was encouraging such perfection-seeking attitudes.

August 1932 to September 1933 saw a transit of Jupiter through Virgo, with Neptune already in that sign - a sign which has the reputation of a need for perfection in everything. The relatively innocent motives of De Luce were overshadowed when Hitler's Nazi regime set about its aim to produce the "master race" and "cleanse" Europe to produce an imagined Utopia. We all know of the ensuing horrors!

As a broad definition eugenics means people being bred like cattle or dogs, cats etc to produce the most desirable genetic traits. Genetic engineering in the 21st century could be used to produce a "designer baby". That might well be the case, but astrology buffs would argue that unless the position of the planets at the time of the designer baby's birth are compatible with the traits desired, results might well be disappointing.

There's a limit to how much "designing" can be done astrologically. It'd be next to impossible to ascertain the exact minute of birth, or even exact hour and day of birth (unless birth was by C-section, performed by accommodating medics).

I found this piece, of astrological relevance, at librarising.com during my searches; extract only link is below. [Since 2011 the link has died - sorry!]

According to studies and trials done by Russian cosmobiologist Eugene Jonas, a woman can only conceive when the transiting Sun and Moon are in the same angular relationship(by sign) as the woman's natal Sun and Moon.

In other words, if the woman has the Sun in Leo and the Moon in Sagittarius, she has what is known as a trine(120 degree) relationship between her luminaries. Whenever the Sun and Moon are in trine(by sign) in the sky, this is the best time for her to conceive or become pregnant.

The trine is a harmonious relationship. Other harmonious Sun/Moon relationships(by sign), such as the sextile(60 degrees), Conjunction(0 degrees), or opposition(180 degrees), can also be fertile periods for her...... Note: a period of up to twelve hours should be allowed for the sperm to reach the ovum and cause conception.....
The sex of the child is determined by the gender of the sign the Moon is in at the time of conception.........

According to the ancient Trutine of Hermes formula, the Moon sign at conception, becomes the Ascendant sign at birth, and the Ascendant sign at conception becomes the Moon sign at birth. The time from conception to birth is usually 273 days or ten lunar months and nine solar months.

In other words, you can pretty much select the Moon and Ascendant signs of your child(as well as the other planets) and therefore have a very good idea of the characterstics of the child you are bringing into the world.

Whether eugenics were to be used to "better" the human race generally, or a variation of it were used to astrologically design offspring, I'm not in favour. Messing with nature can have enormous unexpected consequences for which the species would not be prepared.

COMMENTS (from May 2011)

Wisewebwoman said... Amen to that, I say, T!

Gian Paul said...Which practicing astrologer is not transforming, or trying to move his self (or various selves) towards what he/she may perceive as the more desirable aspects of his given make-up? If not so on earth, who knows at the latest when going thru "purgatory"? Are we not somehow fabricating something according to what we think "more desirable"? Astrology helping, this may even become obsessive.

Twilight said...Gian Paul ~~~ Oh yes, using astrology to improve what already exists is a reasonable thing to try - agreed, if one feels the need. It's the attempt to manipulate nature BEFORE a being exists, to that I see as very, very unwise.

Vanilla Rose said...I saw (part of) a TV programme about eugenics which claimed that Creationism had begun as a reaction against eugenics: the "God makes no mistakes" line. I'm not sure I quite agree, as it seems that some babies are born with disabilities which a loving God would not have chosen to inflict. Of course, many people do cope amazingly well with very severe disabilities.

The problem with trying to ensure babies are born with a particular birthsign is that nobody quite knows whether they will arrive on time. One of my family members was given a due date in mid-April, which was revised to early April when the ultra-sound found two babies in there. Needless to say - Aries. But she went into labour early. Fortunately, both babies did well (after a few weeks with naso-gastric tubes), but their birth sign is not Aries or even Pisces. She has two lively Aquarians.

Twilight said...Vanilla Rose ~~ That would have been an interesting prog. :-)

I'm in two minds about the wisdom of using genetic engineering to "right" a known deficiency in an unborn baby. That's a little different from designing the whole being. Even so, changing one thing could have a knock-on effect to some other thing, not realised.

Yes the astrological side would be VERY tricky to manipulate - nigh on impossible - with a natural birth anyway.

It's Music Monday..... I'll stay on the same page, with help from Nancy Wilson and There will never be another you: