Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday Evening Meditation


Monday Morning History Class

Hairstyles are important. Here we have some historical examples, clockwise from the upper left.

The sleek bob
. In the mid-'20s, the head-hugging, sometimes shingled bob was popular -- a perfect match for the cloche.
The sculptured roll. Longer hair, rolled close to the head in assorted formations, like this forward roll, was well groomed but chic for the more serious '30s.
The poodle. This casual curlyhead style of the '50s was set with 125 curlers and required frequent permanents.
The bouffant. The thick pageboy, the bouffant, was set on large rollers, teased to create fullness, and sprayed heavily. Regular salon visits were a must.

Au naturel. Emancipted from all care, except perhaps a permanent, the tousled look of the '80s and '90s was achieved by washing the hair and simply letting it dry uncombed.I'm not sure if today's style is an improvement.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Meanwhile Back on the Warming Earth

I used to grow perfect peppers. No matter where I was, what kind of soil, acid and what-not, they grew with enthusiasm. Big, green , and shiny. I think one year in Colorado Springs something got on the leaves, but other than that, it was clear sailing until harvest. They're my favs.

Top photo: Juliette Wade

Friday, April 27, 2007

Myrtle Rae's Takin' Off

I'm going! Me and Zelda are ready. Off to planet 581 c. I've had it with the goddamned jackasses I'm sharing this ball with, and I can't wait for redemption indefinitely.
My last (and final) husband, the one in Bali, might miss my presence, but he'll recover. He can grow some rice and relax. We'll write when mail service is established.
I'm an Aries with an Aries rising, as you know, and I'm always up for a new adventure. My Venus in Taurus likes comfort, but I'll have a cozy nest in no time. I can't wait to see what kind of eggs Zelda will be laying. She's high-strung and unpredictable.

May I suggest when Pluto goes into Capricorn, that you all clean up the house. You might be getting visitors.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Beyond Pluto

Astrology is changing dramatically.
Even in the 40 years I've been in the practice, I've seen noticeable movement.

Early man didn't understand the universe, and he turned to prediction to try and control his fear and confusion. As he slowly gained knowledge, he had less need to find control, so astrology broadened into other areas of usage, until modern times, where it is becoming a tool for understanding the self.
I don't think it's coincidence that the dwarf planet Pluto is in the galactic center of our Milky Way with the discovery of life in outer space. It's as though a slot has opened and we are being beamed in and contacted, in the expansive, friendly, seeking sign of Sagittarius, who wants to know what it's all about and who's there. The battle between Jupiter (Sagittarius) and Pluto goes a long way back. And now they are meeting each other. Big pow wow. A great moment, as the lord of the earth and the lord of the underworld come together. Brothers forever.
This is the first time humankind has encountered the conditions in space for life as we know it on earth. It's not a politician, a Hollywood type movie star, nor a popular singer that's contacting us, so people have brushed it off, preferring the daily boxing match in the sports arena and the bloodbath in the desert. The scientific community has not done so, however.
Nor have I.

What is most fascinating is what Pluto has done in this last moment in Sagittarius for 248 years. He has diminished his power by relinquishing his status as a planet. Pluto used to stand at Death's door guarding the end of our solar system. No wonder we were afraid. But as he has stepped down, the door just opened to reveal more life. No surprise that Pluto should drop this tidbit of information just before he leaves the galactic core in his new position.
What's also interesting is the Aries-Scorpio new-full Moons right now. Aries is exploration and new frontiers, and Scorpio is ruled by Pluto. More impetus in this first time event. Added to that, is the conjunction of the Aries planet, Mars, with Uranus (insight, science, knowledge, and the unexpected) in Pisces (the universe) exactly when the information was revealed. This tells us something about the Uranus in Aries coming up soon and what it might bring in terms of innovation and discovery. We've probably seen next to nothing yet.
I have always been convinced that the change in status of Pluto was significant. My view is that fear will gradually diminish as we step beyond this lord of Death to recognize the infinite nature of life. We weren't ready until now. Of course, it will take time for many astrologers to catch up and realize that Pluto is not exactly all about extreme pain and destruction, and death something to be avoided at all costs. He's still spooky, of course, but I wouldn't want to take that away from him. Nope. Part of his charm.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Terror and Discovery

Now that Mars is midway through the transit of Pisces, conjoining Uranus and the North node, the usual fear of the universe is revved up along with the arrival of an interesting new development.
The terror of the terrorists, the government, Big Brother, the New World Order, and all assorted conspiracies is rising once again. The ever out-of-control victim is doomed as usual. All predictable. I just read an article about the infiltration of criminals into our very own government and the scare tactics, but who's foolin' who? The author was expressing nothing but terror.

The first and foremost response to threat is, "do not be afraid". An Aries knows this is the only way. So as Mars fiddles with the collective paranoid mind, the NN in Aries is here to remind us. We will survive and triumph.The human race is clipping right along.
This terror is a natural part of everyday life, and no more than it ever was. All people in history have thought the same thing .... that they are in the worst, most dangerous time yet. This is a complete fallacy. The fear of the New World Order and global demise is exactly what the creators want. They are nowhere near as powerful as some insist. These poor victims are projecting their personal fears, and for some reason, want others to tremble too.

While it's true that the leaders committed such acts as the destruction of the World Trade Towers and the perpetuation of worldwide conflict for their establishment of dominance, there is too much infighting and lack of cohesive leadership in these ranks to ensure success. The Aries warrior gets this. Clear as a crystal bell.
And, of course, there are too many cosmic factors.

As most of you know, within this frightening expulsion, came the discovery of potential life on another planet in space. I expected this but not so soon. This is part of Pluto leaving Sagittarius, and our belief in something out there. So far, the people of this planet have felt alone in the universe and this has been a large part of this terror. Aries also knows this, since he is well acquainted with aloneness.

I think a lot of human behavior until now has been motivated by a fear of the emptiness and darkness beyond the earth with no protection, no familiarity. I also thought that the new physicists and astronomers would find life, thus diminishing our feelings of alienation and fear.

The time has come. As the years ahead unfold, and we become more familiar with outer space, I believe we will be less inclined to make deities of our rulers, as history has always done. We can begin now to put their power in perspective. We are probably not alone, and the voyage of discovery is just beginning. We can put some of our fears aside and revel in the glory of the universe, possibly devine protection, at least for these last moments of Pluto in Sagittarius. Before we start battling those guys out there.
Illustration by Peter Sis from Starry Messenger.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

North Node in Aries or the First House

The North Node in Aries is seeking encounter with himself. After years of looking for his reflection in others' faces, he finally has come to the clear and still mirror in which his own face appears. The separation that existed for so long brings ecstasy to this meeting. The person he recognizes as the one he's always wanted.
While the SN in Aries has grown weary of looking at his familiar visage, the NN doesn't yet know this person, and only wants to look longer and further to make his aquaintance. Every NN in Aries knows exactly why Narcissus fell in love with himself so rapturously, innocently, and completely.

Survival. The NN Aries is here to live. He often comes from some weakness in the family line and a renewed vigor is found in his protoplasm, as survival is paramount, and he surpasses those before him. The challenges of living do not daunt him as he grasps life and gets ready to ride. His senses are keen, his mind is alert, his reactions are quick, he's excited to be alive.

Dominance. This NN is unafraid to charge fully into his environment and take control of his immediate surroundings. The turf is his, and while other people can easily deal out abuse as they establish dominance, the NN Aries has the skill to be the top dog with elan, sincerity, and rightness. He knows he is the best in many ways and is motivated to prove it. The world respects his position and falls in line behind him knowing they will be expertly led. The more the Aries accepts and uses this urge, the better off everybody is. Shrinking and following is a dead end, only shortchanging the group, which always needs leadership in this fundamental in-the-field way. He is the scout, ahead of the pack, looking out for its safety. Vital to its survival, as well as his own.

Aggression. The immediate uninhibited thrust into experience is the right of an Aries, and the way he performs best. Timidity is not in his interests. Many abuses of aggressive behavior have been noted by the experts, but not with this NN. He was designed to butt his way through, leaning into the environment with no holds. If people get hurt, it's their doing. They should not get in the way. He's on his own path, not intentionally targeting anyone else, so the best place for others to be, is beside or behind him. When this nodeholder triumphs over the fear of bothering these others, he's on his way.

Search for identity and the fire within. Early on when the NN Aries is defining himself through people, he knows it's only a matter of time before circumstance pushes him out in search of his own perspective. After the initial encounter with his reflection, he progresses to the study and testing of the things he can become. His identity is so undeveloped that he can actually create himself to his specifications. Once he extricates himself from what he thought he was in people's eyes, and possibly after fear and confusion, feeling so naked, he starts to perceive himself from his pure responses, exclusive of others' input. This is one of his greatest joys; knowing his singularity no matter how much it conflicts with popular opinion. And it often does. No one sees through everything more precisely than the Aries NN, forming his own opinions, making his own judgements. Knowing he is right.
Coming from the loving and cooperative air element, he is embracing the instinctive fire of personal actualization. The fire burns at its hottest, brightest, and most intense in Aries. He is inspired by himself.

Strength, vitality, potential energy, and power. The Aries NN is discovering his strength and feeling his muscle. Like a newborn animal that must stand immediately to survive, the Aries NN has this much determination. Having given a great deal of power to others, he now is ready to use it for himself. The fear of denying them can sap his strength until he realizes how much there will be left over to help people anyway. The internalizing of this power in order to manifest his unlimited potential is the option. Aries is the metal in the life-giving blood that flows unimpeded in his veins, creating vigor that flows from himself into the world. He is primed and capable of great feats, surprising when unleashed, and highly creative when unrestrained. Ambition is at its highest point in Aries.
Courage, confidence, and will. The fearlessness that defines Aries is at its best in the NN. Intimidation by others or feeling beholden to them has grown useless, since these demands and desires are out of synchronization with the Aries NN's destiny. Once he establishes his solo path, a newfound belief in his abilities emerges with great impact. He knows he can do anything if he decides to do it. The world bends to his demands as people recognize the force they are encountering. When he takes charge, things work out not only for himself, but everyone in his realm.
Leadership. At first it can be terrifying for these nodeholders to lead individuals, not wanting to be responsible for any misfortune that comes their way. But after years of seeing them constantly misled, some feel the urge to step in and take over, rather than watch the group sink under faulty guidance. There is frequently a purity to the Aries fire that people trust. He maintains dominance not by punishing or belittling the people he's leading, but by clear directed action, arousing them to follow. He might not be a great administrator or a cooperative part of a complex system, but the job of leading others out of danger, or to an improved situation, is his. He has the confidence if he doesn't slip and get misled himself. The world moves ahead in his care, although he might choose to remain solo and leave the group entirely behind.

Independence and pursuit of his own aims. Going off alone is vital to the NN Aries, whether he's leading or not. After lifetimes of supporting the creative ventures of other people, this native is bursting with potential, talent, and goals of his own. Many things interest him and now he has the time and space to follow his desires. He can finally develop his skills apart from social pressure. It scares him to leave the heat and noise of the crowd, feeling like the people will disappear and leave him lonely, but the only way he can pursue his vision is to separate at least temporarily. The crowd goes nowhere in reality. He can rejoin at any time. But he often discovers that the more he entertains himself, the less he needs the rest of them. And when he does go in for connection, it's with less dependency and more pleasure, especially as he shows off his new and improved persona, that gets better with each journey out.
Participation without drainage. Often when the NN Aries gives too much, he feels drained and loses the joy of participating. He goes off resenting people and feeling ignored. As his independence grows, however, he finds genuine enthusiasm for socialization returning, and the empty drained feeling turns to energy and robust enjoyment. He finds out how much he, as an individual, has to contribute and wants to go back and do it again, better than ever.
Real respect and approval. In the beginning when people admire this NN person, he often changes the subject being so used to flattering others for his survival. As he develops his identity and confidence, a new kind of approval comes, much more substantial than he knew before. This makes the effort all worth it.

Supporting beam.The age old habit of jumping to give energy away no longer works as the NN in Aries is now ready to completely support himself. The inner steel of Aries is his to own as he finds strength unavailable to him previously. But far from abandoning companions to flop in weakness, they also miraculously thrive in his aura, much more than they ever did before. It happens automatically, with no effort, as the Aries life force expressing itself becomes exponential. He is now the central beam in his own house, firm and indestructible.
Facing challenge and trusting impulse. The NN in Aries is undaunted as he welcomes any experience that comes his way. He knows he can handle it. While before he often halted and second guessed himself, now he is prepared to go directly into life knowing his instincts and decisions are right, his moves accurate, and his competence unquestioned. He can do it.
Honesty. One of the finest traits of this nodeholder is his honesty. He sees the pretense all around him and remembers well the need to compromise the truth in order to gain approval. He is now ready to abandon this practice and fully express his likes and dislikes no matter what the consequences. The freedom to be his genuine self is one of his greatest joys, and other people are often entranced by the clear light that emanates from his eyes and his refreshing ability to tell it exactly like it is.
Autonomy. This person's life is his own. He has carte blanche to do what he wants to do, when, where, how and with whom he wants to do it ...... go where he wants to go, and be who he wants to be. No one else gets this ticket but the NN in Aries. He's payed in full.
Top: Orem Sherman. 2nd: Gregory Alexander
3rd: Sonja Bulaty and Angelo Lomeo

Monday, April 23, 2007

History Lesson .....
Pick Your Favorite

They are from top left clockwise:
Mahogany Table Set, 1939
Free-standing cabinet Model, 1956
Space-age Globe Set, 1970
Plastic Portable Television, 1966
The one who picks the least selected model gets to keep the set.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Generous Earth

And the human connection.
Wood and earth. Many years ago, it became trendy to build glass houses in the woods. I prefer cozy protected dwellings, but these homes were truly beautiful in their continuing connection with the outside. My aunt and uncle constructed an especially gorgeous one in the woods of Massachusetts, that has enough solid wall so as not to feel too exposed. It stands today as lovely as ever. My aunt is an artist thriving now in her eighties connected with the community, and involved with her four sons' diverse journeys. I can't help but think this relationship with nature is part of her fulfilled and long healthy life.

Water and rock. When I traveled in India and Nepal, I often had no running water and bathing was performed outside; in the Ganges River up north, in the fountains further south. Water spilling over rock thrills people endlessly, both in dramatic high waterfalls, and quiet brooks, easily navigated going upstream-downstream from stone to stone. Great on a summer afternoon. I grew up between two rivers, the Chenango and the Susquehanna which flow to the Chesapeake Bay. Memories. The scent of water, the bridges, the reflection of the town, the current that never stops.

Mountain and meadow. My year in the Himalayas was one of the best of my life. The terraced mountains in the lowlands and the grazing animals in the highlands, combined with the humble dwellings of the farmers and herdsmen created a brilliant patchwork of landscape. I had the great fortune to be invited to a place called Kafiristan, high in the Pakistani mountains, accessible only by dirt path along a stream. All day we trekked behind our sure-footed guide and when we reached the village, an unimaginable reward awaited. The gentlest people I've ever encountered, descendants of Alexander the Great's armymen and the local inhabitants, supposedly. A completely unique place, with villagers more like elves than traditional homo sapiens. The night in their huts around the fires seems like another planet altogether when I recall the experience. The flat baskets of fruit and nuts they left on our doorstep, then slipped silently away, also are in the realm of fantasy now. But it really happened.

Bread and fruit
Water and wine

Sun and stream

I eat

I drink

Firmly on the earth

Rocks. soil.
Photos: 2nd: Dhara Waterfall, Narmada River, India. James Blair Kapir.
3rd: Himalayas. Galen Powell. Bottom. Martin Brigdale.
Welcome, Taurus.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ignited and Ready

An Aries in motion, headed for Taurus.
Squeeze that horn for me, woman, so I know you're coming!

And the Walls Come Down

Saturn points one along the path of destiny and duty. The planet delineates the boundaries of the known world, but it is also the place where the individual is required get beyond these boundaries in order to evolve.
Blockages encountered under Saturn build strength and ability.

An individual who has mastered the curriculum laid out by Saturn knows the difference between right and wrong. If he suffers, he should have at least some idea why. This moral and ethical seasoning confers the power to function as an authority in the social system. Presumably, he is fit to govern others because he has proven the ability to govern himself.
Saturn signifies the completion of the building of a distinctive ego structure. The individual now acts in his own right and imposes on his surroundings the order he has labored to internalize. He is capable of shaping society as society originally shaped him. Through the upholding of accepted laws, he ensures the continuity of the community so that, although he eventually dies, civilization endures as a monument to his endeavors.
Marcia Moore and Mark Douglas
And here we stand. Nearing the end of the Saturn transit of Leo as the last direct motion has begun and this dense planet will be leaving for Virgo on September 2nd. Two and a half years of intense ego development, lessons of power, dominance and leadership, realization of creative talent, and the search for significance, personally and collectively.
Saturn often erects a wall while the work is going on, and once construction is complete, and the system can function successfully, the wall comes down. The effective governing begins. Every individual is at a slightly different stage of evolution, and for some, now is the time to recognize the needs, and start to prepare to take the lead in whatever realm is indicated. Leo and the Sun are at the center of a system in some way, somewhere. Everyone has a Leo sector in the chart, where Saturn has been training us. When he goes into Virgo, it will be time to get to work.
These last sweet moments can be fruitful and in this case, the stuff of dreams, since Neptune will be involved until the end. Evaluation of abilities and establishment of genuine confidence can proceed. Many people fail at good leadership because of a lack of true self confidence. Love of self translates into love of others, and into love of the world. And even if the spotlight is small in radius, each individual has a part to play, and will likely take the lead at times.
In terms of our own government it has been astonishing to observe the collapse unfolding. The incompetence, corruption, and deceit revealed in full light of day. Faulty leadership. Unsalvageable. Many of them are of the Pluto in Leo generation, and have been particularly influenced by this Saturn transit of Leo.
The Pluto in Leos are interesting. The infinity of desire in its sometimes ruthless pursuit of attention and domination, masking feelings of unlovability, is common with this placement. The magnitude of need is really impossible to describe. Saturn has put the clamp on this, at the same time, has been developing potential elsewhere. It's happening especially with the new environmentalists who are starting to emerge with dignity, style, and even power. They will grow and join their immature, greedy, and grasping compatriots, as Pluto in Capricorn orders. It will all be interesting to witness. Even though the common denominator remains at a less than magnificent level and will continue to do so, enjoying the grade B crime and horror show, the best of humanity will also play a part, perhaps with some added recognition.
So as Saturn chooses ones who have learned, some people will feel the responsibility to contribute as Pluto goes into Capricorn to specifically evolutionize society and government. They will be needed, and in time ..... appreciated.
I'm going to make the most of these last Saturn in Leo days.
And maybe watch some walls being disassembled. Even get in the act.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Walking out of Difficulty

Anyone up for a walk?
I'm forever intrigued and reassured by the multi-dimensional nature of experience. Mixed with suffering, there always seems to be compensation; sometimes great joy, at least for me.

When I reached the hardest stretch on my journey several years ago, and realized immediately that it would take a long time to absorb this reality, I found myself miraculously situated in a new home in my bustling, burgeoning city next to 77 miles of trail through wilderness. A canal and creek snake through the whole town and provide a place for biking, jogging, and walking, entirely removed from the city commotion, treasured by the local populace, and even kept relatively free of dog excrement. A remarkable feat.

I purchased a comfortable pair of little black walking shoes and spent the first year next to the canal, pondering, remembering, breathing, and moving in a steady rhythm, until I found myself slowly establishing balance and evolving. I especially liked the ducks who make the sweetest funniest sounds I know of. They enjoy themselves, and I see them swimming together and apart. Some ducks mate for life, I think, some travel solo, at least some of the time. They were good company.

It all appears fair to me. Whatever comes my way is a perfect blend of easy and hard, bad and good, all manageable so far, and all educational, molding my character in surprising ways. There's always a gate. Always a portal. Always a road out. And always one in, of course. I'm glad I'm free and ambulatory.

Photo: Neil Campbell-Sharp

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wheat and Disaccharide

A sweet brioche for the Moon in Taurus and a bright spring morning.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

An Aries in waiting.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Stagnant Waters

Decay is essential to the continuation of life. It provides the fertile ground for new growth. Scorpio is associated with stagnant water, poison rivers, and matter which must be eliminated to maintain healthy systems; the birth and death cycle that continues eternally in natural rhythm.

This new moon in Aries with the coming full moon in Scorpio is worth paying attention to, since within the last year, the Aries-Scorpio theme has been repeated several times. Something is getting through. Aries with Scorpio is the sword that cuts away the decayed matter cleanly, swiftly, and completely, although it might have taken a long time to get ready for this decisive moment.

When Jupiter was about to leave Scorpio last October-November you may recall the great stellium that occurred with the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. During that time there was also an Aries Full Moon. I remember it well. With this came the dramatic Democratic victory, heralding political change and an end to the decayed phase being endured. We are now experiencing more of this release as the lunation is digging deep into the pockets of our society to rid the collective of the waste. It's time to cut it loose and there is no better way than with an Aries New Moon.

The same course of action applies to people's personal lives. I'm deleting three specific things from my life and getting ready to forge ahead.
When I think of Aries, I think of the source.

Here is the roaring and tumbling, crystal clean and cold water at Gangotri, the source of the Ganges River. White and silver renewal. Invigorating life.
New Moon in Aries.
Top photo: Vivian Russell. 2nd: F. Wenders

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Warning! Approach with Caution.

Mars in Pisces is one of my least favored transits. It crosses my 12th house. I know I pride myself in having a tolerant attitude and generally positive outlook, but I DON'T LIKE THIS ONE.
My girlfriend just reminded me about the experience two years ago, I was that memorably bad. But the damned thing was retrograde. Cut me some slack! I'll try to do a little better.
Mars is energy, vitality, aggression, and selfness. In this vast collective liquid is not usually where he wants to cut a swath with his sword of triumph and conquest, disregarding the needs of everyone, let alone anyone. Mars' sharp, pointed, thrusting fiery energy dissolves in the Neptunian sea, losing direction and force. Neptune, however, can use this dynamo to further his aims, whatever they might be. And Mars can even perform some inspired magical acts, with grace added to his usual aplomb.
Wherever Mars is currently speeding through the chart there is increased activity in that sector, excitement mixed with despair, possible quarrels, unexpected aggression and then retreat, and probably a lot of confusion. Mars in Pisces forms a convoluted path, providing an opportunity to experience things from different angles, perhaps with sparks from the netherworlds. The following might give you some ideas .... what could happen as this mighty fiery one tries to navigate the Pisces waters in your charts.
1st house. Here the whole persona is affected, with energy levels going on wild swings, and vacillations between moving out and retreating. Mars wants forward, Neptune couldn't care less what direction you think you want to go. He would prefer you escape into your dreamworld if at all possible, but Mars would caution against being misguided at this time, and following shadows and unseen entities, unless you thoroughly trust them, of course. Despair at any lack of vitality should be ignored. It will pass. On the other hand, an arabesque in the evening sunset would be good for the body.
2nd house. If you happen to have a fistful of dollars, watch out. They can easily dissipate with the frittering Neptune up to his old tricks. This gives an entirely new twist to the idea of 'money laundering'. But a beggar on the street could be the lucky recipient of one of these bills, with Pisces tugging at the compassionate steak that could be in there. Of course, there is also the possibility of the dream deal, and certainly beautiful things to purchase that will add grace to the life. Even a boost in self worth is within grasp, if degradation is kept to a minimum. Your worth could be infinite for a moment. Getting them to see it is another matter.
3rd house. Misunderstandings, breakdowns in communication, and out and out lies are potentials with Mars through this fun house. Being the home of siblings, there is always the chance of discord occurring there, but the reverse could happen, and new lines of exchange can open up.Sometimes connections are unable to be completed, or fade in and out, as you seem to be trying to communicate with a ghost. Or you have to explain things a thousand times. And the car, or the minivan, or whatever it is that carts you to your destinations ..... these creatures occasionally go on the fritz. It's also happened that the dream car appears. However it works out, getting from here to there can have complications. On the other hand, poetry and inspired ideas are anxious to bounce out from a Pisces third house.
4th house. Make sure you have a backup supply of Kleenex, preferably purchased on sale. Sadness is common with Mars in Pisces through the 4th. Accumulated hurts and sorrows can be aroused, along with the usual 4th house fears, now really revved up. Retreat is often desired, but this can lead to beautiful moments in withdrawal away from the commotion and frenzy of the outside world. With this desire, sometimes comes an urge to make the home more spiritual and add gorgeous touches to the environment to soothe and remind you that not all grace is lost in this brutal world. There are pockets of gentleness somewhere.
5th house. A ticket to melodrama is often included with Mars in Pisces through the 5th. Then again, the most inspired performance ever seen is a possibility, either by you or the favored actors. Dissipation in partying can happen if you are that type, and if you gamble, you could hit the jackpot or lose it all. The children can present huge problems or they could entertain at the family reunion, keeping them jumping and clapping. You could get the lead in the play you've been dreaming about for ages. A good thing, too, when the love affair dissolves and the broken heart needs a new infatuation. Or you and the new love will have an unforgettable night of theater. In any case, the show must definitely go on.
6th house. So the routine goes to pot, or doesn't seem so satisfying. So what? And things can easily start going haywire on the job, if someone doesn't pick up on the fact that you just figured out the best way to get the task done. Or they could criticize you for being sloppy, not seeing their own inability to keep it all in tight order. If you lose a job, you could just as easily find a temporary ideal one. If things fall apart, they could just as easily magically realign. Can't tell. One of the best things to do in all of it, is to remember the purifying spiritual moments always necessary for Neptune-6th house types. Routine as religion, work as worship.
7th house. Don't marry him. Give it a few weeks. But a spiritual retreat might work out well. At any rate, try to keep your wits about you, not completely unattainable... really...with a Pisces 7th house. If the intact partner is troublesome now, it will probably correct itself soon. Briefly. And if she wants to bring out her old guitar and sing love songs to you at midnight under the moonlight, by all means encourage her. If you can't win any arguments now, rest assured, that probably no one will. And if you want to find love on an ocean cruise, you just might.
8th house. Do not go crazy. Drown in paranoia. Get weak from hypercrisis. Feel like murdering the ex. It's not as bad as you think. Even if you lose a fortune. You could just as easily inherit one. The minideaths of everyday living, along with the big ones, can be understood in the whole picture of existence. The eternal transitions. Even though Mars can whip up psychological discomfort in this sector, he can also bring truth in illumination with Neptune. The pain can be managed, as usual. So can the joy.
9th house. I highly recommend not going to India to see the guru just now. In fact, the pundits at home should be taken with a grain of salt from the Neptunian sea. In and around the professed guidelines to enlightenment, though, are some real glimpses into other dimensions. The words might just penetrate now with a longed-for meaning that previously eluded you. On the other hand, one of those sea cruises with a saint on board might work. And if that fails, then you can always talk to the dolphins. They'll tell you the truth.
10th house. If the top of the ladder just disappeared, do not worry. It will come back. You don't have to transcend the earth plane entirely to achieve your goals. You might feel like chasing the illusive rung especially fast now, but I would imagine, the destination will keep moving one step ahead. In the meantime, the feats you've already performed are worth admiring. Maybe someone above you will recognize your distinction, if they're not occupied with dissipation and failure themselves. Confusing power struggles are nothing to be alarmed at. The authorities are just as lost as you are. Reaching for heaven is a stretch, so it will take time.
11th house. Do not despair about the human condition entirely. It will seem better in a moment. I know you wish you could do more, but just feeling the struggle is really enough. Of course, any amount of volunteer work, or help extended toward the unlucky and downtrodden is more than most do. At the same time, it's easy to go overboard with your own visions and then dip into disillusionment, but it all evens out. Some of it can actually come into being, sometimes when you least expect it to. Keep wishing, and in the meantime, inspired gatherings with your enlightened companions can do wonders as we all search for progressive, good-hearted connections with our fellows. Somebody's got to do it.
12th house. Don't ask. Just grab your life preserver.
The worst can happen with Mars in Pisces, or the miraculous. Hard to predict. And don't forget Uranus and the North Node, now in Pisces, along with the Saturn-Neptune opposition. Good luck all you deep sea divers. And best of fortune to you surface snorkelers, too.

Friday, April 13, 2007

South Node in Libra or the Seventh House

The South Node in Libra defines an excessive attachment to approval and a clinging to dependency that holds one back from fully seeking a unique destiny. These nodeholders are caught on a treadmill of relationship. Their age old skill often keeps them trapped in apparently successful alliances, yet inwardly, they seek flight and freedom. Togetherness no longer makes them feel good about themselves, yet as soon as they are alone, they seek to escape once more into another one-on-one. Their motivation for action has always been a reaction to someone else's moves, and this now impedes their full enjoyment of life. They know they want to travel solo in some fundamental way.
Identity. These SNs are immersed in others' personalities to the extent that they they lose touch with who they are as individuals. They take their cues from others' opinions and often second guess their choices, even when they know initially they were right. They see everything from other people's points of view to the exclusion, at times, of their best judgement. They often associate their successes or failures with those of others, delaying the development of confidence in themselves. Old patterns lead them to seek out people with whom they can identify, but they usually find the differences becoming increasingly overbearing, sometimes becoming an internal battle for survival.

Under the gun of approval. The fear of displeasing people can be so strong with these nodeholders that they anticipate a metaphoric annihilation. Sometimes they will do the horrible deed, but feel such remorse that they change their minds and cooperate unconditionally. They often dissolve at any show of attention and forget their unpopular original aims, so vivid is their memory of harmony. Reshaping, covering up, smiling in agreement, pleasing and supporting constantly, eventually bring the Libra SNs to complete frustration and sometimes major conflict to bring about the inevitable and secretly longed for separation, and onward to their search for themselves. And back they will go to please again and again, wondering why the others aren't REALLY pleased.
Indecisiveness. Tied together with approval is the exasperating inability to make clear, fast, and firm decisions, feeling an uneasiness about the repercussions. They have difficulty understanding that their lives are entirely their own, to do with what they want. Others can fit into their decisions; they know this when at their best, but usually the reverse is the case, and they bend, twist, and contort to fit into the alien program, trying to rationalize and convince themselves that it will work out, and they will get their way too. Satisfaction eludes, they wait and see what will happen, staying busy weighing far too many options.
Excessive fairplay. The SN Libras are afraid of doing the wrong thing and not serving justice even when it hurts them to remain bonded to equality and fairness. Tat for tat, good deeds begetting endless good deeds, no act of sweetness unreciprocated, and never an unkind ignoring of another's demands, can leave these people exhausted, wondering why relationships end up unfulfilling despite this merry-go-round of cooperation. The exciting liberation of doing the not-so-perfectly-right thing remains out of their grasp as they become increasingly diminished in this outworn goodness of behavior. They've been kind enough. Too kind.
Fear of rejecting others. This terrifies SN Libras so much that they would 1,000,000 times rather be the rejected party. They stay in unrewarding situations waiting for the ax to be dropped by anyone but themselves. When by some miracle they cut someone loose, there are often doubts, regrets, and hopes that they can still get together again and work it out. The complete separation they know they need sometimes comes too late for a clean and satisfactory feeling of freedom. Recognizing the impossibility of satisfaction, and having the strength to act decisively are much needed characteristics in order for these natives to move ahead and discover genuine progress. The act of rejecting, itself, is an establishment of firm identity and confidence.

Conflict. There are many variations on this theme. Sometimes these natives fight frequently, sometimes they put it off until a major explosion occurs. There is an underlying discomfort with the disruption of peace and harmony, but the inability to refuse to compromise eats away at them, creating ongoing resentments. They often feel an initial impulse to stand their ground, but find themselves weakening as they fear the inevitable disagreement. They have a difficult time establishing boundaries, yet feel the urge to defend themselves as the lines drawn get more and more vague. The Libra SNs know all there is to know about maintaining successful relationships, and quarreling is a necessary part. The problem now is that they are drained by this effort, yet fear what they really want to do .... walk away. And best of all, keep the conflict from happening in the first place, unless self-initiated for good reason. Continual bickering keeps them trapped in burdensome explanations and justifications. They would rather act than explain. Apologies have lost their effectiveness.
Getting one's way, making demands, and winning. Speaking up and demanding decisions be made in their favor can be very difficult, especially when someone else seems to lose in the process. To be accused of being selfish is ghastly, but this is exactly what works best. Me first. It's not selfish in the way others think, it's smart and necessary. The competetive urge is as powerful as it gets, yet when push comes to shove, they back away from coming out on top. Always putting other people's needs before their own has become archaic. Doing what they want is paramount.

Loneliness. The hardest part of possessing the SN in Libra is the fear of loneliness. They think the desolation of being by themselves will be unbearable, but they frequently don't get far enough into this state to know if this is true or not. As soon as the slightest feelings of isolation grow, they run for rescue. At a very high price. What they fail to realize is the fact that they will probably not be alone at all. People will come to them automatically, especially when they sense the lack of neediness. The person who can be around the multitudes, yet be totally self absorbed if she chooses, exemplifies a great talent for these nodeholders to cultivate. The gullibility, the speedy response to others, and even a certain pleading quality they sometimes project, is gladly exchanged for this autonomy, as the time alone becomes full of life and vitality, the time together balanced and enjoyable, with ease of separation. The relationship with the self is the primary one.
Oversensitivity to the disharmonious needs of everyone. It'll drive you crazy.
The Libra SNs are bringing their expertise in compromise, cooperation, and support of others, home to themselves, stepping out of the confines of one-on-ones, to develop a full relationship with the self. The North Node in Aries. A great one.
Top: Carey Armstrong-Ellis. 3rd: Lynn Curlee. Bottom: Pompeii. Charred body in ashes of Mt. Vesuvius.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Woman Be Wise

Some say that this society is in the grip of a tyrannical patriarchy. Perhaps. Some see it this way. I find it intriguing, and worth paying attention to the fact that a rather tall woman stands at the entrance to our country, holding a torch of guidance for the entire world, freedom guaranteed. A towering figure and very popular. I sense influence from the Greek Goddess Athene.

A fellow by the name of Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, a Frenchman, conceived the design of the Statue of Liberty. The construction of her head was begun with a 1 meter high clay model, then progressed to a 3 meter plaster version and gradually enlarged until the full scale was achieved. The finished statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was presented to the American ambassador in Paris, Levi Morton, on July 4, 1884.

She has quite a job.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mad Inventors and the
Current Pickle

Andre Citroen, the greatest of European car-makers, was known for his commercial flair and inventive genius. Who would have thought that the creative imagination of modern homo sapiens would get us into so much trouble? Just tinkering at the table with with his toys.
This is a 1902 Oldsmobile Curved Dish, the first mass produced car in the world. And so it began. I remember just recently how joyously we sped along the roads burning fuel to our hearts' content without a worry. The cars got bigger and grander, the speed faster and faster, the trips more extensive, and the gas more expensive until man's genius led to the dilemma in which we find ourselves today. Not uncommon really. Many inventions are notorious for this.
What amazes me is that it only took a little over one hundred years to get to the thick and sticky wicket we're presently in. This makes me think we could get out of it just as fast, using the same imaginative genius. That would be a good dill for everyone. Alternative barrels.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Afternoon Lab with Professor Weisenhadt

Class! Class! Attention.
Today we will be discussing the ego development of the South African lignus alabaster snail, and then we will be dissecting a New Mexican pinto bean.
Please turn to page 55 in your manuals.
Illustration by Lisbeth Zwerger

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Of Bird and Tree

An English dovecote, circa 1800. Unpainted, unvarnished, unoiled elm.

Folk Art. Robert Young.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Cockytoo on a Fruit Crate

This is a concept that has traditionally been associated with the astrological sign of Aries, which many of you know is being traversed by the Sun right now. There is sound reason for this connection, of course, since natives of this segment of the zodiacal pie are often brazenly self confident. They sometimes strut in a very recognizable physical fashion. Yes, indeed they do.

Metaphorically speaking, these lines from that old tune, Sixteen Tons, express it well:
If you see me comin' better step aside
A lotta men didn't, and a lotta men died.
This particular bird was perched on the side of a fruit crate carrying grapes from California early last century. Those crates were wild.

Aries on an orange crate

Friday, April 06, 2007

Cycles and Evolution

Prodded by weather in Yosemite National Park, the twisted limbs of a Jeffrey pine grow with the prevailing wind.
Planets revolve and cycles repeat in predictable patterns that astrologers have observed for thousands of years. Yet despite hopes for major shifts in collective consciousness, they never arrive. Change is more subtle than this. The process is evolutionary and occurs at a pace slower than people can commonly perceive. It can be seen in retrospect, however.
Hopes have been especially elevated with Pluto in the Galactic Center and the great Mayan prediction of major sudden transformation in 2012. Unlikely. Natural selection determines our gradual transmogrification, as traits best suited to the environment develop little by little. Everything mutates and changes according to habitat, beyond our control, fortunately.
Exactly like this pine tree pictured above. It chose the characteristics that would encourage it to survive the conditions, incorporated them, and reproduced them over a long period of time. The surroundings influenced its growth.
I just came across a fascinating article about apes, hominids, religion, and natural selection. It theorizes that humans evolved the way they did partly due to a spritual perception that favored survival. It's common to everyone on the planet.
As the Moon in Sagittarius now crosses Jupiter and stationing Pluto, I'm once again reminded of these great cycles and what to expect. Pluto is given the job of evolutionary change in mass consciousness, according to astrology. I would personally love to see the end of religious hypocrisy, murder in the name of god, the political vulgarity, and the emergence of good leadership along with an anthropological understanding and acceptance of human differences and cultural diversity, but I'm realistic. It will take many revolutions and cycles until the current patterns no longer fit the needs of the time.

Many were hoping, after this country's descent into indecent behavior, that the people would awaken to the light of awareness. Unlikely. As is obvious with the parade of hopefuls resembling the line-up in central lockup (albeit with smiles glued on) more than civilized, inspired human beings, with the good of the collective in mind. But who really knows? The casting director is still working on some preliminaries.

I might not see the changes I would like, but I have seen signs of progress in my personal sphere, and this is a start.

Photo by Ed Cooper

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Time and Beauty

These plain metal buckets, made in the early 20th century, originally had none of the appeal of color, surface, and wear that they have acquired over years of use and which lends them such character and charm.
Sounds like human life, doesn't it? And it brings Saturn to mind, once again. All the tarnish, lines, blemishes, and breakdowns of the passage of time add another kind of grace and beauty to my eye. I think there is a fair exchange. It's hard to imagine, but I've always thought that a certain acceptance of mortality comes in the late Saturn years.
The human face, in particular, fascinates me as time etches the personality on the surface, and replaces the false images the young labor to project. The character creates a visable map, the emotions are no longer hidden, and the real self emerges, as Saturn works his wonders on the human form, both good and bad. The knee might be creaky, but the skin of some old ladies is glowing and magnificent with pink and aquamarine jewels dangling from their ears, rhinestones encircling the muti-faceted necks.
I've grown to trust Saturn, by natal placement, by transit, by horrifying square to Mars, and by instinct as I approach old age. Time removes the sting of each pain, adds breadth of experience, and brings knowledge of life and death.
A beautiful old bucket I'll be, I'm certain of it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Cellulose and the Subconscious

Enter these enchanted woods
You who dare.
Nothing harms beneath the leaves ...
Fair you fare.

Only at the dread of darkQuaver, 
and they quit their form;
A thousand eye-balls under hoods
Have you by the hair.
Enter these enchanted woods
You who dare.
George Meredith, the Woods of Westerman

Forests always beckon, both in reality and in stories. I think they must represent people's subconscious worlds, with the darkness and the plethora of hidden creatures. Sounds and smells are amplified by the moisture and the conductivity of the solid wood. The canopy of leaves offers protection and imagination takes flight. Fairies, elves, witches, wizards, leprechauns, and assorted sprites are known to reside there. Children find escape from tedious chores and tormenting parents, since they usually can wander freely, climbing trees, swimming streams, chasing wild animals, and bringing their fantasies to life. Great alliances have been made and broken in these hallowed green halls. The interior journey is promised, taking us further and further, seeking something specific, I think, although I can't imagine exactly what it is.

George Meredith makes a good point about day and night. Even by day, the place is dark, yet at night, it deepens even more and fears are magnified. What realm is this? Does the blackness take one closer to the hidden destination? Odd that getting "out of the woods" as they say, is safety, yet going into the woods is usually pure delight. Why would mundane trouble be associated with this magical place?

I think the psychological journey is a combination of peril and joy, and perhaps we are destined to live primarily in the light of open space and consciousness, wandering into the psyche as needed to retrieve information. Yet some people dwell in the woods. Others cut and clear, plant and mow, absorbing the full impact of the sun. These sun lovers can be suspicious of the woodsmen. Even the darkened homes on the streets are said to house odd inhabitants, sending shivers through the children as they pass by.
Oh well. Mystery has its up sides and down.

According to my astrological rulership book; wood, woods, and woodsmen, are ruled by Saturn and Capricorn. This does make sense, although I think the Moon and Cancer are also involved, with the womblike entrance and enclosure. Maybe the protective parental axis is symbolized. The Moon is imagination. Saturn the structure of cellulose. And he's also behind some of those funny forest beings. You know. The wily ones.

Top. Hindu Fakirs Practicing Their Superstitious Rites Under the Banyan Tree: drawn by Picart, engraved by Bell.
Photo and juxtaposition of engraving with poem: Thomas Pakenham.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

History Lesson

Applying poison with a brush. "Fashionable men and women powdered and painted themselves almost beyond recognition in the 18th century, at times leading to a bizarre contrast between the dictates of high fashion and the commonsense demands of basic hygiene. Both sexes painted their faces white, although the dangers of using toxic white lead and mercury were already known by the 1720's. The facial marks of smallpox were hidden by patches of black fabric. Conventional shapes, such as moons and stars, were replaced by fanciful lovebirds or tiny silouettes of the wearer's friends.Rouge, lipstick, and false eyebrows made of mouse skin were used by both men and women, and the loss of side teeth was disguised by little cork balls called "plumpers", worn in the cheeks to fill out the hollows. Above them all sat the crowning glory--a wig of impressive proportions."

Ahhhh, yes.......
The Dictates of Fashion.

A Moment of Reflection

Today Pluto is in the middle of its four month stop at 28 degrees and has officially gone retrograde, on its journey back to the center of our galaxy for the last time during this revolution. Fitting that the Moon is in Scorpio. The dissolving North Node in Pisces is exactly midway at 15 degrees.

Things came to a standstill for me today, and with the Scorpio Moon, I know another ending has arrived. Perfectly timed, holding the opportunity for new directions.
Circumstance reveals as usual.

Bridges, gates, and arrows, are what I associate with Sagittarius. Portals to a larger dimension. Higher aims. I pause. Take a moment to reflect and prepare for the continuation of my spiritual journey, leading me where? ..... I know not.

I'm on the bridge, I discover, drinking in the quiet of the woods.