Thursday, April 25, 2019

The chart has Marsilio Ficino in the heading.  That's just left over from yesterday reading the Isaac Newton bio.  I came across a reference to Ficino and looked him up.  He was a Renaissance astrologer who translated Plato's works into Latin.  I made a chart for the moment I read about how he wrote against predictive astrology.

But that was yesterday, when the Moon was lined up with Saturn.  "Good work," I thought, "this biography is strange and slow going, but I am finding astrologers who I can look to for my base." It makes me feel that I have a firm foundation, now that I can refer to respected philosophers who frown on making predictions. 

Now, today the Moon is lining up with Pluto.  You can see where I put a blue highlight over Saturn, Moon and Pluto in the 6th house.  They just sunk under the western horizon about an hour ago. 

While they were above the horizon, in the 7th house of partnership, I was studying how to add a PayPal button to my blog.  When I took a break to make lunch before going to clean a house, I thought about how frustrating it would have been if I had felt really eager to get that button up. I remembered advice that came in my email from an astrology site.  They mentioned Saturn getting ready to turn retrograde, that it will back off its approach to Pluto.  They said anything not taken care of now will come back with a vengeance when Saturn goes forward again and lines up with Pluto in the new year.

I love the astrology service that sent the email.  I recommend them often.  They provide the most extensive free calculation services I know of on the web.  But I thought that ominous, "you had better get something done or face consequences months from now," was unsettling, and i was glad I have my own ideas of what Saturn regressing from Pluto is all about.

It reminds me why I am so passionate about people being comfortable reading a chart.  The only way to be at peace with the many cycles in our solar system is to follow them.

As I worked toward accepting payment for astrology consultations I considered how much I value silence, and time to study and meditate.  I am not a perky, feel good astrologer.  I am comfortable on the outskirts of society where there are few distractions.  That doesn't seem like a recipe for business success.  But since Moon is lining up with distant Pluto right now these thoughts don't disturb me.  I've observed my changing moods every month as the Moon approaches the demoted planet and I know this is just a reminder of how I am an outsider among a world of outsiders.

Also, I have contemplated previous events when Saturn lined up with Pluto - like Nov 1982 or Aug 1947.  I've thought about what was going on around the globe as well as in my little life.  Then there is the rest of the cycle between the two planets; when they are separating, when they are opposing.....they are always in some stage of a relationship to each other. 

That's what I want to help other people do, gain their own familiarity with the cycles.  Maybe it will happen and maybe it won't!

Friday, April 19, 2019

21st Century Supremicism

The chart below has a purple highlight over Mars in the first house.  It is about to "show itself" on the Eastern horizon.

I was reading the Wikipedia article about silver nitrate.  They said it used to be called luner caustic by the alchemists, because they believed it was associated with the Moon.  I got irritated by the umpteenth remark implying that ancestors exploring the technical wizardry of nature were ignorant.  Among the Greeks techne and sophe both referred to skill.  So philosophy meant the study of how nature works it's skillful magic.

Naturally a bit of poetry was used to describe the exalted processes of nature's works, in the same way modern physicists call quarks (quarks!) charmed or strange, or categorize quarks and gluons ...Gluons! ("They believed it was associated with glue.")... Modern use of poetic language to describe the wonders of nature is only more enlightened than previous generations BECAUSE of the knowledge they passed on to us.

I am reading Priest of Nature, biography of Isaac Newton, and am constantly wondering at the modern supremicist judgements scattered throughout the work.  The author is presenting a lot of really good info, some straight from Newton's manuscripts, and info about what Newton read, but he makes repeated judgements about Newton's attitudes that make me wonder if he has fully synthesized Newton's life circumstances.

When he makes offhand remarks about Newton's seething anger with Trinitaran Christian dogma being over the top, I wonder if he would make similar criticisms of my friends' extreme anger with the current state of our government.

So there i was, seriously irritated with the constant, obligatory negative remarks about alchemists.  One day they will say of us, "They believed a big man in a red suit rode a sled through the sky and brought presents to allll the children in the world," and how many of us will recognize that we are on the receiving end of the same prejudiced sloppy thinking that we use to describe the studious work of our ancestors.

I like to look at charts of the sky to see what's up when I notice strong emotions rising in me.  Mars rising.  Mars in Gemini.  I felt a militancy about communication rising at that moment.

You could say I believe Mars rising was associated with that moment.  Especially if you take 'belief' to mean 'holding something dear.'. But you must then remember the same could be said about nuclear physicists and their color charges of quarks.  Poetic language is a tool to aid the memory.  Making intellectual connections between various natural phenomena is a way of organizing the sensory input of the world we live in.

Throwing Newton and other students of nature in the same category as people who take colorful stories as literal truth reflects badly on the categorizers.

Monday, February 4, 2019

America just stopped by and left me some pan de Mexico, made by her mom. She moved out Jan 20. She was actually gone except for her bed in the garage and a nightstand by Sun the 13. Ugh. The tears again!

The first chart is for 4:38 this eve when Renee came home and said, “Guess what I got!” She finally got a copy of John Dancy-Jones’s Raleigh Nature. Wow. Still have not gotten a good look. Saw a few of his illustrations. Really amazing. So, that’s a cool moment. She had to run off as soon as she cleaned out all the stuff that accumulates in her car. Renee lives like an urban gypsy. She spends more time on the street, hanging with friends, attending music or art events, community meetings, or just chilling alone in the rose garden at the park, than she does at home. The book keeps selling out at the local book store, but she finally hit the store while they were in stock. So now she is going over to a mutual friend’s house to talk about an upcoming housesitting gig.

I was sitting outside, enjoying the warm evening. The house was freezing today. 51 degrees on the thermostat is usually cold, but my preferred temp in the house. Today it was weird though – it looked so cloudy outside, I kept forgetting how much warmer it was out there. I didn’t want to go for a walk because I needed to get stuff done around the house. I start a new customer tomorrow morn, and that is like going on a blind date. I always fall in love with my customers. So, I had gotten the counters full of dirty dishes cleaned, made bread dough, and fixed a nice meal of taters with cabbage, bit of broccoli, and other goodies. I was sitting out on one of the chairs in front of the house, with one of the cats, Mimi, on my lap. Tiger was playing with the water. She likes to tip the water dish.

I saw America pass like she was headed for her sister’s house (Nati) down the street. Next thing I knew she was headed back and slowed down in front of the house. Hmm.

She was pretty mad when she moved out. She left the key without even telling me or saying good bye. I couldn’t blame her. It was totally cool. I love her and feel sure she loves me; but we sure were due for a break. So having the back room empty, and less music and beer drinking and smoking is cool with me. I figure she won’t stay mad forever. She just needs a break from MP.

Well she stopped the car and got out with a plastic shopping bag. Did I want some pan from Mexico. “Ohhh, America!” I whined, “I’ve got masa rising.” She took a piece out and said, “This kind you have to taste.” It was rosca, the bread they bake for Three Kings’ Day. I took a piece that was already broken off. “That’s just a piece,” she said. “That’s all I can eat!” I complained. Then she pulled out corn patties, “Just one!” I begged. No. She was adamant and said I had to try those, they’re just corn, but you heat them up and they’re sabrosa. Then she broke off a piece from a brown bread, I recognized, like a molasses or ginger bread. “Oh! I know that kind,” I said. But I couldn’t remember the word for ginger bread or molasses. Shoot, I never have learned the name of that bread, but I know I’ve had it. They do this a couple of times a year. They know not to offer the dried meat or fish. But the pastries they can get me to enjoy. I swear one time their brother told me about getting dried iguana. Iguana is pretty plentiful game in their parts. And fish, they live on a river, so lots of fish.

Well I feel better now. The tenderness has passed. America is so important to me, the posts about her make that clear. I did not want to let pass the opportunity to document this big step in our life. We are separated, her life is changing in ways I can only imagine. She has lived for more than 6 years in an American house. I’m not going to look the date up now. She’s been living here a long time. I remember the post a year or so ago when I talked about discovering that she had begun taking night classes.

A week after she moved out, the day I bought my new phone and switched to a cheaper cell service, I was sitting on the couch figuring out the new phone and service when I got a call from her. She wanted to know if I could come down and interpret for her at her sister’s house. A cop was there, and she wasn’t sure what he was saying.

Uh oh. Here it comes again. I was so dispassionate that day. But now it is sinking in. She had been robbed at gun point over the weekend. There was a gash on her chin and forehead. The cop was a detective come to show photos of possible suspects. The regular routine of me referring to her using a female pronoun after the cop referred to her using the male. Everyone takes her for a man. I suspect her nephews, Nati’s two sons, are not sure which gender pronoun to use. It is confusing enough to grow up speaking Spanish at home and English in school, sorting out the gender of their aunt falls by the linguistic wayside. She’s generous to them, but bossy and has a temper. She takes them to mass and MacDonald’s every Sunday, the State Fair every year. They know they can get what ever they want from her. But they also know they are to sit quietly in the pew and pay attention to the sermon or there will be a long sermon from La Koala. That’s her apodo, or nickname. She works on roofing crews with men. She dresses like a man. She drinks beer, shoots pool, and tosses piropos to the women with men. But she is always a woman to me. A very special woman and a friend for life.
The second chart is for 6:22 when La Koala stopped and gave me pan de Mexico.

It is 7:38 Sunday night. I hope I can stop by the library and upload this post after my exciting fun at a new customer’s house tomorrow. 

Renee comes home and says, "Guess what I got!"  She finally nabbed a copy of John D-J's Raleigh Nature.
America stops by and delivers pan de Mexico.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Why Cry?

It occurs to me these could be crocodile tears, or the so called fake crying of distressed infants, which never felt insincere to me. My bony old calico empress of the cat pack was nowhere to be seen when I got home last night. I made a quick circuit of the neighbors’ yard and mine with the mini klieg light on my phone, and called, “Here kitty, kitty, kitty!” over and over. Still no sign of her this morn.
Around 7:15 I got fresh texts from an old lover, now married to a strong woman; I guess it has been a year since the first email came from the blue, like Zeus, Athena, or some theatrical character with the power to astonish. Theatrical was what they called it back in the olden days of Thucydides and Plato when people went to see something. Old time religion. Old time ways of uniting a populace with common emotional experiences. Modern astrologers categorize this type of cultural engagement under the sign of Cancer. I hope one day to read Aristotle and learn what he said about categories.
I jump around so when I type. The thoughts are slowed down in the process of recording them, and related ones invite themselves in to the – record. They weren't in the mix when I started out though. In other words I was not thinking of Plato or his colleagues when I set out to talk about, or wonder about, why I cry.

Raleigh, the town where I live, was facing the Moon. I had looked at all of my progressions earlier; secondary, tertiary and minor progressions. It wasn’t at the top of my mind, but I had seen the transiting Scorpio Moon at the top of the chart after I put food out for the early cats. Only two of the five were on the front porch, waiting for a bite to eat. It occurred to me when I got the chart up from astrodienst, that looking at charts was a form of prayer. I was already sadder and more worried that Squeaky was not waiting at the door to come in, eat her pureed food, and occupy my lap. The chart was my alternative to wondering if her absence had anything to do with the times I thought, “how much longer can this go on?” while putting the food in the blender, using the rubber spatula to get as much as possible into the dish, and then cleaning the whole operation so it would be ready for the next meal. How long can I take this time to nurse a cat turning into skin and bones? The charts of the ecliptic are for praying to the gods, the entities that precede us and continue to make their rounds, when our brief existence has evaporated into less than thin air, into mere memory.
I repeatedly point out this obvious comparison of the planets’ longevity compared to our life, as a liturgy to combat the notion that Saturn and the rest of the group are a pack of symbols or statues or stories, which, be they edifying, esoteric, or entertaining are ultimately creations of the collective human mind. The actual planets, unlike the statues and stories, precede human existence, or at least that’s the accepted order of the universe that I gather, the logos as they put it back in the olden days on the Balkan peninsula.

Please do pardon me for taking the exit ramp from the high speed path to my original thought. 
I could see the line of the MC just to the right of the Moon at 29degrees Scorpio. I reckon it was about 7:00am the first time I looked at a chart of the day’s transits. The sky was cloudy with shades of blue and white, and even some rosy hues in the east where the Sun was about to appear. I had chastised myself for not stepping out as soon as I got up from bed to see if I could spot Venus and Jupiter. But the sky from my front window looked so cloudy I supposed I could not even see the culminating Moon. The first order, logos, was to get the crunchies from the freezer and dump some in the dishes for the two cats that were waiting. Bitsy, the young manx, crouched at the door ready to enter, and Brownie, the oldest of the bunch, but still strong and healthy, circled hopefully. Breakfast! Sometimes I let Bitsy in to eat. As the newest member of the pack (three or four years ago) she gets a lot of swipes. But with just the two of them, things are more relaxed.  So I put my foot where she tried to enter the opening door and told her she could eat outside today with Brownie.

No Squeaky. No Squeaky. What is going on in heaven when worry pulls on my mind? The map is so important. It is a spiritual tool. No one can see the whole ecliptic at one go, even if the Sun is not shining, a good half of the planetary highway is blocked from view by the big wide Earth. And it is so much more accurate than what I can detect with nothing but my eyes. The map is stuffed, like a Thanksgiving Turkey, with information about the ecliptic that has been gathered over centuries by dedicated observers. 
7:22am, that’s when the text came in from the former, ohhh let’s call a skydiver a skydiver, and say... old sex buddy. He reappeared in my life via email, and we soon exchanged phone numbers and moved to texting. Now I hear from him once in a blue moon, I’m just using that phrase as a vague expression of the sporadic timing. I guess it is also more poetic. This morning he asked if I remembered when we went to the Blind Tiger. I had to ask what it was. A topless bar. “You mean the Foxy Lady?” I could barely remember, ha ha. He said we stayed in the motel next door. I remembered a motel stay, but somehow it had gotten separated in my mind from the loud music and g-string dancers at Foxy Lady. That must have been after I had worked for a month at the Hungry I in San Francisco. I was a bit shy to talk to the dancers in Raleigh, but I liked being in the bar and feeling a tenuous sisterhood with them.

So, many memories, such a long eventful life, sooo much sex. This week it keeps popping up. My Scorpio Moon is behind it all. Every thought, or event associated with sex I attribute to my Scorpio Moon. I used to say associate, as in connect; drawing a line from one image to another in a school exercise, this goes to this as that goes to that. This verb goes with this noun. But since I’ve been reading Spinoza’s Ethics I say ‘attribute,’ as in ‘paying tribute.’ It makes me think of grateful Ionian islanders paying tribute to the Athenians for the first few years after the whippersnapper Hellenes repulsed the mighty Median Empire. To say I attribute these considerations of sex, an integral step in the process of life, to my Scorpio Moon is to pay homage to the Earth and other bodies of the solar system as sustainers of the life I seem to lead. To use the word ‘attribute’ instead of ‘associate,’ shows that I feel not so much a partnership with these heavenly bodies, as awe and respect. I have nothing to teach them, but everything to learn from them. So I don’t just categorize or associate the sexual theme of this week with Scorpio and my birth on a day when the Moon was in Scorpio, but I pay my respects to the solar system that literally made this journey possible. 

Just to be clear, when I say heavenly bodies I include the one we live on, and I assume they are all connected – by the logos, or as they say these days, gravity. Some law or other.

Doesn’t the New Testament begin with that declaration? In the beginning was the law? Or the order? In the beginning was the logos. Why do they translate logos as word?
And sex was a part of that order. So was death. Are growth, corruption, love and war not steps in the order of life that has generated human existence? Have these not been with us since the beginning?
Then why do I want to cry because Squeaky is not at the front door? Why does the thought of telling my old sex buddy about being diagnosed with Grave’s disease bring a little tear? Sex and death are even more inseparable than love and marriage. They don’t go together like a horse and carriage, they go together absolutely. There’s that logos again. Can’t have life without corruption. It’s the law.

I thought, as I went for the solace of the charts, “This is a sign that I still have far to go on the spiritual path to liberation, this urge to cry.” No one is here. No one will see the tears. They speak only to me. “Mary Pat, this is where you are,” is what they say. “You are carried in the flow of life and ignorant of what’s beyond.”

So, now, after thinking about Raleigh facing the Scorpio Moon at sunrise, after writing this essay while the Moon passed into Sagittarius, and Raleigh turned eastward making the Aquarian Sun rise and the Sagittarian Moon slip to the west, after reminding myself and my readers that this is the world that gave birth to us; after all that, the urge to cry has passed. I’m still looking for Squeaky, but resisting hope. I’m still enjoying the pleasure of reconnecting with a good friend, but resisting desire. I’m still curious, but reminding myself that curiosity keeps me here, as I need a body to satisfy it, and that as long as I remain in this body I am limited. 
The first chart is for the moment I received the first text from my old friend. You can see the Moon at 28degrees Scorpio 51minutes.  It is the crescent next to the capital letters MC.  MC means midheaven, which you can think of as where we see the Sun at midday.

And now it is 5:44pm. I am using wifi at the library. The next chart is for 3:16pm when the neighbors on my other side knocked on my door. The teenaged siblings I’ve watched grow up, Felix and Claudia. I saw them approaching the door and got up to answer before Felix even knocked softly. “Umm, Maria, my mom said she found one of your cats near the steps this morning. There weren't any signs of blood….” I grabbed a towel and went to retrieve Squeaky’s corpse. As I lifted her nearly rigid body in the towel I said, “The bitch kitty is gone!” and gave an embarrassed laugh. “Where ever your spirit is we love you Squeaky!” and then I said, something like this is how we all have to end. Their looks of tenderness broke into startled smiles. I turned and went quickly. I don’t want so much to resist crying as to focus on what is actually happening. Squeaky is free. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Southern Hemisphere Chart

I guess the title of this post should be MY way of doing Southern Hemisphere charts.  I got a question under my You Tube video showing the Southern Hemisphere sky, or at least the virtual one on Stellarium.  The viewer wondered how the radically different view of the sky informs understanding of the zodiac from Southern Hemisphere point of view.

In response I am offering an example of how I alter the charts given on to reflect the actual sky seen from the Southern side of the equator.

I chose the birthchart of Eduardo Galeano, born 3 Sept, 1940 in Montevideo, Uruguay. uses the time 8:05am because (using their Northern Hemisphere zodiac) that gives a Libra ascendent.  The Libra AC comes from a quote which is copied below from

Sy Scholfield quotes him in "World Authors, 1985-1990" by Vineta Colby (H.W. Wilson, 1995), p. 284: "blame my sign, Virgo, for my mania for perfection, ... And they say my rising sign, Libra, is behind the hunger for beauty that has turned me into a glutton who devours people and words."
A speculative time of 8:05am gives mid Libra (15 degrees) rising.

This would seem to indicate that Mr. Galeano accepts Virgo as his sun sign and Libra as his rising sign.  I however, with my little housecleaner mind, think of him as a Pisces with Aries rising.  

I am posting the chart from which shows the Virgo sun above horizon on the left side of the chart and Libra AC.  Then I have a hand drawn chart showing a Pisces sun coming up on the right side of the chart, since folks in the Southern Hemisphere face North to see the ecliptic and see the sun rise on their right.  No, I've never been to Uruguay, but I trust Stellarium.

One neat thing to sort out is the Moon's nodes.  They are in the same signs as the Northern Hemisphere chart. Take some time to compare the two charts and figure out how and why they are different.  Let me know what you think.  Is the hand drawn chart a better reflection of the actual sky in Southern Hemisphere?

For instance, consider that the MC in a Northern Hemisphere chart is due South, while it is due North in a Southern Hemsphere Chart.  (I forgot to include MC in the hand drawn chart. The purple line at 9 Capricorn is the MC)  Notice that the first house in the hand drawn Southern Hemisphere chart is on the right instead of the left.  The first house is where a planet is right before rising.  Then it goes to the back of the lineup and works its way through  house 12, 11 etc till it is back in the first house again after 24 hours, ready for another rising.

I find Galeano's writing to be very challenging.  I have read that a large percentage of writers have Libra AC, so that supports the Libra AC; but if you actually read Galeano, the Aries AC might make more sense. He calls it commitment to memory, but it feels more like a determination to reveal bitter truths that are normally hidden.

I hope this helps encourage thoughtful exploration of Southern Hemisphere astrology. 

I hope Mr. Galeano is cool with this.  I was sweetly surprised to find the quote of him remembering his AC.  It made me more eager to go back and try to read his writing.

This goes to the video introducing Southern Hemisphere using Stellarium (free downloadable planetarium software for your PC).

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Numbers are Super Sensible

Wed Jan 9  9:57am

In the 9 days from Dec 31 to Jan 9 Raleigh gained 6'54" of Sun above horizon.  In the 9 days from Dec 22 - Dec 31 we gained 2'38".  Comparing 2nd 9 days to 1st 9, we gained 262% more time of Sun above horizon.

The snake as visual symbol of the ecliptic weaving above and below the celestial equator is beautiful, but I also understand Plato's frequent complaints about the high status of visual arts.  While people could be condemned to death for revealing the secrets of the Eleusinian mysteries, folks with deep pockets were encouraged to finance extravagant theatrical productions to entertain and ostensibly educate the masses, and they were free to bribe state sponsored religious temples with statuary representing the planets as gorgeous specimens of humanity.

Don't get me wrong please.  I love visual symbols, and I love music and visual art.  But I never felt that I was on a well trod spiritual path to understanding the really fascinating origins of this existence, until conscientious measurement became a regular part of my thinking.

"..[I]n after years I have deeply regretted that I did not proceed far enough at least to understand something of the great leading principles of mathematics, for men thus endowed seem to have an extra sense."
[Charles Darwin, Autobiography, 1887]

I believe the extra sense Darwin speaks of here is the same as the super sensible world so often referred to by Rudolf Steiner.

Numbers are great tools in the spiritual work of reconciling desire with the limits of physical existence. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Stellar Learning with Tertiary Progressed Jupiter

10:48am Fri Jan 4, 2019

Below is chart for my current tertiary progression.  I am trying to ween myself from journal keeping and blogging so this will be quick.  I will post a copy of my natal chart under the tert progressed chart so people can locate my natal Saturn in house 3.  Jupiter in the tertiary progressed chart is at same point along elliptic as Saturn was when I was born.  Here i am, compulsively posting about the conjunction in textbook example of Jupiter rising.

I have been studying chemistry, written history, natural history, cellular and human anatomy...just having a good ol time finding answers that people have come up with to life 's big questions.  Astronomy has been in the mix.  I noticed, last month, a liberating familiarity with chemistry terminology which made my study more of a pleasure.  The same goes for history.  This week I find myself making a list of the brightest stars from Earth, and keep thinking, "This is like my little brother memorizing stats of baseball and football players.  This is probably what the astronomy enthusiasts that I sit next to in the local club, and hear chatting at their telescopes in the dark during club observation sessions, did when they were kids."

I go back and forth among sources, reading and comparing radius, temp, distance and luminosities of various stars.  The classification systems that once baffled and irritated me are becoming familiar expressions of the unique nature of each star.

This is the 2nd conjunction of my tertiary progressed Jupiter and natal Saturn.The first one was about 13 years ago; I did the charts in Dec so I might not remember that exactly right.  Not gonna check now. The specs needed to check the accuracy of my memory are in the two charts.  Tertiary progressing Jupiter will go direct and make.another lineup with the position of natal Saturn, but that's many years in the future.

Right now I am enjoying the satisfaction of learning about the world we live in; these bodies we inhabit, the plants and animals we eat, and the unique qualities of every star.  Plato's remark about each soul entering a human body from an assigned star seems less preposterous as their personalities take shape through the magic language of numbers. (Psyche is the word I believe he used, but you will have to look that up for yourself.  I know I will - look it up- -it's in Timeaus, probably the section about the world soul.)

You can see in the charts that the conjunction takes place in the Libra dodec of Sagittarius.  I was introduced to astrology by a customer around 1981.  I accepted her offer to do my chart because I was curious and open minded.  Astrology has been at the center of my search to undertand life ever since.