Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mercury and Venus meet Saturn and Pluto

Two heavy line ups this week and the first one peaks today.  Mercury will be conjunct Saturn late afternoon here in Raleigh.  Quick Mercury on the tight inside track will over take sure and slow Saturn in the sign of the arrow, Sagittarius.  We see Sagittarius on the midheaven when the ecliptic reaches its lowest dip in a bowl under the celestial equator (kind of like an imaginary projection of earth's waistline projected into the sky).  The ecliptic is the planetary highway.  Well, maybe we should picture a highway in New York City; planets, as a rule, weave above and below the main drag and the locals seem oblivious to the apparent chaos. 

But I'm letting wild traffic patterns distract me from repeating the story of why Mercury, Saturn (and Sun too! It just entered Sag a day or two ago) are seen at the bottom of the bowl. ... We see the Sagittarius section of the highway low because we are reaching the top of our daily revolution on Earth's tilted axis.

That's actually a cavalier use of the word 'see'-  we can't 'see' Mercury or Saturn because they are only 15degrees from the Sun.  They are little lights hidden in the shadow of an olympian photon tree.  But we do see the Sun low in the sky when it is in the sign of the shooting arrow.

My favorite 2 Earth events to mark this celestial lineup of communication (Mercury) and restraint (Saturn) are-

 1st the discovery and expensive repair of a dangeous electrical problem which had been developing right before my eyes ever since the tornado several years ago loosened the power service line to my house.    The electrician barely controlled his consternation at my obvious stupidity.  I was seriously humbled.  How could I have let set a consequential drooping power line slip from my mind? 

 Maybe an urgent obsession to learn everything I can before I lose the physical capacity to clean houses.  Astrology has graduated from hobby status to planned retirement income.  I was searching for answers to satisfy my curiosity, now it feels more like an intellectual race for survival.  So this Mercury Saturn meet up in Sagittarius helped me see how the drive for what we think is essential can pull focus from matters of grave consequence.  We normally think of Aries as the sign of battle, but Sagittarius is like being in one side or the other of a sniper's scope, the attention is so fiercely concentrated that all surrounding events are effectively ignored. 

The 2nd Earth event is much lighter, I was such a data hog this month, the first time I have ever done this, I went over my data limit and will get slow data till Nov 26. 

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Well I reckon I have also exceeded my quota of reader patience, definitely not the first time for that!  Does anyone wonder about the significance of the Twins (Gemini is opposite Sagittarius) if the arrow calls attention to a hidden high point?  What does a pair of twins have to do with reaching the low point?  

I thought you might be wondering.  Well, it never works out, I always get waylaid by life stuff, but maybe this week will be different.  Maybe I can make a post explaining the celestial mechanics of the Twins to celebrate Venus lining up with Pluto in Capricorn.

I rarely post to alert friends of celestail events.  I am a little candle compared to the info available on thousands of commercial sites.  I also do not outline the many events unfolding around me that I associate with what's unfolding in the sky.  This has been a worrisome week in many other ways and there are many other cycles unfolding while this moment of worry holds attention.  

Though you can't see them in the sky, you can easily locate Mercury next to Saturn in the chart below.  They are in the pie slice on the left, below the horizon labled '2.'  Saturn looks like an 'h' with a line through the top part.  That symbol is actually a combination of the cross of physical existence over the crescent of the soul.  Mercury is right next to Saturn.  It is like Venus with a little Moon hat.  The red arrow, in the section they currently occupy with the Sun, stands for Sagittarius.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Super Sensible

This is a post from yesterday that I am finally figuring out how to publish.

America is back, not the continent, my old friend.  I am reading Rudolph Steiner, good medicine for emotional times.  He taps away with the physician's hammer encouraging us to develop a rigorous understanding of what lies behind emotions and knee jerk reactions to sensory experiences.  He describes the spiritual thought process as including a consideration of many circumstances leading up to and away from an emotional event.  He uses the term super sensible to indicate that it is an intelectual process that is above and beyond immediate reactions.  Yesterday I could only think of all my knee jerk reactions with dismay; luckily I have been on this path for a while and focused on what I knew and trusted to be good and true- breathing, friendship, and the yoga sutras of patanjali.

This morning Koala, as they call my old friend, is back.  We had a brief exchange about the election results.  She remarked on the people in the streets shouting and waving Trump placards.  Her friends all want to know if she is ready.

We both agree, after our wild emotional ride in July that now is a time to chill, seriously get that balance going forward so we can meet the future with integrity.  She is being super sensible when it really counts.

Venus in the diplomatic end of Sagittarius was rising when she showed up this morn.  Back in July when we blew up and parted ways, Venus was in Leo rising every day like the cock's crow right before Jupiter in Virgo- leonine kindness meeting its fate with a training opportunity.  The posts in July and August document events surrounding the fireworks.

Any bodies in fire signs, including Saturn still in Sagittarius for another year, add their own special heat to the revolutionary bonfire of Uranus in Aries.  For years I read about social revolutions and wondered if and how one would come to my homeland in my lifetime.  I asked my friend Bob what he thought was the best way to prepare.  If I remember right he said, after his usual thoughtful pause,  he was offering rhe best suggestion he could think of in response to my request for advice, "get to know your neighbors."

Now, as Koala is preparing to move back in, Venus is past its fateful meeting with both Jupiter and Saturn.  Kindness has met with both opportunity and limits, and has a new concept of possibilities.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Between the Sun and Galactic Plane

Not exactly under the Sun, more like a fishing line cast from a bridge that makes an angle with the water instead of going straight down.  The ecliptic is almost standing on its edge, but not quite; the part near the galactic plane leans away from Orion and the upper part leans toward it.

When I get my pc hooked to the net I'll post some of the helpful graphics I have found on astronomy sites.  For now I want to call attention to this section of our cycle before we get too far past it.   It is a bit like a galactic solstice, only in that we are at our tropical ( which means turning) point with respect to the galactic plane.  I think it was actually yesterday afternoon we turned from going down toward the plane to the upward half of the cycle.

And the COOLEST  thing to me is that this is what the constellations from 2,500 years ago are all about.  Cetus the sea monster is crossing the mid heaven when we are looking down into the lower dome of the Milky Way.  So f-ing cool.

Happy day after galactic turning point.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


This is a continuation of the previous  post called Passion and here is a link to a related post from way back in 2011 when this blog was young- The Importance of the Moon in Astrology.
At the bottom I will put a chart for the 2 or so days after the Passion essay.  I don't remember why I did a chart for that moment.  I think that's the day I looked up the word passion and was struck by the intimate relationship it has with patience.  I do associate the Moon in Taurus with patience and I can recall trying to finish the essay on passion but feeling that I had lost courage.  I remember writing that the urge to record my thoughts had dissipated and I felt like a dog wanting to retreat, tail between my legs, but that Taurus determination kept me from abandoning what I had begun.
Then, a few days later I tried again.

The only reason I can remember why I did the chart with the Moon in Cancer is I changed the title.  I felt the whole process of completing this post slipping from my control and had the fore thought to name the chart for the moment that inspired me to get it from Astrodienst-I typed  Parmenides in the box for the name.  I had looked up the Greek word doxa which translates as opinion or judgment.  I wanted to refresh my understanding of the term.  All the concepts in these two posts, Passion and Patience, have been floating around in my thoughts since that night 9 days ago when the Moon in Aries was lining up with Uranus.  Now that the Moon is in Leo I feel that a bouquet of language is finally ready to come from nature's magic hat.

I have a book from the local university library called Greek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon by F.E.Peters.  It is only about 240 pages, but very useful in studying Plato, and other Greek philosophers from the same  period.   It is in fact organized as a lexicon, with Greek terms listed in alphabetical order and as little as a paragraph,  for instance katalepsis: grasping, apprehension has only 5 lines; or as many as three pages as under the heading nous: intelligence, intellect, mind.  Each word entry includes references to philosophers who defined the term in their works.  So under doxa I found a reference to Parmenides a preSocratic philosopher.  The problem with most Greek philosophers before Plato and Socrates is that we have very scanty samples of their writing, mostly through quotes from later writers.  We do have at least several pages from Parmenides though, and I went surfing to find them.

That chart is for the moment I began reading the English translation of his On Nature, or at least fragments of what remains.  It was much too short, but very satisfying to read what Plato had obviously studied and to relate it to his ideas as well as concepts outlined in old Vedic literature and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  It was thrilling to be transported back almost 3,000 years to the ideas that people were sharing between various cultures.

I have come to anticipate these deeply satisfying moments of study whenever Mercury is slowing down to a station, not as a right, or something due to me, but as a gift that has come on such a regular basis that I can hardly help looking forward to it.   I dare not expect it, but the hope is always present when I see the numbers getting smaller and smaller in the Mercury column of the ephemeris indicating that it is slowing down in its apparent motion compared to Earth.  Customers will 'not be ready' and I will be happily engaged with my other work, becoming familiar with the roots of western astrology.

So the 2nd chart in this post with the Moon in Cancer goes with that thrill of finally reading the words of Parmenides.  I won't talk more about that chart here, I am just including it as a reference for future studies of similar astrological moments.

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What was really important to me about the Aug 22 chart in the Passion post was the Moon just crossing the line from Venus's 7th house of partnership to its 8th house of intimacy.  When that memory came it was like a thunderbolt from a blue sky.  I had felt the rumblings all day but they were distant and more distracting than disturbing.  The real storm had passed and I was focused on getting myself back on a balanced footing.

That memory of my customer leading me to the guest bed, and bringing a cold rag for my head transported me almost violently to a time when I had no understanding of what life meant to me,  and in spite of all the study and searching felt as bereft of an answer as ever.  I do remember very clearly, as I received the kindness and understanding I had longed for from Marlene, realizing what seemed like an awful truth, that it would not after all change a thing.

How many times I had read in astrology books, under the heading 'Scorpio' that here we learn only after we get what we want, that it will not satisfy.  There it was.  And Marlene is a Scorpio Sun.  Over the years she was the one customer who did not erect barriers of polite conversation as a way of censoring my accounts of drug and sex adventures.  She was then and still is one of my most intimate friends.  She gave me the kindness my mother could not extend,  understanding as only a mature Scorpio mother can, that we have to choose our family.  Even with an adopted child that a mother has taken the trouble go out in the world and prove to the community she is responsible and worthy to care for as her own, even such a strong bond has to be chosen anew at every turn if the love is to be completely honest.  Scorpio love is not Hallmark love.  It is a fierce, conditional love.  

As a child with a Scorpio Moon I had to choose my mother and I respected the ways my given mother chose to love me.   I have understood this for many years now, but on the day that memory was created that understanding was not yet a part of my knowledge base.  I still had intense shame for leaving my family and dreaded every family holiday.  Mothers could spot me, mothers of friends especially- and reached out to me like an adorable kitten without a home.  But I was skittish and avoided the generous overtures.

Marlene was different because she was a customer and she laughed at my misadventures.  She fearlessly remarked on the underlying motives and we laughed at them together.  Shame for her was a boogey monster that had to be exposed for its manipulative function.  We had that in common.  And as a member of my mother's generation she had first hand experience of the boogey monsters that my mother wrestled with.  My mother was very much against ERA, and I really needed an example from her generation to balance my inherited view of the struggle for women's rights.
These are the themes, of daughters and mothers choosing one another, and how I did that with my customers, how I grew to womanhood in the homes of women from my mother's generation, that I expected to cover in this blog before my passion for astrology took it over.  That memory and the planet of motherhood,  the Moon, in feisty Aries just exactly crossing the line from fulfillment with Venus to intimate understanding of what comes after fulfillment, which is the truth that there is always a new desire on the other side, as well as something lost.  We never have a desire fulfilled without losing the innocent opinion of what its fulfillment will mean to us.  We reach for love and cannot know until we receive it, what love really is.

That memory was like a jolt of electricity from the Aries Moon.....a surface view of the chart would immediately pick up on the undercurrent of the Moon lining up with Uranus, the planet keeled over on its side like a hip hop dancer spinning on her back instead of using her feet as any traditional dancer should; but a closer Scorpio look, as an examination under a microscope, or through binoculars at the sky, because we are that curious, we don't want to miss a detail if there is a tool handy to help us get a closer look, or as with a language specifically developed to describe celestial mechanics, with that concentrated focus the Moon's momentary relationship with Venus in Virgo the sign of service and apprenticeship is clearly evident.  It is a flash of just a few pivotal minutes captured in the memory and the chart.

"Yes," I thought to myself, "this is what I meant to write about and still intend to write about."  And I opened the little Blogger app for androids.  I typed Passion in the heading and now here I am 9 days later finishing what I began.

As I was working on this post I kept recalling the movie "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne",  so I looked that up last night.  I remember going to watch it with my old boyfriend, the one who was raging at his boss in the last post.  It was so depressing, and horrifying the way I identified with Judith, especially when she went to visit with the family on Sunday that was her only social contact.  It was strange for macho slut Moustache Mary to be secretly feeling her life was being played out in the character of a pious spinster.  But there had been a time when my life circle was very limited and bound by Catholicism and those years will always be a part of me.  I did feel thankful when I left the theater for having left that circle.  I knew I would rather feel lost outside the circle than trapped within it.  That urge to exit the circle can be associated with Uranus, the first modern planet to be acknowledged after hundreds of years with the longest recognized cycle in our solar system being limited to 28 year Saturn.

Monday, August 22, 2016


This is the first of 2 posts that go together and it was inspired by a sudden flash of a memory from more than20 years ago.
The chart for the moment the memory came is at the bottom.

I was feeling passionate, in bed I thought for the night.  The cloud cover was thick but I had seen Jupiter and Venus at the thin openings along the horizon at sunset.  I had been reading about the brain and how memories are no more accurate than the last time we recall them, because they are colored with new associations each time they pass back and forth between the hippocampus in the heart of the brain and the surrounding cortex.

I was thinking about the dangers of perfect solitude, now that I finally live with no other humans in the house.  Not even a dog to sniff me and let me know she needs to go out.  A few cats that I put outside as soon as I tire of their affection.   "Yes," I thought, "it is good to have the interruptions and outside input."

I was on my back but not practicing breathing or focusing on any object.  I was caught up in filling out the allegory that had sprung up in my imagination of a culture where music was just one note.  There were several numbers or letters for different notes in succession, which could be arranged in various patterns, but no matter the number or letter that named them, each note sounded exactly alike.

I imagined what people would say about this kind of music when someone suggested using different sounds for different notes- "People who can't hold the note want to imitate birds and other sounds of nature.  They want to elevate discarded superstitious practices and celebrate them as edifying pursuits.  It is nothing but a lack of self control which they want us to accept as art.  True art is an exercise in free will and no  civilized human being with the power of free will should choose to mimic nature when the true path is clearly in developing the ability to follow the one note born of the past and bearing our minds on the one guiding wave to the glorious future."

I was getting pretty worked up as I turned the possible dialogue over in my mind.  I wanted to make people see how strange life is for someone who follows time according to the planets instead of the uniform days on calendars and hours on clocks.  That such a person is neither a peer of astrological forecasters nor of the people who look to clocks for order in the human journey.  I wanted people to see how beautiful organic time is compared to clock time and how sad it is that so few care to follow it.

When I started thinking about writing this post the  emotion was allowed to build.  I could see myself feeling more and more like a misunderstood, underappreciated outsider.  The Moon was not visible, but I could see its symbol a mere 4 degrees behind Uranus in the chart.  I calculated - roughly 8 hours and they would be lined up.  Looking at those two symbols lining up in the section marked with the red Aries glyph was calming.  I was thinking about the step in becoming where the self is exalted.  Not the capital S self that the yogis talk about reaching when we let go of our ego, but the lower case s self that is associated with the body in which we find our souls to currently exist.
All day I was adjusting to the utter peace of solitude and drifting from one task to another, or to periods of study.  Meditation kept coming up as a possibility, and then I would feel really tired and head for the comfort of my bed.  Nothing was important until sunset when I knew I only had 20 minutes to catch Jupiter and Venus if they were not behind the clouds.  Then I was moving and rode that momentum to go off in my car and do an errand in the fresh darkness of a new night.

The music on the radio was better than usual to me and I went past my house for an extra errand to enjoy being out and listening to that airwave coming from Scotland via Chapel Hill.  I went to the grocery store and listened to the music in the parking lot.  I felt so free with no immediate worries or responsibilities.
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My old boyfriend had called during my afternoon nap.  I wasn't asleep. I spend a lot of time in bed, saving up precious thyroid hormones and slowing down my breathing.  My old boyfriend was upset.  A rude customer had called his boss at the taxi station and reported that my old boyfriend had been rude.  That customer should have heard the torrent of foul language I was treated to.  I laughed and thought of the Moon in Aries.   He continued to curse and apologize and I laughed some more.  The boss wants to turn the taxi business into a more professional operation.   My boyfriend born on the one day every two years when we see Mars closest to Pluto (back then in Virgo the sign of service), will have nothing to with this professional bullshit.  No sir.  He will not play that game.  He is frothing.   And I am laughing.  I get to play Venus.  I listen and think of all these astrological associations, enjoy his outrageous sense of humor and laugh at his delightful turns of phrase as he vents his rage.   He is one very underappreciated entertainer and I am only occasionally fed up with his need for an audience.

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Something felt strange about the whole day to me, as though I was just a bit off the rails.  There was no one else to see it and with my old boyfriend doing such a great job of being misunderstood I didn't have the heart to go in that direction.  Who wants to follow the path of righteousness when the raging bull is clearly seen and heard tearing up the tracks within a few paces after the pleasure of feeling correct?

So that imaginary dialogue between a follower of organic sound as allegory for a follower of organic time made me think it was time for bed.  I had worked in the yard, done some good studying, completed errands and witnessed two planets sinking behind the clouds on the western horizon.  Aimless as I felt, the day had not been unproductive, and I certainly would not pursue a righteous vision of the solitary planet watcher.

Being slightly unfocused much of the day was actually not surprising.  Two of Mr. Lyrica's brothers are visiting from Ireland and I had gone over to meet them in the morning.  I always have Mr. Lyrica on my mind for at least 24 hours after we spend time together, and this short visit with some of his family naturally made an even deeper impression.   I kept turning over in my mind the things we had said and smiling each time I recalled the selfie stick we used to take a group photo.  I went over concerns that we all share but can't yet speak of openly as a group.  Though this all seemed natural I still felt there was some under current pulling on my attention that I could not identify.

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I felt like I was just coming out of a dazed shock from the outburst a few weeks ago when the Moon was in Leo.  I had gotten over repeating the events in my mind and was adjusting to the reality that America was really gone.   She called me in the evening and apologized for not coming by to pick up her bed and other remaining possessions.   She would try to come by Monday and also leave the last key which we had both forgotten about.  Okey dokey.  Como quieras.  Absolutely not a problem.  No one has been drinking beer, listening to loud music and smoking pot in the front yard for a week now.  I have no complaints.  America sounds happy too, she is moving on to the next success in her life.
The storm seemed so unnecessary at the time.  I was shocked at my behavior as well as hers.  It all seemed like a strange manifestation of the profound heartbreak she was suffering because her daughter in Mexico had left home and moved in with her boyfriend.  America had been yelling at her on the video calls "if you're old enough to get married without my consent you are old enough to pay for school."   And the daughter took the leap.
Two years left in college, all the money America had been sending to Mexico for bus fare, books, uniforms, field trips, food....all it seemed so she could hitch up with a classmate and become a tethered woman just like all the other suffering Mexican women.  Our troubles only seemed absurd when I forgot about her daughter.  And the people abducted on a regular basis for ransom.  The young men in their 20's threatened with murder if they refuse to join gangs that deal in drugs and kidnapping.  It wasn't such a difficult storm to explain when I considered the pressure she lives with.

But I can't remember which thoughts led to the memory of being led to the bed at my customer's house many years ago and having a cold rag placed on my head.  Suddenly, like Bam! It was there.  I was there.  My customer was there, in the room with the blue carpet and the white curtains, with shades that were not all bent and tangled, but straight and even and regularly dusted by the well paid housecleaner Moustache Mary.

I've been working on this post all morning and wish I could recall the thoughts immediately preceding that Bam! Memory.

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Last week I stumbled on a very helpful tidbit of information in one of the books I'm reading about the brain.   They had side by side views of a brain imaged when the area "concerned with binding emotions and thoughts" is active and when "the skeptical brain sparks up on the edge of the insula."  They went on in the caption to say "the insula is sensitive to things which are 'disgusting'  - suggesting that falsehood is treated much like an unhealthy substance which the body wants to reject."  it was in one of those boxes publishers use these days to highlight a concept.  The box was labeled Belief and Non-Belief.  "The scans suggested that, although many of the 'high cognition' parts of the brain are likely to be involved in assessing the truth-value of a statement, the final acceptance of a statement as 'true' or its rejection as 'false', seems to rely more on primitive, emotional areas."

Wow.   I put the book down and walked from room to room after I read that.  I remembered seeing the look of disgust on a customer's face when I asked to do the charts of her family members.  She couldn't hide the instinctive eeyoo look of the the raised upper lip trying to prevent a foul odor from entering the nose.
I thought she was young and hip.  She didn't believe Jesus rose from the dead, but she sent her kids to a church day care.  My husband had taken us down that same path.  He hated Christianity but needed subsidized day care.  My customer was actually a church member, much like my father, who was very open minded but saw churches as community organizations whose believe systems were to be tolerated.  You pay your dues, go to mass every Sunday, and when you get in a scrape you can knock on any parish door and expect the priest to help you.  It was as simple as that.

But modern textbooks don't include a paragraph condemning the superstition of a political prisoner rising from the dead.  The universal paragraph to be found in most every science text book explains why astrology is superstition and must not be confused with science.  We are not taught in public schools that the Christian story is a myth.  We are however told that astrology is a trick on fools.
And so it made sense that my suggestion caught my customer off guard and she could not conceal the fact that it was to her like a cockroach had hopped from somewhere on my person and darted across her kitchen counter.  Skepticism associated in the brain with disgust.  What a revelation that was to me.

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The funny thing is it was a week after the upsetting event that I was in that customer's guest bed with her placing a cool rag over my head.  I had told the same story to another customer a day or two earlier without a sniffle or rising tempest of having been profoundly wronged.  But here in Marlene's house I blubbered and felt weak with convulsive crying.
It doesn't take brain books to know the power strong emotions  have to fix an event in the memory.
I had taken the 3 hour drive down to Brunswick County to visit my mother.  It turned out she was in the middle of a crisis while I was there.  The second day of my visit I heard her talking on the phone to my older brother in Florida and already had a good picture of the situation.  She was sending money to him for a lawyer to represent him in court to retain custody of his daughter.  When she got off the phone she explained that the wife was being convicted for stealing drugs from the hospital where she worked and was going into drug rehab.

"Well, that sounds like something they have in common."  Yes.   I do believe that's exactly what I said.  It is hard to imagine saying anything more foolishly provocative, but that's my best recall.

My mother did not need to be reminded at that moment of all the years of heartache and disappointments she had endured in my adventurous brother's long and colorful illegal drug career.  For me he was a pirate hero I could never hope to equal.   For her he was the son who vacillated between petty criminal low life friends and the respectable path.

I grew up hearing every woman he fell in love with referred to as a slut.  I could not control my sense of righteous anger that yet another woman attached to him was being demonized.  The immature feminist in me darted out and lunged for my mother's most vulnerable spot-  the need to insure continued access to her only grandchild.

Her reaction took a few minutes to gather force as it cycled through the years of recriminating exchanges.  "This is fine," I thought.  "I can weather this storm.  I am no longer afraid of her.  She will rage on and get it out of her system and then she will calm down."  But I had not considered my father in the equation.  He had no desire to let the storm play out.  Any moment she could turn on him with accusations about alcoholism.  He wanted me to leave.  He wasn"t angry.  He just said, "You better leave."  Like it was the sensible thing to do.  We have all been through these tirades and I had been away for so many years for that very reason, I had forgotten how violent my mother could get.

"I'm not leaving,"  I said calmly.  "This is my house."  Not sure where I got that idea.  It was my first visit 'home' in years.. I always felt like an intruder on the rare occasions when I went back.

He moved to approach me and escort me from the house.
"No!"  She yelled in panic.  "Don't touch her.   She'll have the police on us.  You'll be in court for assault.  You call the police before she does!"

I can see where most people would question the wisdom of my actions.  I must admit I don't see them as wise.  But at the time I felt like the presence of police could be a help.  It seemed like they were the one hope of bringing some calm to her storm and I wanted to be there on the other side.   I really thought it was an opportunity to move past old hurts and leave them behind.

So I waited.  Well, when they arrived I was told I had to leave.  The officer stood by and monitored my every action as I retrieved my suitcase and a few other items to my car.  Among them was a bag of bulk tea which she asked about.

"Is that Marijuana?"   I was taken aback. 
"It's tea.  Do you want to smell it?"
"Yes please."
What a very strange encounter.
I think the step I am about to recount reveals that I was not as concerned about getting past old hurts as I was in wrestling respect from my parents.  On the way back to Raleigh I stopped in the county sheriff's office and asked if I had grounds to bring my mother to court for verbal assault.  I don't remember the response, just that I was obsessed with 'justice'.
So in the middle of recounting all this foolishness to Marlene I began sobbing and blubbering.  I knew I was really home, or as close to it as I would ever get.  And it wasn't so much because Marlene cared about me as it was that I knew she also cared about my mother.  She understood the hurt that both my mother and I felt and did not see either of us as blameworthy. 
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When I began this blog 6 years ago I had recently been diagnosed and treated for Grave's Disease.  My thyroid was visibly swollen and I had been exhibiting symptoms for years.  It was Marlene's husband who explained why I could not tolerate heat and mentioned very casually that once I got my thyroid checked out I would start wearing a sweater in the cold temperatures. 
I had been living with an over active thyroid for many years, so even though I was determined to be one of the people that gets back up to speed in a year and certainly not one that would take 10 years to get my life straight, the problems just kept shape shifting.  If there wasn't pain there was intense unbearable anxiety or profound fatigue.  I had time to write a blog when I cut back on my cleaning schedule.  This link goes to the continuation of this essay - Patience

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mars under Acrab on way to Saturn

Last night was the first clear night since Mars was a pinky width west of Acrab.  In the mostly clear Caraleigh sky (just south of Raleigh's city center) it is one of the first objects visible at sunset along with slightly fainter Saturn a few fingers east.  Antares, below and between the two planets is also fairly bright.  But Acrab, now just above Mars is pretty faint.  If skies are clear again tonight Mars should still be only a hair to the east passing under Acrab. While we see Mars passing a couple of degrees below the ecliptic, Acrab hovers just a tad above it.  So maybe tonight we'll get another chance to see the bright red planet near the fainter star above it .

Mars has been hanging around Saturn since April.  We haven't seen the planet of blind action spend so much time near the planet of integrity since April-August 1984.  That protracted meeting took place after the action hero had overtaken the elder.  This time around the adrenalin soaked actor is lingering on its way to meet the sober one.  It reminds me of the shoe shiner and his escort/guard in Things Change, at the dinner and hotel before being turned over to the 'justice system.'  The actor is moving toward a meeting with authority but there are delays and regressions along the way. 

In the end of March we saw Mars rise less than an hour before Saturn every day.  As Mars appeared to fall behind the philosophical reaper (Saturn is in Sagittarius these days) the time between their rising spread out a bit, giving us a little more time to digest the action of Mars before the consequential ringed planet appeared.

Now as Mars is finally on its way to the 25 month performance review with Saturn, in which it will also receive a new set of marching orders, we see Saturn rising closer on the heals of Mars every day.  

Saturn will also get a report from Mars, they will inspire one another, it will be a fresh start for the pair by the end of August.  Right now though, the suspense that was dormant, is building.  What will come of the deferred line up?

Mercury is passively ruling most of the planets in the solar system, including Mars and Saturn.  It is in Virgo!  Fidelity to details ruling over such a loaded meeting is hard to imagine and kind of meaningless until the meeting takes place.  But there the words are for us to return to and recall as the actual event unfolds.

And look where the Moon will be....

The 4 charts after this one show Mars rising 48min before Saturn in March and then a more leisurely 1hr29min spread in June.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Saturn Suspension

Saturn will be in the same minute of the same degree for the next 8 days.  It is stationary now, and when it moves again it will change direction from backward motion to forward.  The pivot occurs this Friday night.  Right now my housemate of many years is moving out and knowing about Saturn's movement is a strange comfort.  It has been a long time since I thought deeply of Boethius and Consolation of Philosophy.  Now it is at the front and center of my mind.

I am wondering over and over about my temper and pondering the future.  I'm worried about whether I am failing a good friend of many years.  I'm recalling our years together....

Saturn is the planet of integrity.  I was introduced to astrology over 20 years ago by a customer.  When she used the word integrity in association with Saturn I was always a bit put out.  What does that mean?  I would think to myself with a snort of irritation.

It means past, present and future are seen as one.  It means seeing how our actions affect the world around us and acknowledging those connections.  Within the 27+ year cycle of Saturn we see how life evolves and how we as individuals gradually change according to our experiences, how we are held fast in the web of time and space more certainly than the most enduring buildings designed and built by people of great genius, and ambition for humanity.

Saturn is a serious planet.  Its symbol is the cross of existence over the crescent of the soul.  The progressed Moon moves just a shade faster than transiting Saturn.  When we compare these two cycles, the development (or as they say in Spanish a gift being unwrapped or a seed rolling out its magic miracle) the development of an individual soul on Earth compared to the trials that particular soul is destined to face as Earth wheels around within the confines of Saturn's wide orbit....this is the significance of Saturn.

Then there's Jupiter.  It was rising this morning as my old friend was packing her things.  She sounded angry, but happy too, as though she is ready to be free of me and move on to other possibilities, as though she sees something good in the future for herself by taking this step.  The crescent of the soul ruling over the cross of existence is Jupiter.  Its cycle is 12 years.  We have known each other a little bit longer than that.  This moment in our lives is filled with memories and uncertainty.

But I love that when worry circles in my mind like the ghost of some rejected traveller crossing an ancient plain that stretches for hundreds of miles with scarce food or shelter, when worry scratches at the door repeatedly, I look at Saturn, in the chart, and tonight in the dark sky and feel the consolation of philosophy.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Hoping to See Mars Meet Acrab

Last night I think it was too cloudy, but Tues night Mars was only a thin index finger west of faint Acrab.  Acrab is not terribly faint, but Antares a bit lower under the ecliptic is much brighter.  i can see all three from dowtown Raleigh at first dark, as well as Saturn.  
You can see in the chart that Saturn is east of Mars-  it is also east of Acrab.

They are all on the midheaven at sunset, just face south and you can see Saturn, then faint Acrab and bright Mars.  Bright Antares is below the others.  
I haven't looked at any  astronomy sites, so I'm not sure, but i think Mars should pass a few degrees under Acrab tonight or tomorrow.

Mars went direct at the very end of June and is really picking up speed- it is up to 23 minutes a day and gaining steadily.  

I have been run ragged with emergency projects and worry but still there is something exciting about the sense of accomplishment, both in mundane affairs and friendships.  It isalso a real thrill to see Mar's movement so clearly from one night to the next because of that fixed star as a reference so near the ecliptic.

Though Mars is really moving, and Saturn is still retro, the hero will not catch up to the authoirty figure till Aug 24.  

Somehow i expect time will continue to fly as Mars keeps chugging away.  i can't see more projects in my life now, so it is hard to imagine.  i just look at that bright red light setting earlier and earlier each night and think of dying will.  can Mars go gently?   as we swing around toward the far side of the Sun from the red planet what urges will drive us on while the competitor is still, for just awhile longer, near?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

After Midnight Moonrise

I'll begin with the 3 pothead brothers who were working on my old roof and inherited my sons Trailmate recliner tricycle.  I did not like them coming over the last several weeks begging Koala for money to buy pot, insisting that she treat them to beer.  She was drinking and smoking after work instead of resting, and I knew she had a lot of worries about her daughter in Mexico.  I became visibly uptight when I discovered all 3 of them on the roof with her.

The previous week she had gotten up there to repair a leak that returned in her room during the big rain.  The whole roof was rotten she said.  She was going to replace it a section at a time.   Ugh.  So we went to the building supply store and ordered a pallet of shingles, nails, and roofing paper. 

Yes, I thought, Mars is marching forward again toward its meeting with Saturn.  I swung between gratitude and worry.  Her way of working was not jiving with what I got from the supply sales people.  How long would it take for possible problems to manifest?  Would the wood be rotting before we realized there should have been new paper under those shingles instead of leaving the old?

The materials were to be delivered the day we ordered them, but they had not set a time.  She had the day off and wanted to remove shingles but waited because of the possibility of rain.  The brothers showed up and she had them doing yard work.  The oldest had cut half the Irises and the decorative vines around the mailbox and beside the front stoop 3 weeks earlier.  It took me awhile to figure it out.  The yard seemed different.  "Hmm.  America has never cut the Irises before.  I wonder what happened to the mailbox plant?  Did she not like the plant beside the stoop?" 

The next week when we were both out in the front she asked if I noticed what had been cut and gave me the back story.  The 18 year old kept begging for $10 to buy pot.  "You still haven't paid me the money I loaned you last week!"  And she put him to work with the weed eater.  From the looks of the yard he really enjoyed using that power tool.  The day after I found out what happened to all the plants, America was at work and I was home resting.  There was a soft knock on the door.  Plant Eater wondered if I could loan him $10.  We had a little conversation.  I learned his name.  I told him I would not give him money.  I told him America was a woman who had learned a lot in life and if he treated her with respect she would be a good friend.  "Ohh!  I treat him with lots of respect.  Total respect!"  All in Spanish.  I corrected him on the pronoun.  "Es ella.  No es el.  Ella es una mujer."  He knew.  They all know she is a woman. And they all refer to her with the pronoun for males.  "Yo se!  Yo se ella es mujer!  Y la trato con todo respeto!"

"Good.  I'm not giving you any money."

"Ok.  But my mom really needs it for medicine,"  he said amiably and walked off.

I learned in that conversation how old he was and why he wasn't working.  He was in the middle of a court case trying to get disability coverage from a roofing accident when he was 16.  His eye was messed up and his hand.

These were the impressions coloring my thoughts as I wondered about this roofing project and noticed lots of stomping around over my head, and voices.  There was more than one pair of feet up there.  Soon there was a soft knock on the front door.  It was the oldest brother.  Though he doesn't speak English I was beginning to realize that the two younger brothers do..  "Koala says she needs un martillo," he seemed to be telling me America wanted the hammer.  She is banging away up there yet still I'm not putting the puzzle together.  I search inside and out, but cannot find it.  I go to the back and holler up to her, "no lo encuentro!"

That's ok she says, she'll come down and find it.   And I climb the ladder to confirm what she is saying, my Spanish sucks and I'm never sure what's going on, and see the bros on the roof.  The youngest is 13.   That's when my inner pendulum reversed and built new momentum from gratitude toward worry. 

Only two hours earlier, before the arrival of the delivery guy with the long platform tracter trailer truck and the fork lift on the back to lift and deposit the pallet of shingles, I was so proud of myself.  I knew better and told myself to chill.  The Brother without English had the weed whacker again.  He was all over the yard like an energizer bracero and I felt happy for him and America, until I noticed he wasn't wearing sun glasses.  America was trimming a bush.  "Why isn't he wearing eye protection?"

"I told him to and he wouldn't listen," she said.

I hollered over the fence.  "Hey!"  He turned it down and looked up.  Happy young man.  "Que?!" 

"You do not work here without eye protection.  Absolutely not.!"

As I turned to go back inside I noticed America smiling.

I call that the pendulum swing toward self delusion.  Oh, how sure I was that things were coming under control.  He headed back to the garage and got the glasses.  It was 11am July 22.  The Moon was in the Aries dodec of Pisces but it was passing through the 6th house of service.

It was 12:00 and the Moon was in the 5th house of children when I climbed the ladder and realized the scary truth.  I felt like one of the parents in "Geek Love" whose carny offspring were taking the show to a whole new level.

"It's ok," they kept repeating as I told them they must not be on the roof.  During the exchange I was aware they were repeating the lines of the script Mexicans use with safety obsessed gringos.  "It's ok," go back to your computer.  They were not even looking at each other but I knew they were in league.  That America had already told them not to worry.  How many times did I watch my brother tell my mom he was taking out the trash and it stayed right there in the kitchen.  "I'm doing it!" he would yell in an insulted tone.  If she would only quit bugging him about it he could quit watching the show on tv and get it done.  She was such a pain.   But his patience was exemplary.

         **         *         *         *         *         *         *         *       

The roof is finished thanks to America's determination.  I think once she got up there and started the job she was seized with a strong urge to get it over with, and the kids just kept pestering her for money or to buy them beer.  I took the 13 year old with me to buy Subway late that 1st afternoon and asked him about his brother.

He was born here but since his mom couldn't find a good baysitter while she worked she sent him to live with family in
Mexico.  He came  back north when he was 16, ran away from home, got a job roofing, fell off a 4 story roof and was in a coma.  Now they are waiting to resolve the court case.

When they came back the next day I texted my son and asked if they could have the old Trailmate.  It has been in a pile of bike parts in the corner of the garage for years and I wasn't sure what it would take to get it going again, but the oldest boy had asked America if they could buy it.  "Take it," he texted back, releasing it from the sooty corner of the garage.  

Thursday July 28, almost a week after America started on the roof, i was finishing up a big house at about 6:30pm when I got a call from Nurse G.  The AC was out and she needed me to have Mr. Lyrica over to spend the night.  America had been working out of town all week, so things had calmed down again and it was a wonderful little slumber party.  His wife took him out to lunch the next day with their 2 children and we all enjoyed a short visit.  We cooked a nice dinner and had a quiet meal together, just the two of us, and I took  him home to his nice cool townhouse at 8:30.

That Friday night I felt really relaxed.  Mixed in with all the worry about boys falling off my roof and future leaks, there were the joys of the unexpected visit with Mr. Lyrica and seeing the underaged potheads riding around on the resurrected Trailmate.  They had pulled it up to the neighborhood gas station and filled all 3 flat  tires with air.  To my amazement they all held up.  The chain kept coming off the sprocket but they quickly figured out how to finagle it back on and were all over the neighborhood.  

It is true that within 48 hours of getting the tires inflated both were flat and had been discarded.  When I asked if they wanted to wait till we could get a new tube, they waved me off, "It's ok!" and rode down the gravel driveway and over to the park.  
I hated to see the plastic rims getting chewed up but they sure looked happy flying around at ground level on that yellow contraption.  

The oldest boy did knock on the door one afternnon asking for $10.  He said the guy at the tire place up the street was going to fix it.  Nope.  No money from Donya Maria.  Once again he rode off happily on the chewed up plastic rims. 

Then, Friday night, after dropping off Mr. Lyrica i headed over to the park to get a look at Mars coming to meet Acrab.  In a month Mars will meet Saturn but first it will pass the distant star Acrab situated right along the ecliptic.  For more than a month Mars has been more than 4 fingers west of Acrab, and i wanted to see if we were down to 3 yet.  

There was a car parked over there, but i had been so worn out, or it had been so cloudy, i had not seen the sky for several nights.  i kept right on my path, oilcloth mat under my arm to spread over the damp night grass and binoculars around my neck.  my cats were circling my legs.  they always come over  to protect me.

I heard a man's voice come from the direction of the car.  "aright now."  It was friendly enough, so i felt ok.  I said a quiet "hey" back.  Next thing i know they're starting the car and backing up.  i looked down at my feet to make sure the cats were getting out of the way.   

This happens a lot.  Folks are parked over there at night trying to have a moment of privacy and MP the stargazer comes along and breaks up the party. Sometimes i wait till the car is gone before i go over there.  Well, last Friday night, it wasn't too late, or it didn't seem like it after the little nap i had taken when i got home from dropping off my friend, the guy in the car rolled down his window and started a conversation.  

Or maybe i did.  he just asked if i was ok, then said "oh!  you're lookin at the sky!" when he saw the binoculars.  and not for the first time, i took advantage of a fresh audience.  i pointed to 
Cygnus way over head and told him the story of the boy who kept diving into the river looking for his drowned friend.  the gods turned him into a swan or cygnus.  Nobody knows this i said, we're all lookin at clocks and calendars instead of the sky, but the ancients looked at the sky to tell time.  that story was to help remember that when they saw that constellation over head they were diving down to face the bottom of the galaxy. 

he got all excited.  asked about the north star and if this all had anything to do with the seasons.  so i explained about Cancer the Crab and Capricorn the goat.   "Wow!  Do you know anything about ...?" and i think he asked about the pyramids.  "ooh.  i don't know," i said.  "They are translating so many things in the last 50 years that nobody understood back when everyone thought the Greeks and the Romans knew everything."

and then he started telling the story of Horus and Osiris getting chopped up and his sister collecting the pieces and wrapping him in her dreadlocks!!  i had never heard about the dreadlocks and that being a reference to mummification.  wow.  we were both so excited.  his girlfriend never said a word.  we must have talked for at least 10 or 15 minutes.  he kept saying "you should read about that.  it will change your life."  and i wanted to say i have and it has.  but i started feeling like i was crashing their party.  but for once it was not just me telling what i had discovered.  he was just as eager.  next he was talking about how he gets in trouble and loses friends for what he's about to say.  and he talks about the bible not being written in 
Hebrew.  "it was written in Greek and it was about 
Egyptian teachings."  and i said "the gnostic gospels!"  i never thought of the new testament that way.

we were both rolling over each other with things we wanted to talk about but i was getting really embarrassed about not talking to his girlfriend.  i was trying to think how to excuse myself and the guy said "what's your name?"  Mary 
Pat.  i live over there.  and i pointed to my house.  "you don't get scared out here?" he asked.  well i do.  but im desperate to see the stars and my cats protect me.  during our conversation he had remarked about a white truck that he said kept passing by.  "Well I'm officer __ and this is officer ___"  i did not even catch their names.  "You're fuckin with me!" i said.  "now im gonna feel safe out here and do something stupid!"  he waved goodbye and drove away.

it was 1:19am when i went in and did a chart.  so i guess that conversation started around 1am.  i went back out and watched the old crescent rise.  i looked through my binoculars at so many stars.  it was a beautiful night for it, even in the heart of the city.

Monday morn America's brother came over with his truck and took 3 loads of shingles to the dump.   The brother without English helped him.   his hand was still hurting from a bad scrape he'd gotten when he punched his mom Saturday night.  
They were having some kind of party.  i had noticed the music
Saturday afternoon and wondered who was getting ready for a party.  apparently he had been drinking and she was telling him not to and he punched her and fell down and scraped the palm of his hand.  he was sullen most of Sunday sitting in the front yard hollering "Buey!" to America as she pounded away on the roof.

they don't pronounce the b.  it is 'whey' like the water left from making cottage cheese,  but more forceful.  it means bull or ox and is like "Dude!" or "ese!"  i guess it's like the Mexican cowboy version of 'ese.

when i asked about the sore spot he said something about his jefa, and his little brothers jumped in and said no "it wasn't her fault! she was telling him not to drink cause he's supposed to get a blood test tomorrow." 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Moon above Mars

Moon is only a few degrees ahead of Mars but it is way above it in tonight's clear sky.  The north node is in Virgo, 2 signs back from Scorpio where Mars is now at 24degrees.  The north node is where Moon crosses above the ecliptic.  They call it the dragon's head because the Moon appears to weave above and below the ecliptic like a snake. 

When the Moon gets to the. 3rd sign from the north node it is at its highest point above the ecliptic.  So tomorrow night, when it is near Saturn in Sagittarius it will also be high above Saturn.

The north node is on the right side of the chart near Jupiter.  They are in the middle of Virgo.  Mars is now a bit further west of MC.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


I really need to go to sleep, but Mercury is flying around the far side of this Cancer Sun and I have to record this incredible night.

I got up at 10:50pm and went out to look at the sky, not expecting much since it's been so humid.  It was great
viewing, so I stayed up a lot later than I should on a work night. 

Now, I am in bed and still feel restless.  I was thinking of how big the constellation Draconis is.  It was so cool to watch it backing in an arc across the northern sky, sandwiched between Lyra and the Big Dipper.

I was reading  a National Geographic magazine recently that had photos of art objects and paintings on caves from more than 25,000 years ago.  It is so wild to think the pole star has circled Draconis at least once since those pieces of art were created.

The swath of sky that includes is so expansive it boggles my mind. 

The moment i first got a look at the sky was 10:58.  it's been a great week.  I've been getting into some serious meditations with tertiary progressions.  it jsut this second occurred to me how appropriate that is for the conjunction in 
Cancer.  tertiary progressions focus on the lunar cycle and the moon rules Cancer.

also i am working on the 2nd chapter of the yoga sutras and reading about sutra number 5 which defines egoism or I-am-ness.  a day or two ago i was wondering whether i would have gotten into Patanjali if i had known about him back in the days when i gave up on meditation.

well, that's a quick rundown of my cool Mercury lined up with Sun, earth and pluto.  maybe now i can get some sleep.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Farewell to Mars

This Tues (June 30) Mars turns direct.  We say goodbye to the planet of will.  Earth, on the inside track, moves on toward the far side of the Sun from slightly slower Mars.

This does not mean we can forget about troubles and strife associated with combating wills.  Remember that both the dramatic fall of Egypt 's longstanding dictator and the Boston Marathon bombing  took place when Earth was across the solar system from Mars and saw the Sun lining up with the position of the warrior.  It is wise to keep in mind that sometimes what looks like the beginning of a new cycle in the chart is actually Earth lining up with the Sun on the far side of an outer planet, bringing to fruition a seed that germinated many months previously when they had been intimate.

Further down is a link to the 2016 year page of the Cafe Astrology ephemeris.  Click on the link and scroll down to April 18 to see where Mars went retro.  They use a tiny little red 'r' to mark where a planet turns retro.  If you see the numbers for Mars' position decreasing instead of increasing after the 'r' you'll know you've found the place.

It  was right near Acrab in the night sky in April.  The ephemeris doesn't show that.  You have to look it up in a star atlas or go out and look south (unless you're in the southern hemisphere in which case you probably already know you look north to see the ecliptic).

If you go out at night now you can see that the brilliant little ember (Mars) has retreated to a position well west of Acrab.  After Tues night you can watch it advance through July and August to a second meeting with Acrab.  This time Mars will pass the star and keep on going.

I am sending readers to an ephemeris I have never used.  (I get all my computer calculations and data from, but their ephemeris only comes in pdf format.)

I googled online ephemeris and picked this one from a few that I checked out.  I have visited Cafe Astrology a few times and really like their site.

Cafe Astrology 2016 Ephemeris

So I hope people will check out the column for Mars in the April section of the ephemeris.  (Mars is the red circle with an arrow....just to the right of the blue circle with a cross which stands for Venus) Think about whether you became increasingly more intimate with a challenge until around May 21, 22 when Earth was closest to Mars.  For me that was a weekend when I realized even the toughest situation could bring real cause for celebration.  Once I had passed through all the difficulties they didn't seem as bad as when I first started facing them.

There were still many weeks to follow of learning to be patient with things I can't change.  But now that I view Mars reaching the middle of the sky a bit earlier each clear night, I think of the bond I've formed that comes from going through hard times with another person.

Mr. Lyrica and I are real friends now.  I think of the little drawing of the dog in my customer's bathroom that says "A friend is not a fellow who is taken in by sham.  A friend's someone who knows your faults and doesn't give a damn."  We've been through a lot together since April, and seen each others' faults. 

As I prepare to bid farewell to Mars until the meeting in 2018 I'm remembering how pumped up I was to tell our story when the planet of heroism was working its way into Sagittarius.  Then as it backed into Scorpio I began to realize just how complicated Mr. Lyrica's situation is.  It was like I kept bumping into these invisible walls. 

I suspect that when Mars gets back into Sagittarius my urge to talk about our friendship will grow anew.  Right now I feel like we can only muddle through our time  together and breathe a sigh of relief each time we part ways.  I no longer try to get him to talk because I'm afraid I'll get mad at what he says.  It's neat to trudge through the hard part of getting close to another person.

A last link which I hope will entice people to go out and get a look at our beautiful heavenly neighbor.  This blogger took some photos of Mars in March before it slowed down and went backwards.  Mars is the brighter and deeper red object next to Acrab.  From what I've read it sounds like Acrab is actually a group of several stars.  If you go out and look south tonight, or even for the next several weeks, you'll see that Mars slid back a long ways west of Acrab during April-June.

Link to blogger's photos of Mars in March 2016 near Acrab

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Trash Globe

This is a post i began composing March 3, 2016.

My new neighbors around the corner were throwing this globe away and rejoiced when I knocked on their door and asked to adopt it.

I already am fantasizing about the OSAIP (Our Sky Astrology Interactive Planetarium)

A  brand new Earth brought in from the curb.

This shot is from when I first moved the setup from my bedroom to the dining room.  Yesterday I moved it into the living room and graduated from a hand held sun to one clamped to a bookshelf.  I also added a little Polaris above the North South duct tape.

I am really excited about showing visitors how Vega (the bright star in Orpheus' Lyre) was named after a falling vulture because it is on the midheaven when we are turning down in our daily revolution....while Capella, the little she goat in Auriga, is on the MC (Latin abbreviation for midheaven) when we are climbing up from facing the underside of the galaxy.

All the constellations with myths about the under world are riddles referring to the galactic down under!   Plato was not fooling when he said the myths are actually referring to  declinations.

One of these shows the sun shining from the Sagittarius side of Earth.  The best I can tell from Stellarium and Cambridge Encyclopedia of Stars, the lamp was shining from above (Earth under Sun) Oct 7.   Cambridge Encyclopedia of Stars lists the galactic north pole as 12h51m.  i have tried to get confirmation from some online astrnomers but somehow the communication is weak.  If someone can confirm or correct this Oct 7 date of Earth being under Sun I would sure appreciate it.  i don't want to spread bad information.

It seems like this stuff should be common knowledge, but it has taken me a lot of poking around to figure it out.  In my adventures I did notice a few other curious people asking the same questions on forums, so it should not be long before the information spreads.

please excuse if this post is even more messy than usual.  I am learning to blog on my little android phone.

    *   -   *   -   *   -   *   -   *   -   *   -   *

Well, 2 months have passed and it is time to move this forgotten piece from the drafts into the big sea of
Our Sky posts.  the foto w/the little yellow blob hanging from a doorway is my facsimile of Polaris.  The one w/the red X on the globe shows where i marked Raleigh, NC and made a dotted line around the globe for the reference of local latitude.  
The last one  shows the X for Raleigh turning down from just above the galactic plane to just under.

My health is improving every day.   I am even going to yoga once or twice a week with Mr. Lyrica.  Maybe soon i can invite the public to this humble little planetarium to hang stars and explore exciting concepts in  the ancient science of naked eye sky watching.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


A few minutes before 1:29 this afternoon I texted Mr. Lyrica- Thanks.  It's really ok. 

I had regaled him with more details than any normal person would want about the death of my 11 year old dog in the early morning, and he repeated that he was sorry.  He's a very polite guy, but I don't think he likes morbid conversation.  That's ok.  The neighbor kids are fascinated and their moms are extremely sympathetic.  Everyone came in for a quick greeting yesterday when she was in her last hours.  She rarely moved, so when the neighbors quietly came through the front door one at a time to whisper a few words to her, and she lifted her head at the sound of their entrance, I told them she was happy to see them.

Now I am digging a burial space for her in the back yard.  The city never returned my call for dead animal pick up, so I guess her body will stay around.   My health is really good and I have the day off; it is a pleasure to prepare a place for her remains.

I chose a sunny area, where the soil is fairly loose, and soaked it with water from the hose.  The roots are the only problem- I had to use the saw to sever some of them.  Funny how water penetrates everything but cannot loosen the roots.  The strength of some organic materials is amazing; bones, roots.....

She took her last convulsive breath at 7:33am.  It was an amazing moment; dreadfully powerful and awe inspiring.  Now I understand the dramatic spasms actors make in theatrical deaths.  I knew- I was moving the towel under her face to keep the fluid coming out of her mouth from bothering her- and her whole body arched in one final convulsive jerk.  Though I had never witnessed that moment at the end of life, I recognized it immediately.  I knew she had taken her last breath and her suffering was over.

>   *   <          >   *   <          >   *   <

I waved goodbye to the neighbor children at 5:30.  They had arrived home from school as I was excavating the last few cubic inches for Una's burial.  Her corpse was stretched out beside the hole with the blanket I used to keep her warm overnight.  They had many questions, like why are her eyes open, and many stories about the deaths of animals and people, and nearly fatal accidents.

I positioned her in the grave and they suggested I cover her with the blanket.  Her body was not quite as stiff as I expected, so I could tilt her head forward a bit and lay her lower into the earth.  They took up shovels and began covering her body with the heavy damp soil..  The youngest helper is in 1st grade and the oldest is in 4th.  The 4 year old sister was licking something round. 
-what does your sister have in her mouth?
I thought it was a bottle cap I had fished from the soil.
-a magnet.
I asked the 1st grader to play with her so she would not eat garbage or magnets.
-look Maria!  I'm eating garbage, she said in Spanish.
-what did she say?
-she said she's eating garbage! 
Then I recognized the word she was saying was basura.

Next she hollered to me that she was eating Luna.  That's what many of the neighbors call Una.

-you're eating Una!  Is she good?

-you're eating Una, you're eating Fritos, you're eating garbage!

She was delighted. 
-are you Oscar?

-how do you say garbage can, I asked the boys.

-Lata de basura!
I sang Oscar's I love Trash song and the boys shouted stuff about Cookie Monster.

The 1st grader brought dandelions and planted them near Una's head.  We all took turns with the shovels and they ran to the front yard for pink Azalea blossoms and purple Irises.

When we were finished they had brownies I made Monday with cranberries. 

I told them to make sure they took their shoes off before going inside when they got home so they wouldn't track mud in their mother's house.  One boy arrived just as we finished, but came over for brownies and the general discussion.  He is in 5th or 6th grade.  He was the last as they filed across the front yard on their way home or to some other adventure. 

-I'm sorry.... about Una.
-Thanks Felix.

Now all I have left is a big pile of towels.  The heaviest work was made light.

It was a moment of profound philosophical inheritance
(Mars and Saturn in Sagittarius were passing through the 8th house of death and inheritance).

It was a moment of primal perception (Mercury in Taurus) in action (exactly the moment it was crossing above the eastern horizon).

It was literally the closest moment of the day that Raleigh gets to Pluto, the planet of the misbegotten (Pluto on the midheaven aka MC).

It was the most intimate moment of all in our partnership through life and her passing (Scorpio covering the 7th house of partnership, marriage, contracts and friendship).

It was a moment when fate (12th house) packed many lessons about courage (4 planets in Aries).

Last night when I was certain she was dying I googled natural death for dogs.  I was feeling guilty about not paying to have my pet euthanized.  I have always thought I would want, if possible, to be fully conscious at the moment of my passing from this life.  I was looking for someone who felt the same way about death, who would give me support in facing Una's death without mind altering medications.  I found a sight that talked about what to expect.  That you know the dying one is close to the end when their exhaled breaths become forceful.  There was advice on when to offer water and food.  It was a big help.

This is the chart for the moment Una died.  It was a moment of great pleasure (5th house of creativity and children) in improvising (Jupiter) as a compassionate nurse (axis of Pisces opposing Virgo).  The quiet satisfaction of that moment was an inspiration that strengthened my convictions about how I would like to die.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Frivolous House Cleaner

I am being really bad today.  I just found a voicemail from customer indicating that he might not be home before I leave.  That, in my twisted mind, means I can waste even more time than I already have.  So here I am blogging!
I got the idea while sweeping the back terrace.  That was the frivolous chore.  I was enjoying memories of when his wife was well and we kept the house clean together.  I came once a week instead of every other week in those days.  Now that they no longer entertain, and that the husband is in charge, they have cut back.
I used to sweep the little raggedy things from the trees during pollen season as a regular course of the day.  Now I rarely sweep the terrace, leaving it for the yard crew that comes every tother week or so. 
While I was doing my own little thing it occurred to me that I could be posting my thoughts right from the customer's house now that I am so comfortable posting from my phone.  When I came inside and thought maybe I should check for a message from the customer I saw that my phone was not with me. uh oh.  Did I leave it at home?
A little while later I checked my car and there it was in my coat pocket.
Now I am posting as I wait for shelves to dry. I'm cleaning bug dirt from a section of kitchen cabinets. I could be vacuuming the study until they're dry enough to put stuff back..  Should be.  The customer will come home at 4pm ready for peaceful rest and frivolous housecleaner will still be here.  The shelves are a good task that will not have to be repeated soon, but I am also going to wash 7 wine glasses that don't look like they have been used in a few years.
My favorite moment was when I walked around the front and noticed a whole bunch of camellia (or gardenia- I'll google that later) blossoms.  I picked them all up from the brick walkway and under the bushes.  As I was cleaning up these fallen blossoms in various states of decay, some still fresh, others brown all the way through, I considered how this was one of the many gardening tasks the wife quietly took care of for years.  I never saw hordes of old flowers littering the border and walkway.
The screenshot this time is from the right side of the chart, showing what is setting in the west (northern hemi view of things).  I drew an arrow to the number 6.  The 6th house is the house of service and apprenticeship.  The chart is for 12:33pm when I was getting ready to write this post.  Saturn is in the 5th house now, which is the house of play.

When i was finished picking old blossoms out of the pine straw i  broke two fresh ones from  the bush and put them in a little vase with water- another touch that has been missing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Saturn Takeover

The first image has a blue arrow pointing to Jupiter about to show above the horizon. AC is short for ascendent, where stuff comes up as earth turns. Next i put one of my whole birthchart so you can see the rest of the planets.

The 3rd image shows a section of my progressed chart. I'm almost 58 so the chart shows what was coming up for the same time 58 days after I was born. Progressed charts are kind of like the chapter headings for each year of life. Think of those old time chapter headings that included an extensive list of all the events that unfolded in the following narration.

You can see Saturn circled in the cut out of the progressed chart. It was down in the 3rd house of communication when I was born. Now it's in the batter's box (that's what I call 1st house sometimes) getting closer and closer to its turn at the plate.

Not everybody gets to spend a third of their life with progressed Saturn in the 1st house. Most people wouldn't want to. It is kind of solitary and serious. I like it. I don't get out like I used to when happy go lucky Jupiter was rising, but I get a lot more studying done.

I'm getting set up to talk about how this strange affair between Moustache Mary (I get a fake name too!) and Mr Lyrica is actually an inspiring story about the natural unfolding of organic time, with Saturn in the starring role.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Service and Virgo

There are two  images at the end of this post.  The 1st shows Jupiter rising in Virgo and the 2nd shows the time etc. for the same chart.  I was cleaning blinds, looking forward to Mr. Lyrica coming to spend the day tomorrow.  i talked him into planning dinner.  i need a little surprise.  some one else deciding on the menu.  and he needs a chance to start taking up life's daily tasks.  when i asked if he wanted to plan the meal he said, "it doesn't matter."  then came another text immediately after, "you decide."  followed by a 3rd...."i can help."
he helped the last time.  now he has to go to the next level and make a plan.  he also has to quit deferring.  he is too damn polite.  but back to the blinds.
I was on the 2nd of 3 sets in the living room.  i started with the one set in the window behind the couch.  i didn't want him hanging on the couch near dusty blinds.  then i moved to the two windows facing the front of the house.  those blinds are not as dusty.

i was reflecting on the last time i had cleaned them.  i couldn't remember, but they aren't that bad. Though i have let most of the windows go for about 5 years, i manage to clean the blinds at least once a year.

dirty windows are a real drag.
It would be depressing living with such a smeary view of the outside if i didn't have my nose in a book most of the time.  Then too, the process has been slow, but i'm convinced, absolutely, that the more i rest the better my health becomes.  So looking out at the neighborhood kids playing in the street, or in the park, and seeing them through windows covered with bug splats and the funk deposited by repeated cycles of condensation, reminds me of my determination to get better by getting the rest i need.
next thing i knew i was in a reverie about customers.  that happens a lot.  my customers are my jivanmuktis, my chosen examples of liberated beings.  i thought about how one time i told a customer why i had asked to postpone a week; this was after she had graciously assented....maybe i was wiping the counters in her kitchen and we were chatting.  i explained that i was tired of coming home to a dirty house and wanted to take some time off to clean my own house.
many times i have recalled that exchange and considered how thoughtless it was on my part.  i used to recall it with shame.  but since i have had La Koala living with me and watched her struggles with money, constantly having to send, send and send again for one ememrgency after another to her family in Mexico, i know what it is like to over look the whining of someone you feel deserves respect.
La Koala has made a couple remarks about how nice it must be to work so little.  one time it really stung.  i noticed myself, days after the remark, composing phrases in my mind to defend myself.  but after a bit of thought i remembered how i had been treated when i showed the same sentiment.  i remembered the time i whined about how dirty my house was because i was too busy cleaning for customers, and how my cusomer did not bat an eye.  she over looked it.  the conversation flowed right over my pebble as if no offense had been given or taken.
so i noticed a smile this time-it just came...i was all alone, enjoying my little task and there I was smiling at a memory that once made me cringe.  this is the chart for the moment i noticed myself smiling about how i have learned something wonderful from the people i have 'served'.