The Human Sea
Neptune, Leo, and the center Why are there so many of us? Why do we group together en masse always looking for a focal point, a special human who automatically attracts attention? Something to do. Something to watch. Neptune just turned retrograde conjunct the moon's north node in Aquarius, opposite the Leo south. Oceans of people are in the spotlight. The actors are guarded. Like waves humans move together and waves also move in and destroy. The collective eye is trained on the stage right now feeling a desire to pluck from their chosen ones some Aquarian-Neptunian possibilities. And of course, Leo remains, looking for a thrill. I wonder if the tides of evolution are dependent upon mass gatherings. Together and apart in rhythm. Exposure and obscurity alternating in a continual dance. Collective emotion influencing the turn of events.
An audience of one involves the same search for significance. Recognition probably eludes us anyway, no matter how much attention and praise come our way. "Brown liquor in a dirty glass", sings the poet, while the listener quenches his thirst alone at the bar. A sea of one. The connections are temporary but probably enough to remind people of their mythic greatness as they travel the hero's journey. As Neptune travels backwards going deeper into global subconscious territory, still trying to work things out with that crazy Uranus in Pisces. And as the South Node puts the ego in a seaworthy vessel for awhile adrift in the waves, hopefully with a captain who knows the stars.
Illustration: A Blue So Blue. Jean-Francois Dumont
A Nation's Sorrow
Pluto is at 0 Capricorn just about to return to Sagittarius for the last time. A crucial moment.
A frequent response to Senator Obama's speeches is crying which inevitably occurs with his audience. He taps into public feeling with his Venus in Cancer, and with transiting Pluto opposite, the effect has been magnified. Venus is also trine his Neptune in Scorpio adding the collective factor and greatly increasing the emotion. Senator Clinton, a Scorpio ruled by Pluto, is a cosmic agent in this emotional interplay currently. She is represented by Pluto in opposition to his Venus. Clinton attacks, the people join to protect Obama, the emotion swells. Pain builds. Fear peaks. Words are spoken. Collective sadness is released. And happiness.A mystique has always existed around one of the premier political families in American politics .... the Kennedys. Their representatives embodied the country's hopes, but there was also disappointment along with the tragic endings. Camelot never materialized and now we know it might not. People still cling to the memories in hopes that they can believe in leaders like they once did, but the realities of the last administrations leave us disappointed. War weary, economically unsure, emotionally drained, and intellectually bereft, the country still has a vision quest that breathes. No human leaders can really deliver the goods by themselves in the end. The wisdom to foresee the shortcomings in those we select is a useful trait. As is the sense to use their skills and attributes. I think Robert Kennedy was the most loved, and here on the bridge between Sagittarius and Capricorn, the illness of Ted combined with the potent reminder of Robert's murder on its anniversary have evoked strong feelings in the populace. No coincidence that it's happening just as the primary season ends and Obama is set to be officially presumptively nominated, bringing to fruition some of the work the Kennedys did before him. It's a common human characteristic that optimism always returns, guarded as it might be with the recognition of human failure. The return of Pluto to Sagittarius is the finale of this awakened belief, handy for the years of practical work ahead in Capricorn. The daily grind of earth. As Pluto comes into Capricorn and heads for the first Pluto return in USA history, questions are being raised and ideals are being revisited. The government is preparing for transformation as the young nation starts to come of age. Cardinal times (Aries-Capricorn) are times of forward motion. Times of action. Now don't hold your breath waiting for the emotion to calm down just yet. A few days after Pluto crosses into Sagittarius on June 15, he will be met by a Full Moon, just plumping herself up in this excitable sign. Moon and Pluto anyone? Cancer and Scorpio? Jupiter? Maybe a thick convoluted intellectual book would be a good escape. I'm through crying. It closes up my sinuses.
Sun Gonna Shine
On my back door someday. Well it did. Santa Fe, New Mexico. 1975. Kitchen. Facing east.
It was not all that glorious really, the promised land didn't fully materialize, but it was my first taste of life in the desert sun, and for that reason, it was dazzling. And relaxing at the same time.
It's shining on my front door now.
A Curious Dilemma
Dear Hillary, Please don't take this the wrong way, but it's really time now for you to stop talking -- mid-sentence if needs be -- and just go away. You are not only embarrassing to yourself, your family, your party, your gender, your country and possibly the entire world, you're embarrassing to amoebic life forms that haven't even been formed yet. Best of luck with future projects though. Yours sincerely, The United States of America
Some people would like to see Hillary go away, and some prefer that she stay. I'd just as soon she go, but if she wants to stay, she's (more)perfectly free to do so. I don't think it matters.
The Justice of Equilibrium
Some people view the world as gloomy. They believe that things don't really go well overall. But I think, actually, we're part of one functional system, probably designed to survive and maintain health. If you were a cell in a human stomach, for example, the world might look rough, but the whole body works. Some people are doing a double take watching what seems to be the beginning of a political balancing in the United States, in contrast to the previous years of extremes and finally bipartisan paralysis. The country's natal Mars is making a major turn and going retrograde by progression for the next 80 years or so in Libra, the sign of equilibrium. Close to natal Saturn. Yesterday the Moon was in Libra and the subject of diplomacy hit the stage for its grand entrance. "Appeasement" was the word. Making peace. "Talk" was another. Libra loves both and much more. This sign also governs marriage and yesterday same sex marriage was approved in California, the second state to do so. More will follow as the balancing continues and recent emphatic rejections turn into gradual acceptance. If I can get married, please god forbid, then you should be able to get married. Fairly simple. USA Saturn will be returning to its natal position in two years, then pass retrograding Mars close by. I don't know anything that defies the laws of equilibrium. But I don't know everything.
Mystic Connecticut: Alfred Eisenstaedt
Pluto and the Vortex
When I was a child I had a tonsillectomy and ether was used as anesthesia. I dreamt I was circling around and around in a dark cone with ringing sounds and blinking lights. In retrospect I often wonder where I was. Either in some place between life and death or between conscious life and deep unconscious. I know not, but I do think the vortex is a passage out and in that respect, a Plutonian crossing to another dimension. I think there are many vortices before the final one, and I sense that the world is collectively in one now with Pluto crossing from Sagittarius to Capricorn and the last quadrant. With Pluto hovering around 29 Sagittarius during the American election, the issue of racial division has surfaced for an inclusive look and response. Consider, for example, the media "spin". It occurred to me that this could be an outlet for the waste matter of society, an ongoing elimination that is necessary for social health. The story begins, escalates out of control, winds down, and disappears down the hole. Maybe this is disease control and provides needed emotional catharsis. Real journalism can be found somewhere if that's what one desires. Perhaps the vortex is stronger than usual right now with Pluto positioned as it is. Years of accumulation going down, spinning out. Let's take the subject of Jeremiah Wright, one of great fascination to the collective. It wasn't a distraction, contrary to popular opinion, but an important event in my view. There's a reason the separation was two-fold, cosmically speaking, first with the opening of the conversation about prejudice, second with the schism, symbolic maybe of a larger one. The stereotypes are not working as well as they once did. Wright first appeared as an angry rebel, then as an educated intellectual, and then he shape-shifted and flipped-out in his last show, leaving people confused, reiterating what he had said in the beginning. They were supposed to be afraid of the scary black man, but somehow, I don't think they really were. Some people seem to like him, in fact, and since he vanished in pure Neptunian fashion, many miss him. Of course there was the added stereotype of the clowning and happy Negro, but that also had its limitations. Now they're left with their own perceptions and the media failed to solidify a common one. The more it continued, the freer Obama became. He returned to Obamaland while people were trying to figure out what happened. Don't know what to think of the black man now, the stereotypes perhaps also disappearing to an extent in this strange Plutonian moment. Reverend Wright is a puzzle. The hate can't find a target as it usually does. The fear is not what it's cracked up to be. The guy is an accomplished scholar as well as a crazy black man. What to do? God damn America or God bless America? What in ...... is happening here? Mr. Jones? We can proceed a step further to the Democratic Party. The Democrats appeal to minority voters and the divisive tactics couldn't be more obvious than they are right now. No one group can successfully lay claim to equality and justice thought to be the superior possessions of liberals. It's brought the lesson home and changes are afoot as power shifts among the demographic groups. People determine experience as much as leaders and none were fully aware of the extent of social change. Plutonian moments are normally replete with revelation. The finale of this phase is occurring now in the most blatant proclamation of racial divide yet, when one candidate stated clearly that her opponent was of another race and that something was wrong with him, so they must vote for her. This is also part of the Plutonian process as people realize with certainty that they are ready to move past the traditional barriers. West Virginia laid bare an important thing to acknowledge that always exists. This final confrontation includes a recent Full Moon in Scorpio, a Scorpio candidate, and a coming Full Moon again in Scorpio at 29 degrees on May 20, when the white people of Oregon vote for Obama en masse. Deep in the vortex as the patterns of behavior are eliminated and Pluto returns to Sagittarius for the last time and the end of this particular phase of anthropological education, although pockets of fear and hatred remain as always. The people as a whole are realizing how much they really do want to evolve.
As Pluto returns to Sagittarius all these new developments have surfaced and are mixing in a still to be realized result. The issue will surely be dealt with in depth during this historic presidential election as those of us who wish to shed destructive social behaviors do so while allowing others the freedom to cling for whatever reasons make it still necessary. Old habits are spinning down and funneling out as the stage is being set for the next act. The media are only playing along. Doing their jobs. The continual stream of little vortices.
The truth is exposed anyway.
Affirmative Development in the 21st Century
From his first day at Morehouse College Joshua Packwood has been a standout. This month, Packwood is set to address his classmates as the first white valedictorian in the school's 141 year history. Morehouse is the country's only institution of higher learning dedicated to the education of black men. Packwood's mere presence on campus wouldn't make history at this school founded by a black minister and cabinetmaker two years after the end of the Civil War. Howard Zehr, Morehouse's first white student, graduated in 1966 and there have been dozens of other whites on campus since. Packwood turned down Columbia University, postponing his dream of living in NYC, and headed South.
"Josh Packwood is Morehouse," the college president, Robert Franklin, said in his inauguration speech in February. "He happens to be Euro-American and brings much appreciated diversity to the campus."Notable who attended Morehouse: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr.Merton Picklebee Has Returned
My dear and lovely friends. It's so good to be back. Lots of exciting things going on.
As you might know, I recently returned from K2 in the Himalayas where I was studying the mating habits of the praying mantis native to that region. It was absolutely fascinating. As a result, I've started a new study of the born again evangelical white praying mantis of American Appalachia. We don't know yet if they are albino or some other aberration. My esteemed associate Dr. Violet Whethervane, an expert in the field, will be joining me, so it promises to be an educational as well as a highly enjoyable experience.
What a country! Really good to be back!
Dining Out and War
"The United States celebrates Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. In the United States, Mother's Day was loosely inspired by the British day and was imported by social activist Julia Ward Howe after the American Civil War. However, it was intended as a call to unite women against war. In 1870, she wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation as a call for peace and disarmament. Howe failed in her attempt to get formal recognition of a Mother's Day for Peace. Her idea was influenced by Ann Jarvis, a young Appalachian homemaker who, starting in 1858, had attempted to improve sanitation through what she called Mothers' Work Days. She organized women throughout the Civil War to work for better sanitary conditions for both sides, and in 1868 she began work to reconcile Union and Confederate neighbors.
When Jarvis died in 1907, her daughter, named Anna Jarvis, started the crusade to found a memorial day for women. The first such Mother's Day was celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia, on 10 May 1908, in the church where the elder Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday School. Originally the Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church, this building is now the International Mother's Day Shrine (a National Historic Landmark). From there, the custom caught on — spreading eventually to 45 states. The holiday was declared officially by some states beginning in 1912. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared the first national Mother's Day, as a day for American citizens to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States." "In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace."
Julia Ward Howe from The Mother's Day Proclamation 1870 Iran. Obliteration or negotiation?
Photo: Iran. Rob Howard
The Power of Water
I love astrology so much. I'm always reminded of the grace of the universe, as I am right now with Mars at 29 Cancer. And wouldn't you know? The Moon is there too, bringing the long retrograde to a close.Something is being washed away as this dignified man becomes the first person of African descent in American history to receive the nomination for President. It's humbling. How perfectly timed. With the planets as guides, I can relax and know that I'm navigationally in good hands.A friend of mine who works in the disaster cleanup profession told me that the worst element to work with is water. And now as Mars leaves Cancer, we are once again reminded of the power of the earth and also the resiliency of humanity.
The cyclone and floods in Myanmar also came when Neptune (ocean) conjoined the North Node in Aquarius (wind). Very very interesting.Water is the mainstay of nourishment and the system of waterways on earth is like the vascular system of the human body. Throughout history people have clustered around this source of life, often too densely. Flooding and loss always occur and always will until we find better ways to distribute population and survive. No one knows how these natural phenomena pick their targets almost consciously, it seems to me. Myanmar is a troubled place, no doubt.The NN conjunction with Neptune in Aquarius reveals a couple of things. As usual, the world instinctively comes to aid the stricken and we are reminded of our compassion and commonality as a species. But I also think that this could be the start of political change in this extremely oppressed society, with its impossibly cruel government, considering the auspicious nature of the conjunction. The chart of the military regime has a Saturn-Uranus conjunction at 26-27 Sagittarius, where Pluto will be shortly. It remains to be seen whether or not revolutionary change is really part of this disaster.
Mars moves on to fiery Leo, and soon Pluto will be back in Sagittarius for a change of mood. Saturn just went direct in Virgo to get healing of the Mars-Cancer emotional hurts in forward motion. The Democratic party will recover, Myanmar will begin the slow healing of her wounds, and probably a lot of people will notice some change in their personal lives, cutting the losses, and enjoying the last bit of Sagittarian inspiration and joy in the coming months.Photo: David Sanger. The Pamirs in Tajikistan
I understand the somewhat touchy subject of testicles came up last week in the news. So I read.
It was stated that one of the players in question had the unusual number of three, and that the other, by quirk of fate, had only one. In fact, it was suggested that one of hers could conceivably become one of his. Not that he needed it. I thought it was a pretty generous offer, though. I don't know. I'm always a little confused. Alls I know is that I don't have any.
Expanded story: Gonads and politics
Mars is in its final degrees of Cancer after a seven month retrograde shared with Gemini.
Umbilical cuts, schoolyard good-byes. Mars is in perpetual forward projectile motion, and things that hold this entity back, such as the past and certain acts similar to "clinging", sometimes are forcibly excised. Especially after such a long backward pull. The ping forward.
Like my Indiana neighbor's wrist rocket in Colorado Springs. And now that I recall, my other Indiana neighbor's dart gun in Denver.On to Leo!!! Stage director? Casting? Props?
Photo: Chad Ehlers
Warning! Beware of the
Gas Tax Holiday
My friends. As you guzzle and gorge your way through another exciting summer season, keep this in mind. A sucker and a scam are a match made in heaven.
Yep. Predatory pumpers.
Keep your nozzle clean, is what I recommend. And your tires inflated!!
A New Bridge in Minneapolis
When I decided to settle down my choices were between Colorado and Minneapolis. I chose Denver but today Joe reminded me why I almost moved to his hometown. The reason was the exceptional artistic cultural atmosphere I sensed there and I believe I was right.
The annual May Day celebration is one such event and this year it celebrates A New Bridge.
On August 1, 2007, we witnessed the fall of the 35W bridge. During the profound Ecumenical Memorial Service for the 13 citizens who perished in the river, Hamdy El-Sawaf of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of Minnesota offered these words:Good question.
“If a bridge made of iron, steel and concrete can fall down, then a human bridge of faith, trust, confidence and hope must be established.”
These words challenge us to receive the tragedy of the fallen bridge as an opportunity to consider the infrastructure we are building for the present and future beings.
Are we building toward depletion and collapse as consumers and conquerors, or are we building a path to sustainable, reciprocal harmony with the rest of the earth?
The new bridge in Minneapolis is symbolic because of this intense time with Pluto crossing into structural Capricorn in such an elegant, ceremonious, and significant way. Setting the stage for the next act.
The Magic Trick
There'll be a few more snows but spring is just about to burst into full bloom here in the Rockies, and I'm ready to say good-by to another winter. I'm also saying good-by to something else I can't quite put my finger on yet. I do feel I'm revisiting the magic I've always counted on. The awareness of the overall grace of living within the context of the up and down horrors of everyday events. Sometimes It's like I'm a ball caught in a game of catch. The mundane grabs me or the spiritual and philosophical catapult me into a broader dimension. I think with Pluto in Capricorn the earth might get its big chance. Just as long as an occasional toss into the cosmos comes my way, I'll do well. Looking forward to spring. Though the 4:00 AM robins are getting a little annoying.California Black Oaks Ahwahnee Meadow: Ansel Adams