All I Really Need to Know I Learned at the Metaphysical Bookstore in 1987

In ancient Chinese the distractions of the world are often described as “ten thousand things” and this was before hand-held technology sent us ten thousand images each day. The world distracting us from ourselves is the nature of “the world.” We should have listened five thousand years ago to our sages . . .

Possibly in response to the ten thousand things distracting us during our waking hours, we seek “the one” – the one love, the one cure, the one food, the one home, the one family, the one leader, the one savior, the one sound, the one color, the one pill, the one supplement, the one career – the “one.”

The one we seek is most likely the one inside, a great sacrilege to those that want us to focus into the world of ten thousand things and find a “thing” that will release us from the trials and tribulations of life on earth.

Speaking of ten thousand things, this morning on social media a friend posted about the “sudden” belief that we could develop super immunity. The word “sudden” struck me as I watch sudden changes of behavior amongst the masses and lately have wondered what I missed. Were we supposed to be eating avocadoes with mayonnaise and cayenne pepper to ward off illness? No one told me.

But “here we go again,” and again and again is my prevailing response. Another panacea, another “one,” that will save us from the inevitability of our own deaths. Death, that’s what this is really all about.

“Sudden” in astrology is Uranus which is transiting the earth sign Taurus and has put focus on body and earth. As pandemic reminds us of our own deaths, the response is to accumulate more earth stuff. As most humans leave the earth through illness or accident, mass illness brings latent fear into light.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned at the Metaphysical Bookstore in 1987

About ten years back while receiving some tips for relaxation, I realized I’d learned all these practices from a qigong instructor many years prior. I just needed to keep up the practice.

Since then, this realization has come back over and over that I learned all I needed to know back in 1987. Walking into a metaphysical bookstore in 1987 I heard ideas that would take me 30 years to understand and now I see were all I really needed to know. One of those ideas was that the mystery of life is within ourselves.

After 30 years, I see why there is resistance to this idea. We are all provided images of “the one” outside of us who will save us, help us, heal us, bring us gifts or be there when we die. When hearing that the “one” is inside of us, we take that external image which may be omnipotent or at least carry non-human qualities and react with, “That’s nuts.”

Yes, it is nuts. We are not gods or Santa Claus.

The mystery is in humanness, not supernatural entities.

The astrological horoscope in full represents the wholeness of our being. Each part of that wholeness is the map of exploration. The horoscope is like the DNA of one’s personality, the energies that exist for humans to manifest and the combination of those energies.

We all have the same horoscope – just with the energies aligned differently. The houses or parts of the sky and parts of our lives contain all of the 12 signs of the zodiac. We are one.

If we want to understand others, we need to understand the part of ourselves that manifests in the same way as what we are trying to understand.

The “ten thousand” marketers and politicians and distractors of the world are relentless in convincing us of differences and separations where none truly exist. Physically (earth) we all need food, water and shelter. Emotionally (water) we all need care and love. Intellectually (air) we all need stimulation and friendship. Spiritually (fire) we all need inspiration and excitement.

It’s no wonder that astrology is taught to be superstition. It’s a method for understanding self and others, not meant to create discord and separation.

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Virgo Habits, Pisces Practices

While talking to the cat the other day – yes, talking to the cat, but readers of this blog know that the cat has a lot to say, especially on astrology – I expressed delight in her new “habit” that involves greeting me for a petting at the top of the stairs.

As I said the word “habit,” a nun’s habit flashed through my mind. I wondered why a religious garment is called a “habit.”

Around the same time, I watched an interview of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk who had just died and was memorialized in dozens of posts on my social media feed. How had he managed to make it through intense stress such as the Vietnam War? By focusing on his breathing, he answered, because it was his practice.

Habits and practices: what’s the difference?

Astrological Habits

In astrology, there are four elements and three modes making up the twelve signs. The earth signs – Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn – are those most concerned with earthly matters like paying the bills, showing up for work on time and planning one’s own funeral in advance. In between these activities there is focus and enjoyment on the “stuff” of life including home and property.

Taurus is the fixed earth sign – most habit forming of the three mostly in a desire for continuation of social norms and traditions. Taurus follows the established habits of others. Once a habit is formed it is forever regardless of the continually changing and evolving external world. Taurus is the mountain that does change, but slowly and through the external effects of wind and water. Or an earthquake — that can change Taurus.

Virgo is the mutable earth sign, the most flexible that earth can be. Virgo habit is very particular and peculiar as this thinking earth sign is often very nervous with constant ailments and allergies. Virgo habit is in relation to those very special needs. Your Virgo friends can be identified at the restaurant altering the entire menu to their specifications.

Capricorn is the cardinal earth sign, the most bossy and controlling of earth. Capricorn is the sign of achievement so it doesn’t follow rules, it makes them. Capricorn habit is an effort to mold and define the external environment. Habits can change, mostly in relation to its own needs rather than the needs of others.

The astrological “habits” of earth signs relate to the Western religious nature of “habit” as a clothing to identify one’s religious affiliation and to maintain humble and austere manner of presentation and living. Stones feature prominently in Western religion (Stone Tablets, the Black Stone) and reflect how habits should be unchanging and forever. Stones represent, but are not actually, permanence.

Habits are meant to be permanent.

Astrological Practices

Practice, in contrast, does not have the sense of permanence. Listening to Thich Nhat Hanh he described that breathing and staying calm is “his practice.” He went on to talk about a concept in Buddhism call “the beginner’s mind.”

“Practice” and “beginner’s mind” is opposite the concept of expertise. It’s not exactly a habit because it’s not permanent while habits prevail – and are often clung to – in times of change. A practice is not owned; a practice is not final; a practice is not a degree hung on a wall.

If a habit is like a mountain, a practice in the Thich Nhat sense is more like water – it moves and flows. When water encounters an obstacle it can take many paths – around, through, beneath.

In astrology the water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.These signs are focused on emotional and spiritual connection to others. Because of this need for connection, they are focused on others and their behaviors trying to create a sense of home and belonging (Cancer), physical and intimate connection (Scorpio) or spiritual connection (Pisces).

Unlike earth objects, you never “own” emotions, although we try on this earth. Marriage, for example, is an earth concept but humans are constantly changing and evolving emotionally which creates untold havoc in the world. Marriage “habit” often fails but marriage “practice” where you emotionally change but stay committed to the marriage can succeed. Or maybe this marriage thing isn’t forever and we should come up with something else.

Cancer is the cardinal water sign and most likely to try to keep people together in family or other units, even when the emotional connection has been severed. Cancer “clings” to emotional experience and is the most tenacious of all the signs. Cancer is the sign opposite Capricorn.

Scorpio is the fixed water sign which can create obsession of emotion. Scorpio has difficulty letting go of any emotional occurrence. As the world is filled with emotional interactions, Scorpio can be kept emotionally busy if not carefully and often responds to situations of low emotional motivation with high emotional response. Scorpio is the sign opposite Taurus.

Pisces is the mutable water sign, the most adaptable sign of the zodiac as a mixture of mutable and water. Pisces is so adaptable, in fact, that is can lose the sense self. Religious and spiritual tradition often focuses on the loss of self. When the “self” is not present, who is doing the talking? Pisces is the sign opposite Virgo.

Virgo Habits, Pisces Practices

In the religious and spiritual senses of the words habit and practice, Virgo seems to rule habit and Pisces practice.

Habit is akin to ritual which is identifiable and structured and includes even fixed times of day for activities. Practice, in contrast, is always “beginning” never ending and never mastered. Practice is there when it’s needed.

In my own experience last spring while in a very busy road-side stop, I was suddenly able to center. I realized then why meditation is called “the practice.” It’s never completed. I was simply able to “practice” it in an environment where it’s more challenging to center. There are no degrees (yet!) in meditation because you are never done. You’re never an expert, just a good practitioner.

The Cat’s Habit

As for the cat, I definitely like her new habit. And habit it is. It took her many years to form it as she’s quite involved with so many other habits that forming a new one is rare. But it’s definitely enjoyable and I hope it’s permanent.

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Jupiter in Pisces: The Water at the End of the Tunnel

Looking out the window, my cat asked me if the light she saw in the distance was the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel.”

“What tunnel are you in?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she replied. “What’s a tunnel? You keep saying there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

This is the problem with cats – literal mindedness. I had to explain how the tunnel was metaphorical and and represented our earth’s long journey through fear and that light represented awareness, yada yada yada. And, I went on, it’s fascinating how Pluto the destroyer and transformer transiting authoritarian Capricorn has levelled both physical and social structures. Capricorn wants nothing if not social order which creates great struggle between governments and masses of people. Oh, I added, and then Uranus moved into Taurus which is also earth like Capricorn and rules the physical world including the body and objects and has now made us aware of where all that stuff on the shelves comes from. And then there’s an illness – I never saw that coming – but affects the body and now we are all asked to inject a new technology into our bodies.

“It’s truly fascinating,” I said as I broke from my train of thought and saw the cat yawning.

I wasn’t offended. In 1986 I did the same and looked up from a 2 am plate of biscuits and gravy to see a friend giving me a hardy stare which said, “Shut up, you’re boring me.”

I learned way long ago that too much astrology is bad for relationships. But, as with most astrologers, I had to finish my thoughts.

“So,” I finished, “Jupiter is going to move back into sensitive, loving water-sign Pisces in a few days. So it’s water at the end of the tunnel, not light.”

Clear Water has no Fish

The water at the end of the tunnel is Jupiter the planet of expansion in Pisces, a loving, sensitive sign which is so sensitive to life on earth that it sometimes hides in one of three places: 1) under the bedsheets; 2) in fantasy provided either by mind or media; or 3) drugs, preferably of the watery kind (alcohol).

While looking for a Chinese idiom to reflect the constant changes of our times, I found a more appropriate, Jupiter-in-Pisces idiom:

Clear water has no fish

If the water were clear, we could spear our fish easily. So the “muddied waters” as we say in English is a way of both protecting and deceiving. We’ve lots of muddied waters these days.

Pisces is represented by two fish swimming in different directions – past and future. Pisces in the past has to be careful not to be stuck in the traumas from childhood or hide under the couch because of a bad breakup. Pisces in the future has to learn when and how to tell a good friend that they’ve had a dream where they’ve been in a car accident.

Clear Pisces looks like this:

  • Empathy
  • Non-judgment
  • Spiritual connectedness
  • Trust with self and others

Muddied Pisces looks like this:

  • Self-pity
  • Sacrifice/savior complex
  • Escape
  • Fantasy

Neptune rules Pisces and has been transiting its own sign since 2011. We’ve seen lots of the muddied Pisces during this time with increased use of legal and illegal drugs as well as excessive media and deliberate disinformation.  The proverbial “hall of mirrors” might be called “hall of Pisces.”

What’s more difficult to see and quantify is the individual experience of connectedness. The popularity of Mr. Rogers – sun/moon Pisces – during this time reflects some of our inner workings and the need for a male hero with gentle and loving qualities. Troubled times challenge us and we often learn what we truly value.

A year before the pandemic a colleague mentioned to me one of his favorite childhood books which I then read – Lois Lowry’s The Giver. That novel comes to mind often now as we try to create a more controlled society of digital-but-separate to keep us from illness today but from what tomorrow?

In The Giver, one boy is assigned his role in life (as all children are in this dystopian society) but one that’s very special and unique – he must carry the memories of society. The memories he carries are of emotion and uncontrolled life and experiences. That’s a lot for one person – and here is the Pisces sacrifice.

Pisces and its water-sign brethren of Cancer and Scorpio are our emotional antennas. As a person with a lot of water, I’ve always been confused (and sometimes amused) by those who believe everything others say. I’ve never understood it. The emotional undercurrent is the true energy and words may or may not reflect that. And we know that words can’t capture the essence of our most profound experiences.

“You had to be there,” is what we say. In other words, you had to experience it.

In spring of 2022 as Jupiter transits the final degrees of Pisces, it will conjoin Neptune for a brief time. Expect rain. Expect mud. Expect a Mardi Gras or carnival like you’ve never experienced.

As a spiritual teacher I have often says, act like a fish deep in water and avoid the turbulence of above.

Related blogs

Dropping Acid and Looking for UFOs with Jupiter in Pisces

Jupiter in Pisces – A Wider Ocean

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Uranus in Taurus: What do you really own?

As Uranus the enlightener travels through the fixed earth sign of Taurus, it’s a good time to examine what we truly “own.” Taurus is all things physical, including the earth and body. But how much of what we see as physical is truly a physical object that we “own?”

Digital “ownership”

Watching my smart phone install an update, I had the sense again that I don’t really “own” this device. Sure, I don’t have to continue the updates but then parts of the system will begin to fail, including as in the past, battery drainage. Then there’s really no choice.

I suppose if I really wanted to “own” this device, I could study technology and develop my own phone software. But how long would that take? And would I ever be able to compete with the sophisticated hackers in the world today who want to get into my phone?

Although I took Facebook off of my phone years ago, it still tracks any online searches done by my phone.  I’ll continue to search for the “setting” that prevents that, but as Facebook has indicated with its new branding as Meta and eternity symbol, Facebook is forever.

In the digital space, every object we appear to “own” is ownership of the physical case, but not its contents. Digital devices are merely portals, like windows, that allow us to look out but also allow others to peer in. Yet unlike a window, we can never truly close it or block out the incoming signals.

And more and more of our mechanical and electronic devices are being converted to portals, with our blessing: watches, washing machines, driers, and television. In the very early years of Pluto in authoritarian Capricorn, the US Federal Communication Commission “decommissioned” analog television. Supposedly it was to free up analog signals for public communications, although increasingly those are on the phone.

The more portals we have, the more unwanted entry can sneak its way into our lives. That is how big box retailer Target was hacked – through an HVAC company with weak defenses.

Do we own portals?

What’s fascinating is how little control we have over these portals yet we are still asked to pay a lot for them, and do. The more we allow portals, the less we seem to “own” our own physical objects.

Physical “ownership”

Moving into a home gives folks a strong sense of ownership. And after 30 years of payments, one may very well own the property, as long as property taxes are maintained. If the mortgage or property taxes are not paid, then we no longer “own” this physical space. And if a government seeks right-of-way, we learn ownership is dependent upon others allowing it.

While the concept of ownership gives a warm and fuzzy to humanity, it is only as solid as the institutions that uphold it. It’s an idea more than a reality although in countries with stable governments, it’s not as noticeable. No wonder “realty” is so close to “reality” in spelling.

And in this age of virus and vaccine, the ownership of our own bodies is being called into question and whether we have the right to refuse government-mandated injections into our bodies. If we do someday find that this new vaccine technology has untended long-term effects, who is responsible?

Where does private end and public begin? How much do we “own” our own bodies?

Food modification has been occurring throughout human existence. In 1980 the US Supreme Court ruled that genetically modified organisms can be patented. As companies like Monsanto (now rolled into the more public-relations friendly Bayer) can patent seeds. As seeds tend to travel, it’s logically possible that a company could own food itself, all food eventually growing from “patented” seeds.

Maybe some day you’ll find the food growing in your backyard is not yours. This already is happening in parts of the world not powerful enough to defend against foreign interests.

What do you really own?

In an impermanent world, some spiritual traditions say, we do not truly “own” anything. As life evolves in this impermanent world, the spiritual world is collapsing upon the material world and much of the objects we have are more portal than object.

Money itself isn’t “real” – it’s stored energy that relies on social stability and social trust. No matter how much Americans profess to mistrust their government, we trust that our money will be honored at the store. Our mistrust is shallow. Our true trust is deep.

Digital currency takes the concept of money to its logical extreme and from the hands of governments to individuals. Sounds like freedom! But who are these individuals? Are they the same individuals that are creating digital havoc through ransomware and infiltration?

Like nuclear fission, the breaking apart of systems creates energy which others seek to acquire. Today’s great changes are creating energy surges (although we’re led to fear the opposite).  In those changes, we have to be careful not to give away our energy through fear and scam which is tougher now than ever as our objects are portals.

It’s interesting that the Native Americans who once roamed this land did not have “ownership” as we know it. We are now evolving into that very state we sought to eradicate – the use of things but no true ownership.

Over time in this earth school I’ve come to understand we truly control nothing but our reactions. In the same way, we “own” nothing but ourselves, that unique energetic being that becomes a body and experiences life on earth.

Related blogs:

Death, Taxes and Facebook

Do you own your own culture? Uranus in Taurus says “no.”

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Pluto Authoritarianism – Pluto Union

For all of my life on earth there have been humans living in what my Western perspective would call authoritarian governments. Like all countries, mine has an educational system and propaganda of its own. And like each country, there is a unique culture feeding it. So how we define authoritarian – excessive governmental control – is unique to our own experience of it.

But like religion which breaks off into sects and cults, authoritarianism needs an organizational chart of the various types, subtypes and rogue types. With Pluto in Capricorn, it’s a good time to acknowledge authoritarianism in all of its forms.

In early 2020 as Pluto joined with Jupiter and Saturn in Capricorn, the sign that rules authority itself, we had a Pluto destruction and transformation of government – for the first time in our known history we had most, if not all, governments of the world taking the same action at the same time due to a viral illness.

That’s big, my friends, very big.

And while we still maintain we have different governments ruled by different methods and “isms,” if you examine the actions of these governments of very different philosophy, you will find very similar actions and not just in relation to the illness.

In my Western perspective, authoritarianism was described in Orwell’s novel 1984, which I read in 1983 to the confusion of my friends. The themes of authoritarianism, cults and psychologies that have people act in ways contrary to their interests has always been an interest to me.

Why do we choose authoritarianism? It appears as many reasons as our personalities allow but primarily – safety, security, and seeking of saviors.

And how does it manifest? In as many ways as cultures allow from ones with official control of media and movement to the other extreme of influencing people through fear (which is easier than ever in a digital world) so that they allow it.

Maybe that’s why the universe asked me in? It’s a fabulous time to study authoritarianism and how it masks itself in so many ways. It’s always interested me.

Pluto in Capricorn – Authoritarianism

If I were to create a chart of authoritarianism, I would start with the top two boxes being “external” and “internal.” In the novel 1984, the protagonist is already living in an authoritarian system that appears externally-forced upon him.

But was it?

We don’t know how Orwell’s society came into being.  Nor, as an aside, do we fully understand it in the re-popular Atwood novel The Handmaid’s Tale.  My culture assumes it was mean people taking control. But maybe the prequel to each of those novels is a society gradually giving up control through fear, desire for safety and security or just because they are offered some entertainment.

From my understanding of 20th century revolutions and the authoritarianism it ultimately produced, it appears the “revolution” is a shock – ruled by Uranus – which allows an exhilarating freedom. That crack is an energy release.

That energy is then siphoned off by the revolutionaries for their own needs. It’s was a pattern that repeated many times.  This form of authoritarianism comes from being fooled by the promises of revolution.

The authoritarianism of today in what are called “the developed countries” is even more fascinating. It actually comes from everywhere – from rebellion, from compliance. Fear is the guiding factor and I return to my oft-provided analogy. If we were in 15th century England as the Yorks and Lancasters fought for the crown, who would we follow?

This historical period is called the War of the Roses due to the imagery of the banners (the red rose won – House of Tudor). And, I warn you, if you read about that period, be prepared to be confused as nobles changed sides with every shift of the political wind.

Future historians may have the same trouble today. There is overt, external authoritarianism and covert, benign authoritarianism. No matter where you look, it is there. The rebel is authoritarian; the protector is authoritarian – nothing makes sense but all roads lead to the same place.

At the same time as Pluto is transiting Capricorn, Uranus is transiting Taurus. Both are earth signs with Taurus as the earthiest of the earth and ruling the body.

Twentieth century revolutions converted our minds. With Uranus in Taurus, our bodies are now involved. In the world’s strictest authoritarian regimes, the body is part and parcel of the control – there is mass starvation in a brutal and medieval form of control. In the more benign authoritarianisms, certain control of the body is now being enforced.

It’s both terrifying and fascinating. The question is: how far will we take this?

Pluto in Aquarius – Union

Some reading from this week gave me insight into more positive paths where this could lead. As noted above, we are now one world government in many ways. In that sense, we humans who are not part of the Plutocracy are now one global family.

We are united.

During a seasonal stint at a big box store many years ago, the four-hour “training” was about three hours of why we didn’t want to be in a union and the rest was about safety and I think about 15 minutes on how to actually perform the role.

To its credit, the big box store treated me very kindly. No issue there. The only small problem is the wages were not adequate to live in anything but a tent. Luckily I have options. Some don’t.

Union is still a naughty word and I feel my own reluctance to type it. Union. There, I did it again.

Pluto will first ingress into Aquarius – the sign of humanity – in spring 2023. As Pluto is generational, destructive and transformative, the changes are like a ramp. We’re already seeing what Pluto in Aquarius will bring.

About the time of the global lockdown in 2020, Saturn entered Aquarius. Saturn as contraction forced us into our homes and away from our family and friends with the goal of reducing the spread of illness.

While that tactic may have been needed, human isolation does not meet the needs of human connection and what provides meaning to life on earth. Reading about addiction several years ago, it appears a combination of genetics and environment, an environment where there is no emotional or spiritual connection.

Prior to Pluto’s ingress into Aquarius, Saturn (still in Aquarius) will move into Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac, mutable water and living on emotional and spiritual connection to others. I’m seeing the headlines now about how a world stuck indoors developed habits of addiction, including the excessive consumption of alcohol. In my part of the world, the grocery stores are being rearranged to have more room – right as you walk in – for alcohol.

Neptune, the planet that rules Pisces, has been in Pisces for years and will also shift – into Aries – a couple years after Pluto’s shift into Aquarius. Neptune and Pisces are known for escapism when life is overwhelming, as it often is for this extremely sensitive sign.

At the astrological party, Pluto (in Capricorn) brought control, Uranus (in Taurus) brought the body and Neptune (in Pisces) brought the drinks.

The shifts that will be occurring from 2023 – 2025, which also include Uranus moving into Gemini, will usher in a new pattern.

Will the authoritarianism of Pluto in Capricorn remain as an established pattern?

The new patterns from 2023 on have the energetic focus of human connection from an Aquarian perspective. Aquarius is an air sign and is idealistic. It represents shared ideals, fraternal connection, and rational choices. It’s not lovey-dovey by any means. Uranus in Gemini is also air so there is definitely a need for social interaction that is friendly, interesting and fun. In other words, let’s dispense with the serious talk and have some fun after years of fear and isolation.

Will we be having fun within a benign authoritarianism that allows it or will we be having fun because we are free of authoritarianism?

When these shifts occur, some fear we will become robots, due to the lack of emotion that occurs combined with an increasingly digital environment. Yes, anything is possible if we bring our authoritarianism with us.

One of the patterns of authoritarianism, to me, is the desire for a savior. Our tech lords are the new saviors. We’ve already walked into their snare and now all of our information is available for those smart enough to get at it. We can’t take it back as Facebook has told us by re-branding as Meta with an eternity symbol.  We were lured in by our human nature for stimulation and attraction to images. We were willing to relinquish our information and privacy for public recognition of our social activities.

Shifts are where the energy disrupts which creates a release. It’s up to us to decide what we want to accomplish when that occurs. If we think of it that way, we can be prepared for the shifts and understand that there will always be external forces desiring to harness it.

Think of energy as a business model. A big and bold entrepreneur has seen the opportunity of transferring energy released during shift into a product or service to acquire that energy. That transfer is often demonstrated as physical wealth. The year 2020 increased the wealth substantially of many energy harnessers.

Pluto in Capricorn is also about personal responsibility within a social structure. During the next major energy shifts, will we take responsibility for our own energy? Or will we have others take responsibility for us?

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Looking for Health in All the Wrong Places

I was lookin’ for love health in all the wrong places

Lookin’ for love health in too many doctor’s faces

Searchin’ their eyes

Lookin’ for traces of what I’m dreaming of

Hoping to find a friend and a lover one cure for everything

I’ll bless the day I discover another heart medicine or dietary supplement

Lookin’ for love health

While in the waiting area of a local medical facility for a routine medical screening, the thought came to me that health is in the body, not outside of the body. In love, we are looking for external love and defining whether we are “loved” by external feedback. Health is following the same pattern.

These are the thoughts of blogs and I enjoy them when they arise. In thinking about the blog, I also realized why there is a dualistic struggle of ideas in the Western world. This thought may seem stupidly obvious and disdainful of the healthcare professionals who serve the public.

But it’s not. For the Akashic records, I have deep and long-lasting gratitude for a number of health and wellness professional from Asian to homeopathic to allopathic medicine. Through the journey called life, I’ve learned a lot from all of them as medicine and wellness was not my primary interest when younger.

The thought remains, however, that we’re in a time and place – a marketing time and place – where we’ve externalized health so that we are chasing cures where we may need inner work.

The Western world is more external than the Eastern world so, for example, when we talk about martial arts, there are external and internal forms. For the Western mind, there is only the external form. Eastern ideas are seeping into Western health which both delights and terrifies me. It delights me because it’s the lost half of health and terrifies me because the Western world must monetize everyting.

Health in the Horoscope

The horoscope is the sky – a combination of planets in signs in areas of the sky. When we put this on paper, we call the areas of the sky “houses” and each of 12 sections represents an area of our lives.

The sixth house is the house of health (and work and diet). It’s traditionally ruled by the sign Virgo which itself is ruled by the planet Mercury. When looking for health indicators in the horoscope, these are the three primary indicators of health.

For this astrologer, each chart has a “theme.” When there are no planets in the house of health, for me it means health is not a major theme in life and in this way a good indicator – i.e., you’re not worrying a lot about health.

The inner planets of sun, moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars travel somewhat quickly so these planets will travel through our house of health (and all of the other houses) a bit more frequently. These are the daily life sniffles, food reactions, sunburns, bloating, etc.

When Jupiter or Saturn transit the house of health, we have health concerns that demand our attention. Jupiter expands and Saturn contracts. In health, we want some things to expand such as our air intake and some things to contract such as tumors. The sign in which these planets travel in your sixth house indicate the nature of the expansion or contraction.

When the outer planets of Uranus, Neptune or Pluto are transiting your sixth house, then you are involved in health concerns that affect the larger environment from polluted water sources to pandemics. Then illness has a global meaning that is meant to convey insights and shifts needed in society.

For most of the 1960s, Uranus and Pluto transited Virgo which as mentioned above has focus on health, work, diet, and pets. Those born in the 1960s are in their middle ages so are at that age where they have been influencing and continue to influence society.

Focus on sustainability, health, wellness, supplements – these were brought to you by this generation. Hand sanitizer and fear of germs is also present as Virgo ruled by Mercury as an earth sign is a known worrier and excessively picky and eccentric about the details of daily life.

The planet Neptune is currently transiting Pisces so for these generations with Uranus/Pluto in Virgo, Neptune is creating an opposition. Neptune rules Pisces and is feeling and synthesis as opposed to Virgo’s thinking and analysis. Virgo is Goldilocks, never satisfied with the bed. Pisces has its own anxieties but they are less specific. Pisces when threatened escapes through drugs, alcohol, and media.

The theme of the Uranus/Pluto in Virgo generation is now at its apex. The anxiety of contact with our fellow man has increased on top of the existing politically-motivated artificial divisions. Ultimately Virgo and Pisces must monitor and regulate anxiety.

It’s the anxiety that has us chasing health and the healthcare industry will continue to support the chase from the myriad commercials advertising illnesses you’ve never heard of to a cure for anything and everything that will arise.

Regardless of improvements in health and wellness, the end result of life continues to be the same – death.  Maintaining health is another of life’s balancing acts between active response and excessive anxiety about health which in itself leads to health problems.

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Uranus in Taurus: The Law of Hoarding

While at the big box store trying to buy a few bars of soap, my only option in the brand I wanted was a 12-pack. After a trip to a big box store, I always feel I need to update my will to something like this:

My remaining rolls of toilet paper can be distributed to all first cousins equally if they use my septic-system gentle brand. If no one chooses to use this lighter but more ecologically-sound brand, please donate to the local social services to distribute as needed.

Please distribute the remaining bars of soap in the same manner as noted above.

As I looked the soap options, my left-brain ignited to remind me that I would continue to use soap through the remaining years of my existence so I should just put it in the cart and stop complaining. Then my business brain got into the conversation and talked about economies of scale and why as pandemic hoarding increases, smaller portions have decreased.

And then my astrological and philosophical brain came in and asked if it could blog on this. Yeah sure, but first let’s be reasonable and look at household size.

In the market where I bought the soap, the average household size is 2.48 people. A quick Internet search indicates a bar of soap can last four to six weeks. Using four weeks, 12 bars of soap times four weeks equals 48 weeks of soap. Divide that by 2.48 people (assuming they use soap at the same rate and are not little boys who prefer to stay dirty as long as possible) and we have 19.4 weeks of soap.

It’s comforting, I’ll agree, not to have to think about soap for another 20-48 weeks.

More or Less

During the pandemic when a rush on goods created empty shelves for items such as toilet paper and paper towels, the return of items generally came in larger packaging with purchasing limits (called “rations” in the old days).

From a supply chain and production perspective, I completely understand. No time to make all the varieties of packaging and itty-bitty portions.

Yet in a hoarding panic, wouldn’t it be better to have smaller packaging with rations so more people can have a little? Instead there is large packaging so a few people have a lot. In a market with 2.48 people per household, do we really need to store 20 weeks of soap?

And this is how it is in the global supply chain — a few get a lot and a lot get very little.

Jupiter Expansion – Saturn Contraction

In astrology, Jupiter symbolizes expansion and Saturn symbolizes contraction. Expansion and contraction – that’s what your heart and lungs do to keep you alive. They don’t just expand or contract – if they did it would be dangerous.

Saturn entering Aquarius in winter 2020 symbolized the contraction of Aquarius – group activities. Jupiter in Capricorn at that time (with Mars and Pluto also in Capricorn) symbolized the expansion of Capricorn – authority, social conscience and control.

The challenge of the United States is that we live in a country of expansion and abundance – Jupiter. The July 4, 1776 chart has a Sagittarius rising (ruled by Jupiter) and natal Jupiter (and moon) in Cancer, the sign of mothering, family and comfort. Included is food in its sense of comfort and nurturing rather than physical requirements (Taurus) or dietary needs (Virgo).

With an economy based on consumption and a moon in Cancer seeking continually increasing comfort, the US must constantly encourage the Jupiter expansion and consumption of goods. Abundance is what we all seek but as with any energy in extreme, it contains its own challenges. The major challenge of abundance is keeping the body in health and controlling the urge to store and hoard which then consumes life energy.

Saturn comes along to contract – we are now throwing away all of those unneeded impulse buys, incompatible objects from gift exchanges and extinct consumer goods (think VHS tapes). According to the US Centers for Disease Control, almost half of Americans diet each year. Each year in January (in the sign of Capricorn ruled by Saturn), we say we are going to contract our bodies after the holiday season of eating, drinking and gift exchange (in the sign of Sagittarius ruled by Jupiter).

Those are energies. Energies contribute to laws.

Laws

While I’ve been exposed to metaphysical talk about “laws” since I began this journey, only recently did it really sink in. Laws are like the laws of physics – immutable interacting energies. You may not “believe” in gravity and pundits can appear in media explaining that gravity is a complete hoax, yet if you jump into the air unaided you will fall back down.

Spiritual “laws” are the same. We can’t send out the energy of abundance and then expect that only one aspect of existence – our physical weight – to stay contracted. Since the 1980s, everything in the US has gotten bigger – that’s the energy we send out.

When Pluto (destruction and transformation) entered Capricorn (remember, ruled by Saturn and contraction), the expansion and ridiculous over-leveraging was forced to halt. Pluto is still in Capricorn, in case you aren’t an avid reader of this blog and don’t know.

The forced contraction is not over. Cosmic parenting is forcing all of us to do our homework, go to bed on time, follow the rules and eat our vegetables.

Uranus in Taurus: Law of Hoarding

Uranus transiting Taurus for seven years (2018/2019 – 2025) has created awareness of body, physical earth and supply chain. Taurus is anything physical. Uranus is sudden and provides insights. It’s the flash of lightening on a dark night in unlit forest. You see for an instance that your path is cleared or blocked.

Uranus is the first of the “outer planets” that come after Saturn (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto). The outer planets are generational energies that last for seven to 20 years. While Uranus changes may look sudden, generally they represent an opening and clear view into existing patterns.

The hoarding of early 2020 is not new. It’s been going on for a long time as an economy based on consumption demands it. Taurus is a fixed earth sign associated with material life. Taurus is not greedy – it simply enjoys the earth and accumulates for security. Other signs might accumulate for status, appearance, etc. But that’s not really the Taurus mode.

Hoarding, collecting – both are habits of Taurus (which loves habits in general). Collecting is an appreciation of objects. Hoarding is anxiety and need for comfort and security. The hoarding of early 2020 was a reaction to the fear generated by the government and an intense need for security.

If there were a law of hoarding, it might be the play of Jupiter and Saturn. The more we accumulate (expansion), the less space we have (contraction). Hoarding is isolating – extreme hoarders have a narrow path through their living quarters. Hoarding is suffocating – space allows us fresh air and room for thought. Hoarding can also contract our money as we buy things we don’t need. The more we have the less we cherish each individual item.

Maybe the law is: More hoarding equals less freedom.

Is that what’s occurring?

Uranus will be transiting Taurus for a few more years. Supply chain volatility will increase and also the hoarding response.

My expectation is that Uranus in Taurus will bring to “the few” Western consumer societies an understanding and acceptance of supply chain volatility that is currently experienced by “the many” countries of the world. The countries that produce goods for the Western world are increasing both in both economic and political power regardless of Western financial views to the contrary.

Rather than hoarding, it may be a time to contract and focus on what’s essential.

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Mercury Monkey Mind

We’ve all had this experience – we hear a new word or see a new, different thing in our world and suddenly it’s everywhere. For example, at an art museum you see a snuff box in the shape of a mongoose. Then you turn on the television and there’s a special on mongooses (mongeese?).  And then someone mentions seeing a mongoose at the zoo.

What does it mean?

For most it’s just a silly coincidence. For the metaphysical minded, there’s a desire to understand what a mongoose might represent in one’s life. According to an Internet search, the mongoose represents a need for courage in the face of fear, adventure, and rebelliousness. That’s a good lesson, but what if there are no mongooses in your environment? Then how do you learn these lessons?

Does a stream of mongooses really mean anything?

If astrology has taught me anything, it’s balance. To this astrologer, every chart has a “theme” and themes that emerge in one’s life are definitely important to notice. Balance is critical because it’s a message to us and at the same time it’s not – it’s just a mongoose crossing the road.

Taking meaning from life but avoiding self-absorption is the key. By assigning every nuance of life a personal impact is self-absorption. The most dangerous area to me is health. Assigning every illness to a flaw in a person’s thinking creates guilt and self-reproach any time there’s a sniffle or sneeze.

While I would agree illness stems from mental and spiritual imbalance, imbalance is how the world functions so balance is a constant effort, not something achieved once with a trophy awarded. So we need to be gentle with ourselves when ill, not reproachful.

Sometimes a mongoose is just a mongoose. Sometimes you just get sick.

Monkeys

And now let’s talk monkeys.  Talking to someone about marketing the other day, I mentioned a time when I and a few others were asked to assess a creative piece that consisted of different animals, including a monkey. In marketing, everyone considers themselves an expert on creative and what will influence others.

Being on the data side of marketing, my response to this inquiry was simply: my opinion doesn’t matter. Personally I find monkeys creepy. But many others find them charming. In a statistical sense my response was “Sample Size = 1.” The sample (me) is too small to generalize to any population outside of myself.

After this marketing chat, I continued with thoughts about monkeys in culture — Curious George, the monkey of children’s literature, and the “monkey mind” of Buddhism. Monkeys are both curiosity and inability to focus.

Maybe I’d blog on it, thought my monkey mind.

Then while having coffee an hour later, there was a song playing that I hadn’t heard in maybe 30 years and probably would have forgotten existed had I never heard it again – Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey by the Beatles.

Take it easy

Take it easy

Everybody’s got something to hide

Except for me and my monkey, yeah

Oh!

Okay, I’ll blog on monkeys. And, yes, I forgot about the “monkey on one’s back.” Thank you John Lennon for the reminder although I don’t believe that’s what your monkey reference is about. If I recall from the late 1970s, this has something to do with a criticism of Yoko Ono.

Mercury

In astrology, Mercury rules how we think, communicate and interact with the environment. Mercury is the messenger of the gods and in your horoscopes the “gods” are the other planets. Mercury is the monkey, both curious and unable to stay on one topic for any length of time. Mercury is the Internet and its hyperlinks that take you from looking up a recipe to the history of Albania. Mercury is the exploring toddler. Mercury moves. Mercury explores.

Into what areas does your Mercury jump around?

Mercury in a cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) will have thoughts of relationships, interactions, and new projects. Aries – self; Cancer – family; Libra – partnerships; Capricorn – reputation.

Mercury in a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) will have focused, obsessive, extreme thoughts. Taurus – assets; Leo – self expression; Scorpio – emotions; Aquarius – innovation.

Mercury in a mutable sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) will have fluid, creative thoughts. Gemini – interesting ideas; Virgo – health/chores; Sagittarius – new experience;  Pisces – bliss or escape.

Monkey Mind

The rise of attention-deficit disorder (ADD) diagnoses seems to correspond with the rise in excessive media. Is ADD an illness or an adaptation?

In 2009 as Pluto was beginning its transit of authoritarian Capricorn, the US Federal Communications Commission regulated that television be digitally broadcast.

Digital Television is an advanced broadcasting technology that has transformed the television viewing experience. DTV enables broadcasters to offer television with better picture and sound quality, and multiple channels of programming. Since June 13, 2009, full-power television stations nationwide have been required to broadcast exclusively in a digital format.

The switch from analog to digital broadcast television is known as the Digital Television Transition. In 1996, Congress authorized the distribution of an additional broadcast channel to every full-power TV station so that each station could launch a digital broadcast channel while simultaneously continuing analog broadcasting.  Later, Congress set June 12, 2009 as the deadline for full power television stations to stop broadcasting analog signals.

An important benefit of the switch to all-digital broadcasting is that parts of the valuable broadcast spectrum have been freed up for public safety communications by groups such as police, fire departments and rescue squads. Also, some of the spectrum has been auctioned to companies that will be able to provide consumers with advanced wireless services, such as wireless broadband.

Our digital world began with the Pluto ingress into Capricorn and by the ingress into Aquarius in 2023, we will have greatly increased interacting with screens rather than interacting with other people.

Screen. Noun. Verb.

The challenge of the monkey mind is harness its curiosity and examine itself and not get lost in the screens, the images that constantly pass before us and lure us to unnecessary reaction. There are many players in the digital world testing reaction, what causes reaction, how we react when triggered.

Mercury is the messenger between the planets in your horoscope and how they talk to each other, what they focus on and how they project their stories onto the screens of existence.

Mercury is known as the “trickster.” He tricks by moving quickly, performing slights of hand and creating illusions. Yet, Mercury can also help us “trick” ourselves. We can use Mercury to examine our own horoscopes to overcome our our own screens, our own illusions, our own stories.

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The Second Coming of the Enlightenment

Earlier this week NPR aired a story about hedge fund Alden Global Capital buying America’s newspapers to downsize them and turn a profit. As “the business of America is business,” it’s not a surprise, at least at this stage of privatization, that those buying up newspapers are interested solely in profit rather than any dedication to the public good.

So what? We may say. The media exaggerates; is biased; is negative. But remember, in our digital age the media responds to our clicks. Our media is biased, exaggerated and fear-invoking because that is what we respond to. Complex, nuanced information does not sell well. While the Internet initially broadened our world, ironically it is now shrinking our world into individualized marketing pods. And many players are involved in helping us stay in self-contained universes.

As I listened to this news story, my astrological thoughts moved to Uranus which will go into Gemini in the mid 2020s. As Gemini is all about information and communication, I wondered what we would do if at that time there were no newspapers.

The Enlightenment

The planet Uranus was discovered in 1781 during The Age of Enlightenment which introduced a more rational, less deterministic view of human life. In Denmark, a German physician – Johann Struensee – befriending the mentally unstable and incapable King Charles VII – helped enact these enlightened reforms:

  • Abolition of torture
  • Abolition of unfree labour
  • Abolition of the censorship of the press
  • Abolition of capital punishment
  • Abolition of the practice of preferring nobles for state office
  • Introduction of a tax on gambling and luxury horses to fund the nursing of foundlings
  • Ban of the slave trade in the Danish colonies
  • Removal of penalties against those who produced illegitimate children
  • Criminalisation and punishment of bribery
  • Re-organisation of judicial institutions to minimise corruption
  • Re-organisation and reduction of the army
  • Reform of the state-owned medical institutions

How are these reforms faring today?

Looking through the list, a few could be re-implemented today all over the world. Torture might be illegal within the US borders, but since 9/11 has been openly pursued outside of our borders. Is there censorship of the press? Technically no but when the press is purchased to dismantle, then isn’t that the same effect? In many countries journalists are being assassinated. Bribery in the US was institutionalized for the upper classes as lobbying and corruption is now openly accepted as a political norm.

The issues of 18th century Denmark are eerily similar to the issues of today across the globe although the forms may have changed and marketing and public relations are used to mask realities.

Uranus in Taurus and Gemini

Today Uranus is in Taurus, about halfway through its seven-year transit. Taurus is a fixed earth sign and rules material life – body, house, earth.

Shifts in supply chain have provided enlightenment into the complex dependencies that create material comfort in the West. Consistency is a Taurus trait and Uranus has cracked the routines of Western life. While your news analysts keep trying to predict a return to normalcy, expect supply chain and financial volatility for the next four years.

After Taurus comes Gemini – mutable air, very different from Taurus. While Taurus loves routine, Gemini hates it. After seven years we may be more comfortable with a more flexible, fluid existence. Gemini is the mind, mental stimulation, socialization, information and communication. Gemini is fun – something we all want after the heavy earth energies of 2020 (many planets in Capricorn with Uranus in Taurus).

For me, Gemini is the journalist while its opposite sign Sagittarius is the philosopher. Gemini seeks the facts and Sagittarius tries to make meaning.

What will happen when Uranus is in Gemini and there are no newspapers?

This astrologer will trust in Gemini creativity that we will have a better way to have accurate, valid information.

The Second Coming of the Enlightenment

When Uranus was discovered on March 13, 1781 it was transiting Gemini (mutable air) at 24 degrees. In 2030, we may have another Age of Enlightenment as it returns to this position. On March 13, 1781, Pluto was transiting fixed air sign Aquarius and Neptune was in cardinal air sign Libra. Fraternity, liberty, equality – words of the French Revolution and words beloved by air signs. Air signs are social and these three outer planets in the three air signs brought “enlightenment” through rationality and exchange of ideas as opposed to religious dogmatism and immutable social position.

In the mid 2020’s, Pluto will move from Capricorn to Aquarius. Neptune will also move but not to Libra like during the 18th century Enlightenment but its opposite sign Aries.

What kind of enlightenment will the 21st century create?

With Neptune in Aries, I suspect the glamorization of warriors and warfare like the heroes of the Greek stories.  Maybe we’ll even see children named after the Greek and Roman gods.

We may worship warships.

Creating fraternity, liberty and equality in the 18th century was about land. In the 21st century, it’s about information, and other technology that moves through the air, invisible to the eye but affecting our lives. Wars are now digital – cyber attacks, microwave attacks and probably dozens of other invisible technologies.

How does one create equality in a digital world? What does equality even mean?

My thoughts go to the past, the Greek city-states. But air is about the future and possibilities, not the past. But guaranteed it won’t be boring and we must keep alert in a world of information play. Gemini likes to learn and we will need to learn quickly to keep up.

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Neptune “Spirits” – Dimes from Heaven

For several years now I have been finding dimes. Occasionally I find a penny; occasionally a nickel; but mostly dimes. In fact, I just counted 50 in the dime jar where I put them.

One day a couple years ago I was telling a friend about finding dimes. The next day I went to the gym, opened a locker and there it was – a dime — nothing else – no trash, no candy wrapper, just a dime.

It was sometime later an older relative that told me when you find dimes it is your deceased ancestors saying hello. Finally, an explanation that made sense!

My ancestors know me, know that I used to find money a lot when I was a child (Sagittarius rising). They would know that pennies wouldn’t be recognized as anything unusual. And they clearly know I’m not fond of nickels – too bulky for the value.

But dimes! Thin, grooved, silvery, worth ten pennies or two bulky nickels. My ancestors — especially my grandmother who used to let me have the change after paying for Saturday breakfast — would recognize my love of money and value and send dimes.

And my mother and father would send 50 of them because they liked to talk.

The Birthday Dime

So last weekend I was on my way to a relative’s 60th birthday party. Picking up the ice, I was ready to head over when a text from him asked me to pick up one additional grocery item.

Back to the store I went and found . . . a dime! A shiny, new 2021 dime, beautiful to behold.

While the family of any astrologer gets used to some non-traditional thoughts, telling this relative that our ancestors were sending a birthday greeting might be taking it too far.

Should I tell him?

Astrologers are used to being laughed at so I decided to take the plunge and say, “Mom, dad and grandma say hi.”

And I got the expected result.

“Oh, really?” flat of tone, disdainful of manner.

If I was going to talk about spirits, I should have waited for the “spirits” to kick in. Then, I am guessing, the message would have been more well-received.

Neptune Spirits

Neptune rules the spiritual world – all you cannot see but believe exists. Neptune is where we lose our individuality and merge with the source. Neptune is image and film which takes us spiritually into an imaginary world where we lose ourselves. Neptune is also drugs and alcohol which do the same, but usually into the realm of unexpressed, vulnerable feelings.

Is the spiritual world in our imaginations? Or are our imaginations a link to the spiritual world?

Too much Neptune is too much of all of the above. With Neptune transiting Pisces, the sign it rules, since 2011, we’ve had a great increase in drugs (legal and illegal), excessive media consumption and emotional escapism. Maybe, too, there can be too many ancestors as we sometimes forget that in physical form they sometimes got on our nerves.

Neptune is a fog over a mystery. And if you figure out what it all means, no one will understand you anyway. How can you explain in words the heights of ecstasy or the hopeless feelings of the most desperate human?

Neptune rules the “spirits” both the ones who send dimes and the ones who make you kissy-huggy at the end of the party.

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