Reveal Blast: “The King’s Ransom” by Cheryl Carpinello

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The King’s Ransom, book 1 of Young Knights of the Round Table

12Three Friends. Three Quests. Three Mysterious Predictions

In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith’s apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king’s treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder. Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight’s quest to save their friend’s life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all.



Prince Gavin
Gavin’s gaze was drawn back to the castle’s battle-scarred walls and the heavily armed guards. The evil Q.5.1emanating from the structure surrounded and held him captive, like a lone deer surrounded by hungry wolves in the dead of winter, unable to move, its eyes glassy with fear, its limbs frozen by the hypnotic gleam of the wolves’ yellow eyes. Even knowing its life was ending, the deer wouldn’t break and run. So Gavin sat frozen in front of the castle.
The enormity of his quest enveloped Gavin and he sighed. Continuing on meant he might save the Wild Man, but he might put himself in danger as well. King Edward was his father’s enemy and possibly responsible for Aldred’s murder. If Gavin were caught, Edward wouldn’t treat him kindly. The young prince summoned his courage and focused on the Wild Man. It had seemed so simple last night in the company of Bryan and Philip.

Bryan
Q2The air inside the blacksmith shop lay dense and heavy, making it difficult to breathe for any who ventured inside. The fire from the forge still burned red hot, even though the bellows hadn’t fanned the embers in some time. Sixteen-year-old Bryan submersed the newly formed sword into a cold bucket of water. Steam enveloped him, adding to the sweat already streaming down his face. With his free arm, he wiped his forehead and pushed back his soaked red hair.
The blacksmith, James, watched intently as Bryan Balyard lifted the sword out of the water, its blade cooler but still hot to the touch. Holding the sword in front of him, Bryan sighted down the blade’s edge as he’d been taught. Straight and flat, just as it should be. He made a few short cuts to check its balance. It responded well to his moves. Bryan handed the sword to James for approval. After checking its weight and doing a closer inspection of the craftsmanship, James nodded.
“You’re getting better. This weapon is good enough for a knight of the Round Table.”
Bryan beamed, his eyes reddened and watering from the smoke.
“I haven’t an order from any of Arthur’s knights, so make this your own.”
Bryan’s lower jaw dropped.
“Mine?” he forced out.

Philip
The late afternoon sun still held the day’s heat. Philip set the ax down and wiped his brow before getting a drink of water. Looking at the stack of chopped wood, he smiled sadly. Two years ago he would never have dreamed he’d be here, chopping wood for food and a dry place to sleep. He shook his head at his thoughts, his shaggy, ill-cut black hair falling unevenly across his forehead. Two years. It seemed like forever.
Two years earlier, he had lived with his parents and baby brother on their small farm up north. His parents worked hard to put food on the table and to pay off the farm. Philip’s main job was to watch baby Benjamin while his mother helped his father in their small field. When Benjamin fell sick, Philip helped his father clear the old stalks and rocks from the soil while his mother nursed the baby. He helped his father carefully plant the winter wheat and barley for harvest in the spring.
As autumn slipped into winter, Benjamin hadn’t gotten better. His tiny body burned with fever. Those last few days when Philip held him, the heat coming from Benjamin threatened to slowly engulf him like the embers of a dying fire.
Then one day, the heat drained from Benjamin’s body, and cold took its place. Philip didn’t understand at first why his mother and father cried. For days they’d waited for the fever to leave, and finally it had. Then he noticed the stillness of Benjamin’s body. His small chest didn’t rise and fall; he wasn’t breathing. Along with the heat, life had also left the tiny body.

Book Sound Track for Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend, book 2 and The King’s Ransom, book 1 of Young Knights of the Round Table.



AUTHOR BIO

Original_Author_PhotoI am a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Tales & Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds.

 

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NEW RELEASE from John Reinhard Dizon!

TheEmpirecover

If you love lots of action and strong characters be sure to check out John Reinhard Dizon’s latest, The Empire, a fast-moving sci-fi thriller. I had lots of fun designing the cover and plan to read it soon. Here’s the blurb:

Driven to the threshold of extinction, the human race has survived the destruction of the Solar System and found a New System to call home. Old rivalries surface, causing the Allied Federation of Alpha and the Terranean Alliance of Beta to take a stand against the Republic of Delta and the Scorpion Empire. A crisis results when Styrena Stone, the daughter of the President of Alpha, is kidnapped. The abductors demand that the Federation accepts a non-aggression pact allowing the Empire to conduct a campaign of terror throughout the System. Only a renegade captain commits an act of mutiny in turning an Imperial starship against Styrena’s captors. Federal agent Von Kilgore is sent to rescue Styrena, with the threat of war looming and the merciless Captain Grav Drachna standing in his path.

You can pick up a print copy on Amazon here or an ebook for 99c from Smashwords here. It will show up on other retailer sites soon. Don’t miss it!

Book Blast: “Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend” (Book 1)

On the Eve of Legend

At the dawn of Camelot, one young girl is about to take her place beside the greatest king inQuote 7 England’s history…. She is a mere child of twelve. But in these medieval days, this is the age when childish things must be put away and greater responsibilities accepted—all in preparation for a betrothal of marriage. For young Lady Guinevere, on the advent of her thirteenth Birth Day, the whole idea is quite unbearable. After all, what could be better than spending her youth playing with her best friend Cedwyn, roaming the grounds around the castle looking for mythical creatures or hunting rabbits? However, the wizard Merlyn—her teacher and friend—knows that destiny has a way of catching up with a person. His arrival sets in motion a series of events that will lead Guinevere to her destiny whether she is ready for it or not.

See Book on Amazon

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend, book 1

Excerpt

Hard to believe that last night she had been so happy. Now, her world had fallen apart. It’s not that I don’t expect to get married. I know I must. But not now, not so soon. And to spring it on her and not give her the opportunity to participate in the decision stung like the bee that had bitten her last summer. Suddenly, the magic of the unicorn seemed so far away. Her eyes started to water. She blinked and tried to wipe the tears away before Cedwyn saw them, but she couldn’t.

“What’s the matter? Why are you crying again? Is it because of that decision your father made?”

Guinevere nodded in reply.

Guinevere–On The Eve of Legend“What do you have to do? Is that what the king and Merlyn were talkin’ about last night in the hall after everyone left?”

“It must be,” she said, wondering if Merlyn had known even in the forest. “When did you see them?”

“I sneaked back into the hall after everyone had gone to bed to see if there was any more circlette left. I saw them with their heads together, but they didn’t see me. They were discussin’ some secret.”

Shaking her head, Guinevere said, “That’s why Father waited for Merlyn before he said anything to me. They came up with this idea between themselves.” She felt so betrayed.

“So, what is it that you have to do? Why have we run away from home?”

“My Father the King and apparently Merlyn have decided that I am to marry King Arthur in two years and become his Queen. I’ll have to leave the castle, my home, you, and everything I’ve grown up with,” she added, not realizing that Cedwyn was staring at her with his mouth wide open.

“He even promised Grandfather’s round table to King Arthur. All without asking!” She finished, sure that she had stated her point clearly. Her eyes strayed to the hand that Arthur had kissed. Quickly she averted them.Quote 6

“Are you sure they said King Arthur?” Cedwyn asked, his amazement showing in his voice.

“Oh yes! I’m sure.”

“That’s fantastic! He’s gonna be a great king! He’s gonna bring all of England together. I heard some of the knights talking about him last night. They said that he is the bravest and best warrior they have ever seen. And the smartest!” He looked at Guinevere and shook his head. “And you are gonna be his Queen!” Disbelief washed over him. “I wish someone would make a decision like that for me!”

“Really? Then you can marry King Arthur!” she said, standing up and stamping her foot.

Then she turned and stomped up the rise.


The Legend Within

by Cheryl Carpinello

            Arthurian stories are steeped in legend. While perceived as fiction, legends often contain elements of factual happenings. It is left up to readers to decide if they believe or not.

In the Arthurian tales I write, I always add one or two of my own legends. Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend contains one of my favorites: The Legend of the Red Deer and the Unicorn. I’ve recited this story at readings and at Medieval Festivals where I have been the storyteller. Here it is:

The Legend of the Red Deer and the Unicorn

A long, long time ago when the forests were young, the unicorns roamed the land of what is now called England. They numbered in the thousands. One day a red deer washed up on a sandy shore during a violent storm. Not knowing the land, the red deer soon became lost, unable to find fresh water and enough grasses to eat. The unicorns found the deer near death from thirst and starvation. These kind creatures nudged and pushed the deer to fresh water and later showed it the best grazing grounds and the Quote 5safest places in the forest to bed down.

Before long the unicorns adopted the deer, which, in turn, promised that all future generations of red deer would protect the unicorns. A few years later, another red deer washed up on the shore, was discovered and saved by the red deer and the unicorns. The two deer later mated and left the unicorn herds.

Hundreds of years passed and in those years, the red deer herds grew in number until there wasn’t a forest without the deer across the land. Sadly, the same could not be said for the unicorns. As men populated the island, a myth arose about the unicorn. It was believed that a unicorn’s horn held strong magic for man, and some even thought it could cure all of men’s ills. To that end, unicorns were hunted ruthlessly for the magical horn, their bodies left to rot once the horn was harvested.

The numbers of unicorns across the land dwindled to just a handful when the unicorns and the red deer met once more. The unicorns asked if the red deer remembered when the unicorns had saved them. The red deer remembered because the memories of the first red deer were passed on to each new deer. Filled with dismay at how few unicorns remained, the red deer kept their promise to protect the unicorns.

Today if you are lucky enough to come across a herd of red deer in England, you must be very quiet and patient. If you wait long enough and look hard enough, between the legs of the red deer, you may catch a glimpse of white. At the middle of each herd, the unicorns thrive and play.


About the Author

Original Author Photo

I am a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Tales & Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds.

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Another FREE Book Blast! Including my latest, “The Terra Debacle”!

happy girl reading book by the window in winter

Looking to load up your Kindle or Tablet with a bunch of awesome FREE books? How about as many as 40 titles, all in speculative genres such as paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy? And the best of all, a chance to win a $50 gift card!

Now’s your chance to grab a copy of my latest, “The Terra Debacle: Prisoners at Area 51” for FREE! And remember that author’s cherish good reviews, so be sure to show your appreciation by leaving one at your favorite retailer. Check it out here!

Happy Reading!!

55368521 - 3d rendering of flying saucer ufo on night background

“Dance of the Lights” by Stephen Geez

danceofthelightscvr

If you have any doubt regarding what life is all about, then you need to read this beautiful story, which will explain it to you. The ultimate love story, I definitely fell in love with most of the characters in this book. They were so real, you felt as if you knew them, that they were your own friends and neighbors, making their way through life and its struggles, including sometimes the painful loss of a loved one. It was an utterly convincing slice of life, where people work hard for what they have, interact with neighbors and loved ones, and most importantly, help one another when the need arises. It was about priorities, caring, and doing the right thing, but not in a flamboyant way. It was about the passage of time, how things change, including people, and the importance of friends.

A light paranormal touch permeated the story, a reminder that what we see is but a small part of what we know as reality. There are some things that simply can’t be explained. Anyone who has ever lost a loved one, yet felt their presence or heard them speaking inside their mind, will relate. Who and what are we? What about those with whom we share our lives, loves, and ambitions? Is it all random? Do certain people come into our lives by chance or design? What is the essence of life? Love? Our very existence?

Don’t expect specific answers to any of these questions because you won’t find them. Rather, there is plenty to ponder. On the one hand, it’s easy to note that those characters who made mistakes were beyond fortunate to find someone to stand behind them and help them get past their troubles. Finances were not a problem for the main characters, who generously shared their substance to help others. Most who fall upon hard times are not so lucky. Those who have had to dig their way out of a bad situation on their own could even feel a touch of bitterness. Yes, this story reflects the ideal, which life seldom is. However, I don’t believe it’s those in sorry circumstances to whom this story applies the most. Rather it would have the most powerful impact on those with the means to help others by expounding the deep satisfaction, friendship, and rewards that come from helping your fellow man.

The characters in this book were familiar in many respects; archetypes, if you will. No doubt you will relate to some more than others, recognize several, and with luck, even see yourself. There are parts that are heart-rending, yet that is a fact of life. Learning to deal with death and grief is part of living.  Learning not to take anything for granted, to appreciate each and every day, realizing that in a flash everything could change, is what enriches our existence.  Years pass a day at a time, yet in what can feel like an instant, they evaporate, leaving you in awe of their passing. Of course the older you are, the more obvious this is.

This cast who populated this story touched my heart in so many ways. In some respects, it was like a  soap opera, as diverse individuals entangled with one another through heredity or circumstance went about their lives, some days normal and predictable, others milestones, or marred by sudden tragedy. In many ways, stories like this are a measure of the reader’s capacity to love. If you don’t fall in love with these characters, feel as if you know them, and even wish you had some of them as friends or neighbors, perhaps you’ve lost touch with your own humanity and need for others in your life.

Author Stephen Geez renders characters you’ll never forget, who’ll live on within your heart forever.  If you could use a few new book-friends or book-neighbors, to say nothing of a nice dose of inspiration, then introduce yourself to these adorable souls over in Tarpon Springs. You’ll be glad you did.

Pick up your copy on Amazon here.

Cosmic Influences on the 1977 Tenerife Aviation Disaster

doorintospacebkgd[Note: Several weeks ago I posted a review of the book “Gone: Catastrophe in Paradise” by O.J. Modjeska, which chronicled events leading up to and following the horrific ground collision between two jumbo jets in the Canary Islands in March 1977, killing 583 people. As a professional astrologer, of course I had to look at the cosmic influences at work at the time. As is typical of an event chart, everything was there, but at the time I didn’t have time to write it up. Thus, I am doing so now.]

Astrology isn’t simple. Every planet, major fixed star, constellation, named asteroid (and some that aren’t), zodiac sign, and house has multiple meanings and implications. The good news is that this is conducive to computer interpretations, or what is sometimes referred to as “cook book astrology.” I sell several varieties of such reports and use them for myself, family, and close friends because in general they are very helpful. However, there are numerous subtleties that only a trained astrologer will catch since there are so many possibilities as well as interpretations.

This complexity is what makes predictive astrology such a challenge. There are too many possibilities for how an event can manifest (or a person can react) due to the eternal principle of free will.  In retrospect, however, I’ve never examined a chart that failed to contain the energy expressed by the event it represents. If you’re familiar with the “Bible Code” then you know that it’s much the same way–after the fact events can be found, but finding them beforehand is next to impossible. In many cases, the chart looks rather benign. Some charts are so angry and filled with negative energy, that their appearance alone is a tip-off. Others are less obvious, until you start digging deeper. Some may feel as if such scrutiny could unearth anything you wanted to find, but this is entirely untrue. Rather, what lurks in a horoscope tends to fall under the category of “you can’t make this stuff up.”

I’d like to point out that it’s important to recognize that these energies did not directly cause this horrible accident. Rather, they show the cosmic influences at work at the time that contributed to it. If certain decisions had been different, it could have been avoided. Some events have a fated flavor to them, perhaps due to human nature being more predictable than we care to admit. But astrology does not cause events, even though its influences can drive those involved in certain directions, whether for good or ill.

tenerifeaccidentSo, getting to the matter at hand, the collision between a KLM and a Pan American Boeing 747 on a runway that is the worst aviation disaster of all time occurred 27 March 1977 at 5:06:47 p.m. in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. If you know nothing about astrology, more than likely the chart shown above reveals nothing to you, even if you laboriously check the various legends to interpret the various strange looking glyphs. So hang onto your seats, (or perhaps I should say fasten your seatbelts) because I’m about to explain it to you.

How ironic that this accident was on the ground as opposed to in-flight. The ascendant of this chart, shown on the left at the 9:00 o’clock position, represents the zodiacal sign on the eastern horizon at the moment in question and relates to its personality, if you will. In this case it’s 08:26 Virgo, which just happens to be an Earth sign. The cusp of the 9th house, which represents long-distance travel and foreign lands, is also  on an Earth sign, in this case Taurus. Small points, but an example of how such details tend to reinforce the happening.

What are the odds for this? Actually, I’ll admit, they’re fairly high. There are four elements in astrology, Fire, Earth, Air, and Water, with three of the 12 signs of the Zodiac falling in each one. Thus, there was a 1:3 chance for an Earth sign on these two houses. Fairly high, but be patient. Other characteristics of this chart, especially when combined, will put the odds off the chart (no pun intended).

There were various causes of this horrific accident, one of which was actual fog which rolled in unexpectedly. Representing this we have Uranus, planet of surprises as well as the unexpected, explosions, and rebellion, to name a few, in Scorpio (another Water sign) in the 3rd house, which represents the locale.  Saturn, in the 12th house of hidden enemies, is squaring Uranus, a hard aspect that tends to bring conflict. Saturn rules structure as well as rules and protocol and was in Leo, the sign of leadership as well as ego. Thus, Saturn’s organization was compromised by the sudden advent of fog.

The 3rd house is also the one that includes communications. These were also unclear, and thus implied a problem, while yet another interpretation, that of rebellion(Uranus) against authority (Saturn) to one’s self-undoing (12th house) is there as well, which reflects the decision of the KLM pilot to take off when he had not been authorized to do so, yet apparently thought he had been due to the unclear communications between him and the tower.

Mercury, the planet that rules communications, is trining Neptune, the planet that represents confusion as well as fog itself. Neptune was in Sagittarius, a sign prone toward optimism, perhaps even embellished by arrogance, while Mercury was in Aries, providing impulsive energy. Thus, these two further show assumptions with deadly implications, given Neptune is in the 4th house of endings and Mercury is in the 8th, which includes death and traumatic experiences.

An astrological rule of thumb as far as transit charts are concerned is that there will usually be no less than seven aspects relating to an important incident. So far we have two.

The Sun, which tends to highlight the main theme of a chart, is in the 8th house of death in the sign of Aries, which is know for violence. Many such violent events have occurred in the March – April timeframe. The Moon is in Water sign, Cancer, indicating strong emotional implications with her placement in the 10th house indicating this will have an effect on the public as well. Planets in this house tend to point toward what a person or place will be known for. I, for one, will always think of this accident whenever I hear anything about Tenerife, since I’d never heard of it until this happened. The Moon is trining Mars, ruler of the 8th house of death, thus showing the cause of the emotional reaction. The 10th house if ruled by Mercury, reiterating the communications aspects and newsworthiness.

Mars has multiple meanings, the most neutral of which is simply taking action. He is in Pisces, sign of compassion, in the 6th house which includes both health and service to others, and being infused with emotional involvement by the Moon. Following this horrible event, the people of this small island put forth an amazing amount of concern and help toward the victims and survivors. A minor aspect known as a semi-sextile between Mars and the Sun represents the jaded opportunity to do so.

Most people would assume, even without a background in astrology, that Pluto is probably not a good influence. At the most fundamental level, he represents power and control as well as hidden corruption. The Sun opposing him shows a power struggle, albeit at the subconscious level, as a factor in the event. Mercury is also opposing Pluto, again suggesting corrupt conversations or information, something that surfaced during the investigation and resulted in implementing more standardized commands between the tower and aircraft.

Jupiter, a planet that tends to exaggerate what he touches, is in the 9th house of foreign travel, suggesting the magnitude of this event which would make the news worldwide.  Jupiter is semisextile the asteroid, Chiron, the wounded healer who’s in the 8th house of death, pointing toward the huge number of victims.

Note that the influence of asteroids, as well as the planets, tends to reflect their mythological archetype; nomen est omen, if you will. That said, Chiron isn’t the only asteroid lending influence. Icarus, named for the unfortunate mythological figure who tried to fly, yet fell to earth when the wax securing his wings melted in the Sun, is on the cusp of the 8th house of death. He is in an aspect known as a quincunx with the Moon, an unstable aspect that tends to show a change of direction, need for adjustment, or Catch-22. Again, this has implications for protocol and procedures that required changes.

The asteroid named Ceres a.k.a. Demeter, forever mourning separation from her daughter, Persephone, is conjunct the asteroid, Lucifer, indicating loss of loved ones through an hellish event. The asteroid, Phaethon, the mythological figure who crashed Apollo’s chariot into the Sun, is semi-sextile the Sun as well, again contributing “crash and burn” energy.

Other asteroids worth noting playing a role include Chaos (whose meaning should be obvious) who is in cahoots with Jupiter, showing the resulting extreme chaos, which goes without saying. Ixion, son of Aries (or possibly some other mythological character), the main point being his name connotes “fiery”, his conjunction with Uranus indicating a fiery explosion or sudden fire. Varuna, a Vedic deity associated with the sky and later with water is conjunct the Midheaven, at the top of the chart, suggesting aviation. He is in near-exact square to the ascendant, showing conflict and trouble and also in cahoots with Phaethon, implying a crash.

At this point I have to ask, what are the odds that all these influences would so intimately relate to this event? I’ve somewhat lost count, but know it’s over a dozen between implications of house or sign placement plus the aspects themselves. While this moment in time passed unnoticed by scores of people, for some it was life-changing or even life-ending.

So, if that event chart alone hasn’t convinced you this stuff works, let’s look at the influence of the time of the accident (which we’ve just examined) on the two airlines involved.

KLMTenerifeBiYes, corporations have birth charts as well. When an entity is “born”, it assumes the energy of that moment. The principle of transits is that the aspects formed from the real-time location of the planets to the birth chart are indicative of influences. I’m not going to belabor these biwheels to the level of detail of the event chart, but will only point out some obvious indicators.

For KLM, Neptune in the 1st house suggests delusions or confusion. He is sextile the Midheaven, suggesting their reputation for excellence and safety is a delusion. Uranus is sextile Venus, ruler of the Midheaven, suggesting a sudden change from their exalted status due to events in a foreign land. Mars opposing Saturn shows pushing against tradition or regulations. Uranus being squared by Jupiter suggests a huge surprise or explosion, with the house placement indicating financial implications due to personal injury.

The Sun quincunx Saturn shows a change of direction of a transformational nature. The asteroid, Chaos, is trining Mars in the 8th house of death from the house of endings, certainly not an auspicious omen. Pluto is conjunct KLM’s Sun, a transformational indicator that tends to relate to death, whether literal or figurative.  Saturn conjunct Neptune shows a rude awakening. Saturn, considered the lord of karma, transiting the 8th house is often a call to reckoning.

PanAmTenerifeBiPan Am’s chart is slightly less harsh, which makes sense since they were not found to be at fault. Pluto, nonetheless, is showing a change of direction in their status. Jupiter sextile Uranus shows a hidden enemy causing an unexpected event known to the public. The Sun trining Saturn in the 6th, has implications for vindication of the crew. Uranus quincunx Mars in the 12th shows a sudden change of direction related to an attack from a hidden enemy. Saturn conjunct Pan Am’s Moon shows the sadness and mourning, the sextile from Pluto adding transformational energy. Pluto quincunx Jupiter as well as the Midheaven shows a huge involvement with death in the public eye. Venus and Mercury conjunct Venus imply group support.

More indicators could be found, some that may have conceivably predicted this event in advance if given intense scrutiny. However, prediction is a labor-intensive process and another case where you need to have some idea what you’re looking for and thus easier done after-the-fact.

There is nothing simple about astrology, but it contains a considerable amount of information and surprising insights when applied. Those who think it’s nothing but myth and superstition have clearly never investigated what its capabilities really are. I, too, at one point was a skeptic. Not anymore.

If you’d like to learn more about astrology and the incredible amount of information it can reveal, I invite you to check out my book “Whobeda’s Guide to Basic Astrology.” It’s written for beginners and the book I’d hoped to find when I was first learning about it. It’s available in electronic and print copy format at several vendors you can find here. Much of the same information is found on my website, ValkyrieAstrology.com, except you’ll be subjected to a lot of hyperlink bingo. If you’d like more information about the disaster in question, then I highly recommend O.J. Modjeska’s book, which provides a painfully detailed postmortem of this horrific piece of aviation history.

Believe me, you can’t make this stuff up.

***

Stock Photo Copyright Bruce Rolff / 123RF Stock Photo

Astrological charts generated with Sirius version 2.0, Copyright (c) 2008 Cosmic Patterns Software, Inc.

“The Touch: A Supernatural Story” by Robert Flynn III

thetouch

There were many things I enjoyed about this book. It was so original that I found it somewhat indescribable. At first the omniscient viewpoint threw me a bit, but it soon became obvious how appropriate it was as you ponder who is telling the tale. The author’s narrative voice is outstanding. It’s as if you can hear the narrator speaking in a somewhat archaic speech that totally works. The characters were real and engaging. I loved Alabama, Gabriel, and Josh as well as the others who joined in as the tale progressed. The premise and supernatural angle is unique and shows the author has a strong grasp on Biblical and Apocryphal descriptions of angels, yet adds a few interpretations of his own.

The plot is intriguing, suspenseful, and keeps you turning the pages. Clearly the world’s sorry situation is reflected and gives you pause what might be going on in other dimensions with regard to the host of wayward and evil humans at large on our planet.

I was somewhat disappointed by the ending, however. Not so much because the story is clearly part of a serial, but because the main characters were seemingly abandoned as new twists were introduced to the story line. I think the author could have handled it better, perhaps by including the characters in which I’d invested interest throughout the rest of the book more directly in the final chapters while still including teasers with regard to the next episode. It felt as if they simply dropped out of existence as a whole new story angle took shape, which would have been a great way to start the next volume as opposed to ending this one.  I was planning on giving this unique tale five stars until the ending, when I dropped it to four because I found its conclusion unsatisfying and not as skillfully rendered as the rest of the book.

You can pick up a copy on Amazon here.

Houston, we have a problem. It’s named Harvey.

Harvey became a named tropical storm on 17 August, then regressed to a tropical depression for a few days. With Mercury retrograde, it doesn’t surprise me that he regained sufficient energy to resume tropical storm status on 23 August, two days after a total solar eclipse slashed its way across the USA. A day later Harvey’s wind speeds reached hurricane range. He made landfall on the coast of Texas as a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds at around 10:00 pm on 25 August 2017.

Harvey was no ordinary storm. His slow movement resulted in all-time record setting rainfall that inundated a zone covering 3,643 square miles (larger than the state of Delaware) with at least 40 inches of rain. This constituted over a trillion gallon of water for Harris County in the Houston metropolitan area, the resulting flood making news around the world.

I lived in the Houston area for over 21 years and saw a few hurricanes myself, but nothing like this. I’m beyond grateful that various family members, who are still in the area, were spared, their homes dry, even though their neighborhoods were virtual islands. Unfortunately, some of my friends from my NASA days weren’t so lucky.

In a previous blog back in April 2016 I discussed the astrology of another Houston flood. That one wasn’t even a named storm. Interestingly enough, it also followed an eclipse.

I explained Houston’s horoscope a.k.a. natal chart at that time, but will reiterate some of the basics again. These charts look daunting to the uninitiated, but reading one is just a matter of understanding all the symbolism involved.

houstonnatal

Many folks are not aware that even as a person’s natal chart has a strong bearing on their personality, so it follows for a city. Neptune, ruler of all liquids, is prominent in Houston’s chart. This not only relates to rain, but also oil and being a port city. Neptune’s position in the 2nd house makes it an important driver for the area’s economy; the second house typically has a bearing on income, material possessions, needs, pleasures, and what is valued.  If you’re wondering what the “POS” represents in the 2nd house, that’s the asteroid, Poseidon. Having him as the same house as Neptune speaks for itself. Asteroids, like the planets, bring the same energy as their namesake’s mythological archetype.

However, there are other factors that make Neptune’s placement problematic. For one thing, he’s in Aquarius, an Air Sign, which brings to mind the fact that air and water are both major constituents of a hurricane or tropical storm. Of course that placement alone won’t do it–Neptune is also being slammed by negative energy from five other planets. Therein lies the problem.

The red triangle is an aspect pattern known as a T-square. Neptune is on one corner with Jupiter opposing him while Saturn squares the god of the deep. Jupiter tends to exaggerate anything he touches and Saturn is largely considered unfriendly, albeit the orchestrator of hard lessons and lord of karma. However, Saturn is also part of a more favorable aspect pattern known as a Grand Water Trine. With Saturn about building, structure, and discipline, this suggests how Houston continues to rebuild regardless of what catastrophes befall it.

The Grand Water Trine comprises three planets placed in Water signs (Mars in Cancer; Saturn in Scorpio; and Uranus in Pisces). This trio, however, comprises planets with a bad reputation. Mars is know for aggression and in emotionally driven Cancer often function like a temper tantrum. Uranus is full of surprises, disruptions, rebellion, explosions, disturbances, and the unexpected. Thus, in a nutshell, the combination can result in surprises of a violent nature that affects the status quo.

The city’s Sun connects with each of those planets as well, which makes their effects personal and further associated with the city itself. Since they’re all connected, when one of them is activated, they all resonate to create a large influx of energy. What activates them, you ask? That would be what astrologers call “transits”, which is the current location of the planets and how they connect with the ones in the natal chart.

As if that’s not enough, more aspect pattern on Houston’s chart has strong implications. It’s called a yod or finger of God. It looks like a blue arrow which is pointing toward Neptune. Yods tend to have a fated nature about them, indicating what might be important to the person or location with such an indicator on their horoscope.

Generally speaking, Houston’s natal chart is an accident waiting to happen. It has all the right (or perhaps wrong) characteristics to be very vulnerable.  This was further exacerbated by the August Lunar and Solar eclipses, which brought a blast of ominous, Plutonian energy to bear on Houston with implications that it was going to bring considerable public attention.

Next, let’s look at Harvey. The following chart represents when Harvey was declared a hurricane.

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The sextile pattern, shown as a green triangle, shows a great deal of cooperation between violent Mars, Ominous Saturn, and Jupiter, increasing this malefic energy. The square between Jupiter and Pluto increases the death and destruction while the square between Uranus and Venus, where Uranus represents surprises and Venus material comforts, shows a definite conflict there. Neptune and the asteroid, Poseidon (POS on the chart) shows conflict between those two cosmic entities, perhaps in a battle to prove which is superior. The ascendant in Scorpio, the sign that rules death, implies the storm’s lethality, while Mercury, the Sun, and Mars in the 10th house, which represents reputation, status, and what you’ll be remembered for, indicate his energy, public recognition, and even hint as his slow movement and repeated landfalls, which numbered at least three.

The relationship between two people, or in this case a storm and a location, is shown by how their natal charts interact. The following chart is known as a biwheel and shows Houston’s chart in the middle and Harvey’s around the outside, indicating how the two would interact.

hou-harveybiwheel

The first thing that jumped out at me with this chart was that Harvey became a hurricane on Houston’s “birthday”, indicated by the fact the Sun for both charts is in the same degree of the zodiac, i.e. the first degree of the sign Virgo.  The technical term for when the Sun returns to the position it was in when a person, thing, or city, was born is “solar return”, which is typically a prognosticator for the year ahead.  What this Sun – Sun conjunction energy blast effectively did was wake up that Grand Water Trine and all those other water-related aspects in Houston’s natal chart. The accident waiting to happen just did.

Transiting Pluto is trining the chart’s Midheaven, which represents its status, reputation, and public image, suggests a major transformation as well as death and material destruction. The square from Mercury retrograde to the chart’s ascendant hints at bad news. Mercury retrograde tends to slow things down, which certainly happened when the storm’s movement stalled. That is what facilitated the incredible quantity of rain. The semi-sextile from Mercury to Houston’s Jupiter in the 8th house of transformations and death, further exaggerated this effect. On the positive side, the sextile from the transiting Sun to Houston’s Saturn implies help and assistance from afar in rebuilding. This is further reinforced by Venus, transiting the 8th house.

These very basic aspects shown here are only a few and represent the more common ones. There are several others known as minor aspects or harmonics which seldom have a minor effect, especially those associated with intense energy and power. Others relate to physical and spiritual extremes.  There were at least nine of these aspects involved, which certainly did their part to make this a record breaking storm that left unprecedented devastation behind.

As I’ve said repeatedly, you can’t make this stuff up.

Hurricane Information Sources: The Weather Channel & NOAA National Hurricane Center Advisories