Download “Whobeda’s Guide to Basic Astrology” for FREE ’til Dec. 11th!

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If you’ve always wondered whether astrology works or what all that sign, house, and aspect stuff means, this is the perfect chance to find out for FREE until December 11! This is the book I wanted when I was first learning about it.

The Kindle version is always FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited. If you’re a beginning student of astrology or an instructor teaching the basics, this book covers the material in an easy to follow manner.

What readers are saying about Whobeda’s Guide:

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“If you have no clue about cusps, rising, or what a fixed or mutable sign is, then you need to read this book.”

“Fun, witty and informative. . . An Absolute must read!”

“Five stars only because I can’t give it a hundred!”

“Written with wit and candor, this book is a must have for beginners as well as seasoned professionals.”

“Like sitting in the kitchen with a dear friend as she shares her delicious astro insights!”

Get your copy at one of the outlets below:

Click here to get it FREE until December 11th

Looking for the perfect gift for the person who has everything? Get the print version for $15.95 here

Or better yet, get the print version from the CreateSpace eStore and use Discount Code 4KCHSKEW to get 20% off!

 

Was Houston Flood the Fault of the Stars?

Video of Houston Flood

If you’re a fan of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, you’re most likely aware that it contains weather predictions as well as advice regarding when to plant, harvest, and numerous other activities. Most likely anyone who’s drawn from its wisdom hasn’t questioned its source or wondered what it was. If that’s a burning question you’ve had for most your life, then I have good news for you because I’m about to tell you where that advice comes from.

Ready? Are you sitting down? Okay. It’s astrological.

Whether or not you believe in astrology makes no difference. It works and doesn’t much care whether people recognize it or not and neither do I.

As an example of how it works for weather, I couldn’t resist doing another extreme weather blog regarding the astrological influences in effect at the time, in this case, the massive flooding event in Houston, Texas. This blog, like numerous others involving astrology, is in the category best known as “You can’t make this stuff up” or “What are the odds?”

As a professional astrologer I tend to speak in astrologese, which of course makes no sense to anyone unfamiliar with its terminology. I will do my best here to explain things in lay terms which will of necessity include a few brief, albeit essential, astrology lessons.

First of all, what you see below is the “birth chart” of Houston, Texas. Since it is a major city, detailed information about it’s founding is available in the historical record. In reality, the worst part of this recent flood was centered slightly northwest of the city in a city called Katy, but an actual date much less time of its incorporation or naming (which occurred when they applied for a post office in 1896) were unavailable. Houston felt the effects too, so thus, we’ll look at Houston.

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Planets, signs and houses (of which there are twelve as you can see from the numbers around the smaller inside circle) each represent a variety of things. Planets and signs have their own distinctive energies while houses indicate different categories relative to life.

If you look at the city’s horoscope, which represents the location of the Sun, Moon and planets at that moment in time, you can see a variety of different lines in the center. These indicate relationships known as aspects between the Sun, Moon and planets. In general, the red ones are stressful, the green ones favorable, and the blue ones somewhat unstable, except when two of them come together, like they do here, with a green line connecting them at the base.

This aspect pattern is known as a yod or “finger of god” and typically has a fated flavor to it. From time to time, as the actual location of the planets in our solar system form other aspects to these natal planets, events are triggered. Seriously. The yod is comprised of Houston’s Virgo Sun, Cancer Mars and Aquarius Neptune, which is represented by a glyph that looks a lot like Neptune’s famous trident. Neptune is in a position in the yod known as its eye, which is where the Sun’s energy (Sun being indicative of personality) and Mars’ energy (symbolic of activity) are directed.

If you know a little about mythology, you know that Neptune is the God of the Deep. In astrology, he rules anything related to liquids among other things. Houston’s nickname is “The Bayou City.” The Houston Ship Channel is a major influence on its economy. Oil, another biggie for Houston, is also ruled by Neptune. Being not too far from the Gulf of Mexico, Houston is often troubled by hurricanes, such as Ike in 2008.

So we have Neptune very prominently placed in Houston’s horoscope and it’s easy to see its influence has been a big one on this city as expressed by the yod, which basically states that the city’s personality and activity is going to relate a lot to Neptunian matters such as water and oil.

Get the idea?

Coincidence? Maybe. Let’s see what else is going on.

Neptune is also related by aspect to some other planets as well. Note the red triangle, an aspect pattern known as a T-square. These are stressful. The other planets involved are Saturn, which represents structures, responsibility and tradition, and Jupiter, which tends to exaggerate and inflate matters. Saturn is in the 11th house which includes groups and organizations and Jupiter is in the 8th house, which includes matters that are intense, transformational or involve shared resources. It also includes death and is usually involved for severe weather events. For Houston, this house is particularly sensitive to the Moon.

Thus, this T-square can easily be related to major storms and floods that damage structures of both a physical and societal variety with extreme impact on the infrastructure as well as the potential for loss of life.

The green lines that look like a big triangle is what is called a Grand Water Trine. I swear I’m not making this up. That is because the three planets involved are in Water Signs which include Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. The smaller green triangle on top of the big one, which makes the entire configuration look like a kite, ties the Sun into the Grand Trine. While this configuration is often favorable, all it really means is that the planets all communicate their energy well, so if that energy isn’t good, then the influence isn’t, either.

The glyph at the bottom of the Grand Trine, which looks like an old-style television antenna, represents Uranus. This is appropriate since Uranus is associated with technology. He is also related to surprises, unexpected events, upsets, rebellion, explosions, freedom and so forth. Uranus, in turn, is connected back to Neptune by an aspect that tends to denote friction. The implication is for numerous unexpected and disruptive events related to water. The main point here is that so many planets are connected such that when one is affected it will reverberate throughout making things a bigger deal than if they weren’t tied together.

If you’re wondering what the planet labeled “Pos” represents (probably not what you think), that’s the asteroid named Poseidon, also associated with water. We’ll get to him in a moment.

There are certain cosmic events that tend to have tremendous impact astrologically. One of those is eclipses, which are even recognized by stock market gurus as influential. Look it up some time. In March there were two eclipses, one a solar eclipse and the other lunar. The location of the Sun and Moon for the lunar eclipse was in a zodiacal degree that slammed Houston’s Neptune creating an astrological tsunami.

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Neptune was aspected by the Moon and the Sun, both of which were in houses that typically indicate important events, which in this case include a lot of public attention and the property and residents of the city itself. Uranus, master of the unexpected and upsets, was involved as well. Part of the “You can’t make this stuff up” department, and why I love the asteroids in astrology, is that Poseidon’s current position is irritating Uranus PLUS opposite Houston’s Sun, kind of an “in your face” kind of aspect, to say the least.

Jupiter’s current location is at the top of the chart, which indicates major attention from the public, in this case worldwide.

You’ll note that the eclipse was March 23 while the flood didn’t occur until April 17, but eclipses set events in motion with their effects strong enough to last for months. The night the rain began that started this debacle, a few things had changed in the planetary configurations which were far from helpful.

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This looks like a relatively quiet chart until you look a little closer. Out in space, Jupiter and the Moon were aligned and parked on Houston’s Mercury, which is all about news and movement. Neptune’s cosmic position was opposing them, making it a key player. The Moon is always important, but as noted earlier,it’s particularly influential for Houston’s ominous 8th house of death and such. So first there’s a lunar eclipse, now the Moon is stirring things up some more.

Holy guacamole! On top of all that, the asteroid, Poseidon, is in a different zodiacal sign but in the same degree as the natal chart, increasing his energy, plus he was cozied up to Neptune, so both mythological gods of the deep were in cahoots, too. Saturn, which relates to structure, as noted earlier, and Pluto, god of the underworld, were also combined in a malefic blast, though Venus did provide some intervention, enough to keep this from being a lot worse than it already was, such as the fact most of the rain came down overnight when less people were out, though Houston is definitely another city that never sleeps.

There are various other indicators in these charts that tie in even more of Neptune’s soggy influences as well as several others that I won’t go into, because I think I’ve made my point and there’s a good chance you didn’t even make it this far and if you did, your eyes have long since glazed over and you’ve set this aside for bedtime reading.

So be it. Once again, at least as far as I’m concerned, astrology has not failed me, if nowhere else in the domain of “What are the odds?” Poseidon, if nothing else, is the coup de grace, much as the asteroid, Marathon, was for the Boston Marathon bombing several years ago, where he was in a key location of the event chart.

You can’t make this stuff up.

The Astrolabe: Ancient Analog Computer with 1K Apps

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Figure 1. Planispherical astrolabe. Marocco, 16th century. Engraved brass. On display at Paris naval Museum.

Whether you’re an astronomer, astrologer or steampunk fan, you’re bound to fall in love with this ancient analog computer.  Even better, you can make one for yourself by downloading the directions from the Resources section below.

The astrolabe is an ingenius device used for nearly two thousands years, from the time of Hipparchus (c. 190 – 120 BCE) until the turn of the 17th century.  It’s typically a disc constructed from wood or brass, about 10 – 20 centimeters in diameter, and a few millimeters thick.  In 1391, medieval writer and poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, wrote a treatise on the subject for his son, describing how to build one as well as its use.  Astrolabes had over a thousand uses, including timekeeping, navigation, surveying, solving equations, and so forth.  Mastering them all required an entire university level course.

While at first appearance an astrolabe is intimidating, breaking it down into its components, combined with the information contained on each one, brings a strong sense of familiarity if you’re an astronomer.  Appreciation for the knowledge ancient civilizations acquired of the stars and their relationship to the Earth quickly follows at the thought of designing, much less crafting, such a clever precision instrument.

The main components of a planetspheric astrolabe are the mater, climate plate or tympan, and rete, which all function together, demonstrating how Earth’s place in the cosmos provides the ultimate reference frame.

Astrolabe (Front)

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Figure 2. Astrolabe Front: The Mater

The front of the astrolabe, called the mater, (which means mother and is sometimes referred to as such) looks mind-boggling, until you break it down into its components.

Starting from the outside, you see most of the letters of the alphabet around the circumference.  These represent the twenty-four hours of the day, more specifically, the equal hours system, which is what we use now, i.e. each hour is 60 minutes long.  However, at one time, there were twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness.  Needless to say, unless you live on the equator, the days and nights are NOT of equal length except at the equinoxes.  Thus, the unequal hours system meant that the duration of hours were adjusted, according to the time of year.  The astrolabe thus accounted for them as well, as shown by the designated lines in Figure 1.

The numbers just inside the letters represent degrees from the horizon, where’s it’s zero, to a maximum of 90 degrees at the zenith (Noon) or nadir (Midnight).

The horizon is represented by an oblique line. Unlike most of the maps we see these days, East is on the left, West on the right, North at the top, South at the bottom. ( If you’re familiar with astrology, you should not be surprised that these are the same as a horoscope with the ascendant on the left, Midheaven (Noon) on the top, descendant on the right and Imum Coeli (Midnight) on the bottom.) Just below the horizon is a dotted one, which is somewhat difficult to see at this scale, but represents the period known as Civil Twilight, or the time in the morning or evening when the Sun isn’t above the horzon, yet there’s a certain level of light.

So, to recap, so far we have 24 hours around the outer edge, perpendicular lines representing the cardinal directions, and an arc indicating the horizon.

Due North, represented so conveniently by Polaris, a.k.a. the North Star, is located dead-center.  Its position in the sky varies with latitude, indicated numerically on the vertical line extending upward from the climate’s center.

The climate, sometimes referred to as the tympan, comprises the section that looks like a spider web with a center just North of Polaris, which represents the zenith, or portion of sky directly overhead. The curved lines mark azimuth readings, while the concentric rings are lines of constant altitude or almucantars. These vary with latitude, like the view of the night sky, so astrolabes used in multiple locations required suitable climate plates, which fit into this area. Note the degree markings along the edge of the azimuth lines, which you’ll use later.

A rotating ruler with degree markings which represent declination, the altitude above the celestial equator, is attached to the center of the mater. It’s also used as a convenient pointer in the process of telling time, as explained further below. [NOTE:–The concentric rings, which are unlabeled in Figure 1, are duplicated on the rete and therefore explained in that section as well as defined in Figure 3.]

Astrolabe (Back)

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Figure 3. Astrolabe Back: Calendars and Shadow Scale.

The back of the astrolabe is equally daunting at first sight, until you break it down. However, it’s this complexity that allowed this ancient instrument to provide so many functions. For example, the box labeled “Shadow Scale for surveyors” gives a hint of one of its many uses.

The top, called the throne, was used to hang the instrument or hold it in the proper position.

The outer ring has degrees from the horizon, like the front, with zero on the horizontal axis and 90 degrees on the vertical. Just inside the degrees are another ring of numbers, this time corresponding to the degrees of the tropical zodiac signs named in the next ring.

There are two calendars represented, one from Geoffrey Chaucer’s time (1394), which is included since Chaucer wrote a popular treatise on the astrolabe for his son, a copy of which you can find online. The modern calendar, closer in toward the center, is based on 1974, but this is close enough since it takes centuries for precession to change enough to worry about.

Near the center, several Saints’ Days are noted.

Thus, there’s a lot of information, but most of it’s familiar. Another pointing device called the alidade is placed on the back, which is similar to the ruler on the front except it has either pinholes or notches used to sight in the altitude of the chosen star or landmark, if being used for surveying.

The Rete

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Figure 4. The Rete

The rete comprises the main component of a planisphere, i.e., a stereographic projection of the celestial sphere on a flat surface. Polaris is at the center with several constellations included with the brighter stars emphasized.

The outer ring represents the Tropic of Capricorn, the one in the center, the Equator, and the innermost ring, the Tropic of Cancer. The hours of Right Ascension are shown along the circumference as well.

A diagram of the annual path of the Sun, a.k.a. ecliptic, is offset from the center and includes markings for the signs and degrees of the tropical zodiac.

For a homemade astrolabe, the rete is printed on a sheet of clear transparency which allows the stars to be superimposed on the mater. Obviously, in ancient times, that wasn’t available, their solution not only innovative but artistic as well. The rete, like most of the other components, would be constructed of brass, but numerous areas cut away so you could see the mater underneath.

Most astrolabes were carefully crafted precision instruments which were much larger than the homemade version, allowing for a more accurate position determination, but nonetheless, a relatively accurate reading is possible with a homemade version, a source of which is included in the resource listing.  The ancient Turkish astrolabe in Figure 5 shows the mater and rete on the front and calendar and alidade on the back.  Note the incredible artistry and workmanship of this 17th Century device.

Planetary Position

To determine the position of a planet, use its relationship to the Fixed Stars on the rete.  By rotating the rete so that the position of the planet is on the horizontal axis, i.e., zero degrees, then following that line to the tropical zodiac on the ecliptic circle, to determine its position. The ruler provides its declination.

Telling Time

This process is relatively simple and shows the genius of using Earth’s position combined with celestial alignments to determine the time of day.

  1. First, using the back of the astrolabe, find the current date and note the corresponding zodiacal degree of the Sun.
  2. Next, select a specific star visible in the night sky that’s represented on the rete.
  3. Using the back of the astrolabe, align the device’s horizon line with the visible horizon and use the alidade to measure its altitude. (Warning: This could be the most
    120px-Astrolabe_(PSF)

    Figure 6. Sighting in the altitude with the alidade.

    difficult part of the process. Furthermore, in many cases the visible horizon is not the actual horizon due to elevation, buildings, trees, mountains, and so forth. If nothing else, consider that the Moon appears to be, on average, a half-degree across, or approximately the width of your thumb, which you can use to approximate the altitude.)

  4. Identify the star on the front of the astrolabe (rete).
  5. Move the rete so the altitude you measured of the star matches the azimuth scale behind it.
  6. Align the rule on the rete with the zodiacal position for the Sun for that day.
  7. The rule will point to the time represented on the outer rim of the mater, indicated by a letter. (Don’t forget to adjust for Daylight Savings Time.)

If you know any two of the variables (date, time, rete star position), you can always solve for the third.

Conclusion

The innovative talents of the ancients who invented this device provide a new appreciation for their knowledge of the heavens, Earth, and their celestial relationships.

Even more astounding, and perhaps even a progenitor or technological cousin of the astrolabe, is the antikythera mechanism, an invention attributed by researchers to Aristotle.  It included the positions of the Moon and planets using a complex system of gears and pins that compensated for their elliptical orbits, plus had the ability to predict when eclipses would occur.  Researchers believe it was lost when General Marcellus sacked Syracuse, then surfaced later via the Byzantine Empire (500 A.D.) where it was most likely the inspiration for Persian astrologers to reinvent the astrolabe, then bring it to Spain in the 13th century via the Moors.

During the 14th century Renaissance, sophisticated gear trains came back to drive astronomical clocks found in various European cities such as Strasbourg, France and Prague, Czech Republic.  The sophistication of these devices demonstrates the knowledge of celestial mechanics and engineering possessed by past civilizations, tangible testimonials to man’s ingenuity, long before such calculations became the domain of application programmers creating smartphone apps.

Resources

Directions for Making an Astrolabe

https://in-the-sky.org/astrolabe/index.php

Some Places to Buy Astrolabes

http://leelehman.com/wp/index.php/2015/11/02/brass-astronomical-and-astrological-instruments/

http://www.chronos-manufaktur.de/

Video on How to Use an Astrolabe

http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_wujec_demos_the_13th_century_astrolabe

Additional Information

http://www.chronos-manufaktur.de/en/astrolabes_principle.htm (Includes the TED video plus additional resource information)

References

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrolabe

“Building a Model Astrolabe” by Dominic Ford, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 122, 1, 2012, https://in-the-sky.org/astrolabe/index.php

“Western Astrolabes” by Roderick and Marjorie Webster, Copyright 1998, Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, 1300 South lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605

Picture Credits

Figure 1: Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License, By Rama – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7294462

Figures 2 – 4:  (c) Dominic Ford, 2013, https://in-the-sky.org/astrolabe/index.php

Figures 5a & b: Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License, By Pom² – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4039477. Description: Astrolabe planisférique Mère et tympan : Turquie ottomane, 1098 H / 1686-1687 Araignée: maghreb, vers 1850 Laiton à décor gravé et incisé D. 10,2cm Paris, musée de l’Institut du monde arabe, AI 86-45 Legs Destombes

Figure 6: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Astrolabe

Copyright (c) 2016 by Marcha Fox, All Rights Reserved

 

Review of “The Book of Neptune” by Steven Forrest

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[NOTE:–To get the most out of this book requires at least a rudimentary knowledge of astrology.  This need not be extensive, but should include knowing Neptune’s sign and house position in your natal chart, any aspects between Neptune and the other planets as well as where he currently resides in sign and house placement by transit.  A transit, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, refers to the current zodiacal location of a planet or other cosmic entity, including any aspects it forms to a planet in your natal or some other astrological chart, of which there are too many to get into here.  You can obtain this information for free from astro.com.  Once you have that, you’re all set to apply the information Forrest has provided in this outstanding book.  If you’d like to learn astrology’s basics, I recommend my own book, “Whobeda’s Guide to Basic Astrology”, which contains what I would have liked to have found when I was first learning about this ancient discipline.]

Even though I’m a professional astrologer myself, I’d been struggling with a Neptune transit for three years as this bad boy aspected first my ascendant, then Mars, then my Moon.  Neptune’s influences are often elusive while contributing to a foggy, lazy, dreamy, ungrounded feeling.  This was entirely foreign to me, though I must say it has certainly lent me a tremendous dose of understanding for those who are programmed that way.

As someone with a Capricorn Sun, Virgo ascendant, and Gemini Moon, everything about it was contrary to my basic cosmic imprint.  For those of you out there who are fellow astrologers, I’ll point out that my progressed Sun has been in Pisces for over a decade, which has been uncomfortable as well, but these Neptune transits have been like weathering a tsunami in a leaky boat whereas before it was simply a matter of being afloat in a swimming pool on an air mattress.

Needless to say, I was very uncomfortable with it, and some of my fellow astrologer friends, who are more familiar with these energies, tried to help, but the main thing they accomplished was only to convince me I wasn’t losing my mind.  Which reminds me, delusions and numerous forms of insanity are in Neptune’s domain along with drugs, alcohol and all forms of escapism.  Fortunately, one of those peers, who is also a close friend, was aware of this book, told me about it and I immediately bought a copy.  It’s a considerable understatement to say that I’m glad that I did.

Prior to Neptune swamping me with other-worldly, space cadet ditziness, I’d been an organized, disciplined, responsible, hardworking person.  Now I couldn’t stay focused to the point that if I hadn’t realized it was Neptune, I would have been deeply concerned that I was developing Alzheimer’s.  I kid you not.  As the cosmic surfactant, Neptune tends to dissolve what he touches, and I believe that includes your brain.  Not surprisingly, the god of the deep is associated with loss, disappearances, deception, psychic phenomena and abilities, spiritual experiences such as enlightenment and so forth.

To sum it up, Neptune left me in a state best described by WTF?  I advise my clients that there’s always a positive side to any transit, no matter how grueling, but I was having serious difficulty finding anything about this one that was useful.  The usual approach with a transit is to identify it, then direct that energy to something productive, yet I had never been less productive, more confused and generally feeling as if I were adrift in the ocean with no land in sight.  I had never felt so lost.

Then I was fortunate enough to get a copy of Forrest’s book and I must say that he nailed it.  He starts out by explaining Neptune’s realm, on the edge of the solar system, beyond which lie Pluto, Eris and possibly other planets or minor planets, the domain of comets and then interstellar space.  It’s an area filled with mystery and the unknown, so it’s no wonder it’s unfamiliar to someone who’s practical, logical and responsible by nature.

In describing Neptune’s effect when connected with the other planets, Forrest provides both the “Light Side” and the “Dark Side.”  This is tremendously helpful because sometimes with Neptune it’s not easy to tell which is which.  For the twelve houses, he provides snapshots which include an overview, significant quote and a sentence or two regarding “Leaking Energy” as a preface to several pages of in-depth explanation.  This is particularly helpful if you’re desperate, as I was, so you can grab the highlights before diving into the book as a whole.  He discusses loss, often experienced during a Neptune transit, as well as navigating those murky waters in a positive way.  He talks about synchronicity, which is typically ramped up during this time, both of a favorable and less favorable nature.  His section on how the zodiac sign Neptune resided in influenced the music for different eras is fascinating, as is his journey through history, recounting key events that occurred when Neptune was previously in his home sign of Pisces, as he is now.

As an astrologer, Forrest’s books have provided me with a much deeper understanding of Neptune’s influence than I had before.  It helped me understand numerous things which have occurred during this period and provided excellent ideas for dealing with them and channeling that energy that will contribute to my personal evolution in a positive way.  I feel as if he has thrown me a life-jacket when I needed it most, the fact this book came into my hands at this time an example of the synchronicity he describes.  It also makes sense that in the past few months I’ve become involved with a local astronomy group that conducts star parties every month where I’ve had the opportunity to look into Neptune’s realm, now understanding why this experience has felt so profound.  Somehow gazing out into space helped me feel more grounded.  Now I understand why.

If you feel as if you’ve lost your footing, are sinking in quicksand or adrift on a large body of water with no land in sight, there’s a good chance that Neptune is involved.  If that’s the case, I can’t recommend this book highly enough.  The price is a far cry less than a psychologist, especially one who doesn’t augment his or her practice with astrology.  It has not only provided me with the answers I was looking for, but made me a better astrologer who can be more helpful to any of my clients going through Neptune’s often dark and mysterious waters.

You can pick up a copy of Steven Forrest’s “The Book of Neptune” on Amazon here.

Teleportation: Science Fiction or Science Fact (Take Two)

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My first blog on this subject focused primarily on the similarities between Lawrence Krauss’ description of teleportation found in his book, The Physics of Star Trek, to that contained in the Teleportation Physics Study done for the Air Force Research Laboratory by Eric W. Davis at Warp Drive Metrics.  I found that particularly amusing since the steps involved in the latter were nearly verbatim to Krauss’ speculations.  The show stoppers to this method, however, were, if nothing else, the computing requirements to track every subatomic particle, convert it to energy, transport it at the speed of light and then get everything put back together again.  Formidable, indeed.

A Form of Psychokinesis

This time I’m going to look at one of the other possible means that has enjoyed positive experimental results, i.e. P-Teleportation, which is a form of psychokinesis (or PK) similar to telekinesis.  Telekinesis is the moving or bending of stationary objects without using any known physical force other than mental energy.  Often considered no more than a cheap parlor or magician’s trick, this phenomena has been investigated scientifically for years with numerous demonstrations provided for high ranking military officials and trained observers.  I swear I’m not making this up.

This teleportation method is particularly fascinating to me as an science fiction author since two of the novels in my Star Trails Tetralogy employ mentally induced teleportation augmented/ amplified by a mysterious (fictitious) crystal I named cristobalite.  Needless to say, real-life experimentation in this regard blurs the lines between science fiction and science fact.

Robert Jahn (Dean Emeritus of the School of Engineering at Princeton) conducted scientifically controlled PK experiments at the Princeton University Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory and reported consistent results in mentally affecting material substances.  In the 1980s, Jahn noted at a meeting on the topic at the Naval Research Laboratory that such methods could be used by foreign adversaries to compromise aircraft.  It’s certainly no surprise that the military has a keen interest in such a phenomena, regardless of what “conventional wisdom” has to say about it.  If it works, it works, regardless of whether we understand why.

To quote a conversation from my sci-fi novel, Refractions of Frozen Time:

“My first thought is that they’re either more pure or maybe a different isotope than Tank crystals,” Creena stated.  “I’ll have Aggie run some tests and see if we can figure out what makes them work.”

“Who cares how they work?” Deven commented.  “Why does it matter? Can’t you just see what they can do instead?”

Creena paused, mouth agape, dumbfounded by his simple, yet profound logic.  He’s right, she thought.  It doesn’t matter.  Just because they didn’t know how the Think Tank connected thoughts with a specific location, much less got them there, didn’t make it any less effective.”

Documented Experimental Evidence

So, meanwhile, back to the teleportation report, psychic Uri Geller “was able to cause a part of a vanadium carbide crystal to vanish.  The crystal was encapsulated so it could not be touched, and it was placed in such a way that it could not be switched with another crystal by sleight of hand.”

Similar experiments were conducted in the Peoples Republic of China, the results of which were published clear back in 1981.  Gifted children were able to cause the apparent teleportation of small objects to another location meters away.  More research was conducted by the Aerospace Medicine Engineering Institute in Beijing which was reported in the Chinese Journal of Somatic Science in 1990 and translated into English by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).  All objects teleported were “completely unaltered or unchanged from their initial state, even the insects were unaffected by being teleported.”

The collective results from several Chinese experiments corroborated similar conclusions.  Different research groups, experimental protocols and psychics were used as well as a variety of test specimens ranging from insects to radio micro-transmitters sealed within sealed containers comprised of a variety of different materials.  Time required for teleportation varied, ranging from a fraction of a second to several minutes, which didn’t depend upon the item, containment barrier, protocol or psychic involved.

Recording methods included high-speed photography and videotaping, which showed that, in some cases, the specimens would physically “meld” or blend with the walls of the sealed container, while others simply disappeared and reappeared elsewhere.  There was no indication that the object disintegrated/reintegrated.  The report noted that “The average person’s sensory organs were unable to perceive the specimen’s (ambiguous) existence during the teleportation process.”

I find the implications of the insects particularly interesting since they represent a living entity.  The micro-transmitter was also notable in that it showed “large fluctuations in the intensity (in both amplitude and frequency) of the monitored signal to the effect that it would either completely disappear or become extremely weak”, indicating the object was “nonexistent” or in an altered physical state during teleportation.

There was no change to either the specimen or the container’s wall/barrier with both complete, solid objects.  Best of all, these results were repeatable, and thus not a fluke, plus any possibility for fraud or sleight of hand were eliminated by the experiment protocols with several highly credible witnesses present.

During the Cold War era, the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pack allies conducted numerous experiments on parapsychology and paraphysics, a field they referred to as psychotronics research.  The U.S. Army conducted similar experiments, now unclassified, that related primarily to remote viewing.

78px-Single_and_double_slit_4Some researchers indicated a new physics, which combined human consciousness with quantum and spacetime physics, was required to fully explain PK phenomena, a concept with which I heartily agree.  After all, early quantum physics experiments such as the double slit experiment indicated the affect of an observer from the git-go, but of course “rational” scientists have made every possible effort to explain this away.

Discouraging the belief in such things continues in varying degrees, from Dr. Venkman’s bogus telepathy experiments in the movie Ghostbusters to stories found in tabloids like The National Enquirer.  Is it possible that discouraging the belief in such things via mockery is an effort to prevent individuals from uncovering abilities that could endanger the powers that be?

Evidence of a 4th Dimension?

The author of this paper suggested a hypothesis based on mathematical geometry, i.e., the existence of a 4th dimension which introduces an extra degree of freedom.  He states, “It has been proposed that our space actually possesses a slight four-dimensional hyperthickness, so that the ultimate components of our nervous system are actually higher dimensional, thus enabling the human mind/brain to imagine four-dimensional space.”

This implies we can see into a 4th dimension and have four-dimensional thoughts.  This reminds me of the “thoughts become things” belief prominent among various motivational proponents such as Mike Dooley and others plus explained in the movie “The Secret”.  My thoughts also turn to all those items that I’ve carefully deposited in the proverbial “safe place” only never to find again.  Did I perhaps inadvertently send them to a 4th dimension where they are forever safe, albeit lost?

Physical or Metaphysical Phenomena?

I’m a physicist who spent over two decades working in the very corporeal aerospace industry.  In spite of my training as a physicist, however, I turned to the “dark side” to embrace astrology, so much so that upon my retirement in 2009 I came “out of the closet” as the professional astrologer who’s behind the website, ValkyrieAstrology.com.  In case you haven’t figured it out, I walk that nebulous line between physics and metaphysics with ease.  Astrology, as you probably know, is enthusiastically debunked by scientists in spite of the fact that it’s been around for millennia and works quite nicely in spite of their disbelief.

bookofneptunecoverLooking at things from the astrological side, weird, woo-woo phenomena like P-Teleportation resides largely within the domain of the planet, Neptune.  Steven Forrest is renowned worldwide as astrologer who has recently released a book entitled, “The Book of Neptune.”  Forrest explains that currently Neptune is in the sign of its astrological dignity, i.e. Pisces, in which Neptune’s energy is not only particularly strong but has historically delivered a huge shift in spiritual paradigms.  Forrest explains:

“Aquarius is a Fixed sign of the Air family.  Fixity, expressed negatively, is simply rigid–think of rigor mortis.  And Air is mental energy; it is about ideas.  Add Neptune to the mix, and you see spiritual ideas that have lost their elasticity and their ability to excite and enliven anyone.  The scholars and the bureaucrats have eclipsed the mystics.  This morbid condition is eternally the natural prelude to Neptune’s entry into Pisces and the spiritual awakening it implies.  Before the spiritual renaissance can happen, there is a period of spiritual deadness, in which dull, unchanging ideas and interpretations of the divine have replaced genuine magic.” (The Book of Neptune, p. 297)

“I would add yet another piece to the puzzle: the convergence of physics and mysticism.  Religion and science have often had an uneasy relationship. They still do, in many ways. And of course science itself is a religion to many people…And yet, I believe that the division between science and spirituality is healing–that science, at its best, is simply human reason struggling toward the truth of things…” (Ibid, pp. 304-305)

Forrest further suggests that the time between now and 2026 will see quantum leaps in this area.  I, for one, can hardly wait.

heisenbergquoteThis brings to mind forward thinkers like Fritjof Capra, author of The Tao of Physics, published initially clear back in 1976.  This book definitely served as a prelude to a melding of science and mysticism.  He begins this fascinating work with one of my all-time favorite quotes from Werner Heisenberg, which states, “It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet.  These lines may have their roots in quite different times or different cultural environments or different religious traditions: hence if they actually meet, that is, if they are at least so much related to each other that a real interaction can take place, then one may hope that new and interesting developments may follow.”

deanw-bookPerhaps Neptune’s subtle influences will facilitate the removal of the stigma associated with metaphysical phenomena sufficiently to allow such collaboration.  I suspect researchers such as Dean Radin, whose specialty is psi phenomena, and popular physicist Michio Kaku, a proponent of a multi-dimensional universe, could come up with some incredibly interesting insights.

The coming decade indeed promises to be an interesting one.  My fondest hope is that I’ll figure out how to recover all those items I secured in that safe place, somewhere in the 4th dimension.

 

Astrological Archetypes & The History Channel

plutocap2 copy

Astrology is so much more than a person’s sun sign. Yet that’s usually about all the average person knows about it. Some may have a vague idea of the basic personality traits of those born under theirs and perhaps other signs. As a professional astrologer, I see the influence of this ancient art all around me. The ancients declared “As above, so below” with good reason. Astrology is much more than the placement of the Sun; it includes the sign each planet occupies as well, and when you really get into it, the stars, constellations and asteroids as well. It’s mind-boggling to say the least, yet fascinating, as you see influences that fit like the proverbial glove.

One that has recently stood out for me is the influence of the planet, Pluto, while he transits through the sign of Capricorn. This began January 27, 2008, though there were a few times after that when Pluto returned to Sagittarius due to retrograde motion. This occurred between June 15 and November 27 of that same year. Since then he’s been there to stay, at least until March 24, 2023 when he’ll first set foot in Aquarius.

At this point you’re probably wondering “So what?” Patience, dear reader, I’m getting to that. In order to notice, much less appreciate, these effects, you first need to understand the underlying meaning of both Pluto and his current sign of residence, Capricorn. As you probably know, Pluto is the Roman god of the Underworld, known by numerous other names, depending on which culture’s mythology you favor. Most mythological characters represent an archetype, defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as “an original model or type after which other similar things are patterned.”

To get a general idea of what this means, read the myth about Pluto (Greek Hades); Proserpina (Greek Persephone); and Ceres (Greek Demeter) where, through intrigue, Pluto kidnapped Cere’s daughter, Proserpina, and took her into the Underworld to be his queen. Using this myth as a model, some of the things Pluto represents astrologically are derived, e.g., power, control, corruption, the Underworld, anything buried beneath the surface, intrigue, and abductions. His domain also includes atrocities, death, catacombs, dictators, pirates, vampires, devastation, holocausts, and oddly enough, transformations such as rebirth (e.g., resurrection or the Phoenix arising from the ashes). Forensics and anything that exposes and eliminates corruption such as that required for purification and healing are included as well. These are but a few examples of the type of energy that Pluto emanates.

The zodiac sign in which a planet resides provides it with a specific environment where this energy is expressed and thus directed toward certain areas influenced by that sign. For example, Capricorn is considered the ruler of governments and their officials, politicians, building foundations, cemeteries, bones, excavations, administrators, anything old, order, time (think of the decrepit old man who represents the outgoing year at New Year’s Eve which just happens to be when the Sun is in Capricorn), and responsibility, to name a few. Also note that “history” is ruled by Saturn, Capricorn’s ruler, and is obviously something old. Neptune rules secrets and mysteries, and he’s involved, too, as he hangs out in Pisces, the sign he rules, so solving old mysteries that touch upon history through excavations is another thing to look for.

So what do you think Pluto will be up to during his trek through Capricorn? One way to see it manifested would be power grabs and control efforts by governments and administrators. All you have to do is pay attention to the news to see evidence of that. Exposure of corruption and those things that lie beneath the surface, literally and figuratively, is another expression of this energy. Think there’s any of that going on? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular televisions shows for clues.

The following examples just happen to be on The History Channel or its high definition version known simply as H2. Most are viewable online. I realize this blog is turning into a plug for The History Channel, which wasn’t my initial intent.  Nonetheless, it’s one of my favorite channels due to its content and I’m familiar with most of these shows, which fit the Pluto in Capricorn archetype so nicely. Indeed, they were so obvious that they inspired this blog in the first place.

The Curse of Oak Island – Two brothers investing a significant amount of resources in trying to find the various treasures supposedly hidden by everyone from pirates to the Knights Templar on this island off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Hunting Hitler – Investigates claims made by formerly classified FBI files which indicate Adolf Hitler did not commit suicide in his bunker at the conclusion of World War II but followed a carefully constructed plan supported by an alliance with Spain to escape to South America.

Pirate Treasure of the Knights Templar – Explores possible connections between what you would expect would be very diverse groups.

America Unearthed – A forensic geologist investigates various North American sites that provide evidence of pre-Columbian presence from the Great Lakes to Arizona and various other locations inbetween.

Brad Meltzer’s Decoded – Author, Brad Meltzer, assembled a team comprising an historian, attorney and engineer to investigate any number of mysteries ranging from Secret Societies to UFOs at Area 51.

Engineering Disasters – Investigates the cause of various disasters that involved engineering. Some may have had unknown causes or been suppressed from public knowledge.

Cities of the Underworld – Little known, less-than-charming facts about underground features of various cities around the world.

A broad scope of documentaries that prompt and/or investigate archaeological digs worldwide are out there as well on PBS channels and various others. See how many you can find that fit the mold. Give some thought, also, to the renewed fascination with vampires, which just doesn’t seem to go away, as well as the zombie frenzy.

In case you’re wondering what happened the last time Pluto was in Capricorn, that was over two hundred years ago. With an orbital period of 246 years he’s a bit of a slow mover. The last time the God of the Underworld entered Capricorn was on January 8, 1762, to be exact. The American Revolution occurred during that passage. No telling what this one will bring.

For more about Pluto’s astrological influences through the signs, visit my astrological website http://www.valkyrieastrology.com/Makeover/Planets/Pluto.htm.

P.S. I confess that the illustration above is not astrologically correct. The first person to tell me why can have a free download of “Whobeda’s Guide to Basic Astrology.”

Stock images copyright 123RF.com

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Some things are too weird to explain. Now before I step into territory that’s way, way out there, let me preface it with the fact it takes a lot for something to be so off-the-scale that I can’t even explain it in a fictitious manner. After all, among other things I AM a science fiction writer who has come up with all sorts of things. But this is real. At least if you believe in stuff like astrology.

You may or may not know that I’m a professional astrologer, another hat that I wear when I’m not writing science fiction. Yes, I have a physics degree, and yes, I worked at NASA for over twenty years and yes, there actually is a thread albeit a tenuous one, holding those three things together in that they all involve space in one form or another.

8489944_sIn college I was “taught” that astrology was nothing more than myth and superstition and I believed them. I believed them so much that when I was writing a novel several years ago that had a physicist protagonist I decided to make his ex-wife into astrology to make her as annoying as humanly possible. Wanting my book to have the details correct meant I had to learn a little bit about astrology, so I found a used paperback copy of “Sun Signs” by Linda Goodman as a start. And much to my shock, I discovered that it worked!

It was several years before I got into astrology more seriously but a year or so before I retired I started studying with the International Academy of Astrology, eventually graduated from their professional training program and started practicing via my website, ValkyrieAstrology.com. This course of study took years and felt equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. I was astounded (and still am) about how much there was to learn and how much I didn’t know (and still don’t).

As a writer, I immediately recognized that knowing the characteristics of the different sun signs can come in very handy for developing characters. I even have a blog about it called “Creating Star Characters.” Then I did a character interview for Susanne Leist’s “The Dead Game” character, Shana Logan. I created the astrological chart from scratch based on how Shana acted in the book. It was apparent she was an Aries due to her impulsive sense of adventure and her bright, flashy manner of dressing threw some Leo in there, too. She was creative and multi-faceted in a way that hinted at a Sagittarius Moon. I plugged the data into my report software and a complete description came out that was very much as expected and surprised Susanne.

shanaloganNCSince the chart was fabricated entirely by me including selecting a birth date and tweaking the timing to fit, this wasn’t that much of a surprise.

Sometime later, however, in working with fellow author, Elle, Klass, it inadvertently went to the next level. Elle had given her characters an actual birth date and place as part of her character development process. First, I must explain that Elle is not an astrologer. She didn’t specifically decide that Eilida would have the traits of an Aries when she chose April 5 as her character’s date of birth. Having read the book (“Eilida’s Tragedy: Eye of the Storm Book 1”), however, I had already pegged her as one so had to smile when Elle told me the date. The character’s penchant for detail implied Virgo so I arranged her time of birth to provide a Virgo ascendant. I ran another natal report. Not only was the character’s backstory implied but it also included allusions to events to come in the next book in the series. We were both astounded

Having had that work so well, we decided to run a report for her antagonist, Evan O’Connor, as well. I gotta say he’s one of the nastiest villains ever to grace a fictitious page and I’m glad he’s not real. And lo and behold, the results fit him just as well, right down to his attachment to his mother.

CBS teaser 2Like I said earlier, Elle loves details, which is one thing that makes her such a superb writer, so she had dates of key events in her book as well so I ran what is called a transit chart and compared it to the character’s natal charts. (For those of you unfamiliar with astrology, a transit chart is the position of the planets at a given time and place. These interact with the horoscope of the person and create certain energies which fit the archetypes of events and situations around them.) Again, the fit was so accurate that it was downright creepy.

How could it be?

These were fictitious characters involved with fictitious events fabricated by a very human author yet they fit as well as if they were real.  Huh???

That certainly introduces some extremely interesting philosophical and metaphysical speculations. As an author myself, I know how characters take on a life of their own. After you’ve been writing for a while you learn to let them be born as opposed to created and watch them spring to life endowed with a personality that often brings surprises as you turn them loose within the framework of your plot. But how could these characters have a natal chart that then proceeds to fit the transits of subsequent events in a novel?

Frankly, I have no idea. I do maintain that whether real or not each moment contains a certain unique energy. As a physicist I believe that astrology’s mechanism resides in the mysterious world of quantum mechanics and the concept of quantum entanglement. When a baby takes its first breath, leaving his or her previous home in another dimension to be joined with a physical body, s/he takes the cosmic energy of that moment with him or her. Then, as the planets move through their cycles those changes are felt by the original imprint. I know that is probably a stretch but hopefully someday we’ll know for sure. Until someone comes up with something better it seems to fit.

To make a long story short, my astrologer persona, Whobeda, eventually became a character in Elle’s upcoming book, “Calm Before the Storm: Evan’s Sins,” to be released next week along with some of the astrology we pursued along the course of the story. You can find her interview with Whobeda on here blog here. The beauty of it is if any of her readers are into astrology they’ll recognize it as accurate, even if they go so far as to check the charts.

CBS award ebookWhile I may not be able to explain why it works, nonetheless it does. As a fiction writer myself I definitely plan to use this to my advantage in upcoming works. You can find “The Calm Before the Storm” via links below.

VIDEO TRAILER:

https://youtu.be/fVZG22ydbM0

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1FECDEx

Amazon.co.uk – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Calm-Before-Storm-Ruthless-Trilogy-ebook-x/dp/B015VD6856/

Amazon.ca – http://www.amazon.ca/Calm-Before-Storm-Ruthless-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B015VD6856/

Amazon.com.au – http://www.amazon.com.au/Calm-Before-Storm-Ruthless-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B015VD6856/

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/571520

Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Elle_Klass_The_Calm_Before_the_Storm?id=JlufCgAAQBAJ

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-calm-before-the-storm-evan-s-sins

Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-calm-before-the-storm-evans-sins-elle-klass/1122731283

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/calm-before-storm-evans-sins/id1045083502

Blog Tour: Susanne Leist’s “THE DEAD GAME”

I read “The Dead Game” several months ago with my review and interview with its author, Susanne Leist, elsewhere on this blog site. I’m not usually a horror or vampire fan but I thoroughly enjoyed Susanne’s story with its vivid imagery and convincing characters to say nothing of its well-sustained suspense. I am thus more than happy to participate in this blog tour where you will find an excerpt from the book, a fictitious interview with one of the characters whom I found particularly interesting due to our shared interest in astrology, and a short biographical sketch of Susanne. Those of you who are into astrology yourself will undoubtedly enjoy Shana’s “natal chart” and the “transit chart” for the party at End House. 🙂

EXCERPT FROM “THE DEAD GAME”

pic for excerptCHAPTER 22

Their car neared the house. A stunning sight unfolded before their eyes. Encased in a tight circle of trees, shimmering from the lights strung through their heavy branches, the glass house sparkled against the dark night sky: a huge glass ball shooting green sparks of light from within its rounded walls. Its great dome twinkled as radiantly as the multitude of stars shining down from above.

Todd left the car with the valet and led the way up the marble stairs to the rounded front door. Two armed men, dressed in tuxedos, guarded the door, their holstered guns only slightly marring the fantasy image running through Linda’s vivid imagination: for as soon as she turned away to admire the scenery, she was once again in fantasyland.

The panorama facing her was doused in white. Gleaming white snow caps covered the tops of the tall trees and the great dome of the house. Snow was falling on them from somewhere. She could feel snowflakes melting on her lips. They felt wet, like real snowflakes. She touched her face and hair. Her hand came away wet. She had snow on her fingertips. She searched the grounds for a snow machine, but couldn’t locate anything—not on the glass domed roof or in any of the trees. She couldn’t believe that genuine snow was falling on them from the dark sky. The landscape resembled a winter wonderland despite it being fall in Florida.

Todd placed his hand against her back to escort her into the house. The others followed them into the glowing green ball that was alive with dazzling lights, music, and laughter.

Once inside, Linda was mesmerized by the glittering glass walls that mirrored the dancing images of the guests twirling around the marble dance floor. These images were cast in bright halos of light reflected from the myriad of crystal chandeliers hanging throughout the room.

Soft candlelight from mounted crystal sconces flickered across the intricate patterns carved into the green walls. It was the most beautiful and fascinating house that she had ever seen. She glanced back and watched Shana’s mouth drop open. She was certain that Shana would agree that the house appeared simply magical.

Couples were swirling around the immense dance floor. They were dancing in a large studio between Diane’s life-sized statues. Each sculpture was carved from clear glass: each one revealing a full-sized person. Linda found them to be too lifelike. She stood next to one and stared into it frozen face. She was startled by a fleeting expression of horror that seemed to cross over its features; as if a real person was trapped inside, staring out at her from within his glass tomb. Then the look was gone and the statue appeared lifeless once again.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Game-Susanne-Leist-ebook/dp/B00F3IWF70/

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dead-game-susanne-leist/1116825442

Shana Logan is a close friend of “The Dead Game’s” main character, Linda.  She is a Tarot reader and astrologer so of course she’s my favorite since I’m also an astrologer.  I had fun with Shana talking about astrology, her Aries Sun Sign and the astrology in effect for the infamous party at End House.

INTERVIEW WITH “Dead Game” character, Shana Logan

MF: As an astrologer I get the impression that you have strong Aries influences based on your red hair, natural curiosity, competitive spirit and sometimes impulsive behavior. Have I guessed correctly?

SL: Yes, I have an Aries Sun plus a Leo ascendant and Sagittarius Moon so my “big three” form a Grand Fire Trine. Needless to say I have a rather generous helping of Fire in my chart which gives me a lot of spunk and energy. I love nice things and always dress in pretty, bright colors, which is obviously my Leo ascendant. My curiosity is greatly enhanced as well as my interest in so many different things derives from my Sag Moon.

MF: Aries typically love sports. Besides volleyball, which are your favorites?

SL: I have my sign ruler, Mars, in the 11th house of groups so I love team sports of all kinds. One of my favorites in high school was track, as you would expect with these long legs of mine. I could compete with the others in my team while helping the team as a whole by doing well. As you know, Aries don’t like to lose. I love tennis, too, both singles and doubles. I’ve played in a couple tournaments and had a blast.

MF: What sets off your temper the fastest? In other words, what’s your pet peeve?

SL: Hahaha! I hate being told what to do. Like that time when Sam called me “sweetheart” and accused me of being too independent. Of course I am, and proud of it, and that’s the very reason I like to make my own decisions. I admit sometimes I react too quickly and get into trouble but then I have no one to blame but myself.

MF: What is the most interesting thing you’ve discovered while doing an astrological reading?

SL: When there’s an accident, destructive storm or major event I always like to check the chart and see what was going on in the heavens. I found it fascinating that for the Boston Marathon bombing a few years ago that the asteroid named Marathon was in a key place of the chart, right on the Midheaven, which suggested it would be in the news. There was also a massive tornado, the one that killed some professional storm chasers, which occurred when an asteroid did a fly-by of Earth.

I don’t believe in coincidences and find these show that something is definitely going on astrologically. Also, with all that fuss about December 21, 2012, I could tell by the chart that the world wasn’t going to end. It implied a shift in consciousness, which seems to apply since things have been a bit different since then. Probably because everyone thought they were going to die. An 8th house experience for the world, where the 8th house includes transformations, death, intense experiences and so forth.

MF: You did a Tarot reading for the party at End House. Did you run an astrological chart as well? If so, how did that correlate with the cards?

SL: They complemented each other in a very scary way. For one thing, it had a Cardinal Grand Cross which usually is a bad sign, anyway. Deception was clearly part of the event as well as potentially lethal aggression with Mars ruling the chart and the 8th house of death. Pluto was on the Midheaven opposing Jupiter in the 4th showing a public display of power and control taking place in someone’s home. The only favorable aspect in the entire chart was a trine between Saturn and Neptune which of course wasn’t fortunate but indicated further the dissolving of boundaries with Neptune conjunct the 12th house cusp, more indication of hidden enemies.

MF: How much does your ability to read people relate to reading their horoscope?

SL: Of course I gather people’s birth data whenever I can get it out of them but needless to say the people in Oasis, at least the old-timers, weren’t very willing to share theirs since the date alone would have been very telling. It’s no wonder they were trying to drive me out of town. Astrology can reveal all sorts of things besides a person’s natural inclinations, however. Going into property records and obtaining the date when people closed on their store or property revealed a lot as well. At least when I could get it. Sometimes it went back so far I couldn’t ever track it down.

My friends are usually more than willing to provide their information to me in return for a free reading. I don’t mind because it’s fun to get to know them at that level and help them understand themselves a little better. I did a compatibility analysis for Mike and David which was hilarious. It totally showed why those two are always butting heads as well as why they are partners in an antique store.

MF: Are you psychic in addition to doing astrology and card readings?

SL: A little bit. I get strong impressions which I’ve learned the hard way that I should pay attention to. My independent and sometimes stubborn nature can bite me sometimes when I have a bad feeling but then someone tells me to be careful, which of course I can’t listen to! LOL! Usually when I get a bad feeling I turn to the cards or a horoscope and take it from there. I probably should have done a horary reading on the party and whether or not we should go. I’m less inclined to cut off my nose to spite my face when the advice comes from a chart!

MF: When your shop was ransacked did you check your transits to see what was going on?

SL: Of course! And there was all sorts of 12th house stuff which indicated an attack by a hidden enemy. Lots of this is apparent until after-the-fact because any astrological aspect has numerous interpretations and I try not to be totally paranoid about this place. Nonetheless, I’m paying more attention to my own transits than I did before after what has been going on here lately.

MF: Do you plan to stay in Oasis for the long haul? Or will you be leaving as a result of some of the unpleasant situations and strange characters you have for neighbors?

SL: My sense of adventure will probably keep me here unless things get a lot worse. I’ll keep an eye on that, needless to say, and pay close attention to what my transits and solar return has to say. I haven’t looked at it yet because I don’t mind a few surprises and don’t want to let my curiosity ruin my fun. I love to live each day as it comes and in most cases the more excitement the better. But even I have my limits and in spite of my Aries nature know when it gets to the point it’s time to turn tail and run. But not yet. There are too many unanswered questions I’m dying to find the answer to. Hopefully not literally. LOL.

SHANA’S NATAL CHART (Just for fun for the benefit of any other astrologers out there)

shanaloganchart

TRANSIT CHART FOR THE PARTY AT END HOUSE

deadgamepartychart

SUSANNE LEIST

Profile

Susanne Leist graduated with an M.B.A. in Finance. Wherever life has led her, through the hectic commodities’ markets or the number-crunching field of budgeting, she’s continued to read and daydream. Unbeknownst to her, she had been pursuing her dream all along, her dream of putting her words down on paper for everyone to enjoy. She currently resides on Long Island with her husband, two daughters, and Maltese.

Her first book, The Dead Game, is a paranormal thriller with humans, vampires, and vampire derivatives. Her goal has been to write a book different than the usual vampire story or murder mystery. She wanted a murder mystery with victims, clues, and suspects. She created that and much more. The book has revolving rooms, traps, falling cages, and anything her active imagination could create. The Dead Game is a fun ride into the realms of the supernatural.

The Cosmic Season for Editing and Revising

strasclock

If you’re a writer it would be to your advantage to know a little astrology. Not only can it help you develop your characters as noted in a previous blog but there are actually three times a year when the cosmic climate is particularly conducive to editing and revising.

If you don’t believe in astrology, that’s fine, I didn’t used to either. But you might want to give it a try because most writers, myself included, can use all the help we can get. So what exactly is this spell and why is it helpful? Stay tuned, I’m about to tell you.

It starts with the planet Mercury. In mythology Mercury a.k.a. Hermes was the messenger and the only one who could come and go to the Underworld. In astrology he rules communications of all varieties including your thoughts, ideas, writing and paperwork in general. In this day and age he also rules electronic communication devices such as cell phones, computers, television and the internet to name a few, plus anything mechanical, i.e. with moving parts, such as your lawnmower, small appliances, automobile and so forth.

If you’re already familiar with some astrology you’ve probably heard of Mercury Retrograde. While it’s intuitively obvious (or should be) that the planet Mercury does not reverse the direction of its orbit, as a rule three times a years he appears to move backwards in the sky compared to his usual direction. The reason for this is easily explained as similar to when you pass a car on the highway. You’re going faster so it appears the other is moving backwards, even though it’s not. Thus, when the Earth passes Mercury in its orbit you get the same effect.

So what? Hang on, I’m getting to that.

As I originally wrote this, Mercury was currently in that state which started on 4 October 2014 and lasted until 25 October. As noted earlier, this happens about three times a year so we are into it again between 21 January – 11 February 2015.  So far this current cycle looks like a doozy.  My computer is acting psycho and I’ve had numerous reports of misbehaving appliances and it’s only the first day.  Astrologically when a planet is retrograde (yes, they all do the backstroke from time to time) it internalizes its energy. During this spell you may notice more computer problems than usual, things may break down more often, traffic is often worse and so forth. Anything ruled by Mercury bogs down during this time. If you buy something ruled by Mercury during a retrograde period it’s likely to be a lemon. Furthermore, anything initiated during Mercury retrograde seldom comes to pass. For example if you interview for a job you’re less likely to get it with one possible caveat, that being if it’s a second interview with the same person. It’s also not a favorable time to sign a contract or lease.

Why? Because during Mercury retrograde it’s a time to rethink, redo, reconsider, revise, refine, repair and so forth. This is a time to slow down, stop, and look over past work, thoughts and decisions. For a writer this is an awesome time for editing and revising. This is when you go back and see your work through different eyes, giving you the ability to make positive changes. It’s not uncommon for writers to dislike this phase because you may feel stuck, your brain may not work as efficiently and your computer may be on strike. Any new endeavors started at this time are likely to bomb out and relate to yet another “re” word, i.e. regret. This is because you’re resisting the cosmic flow. Reviewing, revising and editing your work from time to time is essential if you want to produce professional quality work.

If you’re suffering from writer’s block this is the ideal time to look over what you have and see if it’s on the right track. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll be able to improve it, perhaps even make some critical changes you didn’t think of before. Don’t expect to make much progress with new endeavors which are likely to be an exercise in futility. Use this time to rework and refine.

Will you be out of the woods for new projects come 25 October? Possibly not. Until Mercury gets back to the zodiacal position where he stationed retrograde he’s in his “shadow period” when things are still stalled. This lasts until November 11, at which time once again it will be “all systems go.”

Even if you think that astrology is a bunch of myth and superstition give this some thought. Observing the world around you and how people behave is part of your job as a writer. See how many events and situations you can find which reflect this internalized energy, the cosmic climate designed to rethink, reconsider and revise. Few of us get it exactly right the first time and the Universe is well aware of our human frailties. Use these spells as they’re intended and you’ll find they can become some of your favorite times when you can polish your work to perfection. Use this one to advantage, the next one will be January.

If you’d like to learn more about such things as retrograde planets or just about anything else related to astrology you’re invited to visit my website www.valkyrieastrology.com.

Picture: Astronomical Clock, Cathedrale de Notre Dame, Strasbourg, France