January 26th, 2015

Van Morrison: Rave On, John Donne

Jim_Richardson_stones

Break, blow and burn. Van’s incantation will take you up and out; this song amazes me over and over again.
 
Rave on John Donne, rave on thy Holy fool
Down through the weeks of ages
In the moss borne dark dank pools

Rave on, down through the industrial revolution
Empiricism, atomic and nuclear age
Rave on down through time and space down through the corridors
Rave on words on printed page

Rave on, you left us infinity
And well pressed pages torn to fade
Drive on with wild abandon
Uptempo, frenzied heels
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January 07th, 2015

The One, Short, Five-Minute Documentary You Want to Watch Right Now To Counteract The Feeling That You’re Going Crazy

weird

I’ve written about filmmaker and provocateur Adam Curtis before. I suggest you read that post, Pop Culture’s Edgiest Truth-Teller, to see more of what he’s about.

But do so after you watch his latest short documentary that he created for the BBC’s year-in-review program 2014 Wipe. He spins an eerie cocoon of unsettling facts, images and propositions — all centered around a condition that is just as apt to American economics (and the political machine that support those tactics) as anything coming out of Russia or the UK. (I’m deliberately being vague so you watch the video below).

Curtis’ audio visual inquiry is an apt mirroring of the final release of the in-progress Uranus Pluto square (culminating in May of this year). Another way to read this square, as related to what Curtis is highlighting, would go like this:

It’s through the deliberate manipulation of future shock (a Uranian theme that the futurist Alvin Toffler framed many years ago) that a massive rape and robbery (big Pluto themes) are underway — all under the auspices of destabilization and confusion. That condition, too, would be the Pluto part of the equation — where any sense of proportion is lost. Where larger-than-the-imagination fortunes are the prize; as Curtis notes related to the mystery of ‘quantitative easing':

“…the Bank of England has admitted that those billions of Pounds are not going where they are supposed to. A vast majority of that money has actually found its way into the hands of the wealthiest five percent in Britain. It has been described as the biggest transfer of wealth to the rich in recent documented history. It could be a huge scandal, comparable to the greedy oligarchs in Russia. A ruthless elite, siphoning off billions in public money. But nobody seems to know.”

Who to trust as a vetted and informed realist for information delivery? And what if the destabilization and confusion are simply natural byproducts of a sociocultural breakdown that is inevitable when any system has maxed out its lunacy cycle. Perturbations are the norm in science when one form or system is impacted by another. The question remains as to what, exactly, this other system connotes. Evo- or de-evoltuion?

My sense is that all of this is a kind of ‘spinning beyond one’s personal control’ phenomena that our connection to the Internet exacerbates and throws into high relief. Bold, monstrous motions like this by an economic political body are akin to larger-than-life ‘selfies‘. Only the caption here would read: “Look! I can rape an entire culture.”

This is crime as art, and all artists, despite the threat of legal ramifications, want credit for their creations. And now the entire world can watch. But through a confused, scattershot lens.
 

 

Opening photograph: Flickr: xuenay / Creative Commons


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January 02nd, 2015

2015: Impressions and Transmissions

dulcac_2015_astrology
“Man is his own star; and the soul that can
Render an honest and a perfect man,
Commands all light, all influence, all fate;
Nothing to him falls early or too late.
Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.”
–John Fletcher’s Honest Man’s Fortune

The problem with predictions, especially astrological ones, is that they rarely, if ever, come to pass. So why do astrologers bother making them and why do readers keep reading them? I’d suggest you skip the obvious answer and consider what the writer Chuck Palahniuk tells us about the power of distraction — which in many ways predictions turn out to be:

“People don’t want their lives fixed. Nobody wants their problems solved. Their dramas. Their distractions. Their stories resolved. Their messes cleaned up. Because what would they have left? Just the big scary unknown.”

Of course much of the lure (and lore) of predictive astrology is about filling in the “scary unknown” with imaginary possibilities; scenarios that may or may not have any connection to how reality flows. As a diversion and pastime I suppose this sort of nonsense is entertaining, but if you’re sincere about employing astrology to assist in the development of consciousness — no.

With Saturn’s recent entry into Sagittarius this theme — diversion and how it robs us of our allotted amount of time in life — becomes a self-assessment worth engaging. To not examine our life with this intent we fall prey to a harsh form of self-loathing; the shadow side of Saturn’s transits through the fire signs. Here Saturn decrees: “Create!” To not is to live a half-life.

We are like plants, all of us — and light is food.

The all and everything of astrology is about light. The generation of light, the mechanics of light — the movement and dispersement of light and how light enlivens the inert qualities of a body (yours, or say, a planet’s), when it interacts with the atmosphere of said body. That catalytic force translates into expressions, facets or faces of being that make each form or entity unique.

This is why astrology is always fresh — or should be. Meaning, in order for astrology to be relevant to each of us in the here and now it must be released from the too-tight limitations of predictive language, which always reflects back on a lexicon that is ultimately limited in that it has little to do with where everything, everyone is now.

The Saturn of 200 years ago is not the same Saturn of 2015, anymore than the you of 1985 is related to the you of 2015. This is the shortcoming of the notion that astrology is a language. Better to say that astrology is informed by a living logos than a set of conceptual descriptions etched in stone. Free astrology from the notion of archetypes (by which it is currently crippled) and you enter the ‘scary unknown.’ And that’s a good place to start living from should you desire a sense of life that is always fresh; free from someone else’s opinion or cosmology. Again, this is a Saturn in Sagittarius theme. Not everyone will rise to this sort of clarion call of freedom.

Saturn, as the furthest planet from the Sun that allows light to be reflected back to earth and recorded with the naked eye, pinpoints where the pile of grist awaits each of us. Meaning, within the theater of reality, wherever Saturn is transiting the prima materia (the starting material required for any alchemical process) arises, making itself known through the various themes and reality bands corresponding to the signs (or planets) being transited. Read more



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October 27th, 2014

Nick Dagan Best: The Human Ephemeris

nick_dagan_best_astroinquiry
Nick Dagan Best is an astrologer, researcher, speaker, and writer. He has delivered presentations for numerous regional astrology associations across the U.S., and at conferences such as NORWAC (2005, 2006), The Blast (2007), SOTA (2011), and UAC (2008, 2012). He contributes regularly to Astrology.com’s Today In History feature. More information about Nick is available on his website NickDaganBest.com. And on Twitter @nickdaganbest.

 

Ask astrologer Nick Dagan Best what school of astrology he practices and he will answer: “Astrology.”

His pointed, slightly sardonic response is echoed in his list of must-read books for beginning astrologers. When I requested recommendations for our interview, he offered, right at the number 1 spot: “The ephemeris — any version.” Because, as he explained: “It is the combined biography of billions of souls.”

And Nick oughta know. He has a reputation within the astro community for being a ‘human ephemeris’. Though, as he told me when we met for some libations and philosophizing recently, “I still don’t have Mercury and the Moon entirely down pat yet.” (“Jesus, I’m still trying to recall what sign Mars is transiting right now,” I thought to myself.)

Name an event from history and Best will tell you where Saturn and Jupiter were positioned and if Venus or Mars were retrograde or not on that date. This happened throughout the evening as we discussed the birth charts and defining moments (and the retrogrades that accompanied them) of Miles Davis, Alfred Hitchcock and J. Edgar Hoover. Dotted throughout with tidbits about the history of the United States and the planet Uranus (the subject of his new book) and the revelation that Joni Mitchell always referred to her favorite white Mercedes as her “baby” and, of course, where the planets were the night her “baby” was stolen. Read more



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September 22nd, 2014

How to Write About Astrology — or Not

astrology_disasters

“Real seriousness in regard to writing is one of two absolute necessities.
The other, unfortunately, is talent.” –Ernest Hemingway

The internet has fostered the madcap idea that — given the collapse of print publishing and the world of editors and agents — everyone should be writing. Something.

Or recording music.

Or painting. Drawing. Doodling.

But — uh oh — so many can’t.

Years ago the author Toni Morrison exclaimed to whomever (whoever?) was listening that everyone in the world had a book inside of him (or her) that was just waiting to be written. Uhm, checkmate! Another author, the gadfly Fran Liebowitz, interrupted Ms. Morrison and said: “This may be true, but please don’t write it.Read more



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