Astrology Palmistry and Politics

astrology-palmistry-and-politics

“The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding”

Hands reflect basic character. Astrology gives character context by defining life cycles, highlighting behavioral patterns, addressing habits, selecting timing, and understanding mass mindset in a generational context. Astrology views history through outer planetary transits and progressions and their interrelationships with their planetary brothers and sisters, ancestral fixed stars, and asteroid cousins through the astrological signs and houses. Astrologers practice Hermes principle of polarity “As Above, So Below”.

Hindsight is 20/20. History repeats itself. Let’s observe generational astrology through the lens of politics. George W Bush, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump share a Gemini lunar north node (December 24 1945 ~ August 11 1947). People born August 6 1964 ~ February 21 1966 (50–52) and March 15 1983 ~ Nov 1 1984 (32–33) share the same karma. It’s an invitation and responsibility to join society to share higher consciousness and lend humanity a helping hand so we can all exercise higher mind. It’s easy to see how Bill Clinton and George Bush screwed up their chances. Donald Trump has already done more than his share of damage. How many gilded towers, glitzy gambling casinos, golden pedestals, graven images, beauty queens, shark tanks, and celebrity idols do we need? Bill (Leo), George (Leo rising), and Donald (Leo rising) all have damaged Leo egos and corresponding hubris. The dark side of the force is alive and well in them. Darth Vader plans to become the emperor and control the evil empire. We need Luke Skywalker, Yoda, and the Jedi knights. We must look in the mirror to find them.

The celebrities below share outer planetary symbolism. Notice how many actors have traveled between light and darkness in a paradox between the person they are and the roles they play. One person’s hero is another’s villain. There’s a lot of humanity and just as much inhumanity. Saturn and Pluto conjunct in Leo has much to do with justified violence and the struggle for power. My Saturn Pluto conjunction closely straddles my Leo mid-heaven. Thanks to a series of business disasters, I was able to let go of my hubris and get my priorities straight. It’s challenging to find a healthy balance between opposing forces when the dark force is so strong. I share a lot of planetary symbolism and karma with Donald. I’m taking responsibility for my Gemini north node by offering you a helping hand ~ your own.

1946-celebrities

1947-celebrities

Uranus changes sign every seven years. In Aries, (1927–1935) Uranus brought fierce individualism, pioneering spirit, abundant energy, and limitless financial resources to bring concepts to fruition. It was the only outer planet to transit the sign of Aries in the twentieth century. Uranus invigorated the collective psyche through revolutionary and technological changes. Physics and astronomy created the “Big Bang” theory of an ever-expanding universe. The Neutron was discovered. Mao Tse-Tung began his `22 years in the wilderness’ where he developed guerrilla warfare tactics that ultimately conquered China. Leon Trotsky was expelled from the communist party. The federal government entered the field of hydroelectric power with Boulder Dam. The stock market crashed, forcing people to re-examine their values and institutions.

Uranus completed its eighty-four year cycle in the spring of 2011 as it turbulently returned to Aries to crumble regimes, topple demagogues, ignite cities, and fuel the Arab Spring that spread across the Mid-East. Devastating earthquakes in Japan forever changed how governments look at nuclear power policies. Protestors in Spain set the stage for Occupy Movements in New York and London. Osama Bin Laden was killed. His sighting appeared on Twitter before it was officially announced by the Whitehouse. WikiLeaks raised our consciousness of government secrets and conspiracies. We’ve seen our share of extremes ~ 1% vs 99%, capitalism vs values, partisan politics vs democracy, religious fundamentalism vs spirituality, and humanitarianism vs terrorism.

People born from 1935 to 1942 have Uranus in Taurus. Society began focusing on their values and questioning materialism. President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Labor organized, forming unions that went on strike and engaged in sit-downs across the nation. President Roosevelt defended the Four Essential Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. Partisan politics has steadily undermined those freedoms, including social and national security. The wealthy have expectedly gained, while so many people have experienced sudden and unexpected reversals. Uranus will return to Taurus after 84 years in early 2018 for another seven years. The New York Stock Exchange and Federal Reserve are bulls. Expect unexpected extreme financial fluctuations, public outrage, and mass rebellion that will begin a fundamental philosophical paradigm shift in global values.

When the planet Uranus transited the sign of Gemini from 1942 to 1949, the emphasis in this country shifted to education. The U.S. Supreme Court abolished religion in public schools. The GI Bill enabled thousands of people to go to college. Occupations in communications fields like radio and television became more prevalent. In 1946, the first computer calculation began at the University of Pennsylvania.  It was called ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). Columbia Records introduced the 33 1/3 rpm “long playing record”. The Atomic Energy Commission was created. The United Nations held its first session in London. The United States joined NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

Bill, George, Bernie, Hillary, and Donald have Uranus in Gemini. Bill and George have Uranus conjunct their north node. Donald has the sun and Uranus conjunct his north node opposing his moon in Sag.  You’d think that with all the north node in Gemini karmic debt, our public servants would be gratefully and graciously serving their country while raising the bar on education, energy, environment, each other, and the rest of us.

Bill, George, Hillary, and Donald have Neptune in Libra. While the planet Neptune transited Libra from 1942 to 1957, nuclear weapons began proliferating. The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. President Truman instructed the Atomic Energy Commission to produce an even bigger `Hydrogen Bomb’. The United Nations began blossoming. International cartels became firmly established. The European Common Market was recognized. The civil rights movement flourished. Group psychology became popular. The World Council of Churches was established. Mother Francis Xavier Cabrini, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was the first American citizen canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. You’d think our public servants with Neptune in Libra would be promoting peace, tolerance, and caring.

The art world went through dramatic changes.  Allen Ginsberg became a popular poet writing, “I have seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness”. When Neptune left Libra in 1957, the bestselling novel was Peyton Place, focusing on sexual intrigue in a small town. Certainly, Bill, Hillary, and Donald have shared their shocking sexual melodramas. People born between 1942 and 1957 tend to be overly idealistic in relationships. We must learn to harmonize, compromise, and sacrifice or maybe we should resign ourselves to living among a dysfunctional humanity in a lunatic world.

Bill, George, Hillary, Bernie, and Donald have Pluto in Leo. Pluto takes approximately twenty years to change sign. When it does, it disintegrates, destroys, and transforms collective consciousness. Leo is the light source. Pluto is the dark force. While Pluto transited Leo from 1938 to 1957, national and personal pride and power transformed. Despite The New Deal, ten million people were unemployed in 1939.  President Roosevelt increased appropriations for building the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Congress adopted the Naval Expansion Act. Roosevelt transformed the Federal Reserve by creating the ‘withholding tax’, which was the beginning of social security. He became the first president to appear on television. These days, thanks to the media, politics has become entertainment and people vote for their favorite entertainers.

The House investigated un-American activities. It was the beginning of huge multi-national business conglomerates. Western Europe tried to appease Hitler with the Munich Pact, which turned Czechoslovakia over to Nazi Germany. Polls showed Americans approved. These sentiments have reawakened with Donald Trump. The Nazis invaded Poland, which caused Great Britain and France to declare war. Winston Churchill asked President Roosevelt for help. In 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Japanese Americans paid a high price as they were forced from their homes into concentration camps where they became innocent victims of hate and prejudice. Fundamentalist devotion to ideologies and tyrants began to crumble. In 1943, the fascist dictator Mussolini fell from power. By 1945, most of the world knew that six million Jews had been slaughtered in Nazi concentration camps. Can an emperor still catalyze this kind of consciousness and chaos these days? Youbetcha is the answer.

The atomic bomb was the ultimate plutonian weapon. After we bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered. In 1949, we supported a war in Korea that ended up killing three million Koreans in less than a year. In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy began his sensational tirade against communist subversives and traitors in the US. Julia and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to the electric chair for stealing bomb secrets. Perhaps a wall should be built around the USA to keep us from infecting the world.

In 1951, the United Nations complex was completed in New York City. AT&T became the first company with over a million stockholders. Christine Jorgensen became the first transsexual to go public in 1952. Norman Vincent Peale’s best seller, The Power of Positive Thinking was published. The first kidney was transplanted. The first mechanical heart was made to work. Chevrolet introduced the powerful sexy Corvette in 1953. The US launched the Nautilus, the first nuclear powered submarine in 1954. The Soviet Union opened the world’s first atomic power station. Reigning British Monarchs made their first visit to American soil. We reached for outer space.

Better known as the `ME NOW’ generation, people born between 1938 and 1957 have used technology to build personal power. Pluto in Leo rules capitalism and democracy. Rest assured, plutocrats will have little problem finding money, rights, resources, and technology to own, harness,  package, distribute, and sell our Sun’s energy to all of us as we struggle for our independence when Uranus returns to Leo (2039-2046) and Pluto (in Aquarius) opposes it near the end of its cycle.

Many people are preparing for ‘End Time’. It’s no surprise. The human race has become a race against bad shit happening. Rigid partisan beliefs and self-righteous attitudes have transformed us into horrible role models and lousy judges of our own characters and actions. Pious philosophers and pointless politicians pollute our greater purpose. Partisan paradigms and pestilent practices poison our psyche. Faulty families feast frenzily on flawed feelings, vague values, and toxic thinking that stimulate our fear, desperation, and hatred.

While we compartmentalize, analyze, and rationalize our ideologies and beliefs, we sacrifice our spirituality, virtue, integrity, dignity, and nobility on the altar of nonsense. Our selfish excesses compromise the immune system of our planet and the spirit of our people. We ignore root causes and treat symptoms with placebos as we wander aimlessly in the desert, worshipping sacred cows and coveting golden calves.

Let’s have a look at the hands and astrology of the candidates.

donald-trump

Donald Trump is a Gemini with Leo rising. His Leo hands embody the most negative attributes of Leo’s behavioral patterns that include being self-centered, self-indulgent, superficial, ostentatious, egotistical, ruthless, greedy, bossy, seductive, and a lousy role model. Why do people prostrate themselves before a naked self-appointed emperor on a gilded pedestal? What has happened to Donald’s (and our) humanity? It’s baffling to witness how a person can be so wealthy and spiritually bankrupt at the same time.

Mercury’s dark side is the trickster, magician, con-artist, and pick-pocket. Donald’s north node in Gemini is conjunct that archetype. Mercury square Neptune and corresponding curved pinkie fingers confirm Donald’s pathological dishonesty. If I were looking for dirt, I’d be checking the exact dates in 2011 and 2012 when Pluto squared, then opposed Donald’s Mercury Neptune square. I’d look for shenanigans on dates in 2012 and 2013 when Uranus opposed and squared that same combo.

Donald’s head and life lines are closely intertwined at their beginnings. Despite his aloof behavior, Donald craves your approval and cares a lot about what you think of him, though he doesn’t care about you. Donald’s day of reckoning is coming. In 2016, Uranus in Aries has been squaring Donald’s Saturn Venus conjunction in Cancer and will oppose it in 2017. His hubris will finally take him down when something so horrible that he has done that no one can accept will be exposed. George Bush had a similar problem. Hopefully, he’s gained some humility with hindsight.

Author’s note: many people have curved pinky fingers. They are not pathological liars, although a majority of people with curved pinkies are just trying to avoid confrontation. They’re peace makers because they learned as children to ‘be nice’ and ‘not make waves’. Many too often end up choosing safe over satisfying in their lives.

hillary-clintonHillary Clinton is a Scorpio with a Pisces moon square Uranus in Gemini. Her birth time is questionable, although most astrologers seem to agree that she has Scorpio rising. There’s no doubt that Hillary has secrets. She’s all water and fixity. Her only symbol in earth is her north node in Taurus. Hillary’s hands reveal a Capricorn personality, though she has no planets in Capricorn. Her square palms, straight short fingers, and separated head and life line reveal a natural manager. She embraces the responsibility of delegating every aspect of daily business while maintaining a long-range vision. She has no problem starting early or staying late to finish a task. She’s structured, disciplined, and focused, expects you to be on time, and do what you say. Hillary has no patience for excuses and doesn’t trust slick and flashy types (though she married one).

Hillary used to be an idealist. She’s much less conservative than most people think. She’d prefer to stray from the rules, but continues to support and be supported by a system that she doesn’t know how to change. Practical and prudent, she patiently bides her time until circumstances are right. She’s independent and freedom loving and hates bureaucracy, despite being a hostage of one. She gets quickly bored and impatient with routines. Hillary must have a worthy quest for her life not to get too mundane. She’s not possessive, but demands too little of her partner in her emotional life (low set pinky).

Hillary must listen more to her natural intuition and less to her handlers and backers. She’s got less charm (doesn’t need anyone’s approval), but greater executive abilities than Bill. Hillary’s powerful north node in Taurus opposes her Mercury in Scorpio. One of her great lessons is to understand the difference between want and need. There’s more than enough to go around in this world. From a karmic point of view, Hillary’s job is to help humanity wrap its psyche around humanitarian values and issues that really matter. I believe that if Hillary does become President, she’ll rise to the occasion.

With Saturn about to oppose and then square Hillary’s Moon Uranus square, you can bet she’s plenty frustrated right now and feeling distant from everyone. Unlike her opponent, it’s hard for Hillary to fake her feelings and not be real. She’d rather show than tell any day. If she’s elected she’ll meet with a lot of prejudice and staunch partisan opposition to everything she tries until the end of 2017. 2018 will be a year of reform for her and us as Uranus opposes her Sun.

Personal Publicity Stories #1

guru-of-garbage

In 1989, Sarah Ferguson, a freelance journalist for the Village Voice (NYC newspaper) called to interview me for an article she was writing about hand reading. She’d been to several gypsy fortune tellers and her experience impelled her to choose to expose palmistry as a scam. I’d avoided any publicity prior to her contacting me.

At 42, I’d been quietly practicing palmistry, astrology, and tarot for twelve years. I loved my anonymity, but I wasn’t about to let Sarah write that article without meeting a real palmist and that palmist had to be me. At the time, I was known as the ‘Guru of Garbage’, for my innovative uses of waste and recycled materials. I taught ‘Designing with Garbage’ classes at Parsons School of Design and co-moderated a ‘Design for the Environment’ think tank at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in NYC. I was a member of NYC’s Solid Waste Advisory Board, lectured at Universities and museums about designing for our environment, and spoke at community boards about developing better strategies for dealing with community waste. I volunteered for all sorts of eco-projects and preached to the converted for pennies. My design and craft work was exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. I was featured internationally in consumer magazines, newspapers, and on TV. This short video about my recycling and reuse work was featured on Fox, Good Day NY.

After Sarah interviewed me, her story became a feature article and the centerfold of the Voice. My secret and palmistry were out of the closet (so I thought). My good friends were jokingly calling me ‘the word incarnate’. I’d never mixed my design and metaphysics businesses before and was concerned the article would damage my design business. I also imagined people constantly waving their hands in my face. Fortunately, neither of those things happened. The recognition turned out to be positive. Other journalists began calling to interview me for their venues.  That was the start of all sorts of publicity, my obsession with psychic garbage, and the fateful launch of my career as a psychic garbage man. Here’s the article.

Taurus Hands

Taurus3

You don’t have to have a Taurus sun sign to be Taurean. ‘Pure Taurus types’ have pink, firm, elastic skin, bulging solid percussion under pinkie finger, stiff thumb and fingers, full rosy ball of thumb surrounded by long clear deep life line, clear deep lines and skin ridge patterns, very few peripheral lines, long graceful heart line ending under index finger, horizontal head line closely tied to the life line at their beginnings, predominantly loop and arch fingerprints, square finger tips, well developed lower knots on fingers with dominant middle and bottom phalanges. The hand above belongs to a unique Pisces.

Taurus is driven by their physical senses. These responsible, practical, pragmatic, objective, dependable, and reliable individuals understand how the material world works. They tend to get bogged down with practical and mundane matters that limit their abstract abilities and imagination. They trust what they can see and feel, not ideas, intuitions, or inspirations. As creatures of habit, they can get addicted to routine and order. They’re great at maintaining the status quo, but procrastinate at beginnings and endings. They must learn to pay attention to their habits and patterns from the get go.

Taurus is a feminine archetype. Aphrodite’s need for comfort and beauty can transform her visions of wealth and power into physical reality. Venus loves family, friendships, home, food, nature, art and music. Her strong need for physical security drives her practical attitudes. Honest, dependable, and trustworthy, she’s highly valued for her natural warmth and good sense. She won’t bend the truth or perform a song and dance act for anyone. She’s loyal, affectionate, and charming, but can also be controlling, jealous, and possessive. She thrives in real estate, banking, food, and fashion businesses. She’s not the best salesman because she takes rejection personally. Her greatest challenges are to trust her gut, give up control, and to let go when it makes no sense to hang on.

Many of the best bulls and worst minotaurs were born under the sign of Taurus.

white bull

Pope John Paul llPope John Paul ll was a radiant spirit who embodied the finest qualities of Taurus. He asked the rich to share their wealth with the poor. The first Pope to visit a synagogue, he encouraged Catholics and Jews to love one another. He survived an assassination attempt that nearly killed him and graciously rose to do battle with countless chaotic messes and reforms in the church.

 

Krishnamurti was a spiritual guide who shared good sense with whoever would listen.

Leonardo da Vinci was the original hipster ~ a great artist and inventor.

Sigmund Freud was father of modern psychoanalysis.

Karl Marx developed the theory of socialism.

Martha Graham was mother of modern dance.

Katherine Hepburn was Grande Dame of American stage and movies.

Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Tony Blair are anchors for Great Britain.

From the darkest depths of Tartarus arose a Minotaur from 1933 to 1945.

Adolf Hitler

“The great mass of people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than a small one”

Responsible for over thirty million deaths, Adolph Hitler transformed our world by harnessing anger, fear, and terror and combining it with the power of symbolism to control and manipulate the masses.

Jim Jones, a fanatic cult figure, led 1,000 people to mass suicide in 1978.

Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh showed no remorse for his evil.

Saddam Hussein (Iraqi President 79~06) was slain and shamed by our military.

Citizen KaneWilliam Randolph Hearst and Orson Welles (both bulls) battled stubbornly over the making and release of the movie, ‘Citizen Kane’. Kane was a Midas who Welles immodestly modeled after Hearst. Despite his natural charisma and brilliant acting and directing, Welles was no match for Hearst’s financial fortune and ability to influence the masses. Welles was determined and persistent in his righteous defiance of Hearst. Stubborn, acquisitive, possessive, and controlling, Hearst relentlessly tortured Welles with legalities and bludgeoned him with bad publicity until Welles could no longer afford his principles, rise to his challenges, or control his self-indulgences (a peril for Taurus).

‘Values’ are the esoteric correspondence for Taurus. Everything and nothing are of equal value; identical in nature, but different by degree. A billionaire dying of cancer will gladly trade his money for youth and good health. A glamorous celebrity with a brain damaged child will gratefully and graciously scrub toilets in Grand Central Station. People ask, “How long is my life?” Life is about quality, not quantity. Everyone dies.

‘Less is more’ learned King Midas as he yearned for the touch of gold, got it, and then turned his beloved daughter and their magical relationship into a hunk of metal. Food transformed to gold as it touched his lips. Midas is a lesson of values. How can we be stable, secure, and happy and let go of needless wants at the same time? Too little or too much of anything raises our awareness of what matters. Aphrodite (Greek) rules Taurus. Venus (Roman) loves and values her stability, security, sensuality, and splendor.

the great seal copyAlchemy is the science of turning lead into gold. It’s the art of turning Saturn into the Sun. We can combine courage with virtue, honesty with integrity, dignity with nobility, responsibility with discipline, structure with focus, and determination with persistence. We can cultivate healthy attitudes, think constructively, set realistic goals, and positively transform our inner and outer worlds. Embrace the best qualities of Aphrodite. Master darkness and manage your family; Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Ares, Zeus, Cronos, Vulcan, Poseidon, and Hades. We can all be our own best friends and bull shit detectors.

Common sense is not necessarily good sense. People apply formulas for success, yet few are truly successful. Unhealthy values point to unwholesome societies that point to unnatural paths of self-destruction. The human race has become a race against bad shit happening. Our major problems are not physical. They are symptoms of ideological, philosophical, and spiritual dysfunction. Success is a state of mind, heart, and spirit. Our health and the health of our world is a reflection of our thoughts and feelings. Must we be habitually and eternally challenged to learn to value what we have by losing it?

The New York Stock Exchange and Federal Reserve are bulls. Uranus transited Taurus from 1935 to 1942. The USA went off the gold standard. People began focusing on their values and questioning materialism. President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Labor organized, forming unions that went on strike and engaged in sit-downs across the nation. President Roosevelt defended the Four Essential Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear.

People born between 1935 and 1942 have Uranus in Taurus. Many have experienced sudden and unexpected gains and reversals. After 84 years, in 2019, Uranus returns to Taurus for seven years. Polluted partisan politics progressively prevent and pervert our progress, including social and national security. Expect extreme financial fluctuations.

How I Created Useful Art from Trash

I’m amazed at the positive response to my Practical Sanctuary post. Here are some more favorite things I recreated from stuff collected from yard sales and our local recycling transfer station. We used to tell our city friends that our country home was furnished in early American white trash. We’ve upgraded the quality of our trash over the years.

Even as a wee tot, Cassie was a hard working apprentice. We designed and fabricated a lot of stuff together. Our first project was a swan mailbox. We transformed a small black plastic mailbox into a beautiful swan by cutting, shaping, forming, and attaching recycled black plastic sheet to the box. Then we spray painted it, pasted our house numbers on the front flap, and placed it on the road. It became a local landmark.

swan mailbox 2Next we built a bunny bench out of recycled plywood, two small branches for ears, three large branches for structure, and reconstituted shrink wrap for seating. The ears didn’t last, so we performed plastic surgery and made matching floppy ears from shrink wrap.

bunny bench

We created a food compost bin out of recycled plywood and reconstituted shrink wrap.

compost bin 2

Cassie raised a baby farm animal each summer. We built a wire pen and an animal hutch out of recycled plywood and plastics. At the end of summer when we had to return to NYC, we gave our creatures to people who would love and not eat them. We got to visit with them over the years. They all remembered Cassie. We got wool from Lilly, our black lamb who became a sheep, and cheese and soap from Zelda, our Alpine goat (my personal favorite) who had an insatiable appetite and babies of her own.

animal hutch

mark & cassie with bunnies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made the roof of the bottom story of our tree house from reconstituted shrink wrap. It’s still in great shape after eighteen years of personal wear and tear, tree sap, and weather.

Cassie in tree house 2

Cassie in tree house 3

Our country home was a disaster waiting to happen when we first arrived. It was dark and moldy with low ceilings, an uninsulated slab, horrible plumbing, cobbled electrics, and a leaky roof supported by rotting beams. Our friends were planning to bulldoze it. We convinced them to let us rent it for a modest fee in exchange for transforming it. The first thing I did was to tear out the ceiling in the middle of the space and reinforce the rafters. Metal joist hangers, corner braces, and connecting hardware make the beams beneath the birch plywood ceiling look like an erector set. Prior to paneling, I cut open the roof and created two round sky lights using large plastic bubbles I scavenged from a ‘going out of business’ plastics sale on Canal Street in NYC. The last thing I built was a loft space for Cassie and her friends to play in and have sleepovers.

Cassie in loft space

Practical Sanctuary

shed 4

I write about hands. Today I’m writing about ‘hands on’.  As springtime refreshes the air, water, and earth and renews the spirit, it’s time to focus on home, health, family, and friendships. A yearly project of mine is to organize all the stuff I’ve accumulated.

One of Joanna’s biggest complaints about me is that I’m a scavenger and a packrat. Since my ‘Guru of Garbage’ days, it’s not been easy for me to let go of anything useful. Even though we donate tons of stuff to yard sales and good causes, I somehow still end up building small sheds with shelves and doors to organize our clutter. They in turn create larger clutter around the property as they consolidate the smaller clutter.

One of my all-time favorite building projects was transforming storage to sanctuary. One spring equinox, several years ago, my shed muse appeared with a substantial supply of free lumber, roofing materials, and windows.

a bike routeI was on my daily bike ride and stopped to check out a property for sale. There were (14) 4’ X 6’ abandoned sliding glass doors leaning against a barn. I called the broker and offered the owner $100 for all of them. He said yes. I borrowed a friend’s truck to transport them to my future clutter control site. Our neighbor across the road had $1500 worth of left over corrugated metal roofing materials he said I could have for free. Another friend was taking down a large cedar balcony and told me I could salvage anything I wanted. I scavenged enough materials from that balcony to build a 12’ X 24’ platform. The remaining building materials and hardware I purchased at Home Depot.

My friend Orin helped me build, level, and anchor the platform. I constructed the wooden frames for the walls horizontally on the platform. I relied on Orin and the kindness of neighbors to help me lift and hold everything in place while I plumbed and fastened them. I screwed (instead of nailing) the entire structure together, creating a building where everything is connected to everything else. Nothing is freestanding

shed interior 2nd story b

shed interior 2nd story a

 

 

 

 

 

Realizing I could build up as well as out, I created a second story for our storage and divided the floor space into thirds. I alternated the corrugated metal roofing materials with corrugated translucent fiberglass materials in order to provide more daylight.

shed interior 1a

shed interior 1

 

 

 

I designed an 8’ X 12’ office space within satellite range so we could have internet.

shed interior 2

I created a small machine shop for my model and talisman making.

shed interior 3

shed interior 3d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also fabricated a small combination greenhouse / guestroom within the structure.

shed 3

shed rear window detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the sliding doors was dedicated to creating a 4’ X 6’ cold frame attached to the greenhouse. I also built a carport on the back of the building to store our Toyota in the winter. It transforms into a small machine shop for medium size building projects in the spring, summer, and autumn.

There were enough left over building materials from our friend’s balcony to build the third story of our treehouse. It’s been great for meditation and children’s sleepovers.

shed - view of 3 story tree house

constructing 2nd story of treehouse

tree houses 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tree house ladder

view from tree house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sagittarius ~ Search for Truth

Sagittarius

“He who dies rich dies disgraced”    Andrew Carnegie

No matter what your sun sign, you may have a Sagittarius nature. Pure types have rectangular palms and short fingers with long straight and strong index fingers that stand away from the hand. Strong index fingers symbolize leadership abilities, pride, self-confidence, spiritual or religious affinities, truthfulness, generosity, and idealism in relationships. Pink coloration under the index finger adds enthusiasm and reveals a desire to make a difference. Hands in general tend to be pinkish and healthy looking with mildly flexible joints and firm elastic skin. Finger joints are not knotty and fingertips tend to be round or conical with loop and whorl fingerprints. They’re enthusiastic, idealistic, and confident. They hate being criticized. They love rich food and fine wine. Good luck and positive thinking are attributed to Sagittarius types.

Sagittarians are irresistible when they believe in themselves. They’re eternal optimists, honest and sincere, with friendly charismatic voices designed to persuade. Frequently accused of observing life through rose colored glasses, they tend to see people and circumstances as they want them to be instead of how they really are. Sagittarians are philosophical, expansive, generous, passionate, principled, proud, truthful, and spiritual. They love travel and take time to explore the sites and seek food adventures when they arrive at a new destination. They’re also nature lovers and naturally healthy types. Their physical problems usually result from overindulging in food and drink. Their dark side can be egoistic, tactless, insincere, judgmental, opinionated, hypercritical, hypocritical, impractical, grandiose, arrogant, dictatorial, vain, gluttonous, or philandering. Many journalists, judges, lawyers, priests, teachers, chefs, and salesmen are Sag types.

RobinRobin has a mixture of Scorpio sun (Feeling) and Sagittarian hands. As you can see from her rectangular palms and short straight fingers, she’s an Intuitive type. She’s generous, honest, and truthful. Her inner Scorpion is strong and she must be vigilant to avoid the imprudent temptations that her Scorpio side so easily attracts. She’s a loving mom, fabulous friend, wonderful cook, incredible quilter, knitter, and an avid gardener. Robin’s huge heart and enthusiasm are contagious.

PegasusBellerophon, master of Pegasus, is a mythic match for Sagittarius, which rules horses. Bellerophon was a likeable fellow; however, he depended on his charm, good looks, and luck to save him when his adventures went sour. He symbolizes inspiration and new ideas, which have to be taken with a grain of salt. Use caution if you’re buying a used car from him. Bellerophon’s hubris was his undoing as he tried to fly to Mount Olympus, home of the gods. Sagittarian types must choose a philosophy that helps them become an integral part of a working society and not a Don Quixote tilting at windmills or a person who has everyone else’s answers.

Sagittarius rules transportation. Sagittarians enjoy speed, taking calculated risks, and looking good. They leave racing to Aries and showing off to Leo. The gods of making cars must shift the paradigm of profit before people. Automotive industries need to be more truthful in their actions and spiritual in their visions. By perpetuating the illusion that expensive overly powerful gas guzzling vehicles are glamorous and sexy, car makers and marketers maintain the delusion that it’s OK to deplete our natural resources and pollute our planet. We don’t need hundreds of horses galloping under our hoods. Cars must be designed for our present and future health. We can profit from higher social and environmental consciousness. As our globe warms and fuel prices skyrocket, more fuel efficient, non-polluting, practical, and economical light weight transportation must happen or we will drive ourselves to extinction.

Look at the consequences of our current transportation paradigm. We can go anywhere at any time in the comfort of our cars. Our real and hidden costs are usurious as we guzzle gas, fight oil wars, deplete precious finite natural resources, and pollute our planet. Carbon monoxide hovers around us. Toxic smog poisons major transportation arteries. Traffic proliferates and coagulates like cholesterol on its way to a coronary. Young, old, tired, depressed, angry, drugged, and drunken drivers clot overcrowded roads like varicose veins connecting the festering infections we call cities. Unless we shift our transportation paradigms, we’re steering ourselves toward a dead end.

During the twentieth century, while Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto transited the sign of Sagittarius, politics, big business, and religion transformed forever.

Sandra D O'ConnorWhen Uranus transited Sagittarius from 1981-1988, political gender was shaken up. Sandra D. O’Connor became the first Woman elected to the Supreme Court. Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman nominated by the Democratic Party for Vice President. Benazir Bhutto became the first female prime minister of a Muslim country in Pakistan’s first free election since 1977.

 

Ronald Reagan 2George Bush Sr. became the first sitting Vice President elected as president since 1836. President Ronald Reagan initiated “Star Wars”, an absurd and overly expensive national defense idea. IBM introduced the first personal PCs to the marketplace.

 

 

Uranus is a symbol for sudden and unexpected upheaval and disaster. AT&T’s monopoly was broken up by the Department of Justice. While Greenpeace was protesting France’s nuclear testing, their flagship Rainbow Warrior was bombed. The space shuttle Challenger exploded on takeoff while millions watched on their TVs in horror.

Salmon_Rushdie_Sagittarius rules publishing and religion. Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini sentenced Salman Rushdie to death after publishing his popular novel The Satanic Verses. Rushdie’s tales of good and evil stimulated riots in India and book burnings in England.

 

While Neptune transited Sagittarius from 1970 to 1984, the idealism of the 60’s was replaced by pessimism, marked by a lack of trust in national institutions. The war in Vietnam had made many people cynical. The Arab oil embargo of 1973 created a major energy crisis (allegedly teaching the USA not to take energy for granted) and catalyzed the opening of the controversial Alaska pipeline.

Richard NixonNeptune rules false prophets, delusion, deception, and victimization. Richard Nixon became the first President in US history to announce his resignation. New York became the first city in US history to be bailed out of bankruptcy by the federal government. A popular religious paradigm was shifted when the Catholic Church elected its first non-Italian pope in four centuries. Mother Theresa accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in the name of the poor. Televangelist Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority in 1979.

Neptune rules chemicals and drugs. The first test-tube baby was conceived out of the womb. It was the beginning of genetic engineering and new horrors for theologians. Environmentally conscious people protested industries that created “Acid Rain”. The ‘Three Mile Island’ fiasco helped derail several nuclear energy projects. The World Health Organization announced an end to smallpox. A new deadly epidemic was officially named AIDS. Crack cocaine became popular.

Pluto transited Sagittarius from 1995 to 2008. Pluto in Sag is a recipe for upheaval and transformation in politics, big business, and religion. Political extremism, corporate greed, religious fundamentalism, and terrorism came into focus across the globe. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing law student, disrupting the Middle East peace process. Great Britain gave up control of Hong Kong. President Clinton resumed diplomatic relations with communist Vietnam. Hundreds of thousands of Black men flocked to Washington to participate in the million-man march. For the first time in 40 years, Republicans controlled congress. Y2K was not the end of the world.

The sheep are restlessSex scandals rocked the Catholic Church.  The House of Representatives impeached and later acquitted President Clinton for lying about his sexploits. Two students killed themselves after murdering twelve students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado. The Unabomber was caught and sentenced to life in prison. The Oklahoma City bombing established large-scale terrorism by Americans on our own soil. Governmental power was transformed on 9/11, giving leaders ability to supersede human rights and civil liberties. A large political machine preempted war without world consent. A lair of corporate foxes ruled the hen house while a pack of political wolves became national sheep herders.

Saturn returned to Sagittarius on December 23, 2014, after a 30 year journey through the signs of the zodiac. Astrologers have pondered and prognosticated the effects that Saturn will have over three years while it passes through Sagittarius and into Capricorn around Christmas of 2017. Energy, transportation, communications, food industries, housing, healthcare, law, politics, and religious structures will be affected by Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius. Saturn is about taking responsibility and rules big business and bureaucracy. Our external problems are symptoms of false philosophical and ideological paradigms. Our global economy must be reformed in ways that are sustainable for all people. There will likely be a shakeup and shakedown of world leaders. I’m praying for a rebirth of nobility, dignity, integrity, and ethics.

Scorpio ~ Search for Love

Scorpio

You don’t have to be a Scorpio to be Scorpionic. Feeling types have long rectangular palms and long fingers. The main difference between Scorpio, Cancer, and Pisces hands is that Scorpios tend to have much stiffer joints, especially the thumb. The consistency of fixed hands is generally denser and the skin is less elastic than cardinal and mutable types. Head and life lines are frequently tied together at their beginnings. Nails are often long and broad with rounded or conical fingertips and well developed knots on the second joints. I’ve seen less vertical lines in the Scorpio ball of thumb. Scorpio has a harder time trusting others as they have so many dark secrets to keep.

Steve StollmanSteve Stollman is a close friend and a Scorpio with Aquarian hands. This is an instance where palmistry and astrology need each other. Some signs are more mysterious than others and Scorpio leads the pack in my mind. It’s easy to see the Aquarian in Steve, but some of his behavior is unexplainable from his hands alone. For instance, you might look at those strong meaty thinking hands and long independent pinkies and think, ‘this guy is good at making $. He does seem to attract it, but for some mysterious reason, he’s very bad at managing it. Steve personifies some of the most positive and negative transpersonal powers of both Scorpio and Aquarius. He satirically cites James Cabel, “An optimist believes this is the best of all worlds and the pessimist is afraid they’re right”. Another favorite saying of his is “The second biggest problem in the world is feigned competence. The biggest is feigned incompetence”.

I met Steve shortly after moving to NYC about 40+ years ago. He was advocating for better working conditions for blind news dealers, laboring inhumanely for peanuts in hot polluted little green wooden boxes on busy street corners. Steve was determined to improve their lots in life and created a woodworking machine shop which specialized in building custom newsstands and street furniture. Steve graciously offered to hire me on my own part time schedule. You would think his large hands and long fingers would embrace organization, but instead, he abhorred detail and loved simplicity. He saw complexity as an obstacle to progress. He’d emerge from his bathroom early each morning with an empty coffee cup in one hand and a dimensionless sketch on toilet paper in the other. “Here, make this”. He’d hand it to me. “What is it?” “It’s a box. We make boxes. We eat, sleep, and shit between ninety degree angles. Just cut the wood and put it together”. I’d sardonically reply, “It might help to know the materials, dimensions, preferred joinery, and hardware.”

Steve’s a paradox. He’s a creative thinker with a heart of gold and simultaneously a one-man obstacle course. I’d clear space to work and within a few minutes there’d be a new obstacle in my way. I couldn’t understand why he always seemed to get in his own way. I used to call Steve a “Would Worker” due to his casual attitude about schedules, structure, discipline, details, and deadlines. Steve called me ‘MEGLOMEGLIAC” due to my incorrigible ego. Steve championed the downtrodden. I was in NYC to become rich and famous. Steve had a sympathetic ear for every indigent person who crawled in from Houston Street. I disparagingly nicknamed his shop the “Houston Street Lonely Hearts Club”. It took me years to realize the very important and valuable social work that Steve was doing. Tirelessly and selflessly, he worked, like Bernie Sanders, a curmudgeon for humanity who’d always show up to testify for the downtrodden at public hearings.

I believe Steve’s true genius is as an artist, a composer, musician, and singer of social ballads. Once you learn to enjoy his raspy ‘Tom Waits’ sounding voice and pay attention to his lyrics, his art is profound. I emailed Steve and asked for some links to his ballads. This is his response ~

www.SteveStollman.com has 10 of my songs and links to writing. www.LightWheels.com has the models of Human-Powered Vehicles. Thanks for the plug. It will be interesting to see if anybody responds. Invite responses please.

Success is a lousy teacher.  It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.

Bill GatesBill Gates’s Sun, Venus, and Saturn are in Scorpio. His rectangular palms and short fingers reveal an intuitive type. Bill must be passionate and inspired in order to tackle his goals. He’s an aging Luke Skywalker, still learning the awesome responsibility of having and using the force.

 

Little Red Riding Hood is a Scorpio / Persephone fairy tale. When Bill was Little Red Riding Hood, he was seduced by the Big Bad Wolf while on his way to Granny’s House. They teamed up to deliver costly bundles of goodies everywhere. The Wolf promotes Red, but Red’s actually a very private person. Red would much rather disappear into the electronic ether if he could. Bill’s philanthropy sheds an affirmative light on the Wolf. He needs to give more, wherever, and whenever he can. Plenty of poor people give more time, energy, and money than Bill compared to their income. When I volunteered for the AIDS community in NYC, I was shocked by how many deserving individuals slip through the cracks in the system. Good intentions are not enough.

Scorpios are the best kept secret keepers. The famed former CEO of General Electric is a Grand Master. No memoir will ever reveal his dark secrets. With Sun, Mercury, and Midheaven in Scorpio, Jack Welch is Darth Vader. During his reign, GE benefited the world while their highly toxic dark side was destroying it. I believe Jack turned his back on Mother Nature while GE profitably pumped PCB’s into the Hudson River. Many clandestine behaviors lie hidden beneath the tips of the largest icebergs.

Scorpios must learn to love without lust and seduction and let go of their need to control and possess the objects of their desire. They must maintain a strong sense of purpose, even when they’re warring within themselves. When they love and respect you, they’re fiercely loyal, although their greatest loyalty is always to themselves. Scorpios are creative and imaginative. They envision what they want and know they’ll eventually get it. A near death experience may awaken them to their higher selves. They’re excellent researchers, great problem solvers, sleuthful spies, perceptive psychologists, skillful surgeons, top therapists, and the best and worst mystery, crime, and horror writers.

voldemortScorpio is Hades, Greek God of the Underworld. He’s Pluto, Roman God of Death, Sex, and Transformation. He’s a Devil in Christian myth. He’s Death in Tarot. Darth Vader, Voldemort, the Mummy, and the Big Bad Wolf are the dark side of Scorpio rolled into one. He’s a Rapist, Terrorist, and the Priest who sexually abuses little children. Executioners, coroners, undertakers, and morticians are all ruled by Pluto.

Pluto is lord and master of the sexual orgasm (little death). From first breath to final exit, Pluto patiently awaits you with his kiss of death. Hungry crocodiles, slithery snakes, and poisonous spiders stealthily lurk beneath his sultry surface. The path of too many dark secrets leads to the palace of socio-pathology. Pluto doesn’t get mad, he gets even. Temptation, seduction, and betrayal are his modus operandi. Whether with pleasure or pain, you’ll eventually stenchily emerge from his bowels.

Scorpios can be controlling, compulsive, manipulative, jealous, possessive, fearful,   resentful, obstinate, secretive, suspicious, subtle, and subversive. They make abusive parents, jealous partners, manipulative bosses, and mean spirited jailers who hide their true feelings, especially the shadowy unstable side of their emotional nature. Your friendly neighbor, a model citizen, devoted husband, loving father, loyal friend, and faithful parishioner dies. His family finds hidden pornographic literature, secret love letters, sado-masochistic sexual supplies, illegal drugs, and concealed money.

We hide our most secret lusts for sex, money, and property. Our deepest darkest fears and desires can drive us toward physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual perversions. Everything is ok as long as our secrets stay secret and we hide the truth from ourselves. Many of us rationalize our bizarre behaviors because we can get away with them. The evil Priest feigns love and compassion while he physically and spiritually rapes the innocent souls he has been entrusted to protect. Their Guilt, Shame, Remorse, and Fear closely guard his Evil secrets.

High PriestessPersephone is the feminine side of Pluto. She’s tall, dark, stunning, seductive, and impossible to resist. Helen of Troy was the type, symbolizing the magnetic and hypnotic powers of feeling. Helen was so charismatic that men fell hopelessly in love with her. The Trojan War was fought because of that power. Plutonian types have mesmeric personalities and healing powers. It’s hard not to feel special when you’re around these folks. They bring out the best and worst in us. They frequently wear black or dark colors.

 

 

Insurance is Scorpionic. You’ve heard the saying, “The only guarantees in life are Death and Taxes”. Life is not ensured or assured like Death and Taxes, but you can purchase insurance, which is a contractual arrangement whereby one party pays another party to guarantee them against a specified loss. Insurance implies that we have something of value. Perhaps we can’t afford not to value something. Assuming our premiums are paid, we worry less about the costs of bad shit happening to family, health, home, car, property, or whatever we value that’s insurable. Insurance is a form of gambling. Your agent is your bookie. Your insurer is the casino. The house is always favored financially due to statistical permutations, combinations, and probabilities. High risk means high stakes. You can check your odds by examining insurance actuarial tables and know your prospects by observing your premiums. The insured shoots craps and always loses, even when he wins. My good friend Lloyd tells me he’s depending on Lotto for his retirement. He assures me it gives him hope, “You’ve got to play to lose”, he quips.

Insuring may be confused with ensuring or assuring. Spraying crops with pesticides ensures fewer bugs and weeds. It assures we eat drink and breathe toxic chemicals. Investing Social Security in the Stock Market does not insure that the market won’t collapse. Employees of Enron believed their pensions insured a secure retirement. Drilling for oil in the wilderness does not insure that we will have enough oil. It does ensure and assure that we’ll have social, political, and environmental problems. Conserving energy ensures that we will have more energy and waste fewer natural resources. Offering vengeance as a solution to violence assures more violence.

Everyone dies. Life insurance protects the living. What are your last years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds worth?  What’s the premium for a graceful painless final exit? What’s it cost to pull the plug? I want to live a long and healthy life and enjoy a quick and graceful final exit. Having an abundance of Scorpio symbolism in my horoscope, I’ve created my very own “Dr. Death Do it Yourself Kit”. It’s a breathing apparatus attached to a tank of helium.  When necessary, I’ll have a logical, practical, painless, and peaceful alternative to facing a future of pain, dependency, lack of awareness, no love, or abject poverty in old (hopefully) age. Read Final Exit by Derek Humphrey if you want to learn more about Dying with Dignity.

Pluto takes twenty years to change astrological sign during which time it disintegrates, destroys, and transforms collective consciousness. Pluto almost doubled its speed when it transited its own astrological home of Scorpio from 1984 to 1995.

Historically, as Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto transited the sign of Scorpio, our views of Sex, Violence, and Death transformed forever. It was a challenging time to keep secrets. Sex combined with death to expose the dark underbelly of Scorpio. HIV came into being while condoms were promoted on national TV to stop the spread of AIDS. Homosexuality came out of the closet to be the topic of everyday conversation. Religious fundamentalists and politicians had plenty to preach about. Sex scandals ousted Senator Gary Hart and televangelist Jim Bakker. Scorpio rules other people’s money and Bakker was later convicted of defrauding his followers of 158 million dollars.

Police bombed the headquarters of a black radical group called MOVE. Terrorists from the Palestine Liberation Front seized the Italian cruise ship Achille Laura. Oliver North exposed the Iran Contra scandal. He and Ronald Reagan walked away intact. Terrorists bombed Pan Am flight 103, killing 259 passengers and 11 villagers in Scotland.

Nobody wanted our famous Garbage barge which carried 3,100 tons of Garbage 6,000 miles before returning home to be burned.

“Dr. Death” (Jack Kevorkian) became a household name.

When Neptune (Pisces) transited the sign of Scorpio from 1957 to 1970, it offered an opportunity for spiritual transformation. Neptune regenerates or degenerates. It began with sit-ins and peaceful demonstrations and ended with race riots, terrorist bombings, and hijackings. Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by `two of her own bodyguards’. Racial tensions rose. Bernard Goetz shot four young black men in the NYC subway system. He claimed they were robbing him. They claimed not to have provoked him. Political unrest catalyzed the assassinations of John Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. It was an era of escapism. Drugs, pornography, and indiscriminate sex became normal. Oral sex and contraceptives became popular. Thousands of men went into exile rather than serve in the Vietnam War.

When Uranus (Aquarius) transited Scorpio from 1975 to 1981, it marked the end of the Vietnam War for America and the beginning of new terror in Cambodia. A senate committee admitted that assassination was modus operandi in U.S. foreign policy.

Mass humor was irreverent as seen by the popularity of Saturday Night Live on TV.

Scorpio rules the reproductive system. In 1976, scientists at MIT created the first synthetic gene. The first test tube baby was conceived outside of the womb in 1978.

Scorpio symbolizes powerful women. The Episcopal Church ordained the first woman. Barbara Walters was the first woman national news anchor on ABC TV.

The first Death (Pluto) sentence was carried out in ten years when convicted murderer Gary Gilmore went before a firing squad.

Punk Rock was loud and nihilistic, an unconventional rebellious expression of Uranus.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show became a cult classic.

Ultrasound became an alternative to x-ray radiation.

Performance art became a new art form.

Palimony suits became popular.

Over 1,000 “No Nukes” protesters were arrested on Wall Street on the 50th anniversary of the 1929 stock market crash.

1980 saw the first professional actor in the Whitehouse following the lowest voter turnout in modern history.

Fidel Castro’s “Freedom Flotilla” embarrassed the U.S. when we discovered that Castro had unloaded his underworld criminals, mentally ill, and misfits on us.

IBM introduced the personal PC and revolutionized the computer industry forever.

Libra – Search for Other

Libra 2

Libra, the 7th sign of the zodiac rules the 7th house of marriage in western astrology. The autumn equinox is a time for partnership, sharing, and giving. Libras strive for balance, idolize harmony, dislike discord, and hate confrontation. They’re the best negotiators. Libras can be very decisive when it really matters, but they’re infamous when it comes to deciding where to go, what to eat, or what to wear. Libras love being frank and direct, but must realize that they may not be liked for it. They can be aggressive, indirect, and vague at the same time, and still manage to get their way. Some Libras tread a thin line between ethics and honesty. Maybe they know something that could change everything, but fail to mention it. Libras wield logic, tact, and diplomacy like a Samurai Swordsman. Athena’s mighty sword is applied with icy emotional detachment.

You don’t have to be born under the sign of Libra to have a Libra personality. Thinking types have square palms and long fingers. Dominant Libra types have long clear gently curving unobstructed headlines that fork near the percussion of the hand. A cultivated Libra sees every side of a situation. With straight and strong long pinkie fingers, they communicate clearly and directly. Dominant bottom and middle phalanges are favorable for commerce, banking, and real estate. A long top phalanx is best for public speaking, journalism, or law. Strong index fingers make ambitious hardworking managers and powerful leaders. A separation between head and life lines increases personal initiative and spontaneity. The wider the space, the more the person doesn’t care what others think. They do what they must do no matter what. Some Libras are blinded by their need to get their way. Trying to change a Libra’s mind is like playing a game of mental monopoly. The best strategy is to be direct and make good sense.

Healthy Libras have strong handshakes and firm pink elastic skin. Long graceful heart lines extend from under the pinkie to the base of the index finger, embodying romance and sentimentality. Sometimes a branch at the end of the heart line reaches down to touch the head line. These Libras can analyze, rationalize, and compartmentalize their feelings. It’s part of their duality to be hard and soft at the same time. Long vertical lines on the ball of the thumb within the life line are soul commitments to family and friends. The happiest Libras will have several clear lines parallel to their life lines.

Libras are idealistic, romantic, and refined. Aesthetics are important to them. You’ll see Libra professionals in chic designer clothing taking clients out to trendy restaurants. Political, legal, publishing, public speaking, public relations, marketing, higher education, and entertainment fields are burgeoning with Librans.

AthenaAthena is my favorite Libra archetype. Greek Goddess of Wisdom and Justice, Athena rules the strategic thinking required in combat. Odysseus (Libra) and Achilles (Aries) worshiped her. Often pictured as a handsome Goddess in battle armor, Athena holds a shield (Intuition) in one hand and a sword or spear (Thinking) in the other. She discards emotion to think with crystal clarity and cut to the quick. Athena is often pictured with the scales of justice and an owl on her shoulder to symbolize wisdom.

 

An Athena type came to me for a reading many years ago. I’ll call him Athen. Athen arrived on my doorstep dressed in an expensive designer suit and power tie. I greeted him in my t-shirt and jeans. As a master business plan writer, Athen seemed out of place consulting a palmist in an east village tenement apartment. A friend of his had attended one of my palmistry lectures and gave me a radiant referral.

Athen’s modus operandi was to find floundering companies and create compelling new products or services to point them in the direction of prosperity. In exchange for writing a first class business plan, Athen would receive a nominal fee and substantial stock options. An emperor of illusion, Athen would weave a sophisticated cloak of investment opportunity. Like a tailor, he threaded his needle with enough preferred non-voting stock to begin weaving his wardrobe. As plans took form, the company’s stock would appear more valuable. For a substantial retainer, Athen would help execute his concepts and guide management through the churning rapids of dramatic changes taking place within the company structure. Once the company was able to survive without Athen, he sold off large chunks of his stock and quickly moved on to the next project. Athen attempted to resuscitate several companies that failed without his help. He always prospered.

Athen explained that he was embroiled in a mid-eight-figure fiasco concerning securities fraud. The IRS was a monkey on his back. He needed strategies for the best ways to proceed. Although we resided in totally different worlds, Athen and I immediately hit it off. Thinking types can bounce ideas off each other for hours. We were archetypal from the get go. Athen was Pinocchio. I was Jiminy Cricket. Like Pinocchio, Athen was smart, but surprisingly naïve. Jiminy appeared because Pinocchio lacked a conscience.

It’s possible in business to be legal and unethical or immoral at the same time. If Athen were to put his ever growing nose in the wrong place at the wrong time, it might get chopped off. That’s what was happening. Athen offered me a generous retainer to be his “Jiminy Cricket”. I declined, but accepted occasional payments and gifts in exchange for my time, advice, and friendship. I used astrology to examine Athen’s timing and behavioral patterns. Tarot cards helped us gain better insight into his relationships.

Libra HandAthen is a thinking type with square palms and long fingers. His long unobstructed straight headlines and long straight and strong pinkie fingers with long bottom phalanges are great for commerce. Athen was inherently an honest and caring person. He was ambitious (strong index finger), hardworking, and blinded by his desire and need for freedom, power, and wealth. You can see from the separation between his head and life lines that Athen doesn’t lack initiative. He couldn’t care less what others think of him.

I decided the best way to communicate with Athen was to be direct and make good sense. His long graceful heart line extends to his index finger, representing a romantic and sentimental nature. You can see from the vertical lines within the ball of his thumb that Athen is deeply committed to his family and friends. I first tried appealing to his compassionate nature.

Why not design and promote healthy sensible products (like Paul Newman) and give as much profit as possible to charitable causes? Athen claimed he loved that idea, but rationalized that he needed to be personally more financially substantial before giving money away. I disagreed.

“Does the world really need another greasy french fry, addictive brew, or violent video game? Why can’t the same resources and labor be used to make healthier products and services? Why not make products more expensive and exploit less people along the way?” “More expensive means more grease”, according to Athen. A higher selling price means more time and money spent romanticizing and glamorizing a product or service. Selling less and making more money is a great idea, but doesn’t come cheap.

“It’s the grease”, Athen would say. Why do consumers pay so much more for caffeine at $tarbuck$?  What makes a person buy an expensive designer brand name when they can get the exact same generic item for less? Revolutionary new products or services are sometimes created and protected. Some become generic and incredibly profitable. Most products and services are just variations on existing themes. Athen offered viable alternative business strategies that seemed likely to happen well if well implemented.

It was easy to see who’d actually benefit and who wouldn’t. The cream always rises to the top. The problem is that every scheme where someone is making heaps of money means others are being deceived, exploited, or used. The poorest people are always scraping for pennies at the bottom of the barrel. Laws that protect masses of ordinary people are created long after the reason for them has been abused. It’s no secret that Philip Morris always knew cigarette smoking was unhealthy. By manipulating the legal system, they shirked their responsibilities and justified their actions.

Truman Capote, a Libra, innately understood how easy it is to manipulate truth and the legal system. “Even an attorney of moderate talent can postpone doomsday year after year, for the system of appeals that pervades American jurisprudence amounts to a legalistic wheel of fortune, a game of chance, somewhat fixed in favor of the criminal, that the participants play interminably.”

Jiminy Cricket guided Pinocchio who eventually found truth and became a “real boy”.  Athen and I weren’t so lucky. Athen ended up losing everything. In Libran style, he started over with fresh ideas, enthusiasm, and a dollop of grease. He’s still wheeling and dealing. Pinocchio and Jiminy keep in touch, but no longer collaborate.

ScottLisa

Scott is a Cardinal Thinking type. His Sun, Moon, Mars, and Jupiter are in the sign of Libra. That’s a lot of Libra. Scott has Scorpio rising and three planets in Scorpio. That’s a lot of fixity in the feeling department. Scott is head ruled, but soft hearted. Much of his emotional growth can be attributed to his partner Lisa, who is a Cardinal Feeling type. Her Sun, Venus, and Uranus are in Cancer. She’s heart ruled, but also a strategic thinker. She has to be in order to partner well with Scott. Scott and Lisa balance each other beautifully. Scott’s strong and firm hardworking hands have designed and built sustainable housing, planted and tended bountiful gardens, and nourished community. He’s also a Tai Chi master, baker, musician, song writer, and good friend. Lisa has strong hardworking multi-talented hands that create many wonderful multi-media works of art and produce many healthy expressive venues for children. www.pompanuck.org.

susan alancraigSusan was born on the same day and year as Scott. She has the same planets at the same degrees in different astrological houses. You’d think their hands would be very similar, but they’re very different. Observe the separation between Susan’s head and life line. She has long index fingers that are ambitious, but in a very different way than Scott. Notice how the fingers on her right (dominant) hand lean towards the index finger. A motivated natural giver, she has traversed much of the Third World In the Peace Corp with her partner Orin, helping less fortunate people live better lives. Her language and communication skills are refined. Susan sings in a chorale; her wonderful voice is a finely tuned instrument. She’s a great gardener, cellist, documentary photographer (my website photos), and good friend.

Cousin RichieMy Cousin Richie, Libra extraordinaire, philosopher, sculptor, and inventor; created Tangle, The Infinite Sculpture (designer series of interactive, interlocking, plastic elbows). Our mothers were sisters. We share the ancestral “happiness”, and “seeker” genes. I once said to Richie, “If you put the same religious fervor into saving the world as you have into plastic elbows, we’d be saved”. He replied, “I am saving the world, one Tangle at a time” He meant it.

Dalai LamaRichie has sold tens of millions of Tangles worldwide. I ran into a mutual friend on the streets of NYC who said he visited a monastery in Tibet and saw a picture of the Dalai Lama with a chrome Tangle in his lap. I wasn’t surprised. When I visited Richie at his gift show booth in NYC, he was talking with a very conservative buyer from Wal-Mart. I leaned closer to overhear what he was saying, “Let me show you the only product in this show worth more than money”. He meant it.

 

The hardest task in reading hands is learning to judge hands. One person’s long, rectangular, and firm might be another’s short, square, and soft. Rigorous practice is necessary to learn to observe and judge hands. Few of us are pure types. You may look at Cousin Richie’s fingers and see them as a bit short for a thinking type. I admit that if I didn’t know Richie, I may have seen his fingers differently, but the opposition between Libra and Aries is powerful. Dominant Libra opposes Aries as autumn opposes spring. Odysseus’s strategy fanned the flames of Jason’s passion on his quest for the Golden Fleece. Knowing Richie’s astrology and behavior has influenced how I see his hands.

GaryMy brother Gary has a Pisces sun. He’s a mutable feeling type. With Libra hands, he behaves more like a cardinal thinking type. Gary is a geriatric psychiatrist. I used to threaten to become one of his craziest patients, but then as a Gemini, I decided not to get old. Gary’s Libra temperament graciously and gracefully deals with the most stressful situations. Pisces gives Gary an ability to have the natural empathy and intuition that many Libras lack. Gary is a wonderful psychiatrist, husband, father, brother, son, and friend.

Heart line touching head lineYou don’t have to be an expert palmist to see certain truths in hands. When the end of a heart line dips down to touch the beginning of a headline, it’s unlikely the person will verbalize their deeper feelings, especially their negative emotions. Their rational mind controls a very impressionable heart. Add a short index finger and that wreaks havoc on a person’s self-esteem. It makes trying to offer advice to anyone with that combination a challenge for anyone who wants to help. From their personal history, you may learn that one or their parents was emotionally or physically absent during the person’s formative years.

Mohandas GandhiOne highly principled Libra was Mohandas Gandhi, spiritual leader, lawyer, and civil rights champion in early twentieth century India. He promoted non-violent disobedience and began India’s freedom movement. Gandhi must have had huge empathy and unshakable conviction to overcome the inertia of his short index fingers. Dennis Kucinich, a Libra, and a long shot in the 2004 presidential campaign, promised to make non-violence a priority by establishing a “Department of Peace”. Russian president Vladimir Putin is a Libra. He was nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Bruce Springstein “The Boss”, has captivated masses for 30+ years with his charisma. Jim Henson and John Lennon were also Libras who mesmerized masses of followers.

SleepingBeautySleeping Beauty symbolizes a search for self through other. Prince Charming (Aries) rescues SB from her hundred year sleep. He bestows a magic kiss that enables her to awaken. They ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. Many Libras have unrealistic expectations of relationships that end up a disappointing reality. Most Libras prefer to be married. A marriage license may be a legally binding contract, but it doesn’t guarantee love.

 

Winnie the PoohWinnie the Pooh (Libra) tries to find balance in his life by “think, think, thinking”. Somehow, he always manages to get a pot full of honey for himself. Christopher Robin (Aquarius) knows what’s best for everyone. Winnie lives in the hundred-acre wood with his friends, Piglet (Gemini), Rabbit (Virgo), Roo (Sagittarius), Tigger (Leo), and Eeyore (Capricorn).

Everyone has Libra, Venus, and a 7th house in their astrology. Deep down, we know what’s honest, true, and fair. Most of us have ethical and moral values and boundaries. We also know right from wrong and fear the consequences of our betrayals. It’s easy to analyze, rationalize, and compartmentalize our bad habits and behaviors. “Laws keep honest people honest”, “Locks keep honest people out”, and “Contracts are only as good as the people who sign them” are aphorisms that describe Libran logic.

Historically, when the outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto transited the sign of Libra, forces of good and evil clashed as we tried to find a balance between optimism, pessimism, tolerance, prejudice, progress, and regress. There was not much social or political stability during these periods.

While the planet Neptune (Pisces) transited the sign of Libra from 1942 to 1957, Nuclear weapons began proliferating. The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.  President Truman instructed the Atomic Energy Commission to produce an even bigger `Hydrogen Bomb’. The United Nations began blossoming. International cartels became firmly established. The European Common Market was recognized. The civil rights movement flourished. Group psychology became popular. The World Council of Churches was established. Mother Francis Xavier Cabrini, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was the first American citizen canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

The art world went through dramatic changes.  Allen Ginsberg became a popular poet writing, “I have seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness”. When Neptune left Libra in 1957, the bestselling novel was Peyton Place   focusing on sexual intrigue in a small town. People born between 1942 and 1957 tend to be overly idealistic in relationships.  They must learn to harmonize, compromise, and sacrifice.

While the planet Uranus (Aquarius) transited the sign of Libra from 1968 to 1975, the spirit of our nation shifted from optimism to pessimism. Faith in progress turned into disillusionment with national institutions and world progress. This period was marked by useless popular inventions like the “pet rock”, giant platform shoes, and shag haircuts. Punk Rock, along with primal therapy and streaking became popular. The Supreme Court legalized abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy (Roe vs. Wade). Governor Wallace, a racial bigot from Alabama, announced that he would be running for President on the newly formed American Independent Party ticket. He threatened to repeal the “so called civil rights laws”. Meanwhile, the most popular show on TV was a comic satire about a racist named Archie Bunker. Diplomat Henry Kissinger approved the financing of clandestine CIA activities in Chile aimed at preventing the election and inauguration of Salvador Allende as Marxist President. Patty Hearst was kidnapped and brainwashed by the Symbionese Liberation Army. A military junta deposed Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

While the planet Pluto (Scorpio) transited the sign of Libra from 1971 to 1983, growers and pickers finally reached a settlement that ended a nearly ten year grape boycott (led by Cesar Chavez). Farm workers finally had bargaining power. This time marked the official beginning of the environmental movement. The Supreme Court upheld busing as a way of integrating schools.  An assassination attempt left presidential candidate George Wallace paralyzed from the waist down. Prime Minister Idi Amin slaughtered over 300,000 Ugandans and alienated his country from the rest of the world. Violence in Ireland forced Britain to seize control of Northern Ireland and suspend the Protestant controlled parliament. An arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization terrorized the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich. In 1975 South Vietnam crumbled, bringing an end to the Vietnam War. Because of the Karen Ann Quinlan case, `right to die’ rulings were enacted all across the USA. The serial killer “Son of Sam” was finally put away after terrorizing the male and female population of NYC. Religious fanatic Jim Jones got his followers to commit suicide. John Lennon was murdered.

John Lennon - Imagine

John Lennon 1940 – 1980

“Imagine there’s no country,

It isn’t hard to do.

Nothing to kill or die for,

And no religion, too.

Imagine all the people.

Living life in peace”

 

Virgo – Search for Order

Virgo

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”  Stephen King (9/21/47)

You don’t have to be a Virgo to have a Virgo personality. Most adaptable of practical types, Virgo’s square palms and short fingers are less meaty looking and more flexible at the joints than Taurus hands. Capricorn hands tend to be paler in coloration with flatter palms and more developed first knots on lean fingers. Their dominant middle fingers are often crooked or lean toward the ring finger. Well-developed second knots, square fingertips, and short fingernails on any type add more Virgo qualities. If you chew your nails, you’re more self-critical and critical of others, no matter what your type. People with seriously bitten down nails tend to be contrary and choose the other side of an argument just to make a point, even when they agree with the other person.

Virgo is essential where discriminating, reliable, modest, and orderly service is required. Famous for cleaning up everyone else’s messes, Virgos can become overly thorough and meticulous. Ego gratification is not a primary motivation for Virgo, however, it’s vital to value and appreciate them. They seldom ask enough for themselves, but are aware of what they’re worth. They must always be respected and never taken for granted.

Short fingered people (especially intuitive types) dislike details and need to see the whole picture. Contrary to popular belief, Virgo doesn’t enjoy mundane details. They’re pragmatic and practical about them. They do whatever needs to be done, but they can also lack breadth and long-range vision when they get too caught up in the tasks at hand. Virgos must work hard, feel useful, and cherish every grain of what they earn.

Accounting, medical, nursing, social work, health food, maintenance, and cleaning professions are magnets for Virgo types.

carly fiorinaAristaeus `Guardian of the flocks and farming’ in Greek myth is an archetype of Virgo. Aristaeus taught man bee-keeping. He represents the human capacity to dedicate self in service to others. One female former CEO of a fortune 500 company is conservative Virgo, Carly Fiorina. Carly would like to be our Republican President. Despite unfavorable publicity concerning her tenure at HP, she appears to practice what she preaches. With her intuitive left hand’s straight short fingers and rectangular palm, Carly asks us to “Challenge the mind and capture the heart”. Bernie Sanders, a virtuous Virgo, has my vote.

john McCainVirgos who have done the work and earned the rewards include: Writers Agatha Christie and Leonard Cohen; Lawyers Alan Dershowitz and Marcia Clark; Financiers J.P. Morgan and Warren Buffet, Actors Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Sophia Loren, Paul Walker, Keanu Reeves, Blake Lively, and Cameron Diaz; Singers Michael Jackson and Beyonce’ Knowles; and Political figures Margaret Trudeau, Lyndon Johnson, George Wallace, Yasser Arafat, and John McCain (Taurus hands with intuitive fingertips).

 

 

CadeuceusIn Greek mythology, Virgo is earthy and practical and symbolizes the more scientific and technical aspects of thinking. Virgo is smart, but Gemini is headier. Ideas are more important than practicality. Mercury rules both signs. He’s a messenger with winged feet holding a caduceus (symbol for medicine).  Virgo rules healthcare. Some Virgos worry too much about their health.

Back in the early 80’s, a young man puzzled me with his question. “When am I going to die?” A perfect specimen of Virgo, he was powerfully built, energetic, handsome, smart, and talented. He took excellent care of himself. His strong well-balanced square palms and short straight fingers had long clear deeply engraved lines. He had pink elastic skin, firm consistent palms, and fairly flexible wrist and finger joints. I was thinking about how lucky he was when I realized I was reading the hands of someone with AIDS. I replied, “I don’t know. Only god has the answer to your question”.

AIDS was a homosexual disease, a death sentence at the time. I didn’t have a clue how to look for AIDS in his hands. Nothing stood out. I didn’t know how to counsel him and said, “You’re a naturally healthy type. If anyone can beat this disease, you can.” I felt awkward talking about his positive qualities because he didn’t want to hear about them. I was unable to help and didn’t charge for his consultation. I spent several years after that volunteering twice weekly at centers for AIDS. I printed hands of people with AIDS regularly in order to monitor the progress and regress of the disease. I’d begun to recognize symptoms in the skin ridge patterns, but found myself needing to let go after two years. Lack of adequate funding, time, and technical information made it impossible for me to be thorough or scientific.

One AIDS housing provider retained me to entertain clients twice weekly as a fortune teller. Most AIDS afflicted individuals suppress their potentials because they obsess on the harsh reality of their impending mortality. My mission was to identify their strengths and weaknesses and inspire them to continue making positive choices for themselves. Many clients looked forward to their weekly astrology, hand, and tarot readings.

The healthcare industry is Virgo’s mundane correspondence. Everyone has physical, mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual health challenges. Good health is our birthright. We deserve to be healthy. Our western healthcare system has cultivated a supermarket mentality. Health insurers care more for profit than people. Politicians, money managers, and managed care providers formulate and enforce the rules of the game. HMO executives prosper while doctors are forced to ignore root causes and treat symptoms. When Saturn was last in Virgo from 9 / 2007 – 10 / 2009 (recession), seeds for structural change to the health industry and the affordable care act were sown.

Nails and Health

Fingernails are considered windows to a person’s health. Some illnesses that can be diagnosed by examining nails are anemia, thyroid disease,  malnutrition, carpal tunnel syndrome, psoriasis, eczema, disease of the liver, heart,  lungs, and colon, chronic respiratory disease, lymph system problems, diabetes, Raynaud’s disease, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcers, Hodgkin’s disease, and sickle-cell anemia.

Laura examining her handYour health is in your hands and you can see it. In the days before computerized medical diagnosis, doctors used their intuition, tasted a patient’s urine, looked into their eyes, and examined the tongue, skin, and especially hands to diagnose illness. Hands reflect a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health.

 

 

Dozens of stress related problems and some types of cancer can be detected in the fingerprints and skin ridge patterns (dermatoglyphics). Conditions of lines in the hands can indicate conditions of the heart, brain, kidneys, liver, stomach, and male and female systems. When I see a potentially serious health problem in the hands, I don’t diagnose. I calmly let my clients know I’m not a health expert and suggest they see a specialist.

Many health problems are natural predispositions to specific characters. Know the type and know the corresponding potential health problems. Here’s a list of generalized health issues that correspond to particular character types. Click to learn more.

Dominant index finger ~ blood disorders, liver trouble, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and problems with hips, thighs, and throat. Most health challenges result from overindulging in food and drink.

Dominant middle finger ~ skin problems, teeth with age, knees, ligaments, secretion of bile, skeletal, left ear deafness, paralysis, rheumatism, gout, hardening of the arteries, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins.

Dominant ring finger ~ eyesight, heart, and blood circulation.

Dominant pinkie finger ~ nervous, bronchial, and respiratory systems, thyroid gland, headaches, memory loss, and speech impediments.

Dominant ball of thumb ~ throat, lymphatic system, venereal diseases, heart and circulation, and nervousness.

Dominant heel of hand ~ bodily fluids, stomach problems, tumors, female disorders, epilepsy, mucous membranes, gout and rheumatism, kidney and bladder, and mental illness.

Dominant thumb and percussion of hand ~ inflammations, acute fevers, infections, muscular disorders, blood diseases, hemorrhage, infectious and contagious diseases, throat and chest trouble, and high blood pressure.

Scorpio types ~ reproductive system, ruptures, hemorrhoids, ulcers, venereal diseases, and problems with prostate or urethra.

Aquarian types ~ ankle weakness, anemia, cramps, heart weaknesses, nervous diseases, varicose veins, and sensitive skin.

Piscean types ~ feet and toes including bunions and gout, colds, mucous discharges, tumors, drug addictions, and liver troubles.

Bernie SerottaBernie Serotta passed from the physical to the ethereal plane in 2004. Bernie was a Pisces with Virgo hands. It’s easy to see his warm, open, friendly, hardworking, and practical nature from his dominant hand. His square palm and short fingers seem to be saying, “Hello, goodbye, and I have nothing to hide”. Bernie owned and operated a hardware store in Saratoga, NY for forty years. He graciously served his family and community. Bernie was retired when we met. His strong Virgo opposition finally let go so that his less practical more magical Pisces nature could become more important to him as he aged. We often chatted about art, music, and philosophy. He practiced violin and enjoyed playing chamber music with other musicians. Bernie continued to do good deeds for family and friends until the end. I never felt judged by Bernie. I was honored, accepted, and embraced for being me.

When Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto transited the sign of Virgo, ways in which we viewed health, environment, and civil rights was shaken and changed. Neptune entered Virgo in 1929 and manifested its dark nebulous side. Wall Street crashed and catalyzed the great depression. When Neptune left Virgo in 1943, we were submerged in turmoil from the Second World War. Mass propaganda and deception had poisoned the rationality of Germany. Millions of people were exterminated in the name of racial purity.

Humanitarians and labor unions were born during this period. New concepts in medicine such as psychosomatic illness were presented. Too many neurotics feared too much reality and responsibility. “We Want Beer” marches were held in cities across the country to protest prohibition, which was successfully repealed.

Charlie ChaplinCharlie Chaplin’s motion picture, Modern Times, was released. The top money making movie of 1938 was Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The best-selling book of 1936 was Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. Silk stockings transformed into nylon stockings thanks to Dupont, who was unable to satisfy the demand for them. Gasoline rationing was put into effect in 1942. A new mold discovered on cantaloupe yielded ten times the penicillin as previous sources and reduced shortages. People who were born between1929 and1943 with Neptune in Virgo must “serve or suffer”.

Hey MonsantoWhen transformational Pluto entered the sign of Virgo in 1957, we realized that we’d become slaves to scientific and technological trends. Awareness of the dangers of chemical pollutants affecting our environment came into consciousness. Environmental special interest groups were formed. Geneva nuclear test ban talks reconvened. Official school prayers became unconstitutional. People born from 1957 to 1971 were consumers of bottled water and health foods which became huge business successes.

 

When Pluto left Virgo in 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, former Deputy Secretary of Defense, leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. The Times published government documents about the history of the Vietnam War that revealed that the American public had been consistently lied to. Anti-war demonstrators protested in Washington where two thousand Vietnam veterans rallied. Many threw their combat medals on the steps of the capitol. Ellsberg was indicted for espionage and conspiracy. The 26th amendment giving eighteen year olds the right to vote became law.

As revolutionary Uranus transited the sign of Virgo from 1962 to 1968, `good health’ consciousness began with natural and organic foods. Rachel Carson’s bestselling book Silent Spring highlighted ecology and stimulated concern for widespread damage caused by pesticides and technological progress. Holistic healers appeared. Cigarette companies were forced to print health warnings.

martin luther king 2Civil rights became turbulent. Voter registration drives and segregation protests increased. Several thousand black and white supporters were arrested. A black church in Birmingham Alabama was bombed killing four girls. Two more blacks died in riots following the bombing. President Johnson signed the most important civil rights act in US history on July 2 1964, integrating all public accommodations and prohibiting job discrimination. Malcolm X was assassinated while speaking in NYC in 1965. Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first black Supreme Court justice in 1967. Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis while supporting a sanitation worker’s strike in 1968. Riots in 125 cities after his death resulted in 46 more deaths.

Robert KennedySenator Robert Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles shortly after becoming the Democratic front-runner for the presidential nomination. Anti-Vietnam war rallies were being held in major cities and universities across the country.

 

 

bob dylanThe worst earthquake in modern history leveled Anchorage Alaska. Jonas Salk discovered the polio vaccine and inoculated the masses. The first transatlantic TV broadcast was made via AT&T’s privately owned satellite Telstar. The first televised presidential debates were broadcast. Russians crash landed the first spacecraft on the moon. Pop Art had its first exhibition. Rock & Roll became popular. The Beatles skyrocketed to musical fame and fortune. Bob Dylan became a star while singing about the hypocrisy of American values and culture. People born 1962 – 1968 have abundant ability to analyze, organize, and compartmentalize their lives.

HOW I LOST MY SANITY

round self portrait

“The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding.” Hermes

Boundaries of TemptationYou may think you know your dark side or you may know someone who has been devoured by theirs, but until you’ve been seduced by madness, breached your sacred boundaries, and tasted the forbidden fruit; you won’t experience the boundless breadths and desperate depths of darkness in your psyche or know your abyss.

While purging my darkness in Scorpio nine months ago, I began writing a post for my blog about a shadowy experience of over thirty years ago. That tale has morphed into an illustrated novella, based in fact, but camouflaged and exaggerated by fiction. I hope you wonder what actually happened. I’m only promoting the first of ten weekly episodes. Sign up for more if you like it. Episode two won’t automatically appear in your feed.

This is a tale of hands and of how I tempted fate and lost my sanity. My story is painted in black and white with insanity as black and sanity as white. Oppositions fuel our awareness as our allegories guide us from our whitest whites to our blackest blacks. Love and hate are extremes of the same essence with like and dislike represented by varying degrees of gray illuminating the halls of opposites. When does pleasure stop and pain begin? Where does happiness end and misery begin?

One bleak November evening, as I was leafing through the magazine section of the Tartarus Times, a display ad caught my eye ~ ‘Forensic Psychiatric Center Seeking Industrial Designer’. I’d been an industrial designer. The concept of combining function with beauty while creating something useful and meaningful had inspired me to sign up. I believed an industrial design degree would enable me to manifest my innovative ideas for sustainable energy and transportation. Many of my fellow student designers were searching for that ‘pet rock’ that would transform them into instant millionaires. I too wanted to earn my fortune, but hoped it would happen from working on meaningful projects. I had no interest in fashion for the sake of fashion and hated waste.

Overly optimistic, idealistic, and ahead of my time, I was soon to learn the harsh realities of self-serving economics and unchecked capitalism. Sadly, producers and sellers get more money for fashion, hype, and soundbites than for good functional design. Because of my own pressing financial needs, I adapted to serving my clients’ basic needs and conformed to the unnatural practice of wasting natural resources and polluting our planet in the name of convenience and thrift. I spent too much of my time and energies depleting natural resources and polluting our planet’s body, circulatory, and respiratory systems in the service and glory of ego, money, and fashion.

How much would I have to compromise my ethical principles to make a decent living? How much grayer was behaving in ways that work than being real? Which shades of gray exchanged money for values and traded thinking for feelings? It became too easy to analyze, rationalize, and compartmentalize my creations as useful, profitable, and valuable. I no longer thought about their final destination as landfill decoration.

One day, I had an epiphany. As I perused the isles of Bloomingdales’ to see how my products were being displayed and merchandized, I realized that waste streams were already chockfull of award winning design without mine. If none of my products existed, it would not make a real difference to anyone but me. I accepted responsibility for my insights and changed my focus from industrial to environmental design. I soon became known as the ‘Guru of Garbage’ for my innovative uses of recycled materials.

New York NewsdayMy ‘Designing with Garbage’ and ‘Eco- Design’ workshops and classes at local design colleges became popular. As an expert in materials and manufacturing processes, an industrial designer, and a member of purgatory’s solid waste advisory board, I spoke about recycling and reuse for the tiniest of stipends at design colleges and for free at environmental conferences, local grassroots groups, and community board meetings.

Clients would ask, “Why’s it so expensive?”  And then exclaim, “It’s only garbage!” Everyone loves a good cause until it’s time to pay for it. Very few people were actually practicing what they were preaching. I rationalized that something was better than nothing as I was hired by manufacturers and marketers to facilitate their appearances, a practice known as ‘greenwashing’ (guilt-free polluting). I always had too much to do and never enough time or money to do it right. No matter how hard I tried to be frugal, not having enough money got in my way. I’d gone from planning to buy my private jet to trying to figure out what to do with a bottle cap. I could no longer afford to bankroll my principles or preach to the converted for pennies.

Before and After

Pallet landfill to conference room

Sitting on compacted cansDestiny compelled me to be responsible for my values. Ambition impelled me to create something of significance.  My astrology fit perfectly. My Leo Zenith is closely straddled by my ninth house Saturn (guru) and my tenth house Pluto (garbage). The shoe fit, so I decided to reuse, recycle, and recreate it. That process was a lot more challenging than I had anticipated. Being the ‘Guru of Garbage’ had been an accident. The media was inspired by my creative attempts at recycling trash. They gave me a catchy name to sell more advertising. I enjoyed the name recognition, but needed to get paid.

 

I decided to tackle the mother of all garbage, psychic garbage. Instead of spending my time and energy on material concerns, I’d go directly to the source and wrestle with subjective matters like behavior, values, thinking, feelings, will power, health, work, relationships, marriage, creativity, death, philosophy, purpose, dreams, fears, and spirituality. My favorite obsession and part time avocation became my vocation as I began practicing astrology, palmistry, and tarot.

Being a psychic garbage man was more financially lucrative, emotionally fulfilling, and fun than transforming physical waste. My perpetual quest for physical and spiritual enlightenment and sustainability was morphing into an intriguing journey of self-discovery that would inadvertently guide me down the dusky path to darkness and lunacy. I wondered what it might take to awaken my insanity and was soon to find out.

Criminal minds fascinated me. I knew from my study of astrology that each of twelve sun signs has its own unique criminal style. Here are some gross generalizations. Gemini / Mercury rules con artists and pickpockets. Taurus / Venus commits sex crimes and breaches of trust from petty theft to grand larceny. Aries / Mars loves warfare and commit crimes of passion. Sagittarius / Jupiter wears white collars. Capricorn / Saturn rules master criminals. Aquarius / Uranus rules arsonists, terrorists, and unexpected bad shit happening. Pisces / Neptune rules drug dealers and users. Scorpio / Pluto rules seduction, rape, and murder and lustily awaits you at your final destination.

Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto revolve very slowly around our sun. They represent the collective unconscious. We personalize our outer planets through their relationships with our inner plants. Outer planetary pictures provide a karmic backdrop for past and future generations of actors and actresses striving to learn their roles. Life is a play of plays. Unconscious creates drama. Subconscious directs plot. Consciousness is stage manager. Sun enlightens. Moon reflects. Mercury connects. Venus senses. Mars energizes. Jupiter expands. Saturn limits. ‘God’ is Master Playwright.

As a life-long student of craziness, I coveted this opportunity to serve criminally insane people. I might never get another chance. Back in college, I minored in bizarre psycho- ideologies and isms. Being an active member of a twice weekly study group at a Gestalt psychology institute for two years whetted my appetite for more. Now I had a chance to explore genuine craziness incarnate. I imagined the weird hands, astrology, and odd people I’d meet and held my breath in anxious anticipation as I set up my interview.

forensic psychiatric hospitalAs I drove north along the Styx River Parkway, I felt like Don Quixote applying for his first real job. Approaching my destination, I could see three ominous- looking beige brick buildings rising starkly into the distant sky like dead poplar trees. They stood on the western banks of ‘Cuckoo Island’ in the middle of the Styx River between Tartarus and Purgatory. Two buildings were psychiatric outpatient hospitals. The third was a forensic psychiatric hospital bounded by high electric fences, lethal courses of razor wire, and panoptic video surveillance. A two‑story block structure on the right housed sheltered workshops for mentally and developmentally disabled people and an alcohol detox center. A fleet of city garbage trucks and a truck drivers’ training course was on the other side of the island. Purgatory’s sewage was treated there. The whole damned island was devoted to one form of waste treatment or another.

I entered the premises through guarded locked doors, metal detectors, a bag inspection station, faded beige paint, and buzzing fluorescent lights that zapped my vital essences. Hospital staff appeared to be the dregs of humanity’s helpers. They wobbled and limped, were scarred and splotched, and gazed silently in hopeless desperation with myopic eyes—even when they were smiling. I hoped it wasn’t contagious. It was.

As Director of Rehab, Dolores was beaten down by too many years in state service. Her sad name complemented her careworn face. A telltale twitch made me wonder whether she was actually smiling or frowning. Her unhealthy looking teeth were yellowed from too many cigarettes and too much coffee. A deep raspy voice coughed her words.

Respiratory, pulmonary, and circulatory problems could be seen in her bulbous whitish nails. Her square palms and short square fingers revealed a practical nature, while her dry, reddish, dishpan skin had weathered many storms that seemed to endlessly arrive from every direction. I was concerned she was ineffective. Despite our differences, we liked each other.

I squirmed awkwardly as I learned that the hospital actually needed an industrial arts teacher. Human resources had made a mistake. I wanted to experience this population, but I was overqualified. Dolores encouraged me to take the job anyway. She painted alluring pictures of my designing vocational programs. I’d work directly with patients by lecturing and giving ongoing classes and workshops. I’d have access to patient records and treatment plans. I might be even able to attend treatment team meetings with psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. It felt too good to be true. It was.

Dolores was impressed with my qualifications and enthusiasm. I never mentioned any ulterior motives when I told her I was prepared to commit selflessly to public service at this point in my life. I’d start at the bottom. ‘Grade 12′ was a pay scale similar to being fresh out of high school. I couldn’t afford a full time position and didn’t want one. Dolores assured me I could work half-time. She’d find someone else to fill the other half of the position. She promised full public employee health benefits. I accepted.

Stay tuned to meet the rehab staff in episode two.