Palmistry for Astrologers ~ Truth vs Fiction

Your Life is in Your Hands

“How long will I live?”  “When will I die?”

We all die. Life is about quality, not quantity. No one can or should tell you when. I’ve seen very long life lines on people who have died young and short life lines on very old people. You’re very lucky if you have a strong full life line. No matter what your life line says, you can  exercise your thinking and free will and transform your circumstances.

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FICTION ~ there’s no connection between astrology and palmistry

TRUTH ` Assuming a date, time, and place of birth is correct; natal astrology reveals positive and negative potentials, challenges, life cycles, patterns, habits, and timing. Hands reveal what we’ve done, do, and are likely to do with all of the above.

mark, joanna, and cassie as a newborn2

                                     FICTION ~ you can see when a person will marry,                                     how many children they’ll have, and what genders

TRUTH ~ accurately and consistently predicting partnerships and children is not a right use of palmistry. Behavior is predictable. It’s good to examine partnerships through that lens. A combination of hands, astrology, and tarot reveal a person’s basic potentials, and how they relate. Check out our marriage ‘You’ve Got’ ~   https://www.youtube.com/watch

mark speaking

FICTION ~ the left hand is the hand you read

TRUTH ~ hands must be read together. The hand you write with is your dominant hand. The other reveals your subconscious mind. Both morphology and topography of hands tell us who we are, what we have, what we’ve done, are doing, and are likely to do with what we have. As we change our thinking and circumstances, our dominant hand changes. The other hand changes less because inner space is harder to change.

mystic crosses

FICTION ~ mystic crosses are magical

TRUTH ~ Mystic crosses are independent X’s between head and heart lines. Many palmists will tell you that you’re mystical, psychic, blessed, gifted, or fated for greatness. Between ages 35 and 47, crosses symbolize the trials of mid-life. As people are searching for deeper meanings in their lives, they sometimes turn to esoteric sciences and arts for insights and answers. For those folks, an X is a mystic cross. For everyone else ~ they’re challenges and obstacles that need to be seen, figured out, and overcome.

past life myth

FICTION ~ you can see past lives in a hand

TRUTH ~ clients have told me that some palmist or other told them that a certain marking revealed they’d been a high priestess, witch burned at the stake, or other notable person in a past life. I can’t confirm or deny such pronouncements. They’re not from the science of palmistry. Hands are topographical maps of character with their corresponding propensities, probabilities, and possibilities in past, present, and future.

Fingers and careerFICTION ~ you can see a person’s career in their hands

TRUTH ~ No reader can consistently pinpoint career. Knowing a dominant type, modality, finger, phalanx, and print patterns gives enough information to see career potentials. I get lots of practice at corporate special events. People often say, “That’s what I always wanted to be” or “That’s what I studied in college”. They didn’t pursue it for practical or social reasons. The illustration is from William Benham’s book “How to Choose Vocations in the Hands” and shows some careers for the early 20th Century.

predicting the future 2

FICTION ~ you can accurately predict the future

TRUTH ~ you can accurately judge a person’s character and project that character and behavior into the past, present, and future. History frequently repeats itself. As people exercise their thinking and free will, their behavior patterns, habits, and destiny will be reflected in their hands. In my opinion, that’s the most important application of palmistry.

seeing hands in hands 2

FICTION ~ you can see other people in hands

TRUTH ~ you can only see the person whose hands you’re reading and how they relate to others. My calling as a quickie counselor includes role playing. When I look at hands, I can see who a person attracts, why, and what that person actually needs to be happy and fulfilled in relationships. I play different roles to help my clients define their boundaries, recognize their capabilities, and set realistic expectations.

great seal crystal ball

FICTION ~ you can see wealth in hands

TRUTH ~ you cannot see money in a hand. You can see potentials for finances and what a person values. I’ve read many hands of millionaires and billionaires. I expected to see a lot of practical and intuitive types with powerful index and strong pinky fingers. I did. I also saw deficient index and pinky fingers on individuals with challenging histories. They toiled ceaselessly with strength, courage, and dignity to overcome enormous odds and achieve success. Many had powerful wills (strong thumbs) forged by determination (bulging percussion) and tempered with virtue (healthy ball of thumb).

Head lines 3

 

 

FICTION ~ you can see what a person thinks in their hands

TRUTH ~ you can anticipate what a person may think when you understand how a person thinks. A head line starts somewhere, ends somewhere, and follows the path of mind between. Once you get a gestalt for a person, you can observe the processes of their mind while interpreting the directions and qualities of their head line and thinking.

heart lines 2

FICTION ~ you can know what a person feels from their hands

TRUTH ~ feeling is embodied in the morphology and topography of our hands. Once a basic type is known, you can judge that person’s feelings from the position, direction, and qualities of their heart line. The heart line is a path to how and why we feel what we feel. It’s easy for thinking types to analyze, rationalize, and compartmentalize feelings. Practical types hold back feelings when they interfere with what they must accomplish. Intuitive types hang on to inspiration and learn about feelings in hindsight. Heart lines that curve gently up from pinkie to index finger are sentimental and romantic. Bearers tend to see people and circumstances as they want them to be.

Purnima's palm print

FICTION ~ you can see unimportant events in hands

TRUTH ~ a hand is a small space for a whole life. A tiny change in a line can embody a huge change in a life. “Will I pass the test?” “Win the game?” “Get the girl?” People are incredulous when I tell them I don’t have a clue. I’m mind boggled when I ask them about their major relationship and career issues and they’re clueless.

timing on lines of hand

FICTION ~ you can see age in hands

TRUTH ~ many people are surprised when I don’t know their age. “How old are you?” I ask. “You don’t know?!!” they respond. I’ve seen young looking hands on the oldest and old looking hands on the youngest. Palmistry is a powerful path to truly knowing oneself and others. Judging accurate timing is nearly impossible without astrology.

Palmistry for Astrologers ~ Three Modalities

hand with symbols

Traditional palmistry identifies seven basic archetypes based on seven planetary places in the hands. Even the newest palmistry books promulgate traditional methods and impart obsolete knowledge derived from centuries of unoriginal thinking. Palmistry and astrology need each other. Astrology establishes twelve basic archetypes based on combinations of four elements and three modalities. Palmistry has embraced the four elements, but has ignored the three modalities. Learning to judge modalities in hands is challenging, but absolutely necessary.

The devil is in the details and there are many levels of details. No matter what your archetype and lines say about you, modality modifies interpretation. Knowing a modality is fundamental to knowing a person. If your hands are hard and fingers are stiff, you’ll fight change with every molecule in your psyche. Getting started and letting go will be major life challenges. People whose hands are soft and fingers are very supple and flexible are challenged to be disciplined, structured, and focused. Major life issues include avoiding distraction and saying ‘No’. Mutable types must be more patient and persistent in order to build strong structures on solid foundations that support greater purpose and meaning.

four types

Modalities separate traditional palmistry from modern palmistry. I discussed the four elements in a previous blog post. Multiplying four elements by three modalities gives twelve unique character types. Anyone who knows astrology agrees that sun signs are distinctly different from one another. Palmistry represents the same twelve types and shares the same mythology. The greatest challenge is seeing the modalities and judging the degrees to which they’re affecting the elements. That takes practice.

twelve hands

                      Four Elements         Cardinal               Fixed               Mutable

Here’s a brief generalized description of how to see the three modalities in the hands.

FlashCardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Solstices and equinoxes are changes of seasons. Aries (spring), Libra (fall), Cancer (summer), and Capricorn (winter) are new beginnings. Cardinal types have boundless energy and enthusiasm when they’re feeling inspired and passionate. Powerful ambition blends with magnetic natures to impel action and achieve goals. They’re best at starting things and not so good at finishing them. When the work becomes mundane or routine, impatience, intolerance, and impulsiveness is imminent.

‘Pure’ types have enthusiastic handshakes, openly held fingers, low set thumbs, and resilient pink elastic skin. Their head and life lines are frequently separate where the thumb joins the hand. I frequently see one or more conical or spatulate fingertips and multiple whorl fingerprints on cardinal types. Flash Rosenberg is an initiator, a great friend, Guggenheim award winning visual artist, profuse performance artist, professional photographer, prolific writer, and artist in residence for ‘LIVE from the NY Public library’. Check out her remarkable live drawing and direction: IMAGINE: How Creativity Works – http://vimeo.com/38798735

Dr. BryksMid-seasons embody fixity. Taurus (mid-spring), Leo (mid-summer), Scorpio (mid-fall), and Aquarius (mid-winter) are fixed signs. Fixed types maintain, support, and nourish what exists. They’re logical and practical. You can depend on them. They say what they do and do what they say. Their greatest challenge is to see the proverbial handwriting on the wall and then accept and embrace change.

They have firm honest handshakes. Their hands and fingers are stiffer than cardinal and mutable types. Large stiff thumbs embody abundant will, supported by dogged determination, and sustained by relentless persistence. Square shape fingertips and developed second knots represent an organized, practical, responsible, reliable, and dependable nature. Cautious types hold fingers closely together and are better team players. Fixed head and life lines are often intertwined at their beginnings. I’ve observed multiple arch finger prints on fixed hands. Procrastination can be a substantial problem.

Dr. Bryks is my dentist. He’s a great craftsman and a compassionate, competent, and caring person with a huge ball of thumb. Full ball of thumb people are givers and lovers of home, food, comfort, nature, children, beauty, and art. It’s hard for them to say “No”. Dr. Bryks appreciates everyone. He hums his favorite melodies as he mines for decay in my teeth. If someone has to dig around in my mouth, I’m glad it’s Dr. Bryks.

self for three modalitiesGemini (late-spring), Virgo (late-summer), Sagittarius (late-fall), and Pisces (late-winter) are mutable signs. They represent changeability. Mutable types generally have warm handshakes that convey honesty and sincerity (which may not be the whole truth). They’re clever, hate conflict, and work hard to avoid confrontation while employing the fine art of tact and diplomacy. Mutable types have the most openly held, flexible, and elastic hands and fingers of all three modalities. My open hands and strong straight pinkies are saying I have nothing to hide (although I hold many others’ secrets).

Cardinal types create, fixed types maintain, and mutable types communicate. Mutable does what cardinal and fixed don’t do or don’t want to do. As a mutable type, I love language and words. Anyone reading my blog knows I’ve chosen to speak for one of the most esoteric and obscure subjects on the planet. I hope to shift the false paradigm of palmistry as a gypsy fortune-telling scam (before I kick the impending bucket). As an expert on hands and a clear communicator, my mission is to give everyone a helping hand, their own. Priceless treasure waits to be discovered at the ends of our arms.

Professional Palmistry

Mark reading female client

Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m unhappy about the current state of palmistry. Most of the world still thinks palmistry is a gypsy fortunetelling scam. After 5,500 years, reading hands is completely misunderstood and casually misrepresented!  While natal astrology and numerology provide wonderful tools and systems for examining human nature and potentials, palmistry reveals what a person has actually done, is doing, and is likely to do with their potentials. Palmistry is the ultimate tool for knowing oneself and others. Sadly, few people know it.

There’s an alarming lack of good literature, palmistry schools, certification, teachers, students, professional counseling skills, public relations, marketing, and wisdom. Students of palmistry have come to me over the years for readings. Many want to impress me with their knowledge, but depress me with how little they know about what to do with what they’ve learned. Everyone has misread me. I attempt to tweak their knowledge and skills, but end up feeling that they should go back and start over. Palmistry teachers should begin class with counseling and work their way backwards to the details of the hands. It’s not what you see, but what you say and how you say it that matters in the final analysis.

Twenty-five years ago, I taught palmistry classes. I offered a series of ten three hour workshops for ten students for ten weeks. After learning that one of my former students had abused my #1 cardinal rule of counseling, I never taught another class. I had a bad feeling about him from the beginning and ignored my basic instincts. I thought I could help the man. Instead, I cultivated a monster. Here’s the story.

Here are a few truisms I’ve learned over forty years of practicing palmistry. Everyone has current and major life issues and challenges. Wise counsel is important whenever and wherever we can get it. We can all use a helping hand. People are impressionable.

I’ve overheard conversations between ‘readers’ and guests at parties that horrified me. I’ve observed self-appointed false prophets uttering absolutes, telling people what they want to hear, and making unknowable predictions. Thoughtlessly, for their own profit, they encourage sensitive seekers to create self-fulfilling prophecies from their fears.

A very vulnerable person once came to me for an astrological reading. She told me how a ‘famous palmist’ at a party had casually predicted she would have ‘seven years bad luck’. She tearfully told me, “I had seven years of bad luck.” Every time anything ‘bad’ happened, she thought of his prediction. She was a feeling type with an islanded short heart line and three prominent girdles of Venus. I wondered what would have happened if he had told her she need not worry because she will have good luck in the midst of her most difficult challenges and she will always bounce back and land on her feet.

People give readers too much power. Too many readers give themselves too much power. I can misinterpret some aspect of my client’s character and not be challenged because in their mind, my sterling reputation and specialized knowledge must make me right. Sometimes clients quip, “I learned more in an hour and a half with you than I did in six months with my psychiatrist”. Of course, that’s not true. Hand reading is prescriptive. It’s no substitute for therapy. Recognizing or understanding something intellectually is only a first step to working it out emotionally. Hands confirm and affirm what we know. Great readers are clear in intent, honest, frank, caring, and excellent bullshit detectors.

Mark reading male clientAll twelve types are predisposed to specific relationship, career, and health challenges. A timely reflection can catalyze a change in a person’s consciousness. A man stood in line for an hour at a special event for his five-minute reading. Something I said the year before had changed his life. I saw a natural talent for writing and encouraged him to take a writing class.

 

He procrastinated as I had suggested he might, took my insight to heart, exercised his thinking and free will, and was happy he did. “What else should I work on?” he asked. He wanted me to affirm what he already knew. On one level or another, no one can tell anyone anything they don’t already know. The esoteric meanings of astrology’s twelve houses are a lens through which hands reveal a person’s character, values, thinking, feelings, will power, health, relationship potentials, creativity, philosophy, purpose, dreams, and spirituality. Knowing ourselves helps us recognize our strengths and weaknesses and freely choose where and when we can and cannot compromise.

mark reading client 2I saw someone on the street whose hands I had read for five-minutes at some special event. She told me how many of the things I said had come true, even though I don’t make predictions. She shared current events as if I already knew them. I couldn’t even remember meeting her. I’d deleted her from my consciousness the moment I finished reading her. My mind can get cluttered. On a busy week, I examine hundreds of sets of hands. Every person is the most important person in the world for five minutes.

Here are my twelve cardinal rules for anyone who wants to learn palmistry from me.

Never predict anyone’s death

Practice what you preach

Look wisely and see clearly

Listen carefully and hear truthfully

Feel fully and freely

Think critically and creatively

Examine a multitude of hands

Ask abundant questions

Read, study, and do research

Cultivate a non-judgmental attitude

Proceed cautiously and lead with your heart

If you can’t be helpful or leave people feeling hopeful, don’t say anything at all

Palmistry for Astrologers ~ Four Elements

Hands never lie

Palmistry is the science and art of knowing self and other through a visual and tactile examination of hands. Our hands are topographical maps of our character in past, present, and future. Hands reveal our current and major life issues, talents, abilities, challenges, and the degrees to which we are fulfilling our potentials. Hands provide detailed information about our values, thinking, feelings, health, relationships, sexuality, creativity, philosophy, career, purpose, hopes, dreams, and spirituality. Palmistry is simple and fun. Everyone can learn to navigate their map and chart their course.

Astrology’s ‘house system’ offers a powerful framework for examining hands. Astrology uses planets, signs, aspects, and houses to symbolize human nature. Hand size, shape, and proportions disclose four basic elements and corresponding archetypes. Skin texture, elasticity, colors, hand consistency, and finger flexibility provides three modalities that explain how we take action, maintain the status quo, and adapt to changing conditions. Finger lengths and proportions, shapes of tips, knots, and nails, reveal how twelve unique types function in the world and communicate with others. Lines and gestures offer detailed information about our life choices and circumstances. The arts and crafts of interpretation and counseling require study and practice.

Whether you’re using astrology or palmistry, you must first understand the gestalt of a person before proceeding to details. Until a natal chart is understood, adding outer planets, asteroids, and man-made points to horoscopes provides endless combinations, permutations, and possibilities. It’s the same with hands. Every detail means something, but getting bogged down in details confuses the basic issues. Every detail must be examined in the context of the whole and all other details at the same time. All questions are in every detail and every detail is in all answers.

It’s best to progress from issues to details, rather than details to issues. Details provide valuable insight into a person, but the meaning of any detail can change depending on the question asked and a person’s character. The danger in interpreting details out of context is in substituting one form of pre-determinism for another by reducing individuality to cookbook formulas. Many astrology and most palmistry books do that.

All hand details have meaning, even rings, scars, warts, and birthmarks. Until you’ve determined a person’s basic character, however, the details are superficial. No matter what our socio-economic background is, we can choose to exercise our free will and modify our thinking, feelings, and actions. We cannot alter our past, but we can change our present and influence our future. Our hands change as our thinking and circumstances change.

Hands are like a Meyers Briggs personality test incarnate. When you know a basic type and their corresponding challenges, you also understand what they need. Large hands enjoy detail and organization. Small hands hate detail and love big ideas. Small handed folk must learn to delegate detail work to avoid frustration, boredom, and impatience.

Shapes and proportions of hands reveal one of four basic types

four types

INTUITIVE

2. leo

Rectangular palms ~ Short fingers. These highly spirited and enthusiastic individuals dislike details, need to grasp the whole picture, pride themselves on their honesty, and require a lot of freedom to express their true selves naturally. They’re easily bored when life gets mundane or routine. They need to feel inspired and passionate and cultivate clear vision and enduring patience. They enjoy taking chances when they’re inspired, and become impatient, restless, and bored when they’re not. As extroverted, very busy, objective, independent thinkers, they must learn to set clear goals to accomplish clear objectives. They’re frequently accused of being opinionated because their point of view is so very important. Communicating clearly and effectively is a must. In order to flourish and blossom, intuitive types must learn to trust their intuition, behave responsibly, act naturally in relationships, and express themselves creatively.

PRACTICAL

5.Taurus

 Square palms ~ short fingers ~ developed bottom knots. Skin ridge patterns are coarsest of the four types. Pure types have few peripheral lines in their palms and few interruptions on the head, heart, and life lines. Square fingertips and arch fingerprints are often seen, along with stiffness in joints of fingers and thumb. Work dominates their life. They’re logical, methodical, pragmatic, and make decisions based on objective reality. As the most responsible, reliable, dependable, pragmatic and objective of all types, they have an innate understanding of how the world works. They trust what they can see and feel, not inspirations, ideas, or intuitions. They can become so involved in practical matters that any imagination or abstract ability is limited. They must be careful not to get addicted to routine and order. Their biggest challenges are learning to trust their gut and let go of circumstances beyond their control. Driven by their physical senses, they love their homes, yards, cars, family life, friendships, and food.

THINKING

8. Gemini

Square palms ~ long fingers ~ widely spread. Thinking types love the idea stage of development before projects materialize. They can detach themselves from mundane reality and gain objectivity and a fresh perspective on almost anything. They overvalue the intellect and downplay emotion. Most social of all types, they’ll acknowledge your point of view, even if they don’t agree with you. Capable of plenty of analysis, detail, and research, they’d rather be free of mundane realities. Often accused of being impractical dreamers, not much new happens without them. They often spread themselves too thin because they’re interested in everything. They’re easily distracted, scattered, and resist remaining focused, disciplined, and structured. Uncultivated types are infamous for being fickle, nervous, restless, superficial, and unreliable.

FEELING

10.cancer

Long rectangular palms ~ long fingers ~ held closely. Most intuitive, empathic, and sensitive of all types, feeling types live in a world of deep emotions. They’re hardest of the four basic types to understand because they hide their true selves. Most are very vulnerable and have a strong need to feel protected and secure. They embrace detail, structure, and organization to help them feel more stable. Feeling types avoid emotional confrontation whenever possible. Feelings are an integral part of their decision-making process. Naturally cautious, they must learn to allow others to earn their trust. When trust is earned, loyalties run deep. Feeling types get along best with other feeling types and with practical types who are responsible, reliable, and dependable. It’s challenging for feeling types to trust intuitive and thinking types. They’re afraid they’ll get stuck with the emotional fallout when idealism, enthusiasm, and interest wane and they do.

Stay tuned for the three modalities as seen in the hands…

Palmistry for Astrologers

Sun

Tens of millions of people read their horoscopes daily in newspapers and magazines without realizing the true value of astrology. More ancient than the pyramids, astrology is a science and art that symbolizes and examines relationships between the cycles of celestial bodies and life on earth. Every moment in time and space has an exclusive signature. Symbolic patterns synchronize with life experience and personality patterns.

I studied astrology for several years before I began learning palmistry. Initially, I found astrology to be complex and mathematical, however, with practice I began to recognize a profoundly simple and elegant system for examining human nature, patterns, timing, and life cycles. One problem with natal astrology for me was that accurate forecasting is an exacting science. I know from personal experience that most doctors, nurses, and parents are not watching the clock at a baby’s first breath. Clients often give birth times on the hour or half hour. Many don’t know whether they were born in the morning or evening. Others depend on a vague memory from their mother long after the event. My mother planned to have a natural childbirth. After 24 hours in labor; the obstetrician finally cut me out to save her life. My mom believed that she remembered my birth time correctly, but her memory was different from my birth certificate, which I ended up using to construct my horoscope. I later rectified my chart, which had changed by six minutes.

One more important thing I discovered while reading hands was that even when a birth time is correct, it doesn’t mean that a natal horoscope reveals the whole person. The astrological ascendant (rising sign) of the natal horoscope is considered the foundation for determining behavior. I discovered from reading hands that a person’s sun or moon or powerful aspects between planets or perhaps a stellium (three or more) of planets in a particular sign or house may actually be dominating their personality.

The value of reading hands lies in its capacity to help us easily identify our personality traits and motivations. By understanding our natural strengths and weaknesses, we can transform our negative thought patterns into positive behavioral patterns. The beauty of reading hands is that as our thinking and circumstances change, so do our hands.

Once we pinpoint our strengths and weaknesses, we can alter our thinking, exercise our free will, and those changes will reveal themselves in our hands over time. As we influence our destiny, we can observe our successes and failures reflected in the mirrors of our hands. While other symbolic systems such as astrology and numerology show potential challenges and talents, hands show what we are actually doing with our potentials.

Astrology and palmistry share the same mythology. Those same Greek and Roman gods are still alive and well inside and outside of us. As Joseph Campbell once said, “Oedipus crosses 42nd Street”. Hands contain both physical and celestial DNA. Planetary symbols are alchemical keys to unlocking knowledge and wisdom.

Western Hand diagram

Our Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars are labeled personal planets. They symbolize the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious aspects of our individual psyches. Here’s an oversimplified generalization: Sun (ring finger) expresses father and spirit. Moon (heel of hand) relates to mother and feelings. Mercury (pinky finger) concerns siblings, thinking, and communications, Venus (ball of thumb) reveals our aesthetics, love and appreciation, and intimate relationships, and Mars (mid palm from thumb to percussion) is about libido, aggression, physical strength, and resistance.

Jupiter and Saturn are considered social planets. Jupiter (index finger) reflects ambition, self-esteem, philosophy, and spirituality. Saturn (middle and hopefully always longest finger) is the balance wheel of the hand. A healthy Saturn provides a solid foundation of structure, purpose, and wisdom. An unhealthy Saturn (extremely long, knotty, crooked middle finger with grilled lines underneath is one example) symbolizes perfectionism, frustration, moodiness, and depression. The native needs to become more structured, disciplined, focused, and work harder as a remedy for their negative qualities. That’s hard.

Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are transpersonal planets. As they orbit our sun very slowly and change zodiacal signs, they form exact geometric astronomical relationships with personal planets, each other, and various celestial bodies and zodiacal points in the cosmos that mirror our shifting paradigms and transformation from the status quo.

Outer planets symbolize mass psychology and reveal powerful changes in the collective unconscious. They disclose generational influences that affect individuals in personal ways depending on their placement and relationships with personal planets in a natal horoscope. Many modern palmistry books tell you that the outer planets can be located and interpreted directly in the hands. I’ve tried, but not found this to be true. Outer planetary influence can be seen as reflected in the collective qualities in hands. For example, if a person is erratic and unpredictable, or maybe they’re an inventive genius, Uranus is strong. If they’re addictive, escapist, or visionary, Neptune is strong. Highly sexual, secretive, controlling, and obsessive folks have strong Pluto. My plan is to share the outer planetary generational changes as I examine individual signs and hands.

mark seltman rt handI have Scorpio rising. Jupiter in Scorpio in my first house is a singleton in the bottom hemisphere of my horoscope. Saturn and Pluto closely straddle my Leo midheaven.  My Gemini Sun is conjunct Uranus and Venus is conjunct my North Node in my Gemini eighth house. You’d think my hands would be Scorpion, but instead, they’re Gemini with square palms and widely spread long flexible fingers. That’s not to say I’m not Plutonian. I am, but not in the ways I behave.

Sometimes clients are very different than I expected from examining their horoscope. Imagine their chart is dominated by mutable water or air and there’s not a drop of earth. I expect them to float through the door. Instead, an extremely grounded person walks in. When I look at their hands and see lots of earth and no mutability, air, or water, their astrology begins to make more sense. They’ve compensated in their life for whatever they lack in their astrological symbolism. Ocassionally, a challenging aspect from a transiting outer planet impels them to come for a consultation.

I’ve learned not to depend on a person’s natal horoscope to observe their character. Learning palmistry with astrology has helped me to understand both better. Astrology is especially helpful in confirming and affirming what I see in a person’s hands and can provide additional information about a person’s behavioral patterns, timing, and life cycles. I use numerology and tarot to get at things I can’t see using astrology and palmistry.

A majority of modern palmistry books agree that there are seven or eight basic archetypes that can be seen in the hands. I’ve applied an astrological framework to palmistry to identify and define twelve basic character types. Western astrology and palmistry share the same Greek and Roman gods. The combinations, permutations, and probabilities of their relationships are always and forever being acted out in our individual lives. Humanity is one huge dysfunctional family and each of us is a member.

People ask, “Does astrology rule your life?” No, it doesn’t. “Do you use astrology to plan your activities?” When my symbolism fits, that’s wonderful. When it doesn’t, I consider the best and worst that can happen.I usually ask myself “Is what I want possible? What’s the best outcome I can envision?”   Then Imake an informed decision, and take action. Thanks to hindsight, I get to see how and why my choices have or haven’t worked out and how that fits with my symbolism.

“Do you read your own hands?” Definitely! It’s not easy to be objective about oneself. I meditate on my hands for clarity and insight. Self-scrutiny and vigilance are endless and eternal. Knowing myself helps me be myself.

Hillary Clinton natal - progressions - transitsA natal horoscope is a unique map of the positions of planets in the heavens at the specific time and place of a birth. Expert astrologers offer accurate and in depth perspectives of our personalities, possibilities, probabilities, and prospects. Emperors, kings, presidents, dictators, philosophers, mystics, scholars, and artists throughout history have used astrology (and still do) to understand and influence world events.

Astrology empowers us by giving us a menu of life’s choices. Countries and inanimate objects have sun signs. A Cancer sun will forever symbolize a signing of a Declaration of Independence. The exact date, time, and place of a corporation’s first trade (IPO) symbolize its partnership with the public. Even thoughts, feelings, ideas, and questions with accurate birth dates, times, and places have astrological lives of their own. Many applications are available because astrology is a symbolic system.

Natal astrology examines character, patterns, and life cycles. Astrological progressions map psycho-sociological patterns of past, present, and future.  Astrological synastry examines the symmetry between two or more horoscopes. Medical astrology analyzes the physiology and psychology of health and illness. Political, economic, and mundane astrology focus on natural and manmade challenges such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, economic and plane crashes. Meteorological astrology researches weather patterns. Horary and electional astrology answer particular questions and establish specific times to initiate action. Excellent astrology books, educational opportunities, charting services, and sophisticated state-of-the-art interpretive astrological software are readily available to all. I wish the same were true for palmistry, which is even older than astrology.

NY Stock Exchange 2015 - 2025

NY Stock Exchange – outer planetary transits 2015-2025

 

In my next blog post, I’ll introduce astrology’s four elements as four basic hand types:

 

Aries and Hands

aries2

You don’t have to have an Aries sun sign to be an Aries. Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are intuitive types with long rectangular palms and short fingers. Aries hands are similar but different from Leo and Sag hands. Large reddish puffy bumps bulge where Aries thumb meets his hand. More fully-developed percussions (under pinky finger) are firm and consistent. Strong pink elastic skin quickly springs to a normal state when pushed or pulled. Pink energizes. Red pressurizes. Red skin may reflect too much energy, anger, and passion. Aries head and life lines are separated at their beginnings on pure types. Wider gaps symbolize more independent, freedom loving, and rebellious individuals. When head and life lines are closely intertwined, they reveal more inertia and a stronger need to be appreciated. Pure Leos have closely connected head and life lines.

It’s easy to get along with intuitive types if you agree with them. Thinking types fan the flames of intuitive inspiration. Practical types can be pragmatic devil’s advocates. You’ll find them everywhere. Feeling types distrust intuitive optimism and idealism because they’re the ones who get stuck with the emotional baggage when passion wanes.

feeling for consistency and elasticity

Aries are the most adventurous of all types. Passion is contagious and optimism eternal. As natural heroes and inspired risk takers, they never run out of doors to knock on. They don’t take rejection personally. Ready and willing to compete with anyone at any time and place, these autonomous freedom lovers hate criticism and detest bureaucrats. Aries types with very low set thumbs have been designed to champion underdogs and quest for holy grails. They crusade relentlessly until their objectives are realized. Rising for worthy causes brings deep personal satisfaction and fulfillment.

As a conceptual thinker, Aries hates details. Once he gets bogged down in mundane tasks like paperwork or bookkeeping, he becomes bored, restless, and impatient and drives everyone around him crazy. He’s easily frustrated, so it’s best to stay out of his way if you can’t help him. His most important challenges are having patience, trusting his intuition, setting sensible goals, and building sound structures on solid foundations. Many famous actors, politicians, religious leaders, military leaders, business executives, surgeons, salesmen, soldiers, policemen, firemen, butchers, and barbers have Aries hands.

marsMars, the Roman god of war, is symbolized by an erect penis. Mars was an invincible warrior and lusty lover. His strong athletic body, dominant chest, and rock hard head are built to match his testosterone and inner strength. Aries aren’t called rams for nothing. Aries’ dark side can be controlling, manipulative, argumentative, angry, jealous, hateful, cruel, violent, and vengeful. Everyone has Aries in his or her symbolism.

Aries has amazing resilience and an innate ability to bounce back and land on their feet. A strong sense of inner strength and courage combines with dogged determination and powerful persistence to make them formidable foes. Aries conquers procrastination, overcomes inertia, and embraces action. Potential physical problems include accidents, fevers, headaches, inflammations, and high blood pressure.

Aries progeny are heroes such as King Theseus of Athens, Jason and the Argonauts, Joan of Arc, Robin Hood, and Aladdin, the orphaned son of the king of thieves, a handsome adolescent street rat and diamond in the rough destined to become a prince. Aries rules Energy and War. Sagittarius and Jupiter rule Philosophy, Publicity, Publishing, and Politics. Pisces and Jupiter rule Spirituality and Religion. Billions of individuals are manipulated and controlled by energy, war, politics, and religion.

Al GoreAl Gore initiated a quest for the Golden Fleece. Al and his Argonauts bagged the coveted Nobel Peace Prize, inspiring masses of minds to question the hazards of Global Warming. His intuitive hands reveal a persuasive personality. Al’s Sun in Aries, with Mars, Saturn, and Pluto in Leo provide abundant inspiration and motivation to help Al transform his world. Al’s Jupiter in Sagittarius provides plenty of money and an ability to sell anything to anyone. Al must pour his inspiration and passion into the essence of his vision.

Al’s rectangular hands, short fingers, and long index finger reveal his ambition and egocentricity. As a conceptual thinker, Al loves the idea part of the process. His greatest strength is his ability to see the whole picture. He has no time, aptitude, or patience for details. Once he knows what he must do, he acquires the facts to make the case for his cause. As a man of great influence and privilege, Al must always remain aware of his own personal footprint and consciously practice what he preaches.

Colin PowellU.S. ex-Secretary of State, ex-General Colin Powell is a pure Aries with his Sun and Mercury in Aries (April 5, 1937). His rectangular palms, short fingers, and widely separated life and head lines are the embodiment of King Theseus of Athens. Theseus escorted Jason on his quest for the Golden Fleece. He defeated the dreaded Minotaur (Saddam Hussein, a Taurus) and united the warring Greek factions under his rule.

Secretary Powell’s commanding personality persuaded Americans to keep the faith while we invaded Iraq. He believed he could make a real difference, but ended up being goldenly fleeced by the Bush administration. As our Emperor pulled his threads over our eyes, he was proudly cloaked in Colin Powell’s noble charisma, flawless credibility, and ethical principles on the front lines of international diplomacy. Colin Powell’s largest battles are yet to come as he approaches the end of his life and wages war between his personal loyalties and his virtue, honesty, integrity, and dignity. As a true hero, he must cleanse his legacy by shining the blinding light of absolute truth on the many shades of gray in his life.

barack-obama-left-hand-gesturePresident Barack Obama is a Leo with a Gemini Moon and Aquarius rising. His rectangular palms, short fingers, and separated head and life lines embody Aries ability to overcome inertia and create momentum. Barack’s hands are narrower and less meaty than most Aries hands. You can see from the calluses under his fingers that he stays fit. He’s a warrior of ideas and ideals who takes calculated risks. The top phalange of his middle finger crooks slightly toward the ring finger and expresses a powerful desire and need for perfection and personal space. His developed sense of responsibility (unlike his predecessor) impels Barack to choose duty over leisure. The small bottom phalange on his pinky reveals that he’s not motivated by money. Freedom, family, and righteous moral causes drive him.

Aquarius ~ Search for Insight

Aquarius 2

AQUARIUS   JANUARY 21 – FEBRUARY 18

“It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself.”

Betty Friedan

You don’t need to be an Aquarius to be Aquarian. I’m generalizing, but I’ve noticed pure types have lower set thumbs, stiffer fingers, and more rounded and spatulate fingertips than Libras or Geminis (all have square palms and long fingers). I’ve seen many head and life lines closely intertwined at their beginnings and bulging knots on several finger joints. I’ve also observed many thumbs and ring fingers with whorl fingerprints. Most other tips are loops. The dialogue between hand reader and client reveals the degree to which the person is fulfilling their innate potentials.

Everyone has Uranus and Aquarius in their symbolism. Uranus gives Aquarian energy to circumstances and relationships depending on its location in the horoscope and its relationship with other celestial bodies. Many modern palmists see Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in specific locations in the hands. I’m not one of them. In astrology, the outer planets represent collective unconscious and symbolize karmic generational challenges. The outer planets affect the individual, but are best interpreted not as individual details, but through the lens of time, space, and major patterns. In my experience, they must be observed and interpreted in the overall qualities of hands and not in specific locations.

Aquarius imageAquarius symbolMany people think Aquarius is a water sign. They see a water bearer and a symbol that looks like waves. Aquarius is fixed air. Air symbolizes thinking. Air waves are sharp and precise. Water embodies the personal and collective unconscious, emotion, and feeling. The water bearer is discarding feelings in favor of thinking by pouring them from a jug.

Aquarians are famous for brotherhood, community, friendships, and avoiding intimacy. Much of their time is spent in a world of their own ideas and inventions. They overvalue their freedom, cherish their opinions, and secretly believe they can solve problems better than anyone else. They’re progressive, original, and independent thinkers who pride themselves on their unconventionality, originality, and uniqueness. They must learn to value their individuality for what it is and not for the sake of being different. They relish revolution when a cause is righteous, but must remember that just because they’re revolting doesn’t make them revolutionary. Uranians attract unconventional and unusual friends. They like sharing ideas, but stick to their opinions. The only way to convince an Aquarian to change his mind is to be logical and make great sense.Encourage innovation. They’ll be happier.

Uranus, ruler of the Sky and Father of the Titans in Greek myth, was first son of Gaea and Chaos. A keyword of Uranus is sudden change. Uranian types can be erratic and unpredictable. Aquarians love tech. They’re visionary blue-sky thinkers. Jules Verne ~ Buzz Aldrin ~ Helen Gurley Brown ~ James Dean ~ Charles Dickens ~ Michael Jordan Franklin Roosevelt ~ Charles Lindbergh ~ Bill Maher ~ Mozart ~ Paul Newman

Uranus takes 84 years to return to its natal position. Betty Friedan (2/4/21 – 2/4/06) died on her 85th birthday. Betty transformed women’s rights with The Feminine Mystique and catalyzed the women’s movement. Founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Betty organized the first International Feminist Congress in 1973.Betty’s Aquarian war cry was “Make policy not coffee”.

Tarin Chaplin (Dec. 4, 1941 – May 30, 2009)

Tarin ChaplinAn “eco-choreographer,” activist, writer and dancer, Tarin sought to connect people to the earth, the elements, and the sentient and non-sentient beings that share this universe with us (Burlington Free Press).

 

Tarin has no planets in Aquarius. Her Aquarian personality reveals itself in her widely inventively spread long fingers on square palms. A bundle of creative expression, Tarin had an overly developed sense of responsibility, obligation, and guilt.  Her crooked middle fingers tell a tale of too many worthy causes that delayed her from living in her ideal world. Tarin’s The Intimate Act of Choreography is one of Joanna’s favorite books.

Pattie CanovaPattie Canova is a Taurus and the Queen of Pentacles. She behaves like the Queen of Swords with her square palms, long straight fingers, and stiff thumbs. A strong head and life line connection reveals an Aquarian type. Pattie is my all-time favorite tarot teacher. I had studied with other experts, but never really connected to the archetypes until I met Pattie. Her knowledge and understanding of the myths and her grasp of archetypal psychology is awesome. A genuine passion and desire to share what she knows puts Pattie way ahead of her competition. Notice how her fingers lean toward her strong index fingers that project outward. Pattie’s a Giver.

Bright pink color on the heels of Pattie’s hands reveals her psychic ability. I’ve watched those lunar mounts glow like hot coals when her intuition is cranking. Pattie has an uncanny ability to remember everyone’s names. I’m unhappily afflicted with Alzheimer’s for names. Pattie performs feats of tarot magic on stage and radio. She shared some Aquarian thoughts and ideas with me in a letter that I’m sharing with you.

“My work on stage may seem frivolous and at times it can be. My audience can ask the most banal of questions, but it’s fear that keeps them from themselves. They’re a great reflection for my process; what I love about it and what I’ve just given myself to receive from it all is the experience of joining, of oneness, the giving up of judgments and quieting of my perception. We are all on the same journey. Doing what I’m doing has helped me take it out of my head and into my heart and practice. We all walk that hard road toward enlightenment. I so trust the outcome. I so trust the absoluteness and the power of spirit. I know that everyone in their own way ‘hears’ something, either through feeling or insight.”

Jennifer de WitMy sister Jennifer is Taurus.   Her long straight knotty stiff fingers and thumbs are set on square palms. A fixed thinker, she can be incredibly logical, very practical, and extremely obstinate. I know better than to argue with her. Jennifer is a compelling story teller, gifted children’s librarian, loving parent, partner, daughter, sister, community member, good friend, and amazing natural cook. The tragic loss of Graham, Jenny and Brian’s 23 year old son has forever created sadness in their hearts. They cherish his memory by continuing to be their realest and healthiest selves.

Kevin McGuireIt’s impossible not to like Kevin McGuire. A charismatic Capricorn, Kevin’s Aquarian hands blend a need for structure, discipline, and focus (Saturn) with his originality and creativity (Uranus). He’s acted and directed his way around the globe, performing lead roles in Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, Jane Eyre, Secret Garden, Uncle Vanya, and recently, Kris in Miracle on 34th Street. Kevin has sung for Presidents Clinton, Reagan, and Ford.

OprahOprah Winfrey is an Aquarian with lots of fire. Her intuitive type is seen in her rectangular palms and short fingers. Sagittarius rises in her natal chart, blending two virgin goddesses, Athena and Artemis. As an Alchemist, Oprah turned lead into gold when she transformed an abandoned poor black bastard girl from the south into the self-appointed Queen of mass media. Oprah truly wants to make a positive difference, but no matter what and how much she does, it’s a droplet in a sea of human suffering, misery, and tragedy. Oprah must balance responsibility with transparency by always being true to herself.

I love Uranus (conjunct my sun). Some of my favorite teachers have been Aquarians. When the all too familiar ‘shit was hitting the fan’ a quarter century ago, I hunted for a compatible psychotherapist. After interviewing Freudians, Jungians, Reichians, and Adlerians, I chose a Gestalt therapist. My needs were too immediate to be spending time combing for clues from my childhood to fix my current challenges.

I chose an Aquarian. I call him Ian, for the “ians”. I’d weave my web of melodrama for Ian, hoping to gain his approval and sympathy. When I’d finish, he’d ask, “So what else is new?”  He wouldn’t let me get away with anything. Ian noticed every expression and gesture. I’d say “but…”  He’d say “and…”  I’d say “can’t…”  He’d say “Don’t want to!” Ian often pissed me off by cleaning his nails or playing with his latest gadget. In the end, his unorthodox methods and clever techniques helped me change my stuck thinking.

ZandorAs a thinking type, Ian’s hands were just like mine.  He had square palms and long fingers held widely apart. The difference was that my hands and fingers were very flexible while Ian’s were knotty and very stiff. He was strong willed, focused, and determined. I was a “jack of all trades, master of none”. Ian helped me focus, discipline myself, and clarify my thinking. I valued Ian’s friendship as well as his skills.

 

Ian was fascinated by my ability to read hands. We shared our ideas and theories for hours after our sessions. As founding director of a Gestalt Psychology Institute, Ian suggested I participate in a twice weekly intermediate Gestalt study group. I joined for two years and loved the experience. I seamlessly integrated physical, psychological, philosophical, and spiritual archetypes with my knowledge of palmistry. My hand reading expertise brought fresh perspectives to our study group. Psychology compliments metaphysics by providing a foundation for counseling. Palmistry provides psychology with great diagnostic tools. Counseling skills are neglected in the practices of many self-appointed psychics. It’s much easier to see something than to know what to say about what you see. In the end, it’s what you say and how you say it that matters.

Uranus takes 7 years to change sign and 84 years to orbit our sun through twelve signs. In Aquarius, Uranus churned up the wild rapids of the early 20th century. It brought sudden and unexpected changes on a grand scale from 1912 to 1919.

1912 ~ the “unsinkable” Titanic sunk on its maiden voyage.

1913 ~ a series of tornadoes and floods devastated Middle America, killing over 3,000 people and costing over $100,000,000

1914 ~ World War I began.

1915 ~ a German submarine torpedoed the Lusitania.

The first transcontinental phone call was made by Alexander Graham Bell.

1916 ~ Pancho Villa, a Mexican revolutionary, invaded the USA.

President Woodrow Wilson retaliated by sending 6,000 troops into Mexico.

The Official Gazette of London published names of 80 United States firms suspected of trading with Germany.

1917 ~ USA declares war against Germany.

Worst race riot in American history occurs in Illinois.

Congress amends to prohibit alcohol.

1918 ~ Spanish Flu was the worst pandemic since the bubonic plague that wiped out one quarter of Europe’s population in the 14th century. Daylight Savings Time began.

1919 ~ Prohibition is ratified as the 18th amendment to the constitution. Congress failed to ratify the Treaty of Versailles. President Wilson opposed and unsuccessfully took his disagreement to the American people. He died on tour after having a massive stroke.

When Neptune began transiting the sign of Aquarius in 1996, people became even more divided, deceived, and demoralized by the powers that be. When Uranus entered Aquarius in 1996, it was home. Many people believed it launched the Age of Aquarius. Humanity would finally choose brotherhood over selfishness, convenience, and fashion.

President Bill Clinton’s first political act of 1996 was to sign a welfare reform bill that made life harder for the poor. Taiwan had its first democratic election. There were four major plane crashes. Madeline Albright became the first female Secretary of State. Ellen DeGeneres became the first outwardly gay star of an ABC sitcom. Body piercing and tattoos became more popular.

In 1998, Catholics and Protestants voted for peace in Ireland. We began bombing Iraq. Male virility became popular after Pfizer introduced Viagra. The stock market created a new form of gambling dubbed “internet day trading”. DVDs became the fastest growing consumer electronics product in history.  Bribes and drugs tarnished the Olympics. We lost our innocence, civil liberties, and illusion of private and social security and stability.

Bill ClintonNeptune rules confusion, illusion, and delusion.  When Neptune entered Aquarius in 1998, the House of Representatives impeached President Clinton, who gave “perjuriously false and misleading” testimony in front of a grand jury. Bill is a Leo with hands to match.

 

 

Bill GatesOur government and twenty state attorney generals charged Microsoft with anti-trust practices for dominating the Internet access market. Bill is Scorpio with intuitive hands.

 

 

When Neptune left Aquarius in 2012, our greatest illusion and deception touched old, poor, sick people, and everyone else who can’t afford to have bad shit happening. Greedy visions are affecting billions of people aged 65 and over. We must understand what’s truly valuable before we can transform our inequities. Mid – 21st Century will be an era of profits of false prophets intended to confuse, delude, and control the 99%. Tycoons will finance political campaigns, control partisan politics, manage health care, restrict social welfare, gamble with people’s pensions, and risk social security.

Since Neptune entered Pisces in 2012, old, poor, and sick people have been seeking security, stability, and spiritual answers and finding despair, fear, and terror.

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.

How I lost my Sanity 6

I chose twelve high functioning patients for my prevocational design classes. It took a few weeks to obtain permissions from the treatment teams. Zandor persuaded them by clarifying how my classes met clinical goals for each patient. The patients were wary, but said ‘yes’ because I was offering an interesting opportunity for a unique experience.

Initial classes were discussions and planning sessions for future classes. I needed my teams to feel inspired and looking forward to their weekly time slots with me. You’ve met Jesus, Gene, and Benny. Meet David, Jim, and Juan. This is my first session.


DavidDavid was a fundamentalist Jew. He’d been heavily shooting cocaine when he and his best friend fought a life and death battle in a drug-crazed rampage. In the War between Good and Evil, David was God and his friend was the Devil. David’s friend lost. David’s thick, dense, tough skinned hands made me imagine him getting run over by a garbage truck and walking away. It was true. David tried to kill himself by tying a noose around his neck and jumping out of a window. He had the scars to prove it. David nurtured my friendship because I was into Jewish mysticism.

 

JimJim was the `guy next door’. Obliterated on crack, Jim pushed a stranger in front of a moving train. The man died and Jim was committed to a forensic psychiatric ward. Jim was likeable. He didn’t threaten or intimidate like Gene, Benny, and Jesus. He was remorseful for his actions and hoped to serve his time in the best ways. Jim wanted to be a useful member of society one day. There were three leaders and three followers. Jim, David, and Juan had no desire to lead.

 

 


curved pinky finger
Juan was resident Pollyanna. An obvious `brown noser’, he was always sucking up to the biggest assholes. Juan’s pinkie finger dramatically curved inwardly. He wanted to please everyone. The staff appreciated his attitude, but Juan’s ‘Enthusiasm OCD’ was over the top. No one could be pessimistic, sarcastic, or cynical around him. Juan replaced Betsy as manager of the ‘Scene’, the patient newspaper. It was a golden opportunity to publish ‘pep talks’.

We had a compact 12′ X 12′ space. Two large wire glass windows overlooked the Styx River facing Purgatory. All the windows on the 11th floor had unobstructed views. I arranged two 30″ X 60″ tables to create a square conference table to sit around. I wanted everyone to be able to look at each other while we spoke. As I turned off the overhead fluorescent lighting and closed the door, the lack of buzzing became obvious as natural daylight flooded the room.

Our first session was awkward. Patients patiently paused as I peered directly into each of their eyes and prepared to speak. “Thank you for being here. Does anyone have anything to say before we begin?” Labored breathing from chronic cigarette smoking disconcerted me. “Gene, what would you like to get out of the time we’ll be spending together each week?”

“No offense, Mark. I’m curious to see how you’re going to fail. You’re a nice guy with good intentions. No one has ever created anything meaningful here. At the moment, you’ve got energy and enthusiasm. People come and go. Eventually, you’ll get discouraged or be fired and have to leave. We’ll never hear from you again.”

“Are you planning to make your prediction a self-fulfilling prophecy?”

“No. You’ll see. It’s the system. If we do anything important, the cabinet will create a new policy to inhibit or prohibit whatever it is.”

“Leave those problems to me. When they arise, we’ll discuss them together and decide what to do about them. I’ve promised I will give you my best. That’s what I have to offer. If you have something more important to do with your time, you should do that”.

“What would you like to get out of this class, Jim?”

“I’m glad for an opportunity to do anything. I want to make things and work with my hands. I want to go into the building trades when I get out of this place. Maybe I could be a general contractor.”

“I’ll do my best to help you achieve your goals, Jim”.

“What about you, David?”

“I agreed to come here, but I don’t want to do anything.  I’ve never really done anything. I had a sixth grade education, but I study Torah. When I get out of here, I’m going to find a trailer in the woods and live in solitude. I could maybe have a garden and grow some good pot to smoke and study Jewish mysticism.”

“OK David, I won’t force you to do anything you don’t want to do. When you’re ready, we welcome your participation in whatever way you deem fit.”

Jesus spoke up. “I love gardening. I’m responsible for the care and maintenance of the patient garden in the yard. David, you can help us with planting this spring. We’ll have tomatoes, beans, carrots, and lettuce this year.” David nodded affirmatively.

I thanked Jesus for his offer, “Maybe we can get permission to have an indoor garden for the off season. There’s plenty of daylight and floor space on this building’s southern and eastern sides. I’ll inquire whether space can be designated for greenery. “This is so exciting!” exclaimed Juan. “I can write a monthly column about our class in the ‘Scene’”

“That’s a wonderful idea Juan, but I think we should keep a low profile until we have some momentum. Negative publicity could be destructive to our cause. Let’s achieve something of value before going public. Can you put your communications skills to work by researching other projects and networking with people who can help us?” “Yes!”

The last member was Benny. “Is there anything you’d like to say, Benny?”

“I don’t know what I want… I want to make some money. I doubt we’ll ever see a fraction of what we’re worth and we won’t see that until we’re free.”

“I have no idea how money works around here. I’ll find out. I will say this. There are many ways and means to an end. If we create something substantial, I’ll do my best to arrange escrow bank accounts or find ways to ensure that you’re remunerated properly for your efforts.” I hoped I hadn’t just bull-shitted everyone because I had no idea whether what I said was possible. Our team looked like a reunion of retired vampires having an infusion of fresh young virgin blood. Everyone seemed happy to be there.

You’ve met Betsy, Virginia, and Manuel. Jack was a religious Jew with skull cap on his balding head. Jack had lived a wasted life in habitual shame, guilt, and obligation while caring for a hypochondriac mother with desperate control issues. When Jack turned sixty, his mother’s clutching neediness drove him over the edge. He threatened to kill and then proceeded to strangle her. She narrowly escaped and managed to get him committed. Jack was a whole lot happier in the looney bin than he was with his mother. Jack planned to stay put until she died. He said he’d use his inheritance to start over.

Ethan was developmentally disabled, unable to form understandable words. Seemed like no one ever bothered to try to understand him. Can you imagine how frustrating that must have been for Ethan? Billy and I realized he was highly intelligent when we placed Ethan in the furniture repair program. He was a fast learner and great natural problem solver. He’d choose the perfect piece of wood, screw, finish, or hand tool for the job. Billy and I spoke to Ethan’s treatment team. We learned that Ethan had a severely cleft pallet that prevented him from speaking clearly. A speech pathologist was called in and a plan was conceived to provide Ethan with corrective surgery. This was the first real step in his recovery and rehabilitation.

DickLast and not least, was Dick. Dick made Arnold look like Peewee. He must have been seven feet tall and three hundred fifty pounds of solid muscle. I met him in the art room as he silently crafted tiny clay sculptures with his huge practical hands. One day, Dick said to me, “I’m going to take this place apart tonight.” I meant to tell someone, but the day got away from me. Dick completely slipped my mind. That night, as I peacefully slept, Dick went berserk. Staff and patients abandoned the ward while Dick trashed the place. He picked up and slammed regulation sized slate top pool tables against the wall. When Dick finished wrecking the ward, he fell asleep. Hospital security crept in, medicated him, and put him in a strait jacket. The cabinet wanted to send him back to Criminal Island, but Dick would be murdered there. He’d hospitalized several guards in full riot gear on his first visit to Criminal. Dick liked me. I was glad he was medicated.

I needed to learn more about my twelve patients and began examining their psychiatric records. I kept my research top secret because it would piss off patients and staff if they knew I was poking around. My most shocking discovery was that psychiatrists never seemed to argue with the original diagnosis or treatment plan. The proverbial buck was passed over and over again. Out of concern, I spoke with Zandor. He told me that nobody would take responsibility. What if you declared a patient better and then she murdered someone? It had happened and would happen again. Patient stories were told and not heard, over and over again, before forensic review committees. I felt sorry for the patients who were really growing, learning, and trying to earn their freedom.

I wondered whether there was a secret agenda to keep mental hospitals full. There were more than enough crazies crossing 42nd Street in Purgatory to fill many wards. I began to research the mental health system by attending conferences in Lilith, the state capital, and networking with rehab departments in hospitals and sheltered workshops around the state. ‘Vocational Rehabilitation’ was a gigantic industry, mostly unprofitable, and subsidized by taxpayers. Sheltered workshops were making the same old outdated crap they’d always made. Many had been contracted to assemble items such as pens or package products for a variety of private profit making corporations. There was a huge opportunity here, but I had no real idea of how to tap into it yet.

Stay tuned as my students plant seeds that begin to sprout and flourish…