How I lost my Sanity 5

Chris Winter caricatureA year had passed when I got my first big break to get to know the patients. Rehab was responsible for holiday activities. Halloween was about to happen. “Wouldn’t it be fun if you were our fortune teller this year?” Dolores asked. I became the ‘palmist’, dressed in satin robes with sun, moon, and pentacles (five pointed star). A silver hand hung around my neck. I called myself “M” (caricature by Chris Wynter).

 

 

 

I examined everyone’s hands, pinpointing their challenges and issues and carefully tailoring my words to their ability to understand me. Most patients instantly reacted, “Hey, you’re for real!” or “You really know me!”. Dolores had inadvertently set me up as a confidant for them. Word of my abilities spread quickly. Soon the art room gained many new recruits who became regulars.

Mohamed was ‘a lifer’. I imagined he’d had enough Thorazine to sedate a small army. A very large middle-aged dark black man, Mohamed was a cross between Muhammad Ali and Bob Marley. He was the most popular patient in the place. Mohamed had been a Hell’s Angel, cocaine addict, and cold blooded murderer. He found `religion’ in solitary confinement. I began receiving Plain Truth magazine shortly after I met him. He placed me on their mailing list. I learned about contraband from Mohamed. Patients with money got marijuana, alcohol, extra cigarettes, and other stuff smuggled through security.

A particularly hard not to notice occurrence was the way large quantities of office and recreational supplies would arrive and vanish quickly. I began hoarding yellow pads, pens, and pencils in my desk before they disappeared. Seemed like staff was getting away with whatever they could. Even office machines vanished. When I asked a friend who worked in another hospital about what was happening, she said it was “par for the course”. Many people who work for government agencies have a kind of chronic poverty consciousness that makes them feel entitled to get away with whatever they can. I thought most workers in helping professions don’t take enough for themselves.

Nothing was as it appeared. One security staff member, who always acted friendly with patients, said to me confidentially, “I’d shoot every one of them in the head at night while they slept if I could get away with it”. I pretended he was joking, but was deeply shocked and awed. Watching patients pretend to act how they believed staff wanted them to be got to be a spectator sport. When backs were turned, patients would give staff the finger or a contorted face. Staff would do the same to patients and each other.

There was a state organization whose job it was to inspect state hospital social service programs. I believe it was called `WXYZ’. The hospital got plenty of notice from WXYZ. They’d show up and lots of hustle and bustle would be happening. It was `Show Time’. Everyone was active and cooperative and everything was `spic and span’. We ran as smoothly as a ‘Timex’. Normally, we were pretty scuzzy and programming ran unpredictably. You know… the kinds of things inspectors need to see.

The biggest scam of all was the creation of the woodworking and refinishing shop. The state allots monies for capital improvements and program development each year. Unspent monies are removed from the following year’s budget. A $100,000.00 surplus needed to be spent quickly. The cabinet approved purchasing expensive woodworking equipment for the Rehab Dept. They failed to inform us that the patients would ‘never’ be permitted to use the tools as they were much too dangerous. I had questioned Billy early on about who was going to operate the equipment. He told me that he and I would do all the machining, initially, but eventually patients would be trusted. I disagreed. None of our conjecture mattered, because when the fiscal year was over, the cabinet scrapped the shop. Now they could ask for more money next year.

I figured if everyone else was getting away with things, so could I. I began collecting more artwork. `Gigolo’ worked security at the hospital entrance. When no one was around, he’d wave me past the bag check and metal detector. To my knowledge, even the director of the hospital was scanned and checked daily. I took advantage of his trust in me by waiting outside the hospital entrance until no one was in the foyer. I was ‘Smiley’, so I’d enter the security area with a big smile on my face. Gigolo would wave me on. In my satchel were a camera, tape recorder, batteries, and extra tapes. I began recording patient songs and stories on audio tape. I knew I could, so I did.

Virginia was abandoned by her mother at birth. Fished out of a garbage can, she grew up in orphanages. As Virginia ventured out into the world on her own, she became a magnet for one co-dependent abusive spouse after the other. Virginia prayed her children wouldn’t be forsaken, but they were. Virginia had a grade school education. She never developed work skills. Her children were homeless and starving. She loved them too much to stand by and watch them starve so she killed them. What else could she do? Virginia’s haunting voice expresses the agony of her soul. I found her tunes and lyrics profoundly poetic and deeply disturbing. She asked me to share them.

“CRIES OF PAIN, CRIES OF JOY

SCREAMS OF TORMENT WITHIN

SILENTLY WHISPERING INNER FEAR

A WALL OF PRETENSE TO HIDE

BITTER REALITY WITH NO REMORSE

CHANGING MOODS, ALWAYS DENY

TRUTH IN A WORLD OF UNENDING STRIFE

REACHING OUT THE LAYER OF LIFE

DREAMING OF THE EVERYDAY CHARADE

MOVING FACES IN A MASQUERADE

REVEALING THE UNRELENTING SOUL

OF A TIRED AND LONELY BEING

HIDDEN QUALITIES SOARING BENEATH

THE EXTERNAL EXISTENCE ABOVE

COULD THE ENERGY EXIST TO FIGHT

THE SHADOWY SILHOUETTE OF I?”

Large ball of thumb with and without lines

“Have you ever seen a hand that frightened you?”

That’s a question I often hear. A sweltering day sent a chill through my soul as I first touched Manuel’s hot sweaty palms. Manuel’s huge reddish balls of thumb were full and smooth with no lines. They looked like they’d been stuffed with extra-large eggs. The picture is simulated. The ball on the right is mine. It has many significant relationship lines within the lifeline. I love a lot of people. Manuel had none. He had a mega-dose of desire, lust, and passion; nourished with fear, anger, and hatred, and no ability to have intimacy with another human being. Manuel allegedly kidnapped eight boys, took them to rooftops, raped, murdered, cut their penises off, and then carved crosses in the bases of their skulls.

Manuel pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and was committed to a maximum-security forensic hospital for the criminally insane. When I met Manuel, he was dying of kidney disease. He’d been on dialysis machines for five years. His kidneys were shot. There would be no donor for a child serial killer. Manuel’s time was running out. He wanted to tell his story and asked if I would record it. Before accepting Manuel’s word, I examined his hospital records and psychiatric treatment plans. Dozens of articles about the murders were recorded on microfilm in the news section of the public library.

purgatory newsAlthough the evidence was circumstantial, Manuel fit the profile. The media generated a public frenzy. Hundreds of detectives and policemen were on the case. The first suspect had to be disguised as a policeman in order to not be lynched by the public. ” It took over two hundred police, some wearing riot gear, to prevent over 1000 angry people from storming the xxx police station in the mistaken belief that a suspect in the mutilation murders of four young boys was inside the building.”

 

Manuel’s ball of thumb is the star of his story. Manuel came to the USA from Puerto Rico at age thirteen with his father and brother. He had great aspirations, but got hooked on drugs (marijuana) and headed downhill after that. Manuel said to me, “Drug addiction was in my genes. From the first time I tasted drugs, I never stopped”. A huge round ball of thumb symbolizes sensuality, compulsion, and indulgence. A paradox is that a large ball of thumb can also symbolize a huge appreciation of nature, children, and all things beautiful, along with abundant generosity and warmth. Manuel’s low set thumb and very stiff fingers and life and head line closely tied together at their start symbolizes that Manuel’s bad habits were deeply embedded.

Many thieves and pick pockets have inwardly curving pinkies. Hooked on heroine, Manuel resorted to stealing drugs to support his habit. He hung out with prostitutes and criminals. Meanwhile, his mother died of brain cancer, his sister died of cirrhosis of the liver, his half-brother died of a drug overdose, and his other brother was locked up for murdering their crazy father. Manuel’s tale would make an extremely dark TV sitcom.

Manuel dealt heroine to support his habit. When he turned sixteen, he was arrested for drug dealing. In Purgatory’s “tombs”, Manuel began banging his head against the wall. He was sent to a maximum security outpatient mental hospital to detox and six months later he believed his habit was broken. Manuel discovered he had talents in arts and cooking. He tried living with a woman at seventeen, but he couldn’t stay out of trouble. While in and out of prisons and mental hospitals, Manuel managed to get his common-law wife pregnant three times during his leaves; two daughters and a son. One daughter had to be on dialysis for failed kidneys.

Manuel spent five years in a state penitentiary while his family survived on welfare. The prison system tried to rehabilitate Manuel by teaching him several different trades. He had the best of intentions, but was unable stay out of trouble. Then he found religion and went to live in a church. Becoming fanatical, he began preaching from the bible to his family, friends, and strangers on the street. He claimed he tried to stay away from drugs, but even a drag of a cigarette or sip of beer would rekindle his addiction.

A combination of drugs and religion led to grandiosity. “I was greater than God. I really believed I was Jesus Christ”. Manuel took medication for his hallucinations. On drugs, he could temporarily cope. If he forgot, he’d become mentally and physically ill. Manuel began taking speed and cocaine again. His delusions and hallucinations became grandiose. One forensic psychiatrist described Manuel as a “walking time bomb”, a violent psychopath destined for evil and a forensic lifestyle.

Several authorized and unauthorized exits from QRS, a low security mental hospital, coincided with the mutilation deaths of young boys. Manuel was seen preaching on the streets near the scene of one crime. He was connected to other murder locations because of relatives who lived nearby. Manuel denied killing the boys. He insisted that a court appointed defense attorney talked him into copping a plea of insanity. He claimed he didn’t know anything about the legal system and just followed his lawyer’s advice.

“I was sold down the river. Everyone needed a murderer and I was him”.  Manuel was found criminally insane. There were no more mutilations of children after he was put away. I believed Manuel committed those crimes. I also felt compassion for him. He was born on the short end of a very hard thorny stick in the nature and nurture departments. I felt totally repulsed by him, but I also realized that Manuel might have been a very different person had he had real love and nourishment in his childhood. Manuel could have had a healthier and happier life with the right nurture.

I was reading everyone’s hands, but never shared anyone’s secrets with anyone else. Rehab staff knew, but considered me harmless. They were more neurotic than patients. Many had overdeveloped superegos. They only did what they knew they could get away with. A majority of patients had huge ids and no superego. They did what they thought they had to do, never thinking about the consequences of what they did. They saw only one solution to their problem. On the whole, patients had less peripheral lines in their palms than staff who were more confused.

patient vs staff

Soon a new art therapist would be in place. I began preparing for my prevocational classes. My favorite patients were ready to sign up. A few others I’d I tried to interest remained apathetic. I published an appeal for ‘prevocational classes’ in the ‘Scene’.

Mark is my name. I was `M’, the fortune teller at our Halloween celebration. Many of you know me as part-time art therapist. I’m actually an industrial designer. I design products for manufacturing companies and teach design at local colleges. I also offer workshops to help inventors manifest their creations. My job title here is `Vocational Instructor’.

One year ago (this week), I began working here. I hoped I could motivate many of you to nourish your natural talents and abilities. I planned to offer guidance and support on projects of your creation. I assumed you’d be inspired by an opportunity to work on your own projects. Over the past year, I‘ve heard many reasons why you can’t or don’t want to be involved. You’re so used to circumstances being hard, you can’t imagine anything else. Disappointment is too painful. You’re afraid to be enthusiastic. You’re afraid to trust anyone. Your self-esteem is too low. You’re not worthy or capable, but you are.

I’m appealing to anyone who feels inspired or curious about their potentials and is willing to make a commitment to a weekly schedule to work under my direction. You must be accepted to participate in my class. A brief interview with Mr. Cartozian, Rehab Counselor, will be required. His approval, along with the support of your treatment team will determine your eligibility. If you want my help, you’ve got it.

I promise to dedicate myself to helping class members make their projects a reality. Any project you choose is fine as long as it’s possible. Twelve students will participate in classes. There will be two work / study groups with six students each. Each will meet twice per week; one session on Tuesday and one session on Wednesday.

Here’s my vision: We’re motivated about our projects and willing to do whatever it takes to make them happen. We’re sharing in healthy and constructive ways and learning a lot from one another’s projects. Everyone is learning to draw and make things in our workshop. A variety of projects are happening; works of art, music, writing, and practical items like furniture, magazine racks, floral planters, and boxes of all shapes and sizes. If you can envision yourself in my class, please speak with me directly in the Rehab Department on a Tuesday or a Wednesday over the next several weeks.

Stay tuned as we finally begin vocational classes.

LEO – Search for Father

LEO

Intuitive types (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) are highly spirited, enthusiastic individuals who dislike details, need to grasp the whole picture, require a lot of freedom to express themselves naturally, and pride themselves on their honesty. As objective independent thinkers, they must set inspiring goals to channel their energy and passion into. They become easily bored with the mundane and routine. They must cultivate far vision and enduring patience. Often accused of ‘being opinionated’, their point of view is crucial. Communicating clearly and effectively is a must. The best way for these extroverts to flourish is to behave responsibly, honestly, patiently, and naturally in relationships.

Leos are fixed intuitive types who love being the center of attention. They’re creative, dramatic, generous, enthusiastic, and fiercely loyal. They’ll try to adopt you into their ‘pride’ when they’re feeling admired and appreciated. Their fans look forward to their humor and stories. Don’t ever take a Leo for granted. Unlike Aries they take rejection personally, even if they haven’t been rejected. As creatures of habit, they can cling to obsolete behavioral patterns, depressing situations, and fruitless relationships. Leos must learn to let go of false pride, pay attention to the handwriting on the wall, and cut their losses by letting go of whatever’s not working. Leos can also spread themselves too thin and become the notorious multi-talented jacks of all trades, masters of none.

Their positive side is charming, creative, talented, and versatile. They’re generally healthy types with physical problems being eyesight, heart, and poor circulation. Leo’s dominant physical sense is sight. The metaphysical correspondence is shedding light.

Donald TrumpDonald Trump is a Gemini with Leo rising. His Leo hands embody the most negative attributes of Leo’s will power and behavior that include being self-centered, self-indulgent, superficial, ostentatious, egotistical, ruthless, greedy, bossy, seductive, and a lousy role model.

 

How many gilded towers, glitzy gambling casinos, golden pedestals, and graven images do we require? Beauty queens, shark tanks, and celebrity idols are our heroes. What has happened to Donald’s (and our) humanity and spirituality?  

You don’t need to have a Leo sun to be a Leo type. Leonine hands are like Arian hands in shape, consistency, and coloration. Leo’s joints are stiffer, especially the thumb. The elasticity of Leo’s hands is tenser and the consistency is denser than their Sagittarian brethren. Leo life and head lines are closely intertwined where the thumb joins the hand. Pure Leos have strong ring fingers. Shapes of the tips, proportions of phalanges, knots, nails, and other markings reveal more about the person. Whorl fingerprints (concentric circles, spirals, fire / intuitive) add originality, independence, and unconventionality.

Finger lengthRing fingers symbolize artistic and aesthetic abilities, drama, versatility, salesmanship, showiness, and gambling proclivities. No matter your archetype, long ring fingers on dominant hands add versatility, adaptability, creativity, and expressivity. Cultivated types savor beautiful things with a highly developed sense of taste and style. I’ve noticed that long ring fingered types are more likeable than short ring fingered folk. A ring finger is judged for length against the middle finger. When the tip is shorter than the middle of the first phalanx of the middle finger, it’s considered short. When longer, it’s long. Long index fingered Leos love being boss. Last time I checked, there were more Fortune 500 and NASDAQ (over 10%) LEO CEO’s than any other sign. I’ve seen similar ring fingers on hands of gamblers. They win, but don’t know when to stop betting. I’ve also read the hands of many architects, designers, photographers, craftsmen, and curators with long ring fingers.

Free will is the most important reason for learning to read hands. Willpower is the esoteric correspondence for Leo. Our thumb is the location of will in our hands. It’s the reason we dominate our simian ancestors. Our minds developed because our thumbs oppose our other four fingers. A thumb is a small body part that takes up a huge space in the cerebral cortex of our brains. We’ve designed all of our tools from a simple pencil to our most complex computers as a result of the placement of our thumbs.

Our hands manifest the messages of our minds. In turn, our character, thoughts, feelings, and experience are mapped in the shapes and proportions of our hands. Our stories are engraved in the topography of our hands. It’s paradoxical that so few of us are aware of the priceless treasure waiting to be discovered at the ends of our arms. The beauty of palmistry is that our changes reveal themselves in the mirrors of our hands over time as our thinking and circumstances change. Freewill is a choice and opportunity for change.

Our thumbs symbolize our three most valuable natural resources: will power, logic, and ability to love. These precious qualities must be balanced. Thumbs, like our other fingers, have two joints that form three segments known as phalanges. The top phalanx is will power. The second is reasoning ability. When will is longer than logic, we may act before we think. If logic is longer, we may figure everything out, but get stuck in thinking. Then we procrastinate when we should act. A bit more logic than will keeps us in check.

Knots symbolize a need for more order in the area the knot represents. The knottier the joint, the more order is needed. The top knot is mental order (or disorder). The second knot needs physical order. If the middle phalange on your pinky is shortest, it may not be easy to keep things in their place. Huge knots may be arthritic or they can alert you to possible OCD. ‘Everything must be as I need it to be.’ The third or bottom phalanx is the ball of thumb (contained by the lifeline). Balls of thumb provide information about our capacities for sympathy, nurturing, maintaining intimate connections, loving, and valuing children, animals, nature, art, and music. Without love, empathy, and sympathy, all the passion, logic, and will in the world will never be healthy.

Thumb size is important. A thumb must be judged in relationship to the whole hand. Does a thumb look large or small in comparison to a hand? Is a thumb high or low set?  The ‘normal’ length of thumb (held closely to hand) is even with the middle of the third phalange of the index finger. If longer, it’s long. If shorter, it’s short. A large thumbed person is a natural leader who wants useful practical results. Small thumbed folk are impressionable, sentimental, and easily led by their heartstrings. A tiny flexible thumbed person might stay home in bed, watch soap operas, and eat bonbons. Read my version of the “Three little pigs and their thumbs”.

three little pigs

“The most difficult job in the world is not being president. It’s being a parent.”

Bill ClintonEx-President Bill Clinton is a Leo. Born in 1946, three months after his real dad died, Bill was raised by an abusive alcoholic stepfather. Many Leos spend much of their lives searching for approval from father figures because theirs was physically, mentally, or emotionally absent during their formative years. One of Leo’s quests in their life is a hero’s journey to overcome the fear of abandonment and become a devoted parent figure who loves unconditionally without expectation. Bill’s Sun, Mercury, Saturn, and Pluto are in Leo. He has Leo hands with a robust ring finger that enjoys marriage, but has very high expectations of his mate. As Commander and Chief, Bill was a polyamorous player of political games, musical instruments, and women.

People judge Bill for his character, but whether you like him or not, Bill is true to his character. Bill’s Sun and Jupiter blend Apollo and Zeus, two powerful, charismatic, and sexy gods in Greek myth. Zeus was famous for his seductions and philandering. Apollo was irresistible. It’s not easy to find healthy creative outlets for all that libido. Many of the most powerful men and women in the world are philanderers with secret sexual addictions. Excess testosterone comes with the territory.

Bill loved ruling the free world, getting away with shameful sex, and playing his saxophone at the same time. Zeus could possess whatever mortal he wanted. His challenge was getting away with it. Hera was famous for kicking his butt by punishing his conquests and their offspring. Due to our culture’s fundamentalist socio-religious values, Bill Clinton’s sexual behavior undermined his position and power. It’s hard to get away with much when you’re both mortal and a celebrity. You can bet Hillary (Scorpio) booted Bill’s behind when he was caught with his pants down around his ankles and his cock in his intern’s mouth. Hillary is less likeable than Bill, but she’ll be a better President if she gets the chance.

Robert De NiroSuccessful actors, artists, designers, businessmen, teachers, salesmen, politicians, and diplomats are Leo ruled. Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Whitney Huston, Madonna, Mick Jagger, Ben Affleck, Steve Martin, and Kenny Rogers are Leos.

Arnold

“I’ll be back”

Apollo and Hercules are solar archetypes of ancient Greece. Samson was Judaic, Osiris was Egyptian, Parcival was English, and Narashima was Indian. The Lion King and Goldilocks are fairytales that Walt Disney popularized. One Leo who feared his father and made a myth out of himself is the ‘Terminator’ / ‘Conan the barbarian’, former governor of California.  Arnold’s short index fingers (may appear short when folded inward) reveal deep issues and challenges about his self-esteem and spirituality. Curved pinkies please while avoiding real confrontation by pretending things are better than they are. They act nice when they don’t feel nice. Arnold’s large flexible thumbs are adaptable and versatile. He can become distracted and unfocused. People accuse Arnold of being a bad actor. Arnold chooses great plots. He’s much more clever and adaptable than people realize. Arnold’s Arthurian myth is the search for the Holy Grail. He must ask the right questions to find a balance between his head and heart.

Mark & Martha

In April of 2001, I read Martha Stewart’s hands on her TV show, ‘Martha Stewart Living’. A critical father encouraged Martha to be obsessively ambitious and compulsively hard working. Born August 3 1941, Leo rules Martha’s Sun, Pluto, and Midheaven. Her multi- talented hardworking Aquarian hands are well designed for gardening and crafts. I didn’t see “fame” in Martha’s hands. I saw an extremely strong index finger on her dominant hand. Martha earns and deserves whatever she achieves.

Martha’s large stiff thumbs symbolize persistent will power, dogged determination, and fiery passion. As a host, Martha was gracious. As a boss, she’s demanding. I observed dozens of hip young people who make sure Martha always looks good. Her intention and mission is to give her fans valuable information and resources. In hindsight, I regret not doing a better job explaining palmistry. I was nervous. When I got home, I examined Martha’s hand prints along with her astrological chart. I wish I could share them with you, but don’t have permission. I realized 2002 was going to be a challenging year in which Martha’s integrity and reputation might be challenged. I offered to discretely share my insights with her. She didn’t reply.

Bernie EbbersWhen the ImClone stock scandal broke, people who knew I’d been on her show began calling to ask if I’d seen it coming. They made cruel jokes and suggested I remove her from my press materials. I was disgusted by how many people found joy as Martha crashed and burned. The media dressed Martha in wolf’s clothing and she became their sacrificial lamb. Meanwhile, real criminals, like George W Bush’s buddy, ‘Kenny Boy’ Lay (Enron), Dennis Kozlowski (Tyco), and Bernie Ebbers (WorldCom) were getting away with capitalistic genocide. I wrote to Martha to offer my insights. Again, there was no reply.

I see Martha as an honest person with straight fingers, firm elastic skin, strong healthy palms, and clearly defined lines. Martha became a high profile casualty of corporate greed and corruption. Innocence or guilt was not the issue. Martha’s Leo pride got in the way. She used poor judgment. She wasn’t thinking “I’m insider trading” when she sold her stock. Sure, she should have known better. Rich people are privy to exclusive information. They can choose to enrich themselves with or without it. Secret actions and absolute discretion are a win win scenario.

Martha should have chosen humility like Mufaasa. Instead, she behaved immaturely like young Simba. Where were Pumbaa and Timon when she needed a refresher course on the laws of the jungle? Goldilocks may have enhanced the porridge and decorated the beds more beautifully, but the bears were still pissed when they get home. Martha demonstrated the hubris that destroyed the gods and heroes in Greek and Roman myth. As a queen, she must always take the high road. She should have apologized to her loyal fans and offered the profit to a great cause. Trust will be re-earned as Martha serves her fan’s needs, battles her ego, and shows true humility and generosity of spirit.

Athena vaseAn appropriate archetype for Martha is the Greek goddess Athena, who ruled Arts and Crafts. In peacetime Athena is pictured with a spear in one hand and a bowl or spindle in the other. She looked after weavers, potters, and craftsmen. Athena clashed with a mortal named Arachne, an incredible weaver. People compared Arachne to Athena and it went to Arachne’s head. She should have given Athena credit. Instead, she arrogantly challenged Athena to a weaving contest. She made matters worse by poking fun at Athena’s family with her art. Her creation was magnificent, but Athena transformed Arachne into the greatest weaver for all time, the arachnid (spider). It’s not a good idea for mortals to mess with Gods.

Martha is dominated by Athena, but she’s not Athena. She has enormous mental, spiritual, and physical energies and resources and is capable of making positive differences by weaving powerful webs of strength, beauty, hope, and faith. Martha can inspire the masses with her good deeds and catalyze positive changes in our world.

Sun

Leo is our sun, royalty, and celebrity. I’ve read many celebrities, CEOs, and mega-rich people that live like self-appointed royalty. People ask, “Did you see fame and great wealth in their hands?”  NO is the answer. Fame and wealth are not fate, but choices. Hands reveal how a person’s potentials are fulfilled. You too can be wealthier if wealth is your top priority (even if it’s not a priority in your hands). Palmistry books tell us of fame lines that form a perfect ‘star’ under the ring finger. Sarah Bernhardt is the example most palmists use. I’ve seen two perfect stars of Apollo in forty years; the first was on Katie Couric’s right hand and the second on Susan Sarandon’s left hand. I’ve mostly read a diversity of hands with a variety of challenges and solutions to problems with self-esteem, wounded hearts, and confused minds. I can’t be more specific because I must be discrete. Powerful people have the same challenges as everyone else. Many successful people have been driven to succeed because of their fears and insecurities. I’ve learned that money can and does help iron out some of the wrinkles.

I’ve personally turned away opportunities for more celebrity. I was offered a live reality TV series. I’d read hands of people who were chosen by the producer. I refused. I didn’t want to be offensive, defensive, or end up being the ‘Jerry Springer’ of the metaphysical world. A person’s inner life is private and should be respected, even if they don’t respect it. Dog and pony shows may be popular, but I have zero desire to be part of one.

Mark, Meredith, Joy, Debbie, and Star

When the producer from ‘The View’ called to ask if I’d be on their show, I initially said ‘no’. I didn’t want to defend myself and palmistry. The producer promised that wouldn’t happen. She insisted I’d have a venue to offer viewers a real taste of palmistry. Unlike Martha’s show (which was taped and edited), ‘The View’ is live with a live audience.

Sure enough, as the cameras commenced, the banter and jokes began. Star Jones challenged me with learning what I was telling her by watching the show. You’ll enjoy my response. In fairness to the producer, they did give me five-minutes to say what I wanted. Please excuse the quality of snapshots. They were captured from the shows.

On the View with a live audience

AvrahamAlan and I met in the mid 70’s, before I moved to NYC. Alan’s rectangular palms and short fingers reveal an intuitive type. His thumbs and fingers are very stiff and his head and life lines are closely intertwined where his thumbs meet his hands. Alan is a Leo with Leo hands. His lower set curved index fingers, bent pinkies, and crooked middle fingers tell his tale of striving for and achieving personal transformation.

Alan was born poor. His real father died when he was four. He lived on a commercial street in a rich Jewish neighborhood. Alan’s mother was obese and in bad health. She loved Alan, but in desperation, remarried a horrible man who became Alan’s evil stepfather. I saw this creepy guy at funerals before I knew Alan. He was employed by the local home to be a part-time mourner at small gatherings. Alan was an unwanted stepchild in his own home, a tiny shabby apartment located above a smelly butcher shop. While other kids wore monogrammed shirts, smelled of fancy colognes, and drove sporty cars, Alan looked over his shoulder to make sure no one would see him climbing the dingy stairs to his very depressing world.

Alan decided early that he would not be poor when he grew up. His bible became Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. John Lennon was his hero. Alan stubbornly persisted and finally earned his law degree by selling ironing board covers and light bulbs door to door. Lawyers with crooked pinkies are notorious for bending the truth and the law. Alan was as clever as the best of them, but he chose to turn his ingenuity toward marketing himself. With truth on his side, Alan could bend everything else. He became a clever pioneer in legal advertising. Other lawyers who didn’t know Alan saw him as a greedy ‘ambulance chaser’, but Alan’s marketing mind put his clients’ needs and interests first. He once told me, “It doesn’t take winning too many good cases to make a great living.”

While walking in our office in the forest one day, Alan proclaimed, “I used to dream I’d be successful and own a lot of stuff and now I do. I’m glad I proved to myself that I can do it. I no longer need any of it to be happy.” I immediately challenged him to let go of everything. We both knew the truth ~ that it would require a miracle or a catastrophe.

When Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto passed through Leo in the twentieth century, enormous changes were taking place in personal, collective, and governmental rights and power. Uranus (Aquarius), planet of change, transited Leo from 1955 to 1962. The sun shined on strong will, rebellion, determination, vitality, forcefulness, and civil rights. Rosa Parks defied a segregation ordinance by not giving up her bus seat to a white man in Alabama. The Supreme Court upheld her civil rights a year later. The University of Mississippi was forced to enroll its first black student. President Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock Arkansas to enforce school desegregation. President Kennedy ordered the National Guard to keep schools open in Alabama. Cultural shame cultivated seeds of positive change. Equality and civil rights is still an embarrassment.

New inventions promoted convenience and provided more time for recreation and leisure. Kentucky fried chicken was introduced. Play-Doh became popular. Davy Crocket and coonskin caps became fashionable. Pampers became the first disposable diapers. Crest was the first fluoride toothpaste. The first electric toothbrush was produced. The Teflon Company introduced non-stick cookware. Smith Corona introduced the first portable electric typewriters. Mattel Inc. introduced Barbie. Felt tipped pens became popular. Soft drinks were packaged in aluminum cans for the first time. K-Mart and Wal-Mart opened. Bank of America and American Express issued the first credit cards. The first transatlantic telephone cable began working. The first transcontinental helicopter flight was made. That was only half a century ago.

Neptune (Pisces) takes fourteen years to change sign. When it does, the collective goes through confusing and ambiguous changes. Neptune transited the sign of Leo from 1916 to 1929. Phenomenal world confusion was happening. War brought tremendous prosperity to Wall Street while soldiers earning $16 a month were being killed in the trenches. England blacklisted and prevented over 80 US firms from dealing with neutral countries because they were suspected of trading with Germany. Prescott Bush was one of them. Influenza caused over two hundred deaths a day. Approximately one quarter of the US was sick. Half a million people were dead before the end of 1919.

Daylight savings time began. Arkansas farmers dedicated a monument to the Boll Weevil, whose devastation of the cotton crop caused them to diversify and become more profitable. By 1927, the farm population had dropped dramatically. Countless farmers hopelessly and desperately sold their farms.

Neptune rules alcohol. The underworld, mafia, and gangs thrived. National prohibition began in 1920. Liquor smuggling and bootlegging became big business. Marijuana is the new alcohol.

Congress set a quota limiting the number of immigrants allowed into the country.

A senate subcommittee was formed to investigate the Teapot Dome oil leases.

Walt Disney released the first Mickey Mouse cartoon in 1928. George Eastman created the first color motion pictures. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was performed for the first time as a new form of symphonic jazz.

Doubt, fear, and panic caused the stock market to crash, leaving farmers, businessmen, and both haves and have nots in a state of terrible confusion and crisis.

History repeated itself in the opposition as Neptune transited Aquarius (1998 – 2012). War is still bringing prosperity to Wall Street. Agribusiness and chemical companies like Monsanto are still crushing small farmers and deluding consumers. Immigrants are still being persecuted. Oil and energy companies are still controlling and manipulating us.

The planet Pluto (Scorpio) takes approximately twenty years to change sign. When it does, it disintegrates, destroys, and transforms collective consciousness. Pluto is the dark side of the force. As Pluto transited the sign of Leo from 1938 to 1957, national and personal pride and power transformed. Despite the New Deal, ten million people were unemployed in 1939.  President Roosevelt increased appropriations for building the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Congress adopted the Naval Expansion Act. Roosevelt transformed the Federal Reserve by creating the ‘withholding tax’, which was the beginning of social security. He became the first president to appear on television.

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

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

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

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

Cancer and Hands – Search for Mother

Cancer

four archetypes

Cancer is a feeling type. Feeling types have the strongest potential of the four basic types for expressing their highest spiritual nature. They’re intuitive, empathic, sensitive, and very aware of the needs of others. They can be very hard to understand because they tend to hide their true selves. They take cover in their shells when you try to pry into their private lives. They’re cautious because they feel deeply vulnerable. Cancer types must learn to be frank and direct, rather than wield tact and diplomacy to avoid emotional confrontation. Avoiding confrontation doesn’t mean they won’t cultivate intimacy wherever and whenever they can. Cancer feelings can swing from loving and devoted to secretive and reclusive to obsessive and fearful. When Cancer types are feeling controlled or confined, they can become dark and moody. They need to feel protected and secure before they can fully trust. Once trust is earned, loyalties run deep. Healthy family ties and close friendships nourish their naturally nurturing natures. Having organization, structure, and detail helps them feel more stable and secure.

Healthy types have no problem expressing love, compassion, sympathy, and devotion. They communicate best with other feeling types and feel safe with practical types who are responsible, reliable, and dependable. Feeling types are thinking and intuitive type challenged. They’re nervous they’ll be left holding the psychic garbage bag and forced to deal with the emotional fallout when idealism, optimism, enthusiasm, and logic wane, and they do. Having acute consciousness of one’s own emotional needs is essential.

Pure types tend to be internally secretive and externally ambitious at the same time. They’ll work extremely hard as long as income matches output. That income provides food, family security, and fertile ground for their roots and resourceful imaginations.

Demeter is the Greek earth goddess of grain and the harvest. I chose her to represent Cancer and water because she’s a powerful mother. Cancer mothers (not all) are thought to be controlling and overprotective of their children. When Pluto abducted Persephone, Demeter exercised her mother power over all the gods, goddesses, and mankind by creating winter (death of flora) for the months that Persephone is with Pluto.

Feeling handYou don’t have to have a Cancer sun to have Cancer hands and behavior. Rectangular palms and long fingers (often held closely together) indicate dominant feeling types. Healthy Cancer hands are firm in consistency and moderate in flexibility with pink elastic skin. Joints are less stiff than Scorpion and less flexible than Piscean types. Healthy types have a firm sincere handshake. More lines add more sensitivity. Head and life lines may separate at their beginnings. Long head lines gently slope downward toward well-developed heels of the hands while long heart lines gracefully curve upward toward the index finger. I’ve observed a lot of round or conical fingertips with long nails and a majority of loop fingerprints, but not enough to generalize.

Lloyd Wilson

“You’ve got to play to lose”

Kennywood memoriesForty-one years ago, this moment was captured in a photo booth at Kennywood Amusement Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Lloyd and I met while employed part time at a metal, plastics, and woodworking machine shop where we fabricated preschool children’s learning thingamajigs. We made toys for ourselves on our own time. We were about to graduate from different colleges. I’d become an industrial designer. Lloyd would continue to be an artist. We were actually a couple of Peter Pans on our way to Neverland.

 

Once upon a time, we hitchhiked to a local auto drive-away place, surveyed some pins on a map, and impulsively decided to drive a brand new black Cadillac Fleetwood limousine from Pittsburgh to Miami Beach. We had three days to get there. With a lot of caffeine and humor, we made it in twenty-four hours. We visited Lloyd’s older sister when we arrived, pretending we were successful entrepreneurs. While we were out shooting skeet and racing go-carts at the local track, Lloyd’s sister thoughtfully washed our laundry for us. We came home to find our ragged underwear and socks hanging on her clothes line. The jig was up. Then we drove the Caddy to the beach in search of horny females, but didn’t enchant any.

Lloyd would say to me, “People who tell the truth don’t need to have good memories”. I’d reply, “We may be bastards, but at least we’re honest”. Fifty years of friendship have witnessed many challenging lessons in humility for us. We delayed our outer world from harmonizing with our inner world by always choosing to learn the hard way. There were no shortcuts. We had to finally let go of our need to be more and greater than we were.

Lloyd’s slender rectangular palms and long fingers harmonize with his Cancer sun, which is conjunct my Mercury. His Gemini ascendant harmonizes with my Gemini sun. Lloyd’s head and life lines are tightly intertwined at their beginnings and reveal his desire to feel appreciated. He was a sensitive child who needed love and support, but didn’t  get any. Lloyd tried hard to fix his broken parents, but they were too sick to give him approval and appreciation. Instead, they judged, criticized, and abused him. Lloyd can survive without anyone’s approval, but he thrives on appreciation. He’ll give his friends the shirt off his back, but they had better not take him for granted. Lloyd has literally given me the shirt off his back in my moment of need. I was on my way to an important meeting and got a nasty stain on my shirt. Before I could blink, Lloyd took off his shirt and traded with me.

Lloyd’s a quick thinker and extremely clever with words. Soon after we met, he was on the TV word show “Jeopardy”. When the host asked, “What do you do Mister Wilson?”  Lloyd replied, “I’m a sculptor”. “What kind of sculpture do you make?” Not having a quick easy explanation for his broad eclectic mind and artwork, Lloyd sized up the marketing opportunity and responded in his deep resonant voice, “Expensive Sculpture”.

Lloyd with sculptures

Lloyd didn’t get much nurturing as a child. He developed his quick wit and sense of humor while trying to avoid extreme physical abuse. When his mother was happy, Lloyd was safe. When she was unhappy, she’d incite Lloyd’s rage filled father to hurt him. Lloyd’s mother committed suicide, his father was committed to a mental institution, and his beautiful sister, who I’d met in Florida with her two young children, great husband, and apparently idyllic life, suddenly and unexpectedly blew her head off with a shotgun.

flexible thumbLloyd’s very flexible thumbs symbolize his ability to adapt to the most horrible of circumstances. They also embody his generosity of heart and spirit. It’s very hard for Lloyd to say “NO”. He probably doesn’t realize it, but the gold ring on the bottom middle finger of Lloyd’s unconscious hand symbolizes his need to have clear boundaries, be frugal, and not give everything away.

 

 

Cancers are collectors. Some stockpile food in case of shortage or emergency. Lloyd collects art books, literature (he’s the most well-read person I know), religious art, art supplies, tools, and clothing. When wealthy people die, their families donate their clothing to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Lloyd has a keen eye for the finest designer clothing as he picks through the merchandise. He’s a master bargain hunter. I call him my personal dresser. We wear the same sizes. Lloyd chooses suits, coats, and jackets with me in mind. He has gifted me with suits worth thousands of dollars that he paid ten or fifteen dollars for. Many have never been worn.

Lloyd Wilson is Pittsburgh’s best kept secret because he loves his anonymity. His artwork reveals a magical spirit, but few will ever get to know it. Lloyd personifies Cancer’s best qualities. He’s supportive, sympathetic, receptive, reflective, intuitive, imaginative, and extremely devoted to friends and family.  It’s no surprise he’s my best friend.

USA PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY

Mission Accomplished?

Mission Accomplished?

There have been four US Presidents born under the sign of Cancer. The most recent and worst (in my opinion) President in history was George W Bush. His intuitive hands and personality match his Leo ascendant. George manifested the worst qualities of Cancer and Leo in his presidential intentions and actions. Here’s my rant I featured him in.

 

There were three previous Cancer Presidents. It’s interesting to look at the similarities.

John Quincy AdamsLike George W. Bush vs. Al Gore, the 6th President, John Quincy Adams finished second in the popular vote behind General Andrew Jackson. No one had a sizable majority. The choice was put before the House of Representatives. The House Speaker, Henry Clay, swung the election to Adams. When Adams appointed Clay as Secretary of State, the Jackson followers cried, “Corrupt bargain”.

Unlike Bush, Adams was not re-installed. Here’s a quote on Adams by W.H. Littleton. “Of all the men whom it was ever my lot to accost and to waste civilities upon, he was the most doggedly and systematically repulsive. With a vinegar aspect, cotton in his leathern ears, and hatred in his heart, he sat… like a bulldog among spaniels”.

Calvin CooledgeThe 30th President, Calvin Coolidge, shared his (July 4) birthday with the US Declaration of Independence. His most famous characteristic, “holding his tongue”, earned him the title, “Silent Cal”. Two infamous sayings of his were, “If you don’t say anything, you won’t be called on to repeat it” and “The business of America is business”.  William Allen White described him, “He was an economic fatalist with a God given inertia. He knew nothing and refused to learn”. “He was weaned on a pickle” declared Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Gerald FordThe 38th President, Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr., didn’t learn that he had been adopted until he was seventeen years old. His wife Betty performed the domestic chores because Gerry wouldn’t lift a finger around the house.   As Speaker of the other house, Ford passionately pleaded for escalation of the war in Vietnam. He urged members to “unleash devastating air and sea power”.

Ford launched an unsuccessful crusade to impeach liberal Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas as a favor to his buddy Richard Nixon. Ford ultimately granted Nixon a “full complete and absolute pardon” for all his crimes relating to the Watergate scandal. Ford also blamed the democrats for the disastrous rate of inflation and warned that electing more democrats would “jeopardize world peace”. He admitted that he almost never read books, but did find time to watch football on TV. Here are a few quotes from some of his celebrated critics.

“I cannot dislike him personally — he’s cordial and gracious. But he’s consistently wrong and consistency is a virtue of small minds. He’s never proposed a constructive solution to anything”.  Congressman Robert Drinan

Lyndon Johnson accused Ford of “playing too much football with his helmet off”. “Jerry’s the only man I ever knew who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time”.

“Ford isn’t a bad man, but he’s dumb—dumb. He shouldn’t be dumb either. He went to school just like everybody else”.  Reverend Duncan Littlefair

The important thing is that men should have a purpose in life… it should be something useful, something good

Dalai LamaIn contrast to George W Bush, the Dalai Lama is “the reborn soul of Buddha” and Nobel Prize winning pacifist. In Greek mythology, Orpheus was a singer, priest, healer, poet, and musician who could charm anyone. Orpheus enchanted Pluto into letting him enter the collective unconscious to retrieve his beloved Eurydice. In a moment of weakness, Orpheus looked back at death after being warned not to by Pluto. Orpheus lost Eurydice. He symbolizes the wounded healer who can heal others but not himself. The Dalai Lama was forced to flee Tibet in 1959. He lived as a “simple monk” in a remote corner of Northern India. His lifetime goals are to promote peace and love in the world and return to Tibet. You can bet whatever we owe China that it won’t happen anytime soon.

Pluto glyphAs the planet Pluto (god of sex, death, and transformation) transited the sign of Cancer from 1913 to 1938, partisan politics, nationalism, and isolationism transformed the world. World War I ended. World War II began. In 1913, President Wilson pressed a button in the White House that blew up the Gamboa Dike resulting in the destruction of the Isthmus of Panama. That action transformed travel by sea by creating a canal between oceans. Wilson legislated the Carter-Owen Bill that established a Federal Reserve System that transformed the strangle hold on the nation’s currency and credit system by banks.

Daylight Saving Time transformed the nation’s clocks. Transcontinental telephone service transformed international communications. World communications and atomic energy were developed. NBC became the first Nationwide Broadcasting Company. Wall Street prospered from the war while soldiers earning $16 per month died in the trenches. President Wilson established a lottery style draft promoting patriotism, while Congress passed the Espionage Act fining draft dodgers $10,000 and imposing a twenty-year jail sentence. No child was left behind.

Everyone was encouraged to “Do your bit”. Liberty Bonds and wheatless-meatless days were promoted. By the end of 1919, the Influenza pandemic had peaked causing over half a million deaths while almost one quarter of the nation’s population were sick. Prohibition banned liquor for all U.S. citizens. A huge black market and bootlegging industry began to thrive. Black leader Marcus Garvey organized The Empire of Africa that attracted over 500,000 followers. He led the largest mass exodus of Blacks in U.S. history. There was little sense of brotherhood.

Great SealIn 1929, doubt, fear, and panic upset the stock market which faced its darkest hour and most difficult crisis in history. Traditional foundations of home and family transformed. People born during this period spent much of their lives taking care of family. Parents with overdeveloped guilt and obligation trips motivated children of this generation to become dropouts and runaways.

Bikini bottomAs the planet Uranus transited the sign of Cancer from 1949 to1955, Mothers stopped staying at home and went to work. Women began wearing the “bikini”, a fashionable French bathing suit. ‘I Love Lucy’, a comical show about a housewife and Cuban bandleader husband became the most popular show on TV. Ranch houses and basement playrooms became popular. The subconscious mind was explored in psychology.  People born between 1949 and 1955 with Uranus in Cancer may be oversensitive and easily hurt by irrational fears, or they may be rational, aware, and strong by choice.

Stay tuned for LEO – Search for Father…

Taurus – Understanding Values

Taurus

Pope Francis

Pope Francis was designed to blend love and spirituality with healthy values and good sense. He’s a Sagittarian with Sagittarius / Taurus hands. Notice there’s barely a bottom phalanx on his pinkie finger. Francis doesn’t care about stuff. He truly loves humanity and practices what he preaches.

Pope John Paul ll was a radiant light of Taurus. He asked the rich to share their wealth with the poor. He was the first Pope to visit a synagogue and encouraged Catholics and Jews to love one another. Nearly assassinated, he also survived countless chaotic messes and reforms in the church.

Many popular and powerful people in the world were born under the sign of Taurus.

Krishnamurti, a spiritual guide, shared his good sense with whoever would listen.

Leonardo da Vinci, great artist and inventor, was a real Renaissance man.

Sigmund Freud was father of modern psychoanalysis.

Karl Marx developed the theory of socialism.

Martha Graham was mother of modern dance.

Katherine Hepburn was Grande Dame of American stage and movies.

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

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

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

swastika

Adolf HitlerA cruel Taurus is a zealous extremist in desperate need of spiritual guidance. From the darkest depths of Taurus arose a German dictator from 1933 to 1945. Adolph Hitler was responsible for over thirty million deaths. He transformed the world by harnessing the power of fear and terror and linking it with the power of symbolism to control and manipulate the masses. Jim Jones was a fanatic cult figure who led a thousand people to their mass suicide in 1978. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh showed no remorse for his evil act.  Saddam Hussein (Iraqi President from 1979) was shamed and publicly slain by the United States.

Most Taurus types are inherently honest, hardworking, and dependable. They won’t bend the truth or perform a song and dance act for anyone. Their basic need for physical security fuels a practical and responsible nature. I read a lot of these types at corporate special events. They thrive in real estate, investment, and banking. Years ago, the wives used to drag them over to me. I was young and their husbands were too skeptical or superstitious of anything occult to come on their own. I assured them I was also a skeptic. I’d say, “I’m not here to prove anything. Take what works. Leave what doesn’t.”

I’ve been reading hands at corporate events for over thirty years. Once I’ve set up and settled in before the guests arrive, event planners bring the top brass to test my powers of observation. Everyone is curious to hear what I have to say about their character. I bet I’ve read more CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and COOs than any reader of anything anywhere. Sometimes, I work events where all the guests are CEOs. Normally they’re impossible to meet. I hold their hands in mine, make eye contact with them, and reflect on their personal issues for five-minutes. The magic of Taurus is in knowing and sharing true value.

As creatures of habit, Taurus must learn to pay attention to their habits from the get go. One lesson that must be learned is ‘procrastination produces inertia’. Once Taurus takes initiative, they must let go of what isn’t working, accept what needs to change, trust their intuition, and share their bountiful harvest of true wealth. I believe all wealthy people should be spiritually taxed to make a commitment to a worthy social cause where they can make a real difference. They can choose their cause.

Dr. Bryks

Dr. Bryks

No matter your sun sign, authentic Taurus hands are meaty with large full balls of the thumb, square fingertips, developed second knots, large broad pink nails, and deeply engraved basic lines (very few peripheral lines). The head line is often closely intertwined with the life line.

‘Less is more’ learned King Midas when he wished for the touch of gold, got it, and turned his lovely daughter and their magical relationship into a hunk of metal. His food turned to gold as it touched his lips. Midas teaches us about values. He shows us how we can be stable and secure so that we can clearly know what we want and need. He teaches us how to be flexible and to let go of our outer wants by raising our awareness of what truly matters. Aphrodite (Greek) and Venus (Roman) rule Taurus and symbolize the pleasure loving nature of the bull. She’s creative, bountiful, and appreciates all things sensual and beautiful.

Large balls of thumb belong to givers. Saying “No” is a huge challenge for them (even more so if the thumb is flexible). Red color adds lusty passionate energy to the personality. Pink is normal. One symptom of intimacy problems that can be seen in the hands is when there are no lines parallel to the lifeline within the ball of the thumb. Even a partial line can indicate a significant intimate relationship for that length of time, along with an ability to be intimate and vulnerable. Taurus trust and generosity must be earned, honored, and nourished like a garden.

Large ball of thumb with and without lines

“Have you ever seen any hands that freaked you out?”  When I first touched Manuel’s hands, I felt nauseous. It was sweltering hot day and an icy chill gripped my spirit. Manuel’s huge hot sweaty red balls of thumb had no lines in them. They looked as if an extra-large egg had been stuffed into them. Manuel’s tremendous desire and passion had nowhere to go because he had zero ability to be intimate with another being. He was a child serial killer. Click here to read his hands and story.

PALMISTRY AND VALUESWhen a child reaches thirteen in the Jewish tradition, he or she becomes a man or woman after passing through a religious rite of passage. Rituals take place in synagogues and require the terrified adolescent to read Hebrew from the Torah, sing, and earn their passage to adulthood. I’ve read hundreds of teenage hands at Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties. I work at dozens of these celebrations each year. They range from modest family gatherings to gigantic extravaganzas. I get to work with the world’s best magicians, caricaturists, and performers at these events. I used to be the “psychic” with my black velvet purple satin lined cape, crystal ball, and large lighted magnifying glass. Over the years, my role has transformed from psychic to five-minute best friend and bull-shit detector. It’s amazing how much value can be given in minutes.

It’s not always what you see, but what you say and how you say it that matters. An entourage’ of kids accompanied their Taurian friend to his reading. He looked like a thirteen year old CEO with his very expensive designer suit and tie. His soft pudgy square palms and short square fingers had never seen a lick of physical work. His friends jokingly urged me to “Tell him he’s gay”.

“Do you know who he is?” one of his friends asked. To me, he was one more kid with a lot of challenges ahead. Turns out he was one of the richest kids in the world. I asked his entourage’ to “back off” as I spoke with him about working harder to express his true feelings and learning to behave naturally. I could see from his eyes and body language that he wasn’t interested in what I had to say. Later that evening, he came back alone and acted like I’d never met him before. I tried to penetrate his thick shell by repeating the same advice. When I finished, he said, “I fooled you. You already read my hands”.

“I know who you are” I replied. “You’re the (so and so) boy. I’m going to offer you a valuable piece of free advice”. I looked into his eyes while holding his hands firmly, “Your money doesn’t make you better than anyone else. Your power is unearned. You’ll be old one day like everyone else and have relationship, work, and health challenges. You need to decide what you truly value. How can you make a positive difference with your abundant resources in a world that needs your help?” With eyes dropped and shoulders rounded, he slinked away. I hope he’s realized the difference he can make.

I once read hands at a sweet thirteen party at a fancy New Jersey country club. A shopping center magnate was competing with his Jewish neighbors. He must have spent $250,000 on this party. I worked my usual four-hour shift. As a five-minute palmist, I read up to 48 people in 4 hours. As I was packing my bag and preparing to head to an evening party in Manhattan, Midas arrived. He gruffly requested that I read his hands. “I’m sorry, I’m finished and in a hurry to get to another party”.

“You don’t understand” he bellowed insistently, “I’m the one who’s paying you”. I politely replied, “The party planner has already paid me”. “Then I’ll stop payment on his check!” I didn’t want to alienate my planner, so I re-plugged in my lighted magnifier. “OK hold up your hands”.

I stared intently at his square palms and short fingers. His long crooked middle fingers had grilles (peripheral lines crisscrossing) beneath, indicating a highly self-critical nature. His bitten down nails revealed an argumentative and critical nature. “Go ahead, tell me how fucked up I am”, he said.

“I won’t tell you you’re fucked up, but I will tell you what is fucked up. You’ve worked so unbelievably hard for everything you have and yet you don’t have a clue how to truly enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’re a frustrated perfectionist, extremely self-critical, and critical and judgmental of others. Lighten up and smell the roses! ” He stood up, “That’s enough. They said you were good and they were right”.

When Uranus transited Taurus from 1935 to 1942, the USA went off the gold standard. People began focusing on their values and questioning materialism. President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Labor organized, forming unions that went on strike and engaged in sit-downs across the nation. President Roosevelt defended the Four Essential Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. Partisan politics has steadily undermined our freedoms, including social and national security. People born between 1935 and 1942 have Uranus in Taurus. Many have experienced sudden and unexpected gains and reversals. Uranus will return to Taurus after 84 years in early 2019 for another seven years. The New York Stock Exchange and The Federal Reserve are bulls. Expect extreme financial fluctuations.

the great seal copyCapitalism and the banking industry are ruled by Taurus. Capitalism is characterized by individuals and businesses who exercise their financial freedom in whatever ways they see fit within law. Driven by supply, demand, innovation, and competition, capitalism raises our standard of living by heating, cooling, and lighting us. It enables us to travel freely, independently, and communicate on a grand scale. We can acquire many products and services and are empowered by money to afford them.

Capitalism is wealthy, but not wise. In theory, Capitalism can be great for all. In practice, we must be more responsible and vigilant. Like religion, the bright side of capitalism uplifts while the dark side promotes prejudice, pain, guilt, shame, and suffering. Power corrupts when real value and integrity are compromised. Capitalism fans the flames of larceny by segregating haves from have-nots. Too much temptation for too many greedy dishonest humans makes trouble for everyone. Capitalism’s heart is hard and its head is even harder. It’s easy to rationalize the most horrific of actions when they’re not happening to us. We’re closer to Armageddon than Eden. The trappings of Capitalism are its failings. Where does the light of Capitalism end and apocalyptic darkness begin?

The esoteric side of Taurus is values. Everything and nothing are of equal value; identical in nature, but different by degree. A billionaire dying of cancer will gladly trade his money for youth and good health. A famous celebrity whose child is brain damaged will gratefully scrub toilets in Grand Central for her child’s recovery. People ask, “When will I die” or “How long is my lifeline?”  I remind them they will definitely die. I tell them, “Only God knows when. It’s about quality, not quantity”.

ying yangMany people apply formulas for success, and yet few are truly successful. Unhealthy values point us down a path of self-destruction. Our challenges are not physical, but philosophical and spiritual. Success is a state of mind, heart, and spirit. Our good health and the health of our world is a reflection of our thoughts and feelings. Must we learn to value what we have by losing it?

Everyone needs good sense and wise counsel. Taurus helps us believe in ourselves, have faith, cultivate right attitudes, think positively, and set realistic goals. She teaches us honesty, responsibility, discipline, structure, focus, courage, determination, and persistence. We can all be our own best friends and bull shit detectors.

Blood Moons and Biblical Prophecy

Blood Moons and Biblical Prophecy

Blood Moon

 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.” Bible’s Book of Joel, Chapter 3:3-4

star of david 2Today is Passover. A total lunar eclipse occurred a moment ago. The transiting moon just squared Pluto. It’s about to oppose Uranus before it goes void of course. We’re still wandering aimlessly and endlessly across a bleak and barren desert, led by our sacred cows and golden calves that must be sacrificed on the altar of true love and faith.

 

Many people are preparing for ‘End Time’. Before I begin my rant, I want you to know that I’ve broken rules of syntax, spelling, spacing, punctuation, rhyming, and alliteration. Most of my artwork has been excavated from the electronic ether. I’ve parodied or radically altered it to avoid copyright infringement. I’ve also included a selfie from my ‘Exhibitionist Meets Voyeur’ collection. Please suspend your preconceived ideas and beliefs. I’ve left nothing to chance but you. Take what works. Leave what doesn’t.

The human race has become a race against bad shit happening. Pious philosophies and pointless politics pollute higher purpose. Partisan paradigms and pestilential practices poison our psyche. Faulty families feast frenzily on filthy banquets of flawed feelings, vague values, and toxic thinking, copiously spiced with needless fear, desperation, and hatred. We analyze, rationalize, and compartmentalize our ideologies and beliefs while we sacrifice our dignity, integrity, and nobility on the altars of nonsense.

George and the dwarves

The sheep are restlessEveryone is frantic about what’s happening in the mid-east. Focusing on insane ideologies like “Armageddon” transforms hazardous theories and toxic beliefs into self-fulfilling prophecies. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Fear, anger, and hatred are potent catalysts for apocalyptic thinking. Vengeance is not a solution to violence. Just watch the nightly news or Jerry Springer for live action.

A spiritually corrupt society worships idols from amateur hours and applauds scripted survivors. Masses of meek minds are mesmerized by meaningless media. Captivated by courtroom melodramas, viewers become critical and judgmental of the pettiest behaviors. Cunning narcissists, warped exhibitionists, and religious perverts expose their sleaziest selves to a desperate and depraved public. A culture of winners and losers has become a world of haves and have-nots.

Dick as DopeyOur planet and collective psyche are immune deficient. We preach love and sympathy and practice hate and fear. Our appallingly apparent apathy produces pandemic pathological paradigms. We fixate on sex, violence, disease, and death, while shortsightedness, greed, and fear rule our personal and collective unconsciousness.

Donald TrumpWe’re fascinated by fake vampires, werewolves, and zombies while real vampires, werewolves, and zombies thrive virtuelessly among us. We vote for political prostitutes, prostrate ourselves before self-appointed emperors, and worship megalomaniacs on gilded pedestals. We reward religious rapists who pay for their offenses with an eternity in hell. We need a megadose of sanity, but how can anyone be sane in an insane world?

who fartedWake up and whiff the weirdness. How sane is consuming massive amounts of highly toxic chemicals every day in our wars with insects, rodents, weeds, dirt, stains, odors, germs, bacteria, viruses and other invisible enemies? We’re marinating in the chemicals that heat and cool us; power our transportation; provide us with products; color, flavor, and preserve our foods; and enable us to communicate on a grand scale. We breathe, drink, wash, and apply risky substances to our scalps, mouths, armpits, fingers, toes, and crotches. Why must everything be bright white, squeaky clean and lemon fresh? Why do fossil guzzling polluting cars go twice as fast as our highest speed limits?

Mission Accomlished

Mission Accomplished?

Evil acts are symptoms, not causes. As we examine our thoughts objectively, we see action comes from thinking. Why do so few herd so many and harvest so much? Why do so many people secretly believe they’re better than others? Why do we harm cultures we’re supposed to be helping? Why do we trade prejudiced politicians for terrible tyrants?

 

Sitting on compacted cansWhen my daughter Cassie was two, I was ‘Guru of Garbage’. I taught ‘Designing with Garbage’ classes at Parsons School of Design, and co-taught Environmental Design classes at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. I was on NYC’s Solid Waste Advisory Board and spoke at design schools, community boards, and National Design Museum about recycling, reusing, and recreating materials from the waste stream. My work was exhibited in eco-tours and museums around the world.

 

 

As Cassie and I walked down the street, she’d pick up trash, “Here daddy”. Graciously, I’d thank her and deposit it in the nearest trashcan. When others noticed, they’d stoop to pick something up and turn to smile at us as they dropped it in the can. We felt proud.

George W BushJoanna and I were concerned that Cassie worried too much about the planet for a kid. Many of her friends were also tormenting themselves about their future. In fifth grade, Cassie took matters into her hands and wrote a letter to the editor of an East Village newspaper. Her ‘Earth School’ fifth grade class wrote to George W Bush.  At the end of their concerns they wrote, “Please don’t send us a signed picture of your head”. I altered the image to reveal the true nature of the beast.

Dear Editor,

I’m a 5th grader at the earth school in the east village of Manhattan. A lot has been happening in the world and this is a paragraph to explain my point of view. I wrote it at home this afternoon and it is unedited and done completely by myself. I was wondering if you would be interested in publishing it in your newspaper.    Sincerely, Cassie Seltman

We are deeply worrying about Saddam’s toxic and chemical weapons but what we are not realizing is that we are using just if not more as dangerous toxicants in our everyday life.  Eventually at the rate we are going and the life style we are living we will kill ourselves off.  The only difference with Saddam’s weapons is it will happen faster.  Really all it takes to turn the world evil is one bad mind.  We can easily find excuses to do certain uncalled for horrible things.  What we need to do is think positive and constructive for our own benefit.  We have to also be cautious about who we elect for president because that one bad mind could be his and make all the difference.  We are being so concerned with Saddam Hussein but you should think about it like Saddam Hussein is one ant in a whole anthill.  The only reason ants survive is because they work as a team to carry food and build that huge hill.  Even without war we are still heading towards a bad future.  If we continue to pollute our earth we are going to have nothing left.  If we get good ideas and stop polluting right now we will still have a chance to save our earth and the people on it.

The EmperorThe emperor weaves a wardrobe of secrecy and deceit. Our good health and the health of our planet depend on our ability to share healthy thoughts and loving feelings. We must shift our broken philosophical and spiritual paradigms so that we can live and thrive in a healthier world. We can no longer substitute money for values, religion for spirituality, or collective delusion for reality. When you’re ready to meet the Messiah, you must look in the mirror.

 

Authors note: Today’s moon is in Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter. At 12:58 pm, Jupiter will become direct in Leo. Since Jupiter rules publishing, I’ll click ‘Publish’ at that moment. Jupiter also rules publicity and promotion. I’ll promote my artwork using social media.

If you enjoyed this rant, you’ll love my next writing project. ‘How I Lost My Sanity’ is a story about hands and a tale of how I tempted fate and lost my way. Sign up for all seven episodes. They won’t automatically appear in your news feed if you don’t.

Tales of Cindy and Ella – Two Faces of Virgo

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

Virgo - Cindy

You don’t have to be a Virgo (8/23–9/22) to have dominant Virgo symbolism embedded in your psyche. Where the sun was when you were born does not define your character. Palmistry and astrology share the same western mythological archetypes and the same dysfunctional families and relationships – and how they live on in our psyches and lives.

As one of twelve basic archetypes, Virgo is best when discriminating, reliable, modest, and orderly service is required. Ego gratification is not a primary motivation for Virgos, however, it’s important to value and appreciate them. They often don’t ask enough for themselves, but they do know what they’re worth and want to be appreciated and rewarded accordingly. Virgo hands have square palms and short fingers. They tend to be less meaty and more flexible at the joints than Taurus types. In Capricorn types, the top knot on the fingers is often more well developed. Add well-developed second knots, square fingertips, and short fingernails to any archetype, you get more Virgo qualities. Virgos are reputed for cleaning up everyone else’s messes. Some are overly critical and meticulous. If you bite your fingernails, you’re probably critical, no matter your type.

Most short fingered people tend to see the whole picture and dislike details. Virgo types; however, are pragmatic about details and facts. They just plain do what needs to be done. They sometimes lack breadth and long-range vision. Virgos must work hard to feel useful and they need to cherish every inch of what they earn. Virgo rules healthcare.  Accounting, medical, nursing, social work, health food, maintenance, and cleaning professions are magnets for Virgos. Some Virgos worry too much about their personal health.

Cinderella is incarnate in millions of women. She’s a Virgo archetype who faithfully swept the cinders, scrubbed the floors, made the beds, and served the meals to her evil stepmother and stepsisters. Cinderella dutifully served her family while they treated her like shit. Cinderella’s fairy godmother came along and provided the magical coach, gown, and glass slippers that helped Cinderella capture the heart of the Prince. At the stroke of midnight, Cinderella had to run away before turning back to rags. The Prince searched for Cinderella and finally found her. The glass slipper fit perfectly and they lived happily ever after. Many Cinderella types have been kissed by frogs and beasts. Few have been saved by Princes.

The following is a tale of a true life Cinderella and how her virtue overcame her evil nurture. I can confidently say that no scientific palmist who I know would ever have predicted what actually happened in Cindy’s life from her hands. Cindy was born with a pure and virtuous spirit. That made the devil mad. He worked hard to erode Cindy’s trust, promote her fear, and take away her hope. It’s hard to believe he didn’t succeed.

When I met Cindy, I was anxiously searching for someone to rent a home from my friends who were in the Peace Corp. I was responsible for their idiosyncratic house and finicky cat, which needed constant attention. I’d advertised for a tenant, but hadn’t found anyone suitable. Cindy showed up by referral at the eleventh hour. She seemed careworn to me, with missing teeth and weathered skin. The tip of a large vertical scar traveled downward from the top of her breastplate, but Cindy had an inner radiance that shown brightly. The sparkle in her eyes and the pride in her step made me confident she was right for the job.

Cindy consented to let me examine her hands. She’s a Virgo with Virgo hands (above). The number 6 in the image relates to the 6th house of work and health of the horoscope. Her square palms and short straight fingers were much healthier than I had anticipated. They were strong and firm and her skin was elastic with a healthy pink color. It was instantly clear to me that she was honest and hardworking and had no problem taking responsibility. Over the many years I’ve know Cindy, I’ve grown to admire and respect her more each day and to deeply cherish our friendship.

Cindy is a real life Cinderella. Cindy’s higher nature overcame her evil nurture. She was born to an alcoholic drug addicted prostitute who didn’t want her. Her first memory at age one was of her mother crying out in pain while strange men were beating her up. She remembers ashtrays full of stale cigarette butts that would be re-lit again and again until every last drop of nicotine was gone. Cindy’s mother routinely screamed at her and punished her for “stealing her cigarettes” when the pack was empty. When Cindy was two, she was playing by the stove. Her mother grabbed a red hot cast iron frying pan and pressed it against her innocent little hand to teach Cindy a lesson about playing near a hot stove. She still has the scar that makes that lesson hard to forget.

Cindy doesn’t remember much about her father. She knows he spent most of her formative years in prison. He was occasionally granted leave to visit his family. He began abusing Cindy sexually from the time she was 1 ½ years old. When she had begun to speak, she remembers walking into a bathroom while he was peeing. He yelled at her and lectured her about privacy and morals. Cindy didn’t get it. She had already seen, touched, and tasted his penis. Cindy had an adult cousin who was married. When he’d come over to visit with his child, he’d take Cindy into the bathroom, shove his hard penis into her mouth, then wash her mouth out with soap when he was finished because she did such a dirty thing.  She hated him.

Cindy’s mother habitually left her with strangers. Cindy had a brother who was five years older. When he was two, his mother left him in a carriage on the streets for two whole days. Cindy’s mother’s mother found him and took him to live in the “dark dank cave” she and her husband called home. He grew up with those grandparents. Cindy recalls that he was compassionate and caring towards her, though she rarely saw him. He took her to see horror movies on several occasions. One of Cindy’s most vivid and positive early memories is of the smell of a neighbor’s fried pork chops, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, and homemade applesauce. Cindy was malnourished and her kind-hearted neighbor fed her when she could.

Once in a while, Cindy’s mother would drop her off at the local Catholic Church where the nuns were very nice to her. Like her fairy godmothers, they cleaned her up, gave her new clothes, and a doll. She couldn’t believe that anyone could be so nice to her. Cindy’s mother hardly recognized her when she came to pick her up. When they arrived home, she told Cindy that she was still worthless and that one day, she’d end up as a skinny little whore in a gutter. Everyone, including Cindy, thought she was probably right. Cindy fantasized about becoming a nun, but even as a young child, she already knew that she was not a virgin, nor was she baptized in the family church. She believed that she would remain in LIMBO until she’d eventually rot in HELL.

Cindy ran away. A sixteen year old girl who lived nearby took Cindy in. Cindy hid in a closet in her room for a month before this girl’s bizarre mother found out. Her mother was angry, but somehow managed to arrange with social services to get paid for Cindy’s care. Cindy didn’t get much actual caring, but at least she had a roof over her head for a while. When her foster mother threw her out, Cindy found a second foster home and lived there for a few weeks. She arrived home from school one day to find all of her stuff out on the sidewalk. Her evil foster mother, regretting the loss of her stipend, had spread nasty rumors about Cindy and got her back.

At nine years old, Cindy fainted and was dumped on the steps of the hospital. They discovered that she had a serious congenital heart problem because of her mother’s substance abuse during pregnancy. Cindy was forced to remain in the hospital for a year, mainly because no one wanted a homeless kid with serious heart problems. The doctors and social workers fell in love with Cindy, but there was not much they could do short of adopting her and no one did. Cindy has had three major heart operations at ages 14, 24, and 42.

Cindy actually had a happy foster care experience for nine whole months. It was difficult at first, because Cindy didn’t know how to respond to kindness. She hid in her room. This foster family treated her like a real human being and actually wanted to know her. They taught Cindy to sew and work with wood. Cindy began to respond well to their kindness, but her evil foster mother lied once again to social services and eventually Cindy was back with her. This sick bitch cut off all of Cindy’s long beautiful natural red hair to punish her. Cindy didn’t feel loved, but she did have some remote sense of stability and security as long as a social service was paying for her. She bonded with a stepbrother at that time and still maintains a positive relationship with him, although he’s a redneck.

As long as her evil foster mother was getting her check she didn’t care what Cindy did. At fourteen, Cindy went off to live in her own apartment that she paid for by doing factory day work for Manpower. She tried to get an education at the same time, but it was impossible. When social services came looking for Cindy, her foster mother had to track her down to get her back. She informed Cindy’s landlord that he was renting to an underage prostitute who was using his place for business. Cindy once again found her stuff in the hallway and locks changed, though she had paid a month’s rent in advance.

Cindy’s heart gave out. She ended up back in the hospital, having her first major open heart surgery. Three weeks later, Cindy was forced to go back to her foster home, only to be thrown out again. In a state of hopeless desperation, Cindy asked one of the men whom she had met at Manpower if she could stay with him. He was arrogant and physically aggressive towards her, but she decided to put up with him, since she didn’t know what else to do. She tried to physically distance herself from him, but eventually he got her pregnant and she had her first child at age sixteen. Meanwhile, he was becoming more and more abusive – beating her up and slamming her hand in a door to punish her for not being a worthy servant. Cindy lasted for two years – long enough for her to get pregnant again.

While Cindy was pregnant for the second time, she unexpectedly received a letter out of the blue from her father that contained a month old front-page newspaper clipping about how her brother had been brutally shot and killed. Reading about her brother threw Cindy onto an emotional roller coaster. He was a kind and caring person who worked so hard to rise above his circumstances, only to be violently murdered. He had gotten himself educated and was working in a nursing home. Cindy’s partner scolded and punished Cindy for mourning. “You hardly knew him”, he complained. He wanted nothing to interfere with his clean house and hot food which had to be served in a timely fashion.

Cindy ran away with her two girls and found her own place. She lived in poverty, but Cindy was extremely resourceful, growing much of her own food, chopping her own firewood, fixing her home, and sewing clothes for herself and her children. She worked odd jobs like cleaning other people’s homes, care taking, and painting. Cindy managed to create the best life she could for her kids. She was deeply committed to caring for them and giving them a good education.

Cindy attributes having children to saving herself. She rose with grace, strength, and wisdom to her challenges and responsibilities with a soul full of love and dedication. Cindy did a remarkable job. Her kids have endured their own relationship challenges and become strong healthy women with their own families. Cindy has five grand children who adore her. When I interviewed Cindy for this article, she was working as a tech person in a hospital; drawing blood, wiping butts, and cleaning bedpans with dignity. The patients were blessed to have her. Cindy’s long term plan was to earn a nursing degree and pay for her grandkid’s college educations.

As I listened to Cindy’s story, I felt an uncontrollable rage rising in me. How could so many people be so sick? I imagined horrible ways of getting revenge on the monsters who abused Cindy. She was in a different place, however, having forgiven everyone who had ever hurt her. “I feel sad and sorry for them”, she told me. Cindy hasn’t found her prince yet, but when she does, he will be one of the luckiest men in the world.

I once had a girlfriend who was a Virgo with fine skinned Virgo hands. I’ll call her Ella. I arrived as Ella’s prince, but departed as her persecutor. Ella frequented a cafe’ in Soho every morning at a certain time and sat in a certain seat. She’d peacefully sip coffee and write in her journal. This cafe had excellent coffee and pastries that were served by attractive hip young waiters and waitresses in a rustic natural décor. I stopped by for coffee a couple of times a week. Ella and I would nod and acknowledge each other.

One morning, Ella asked me if I’d like to join her at her table. She was healthy looking and attractive in an earthy way. She had long very dark silky hair, large sensitive eyes, a rosy complexion, full pink lips, and shapely hips. I could see from her square palms and short squarish fingers that she was a practical type. Her conical finger tips informed me of her intuitive and aesthetic side. Her knotty finger joints and short nails clued me to Virgo qualities. She was addicted to order and routine. I knew that Gemini (me) with Virgo (Ella) was like Peter Pan with Wendy. I could hardly believe how incompatible Ella and I would become as we got to know each other.

Ella set her sights on me. I don’t think I ever had a woman pursue me so relentlessly before. It was too late before I realized our relationship had no future. Gemini types prefer to flit from flower to flower like a butterfly. Obligation, responsibility, and guilt are like bad tasting medicine. Ella would call, “I was thinking of you while I was shopping today and purchased a beautiful piece of tuna big enough for the two of us. Would you like to come over to my apartment for dinner?” Her timing was impeccable. I’d be on the verge of forking down Chunk Light, straight from the can.

Ella set a beautiful table with perfectly matching tableware, flowers, candlelight, and soft music. Her home was spotless and she always smelled freshly showered. She was smart, sensual, and amazingly patient. Resistance was futile. At first, I’d eat and run. Ella offered to massage me. In hindsight, that was the beginning of the end.

I began sleeping over regularly. It was like being a kid again, only better. Ella worked so hard to please me. I rationalized – if she wants to, why not? Peter Pan needed Wendy to darn his socks and sew his shadow back on. If Ella wanted more than I was capable of, I’d just have to fly back to Neverland. Ella and I were literally too much like Peter and Wendy and just as destined to eventually part ways.

It wasn’t until I moved into Ella’s apartment that I realized the consequences of my choice and actions. While Virgo loves consistency, reliability, and dependability, Gemini hates being restricted and confined. Ella knew that, but secretly hoped that I’d change. She adapted as much as she could to my needs as she worked hard to try to change me. I did need more structure in my life, but I felt like I was sacrificing a huge chunk of my freedom in exchange for that structure. Ella provided a positive framework. She’d gently wake me at 7:30 am, having already quietly stretched for an hour, cleaned the house, organized, showered, and set a beautiful breakfast on an elegant table awaiting my arrival. At first, I thought, ‘this is too good to be true’. Our relationship felt incestuous. Ella was more like my mother or sister, than my lover. It was easy to please Ella, which added fuel to her desire to love and nourish me.

I marveled at Ella’s discipline, structure, and focus, however, I began resenting her routines as I realized that they were directing my life. I had an idyllic situation and yet I was feeling trapped. If only I were a Capricorn or a Taurus, I’d have thought that I was Adam with Eve in Eden. Ella would look at her watch and say “It’s time to make love now if you’d like”. I began feeling shame and guilt for not being able to love Ella as she wanted me to.

‘Am I insane?’, I thought.  Ella loves me. She even accepts my unpredictability and unconventionality, while I’m resenting her lack of spontaneity and secretly strategizing my getaway. She’d have been better off with another practical or feeling type, instead of a thinking type. I finally faced the handwriting on the wall, deeply wounding Ella when I announced, “I need to breathe”. We shed a lot of tears together for different reasons. I slinked away with bowed head, a sad heart, and a deep sense of relief.

My Character

mom and dad 2My last two stories introduced my mom, dad, and childhood. It’s time to examine my character. I’ll attempt to explain how I perceive and interpret my archetypal relationships with family, friends, clients, celebrities, heroes, and anti-heroes. I plan to share my insights and understanding of our symbolism as our relationships and lives unfold.

 

When I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.A. in Industrial Design in 1969, my parents assumed that I’d be designing for someone else. “It’s time for you to go out and find a job”, they announced. “A job? Not me. I’m going to be an inventor.”  “What will you invent?” they asked. “Ways of making a living.”  I replied. They assured me I had their mental, emotional, and spiritual support. I thanked them and immediately put on my thinking cap because my greatest challenge was not having any money.

My chronic lack of finances motivated me to ponder my dilemma on a macro and micro scale at the same time. I had become a craftsman and model maker, specializing in fabricating objects from wood, soft metals, and plastics. I would easily survive. I figured that if someone could make a fortune creating and promoting a “pet rock”, I could surely invent something that would provide me with a good income and creative freedom.

Big Mac Coaster SetThere were not many novelty coaster sets on the market at the time. I cut seven circles and a square from wood and replicated a Big Mac hamburger, staining and painting the individual pieces to simulate ingredients. They actually looked pretty appetizing. I felt confident that MacDonald’s would go for the idea. We could injection mold individual plastic pieces and imprint them. I presented the idea to product management at MacDonald’s corporate headquarters and suggested they call it a ‘Big Mac Coaster Set’. I encouraged them to market it with box tops or give it away with a certain size order. They weren’t interested. So I went directly to upstairs department stores with my hamburger coaster prototypes. Buyers liked the idea and wanted to purchase small quantities to sell, but not enough to pay for tooling and minimum production runs. My hamburger coaster idea went on a back burner. Eventually, someone else produced hamburger coasters and profited.

Candle catalog coverI launched my first real business venture with a fellow industrial design graduate and several hundred dollars. We were determined to be successful. Basic column, taper, and votive candles ‘ were staples in the marketplace at the time. We envisioned pioneering a niche for uniquely scented black light candles, ice cream candles, recycled can and bottle candles (Earth Day #1, Aries 1970), and sand-cast candles.  Combining unique methods, materials, and manufacturing processes, we produced limited editions of high quality handcrafted products at wholesale prices. For several months, we trekked a waxy trail between my partner’s living room and kitchen, ruining his stove, pots, pans, and wooden floors. Although my partner was creative and passionate, he was unreliable due to his alcohol dependency. I threatened to abandon him and his two alcoholic mutts (Michelob and Budweiser) and finally deserted them following several ugly and untimely binges. Meanwhile, we’d established a small market for our products in head shops and gift stores.

mushroom candleI promptly relocated to a three thousand square foot warehouse space with a new partner who was also an industrial designer. We borrowed a few thousand dollars each and labored like a couple of obsessive-compulsive maniacs to create equipment, set up manufacturing systems, and generate more substantial orders for candles. This time, my partner deserted me. He ran off to Brazil after his wife was violently killed in an automobile accident. We were under tremendous pressure and he couldn’t handle another drop.

Graciously, my partner apologized and donated his half of the business to me. While he became a tourism guide and fisherman, living with fresh air and water, I tried to hold on to my sanity while sweeping floors, keeping books, purchasing raw materials, and making and delivering orders that were way too large for a small crew of people working full time (let alone the two of us).

recycled can candlesCoca Cola was threatening to drive me out of business for recycling their discarded soda cans into candles. They’d rather have seen them incinerated or land filled than let me use their logo for free. I tried fighting, but quickly learned that it’s futile to fight with a god, so I reused everyone else’s cans.

 

Despite my setbacks, by the end of my first eighteen months in business, I had acquired nearly ten times the warehouse space, and was buying wax by the barge load, essential oils by the barrel, and artificial dyes by the drum. It was a lot of hard and dirty work, but I figured that eventually I’d be able to pay other people to do the dirty work for me.

candle factory fireOne morning I awoke to find that an electric immersible heater malfunction had transformed my factory into the largest candle in Pittsburgh’s history. Smokeless flames over one hundred feet tall had leapt passionately into the night sky. Seventeen fire engines and many firemen worked all night, but were unable to rescue it. While sorting through the rubble, I imagined Hiroshima. Large steel beams had sagged and aluminum molds had melted like ice into puddles. Everything else was charred to a crisp. That was my first really intense experience with pollution. Not just environmental pollution, but a psychic pollution that occurs when you owe a lot of money and have none.  After a year of legal battles, as I frantically scrounged to support a life style that I could no longer afford, a jury awarded me a financial settlement in an insurance lawsuit over my landlord’s (third partner’s) faulty sprinkler system. Bill collectors, like unrequited stalkers, finally let go when I settled with my creditors and investors for ten cents on the dollar. I got nothing.

mark seltman astrological chart

I hadn’t a clue about my symbolism at the time all this chaos was happening. In hindsight, I realized that I was destined to be an inventor, a rebel, a pioneer, a communicator, and failed businessman. I was forced by circumstance to understand what I value, how I think, what I feel, and believe. My candle factory fire and many other disasters and catastrophes that were to follow in my future were also meant to be so that I could become who I was meant to be. I’ll explain as my character unfolds.

Dad and Metaphysics

Dad with his kidsMy dad was a Pisces, born 2/22/22. His astrological Sun, Venus, and Uranus are conjunct his ascendant in the sign of Pisces. Dad was a super Pisces. He was also a super father. My brother, Gary (Pisces), sister, Jennifer (Taurus), and I (Gemini) were extremely blessed and we knew it.

 

I didn’t begin reading hands until after dad passed away, so I never analyzed dad’s hands from a symbolic perspective. I haven’t found good pictures of his hands, either. I remember dad’s hands being warm, strong, and capable. He had a grip of steel and a very firm hand shake, but his energetic touch was always gentle and loving.

If the definition of a genius is an average kid with a Jewish mother, ours was father. When I was seven years old, I played a Chopin Prelude on the radio. Dad distributed radios to every class in my grade school. He made sure that everyone who we knew listened. Despite my mortification when I found out, I became an overnight celebrity and ‘child prodigy’ in my grade school and little community. In hindsight, it was great fun.

Dad was an incredible storyteller. Hardly a night went by in early childhood when my brother, sister, and I didn’t go on an exciting far off imaginary adventure at bedtime. “BoBo” the gorilla and “Squeaky” the mouse were friends and two of dad’s magical characters that are still part of us. We draw strength and humor from having known them. I told those stories to my daughter many times in her early childhood. I can imagine her children telling those stories to their children one day.

Pride and JoyI know, it’s a corny salesman’s tool, but dad would ask people if they’d like to see his ‘Pride and Joy’. Dad was a super salesman who always worked for a fixed salary. That never made sense to me. Why would he work for someone else when he could sell nearly anything? Ironically, dad never found anything to sell that truly turned him on. Dad wholesaled products like crystal, candles, pens, and furniture. He also sold products like insurance and real estate.

 

Dad's commercialsThe reason Dad was such a great salesman was his desire and ability to care about people. Everybody looked forward to seeing him and he was as happy as a puppy to see them. Dad remembered everyone’s important personal stuff and made them feel glad to be themselves when he was around. His heartwarming smile and Mom's exercise ball videocomical humor was contagious. Click here to watch dad in action. Although the quality isn’t great because this was converted from old 8mm film, I guarantee you’ll laugh at the content. In case you haven’t seen mom’s famous ‘exercise ball’ video, click here.

Dad at 2Dad carried this embarrassing picture in his wallet. When there was any conversation about testosterone or being well endowed, he’d ask, “Would you like to see a picture of me when I was 2 years old?” At his funeral, dozens of people we never met or knew existed showed up to let us know how valuable and important dad had been to them in their lives.

 

Dad dreamed of becoming a doctor. When WWII came, he lied about his age (17) and enlisted in the Marine Corps. He became a staff sergeant. His next quest was as a tail gunner on a B-24 bomber in the air force. I can’t imagine a scarier job. Dad was the only member of his crew to survive the bloody massacre as their plane was shot down over Italy on their 49th (next to last) mission. Dad bailed out, waiting until the last second to open his parachute because the sky was full of flak. He ended up several hundred miles behind enemy lines with a badly broken leg. He ate from garbage cans at night as he dragged himself to freedom. At daybreak, dad hid under people’s porches or in their basements. When he finally reached the allied forces his leg had become totally black.  Army surgeons wanted to cut it off, but Dad told them that they had better cut his head off while they’re at it. He had been an athlete and great sprinter. Dad once told me that he came close to breaking Jesse Owens world record for the one hundred meter dash while in the marines. Dad’s leg healed with surgery and therapy. It never bothered him.

Dad never ever spoke of his war experiences. When he passed, we went through his personal effects and found photos of him with his air force buddies, press clippings about their tragedy, and a stack of medals. That experience was the turning point in Dad’s life. His intent and priorities became crystal clear after that. Dad was a war hero, but when I was called for my army physical for the Vietnam War, he insisted that I was not to participate in a meaningless and senseless conflict. If it were Hitler’s Germany, dad would have wished me luck and hugged me goodbye. Instead, he wanted to send me to Canada. I applied to all the branches of the armed services as a designer; however, those jobs are reserved for rich people’s kids. Fortunately, I convinced an army psychiatrist that although I was willing to serve, I wouldn’t make a good soldier.

mom and dadDad was highly romantic, old fashioned, and sentimental. Shortly after the war, he spotted my mom at a bus stop. It was love at first sight. Dad swept mom off her feet. They were married three weeks later. I was conceived on their wedding night and born nine months and one day later. I became a huge responsibility in progress. Both mom and dad had to grow up quickly, accept that responsibility, and become very practical. That’s the main reason dad became a salesman instead of a doctor.

Dad and mom danced around the house like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, doing the cha cha, mambo, polka, and tango, and loving it. We kids thought they were ridiculous. Dad treated mom like a goddess and frequently brought her fresh flowers. He made sure to tell us “I love you” a lot. When mom died, we found albums full of hand written romantic anniversary cards that dad had mailed to her every single month for nearly 30 years.

As a family, we watched ‘Leave it To Beaver’, ‘Father Knows Best’, Ozzie and Harriet’, ‘My Three Sons’, and all those other ‘wholesome’ 50”s television shows. TV characters were role models for us. They reinforced our family values. It boggled my young mind to realize that most of the world didn’t actually seem to share those values.

mom and dad's headstoneOn the day Dad died of a sudden massive heart attack, he left a one line love note for mom. She laminated it in plastic and cherished it until she died. After thirty years, we dug dad up and buried him and mom together. I designed a headstone in mom’s favorite red marble.

 

I loved Dad’s visions, inventions, and get rich quick schemes, though none ever materialized. There were super-duper pooper-scoopers, bed wetting prevention devices, unique foods, and numerous gadgets. One of dad’s friends created an “Ant Farm”. Dad tried to raise a relatively small amount of money in order to become a partner. We all thought it was a lunatic idea. Why would anyone want ants in their home?  Next would be the poison ivy terrarium. We may have undermined Dad’s confidence. He never got it together, while his friend became an overnight multi-millionaire. Dad never complained, but there was rarely extra money around.

I remember how Mom and Dad would compose music and write lyrics together. She’d play piano. He’d sing (Piscesrules music). She played Eurydice to his Orpheus. They knocked on doors up and down Tin Pan Alley in New York, trying to peddle their creations. Dad loved Johnny Cash (Pisces). He felt Johnny was the perfect performer for their favorite creation, “The Crack of the Carbine”, a tragic ballad about a hunter and his whitetail prey. We all thought Dad was a better choice than Johnny, but Dad was determined to have Johnny sing it. The story goes that Dad stalked Johnny Cash. One day, he cut Johnny off in a parking lot with his car. Johnny had to agree to hear Dad’s song before Dad let him go. Johnny wasn’t interested, but it did make a good “Big Fish” story to add to Dad’s burgeoning repertoire. Mom and dad ultimately found a relatively unknown group ‘The Limelighters’ to sing their song. They published a 45 rpm record.

There was a dark side to Dad’s Character. His shadowy side revealed itself when the kids flew the coop. Life’s meaning and purpose became abstract and elusive for him. Mom used to tell us that dad would bring little kids he met in the supermarket home. Their parents would lend them to him for the afternoon.

Pisces rules smoke and drugs. Dad compulsively smoked cigarettes. He never coughed or wheezed or we’d have had something to get on his case about. We kids complained that we didn’t want to be passive smokers, so he stopped smoking in our presence. Over the years, Dad became a chain-smoking cigar addict, inhaling his beloved cigars. He finally clogged up. Mom said he was also drinking too much alcohol. He tried to hide his deepening depression, but he’d get too happy and that worried her. I realized how co-dependent we were with dad when we had to do everything for ourselves. Dad would have chewed our food for us if he thought it would help. I believe one of the reasons Dad died so young was so that all of us including mom could grow up.

Two months before Dad died, we had a family reunion. Dad and I hiked into the forest. It felt reminiscent of our magical hikes in early childhood. I grew up believing that elves, fairies, and gnomes skillfully hid under rocks and in trees. They only came out when there were no people around. Dad and I tread lightly like ‘Native Americans’ as we scanned for creatures, plants, rock formations, trees, and bubbling brooks. I spent endless hours with him as a child, turning over rocks in streams; looking for crayfish, lizards, and salamanders. I’m the only person I know who adores the smell of skunk (Cassie may). When dad and I traveled alone in the car, he used to pull over next to a skunk road kill, flap the car door and inhale as deeply as possible. We were sorry for the skunk, but would heartily laugh ourselves to tears at the uniquely pungent experience.

Dad and I stood silently, deep in the forest on that day. A gentle autumn wind rustled the leaves in the trees. We turned and our eyes met. “I love you, Mark” he told me. “I love you, Dad”, I replied. We embraced each other with our hearts pressed together, both of us holding back tears of joy and sadness. It was hard sharing the painful parts. Dad had lost his best friend, Bernie, (sudden massive heart attack) two weeks earlier. Mom said dad was “deeply depressed”. He searched for solace, only to find more sadness. I felt sorry for him. I too, was melancholy because I had recently realized that I had made some bad choices in my life. I didn’t know how to share them with him.

If we had more time together, we would have talked about those things. As we crept stealthily and peacefully through the forest, dad stopped suddenly and put his finger over his mouth, which meant ‘be quiet’. Had he heard a deer, a bear, or a fox? I waited patiently for a moment or two and then said “What?!!”  Dad cut a thunderous fart. We laughed like adolescent schoolboys. That was my next to last memory. My last memory of dad was with thumbs up waving to each other from our cars as we drove in separate directions. Two months later Dad was suddenly and unexpectedly dead at age 54.

“Never say never.” Dad would say. Boy was he right. I swore I’d never be like him in certain ways; however, I turned out a lot like him in ways that matter most. My father’s influence was powerful.  When Cassie was a baby, there was nothing I enjoyed more than being a good old-fashioned homemaker. Joanna told me that other mothers in the park hated me. I used to tell them that Cassie’s shit smelled good (it consisted of her mother’s milk for the first six months). I’d say to Joanna “they’re jealous because they don’t have husbands like me”. I was obliviously proud to be Joanna’s husband and Cassie’s dad. We argued about which of us was luckiest. We all were and still are.

Mom and Metaphysics

On my mom’s birthday, June 20, it feels appropriate to write this blog entry about mom.  It’s the last day of Gemini and the summer solstice arrives tomorrow.

“Eighty years of age does not seem old to me. Old is when one is again dependent as we were in infancy – needing help as a constant to feed and care for oneself. Who knows, I may die from an illness before I ever get old, then on to the next adventure.”

mom with hands upI spoke earlier about how my Dad unexpectedly died when I was twenty-nine. He was fifty-four. Losing Dad compelled me to get to know myself in new ways.  Mom was eighty-three when she passed away. She continued to ponder the meaning of her life until her last breath, while battling metastasized breast cancer and a grapefruit sized mass of malignant tumors in her liver. Mom’s eternal optimism and loving encouragement compelled me to be true to myself.

Bobi and ZadiMom considered herself to be very lucky, having led a worthwhile and productive life. Despite her obstacles and challenges, her life was filled with joy. Mom was a super Gemini. She had square palms and widely spread long fingers. She was the youngest of hard working Russian Jewish immigrants who loved and adored each other and their five children. Mom’s two oldest sisters died when they were very young. Mom’s long strong index fingers symbolize her ambition to achieve. She was the first in her family to attend and graduate from college. Though her family struggled financially at first, they never felt poor. Mom’s father (my Zadi) was the most generous man I’ve ever known. He always had loose change and an abundance of warmth and good spirits for everyone. I remember in my early childhood, Zadi showing up with a diversity of people off the street at meal times. I cherish the special memories of time spent with my Bobi and Zadi.

Geminis can be wonderful friends. Mom felt blessed in this arena. She attributed her friend making ability to moving frequently in childhood. With so many changes involving multiple schools, mom learned to adapt and develop social skills in order to make new friends. As you examine the balls of her thumbs, you can see many long lines parallel to her lifeline. Mom maintained intimate friendships from early childhood. They continued to love each other through heart attacks, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Cancer, and many other diseases of old age.

mom and dad honeymoonThe luckiest thing mom ever did was to hook up with my dad. They met at a bus stop. It was love at first sight. She was a twenty-one year old virgin princess. He was a twenty-five year old former bad boy in the process of turning good. She played Eurydice to his Orpheus and Persephone to his Pluto. I was conceived on their wedding night and born nine months to the day later. Mom wanted to have a natural childbirth, however after thirty-six hours in labor, I was cut out. She came within inches of dying and spent weeks convalescing. When I first discovered Astrology, I sought an eminent astrologer for my first reading. “This is a death chart” she told me. A person’s horoscope is also their mother’s transits at birth.

When I was forty, I hired Laurie Nadel, a psychologist to regress me to a past life. She had written a book called the ‘Sixth Sense’ on past life regression and was well known for her work in that field. As she gently talked me into a state of deep relaxation, she encouraged me to visualize my life as a tunnel with a series of lights going back through time. As we regressed through this life, my job was to turn on the lights wherever they were out. I had to jog my subconscious memory in order to do that. When I arrived back at age three the tunnel was black. As I turned those lights on, I found myself sitting on the potty, not needing to have a bowel movement, but still making grunting noises while my mom was concurrently teaching me to read. No one could ever accuse mom of being unambitious or inefficient. I guarantee I was the first boy on the block to be out of diapers and reading at the same time. I also remembered mom setting the timer on a variety of occasions (with the threat of punishment) to help me achieve tasks that needed to be completed in a timely fashion. In her defense, considering my highly flexible thumbs at that time, I must have also been the most unstructured, undisciplined, and unfocused kid on the block. Peter Pan doesn’t like restrictions. I never did get to any past lives in that session.

My brother, Gary, was born when I was four. At seven my sister Jennifer arrived. Mom used to say, “Most parents make most of their mistakes on their first kid” (which was true in my case). She considered raising her children the greatest accomplishment in life. As I began my early twenties, I confronted mom to tell her that I wasn’t perfect and that she had made plenty of mistakes. She replied, “Well son, I’m sorry for anything I did which caused you any harm. My mistakes were not intentional. I tried my best to be a good parent. You’ll understand when you’re a parent. You’re an adult now. You must grow up and get past whatever holds you back. You need to be as healthy as you can be.” She was right. What could I say? My brother and sister were spared most of my hard lessons. We did turn out OK in ways that matter most.

Mom was a cultivated Gemini. She was one of the most well-read people I ever knew.   When I was about ten years old, mom read Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl.       It reinforced what she already knew and confirmed her most significant value in her life, which was the knowledge and understanding that while you can’t always control what happens to you, you have the power to choose what you think, feel, and do about what happens to you. Whether you’re going out in the rain with or without an umbrella or going to the electric chair screaming or with dignity, you still have the ability to choose your behavior.

Mom as poster child at 77Even in the direst of circumstances, mom had a sense of humor. She was lying in her hospital bed with tubes going in and out of her and she said to me, “What worries me most is how nice everyone is to me. Do they know something I don’t?”  My sister warned her “You’re not allowed to die until you finish raising my (teenage) kids”. She joked about buying mom’s casket at Costco and mom loved the idea. My brother said to mom, “I’ll start worrying when you stop putting on your makeup”. He threatened to taxidermy her and stick her in a corner in his living room. Mom’s intensive care doctor told us that in all his years, he never had a patient who was so sick and so determined not to look like it. While wheeling mom around the hospital, people thought I was her husband. I’d say “Thanks for the compliment, but I’m her father”. “Pleased to meet you”, they’d say. The joke was on me. At sixty, I was still a potential embarrassment to my mom. Some things never change. Mom was a poster child for the geriatric crowd at seventy-seven. If you want to get a real taste for mom, you’ve got to check out this exercise ball video that mom made as a response to my sister sending her the ball. Though the quality isn’t great, I guarantee you’ll love the content!

Hermes and Gemini

`Gemini image

 GEMINI   MAY 23 – JUNE 21

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

HermesThe greatest Communicator of all time was Hermes Trismegistus, founder of Astrology and Occult Wisdom and discoverer of Alchemy. Hermes was a real person who lived in ancient Egypt. He was reputedly the mystic teacher of Abraham. The Egyptians deified Hermes as Thoth, Scribe of the Gods. Thoth became the Greek archetype, Hermes, god of Wisdom. The Roman version is Mercury, messenger of the Gods. In Tarot, Hermes is the Magician at a crossroads with all of the resources and tools he needs to go anywhere and do anything at any time. In Astrology, Gemini (social) and Virgo (technical) are the residences of Hermes. Tradition recorded that Hermes refused to grow old and lived gracefully for nearly three hundred years in the flesh. Peter Pan, who can fly and never grow old, is a twentieth century adaptation of Hermes’ adolescence. I’ll be sixty-seven in a few days. I still feel like a teenager on the inside!

Hermes was the real father of wireless communication. He taught his disciples that our brains are the cell communication hardware while our minds transmit and receive messages. Long before Moses, while other Alchemists were still trying to turn lead into GoldHermes realized that the real world consisted of relationships between cells made up of energy and matter vibrating on different planes. These ever blending planes are labeled Physical, Mental, and Spiritual in Hermetic philosophy. We are individuals made up of individual cells; physically, mentally, and spiritually connected with all other cells on all other planes at the same time. We can connect with anyone and anything once we learn to establish and tune our links.

Hermetic alchemy deals in the mastery of mental forces, transmuting one kind of mental vibration into another instead of material elements. Hermes calls the unknowable and indefinable spirit “The ALL”. Hermes explained that “While ALL is in The ALL, it is equally true that The ALL is in ALL. To him who truly understands this truth hath come great knowledge”. The inner nature of The ALL is unknowable. That’s why we have anthropomorphic Gods and institutionalized religion. Hermes describes spirit as the essence which permeates and the glue which connects everything. Spirit gives form. Our spiritual development is dependent on the recognition, realization, and manifestation of the spirit within us.

Hermes recognized and established seven basic metaphysical and philosophical principles: Mentalism, Correspondence, Vibration, Polarity, Rhythm, Cause and Effect, and Gender. Applying these principles enabled Hermes to explore, examine, and explain everything.

ying yangHermes described opposites as two extremes of the same thing with many varying degrees between them. Where does heat end and cold begin? Where does darkness leave off and light begin?  What about hard and soft, sharp and dull, noisy and quiet, high and low, positive and negative? The same principle operates on the mental plane. Love and hate are simply degrees of the same thing. Somewhere in the middle are shades of like and dislike. The vibrations of hate can be changed to the vibrations of love through the art of polarization, a phase of mental alchemy known and practiced by ancient and modern Hermetic masters. “The Secret” is the “Law of Polarity’s” latest PR crusade.

The Kybalion states: Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair           of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature but different     in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.

Hermeticists were the original astrologers, alchemists, and psychologists. The ancients possessed knowledge of transcendental astronomy called astrology; of transcendental chemistry called alchemy; and of transcendental psychology called mystic psychology.       They cultivated inner as well as outer knowledge.

Evolved philosophers and thinkers throughout history have unlocked the mysteries of nature using symbolism. What do the following historical figures all have in common?  Galileo the Astronomer; Pythagoras the Mathematician; Confucius the Philosopher; Plato the Thinker; Aristotle the Scientist; Nostradamus the Astrologer; Leonardo Da Vinci the Artist; George Washington the President; Carl Jung the Psychologist; and Joseph Campbell the Mythologist. They were all Grand Masters of Symbolic thought.

Anyone can learn alchemy. Real alchemy has not much to do with turning lead (Saturn) into gold (Sun). Real alchemy is a set of magical formulas, tools, and esoteric instruction for becoming healthy, happy, and fulfilled in life. Alchemy is about cultivating vision, nurturing relationships, making healthy decisions, embracing right choices, having faith and healthy attitudes that build sound structures on good foundations, and facing challenges with strength, courage, and wisdom. Accomplished alchemists are disciplined, focused, mentally and emotionally balanced, and spiritually connected. Alchemy is like spiritual magnetism. The law of attraction works best when you know what you desire and your intent is clear. It’s possible to transform negative circumstances and challenges into positive results. Taking a leap of faith and letting go of fear is vital.

Hermes asks us to know ourselves and to allow our minds and willpower to embrace the positive aspects of who we are. We can choose to embrace the healthy side of our character. We can attract nourishing relationships and roles for ourselves. We can shine our most noble and beautiful qualities brightly on the most beneficial and constructive aspects of our character. We can turn lead into gold.

Astrology is one of the languages which Hermes used to unlock the ancient mysteries. Astrology is a symbolic system that compares and contrasts the heavens with the affairs of mankind on earth. Astrologers espouse Hermes second principle of correspondence “As above, so below – as below, so above”. Our diversity of astrological symbols and their relationships reflect one big, but not necessarily happy family and world. Each and every relationship changes each and every other relationship on a cellular level by raising or diminishing its vibration, polarity, and rhythm.

Hermes types are free thinkers. She has a quick mind and is adaptable like a chameleon. He has no problem seeing your point of view, even when he doesn’t agree with you. She seems to be able to converse about absolutely anything with anyone. He’s versatile, curious, logical, spontaneous, and witty. She’s one of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet. He can handle plenty of analysis, detail, and information, but would rather be free of mundane responsibilities. She’s too clever for her own good sometimes. He’s not beyond bending the truth to suit his needs. On her dark side, she can be a con artist, thief, or pickpocket. He can be nervous, superficial, unreliable, and restless. She’s notorious for being ambiguous and ambivalent. Sometimes he’s accused of being schizophrenic. Maintaining long term relationships that aren’t true friendships doesn’t really work for her. His success comes from learning to stay structured, disciplined, and focused.

Hermes was the shortest of the gods. The pinkie finger is normally the shortest finger. When the tip is longer than the crease between the first and second phalange of the ring finger, it’s considered long. When shorter, it’s considered short. A dominant pinkie fingered person is often short in stature (Ed Harris). His or her body and face are slender. He has expressive hands, dark hair, and penetrating eyes with crow’s feet in the corners. He’s youthful looking.  Men frequently have thin beards (Johnny Depp).  Hermes types tend to be childlike. Michael Jackson actually lived in Neverland. They love children and often marry someone like their mother or father. Most Hermes types are androgynous. Many (although they may not know or admit it) are bi-sexual. Hermes had an affair with Aphrodite in mythology. The result was Hermaphrodite. David Bowie is a Capricorn with a very strong Hermes. Hermes dominant physical sense is hearing. A dominant pinky fingered person prefers small musical instruments that require a lot of dexterity. Health issues center around the nervous and bronchial systems. Hermes types may also have problems with headaches, thyroid glands, memory loss, and speech impediments. Dominant Hermes types make great lawyers, politicians, doctors, orators, writers, engineers, teachers, accountants, bankers, and shopkeepers.

Our pinkie finger shows our ability to communicate. It also indicates truthfulness. Our early family dynamic may be observed in the way the pinkie is set on the hands. If it is very short or low set, trust is a major issue. Some women who have very low set pinkies have told me that they have trouble having orgasms. Their real challenge is in trusting someone enough to have real intimacy. The length and proportions of our pinkie finger symbolizes technical language, family, and sexual potentials.

Pinky ringGold and diamond rings are often found on the pinkie finger of acquisitive people. Pinkie rings can symbolize the sublimation of sexual energies in order to accomplish something requiring a lot of libido. I recently examined a group of fifty young men and women who were all born into wealthy families in the 80’s. Considering the prosperity of the period, it seemed a paradox to me that every single individual had an obviously short phalange on the bottom segment of the little finger of his or her dominant hand.  Money will never be the governing motivation for their career choices. Family and personal values will drive these individuals.

Healthy Hermes types can be social and intuitive geniuses. They’re great judges of character. Their liabilities are trickiness, fickleness, nervousness, restlessness, and superficiality. People preaching on soapboxes, most pickpockets, and a majority of con artists have dominant pinkies (most inwardly curving). I work at special events with great magicians. These amazing tricksters are Mercurial with dominant pinkie fingers. They surprise and astound by deceiving the eye and mind of the beholder.

Stay tuned for the first installment of my metaphysical memoir. Since my mother was a Gemini and I’m a Gemini, I’m starting there.