Hands Columns

Character of the Month

twelve hands

 

The archetypes that our hands embody are metaphors for our corresponding personality traits. Our inner and outer characters and the internal and external dramas they play out embody our positive and negative potentials. By knowing the myths of our archetypes, we can understand what kind of person we tend to marry; what kinds of relationships we have with our families, friends, and neighbors; what work we are likely to choose; whether we will be rich or poor; and even what kinds of potential health problems we may have. Armed with knowledge and insight, we can employ our free will to embrace the positive aspects of our characters in order to revise our hands and restage a bad script in our lives. We can choose the right kinds of people and roles for ourselves. Click on the hands below for a full description of each type.

Greek and Roman and contemporary fairy tale characters will be explored. Superficial profiles of twelve fairy tale heroines have been used as illustrations for the purpose of elucidating this idea. Copyright permissions would be required for mass publishing.

belle-hand

April / Aries ~ Belle (Beauty)

 belle

As an adventurous, independent, and freedom loving type, Belle makes up her mind and fearlessly pursues her desires. Her impatience and impulsiveness get her in trouble as she instinctively charges forward. Belle becomes bored and restless when she gets caught up in mundane details. She needs to grasp the whole picture. Ultimately, she somehow manages to turn a beast into a prince.

princess-jasmine-hand

May / Taurus ~ Princess Jasmine

princess-jasmine

Princess Jasmine is practical, responsible, reliable, dependable, charming, and affectionate. She’s also stubborn and obstinate and doesn’t like change. She enjoys good food, comfortable surroundings, art, music, and sensual pleasures. She’s attracted to Aladdin (Aries) types because they spice up her fantasy life, but in real life, she knows they don’t make the best long term partners for her.

pippi-longstocking-hand

June / Gemini ~ Pippi Longstocking

pippi-longstocking

Pippi is smart and very clever. Her restless nature ensures she’s always on the go. She’s fiercely independent and unafraid to speak her mind. She can conjure up a reason or rationalization for almost anything. Adaptable to all circumstances, Pippi is elusive when anyone tries to pin her down. Her animus is Peter Pan.

snow-white-hand

July / Cancer ~ Snow White

snow-white

Snow White is soft and emotionally vulnerable. Controlling or overprotective mothers compel her to become over-sensitive and emotionally cautious. She does her best to avoid confrontation and repress difficult feelings. Cutting ties with controlling females helps her become healthier and happier. She’s a great friend once trust is earned.

goldilocks-hand

August / Leo ~ Goldilocks

goldilocks

Goldilocks loves being center of attention. She wants to be adored and worshipped and can be a drama queen. She needs to be appreciated and must never be taken for granted. Pure types may have fathers who were emotionally or physically absent during their formative years. Goldie craves healthy male role models, but attracts fixer-uppers. Because she so stubbornly fights change, she must learn to recognize that when the bears come home, it’s time to let go.

cinderella-hand

September / Virgo ~ Cinderella

cinderella

Cinderella is a practical hard working type. Discriminating, meticulous, and orderly, she needs to feel useful. She’s service oriented, often straightening up other’s messes. She can be overly fastidious and critical sometimes. She’s a good communicator who needs to be valued and appreciated for her integrity. Though her work is often mundane and her rewards meager, Cinderella needs to cherish whatever she earns.

sleeping-beauty-hand

October / Libra ~ Sleeping Beauty

sleeping-beauty

Sleeping Beauty searches for balance. She loves harmony, fears discord, and is often indecisive as a result. She can be charismatic and beautiful. She seeks her Prince Charming to help her feel complete, but needs to see him for who he is and not who she wants him to be. Unfortunately, there are way too many frogs and beasts out there and very few princes ready, willing, or able to save her.

little-red-riding-hood-hand

November / Scorpio ~ Little Red Riding Hood

little-red-riding-hood

Little Red Riding Hood has powerful emotions and a strong sense of purpose. She’s imaginative, captivating, and resourceful. You’re happy being yourself when you’re with her. When she truly wants something, she manages to get it one way or another. She has a mysterious dark side that attracts and is tempted by Big Bad Wolves who desire to corrupt her feigned innocence.

alice-in-wonderland-hand

December / Sagittarius ~ Alice in Wonderland

alice-in-wonderland

Alice is a traveler and philosopher.  She’s friendly, sincere, optimistic, and open minded. She loves her freedom and needs a lot of space to explore her ideas and environment. Alice has a tendency to see life through rose colored glasses. She must take care not to be overly opinionated, judgmental, or self-indulgent.

malificent-hand

January / Capricorn ~ Maleficent

malificent

It’s not easy to find a positive female fairy tale character that’s pragmatic, ambitious, structured, disciplined, and focused. Capricorn types are planners who make it to the top of whatever field of interest they choose. As serious withholding types, their dark side is frequently represented by Scrooge like characters that are cold, selfish, and rigid. Maleficent is Capricorn with strong Scorpio backup. Her dark side is depressive and diabolical; she’s a person who plans carefully and tries to avoid the negative consequences of her evil actions. These types are late bloomers. They get younger while their peers get older.

pocohantas-hand

February / Aquarius ~ Pocahontas

pocohantas

Pocahontas is outgoing, progressive, independent, and revolutionary.  As a community minded individual, she loves in a kind of detached way. Her unconventional freedom loving nature can get her into awkward situations. Spending much time in her private world of ideas and inventions, she prides herself on being unique and eccentric. She’s opinionated, but makes an exciting friend.

ariel-hand

March / Pisces ~ Little Mermaid

ariel

Ariel is the most sensitive and least acquisitive of all types. Capable of incredible foresight, she’s often misunderstood when she conveys her spiritual visions to others. It’s not easy for others to let go and take a leap of faith. Ariel can swim anywhere in the ether and dream whatever she pleases. She must be sure not to escape from reality and must also watch out for Ursula the Octopus who wants to possess her.

Hands of the Month

twelve hands

Stories of individuals whose corresponding character and career matches the nature of their hands and astrological sign of the month. Applicable themes will be covered:

MONTH                                              CAREER                                           ESOTERIC

April                                                    Sports                                                 Character

May                                                     Banking                                             Values

June                                                   Education                                          Thinking

July                                                     Psychology                                       Feeling

August                                               Acting                                                 Will Power

September                                         Medicine                                            Health

October                                              Law                                                     Partnerships

November                                          Sex / Death                                       Creativity

December                                          Politics                                               Philosophy

January                                             Career                                                Purpose

February                                            Technology                                       Dreams

March                                                 Religion                                             Spirituality

 

Philosophical & Spiritual Advice Column

mark-holding-up-hands

Readers send in hi-resolution pictures of their faces and hands and ask personal questions to be answered by a master palmist from practical, philosophical, and spiritual perspectives. Questions such as, “How can I…?” or “What can I do to…?” are better than “What’s going to happen?”  Queries requiring yes or no answers will be rejected. I’d like to write this column if I can find the right venue and way to market the project. Ideas?

Stay tuned for modern palmistry book concepts.

Publicity Stories #6 ~ Volunteering

volunteer-work

Volunteering has always been good for business. Being generous with my time and energies has been extremely rewarding on many levels. I get to meet other givers at charity functions. I’ve connected with some of my favorite event planners, performers, and caterers at fund raising events. Forty years later, we still recommend each other for well-paid work when we get the opportunity. Another benefit of charitable events is benefactors, who may pay $1000 or more a plate for dinner and entertainment. They also throw their own parties. I often give out business cards when asked and collect referrals for other causes and more lucrative events. I read many people at these events who have the maladies we’re working for or have family members or friends who have them. I feel grateful to be able to be there to support them.

Newspapers, magazines, books, and radio & TV were obvious ways to promote business. When I first started contributing my time and talents to causes, it never occurred to me to volunteer for the purpose of marketing or publicity. I was taught in early childhood that if you’re lucky enough to have a good life, you have a responsibility to give back in some way. I used to search for old ladies to help across the street, carry their bags, give up my seat, or open a door. I never expected anything in return.  I believe that learning to give contributed to my having a happy childhood.

These days, I sign copious petitions and donate time and money to a variety of social causes. I sometimes regret getting involved as I receive copious requests for endless causes and contributions in my mailbox. I feel like unsubscribing from everything and becoming a hermit, but I don’t. It’s impossible for me to stand by while plutocrats and bigots exploit our environment and trample our human rights under gigantic footprints.

I volunteer regularly for charitable causes like AIDS, Cancer, Schizophrenia, Cystic Fibrosis, Blindness, Healthy Environment, and Dance & Arts Education. The same organizations have called me back year after year. I ask them to pay these days, but offer a substantial discount. They’re grateful to have me and tell me that their guests ask ahead whether I’ll be there. Some of their patrons feel like old friends who like to inform me of their progress since last year’s five-minute rendezvous.

Back in the late ‘80’s, I started working with the AIDS community. It began as research. I hoped to be able to identify the virus in a diversity of hands and track its progress or regress. I printed many hundreds of immune deficient hands of people in various stages from early HIV to full blown AIDS. As I continued to print their hands, I found substantial changes over time. It was hard for me to finance my time and expenses. I tried to find a sponsor to help fund my efforts. No one seemed interested in paying for my research.

In 1994, I discovered Bailey House and met Roy Fowler. Bailey House was an AIDS housing and health organization and Roy was in charge of rehab. Roy wanted to help and hired me to read their clients’ hands, tarot cards, and astrology. I worked two afternoons a week for two years with Roy and Bailey House’s staff and clients.

Individuals with HIV/AIDS tend to suppress their potentials because they’re concerned mainly with the harsh realities of their impending mortality. I was able to identify their strengths, abilities, and talents and encourage them to have hope and make use of the time and resources they had. I played a role for many as a spiritual counselor. Just my being there encouraged some of the more despondent clients to show up at the center.

It was hard to leave, but I needed to make more money. I also hadn’t been able to gather enough hard statistics to validate my research. When I left, Roy handed me this unsolicited testimonial (below). He hoped to help me advance my palmistry work.

bailey-house

Publicity Stories #2 ~ The New York Times

nyt-artwork

I’d had plenty of press as ‘Guru of Garbage’, but never experienced the ‘power of publicity’ until I was featured on the front page of the ‘City Section’ of the NY Times. The Village Voice article had produced a lot of inquiries, but a small amount of actual business. I realized that today’s news truly is tomorrow’s fish wrap unless you’re waving it in someone else’s face. The significance of the Voice was that other publications and journalists were fishing in my pond for thought-provoking content for their venues.

Manhattan User’s Guide’ interviewed me and created a flow of new clients and parties. Too bad I was selling my time for so much less then. ‘Where NY Magazine’ dubbed me “Weatherman of the psyche”. I liked ‘Whetherman’, but the editor didn’t. Some writers were looking for a free reading. Pitching the article was their excuse. I quickly learned to separate the wheat from the chaff and to avoid questionable press and advertising.

Having fresh publicity facilitated my speaking business. I spoke about the history of palmistry in New York City at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. The National Design Museum asked me to create a workshop / lecture series on the symbolism of the sun to complement a major solar design exhibition (testimonial). I’d given previous talks at the museum about designing products with recycled materials.

I was a faculty member of the NYC chapter of NCGR (National Council for Geocosmic Research) for nearly 20 years. I spoke at astrological conferences about combining hands and horoscopes. I offered hand reading workshops at the New York Open Center, Learning Annex, Theosophical Society, and East West Books.

As the eighties came to a close, I was switching back and forth between environmental and metaphysical work. I’d designed and fabricated an ‘all natural’ architectural loft for an artist and award winning film editor in Tribeca. When I completed the project, she celebrated by transforming the space into a salon and inviting a unique collection of notable individuals. She was my Gertrude Stein. That’s where I met Robert Lipsyte.

Bob was a celebrated journalist and novelist. As a 25 year old sports writer for the NY Times, Bob wrote about a boxing match between little known Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston, ‘The Champ’. Destiny united Ali with Bob and marked the beginning of two illustrious careers. Ali became king of the ring, while Bob became a famous sports journalist, Ali’s biographer, and friend. Bob met the Beatles on their first American tour with Ali. Bob also won prestigious literary awards for his YA novels and was the Emmy- winning host of the nightly public affairs show on WNET~ The Eleventh Hour.

ali-and-the-beatles

When Bob found out what I did (besides designing and building lofts), his curiosity was roused. A natural skeptic and cynic, he couldn’t wait to challenge my esoteric mind and ideas. Bob hungered for answers to unanswerable questions. My ambiguous responses made him even more inquisitive. He enrolled in my ‘Metaphysics 101’ class at the Cooper Union. That’s when he jokingly started calling me ‘his guru’.

I think Bob wanted to help me become the ‘champ’ of metaphysics. He asked if he could feature me in the weekend edition of the Times. He also asked me to be a guest on The Eleventh Hour. I said ‘yes’ to both. Unfortunately, the TV show was discontinued before my time. PBS gave his spot to Charlie Rose. I’ve lost touch with Bob, but know I can call on him anytime for any reason and he’ll be happy to hear from me.

Newspapers are good for short term publicity. My big surprise was receiving thousands of inquiries within a few weeks. Momentum from Bob’s article expanded my speaking and party businesses and generated even more free publicity.

Summer Solstice 2016 ~ Honoring my Gemini Mother

 

Micki Seltman 1

Yesterday, I remembered dad on father’s day. Today is mom’s birthday. No longer in physical form, mom would be 91 years old. She passed from her body at 83 after living as gratefully and gracefully as possible with metastasized breast Cancer for many years. Before she left this plane, she assured me that if there’s another side, she’ll be in touch. I haven’t heard from her yet, but haven’t given up hope. Mom’s cultivated Gemini hands with her square palms and long fingers harmonize well with her Gemini sun, moon, mercury, and midheaven conjunction.

Even in the direst of circumstances, our family always kept their sense of humor. Mom was lying in her hospital bed with tubes sticking in and out of her. She said to me, “What worries me most is how nice everyone is. Do they know something I don’t?” My sister warned, “You’re not allowed to die until you finish raising my (teenage) kids”. Jennifer joked about buying mom’s casket at Costco and mom loved the idea. Gary quipped, “I’ll start worrying about you when you stop putting on your makeup”. He threatened to taxidermy her and stick her in a corner of his living room. Mom’s intensive care doctor said he had never had a patient so sick and so determined not to look like it. I wheeled 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. At sixty, I could still embarrass my mother. Some things never change.

mom portrait

exercise ballMom was literally a poster child for the geriatric crowd at seventy-seven (above). To get a real taste of her, watch this exercise ball video. Mom made it as a response to Jennifer sending her the ball. The quality isn’t great, but her humor and attitude are well worth the watch!

Palmistry for Astrologers ~ Truth vs Fiction

Your Life is in Your Hands

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

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

Untitled-1 copy

FICTION ~ there’s no connection between astrology and palmistry

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

mark, joanna, and cassie as a newborn2

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

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

mark speaking

FICTION ~ the left hand is the hand you read

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

mystic crosses

FICTION ~ mystic crosses are magical

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

past life myth

FICTION ~ you can see past lives in a hand

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

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

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

predicting the future 2

FICTION ~ you can accurately predict the future

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

seeing hands in hands 2

FICTION ~ you can see other people in hands

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

great seal crystal ball

FICTION ~ you can see wealth in hands

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

Head lines 3

 

 

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

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

heart lines 2

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

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

Purnima's palm print

FICTION ~ you can see unimportant events in hands

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

timing on lines of hand

FICTION ~ you can see age in hands

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

Taurus Hands

Taurus3

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

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

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

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

white bull

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

 

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

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

Sigmund Freud was father of modern psychoanalysis.

Karl Marx developed the theory of socialism.

Martha Graham was mother of modern dance.

Katherine Hepburn was Grande Dame of American stage and movies.

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

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

Adolf Hitler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Capricorn ~ Search for Purpose

Capricorn - Search for Purpose 2

CAPRICORN

DECEMBER 21 – JANUARY 20

“If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”

                                                                                                       Martin Luther King Jr.

You don’t have to be a Capricorn to be Saturnian. Healthy types have a strong self-assured hand shake, firm hands, pale skin, flat square palms, and short stiff fingers and square fingertips with loop and arch prints. Dominant middle fingered folk tend to be the most serious and responsible of all types. The combination of prevailing middle fingers and first and middle phalanges make them very different from AriesCancer, and Libra types. Every thought and action must have a purpose. As great business leaders and managers, they embrace responsibility with commitment and dedication and carry out the specifics of everyday business while maintaining a long-range vision of their goal. As structured, focused, disciplined, and dependable individuals, they expect you to be on time and do as you say. They have very little patience for excuses. As natural skeptics, they don’t trust slick and flashy types. As workaholics, they don’t think twice about coming in early or staying late when a task needs to be finished. They can patiently wait until the right conditions present themselves.

Dominant Saturn fingerMiddle fingers should always be longest no matter what your type. Short middle fingers are lives out of balance and control. Middle fingers embody our need for structure and reveal our ability to focus, be disciplined, and responsible. We can see from our middle fingers how serious and reliable we are and how we manage our restrictions, obstructions, obligations, and guilt. Saturn types tend to be well organized, efficient, patient, dependable, and faithful. Stiff knotty joints, bent middle fingers, long middle phalanges, square tips, and short broad nails combine to reveal obsessive order, methodology, and punctuality. The most self-critical of all types, he habitually must learn to “lighten up and smell the roses”. Traditional music and dry humor helps. Practical, prudent, and persistent, Saturn types become easily frustrated and aggravated when their strategies don’t go according to plan. An overdeveloped sense of responsibility and obligation causes them to feel guilt, shame, and depression. Many have a cynical, sarcastic, or fatalistic sense of humor rooted in a pessimism they’d much prefer to hide. They become extremely defensive or offensive when they’re depressed. Pure types rarely stray from provincial, traditional, or conventional boundaries.

Donald RumsfeldDominant middle-fingered people are often tall, slender, and angular in appearance. They have dark hair, large bones, stern features, and bland complexions. They’re loners; needing private time, including from family and partners. Their prevailing physical sense is smell. Pure types love string instruments and prefer classical music with a tinge of sadness. Eventually, they have physical problems with teeth, knees, ligaments, rheumatism, hardening of the arteries, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, or deafness in the left ear. When the middle finger leans toward the ring finger, there’s a need for privacy and personal space. I guarantee that when Donald Rumsfeld is feeling confined or controlled, he gets cranky and irritable. You can readily see it on his face. A majority of scientists, technical individuals, conservative businessmen, researchers, writers, craftsmen, therapists, night watchman, undertakers, morticians, and derelicts have dominant middle fingers.

Hermit“Father Time” is a strategic planner. In ancient Greece, he was called Chronos. In Roman myth and western astrology, Capricorn is ruled by Saturn. Where structure, discipline, and focus are required, Saturn is always present. At best, he’s healthy, happy, wise, prosperous, and compassionate. At worst, he’s frustrated, controlling, greedy, and self-destructive.

 

 

Jesus ChristThe most famous Capricorn of all time was Jesus Christ. Jesus was the first not for profit Prophet. This self-styled Jewish self-help guru would have reformed the business of religion had he stuck around. Who needs codes, dogmas, and doctrines when they’ve got spirituality? Jesus shared God’s essence as he spoke the words “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Jesus was crucified and martyred for loving too much.

 

Martin Luther KingDr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1/15/1929 – 4/4/1968) was martyred for his fervent beliefs. A Baptist Minister and passionate Social Rights Activist, Dr. King led the black civil rights movement in the United States from the mid 1950’s until his assassination in 1968. Dr. King’s mission was a pursuit of truth, peace, justice, and equality for all. Dr. King’s dream has become his legacy and a legal holiday.

Mel GibsonCapricorn Mel Gibson irreverently and irresponsibly exploited the dark side of love in his ‘The Passion of the Christ’. Jesus writhed as Mel punished us for torturing him. Maybe Mel can capitalize on Dr. King’s final moments. He can call it, LETHAL WEAPON 666 ~ even more reasons to spread shame, guilt, fear, hate, and terror. Mel would be much less harmful as a used Hummer salesman. He could market ‘already been road-warriored’ models, like worn jeans or distressed furniture.

Abraham LincolnCapricorns want to be number one. Muhammad Ali was King of Boxing. Elvis Presley was King of Rock ‘n Roll. Tiger Woods was Prince of Golf. David Bowie and Rod Stewart are mega-musical prodigies. Daniel Day-Lewis (Taurus / Saturn) played Abraham Lincoln, a pure Saturnian type. Clint Eastwood is a Gemini with dominant middle fingers. Paul Cezanne and Henri Matisse were great Post and Neo-Impressionist French artists. Albert Schweitzer was a famous humanitarian.  Louis Pasteur was the father of pasteurization.

ScroogeMaster criminals ruled by Saturn don’t depend on cleverness like Gemini, or spontaneity like Aries and Sagittarians. Saturn strategizes every move and waits until the time is right. Scrooge is the epitome of Saturn’s stinginess, choosing greed over generosity. Relationships are only important as they relate to profit.

 

Bernie EbbersGhosts of Christmas past, present, and future haunt Bernard Ebbers. As former CEO of WorldCom, Ebbers contributed to society by making telecommunications competitive. Too bad he compromised his principles to reach his goal of power and worldly achievement. Bernie played both sides against the middle and got caught in the squeeze.

Janet - CapricornJanet is a pragmatist with crooked middle fingers and separated head and life on her dominant hand. This combination of features makes her a very independent freedom loving perfectionist with an overly developed sense of responsibility, obligation, and guilt. There’s always a ‘should’ or ‘supposed to’ in the way of that adventure she wishes she was having. Janet was a high-powered corporate consultant in the publishing industry when I met her and took this picture.

NeptuneDuring the late twentieth century, Uranus revolutionized Capricorn from 1989 to 1996. Political institutions and structures were transformed. The Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall were ripped down. On October 3, 1990, Germany was reunited as the political demarcation between East and West vanished. The Soviet Union disintegrated into fifteen republics in 1991. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibited discriminating against the disabled.

VoyagerUranus brought the Voyager space probe that successfully explored the outer limits of our solar system. Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years behind bars and successfully galvanized the Anti-Apartheid movement around the globe. Jean Bertrand Aristide, a radical priest, became Haiti’s first freely elected president. Ten months after his election, the military seized control of the government. After Asylum in the USA, Aristide returned to office in 1994, accompanied by 20,000 American troops. Operation Desert Storm liberated Kuwait from the Iraqi invaders. Bosnia declared their independence from Yugoslavia that resulted in a religious civil war pitting Serbs and Croats against Muslims.

Johnny CarsonAt the end of Uranus’s transit, the US and the UN brokered a prickly cease-fire and did what they could to end ethnic cleansing. Representatives from over a hundred countries met in Rio de Janeiro in June of 1992 to discuss how to better preserve the earth. Good intentions haven’t worked. Johnny Carson retired after 30 years of hosting The Tonite Show on NBC TV.

Arafat and RabinExpect the unexpected. PLO leader Yassar Arafat shook hands with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to try to end hatred. The Irish Republican Army agreed to lay down its arms in exchange for a role in Northern Ireland’s political future. The Brady Bill for gun control was signed into law thirteen years after Brady was shot and paralyzed. The NRA became more powerful than ever. Smoking was banned in New York City restaurants. Women began smoking cigars.

ChernobylWhen the planet Neptune transited the sign of Capricorn from 1984-1998, lines between chemical industries and moral responsibilities dissolved. A gas leak at a Union Carbide plant in India killed over 3,000 people. British scientists pinpointed a hole in the earth’s ozone layer. Two years later in 1987, seeing the hand writing on the wall, fifty-three nations signed a treaty pledging to reduce the number of CFCs in the atmosphere. The most serious nuclear accident in history occurred at Chernobyl. Thirty-one people died instantly. Another 40,000 were later diagnosed with cancer from exposure to radiation. The Exxon Valdez shipwreck was the worst oil spill in history. It contaminated hundreds of miles of Alaska shoreline and killed thousands of creatures.

Hey Monsanto

Monsanto, creator of Agent Orange, PCBs, DDT, and Dioxins, launched their first “Round-up Ready” GMO soybean, which was approved by the FDA in 1994. ‘Frankenfood’ was a focus of environmental activists and comedians on late night TV. Mad Cow disease mysteriously appeared in the UK in 1996. The slim line between science and science fiction was crossed when the first sheep was cloned in Scotland in 1997. The FDA approved a drug called AZT, which was designed to treat AIDS. In 1997 and 1998, El Nino was attributed to bizarre bad weather conditions.

Bill CosbyNeptune transformed the illusion of fatherhood. Bill Cosby was the most popular father in 1984. Saturn was in Scorpio. Bill wasn’t practicing what he was preaching or Saturn wouldn’t have punished him when it returned to Scorpio in 2014. Racial bigots Archie Bunker and Homer Simpson were wildly popular fathers. ‘Married with Children’ offered a warped view of fatherhood. Disney produced the father and son story, ‘The Lion King’. Murphy Brown revealed her powerful animus.

In the world of big business, Ivan Boesky preached virtuosity and honesty and then got busted for insider trading. A frenzy of mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers in the ‘1980s destabilized financial institutions. General Electric purchased media giants NBC and RCA. When the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) collapsed, regulators from 69 countries seized their assets and charged officers who had been hiding substantial losses from investors. History once again is repeating itself as the guys at the top escape scrutiny. Congress closed the House of Representatives Bank in the wake of scandal in 1992.

Ronald Reagan right handNeptune dissolves both political and financial structures. Mikhail Gorbachev reformed the controls that kept the Soviet Union together. Growing concerns over a growing federal deficit catalyzed the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act. The Reagan deficit soared to 2 trillion dollars (2X 1981). On Black Monday, the stock market suffered a mini-crash with a huge drop in stock prices. Texaco filed the largest bankruptcy in history.

Follow the moneyPluto entered Capricorn in 2009. Ninety-nine percent became aware of the power of one percent. Plutocracy, faulty financial foundations, and deceptive business practices were beginning a never ending journey directly to hell. Commerce, politics, and religion will transform as greed, corruption, and secrets are exposed on all levels of business, government, and religion.

GoogleNostradamus made astrological predictions. His ‘whether’ forecasts for Pluto in Capricorn include the demise of the NY Stock Exchange and the bubble created by the illusion of social security. How can society prepare for widely fluctuating interest rates and inflation? How can we reform broken systems? Cyber-Terrorism can reach into anyone’s computer, cell phone, or electronic devices these days. Revolutionary new ways of managing our energy needs and environment must be implemented on a large scale. Recycling and reuse needs to be more practical and cost effective. More women must have positions of power. The Federal Reserve Bank, a Capricorn, will experience major upheaval. Its purpose was to keep the mega-rich from controlling all the wealth by forcing banks to keep certain percentages of their assets in the Federal Reserve. Neo-plutocrats own the majority of votes in Congress and the Senate.

Declaration of IndependenceAstrologers agree that the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4 1776. There’s a dispute over the USA horoscope as to whether Gemini or Sagittarius is rising. Either way, our Sun, Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury are in the sign of Cancer. As Pluto opposes them, the USA will try even harder to control everyone and everything, but will have great difficulty maintaining economic power and its status as a world leader. The world will see our behavior like short sighted little children. NYC’s charter was signed January 1 1898 at 12:01 am. Pluto conjoined NYC’s Sun in Capricorn in 2013, creating chaos concerning physical and financial infrastructures, public transportation, and corruption. Future world challenges will include hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, and other unnatural anomalies. The USSR Constitution has Capricorn rising. It promises political and economic upheaval as Pluto highlights where real responsibility begins and accountability ends.  We will all learn the hard way that the bottom line cannot justify the means.

Scorpio ~ Search for Love

Scorpio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rocky Horror Picture Show became a cult classic.

Ultrasound became an alternative to x-ray radiation.

Performance art became a new art form.

Palimony suits became popular.

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

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

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

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

How I Lost my Sanity 4

Two patients were in the art room. One warily tucked in a corner, the other a pretty twenty something African-American woman quietly cutting paper with a child’s scissors.

I gently mused out loud. “You look so healthy and normal. Why are you here?”

“My psychiatrist tells me it’s because I feel no remorse for what I did.”

“What did you do?”

“I killed my roommate. I chopped her body up in the bathtub and flushed as much of her as I could down the toilet. The rest I put in black plastic garbage bags in a dumpster.”

“Did you think you would get away with that?”

“I didn’t think at all. I got the idea watching TV.”

“And you don’t feel badly about what you did?”

“I guess I’m sorry for her family. The girl is dead. There’s nothing I can do about that!”

Mary told me she grew up in a large family with no privacy. She applied for a single room at college, but had to have a roommate. Enduring a year, Mary applied again, but her roommate got it. Mary lost control of her mind and heart and eliminated the problem.

I was glad I’d survived the bog of bureaucratic bullshit. Many strange stories unfolded over the next several months. Every day promised fresh adventure. I was yearning to examine everyone’s hands, but didn’t. I couldn’t wait for astonishing tales and amazing artwork. Many patients had artistic talent. There were even a few professional artists in the group. I supported everyone’s creativity, going above and beyond the call of duty to acquire special materials and supplies for them to work with.

The first patient I bonded with was a refined and cultivated woman in her mid to late fifties. The circumstances that led to Betsey’s hapless and senseless captivity were bizarre. She lived on Treasure Island, a wealthy seaside community near Purgatory. Betsey ran an art gallery, was a gossip columnist in a local paper, and loved to garden. She was an active member of the local gardening community.

A Purgatory lawyer of considerable power purchased Betsey’s adjoining land and let it flourish with weeds and branches that draped sloppily onto her property. Her neighbor‘s lack of landscaping annoyed the hell out of Betsey. One very vexing afternoon, Betsey threatened to chop off every leaf hanging over her domain. Betsey grabbed her axe and severed every limb and brush extending over the line. She was calmly recuperating on her porch, when suddenly and unexpectedly, she was frightened by several police officers in plain clothes who marched aggressively through her gate.

Betsey picked up her axe and attempted to chase them away. The next thing she knew, she was sedated in a psychiatric hospital for further evaluation. Her neighbor had pulled some strings and managed to have her temporarily committed. That’s when extremely serious problems began for Betsey. She got so agitated that Thorazine was mandated and administered. Betsey had a bad reaction to the Thorazine and was rushed to a local hospital where her spleen had to be removed.

Betsey was not a criminal. Nor was she crazy. A series of unfortunate events led to her becoming caught in ‘The System’. Although Betsey had great character references and her son pleaded fervently for her release, no one seemed able to help her. Betsey’s attitude remained positive and optimistic, however, her mental and physical health continued to deteriorate while she lost three productive years of her life.

Everyone admired Betsey. I was the self-appointed president of her fan club. She could draw, paint, and sculpt. She won several patient art awards. Betsey was a positive role model for everyone. She was editor and illustrator of the patient newspaper, The Scene. Betsey also created signage for activities and events. I got special permissions for her to do creative seamstress work. I purchased (with my $) supplies like needles, threads, and unique fabrics for her to experiment with.

Love bug tarantulaBetsey designed lifelike stuffed insects, while planting the seeds of success in my mind. She inspired me to imagine a patient run cottage industry within the confines of our hospital that could serve sheltered workshops in a variety of social / medical networks. We could be their source for design and marketing.

green hand print with poster paintI became braver each day as I talked to patients about their lives. I wasn’t able to divulge or indulge my avocation, but I did begin to look as closely as I could at hands. I made crude prints with poster paint. I assumed that madness would show up in obvious aberrations of their hand morphology and topography. It rarely did, although there were many unusual hands. I saw a lot of frustration, anger, fear, and an uncanny clarity in their thinking. They only saw one solution to their problem, never considering the consequences.

 

I wouldn’t have predicted from their hands that most of these people would end up committed to mental institutions. Many patients lacked peripheral lines. They were more psychotic and less neurotic than the wounded egos and superegos that cared for them. Many of us have repressed rage, confused minds, and constipated emotions. The healthiest among us harness our strengths, choose our attitudes and actions, and embrace whatever challenges we meet on our path to becoming healthier.

Club ThumbI expected to see more, but saw only one club (murderer’s) thumb in the whole patient population. This guy was like Shrek. Motivated by his passions, he totally lacked impulse control. Another patient’s hands were so soft and supple that his bones felt barely attached. He had no energy, enthusiasm, or desire for anything. I observed a psychotic’s skin that was blood red with repressed rage. Other patient hands were so stiff you couldn’t flex their joints with a nut-cracker. These individuals were trapped, inside and out. I saw schizophrenic hands with two opposing sets of lines in each hand. I imagined two lost souls; opposites, suffering, struggling, and striving to find themselves through him.

Betsy and I loved the symbolism of the Tarot. We consulted the cards many times with many questions. Although we rarely heard what we wanted to hear, we always affirmed what we already knew. I collected birth dates, times, and places, but didn’t explain why.

Most artwork and poetry in The Scene came from the art room. The patient newspaper was a venue for creative expression for patients and staff. It offered hospital news and provided space for patients to express their concerns and share their creativity. It was an important venue because it provided an outlet for frustration, anger, and depression. We spent too way much time complaining and blaming our problems on ‘The System’ and each other. I appointed myself spiritual ambassador and diplomatic good sense maker. Our real enemies were our bad habits, bureaucracy, and time. We were a team whether we chose ‘to be or not to be’.

One patient who infected my psyche with doubt was a young black man in his early thirties who grew up in abusive foster homes. A gentle kindness lie beneath the surface of Fred’s blade sculpted façade. Fred was involved in violence, but it wasn’t knife fights and gang warfare that got him locked up. It was unrequited love. Fred obsessed over an innocent teenage girl who was allegedly taken from him by an older man Fred described as an `abusive maniac’. Fred created realistic ‘WANTED DEAD or ALIVE’ posters of the maniac and posted them all over town, offering a phony ten thousand dollar reward. Fred didn’t realize he was creating evidence that would end him in the looney bin.

Fred 2Fred’s large feminine hands, rectangular palms, long slender knotty fingers, and conical fingertips embody a ‘feeling’ type. It’s a great combo for cultivating intuition, being empathic, making and appreciating art, being good at research, organizing, and paying attention to detail. Fred’s long head line sloped into the heel of his hand, revealing a vivid imagination and rich fantasy life. Fred could copy anything perfectly. He could have been a master forger. I cheered his abilities and encouraged him to draw from real life. I convinced his treatment team and security on his ward to let him have pencils and paper and to allow him to draw with supervision when he asked for them.

political satireFred began a private sketch book. He amassed forty or fifty sketches and drawings in the first month that he showed to no one. I asked to see them. Reluctantly, Fred showed them to me. I was blown away. Several political caricatures like the one on the left were at the beginning. What stunned me were realistic pictures of staff sexually abusing patients. Patients were pleasuring staff in the sickest possible ways. Security, therapists, and patients were having bizarre sex using objects of pleasure and pain. Could they be that crazy? Can they get away it?

 

 

Fred certainly had a vivid imagination. There was no way he could have witnessed what he was portraying. I wondered if Fred’s friends were telling him their stories. He let me copy a few drawings. I contemplated the veracity of Fred’s artwork and shared it with Dolores. Betraying Fred’s trust was my greatest blunder and biggest regret. Dolores showed Fred’s drawings to the cabinet. Fred fought fiercely as his drawings and supplies were confiscated. It broke my heart to see him reduced to a drug induced stupor, an artistic genius, never to create (during my tenure) again. I felt responsible and couldn’t stop thinking about it.

My second Mary was a high functioning extremely troubled patient. Mary believed she was Satan’s child, a bad seed. Mary said she was three when she first unsuccessfully tried to poison her sister. Then she failed to drown her in the bathtub. A few years later, she tied her to a tree in a lightning storm, hoping she’d be electrocuted. Mary’s staunch Catholic parents enrolled her in a devout fundamentalist Catholic school where they hoped to save her. Mary predictably became more twisted. At sixteen, Mary set a nun on fire and carved her to death with a broken bottle, saying, “The Devil made me do it”.

Mary's devilWhile residing in maximum security, Mary had etched (using a nail file) `666′ in the skin of her arms and legs. She also scratched and carved it into furniture. Mary produced many a dark artwork. I took her drawings home every chance I got. I was learning that it’s not what you do, but what you get away with and how you get away with it that matters.

 

susan atkin's handI don’t often see frightening hands, but Mary’s were scary. Her very stiff fingers curled inward like Susan Atkin’s (Charles Manson) creepy hands on the left. Mary’s skin was hard, dry, coarse, and reddish. She chewed her nails relentlessly, leaving them red, raw, and sore. Mary was self-critical to the theme of total self-hatred. I wished I could help her let go of her irrational terror, but Mary’s soul was hardboiled from a hellish reality of having to grow up in everyone else’s fundamentalist hypocrisy and insanity.

 

 

Mary had a huge crush on me. She was the first to arrive at the art room and the last to leave. I felt a little nauseous when I was alone with her. Even though I was repulsed, I always smiled and acted nice. One day, Mary generously offered to give me a quickie blow-job under my desk. I imagined Fred’s drawings and how easy it would be to become one of his vignettes. Then I thought about all of the abusive shepherds who physically and spiritually rape the lambs they were entrusted to protect. Did the terror of shame, guilt, and disgrace trigger their erotic fantasies? Was the fear of being caught a turn on? When did the Devil sow the seeds of evil so deep within their psyches?

Mary was hovering over me and monopolizing my attention. I got abrupt and impatient with her. The dark rings beneath her eyes began darkening as Mary began feeling rejected. When Mary left, Satan was hard at work, preparing her for evil that night on her ward. It was a full moon. The staff on her ward should have been more vigilant. They’re not lunatic asylums for nothing. After stealing the ‘six’ and ‘nine’ balls from the pool table, Mary loaded them in a black wool sock and nearly beat a new patient to death while she slept. The woman was there for a few days for psychiatric evaluation. Mary said she didn’t like the way the woman looked at her. I imagined she’d think twice before shoplifting again. I felt guilty and responsible. I should have said something.

Gene was the most incredible artist in the hospital. He’d been a successful commercial artist and advertising executive. Scuttlebutt was he’d created some of those TV ads that everyone loves to remember. Gene was unique. He lived like a celebrity on his ward. His private room, the only one, was outfitted with his own furniture, library, audio tape collection, and state of art stereo system, Bose headphones, and a grizzly bear rug.

Gene could have been free if he had wanted freedom and behaved accordingly. I tried to make good sense to Gene and convince him to become an active member of the real world. Gene made his own good sense. He had little interest in worldly freedom. He was free to love his literature, music, and art. I felt a bit jealous of his inner freedom.

A dark satanic aura shrouded Gene. His angry facial expressions and aggressive body language told a tale of uncontrollable rage from a horrible childhood. Gene was hostile. Everything about him screamed, “Stay away from me!” In a jealous fury, Gene slit his girlfriend’s throat from ear to ear. She not only survived, but didn’t press charges, then forgave him. But Gene couldn’t forgive himself. He told me he’d do it again.

Gene's portrait of meGene was the patient Dolores caught in the art supply closet with Janice. Gene and I had many philosophical discussions and co-created several artworks that I still cherish along with this life size pastel portrait which he drew of me. I think he very subtly captures my dark side.

Benny was Gene’s buddy. He was a strong fit black man in his early thirties. Benny’s phobia of homosexuality drove the former transit policeman to a bar full of gay men one late night with an automatic weapon. After freebasing crack, Benny slaughtered eight men.

Benny was uncooperative. He came up bi-yearly for forensic review. He believed he’d be set free one day, but was always rejected. One staff psychologist told me there was a ‘secret’ agenda to never let him go. It was in everyone’s best interest to humor him. If he found out, he’d lose hope, become violent, and need to be permanently medicated.

Jesus ChristMany patients were named after biblical figures and famous people. There were dozens of patients named Mary, Faith, Angel, Grace, and Hope. Whatever their parents had hoped, the reverse happened. Jesus Jefferson was double trouble. Jesus was Puerto Rican. He was the angriest patient in the hospital. Rejected countless times by forensic committees, Jesus had nothing left to lose. Everyone including staff steered clear of him.

 

Jesus had thrown his girlfriend, 3 year old child, and dog from a 17th story window. They died instantly when they hit the ground. Jesus had no remorse and never spoke of the incident. I had a fantasy that Jesus could be a powerful production manager in a patient run manufacturing business. Two staff psychologists agreed with me, but Jesus was too unpredictable and angry to ever be given any real opportunity to have responsibility.

There was never a dull day in the art room. The handsome young patient, just admitted, had cut his mother’s heart out and ate it with her favorite fork and knife on her favorite plate while reclining in her favorite chair. Another man was found combing his mother’s hair on her mantel piece, weeks after he had cut her head off. The entire residence was laden with lunatics and addicts who’d committed violent acts under the influence of rage and/or drugs. Schizophrenics, sociopaths, psychotics, and pathological liars flourished. One sociopath managed to have a Rolls Royce delivered to the hospital entrance as a result of conversations he had with a dealer from a pay phone in the hall of his ward.

If only I could put all of this talent to good use…

Author’s note: This is fiction set in the mid-eighties. Calling my protagonists ‘Patients’ is politically incorrect. ‘Clients’ and ‘Residents’ are used with less negative connotations and implications. For the record, I don’t call sick people ‘crazy’ or ‘lunatics’ in real life. My artwork has been altered and fabricated by me to fit my story.

Stay tuned as I get to know more patients and prepare to teach vocational classes.

HOW I LOST MY SANITY

round self portrait

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before and After

Pallet landfill to conference room

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned to meet the rehab staff in episode two.