LEO RULES

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

Bill Clinton is a Leo. Born three months after his real father died in 1946, Bill was raised by an abusive alcoholic stepfather. Like so many Leos, Bill spent much of his life searching for approval from father figures. His was mentally and emotionally absent during Bill’s formative years. Bill’s quest is a hero’s journey to conquer his fears of failure, abandonment, and disapproval and become a devoted parent who loves unconditionally and without expectation. Bill’s Sun, Mercury, Saturn, and Pluto are in Leo. Like many Apollonian types, Bill’s hands sport strong ring fingers. Bill adores music, women, and politics. Even though Bill has a bachelor like attitude, he enjoys being married. Bill has very high expectations of Hillary, in spite of his own personal shortcomings.

People judge Bill for his character, but Bill is his character. Apollo and Zeus are a powerful blend of charismatic forces in the real world. Zeus was infamous for his seductions and philandering in ancient Greece. Apollo was irresistible. It was impossible to say no to him. It’s hard to find healthy creative outlets for so much libido. The world is strewn with Leosterone. Powerful men and women throughout history were and still are philanderers with sexual addictions. Bill might have graciously and gracefully fulfilled his job as a national role model had he not tempted fate and lost his way. Hubris along with a powerful solar eclipse like the one coming up on August 21, 2017 was his Waterloo!

Bill loved being boss. His greatest challenge was not being too slick to believe that he wouldn’t always come out of the shithouse smelling like a rose. Zeus could have any female mortal he wanted. Unfortunately, his conquests and their offspring were cursed by Hera, who punished Zeus for his philandering. Defiance of fundamentalist values undermined Bill’s power. You can bet Hillary booted Bill’s behind when he was caught shtooping his intern. I’m glad he escaped impeachment. Resisting temptation is challenging when you’re a celebrity, a mortal, and a President.

“MISSION ACCOMPLISHED”

Four US Presidents were born under the sign of Cancer. They were all were deeply wounded and flawed, the vilest of all being (in my opinion) George W Bush. His Leo hands synchronize with his Leo ascendant to reveal the worst qualities of Cancer and Leo in his intentions and actions. George has Mercury and Pluto in Leo conjunct his ascendant and Venus in Leo in his first house. Hopefully, Prescott’s dark karma and the Bush dynasty have finally ended.

When our daughter was in fifth grade, fifteen years ago, George W Bush was President. Cass was so concerned about what was going on in the world that she wrote a letter to the editor of a local East Village newspaper (who published it). She also sent a copy to the President.

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,

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.

At the end of her letter, Cass asked George not to send her a signed picture of his head. I altered what she got back as my contribution to exposing the true nature of a beast that has no clue how beastly he is. Truly no child should be left behind. We must all be more loving, helpful, and attentive to all children at all times.

 

 

Barack Obama is a Leo. Born August 4, 1961, Barack’s Sun, Mercury, Uranus, and North Node are in Leo. With a warm heart and a smile, Barack practiced healthier Leo merits than his predecessors while setting new precedents for future Leo ruled presidents. Despite the constant barrage of partisan prejudicial politics, Barack served with nobility, integrity, and dignity. His intuitive hands reveal an Arian personality. His narrow less meaty hands reveal a warrior of ideas and ideals. Barack is independent, freedom loving, energetic, enthusiastic, takes calculated risks when inspired, and can accomplish anything with enough inspiration. Passion is contagious and optimism eternal. Barack does his best at what he chooses and doesn’t take rejection personally. As a naturally rebellious type, he detests bullies and bureaucrats. Barack’s Holy Grail was taking responsibility for a damaged bureaucracy aimlessly racing towards bad shit happening.

Barack is a natural hero and great crusader for good causes. He campaigns tirelessly until he realizes his aspirations. Barack’s head and life lines are separate at their beginnings where the thumb meets the hand. Combined with the little crook in the top phalange of his strong middle finger, he needs plenty of personal space to sort out his thoughts and feelings. Because of Barack’s highly developed sense of responsibility and obligation, he always chooses objectivity and practicality over freedom. Barack’s pinky’s smallest phalanx is the bottom. Barack is motivated by freedom, family, and good causes, not money.

Barack is a naturally healthy type. The clear and unfettered quality of his basic lines reveals a healthy clarity in his thinking and feelings. Barack’s heart line swings up from the percussion of his hand to the space between his index and middle fingers. He’s passionate and practical about his feelings. Barack’s headline gracefully arcs downward toward the heel of his hand, revealing balance between creativity and objectivity. He can blend creative imagination with clarity of vision. Barack’s fate line travels all the way from the bottom of his palm to the base of his middle finger. He has worked hard and remained focused on his personal goals since he was a small child. The lines in the ball of Barack’s thumb parallel his lifeline revealing a true friend to those who have earned his trust over time. Despite rampant unpopularity with Republicans, Barack served our country to the best of his ability with dignity, integrity, and nobility.

Donald Trump is a Gemini with Leo rising. His small Leo hands with their rectangular palms, short fingers, and head and life lines closely entwined at their beginnings confirm his Leo nature. Donald has embraced the worst traits of Leo and will forever be notorious as the worst President in history.

 

A lot has been said about Donald’s tiny hands. Small handed people are big picture people. They hate detail and love grand ideas. Despite his callous behavior, Donald secretly craves your approval, wants you to love him, and cares a lot about what you think of him, although he doesn’t care about you. Look at how Donald’s attitude and behavior pathologically embodies shameless grandiosity along with other negative attributes of Leo’s character. He’s narcissistic, self-centered, self-indulgent, superficial, ostentatious, egotistical, ruthless, greedy, bossy, seductive, and lousy role model.

Why do we prostrate ourselves before an opaque self-appointed emperor on a polished brass pedestal? How many gilded towers, glitzy gambling casinos, graven images, beauty queens, shark tanks, and celebrity idols do we need? It is mind boggling to see how a person with so much potential to create a positive difference for all of humanity instead chooses a path of spiritual bankruptcy for all.

Donald’s Mercury square Neptune and corresponding curved pinkie fingers confirm his pathological dishonesty. Mercury’s dark side is a trickster, magician, con-artist, and pick-pocket. The court jester was supposed to remind the king to keep his ego in check. Jiminy Cricket was Pinocchio’s conscience. Donald’s north node in Gemini is Mercurial. The North node in Gemini is a karmic invitation to join society in order to share higher consciousness and lend a helping hand by exercising higher mind. It’s plain to see how Bill Clinton (Leo) and George Bush (Leo rising) blew their Gemini north node potentials. Donald Trump has done more than his share of damage. Perhaps he is fulfilling his karmic obligation by clearly exposing the dark underbelly of politics, democracy, and capitalism. We’ll certainly never take our health and the health of our world for granted.

Donald’s day of reckoning is coming. During 2016, Uranus in Aries squared Donald’s Saturn Venus conjunction in Cancer.  It continues to be square in 2017. At the same time, transiting Saturn opposes Donald’s Sun and conjuncts his Moon. If you want to speed up his meltdown, millions of people can tweet: “YOU’RE FIRED” on these dates in 2017 – August 7, 12, 20, and 30, October 11, November 8 and 17. Anytime is good, but these dates will be most effective. It’s time for Donald to get a hearty spanking from Saturn. Donald’s hubris will take him down when the critical mass of horrors he has perpetrated will no longer be acceptable to the masses… the sooner the better.

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

Gemini Hands

You don’t need a Gemini sun, moon, ascendant, planets, or house placements to be a Gemini. No matter what your astrology says, pure type Gemini hands have widely spread long fingers, flexible tips, and supple thumbs. All thinking types have square palms with long fingers. As a mutable modality, Gemini is more mentally adaptable than (fixed) Aquarians and (cardinal) Librans. Geminis and Librans are dual air signs that frequently have split head lines resulting from always having to make decisions and having too many choices. Cancer and Pisces are dual water signs whose conflicted feelings are often embodied in split heart lines. Anyone can have any split line for many reasons.

I despise generalizing, but I can safely say that it’s impossible to accurately foretell from a natal astrology chart how a person will embrace their symbolism and manifest their free will. Astrology reveals a person’s potentials. A sun, moon, stellium of planets, dominant signs, house placements, or powerful aspects between certain planets or points in a horoscope may or may not reflect what a person chooses to integrate into their character and behavior. Hands are topographical maps that actually disclose a person’s character in past, present, and future. As we embrace our strengths and weaknesses and exercise our thinking and free will, our evolving characters, stories, and changing circumstances are reflected in the morphology and topography of our hands over time.

Healthy Geminis have long straight strong pinkie fingers that symbolize logical thinking, honest communication, and good sense. Gemini hands feature firm pink elastic skin and long straight widely spread fingers with dominant first phalanges and loop prints. Long ring fingers with whorl prints add talent, attractiveness, irresistibility, salesmanship, and luck. Strong middle fingers with square tips and developed first knots add technical and scientific attributes. Powerful index fingers dramatically increase writing, oratory, and other professional skills. Geminis make great lawyers, bankers, doctors, orators, writers, engineers, teachers, salesmen, accountants, and shopkeepers. I work at special events with miraculous magicians who have dominant pinkie fingers. They surprise and astound audiences by deceiving the eye and mind of the beholder. Prominent pinkie people prefer small musical instruments that require a lot of dexterity. Music makes sense because hearing is Gemini’s physical sense.

The pinkie is the shortest finger. If the tip is longer than the crease between the first and second phalange of the ring finger, it’s long. If shorter, it’s short. Hermes (Mercury) was the shortest god. A dominant pinkie fingered person is often short in stature (Ed Harris) with a slender body and face. Pure types have animated hands, dark hair, and penetrating eyes with crow’s feet in the corners. Gemini is the most youthful of all types. They’re eternally childlike and love children. Men often have thin beards like Johnny Depp (Gemini). Michael Jackson, a Virgo (ruled by Mercury), and a genuine Peter Pan, actually lived in ‘Neverland’. In real life, Peter marries Wendy or a parent. Someone’s got to be practical.

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.

Gemini rules hands and governs our nervous and respiratory systems. Gemini health issues revolve around the nervous and bronchial systems. Geminis also have problems with headaches, thyroid glands, memory loss, and speech impediments. I’m very Gemini and have been coping with Tinnitus (ringing in my ears) for several years.

Gold 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 once examined a group of fifty young men and women who were born into very wealthy families in the 80’s. Considering the prosperity of the period, it seemed paradoxical that every one of them had an obviously short phalange on the bottom segment of the little finger of his or her dominant hand.  Money will never be the motivation for their career choices. Family and personal values will drive these individuals.

Would you buy a used car from this guy? Gemini’s liabilities are deceitfulness, trickiness, fickleness, nervousness, restlessness, and shallowness. People preaching on soapboxes, pickpockets, and most con artists have dominant pinkies (most inwardly curving). When there’s a telltale yellow coloration in the palms, there’s nastiness somewhere. The trickster is a master at hiding his dark side. There are many wonderful people with curved pinkies who learned as children to ‘act nice’ and are still doing their best to avoid confrontation.

Cultivated Geminis are consummate communicators, social and intuitive geniuses, and great judges of character. Most social of all types, they’re frequently accused of being impractical dreamers because they love ideas so much. They can detach themselves from mundane realities and be objective about anything. They overvalue their intellect and undervalue emotion (everyone’s). They’re threatened when their opinions are ignored. They accept your viewpoint, even when they disagree with you. They get mad when their ideas are challenged without good reason. They’re easily distracted and don’t like being responsible for their decisions. They resist focus, discipline, and structure. They long for freedom and love to be unrestricted.

Geminis are androgynous. In Greek mythology, Hermes and Aphrodite had a fling that resulted in Hermaphrodite. Dominant Hermes (whether he or she knows or admits it) is often bi-sexual. David Bowie was a Capricorn with powerful Hermes. Mick Jagger is a very Mercurial Leo. Kate Blanchett is a Mercurial Taurus. Boy George is a Gemini. At 69, Grace Jones is still an exotic Taurus with her Mercury conjunct Uranus in Gemini.

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.

Astrology Palmistry and Politics

astrology-palmistry-and-politics

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

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

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

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

1946-celebrities

1947-celebrities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

donald-trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.

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 2

fingerprintMy first few days of work were about rules, regulations, and self-defense. There were many more don’ts than do’s. We (newest recruits) were sworn to secrecy, fingerprinted, and instilled with awkward feelings of mistrust. Orientation was designed to help new staff members understand the organizational goals, policies, and procedures affecting job safety, security, performance, and delivery of care. Mainly, we filled out forms, questionnaires, surveys, and evaluations. We were briefed on the nature, structure, and policies of the facility. We learned about patient rights and privileges, rights and privileges of staff, and hospital policy.

The largest portion of hospital staff were security called SHTA’s. They accompanied patients to every activity. I attended life safety training with them: CPR, First-Aid, and Management of Violent Patient Behavior (MVPB). A violent person could `go off’ and all we could do was to defend ourselves. We weren’t permitted to be aggressive. We were taught Judo style moves by serious martial artists and laughed heartily as we fell, flipped each other on gym mats, and got to know each other. We were encouraged to nickname one another to help us connect. Based on obvious personal peculiarities our nicknames stuck. There was `Skinny’, `Luscious Lips’, `Gigolo’, and `Tortoise’. I was `Smiley’. Forever after, we addressed each other by our nicknames.

Fighting with patients was a scary idea. Despite my comprehensive training in self-defense, I envisioned myself grabbing the nearest chair and clobbering a violent patient over the head in a crisis. I’d be instantly fired and then indicted on criminal charges. Fortunately for everyone, most of the furniture was anchored to the floor or walls with specially designed hardware to prevent that kind of violence.

When I wasn’t watching over my shoulder for violent patients, I was cautioned to be on the lookout for ‘bacterial pathogens’ which cause disease. A lot of patients have hygiene problems and are unhealthy. Samplings are taken regularly from surfaces around the hospital in order to monitor disease. There were patients with AIDS. In 1986, that was scary! What if a patient with AIDS bit a staff member? We were briefed extensively on care and prevention. This job began to seem more than a little risky.

How I lost my sanity 2.1I stationed myself ten feet inside the locked entry to the Rehab department. As I waited to meet the patients, I pressed my back against a wall and fiddled anxiously with my fingers. My stomach grumpily complained. When the door finally opened, the most motley crew nature had ever assembled meandered in, looking like animated R. Crumb characters. Many had deranged looks in their eyes. They were so whacky that I felt like laughing. I imagined many had been given massive doses of thorazine. I was seeing my first twenty of over one hundred fifty violent criminals. I couldn’t wait to find out who had done what. I’d heard that there were a few notorious celebrities in the mix, but didn’t obseve any yet.

keys to the looney binI was given a photo I.D. that I had to wear at all times and keys for areas I had access to within the hospital. Keys were given upon entering the hospital and deposited before leaving. Patients observed me with glaring gazes, furtive glances, and random glimpses. I knew they saw me as one more ‘keeper of the keys’ who was trying to figure them out, discipline, or rehabilitate them. One thing for sure, I wasn’t one of them (yet).

I was directed to sit in on patient activities, assist rehab staff, and familiarize myself with patients. The first few days were uneventful. Important goals were getting the patients to brush their teeth, comb their hair, and to try not to be generally disgusting. Another important goal was to get them to stay awake and participate in activities such as art, music, education classes, and exercise. There were no interesting conversations yet.

The rehab staff consisted of nine members. Dolores was Director of Rehab Services. I was right about her. She was caring, but ineffective. She couldn’t say ‘no’ to anyone. She let me serve my half-time position by working two ten-hour days while the hospital’s needs would have been better served if my time were spread over three days.

My `other half’ was a furniture maker and restorer named Billy. Billy was tall, thin, and very bony. He looked like a scruffy middle aged Abraham Lincoln. Billy was one of the hardest working, enthusiastic, and idealistic persons I’d ever met. Like me, he’d never had ‘a job’. An eccentric renegade from societal rules and regulations, Billy maintained a furniture restoration and refinishing business. Like me, Billy had a hidden agenda. His was unselfish and equally unrealistic. He believed that he could actually rehabilitate these crazies and turn them into functioning members of society.

BillyBilly’s ‘feeling hands’ had rectangular palms and long fingers. A general hardness and stiffness in his fingers, along with his knotty joints added to his need to control his physical and mental life. His especially long middle fingers bent towards the top of his ring fingers. As an oversensitive perfectionist with an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, obligation, and guilt, Billy would spend endless hours thinking about what actions he would take next.

 

Insane SantaBilly and I tried to set mutual goals, but my hidden agenda clashed with his. Billy wanted to turn patients into furniture restorers. I wanted to help, but I wanted private time with patients. Billy committed to creating a sheltered wood working shop. I committed to offering design classes to higher functioning patients. I’d also help Billy set up a workshop that would serve the entire patient population. I named the picture on the left ‘Insane Santa’. I’m sitting on Billy’s lap making fun of our Xmas celebration.

ZandorThe Rehab staff was a smorgasbord of affirmative action. Zandor was rehabilitation counselor and second in command. He was Estonian. Zandor should have had Dolores’s job, but management didn’t want a person they couldn’t control in that position. Zandor’s ‘thinking hands’ were complemented by his strong handshake, firm elastic skin, long straight fingers, square tips, and open and frank nails. Zandor had also been abused by too many years in state service. He had a grievance pending against the Public Employees Union for their obvious discrimination against him. Despite unfavorable circumstances, Zandor always presented himself with pride, integrity, and dignity. We quickly became comrades.

BruceBruce (Luscious Lips) arrived at the same time as Billy and me. His meaty practical hands had square palms and short square fingers that were soft and supple with dominant plump third phalanges. His head and life lines were tied together at their beginnings. He was a Taurus type and a huge procrastinator. Bruce was in charge of recreation. He’d served state social service agencies throughout his entire work experience. Sweet and mild mannered, his desire to make a real difference had dulled from too many years of compliancy to authority, rules, and regulations. Bruce had gone as high as he could in institutional politics. He was caring and attentive with the patients, but seemed depressed and resigned to mediocrity the rest of the time. The only times Bruce revealed real passion and genuine enthusiasm was when we talked about gourmet food or going fishing together.

BarbaraBarbara was the school teacher on our team. Her goal was to help as many patients as possible reach high school equivalency. She was a large boned middle aged Afro-American woman and a very kind person. I don’t remember her hands except for her large broad nails and the sparse clear lines engraved in her palms. Barbara had spent many years in state service. She was one of a few who managed to maintain a sense of humor and a life outside of her work. She complained the least of any full time staff member and always kept her cool. Once during English class, one of the male patients pulled out his huge erect penis and started jerking off. Barbara walked over, looked straight in his eyes and without raising her voice calmly said “please excuse yourself and go to the bathroom”. He did. I wished I could have read her report about it.

Bob was the librarian. He reminded me of a Spam and Velveeta cheese on Wonder bread sandwich. Bob was a real life Walter Mitty. He was helpful when asked, but most of the time, gazed into the distance under thick lensed wire rimmed glasses. Whenever I think of him, I can still feel his cool damp mashed potato hand shake that confirmed his total lack of will power, energy, and enthusiasm.

Andrew was art therapist when I arrived. The only thing I recall about him is that he sent his estranged daughter a gross of condoms for her sixteenth birthday. He quipped in his southern drawl, “If she’s going to do it, might as well be safe.” The newest art therapist was Janice. Janice was an unsuccessfully aging frustrated artist in need of a steady income. There was a frequent staff turnover of art therapists.

MayaMaya was recreational therapist. She was young, very private, and a very athletic Afro-American woman. Maya managed sports activities and the patient newspaper, the Scene. Staff liked Maya. Patients loved her. Her powerful ‘intuitive hands‘ were well suited for sports like football, soccer, and wrestling. Everyone thought Maya was gay, but that was nobody’s business.

 

I was a card carrying member of a band of misfits in search of a fit. On the whole, I liked the rehab staff and felt like I was becoming part of a team. I looked forward to our working together and began to imagine that we might actually make a real difference…

Stay tuned as I prepare to meet the patients…

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).

Scorpio – Shedding light on darkness

Scorpio

voldemortScorpio is black. In Roman myth, Pluto is god of death, sex, and transformation. Hades is lord of the underworld in Greek myth. The Devil is alive and well in Christian myth. The Death card, Queen of Cups, and High Priestess symbolize Scorpio in Tarot. Voldemort, Darth Vader, Mummy, and the Big Bad Wolf are modern versions.

 

Pluto inspires rapists and terrorists and seduces priests who sexually abuse the children whose innocent souls they’ve been entrusted to protect. The prospect of an eternity in hell both tempts and terrifies them. A path of too many dark secrets leads to the palace of the sociopath. Pluto rules executioners, coroners, undertakers, and morticians. From our first breath to our final exit, Pluto ruthlessly awaits our arrival with a kiss of death.

Pluto can be controlling, compulsive, manipulative, jealous, possessive, fearful, resentful, obstinate, secretive, suspicious, subtle, and subversive. Pluto also has a bright side that can love without coveting, lusting, seducing, controlling, or possessing another’s soul. Pluto can transform into the Phoenix who rises triumphantly from the ashes. Scorpions have a powerful sense of purpose when they’re not at war within themselves. They can envision their deepest desires and know that they will eventually realize them.

Scorpio is fiercely loyal, but Scorpio’s greatest loyalty is always to himself. It may take a near death experience to awaken the Scorpion to her higher self. I say ‘her’ because Scorpio and Capricorn are feminine signs, even though we always refer to Saturn and Pluto as ‘he’. When ‘he’ and ‘she’ are balanced, Scorpio can be born again and again. Scorpions make excellent researchers, clever problem solvers, sleuthful spies, skillful surgeons, and insightful psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists. Scorpio attracts many of the best and worst mystery, crime, and horror writers.

round self portraitWhen the Sun entered Scorpio on October 23rd (after passing through my Libra 12th house), I began to examine my character flaws and ponder my darkest secrets. I devoured dark music, read dark literature, and watched dark movies for many dark, cold, damp, and dreary days before I began writing this blog entry. Retrograde Mercury (Scorpio / Libra), escorted me to Pluto’s door, mercilessly exposing my sacred lies and starkly reminding me that even the best kept secrets eventually die. As a serious professional palmist, I guard many thousands of secrets. Many people reveal their most intimate secrets to readers because they misguidedly believe that we already know them. I don’t, until they tell them to me.

mark seltman astrological chartFor those interested in astrology, Gemini rules my sun, hands, and resultant behavior. Scorpio rules my unconscious. Scorpio rises in my natal chart along with the asteroid, Chiron (hand). Jupiter in Scorpio is in my first house is a singleton in the bottom hemisphere of my horoscope. Pluto is in my tenth house closely conjunct my Leo midheaven and ninth house Saturn. My Sun Uranus and Venus North Node conjunctions are in Gemini in the 8th house (along with my vertex, asteroids, and outer planets). When Saturn transited my ascendant back in November of 2012, it squared my Midheaven and compelled me to create more structure and discipline in my life. Saturn forced me to focus more on achieving realistic goals and challenged me to let go of everything and everyone that wasn’t working for me.

The hardest part of the whole process and experience for me has been letting go of people who are no longer right or good for me. Even if they’re responsible for my current thinking and actions, I still feel guilty for having to pull away my love and for abandoning and betraying them for reasons that accept no compromise or excuses. Losing faith and trust in someone is the beginning of the end of that relationship for me.

A couple of weeks ago, I let go of a 25 year friendship that I believed was something it wasn’t. Here’s my version of that story. My friend was smart, talented, creative, and funny, and a deeply emotionally wounded person. Frequent late night phone calls often centered on his complaining about or blaming his family, friends, and colleagues for his loneliness, suffering, and struggles. I don’t think he ever took responsibility for his part. I listened for many hours while trying to be empathetic and supportive. So many times, my friend told me how much he loved me and my family and how much he valued our friendship. That felt good. We shared our philosophical and spiritual ideas. I never asked my friend for anything for myself. That became the crux of our impending crisis.

Hand BookMost of you know that I have written a narrative non-fiction palmistry book called ‘Hand Book’. My goal was to help people realize that they don’t have to be palmists to see their relationship, career, health, and other valuable potentials in their hands. Back in April, I sent out 100 reviewer copies to friends and important players in the helping professions. My friend raved about his copy. I told him I was seeking credible reviews. I wanted to be more visible when someone searches for a palmistry book on Amazon. Since that time, Hand Book has gathered more legitimate five star reviews than any palmistry book on Amazon. He asked me if I’d like him to write a review. I said “sure”.

Weeks passed and nothing happened. Honestly, I could care less about his couple of lines on Amazon, but the idea of getting nothing back after giving so much for so long began festering in my mind. This was the first time I had asked my friend for something, and nothing happened. When I confronted him, he said that he had read some of my reviews and was totally intimidated by how well conceived and written they were. He felt inadequate.

I suggested he take a few favorite review lines and rewrite them in his voice. Maybe he could call one of his other close friends and say something like, “I told Mark I’d write a review for his new book and I’m having a hard time. Could you help me?”  You get the point. ‘Actions speak louder than words’ is not just a hollow saying.  A lot of gratuitous platitudes and excuses don’t pay the proverbial rent. The moral of this story is that my dedication to a friendship is not unconditional, but based on expectations that have been set and agreed to by all. My faith in my friend’s caring words died due to his inaction.

Pluto is also lord and master of the Sexual Orgasm (little death). One exquisite moment of fully losing oneself, however, is not enough for Pluto. Temptation, seduction, and betrayal are his M.O. While seduction turns Pluto on, betrayal gets him off. Guilt, obligation, shame, and remorse safeguard his evil secrets. Pluto tempts us to rationalize our bad behaviors by telling us, “Everything is OK as long as no one gets hurt”. Unfortunately, someone is often hurt, intentionally or not.

Many of our darkest fears are connected to our secret obsessions, lusts, fetishes, and sexual desires. Fear of getting caught turns a lot of people on. The more taboo the behavior, the more erotic and pleasurable the action. Pluto falsely assures us that our secrets will stay secret. Poisonous spiders, slithery snakes, and hungry crocodiles stealthily lurk beneath his stagnant waters. Society frowns on unconventional sexual experiences. Fortunately, however, it agrees that sex should be consensual among adults and that adults must stay away from children sexually.

Everyone has dark secrets. Abusive parents, jealous partners, manipulative bosses, and mean spirited jailers mask the shadowy unstable side of their emotional natures. Your friendly neighbor, a model citizen, devoted husband, loving father, loyal friend, and faithful parishioner conceals his secret lusts for sex, money, and property while he indulges in his physical, mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual perversions. When he dies, his family finds hidden pornographic literature, sado-masochistic sexual supplies, secret love letters, illegal drugs, and concealed money.

A coroner secretly collects perverse photos at death scenes. A career of fatality has warped his reverence for life into a morbid sense of humor. He shares his handiwork and pathology with his deviant friends. One photo has immortalized a man’s greatest fear as he accidentally electrocuted himself while trying to sexually get off when he switched on the alternating current that he had wired to his genitals.

A cadaver awaits a makeover. The mortician lights a match by his decaying anus and gently presses on his stomach. The methane produces a torch that singes the hair on his thighs. It smells horrible. The mortician and his friends laugh. Pluto is pleased.

One emergency room nurse told me about a couple that was in a horrible automobile accident. She was sitting on his lap and having sex while he was speeding on the freeway. They were unable to separate and were still together when the emergency vehicles arrived. The Plutonian part was that they were both married to other people.

Life’s most painful lessons are a result of choosing darkness. It’s easy to rationalize the darkest behavior when your head rules your heart. I never intended to hurt anyone. No one did anything they didn’t want to do. I may not have told the whole truth, but I didn’t lie. I’m sorry for my part. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Can you keep a secret? Do you depend on someone whose hard lessons result from bad moral values? Is temptation strong? Do guilt, shame, remorse, and fear hold you in darkness?

the great seal copyGEEntire societies and cultures are corrupted by the Plutocratic power of corporate money owning their raw materials, energy, communications, transportation, food, health, and their financial, religious, and political processes.

Everyone has heard the saying “The only guarantees in life are Death and Taxes”. Death and taxes are definitely Plutonic. If there’s a particular industry that fits Scorpio and the 8th house of the astrological chart, it’s insurance. Insurance 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.  We worry less about the costs of bad shit happening to our family, health, home, car, or property if our premiums are paid.

Insurance is a form of gambling. Your insurance 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 premiums. Actuarial tables decide the odds. The insured always loses, even when he wins. My good friend Lloyd tells me that he’s depending on winning Lotto for his retirement. He assures me that it gives him hope. “You’ve got to play to lose” he quips.

Insurance does not protect us from bad shit happening. If you’re poor and healthy, having insurance that you can’t afford may be a bigger gamble than not having insurance. That’s why we need affordable healthcare. Insuring can be confused with ensuring or assuring. Spraying crops with pesticides ensures fewer bugs and weeds. It assures that we eat, drink, and breathe toxic chemicals. Investing Social Security in the Stock Market does not insure that the market won’t collapse. Drilling for oil in pristine wilderness does not insure that we will have enough oil. It does ensure and assure we will have environmental, social, and political 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. Does having a nuclear arsenal insure, ensure, or assure that we will not have Nuclear War?

toe tagPeople frequently ask me, “Am I going to die?” or “When am I going to die?” I assure them that everyone dies. Only God knows when. Life insurance protects the living. What are your last years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds of life worth? What’s the premium for a graceful and painless final exit? That’s why I’ve created my very own “Dr. Death Do it Yourself Kit”. When it’s my time, I have a logical, practical, painless, and peaceful alternative to facing a future of pain, dependency, lack of awareness, loss of love, or poverty in old age (hopefully).

Recommended books:

Final Exit by Derek Humphrey – to learn more about dying with dignity.

Denial of Death by Ernest Becker – for death psychology.

I’ve written way too many words to put into one blog entry, so stay tuned for several more installments. Next – A tragic tale of Mercury and Pluto