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