ARIES & PSYCHE

Personal and collective psyche transform as Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto transit our zodiac. Uranus was the only outer planet to transit Aries in the 20th Century (1927–1935). Uranus in Aries brought fierce individualism, pioneering spirit, abundant energy, and limitless financial resources to facilitate bringing concepts to fruition. Uranus inspired our collective psyche through revolutionary technological changes. Here are some images and events inspired and symbolized by Uranus’s path through Aries.

Physics and astronomy created the “Big Bang”

theory of an ever-expanding universe

NEUTRON was discovered

King Kullen was the first Supermarket in Queens, NY

Wonder Bread and Homogenized Milk

were manufactured and mass-marketed

First Laundromat opened in Fort Worth Texas

Flashbulb was invented

3M Company introduced transparent Scotch Tape

Nylon fiber was invented

First plastics recycled in Britain

Bell Laboratories developed stereophonic sound

A German ophthalmologist pioneered the first contact lens

First drive-in movie theater opened in New Jersey

Model A replaced the Model T Ford

First air-conditioned office building in USA ~ San Antonio Texas

Jet engine patented

Charles Lindbergh made first solo flight from New York to Paris

America was captive when Lindbergh’s 20-month-old son was kidnapped

Mao Tse-Tung developed guerrilla warfare tactics that conquered China

Leon Trotsky was expelled from the communist party

Federal government entered field of

hydroelectric power with Boulder Dam

First all talking motion picture, ‘The Jazz Singer’, starring Al Jolson

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was born

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, turbulently returning to Aries to crumble regimes, topple demagogues, ignite cities, and fuel an Arab Spring that would spread across the Mid-East. Devastating earthquakes in Japan forever changed how governments look at nuclear power policies. We’ll forever be dealing with the fallout and consequences. Protesters in Spain set the stage for Occupy Movements in New York and London. Osama Bin Laden was killed. His demise appeared on Twitter before it was officially announced by the Whitehouse. WikiLeaks raised our awareness of government secrets, conspiracies, and everything we should never take for granted!

Irrational interpretations of our second amendment have been adopted by extremist and fundamentalist ideologues. Armies of angry, confused, and frustrated folk with semi-automatic weapons of mass destruction are only a banana peel away from becoming nutcases with guns. The NRA, evangelicals, corrupt politicians, and partisan politics have laid the groundwork for another Civil War as Uranus leaves Aries. The Devil tempts and seduces his disciples to betray our minds, hearts, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and planet. Too many emperors are beasts and frogs, clothed in lies and alternative facts that must be seen through a lens of good sense. A catastrophic choice can take many years and many hard lessons before healthy change is implemented.

“Hasta la vista baby”

Uranus’s unpredictability, along with the blood, guts, and gore of war are a scary combo. Neptune in Pisces and Pluto in Capricorn can be noble and highly spiritual, or poisoned by passion, devoured by lust, and consumed by greed, hatred, fear, and terror. We must shift our broken philosophical and spiritual paradigms or be doomed to an eternity of mass post-traumatic stress disorder (MPTSD). The “Big Bang” is a tale of neutrons, plastics recycling, supermarkets, laundromats, homogenized milk, Wonder Bread, Scotch Tape, and the Model T. Why has the human race become a race against bad shit happening? Must we always lose what we have to value what we had?

SAGITTARIUS & PSYCHE

Outer planets transform personal and collective psyche and catalyze corresponding outer worldly changes as they transit the signs of our zodiac. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto revolutionized, reformed, and transformed 20th Century Sagittarius. Psycho-social paradigms of politics, commerce, and religion shifted radically and dramatically.

Uranus transited Sagittarius from 1981-1988. Politics became accessible to females. Sandra D. O’Connor became the first Woman elected to the Supreme Court. Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman nominated by the Democratic Party for Vice President. Benazir Bhutto became the first female prime minister of a Muslim country in Pakistan’s first free election since 1977.

Uranus brings sudden and unexpected upheaval and disaster. The space shuttle Challenger exploded on takeoff in 1986, while millions watched in horror on their TV screens. Ronald Reagan created “Star Wars”, an absurd and overly expensive national defense idea. Greenpeace’s flagship, Rainbow Warrior, was bombed while protesting France’s nuclear testing. George Bush Sr. was the first sitting Vice President elected as president since 1836. IBM introduced personal PCs. AT&T’s communication monopoly ended via Anti-Trust and Department of Justice in 1974.  

Sagittarius rules publishing and religion. In 1989, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini sentenced Salman Rushdie to death after publishing The Satanic Verses. Rushdie’s tales of good and evil incited riots in India and book burnings in England. His literary success fueled an ocean of fear and stirred teeming cauldrons of Islamic hatred!

Neptune transited Sagittarius from 1970 to 1984. The idealism of the 60’s transformed to pessimism with a marked lack of trust in national institutions. The war in Vietnam united masses of skeptical angry protestors, ready for confrontation. The Arab oil embargo created a major energy crisis in 1973 that ‘taught’ US not to take energy for granted. We believe gas is expensive, and yet ownership of energy sources, uses, and abuses drive western gas prices artificially lower than they should be.  Raising gas prices is essential to increasing profits and catalyzing openings of controversial pipelines that endanger our environment; however, no matter how expensive fossil fuels become; they’re cheap compared to the costs of long range consequences of their misuse for our world and souls!

Neptune rules false prophets, delusion, deception, and victimization. Richard Nixon was the first President to announce his resignation in 1974. New York was the first city to be bailed out of bankruptcy by the federal government in 1975. A religious paradigm shifted when the Catholic Church elected its first non-Italian pope in four centuries. Mother Theresa accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in the name of the poor. In 1979, Televangelist Jerry Falwell founded the ‘Moral Majority’, which became the ‘Immoral Majority’ sometime prior to January 20th 2001.

Neptune can be imaginary, illusionary, and visionary. Neptune rules chemicals and drugs. The first test-tube baby was conceived out of a womb in Leo in 1978. Genetic engineering generated new horrors for theologians, religious fundamentalists, and ideological extremists. Environmental activists protested industries that created “Acid Rain”. The ‘Three Mile Island’ fiasco derailed several major nuclear energy projects in 1979. The World Health Organization announced an end to smallpox. Crack cocaine became popular. A deadly sexual epidemic was officially named AIDS in 1981. Fear of eventual pandemic spread.

My parody of original

Pluto transited Sagittarius from 1995 to 2008, transforming politics, big business, and religion. Political extremism, corporate greed, religious fanaticism, white supremacy, 2nd amendment rights, fundamentalism, and strategic terrorism flourished and thrived in fertile soil. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing law student. The Middle East peace process was disrupted. Great Britain finally let go of Hong Kong. President Clinton resumed diplomatic relations with communist Vietnam. Hundreds of thousands of Black Men flocked to Washington to march for freedom. It was the first time in 40 years Republicans controlled congress. Y2K was not end time.

Author’s Note: The NYT Millennium issue queried various metaphysical prognosticators with good reputations what will happen when 1999 becomes 2000. They published half a dozen predictions. Mine was that on January 2nd, we wake up, brush our teeth, and go to work!

Sex scandals rocked the Catholic Church.  The House of Representatives impeached and later acquitted Bill Clinton for lying about his sexploits. Two students killed themselves after murdering twelve students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado. The Unabomber was caught and sentenced to life in prison. Oklahoma City bombing established large-scale American terrorism on our soil. On 9/11, government power transformed, giving leaders permission to supersede human rights and civil liberties. Political machines preempted war without world consent. Lairs of corporate foxes tended the hen houses while packs of political wolves herded the sheep. Sacred cows birthed golden calves.

Saturn began its journey through Sagittarius on December 23, 2014, after twenty-eight years of visiting eleven other signs and houses. Astrologers predicted Saturn would wield a sobering influence on society as it transited from Sagittarius to Capricorn. Saturn’s process is about embracing responsibility and choosing structure, discipline, and focus. Saturn rules bureaucracy, big business, and established institutions including transportation, communications, food, housing, healthcare, law, politics, and religion. Father Time asks us to be here and now.  

Sagittarius rules transportation. Sagittarians love prestige and luxury and choose power and status. They leave racing to Aries and showing off to Leo. The lords of cars must shift the paradigm of profit before people. Industry must become more spiritual in its outlook and truthful in its actions. Guzzling fossil fuels is unsustainable. Do we truly need hundreds of horses galloping under our hoods?

Perpetuating an illusion that overly expensive powerful gas guzzling cars are glamorous, maintains a delusion that it’s OK to deplete our planet’s natural resources and poison our environment. Car companies pretend their products are healthy! One responsibility of transportation is rethinking the future of transportation, like creating led light, clean energy, inexpensive communications, and global good health. Raising mass consciousness is profitable for humanity and our planet.

As our planet warms, cools, floods, quakes, droughts, burns, and is blown by giant winds, fossil fuel prices remain artificially repressed, while legislation prevents sustainably minded competitors from building sound structures on solid foundations. We must cut our energy umbilical cords and think globally while acting locally. Fuel efficient, non-polluting, practical, and economical mass transportation is essential to creating a healthy world and economy. Energy, Transportation, and Communications must be transformed concurrently.

We go wherever and whenever we want in the comfort and safety of our cars. Hidden costs are usurious, insidious and deceitful. We guzzle gas, fight oil wars, deplete, squander, and waste finite resources, and poison our mother’s body, circulatory, and respiratory systems. Too much carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other toxic waste hover everywhere in space and time and by degree. Smoke, smog, and other human waste poison our oceans, reservoirs, rivers, streams, and tributaries. Pestilential pollution sticks to the walls of our veins and coagulates in our arteries like cholesterol on its way to a coronary. Our highways and roads are like varicose veins feeding bloated glands that nourish the cancerous sores we call cities. We must shift our usurious false paradigms, and steer ourselves from death and destruction toward a hopeful future characterized by clear intent, healthy values, critical thinking, honest feelings, right use of willpower, good physical health, honest relationships, and freedom to explore our creativity, philosophy, purpose, dreams, fears, and spirituality.  

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The human race has become a race against bad shit happening. Why do we wander across barren deserts and toxic wastelands? Greed and avarice are symptoms of poisonous partisan political philosophies, flawed fundamentalist religious doctrines, extremist social ideologies, and too many erratic personalities. Too many unhealthy psyches are running around with too many guns and second amendment rights. Why do we aimlessly worship sacred cows and hopelessly pray to golden calves? Trading money for values and substituting religion for spirituality has never worked. Lies are fueling humanity’s race toward bad shit happening. Loving is one answer, but beware loving too much or your frightened neighbors will nail you to a cross and make a martyr out of you.     

Hermes teaches us that our destiny is in our hands. “The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding”. Jupiter transited Sagittarius this past year, unveiling the greed of capitalism and revealing the real present and future costs of climate change. Why must we lose what we value to value what we had? We must choose healthy values and accept full responsibility for being our healthiest selves while creating a healthier world for all.

Why don’t we see the forest from the trees? How can we be healthier in more sustainable ways? Uranus transits Taurus May 14, 2018 ~ Nov 7, 2025. I pray for a rebirth of practical good sense, accepting responsibility, choosing courage, strength, grace, and wisdom, and embracing truth, nobility, dignity, integrity, ethics, and virtue.

Aries and the Collective Psyche

Uranus was the only outer planet to transit Aries in the 20th Century (1927 – 35). Aries and Uranus brought fierce individualism, a pioneering spirit, abundant energy, and limitless financial resources to bring concepts to fruition. Uranus invigorated our collective psyche through revolutionary technological changes. Here are some highlights from our Uranus in Aries revolution eighty four years ago.

Physics and astronomy created the “Big Bang” theory of an ever-expanding universe

The Neutron was discovered

King Kullen became the first Supermarket in Queens, NY

Wonder Bread and Homogenized Milk were manufactured and mass-marketed

First Laundromat opened in Fort Worth Texas

The flashbulb was invented

3M Company introduced transparent Scotch Tape

Nylon fiber was invented

First plastics were synthesized in Britain

Bell Laboratories developed stereophonic sound

German ophthalmologist pioneered the first contact lens

First drive-in movie theatre opened in New Jersey

Model A replaced the Model T Ford

First air-conditioned office building in the USA opened ~ San Antonio Texas

Jet engine patented

Charles Lindbergh made the first solo flight from New York to Paris

America was captivated when Lindbergh’s 20-month-old son was kidnapped

Mao Tse-Tung developed guerrilla warfare tactics that conquered China

Leon Trotsky was expelled from the communist party

Federal government entered the field of hydroelectric power with Boulder Dam

First all talking motion picture, ‘The Jazz Singer’, starring Al Jolson

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was born

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. The world is still dealing with the fallout and consequences. Protestors in Spain set the stage for Occupy Movements in New York and London. Osama Bin Laden was killed. His timely demise appeared on Twitter before it was officially announced by the Whitehouse. WikiLeaks raised public consciousness of government secrets and conspiracies.

We’ve come full circle in seven years with neo-demagogues and ‘alternative facts’. Apparently, we need more tough love before we choose good sense and take action. On the eve of our self-destruction, NRA has enabled the masses, carelessly creating an Army of angry, confused, and frustrated people with semi-automatic weapons of mass destruction. How we interpret our second amendment may be our doing or undoing.

As Uranus transits the last degrees of Aries, it sheds ‘Revolutionary’ new light on an old way of seeing. Hot off the presses today ~ 3/16/2018 ~ positive manifestation

New Mercedes Headlight is ‘Revolutionary’

Our personal and collective psyche transforms as our outer planets travel from one sign to the next. Uranus and Mars is an explosive combo. Mars is the blood, guts, and gore of War. Psyches devoured by passion, lust, and hatred are a recipe and a prescription for MPTSD (mass post-traumatic stress disorder). The “Big Bang” theory has come a long way since the first Neutron, Supermarkets, Laundromats, Homogenized Milk, Wonder Bread, Scotch Tape, Plastics, and the Model T…“Hasta la vista baby”

Sagittarius and the Collective Psyche in the 20th Century

Outer planets powerfully influence our personal psyche. They symbolize massive transformations in our collective psyche as they change sign. When Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto transited Sagittarius in the 20th Century, paradigms of politics, commerce, and religion shifted forever.

Uranus transited Sagittarius from 1981-1988. Political gender was shaken up. Sandra D. O’Connor was the first Woman elected to the Supreme Court. Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman nominated by the Democratic Party for Vice President. Benazir Bhutto was the first female prime minister of a Muslim country in Pakistan’s first free election since 1977.

Uranus can represent sudden and unexpected upheaval and disaster. The space shuttle Challenger exploded on takeoff while millions watched in horror on their TVs. While Greenpeace protested France’s nuclear testing, their flagship Rainbow Warrior was bombed. Ronald Reagan created “Star Wars”, an absurd and overly expensive national defense idea. George Bush Sr. was the first sitting Vice President elected as president since 1836. IBM introduced personal PCs. AT&T’s monopoly was broken by the Department of Justice.

Sagittarius rules publishing and religion. Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini sentenced Salman Rushdie to death after he published his popular novel The Satanic Verses. Rushdie’s tales of good and evil fueled riots in India and book burnings in England. His huge success fueled Islamic hatred.

 

Neptune transited Sagittarius from 1970 to 1984. The idealism of the 60’s was replaced by pessimism and a marked lack of trust in national institutions. The war in Vietnam united a mass of skeptical protestors ready for confrontation. The Arab oil embargo of 1973 created a major energy crisis, teaching US not to take energy for granted, and conveniently catalyzing the opening of the controversial Alaska pipeline.

 

Neptune rules false prophets, delusion, deception, and victimization. Neptune is also visionary, imaginative, and magical. Richard Nixon was the first US President in history to announce his resignation. New York was the first city in US history to be bailed out of bankruptcy by the federal government. A religious paradigm shifted when the Catholic Church elected its first non-Italian pope in four centuries. Mother Theresa accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in the name of the poor. Televangelist Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority in 1979.

Neptune rules chemicals and drugs. The first test-tube baby was conceived out of the womb. Genetic engineering created new horrors for theologians and religious extremists. Environmentalists protested industries creating “Acid Rain”. The ‘Three Mile Island’ fiasco derailed several major nuclear energy projects. The World Health Organization announced an end to smallpox. Crack cocaine became popular. A deadly epidemic was officially named AIDS.

Pluto transited Sagittarius from 1995 to 2008. Pluto with Zeus is recipe for upheaval and transformation in politics, big business, and religion. Political extremism, corporate greed, religious fundamentalism, and terrorism began to flourish and thrive across the globe. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing law student. The Middle East peace process was disrupted. Great Britain finally let go of Hong Kong. President Clinton resumed diplomatic relations with communist Vietnam. Hundreds of thousands of Black Men flocked to Washington to march for freedom. It was the first time in 40 years that Republicans controlled congress. Y2K was not end time.

Sex scandals rocked the Catholic Church.  The House of Representatives impeached and later acquitted Bill Clinton for lying about his sexploits. Two students killed themselves after murdering twelve students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado. The Unabomber was caught and sentenced to life in prison. The Oklahoma City bombing established large-scale terrorism by Americans on our soil. After 9/11, governmental power transformed, giving leaders the ability to supersede human rights and civil liberties. A large political machine preempted war without world consent. Lairs of corporate foxes ruled the hen house while packs of political wolves managed the sheep.

Saturn returned to Sagittarius on December 23, 2014, after nearly thirty years through eleven other signs. Astrologers predicted Saturn would wield powerful influence for three years as it transited Sagittarius on its way to Capricorn. Saturn rules responsibility, structure, discipline, focus, time, big business, and bureaucracy. Energy, transportation, communications, food, housing, healthcare, law, politics, and religion were changed by Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius.

Sagittarius rules transportation. We’re a long way from the Model T, only a speck in time ago. Sagittarians love prestige and luxury cars as racing is to Aries and showing off is to Leo. The gods of cars must shift the paradigm of profit before people. Automotive industries must be more spiritual in their visions and truthful in their actions. By perpetuating an illusion that overly powerful gas guzzling vehicles are expensive, glamorous and sexy, car makers and profiteers promote a delusion that it’s OK to deplete our natural resources and pollute our planet. How long did we let cigarette companies get away with pretending unhealthy products were heallthy. Do we really need hundreds of horses galloping under our hoods? Transportation needs to be designed for present and future good health. We will profit from higher social and environmental consciousness. As the globe warms and fuel prices skyrocket, fuel efficient, non-polluting, practical, and economical transportation needs to happen or we will drive ourselves to extinction.

We drive whenever and wherever in the comfort of our cars. Real and hidden costs are usurious as we guzzle gas, fight oil wars, deplete finite natural resources, and pollute our Mother Earth. Carbon monoxide and dioxide hover everywhere. Toxic smoke and smog poison arteries while they proliferate and coagulate like cholesterol on its way to a coronary. Too many old, tired, depressed, angry, drugged, and drunken drivers are turning roads into varicose veins connecting festering sores we call cities. We must shift our travel paradigm and steer ourselves far from death and destruction, instead being hopeful and helpful in our intent and actions. Our fate is in our hands.

Greed and prejudice are unhealthy symptoms of powerful partisan political philosophies and pervasive extremist religious ideologies. A global world family and economy must see the forest from the trees in ways that are healthy and sustainable for all. Our values will become healthier when Uranus enters Taurus on May 14, 2018. I’m praying for a reincarnation of nobility, dignity, integrity, ethics, and virtue.

Pisces and Hands

You don’t need a Pisces Sun or Pisces planetary relationships or placements in your natal horoscope to be Piscean. Pure types have dominant top phalanges on long narrow fingers, smooth joints, conical tips, and loop prints, especially on index fingers. All feeling types have long rectangular palms and long fingers. Pisceans have medium set mildly flexible shapely thumbs, sensitive looking fingers, a combination of round and conical fingertips, long narrow nails, and their head and life lines interwoven at their beginnings. Pinkies with tiny bottom and middle phalanges and no knots symbolize not having any need for physical order or material wealth. Feeling types with inwardly curving pinkie fingers hate emotional confrontation. In my experience, Pisceans tend to have more hand and finger flexibility, more peripheral shallow lines, and less deeply etched basic heart, head, life, and fate lines than Scorpio and Cancer types.

Pisces is a personification for spiritual growth. As the astrological home of Neptune (Poseidon, King Triton), ruler of the seas. Pisces embodies emotion, instinct, personal feelings, and the collective unconscious. Neptune can be a calming or destructive force in nature. The King of the Sea rules substances like prescription and recreational drugs, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, or anything that alters consciousness, produces illusions, and feeds delusions. Pisces mundane correspondence is religion. Spirituality is its esoteric match. Spirituality without religion is fine. Religion without spirituality is blind.

Pisces is the most sensitive, least acquisitive, and most introverted of all types. She’s often misunderstood because she communicates through a lens of feeling. Less sensitive, more practical Pisces have strong earth, air, fire, and deep clear basic lines, large thumbs, stiff joints, square fingertips, developed knots, broad nails, and arch and whorl fingerprints. When head and heart are balanced, Pisces can be extremely powerful. George Washington was a Pisces. Former CEOs of Citigroup, IBM, Merck, DuPont, and Bank One were Piscean. One intriguing Pisces CEO is Michael Dell of Dell Computer. Like Ariel, daughter of King Triton, ruler of the Seas and the unconscious, Michael imagines whatever he wants as he swims into collective unconscious. He intuitively knows what the public needs and hones in on that. He must keep a watchful eye on Ursula (octopus conglomerate) who lusts for control of his empire.

Pisces is well suited to teaching, human resources, and helping professions. Many are at home in visual arts and music. Hand qualities will vary depending on their natural talents and abilities, decisions, and actions. Piscean strengths include compassion, humility, and faith. Not known for mental or emotional decisiveness, Pisces are private, spiritual, and hard to be intimate with. Their trust must be earned. Impressionable and easily influenced, some Pisces attempt to escape reality when circumstances get too hard. Many become substance abusers like Johnny Cash, Jerry Lewis, and Liza Minelli.My father was Pisces, along with my brother and daughter. I’ll love and cherish them unconditionally for eternity.

Pisces is intimately connected to the collective unconscious and mundane events. Uranus was the only outer planet to pass through Pisces in the twentieth century from 1919 to 1928. Uranus completed its eighty-four year cycle through the zodiac in 2003 and began its path through Pisces, crossing into Aries at the end of 2011. Let’s observe the cultural similarities as Uranus passed through Pisces in the 20th and 21st Centuries.

When World War I ended in 1919, discrimination, immigration, and consumerism grew.  Uranus left the sign of Aquarius and moved into Pisces. A new kind of rebellion began. Over four million steel workers and miners walked off the job to protest too many work hours with “inhumane pay”. Three Presidents held office during Uranus’s first transit through Pisces (Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover). The 30th President, “Silent Cal” Coolidge (born on the 4th of July) said, “The business of America is business”. He told us, “Biological laws tell us that certain divergent people will not mix or blend”, speaking of the “inferior races” of Asia. While focusing on and promoting ‘government business partnerships’, they all put material wealth and unobstructed corporate power in the forefront of the nation’s political, social, and cultural fabric. Government was in bed with big business. On its recent return through Pisces, George W. Bush gave our healthcare Industry to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, energy to big oil companies, and security for airports and seaports in the hands of private enterprise. He even tried to bequeath our Social Security to the Stock Market.

When Uranus transited into Pisces, traditional thrift and austerity gave way to neo-consumerism and buying on credit. Two out of three Americans had electricity, refrigerators, and washing machines. Spending on recreation tripled. Henry Ford announced cars in Green and Maroon as well as black. Mass produced foods: Rice Krispies, Lender’s Bagels, Mounds Bars, Betty Crocker, and Peter Pan Peanut Butter influenced mass taste. Consumerism and credit created the illusion of an easier more convenient life. Movie houses, chain stores, and radio advertising proliferated. By the end of Uranus’s transit through Pisces, movie attendance had outstripped church attendance. Consumer magazines like Modern Romance challenged moral codes. Many critics believed consumerism was driving Americans into a soulless existence of materiality and conformity. Sinclair Lewis, author of ‘Babbitt’, highlighted the delusion of Uranus in Pisces. He blamed mass production and consumption for “having created a bloodless, loveless, and standardized world”.

The Ku Klux Klan had a resurgence that targeted African Americans, blacks, immigrants, Catholics, and Jews. The Klan marched on Washington DC In 1925 with over 40,000 hooded members. New immigration laws reduced the stream of immigrants to a trickle when congress decided to reduce the flow of immigrants based on quotas of 150,000 new immigrants a year.

Uranus in Pisces symbolizes a conflict between science and religion. Modern science clashed with Intelligent Design and Creationism as Uranus transited Pisces in both centuries. Tennessee legislators voted that it was unlawful for any teacher in a state supported school “to teach any theory that denies the story of man’s creation as taught in the bible”. Man was too intelligent to descend from a lower order of animals. One high school biology teacher named John Scopes taught the theory of evolution. As the defendant in the infamous “Scopes Monkey Trial” legal battle, John Scopes lost.

Culture clashed with school curriculum, obscenity, censorship, race, and sexuality in theater and literature. The German Bauhaus School of Architecture, with its less is more design philosophy, influenced architecture and products around the globe. When I graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 1969 as an industrial designer, ‘intelligent design’ was about making and saving money for manufacturers. No one cared about waste, except for disposal and financial cost. Truly ‘Intelligent design’ is when designers create useful products, choose sustainable resources, determine how much energy will be used in production, know what pollutants are generated, what remedies are available, and how the product will ultimately be disposed of, reused, or recycled.

Common sense is not good sense. The human race has become a race against bad shit happening. Donald Trump has taught us that it’s not what you do, but what you get away with that really matters. Why do we continue to nourish a perverse society with a morbid sense of reality and humor? We can be a lot healthier and happier by taking better care of our planet, ourselves, and each other.

Here are some similarities between the past two transits of Uranus in Pisces:

1919 – The worst baseball scandal (Black Sox) in history occurred when a grand jury brought indictments against eight players from the Chicago White Sox. Accused of throwing the 1919 World Series, they were eventually found not guilty.

2003 – The illicit use of steroids became the biggest scandal in modern baseball.

1919 – The eighteenth amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors, which encouraged home brewing and bootlegging.

2003 – George W. Bush prohibited Medicare from negotiating drug prices. A black market for drugs from India and Canada began to thrive.

1921 – First formal investigations of the Teapot Dome oil scandals were initiated.

2003 – USA invaded Iraq under false pretenses in order to secure oil resources.

1924 – The worst tornado in US history obliterated 35 towns in Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois.

2005 – Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

Much has happened since 1919. Not much has ideologically changed.

Neptune takes 164 years to completely cycle through our zodiac. Neptune returned to its home base in Pisces on April 4, 2011 and will remain in Pisces until April 1, 2025. It’s hard to predict what Neptune will symbolize in Pisces because Neptune dissolves the illusion of reality. Many astrologers say that Neptune in Pisces symbolizes the dawn of a new age of spiritual enlightenment. This may be true, but it appears we may have to get there the hard way. Our culture must first lose what we value in order to appreciate it.

Pluto transited into Capricorn in 2008. Uranus transited into Aries in 2011. These three outer planets together symbolize a total transformation of business, energy, politics, and religion. I don’t feel comfortable making predictions about Neptune because it’s so nebulous and fickle, but we can already see in six short years how the illusion of power resulting from extreme wealth has nourished a delusion and disillusion of the 99%.

Neptune rules HMO’s, hospitals, and pharmaceutical industries that value profits over people. Prisons have been privatized for profit and packed with predominantly black petty criminals. Religion has abandoned spirituality, becoming more fundamentalist, fanatical, and violent. Even bacteria and viruses have become a lethal threat to the fabric of humanity. The USA has a president who is certifiably insane and cabinet members whose mandates are contrary to the purpose of their positions. Before Uranus leaves Aries in 2018, we could see a religious war, designed to stimulate our economy, fought by the have nots, and created to pack the burgeoning pockets of the haves.

Publicity Stories #2 ~ The New York Times

nyt-artwork

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

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

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

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

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

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

ali-and-the-beatles

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

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

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

Personal Publicity Stories #1

guru-of-garbage

In 1989, Sarah Ferguson, a freelance journalist for the Village Voice (NYC newspaper) called to interview me for an article she was writing about hand reading. She’d been to several gypsy fortune tellers and her experience impelled her to choose to expose palmistry as a scam. I’d avoided any publicity prior to her contacting me.

At 42, I’d been quietly practicing palmistry, astrology, and tarot for twelve years. I loved my anonymity, but I wasn’t about to let Sarah write that article without meeting a real palmist and that palmist had to be me. At the time, I was known as the ‘Guru of Garbage’, for my innovative uses of waste and recycled materials. I taught ‘Designing with Garbage’ classes at Parsons School of Design and co-moderated a ‘Design for the Environment’ think tank at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in NYC. I was a member of NYC’s Solid Waste Advisory Board, lectured at Universities and museums about designing for our environment, and spoke at community boards about developing better strategies for dealing with community waste. I volunteered for all sorts of eco-projects and preached to the converted for pennies. My design and craft work was exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. I was featured internationally in consumer magazines, newspapers, and on TV. This short video about my recycling and reuse work was featured on Fox, Good Day NY.

After Sarah interviewed me, her story became a feature article and the centerfold of the Voice. My secret and palmistry were out of the closet (so I thought). My good friends were jokingly calling me ‘the word incarnate’. I’d never mixed my design and metaphysics businesses before and was concerned the article would damage my design business. I also imagined people constantly waving their hands in my face. Fortunately, neither of those things happened. The recognition turned out to be positive. Other journalists began calling to interview me for their venues.  That was the start of all sorts of publicity, my obsession with psychic garbage, and the fateful launch of my career as a psychic garbage man. Here’s the article.

How I Created Useful Art from Trash

I’m amazed at the positive response to my Practical Sanctuary post. Here are some more favorite things I recreated from stuff collected from yard sales and our local recycling transfer station. We used to tell our city friends that our country home was furnished in early American white trash. We’ve upgraded the quality of our trash over the years.

Even as a wee tot, Cassie was a hard working apprentice. We designed and fabricated a lot of stuff together. Our first project was a swan mailbox. We transformed a small black plastic mailbox into a beautiful swan by cutting, shaping, forming, and attaching recycled black plastic sheet to the box. Then we spray painted it, pasted our house numbers on the front flap, and placed it on the road. It became a local landmark.

swan mailbox 2Next we built a bunny bench out of recycled plywood, two small branches for ears, three large branches for structure, and reconstituted shrink wrap for seating. The ears didn’t last, so we performed plastic surgery and made matching floppy ears from shrink wrap.

bunny bench

We created a food compost bin out of recycled plywood and reconstituted shrink wrap.

compost bin 2

Cassie raised a baby farm animal each summer. We built a wire pen and an animal hutch out of recycled plywood and plastics. At the end of summer when we had to return to NYC, we gave our creatures to people who would love and not eat them. We got to visit with them over the years. They all remembered Cassie. We got wool from Lilly, our black lamb who became a sheep, and cheese and soap from Zelda, our Alpine goat (my personal favorite) who had an insatiable appetite and babies of her own.

animal hutch

mark & cassie with bunnies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made the roof of the bottom story of our tree house from reconstituted shrink wrap. It’s still in great shape after eighteen years of personal wear and tear, tree sap, and weather.

Cassie in tree house 2

Cassie in tree house 3

Our country home was a disaster waiting to happen when we first arrived. It was dark and moldy with low ceilings, an uninsulated slab, horrible plumbing, cobbled electrics, and a leaky roof supported by rotting beams. Our friends were planning to bulldoze it. We convinced them to let us rent it for a modest fee in exchange for transforming it. The first thing I did was to tear out the ceiling in the middle of the space and reinforce the rafters. Metal joist hangers, corner braces, and connecting hardware make the beams beneath the birch plywood ceiling look like an erector set. Prior to paneling, I cut open the roof and created two round sky lights using large plastic bubbles I scavenged from a ‘going out of business’ plastics sale on Canal Street in NYC. The last thing I built was a loft space for Cassie and her friends to play in and have sleepovers.

Cassie in loft space

How I lost my Sanity ~ 6B

Pallet landfill to conference roomClasses were going well. Patients shared their ideas in order to make them more real. I would fabricate parts that were put together by Jim, Juan, and Ethan. Making real objects was great for their self-esteem. Everyone was impressed. The hospital director suggested implementing a pilot project which required redesigning, fabricating, and installing a new office for her. We could recycle materials. Dolores believed this was a perfect opportunity to get brownie points for us. I’d also get approval to design and build a marine and horticultural center in the rehab dept.

 

Greek UrnEverything was falling into place. Ideas began to gel. One valuable lesson I had learned as an industrial designer was that you get more money for fashion. Recalling the shabby green frog vases I’d seen being crafted in ceramic workshops all over the state, I thought, ‘Why not use the same resources and labor to make handsome Greek urns with unusual finishes?’

Sheltered workshops survived by producing plain outdated designs. They could thrive with smart design and well-conceived manufacturing and marketing plans. Ordinary wooden frames could be transformed into exotic frames with fashionable new moldings. Beautiful mirrors and other framed products could revitalize the industry.

I began to see my pre-vocational class as a small corporation having a dozen workers with talents and abilities I could never afford in the real world. I had a captive audience with nothing better to do with their time and energies than work under my direction. I could arrange for them to make money and challenge them to be responsible for their behavior. It certainly seemed clinically sound to me. I fantasized we’d eventually be the design and marketing arm for the entire Underworld State Department of Mental Health.

We could design products for manufacture, arrange preferential buying plans with other state agencies, and create products for the mass market. I was crafting a timely script, a sequel entitled ‘The Dirtiest Dozen’; how the discards from hell became social heroes. I know it’s grandiose, but I envisioned managing a manufacturing and marketing empire from an asylum; like in ‘Crazy People’ with Dudley Moore and Daryl Hannah. Once we succeeded in the world of mental illness, new doors would open to sheltered workshops all over the state. They’d come to be dependent on us for sustenance and nourishment.

There was hardly anyone to share my ideas with. My family was supportive, but believed I’d gone off the deep end back when I decided to work with this population for peanuts. My peers on the job found me metaphysically weird. Sharing anything with them would be a contribution to hospital gossip. My good friends supported me, but they were not a mastermind group. I’d just have to stay focused, moving forward, one step at a time. Every thought and idea could bring me closer to my goal.

Love Bugs

Over the next several weeks, both groups came up with some exciting new concepts. Betsy had an idea for a line of stuffed toys for children that were perfect items for sheltered sewing shops. She called them `Love Bugs’. They were insects like spiders and scorpions. You’d be terrified if they were crawling on you, but instead, they were soft, cute, and cuddly.

modular building blocksDavid and Jim came up with a unique new idea for modular interconnecting building materials. They were kind of like Legos or Lincoln Logs and could be fabricated from recycled materials. We created several prototypes of quarter scale furniture with them. Potential markets were open.

 

 

TrojanJack and Virginia created a gimmicky `Women’s Liberation Survival Kit’ ~ a cloth bag made from a military looking khaki material, sewn and silk screened, and featuring a collection of already filled pockets and compartments. These pockets contained things like packs of condoms, a small canister of pepper spray, a compressed air horn, female paraphernalia, cosmetics, and other assorted goodies.

 

On my own time, I made appointments with buyers from major department stores in order to get feedback and gain additional insight into our products and planning. A few buyers wanted to know when they could purchase some. One buyer expressed doubt about connecting merchandise with mentally disabled criminals. He thought it might detract from their salability. ‘Manufactured by forensic psychiatric sheltered workshops’ was not a great selling point. Our team felt this wasn’t an obstacle. We’d suppress any bad news and glamorize the good news. I was motivated. Patients felt inspired and passionate. Positive behavioral changes were taking place. Everyone began to notice as we made ourselves ready to negotiate with hospital administrations and sheltered workshops across the state. I couldn’t believe how well everything was moving forward.

Stay tuned as everything begins to go south…

How I Became the Guru of Garbage – part 2

Necessity truly is the mother of invention.  I hadn’t anticipated how hard it would be to make money while trying to make a difference in the world. I needed to generate more income. While working in my tiny study in the back of our apartment one afternoon, I began thinking about how many people have small living spaces and how much stuff they have. It’s not easy to stay organized and uncluttered. Even though I’d given up designing products for the sake of fashion, I figured I could still design something useful, environmentally correct, and hopefully make money at the same time.

Many people work out of their homes and don’t have a private work space. It’s a good idea to conceal your work when you’re not working, even if it’s already separate from the rest of your living space. I estimated that a 6’ X 6’ X 2’ deep box can hold a small home office and also open out to become a room divider. I sketched a few possibilities and then tested various materials and manufacturing processes. When I felt confident that my idea would work, I presented it to Lisa Smith, a successful furniture designer. Lisa liked the idea and offered to let me use her model making shop, photo studio, and furniture industry contacts in exchange for a partnership on the project.

Lisa and I fabricated scale models out of natural long lasting materials like jute, hemp, and homosote. We approached major office furniture manufacturers like Knoll and Steelcase, who nibbled on our bait, but didn’t bite. We were told that it would take a minimum $50,000 investment to fabricate full scale prototypes and test market them. Nobody was willing to advance the money. We had hoped to walk away with a deposit and a royalty contract. Unfortunately, our back burners were already overflowing with unrequited projects like our ‘Office in a Box’.

OFFICE in a BOX

Office in a Box

Office in a Box 2

I mentioned earlier that I have very strong Scorpio symbolism in my horoscope. Saturn and Pluto straddle my Midheaven, conjunct in the sign of Leo. Pluto rules Garbage. Saturn is the Guru. NY Newsday, Metropolis Magazine, and Fox TV – ‘Good Day NY’ serially dubbed me “The Guru of Garbage”. Garbage was a weird distinction, but I figured if the shoe fits, “Recycle, Reuse, or Recreate” it. I became internationally known for my innovative uses of recycled materials. I was the focus of numerous magazine and newspaper articles and television appearances. I participated in panel discussions, spoke at universities, gave workshops, and presented my creations in museums, galleries, and traveling exhibitions around the world. I was featured as a successful ecological designer in German and Japanese newspapers, magazines, and television.

During my seven year tenure as Guru of Garbage, everyone wanted to contribute to my cause by giving me his or her unwanted trash. Manufacturers began sending samples of their manufacturing waste. I received everything from truckloads of trimmings of cork and various plastics and composite materials, to barrels of greasy sludge. They thought I could perform alchemy and make treasure from their trash. I appreciated the sentiment and valued the challenge, but the process of turning trash into treasure is lot more work than reward, except for the high esoteric value. Trash to treasure is a metaphor for transforming liabilities into assets. Saturn (Lead) can be turned into (Gold) the Sun.

I forgot to mention that my Guru of Garbage days coincided with the birth of my daughter, Cassie, and her early childhood. I hoped to make a better world for her. Even at two years old, Cassie was well aware of my preoccupation with trash. As we walked along the streets of NYC together, she’d constantly be bending over to pick up some gross and disgusting thing that some person had thrown on the sidewalk. “Here daddy!” she’d exclaim. I’d thank her, then walk to the nearest trash can and throw it away. The best part was when others noticed. They were either inspired or shamed into picking something up off the sidewalk. They’d always look and smile at us as we acknowledged their good deed with a nod of approval. Sometimes, I wondered whether I was blessed or cursed by my obsession to make a difference.

The following several pages contain pictures of trash that I transformed into treasure.

Pallet landfill to conference room

Reincarnated lamp and mirror

Thrown

Odds and Ends

One day I was driving down a country road in upstate NY and noticed a couple of weathered farmers sitting in front of a broken down barn. I was searching for old wooden planks that they’d be willing to sell. They took me up to an old hay loft and showed me a stack of dusty rough cut lumber that had probably been laying there for at least thirty years. I had no idea what kind of wood it was, but it was heavy. I felt sure it was some kind of hardwood. I bought the whole stack for $10. They helped load it into my station wagon. When I got back to my workshop, I ran the rough lumber through the wood planer. It turned out to be beautifully aged solid cherry with a lot of rough edges and ends and lots of knots. Most woodworkers cut these defects away in the process of furniture making. I decided to design defective furniture from the get go. I found the imperfections very beautiful and used them as design elements. My client was in the recycling business and loved my creation!

Cherry Desk

It’s rewarding to transform something useless into something useful. It’s also great to be loved and appreciated by family, friends, colleagues, students, and clients. Without real financial support, however, it can be extremely challenging. I found myself delving more deeply each day into the mother of all garbage – Psychic Garbage.

My first paid speaking engagement was for the IDSA (Industrial Design Society of America). They said I could speak about anything, so I decided to talk about design and metaphysics. As an industrial design student, I had studied how hands relate to products. Now I would share with my peers how the same hands relate to character and behavior.