Lean Logician 22/03/2017Posted by zoidion in Hellenistic, Long Emergency.
Tags: astrology, Dark Mountain, David Fleming, Hellenistic, Joseph Crane, Lean Logic, localization, Long Descent, Lot of Fortune, luminary, natal chart, sect, Surviving the Future, Transition Towns, triplicity lords
Twin Cities ephemera: Could it be an omen, coming minutes after the equinox moment? Stepping outside into a gray dawn, a cardinal greeted me from a hidden perch in the cedar tree, its voice piercing my heart. A single call. Above and to the south, Moon and Saturn peeked through small gaps in thin clouds. Then an hour of wispy and puffy clouds, accented briefly by a band of red in the east, before the sky was blanketed for half the day.
Letting whims direct my walking, my feet took me to welcome strips of woods — box elder aplenty, their limbs stretching out and dipping down at contorted angles — and the brown close-cropped grass and murky ponds of the golf links.
That morning bird’s song seems a reminder to turn from the manifold evidence of the dysfunction of this time, and instead sing the praises of one who sang in prose of the elements of an enjoyable lean way of living. The subtitle of David Fleming’s Surviving the Future captures the place of play in meaningful human and natural connections—and yes, the split between “human” and “natural” is, well, unnatural.
Anyway, the subtitle is: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy.
Actually, though, he didn’t give the book that subtitle. And he didn’t work his work into that book form: neither that one nor the much bigger Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It.
By the time Fleming died suddenly 29 November 2010, a month short of seventy-one, he had amassed a great collection of short writings, much of it ecological and social wisdom in the form of definitions. No wonder he had made only a few copies and shared them with a few close associates.
His friend and mentee Shaun Chamberlin shaped it into the two posthumously-published books.
Who was this David Fleming?
Beyond, that is, someone who described the characteristics of localization as the normative and inevitable level of social organization, that will resume once the anomaly of globalization plays itself out.
Evidently, he possessed the personality, the temperament, of a happy warrior: one who conducts his battles with joy, knowing full well the magnitude, difficulty and inevitable losses of the struggle.
For a measure of astrological understanding, at least a date and place of birth are available: 2 January 1940, Milford, England, southwest of London. Little, however, of his early circumstances and upbringing is public knowledge.
Day or night? That is the starting point for any effort toward approximating a natal chart, and whether Sol or Luna is luminary of sect (diurnal or nocturnal) determines which planets are triplicity (trigon) lords for which stages of life.
For Fleming’s chart, Sol is in the zoidion of Capricorn, Luna in Libra. If Sol is luminary, the triplicity lords are Venus, Luna and Mars in sequence; if Luna is luminary, they are Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter. Each of the appropriate three is in turn “lord” of an era marked by a cycle of Saturn around the zodiac. (This system is very well described in Joseph Crane’s Astrological Roots: The Hellenistic Legacy.)
Here’s a clue to the essence of who Fleming was: “ . . . the book brings space and intelligence and wit to areas that are normally written about in lumbering opinionated prose. In a genre weighted down by tribalism, righteousness, political rhetoric and scientific data, his words come like a fresh breeze. Where other books would feature graphs, he has woodcuts of the English countryside.” (Dark Mountain)
Spaciousness, intelligence and wit cast together — along with the emphasis upon playfulness and celebration — strongly suggest that Mercury in Sagittarius was ascendant at his birth. In addition, this Mercury is in a diurnal relationship to Sol: rising before Sol. More potency in directions of investigation, synthesis, communication.
His evidently lean physique also points in that direction. (Also, his mother’s status as an award-winning crime writer is reflected in Virgo — where Mercury is also lord — in the tenth place.)
If so, his birth was nocturnal, in the hours before the wintry dawn.
That considerable energy and vision (or delusion) would be linked to his intelligence was “baked in”—Mercury in the chart, regardless of time of day or night, is at the focal point of a Mars-Neptune axis.
Surely, Mercury would have to be prominently placed in his chart: He was evidently a man of ideas above all, one who was continually reworking his writing, never satisfied. His great, sprawling work Lean Logic was anything but lean, and was only published posthumously, then trimmed down to manageable size by his mentee.
These factors speak to a natal Mercury not only mutable (in Sagittarius, in “detriment” opposite Mercury’s domicile in Gemini: continually seeking a more comprehensive view of the big picture), but also likely angular (near horizon or meridian): probably in the first or tenth place.
Thus, if the foregoing suppositions are correct, Mercury was “lord” of Fleming’s first era of life, which included his studies in history at Oxford University and a varied career in manufacturing, marketing, advertising and financial public relations (according to his Wikipedia biography).
Saturn — in difficult astrological circumstances (“in fall” in Aries) — was “lord” of his second era, when he began his opus. (The world at that time — the 1970s — was marked by the first shocking reminders that Earth is a finite planet unsuited for economic systems based on infinite growth.)
The third era, with Jupiter in Aries as “lord,” would be expansive and pioneering, as he made connections with many notable individuals and groups — including participants in Transition Towns projects — discussing and working on alternatives and successors to global market-based economies and cultures.
A major event was the publication in April 1999, at age fifty-nine (the conclusion of his Saturnian era), of his article “The next oil shock?” in Prospect magazine, interpreting the International Energy Agency’s report of the previous year as indicating an impending global oil crisis. (Fleming had a long history with the subject, though for nearly two decades denial and derision regarding such works as The Limits to Growth and Overshoot had been nearly total.) Later, he revealed that Fatih Birol, future chief economist for the IEA, met with him after reading the article and admitted that “you are right . . . there are maybe six people in the world who understand this.”
It was a defining moment, as that age is for most people: It is the year when both Jupiter and Saturn return to their places in the birth chart.
It was especially potent for Fleming.
By that time, by secondary progression (counting one day after birth for each year of life), Mercury had gone slightly more than one-quarter of the way around the zodiac, and was now conjunct natal (in-sect) Mars: representing a message with considerable impact. In addition, the progressed upper meridian, along with progressed Luna, had reached conjunction with natal ascendant: a merging of professional role with personal capability.
One more thing: progressed Sol was now conjunct the Lot of Fortune, which refers to the natural flow of life’s events. (The Lot of Fortune for Fleming’s nocturnal chart is exactly opposite where it appears — the X inside the O — in this Time Passages-generated chart. The Lot of Fortune is determined by the angular distance between Sol and Luna, but in the Helllenistic system, one reckons from the luminary of sect: in this case, Luna.)
Fleming had now fully connected with the substance of his life’s work, and was receiving recognition for it. He would spend the rest of his life exploring, defining and re-defining, and communicating the implications of his comprehension: Lean Logic, his summary of how to live fully with less . . . energy, stuff, distraction. And more carnival.
Within the Hellenistic system, nothing need be said — at least initially — about Sol’s zoidion, Capricorn. As the luminary out of sect, Sol is not inherently prominent. Placed (speculatively) in the second place from the ascendant, Sol is obscure. (As one who was evidently not propelled by a sense of self-importance, his was not a “solar” personality.)
Luna’s place is rather different: In the eleventh place relating to highly social activities, Luna is strengthened by a close trine with Venus, Luna’s “lady” or “ruler” (in modern astrological terminology). Plus, Venus is in-sect. These are symbols for someone with the capacity and skills to move easily and gracefully through social situations. Judging by some stories — particularly, that of sending one of the few prized copies of his opus to his future editor after an hour’s phone conversation — he was adept at reading and cultivating compatibility.
As for astrological temperament, using the system advocated by Kelly Surtees — combining zoidia and lords of ascendant and Luna, along with season of Sol and phase of Luna — the distillation is: sanguine: buoyant and cheerful.
Just the sort of person to make a quick, unannounced exit.
Big Blow 09/03/2017Posted by zoidion in Climate, Event, forecast, Long Emergency, Photography.
Tags: astro-weather, astrometeorology, Detroit, electricity, forecast, George J. McCormack, infrastructure, Michigan, outage, utilities, Weather Underground, wind, windstorm
Twin Cities ephemera: That was quite a storm we had, followed by a dramatic drop in temperature. Here in the metro: thunder and lightning and a bit of rain around sundown, mid-thirties temperatures and a dusting of snow in the morning. But here near the center of the continent, that’s not particularly unusual.
What was unusual was tornadoes, two of them, nearly two weeks earlier than ever before in recorded history in these parts.
That counts as an incident of global weirding.
The two days of high winds and now deepening chill have convinced the perennials to keep at least their shoulders below ground level: I can stand up from my desk and see outside to where small leaves of Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginicum) remain visible, even on the west side of the house, exposed to the colder winds.
I’ve never seen the like before — not before the Ides of March.
That was quite a storm that blasted most of the center of the continent, from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. In terms of effects upon human activity, the worst of it apparently fell on the beleaguered region of Detroit, where many thousands of residents and businesses remain without electric power. There, a bright sun shone as ferocious winds toppled thousands of trees onto homes, commercial buildings, power lines and cars.
According to the Weather Underground web site, about one million customers — and thus well over one million affected people — lost power in Michigan alone on the eighth of March, with more than eight hundred thousand of those remaining without electricity the next morning. In all likelihood, weeks will pass before power can be restored to
And there’s the often-crippling monetary cost for tree removal and repairs: Just have a look at the photo showing the huge pine tree that came to precarious rest on the house in the neighboring yard. And multiply that image by thousands.
The setup for the disaster was the record warm weather in February, and soil saturated by recent rains.
Alas, the prior astro-meteorological indications for severe weather are fairly clear.
The starting point, as usual, is the season chart, calculated for the Capricorn solar ingress (winter solstice). Add to that the calculation for the lunation — in this case, the first-quarter Moon — on 5 March.
Notice particularly, in the inner ring (the ingress chart), the circle with vertical line near the top: That’s the upper meridian: one end of an axis of special potency in weather forecasting. The lower meridian is of more interest here: eighteen degrees (rounded off) of Pisces. That shows a longitude where unusual weather events are apt to occur — when triggered by ongoing movements of Sol, Luna and planets.
Now take note of several bits of the outer ring (the lunation chart). Especially, note Sol and Mercury very nearly opposite the upper meridian point. That was a clear indication of a likely incident involving warmer weather (Sol) and wind (Mercury). George J. McCormack summarized the Sol-Mercury conjunction: “High wind velocity.”
(One of the most deadly Minnesota storms—involving a sudden and severe temperature drop, high winds and heavy snow — was the Armistice Day storm of 1940, when Sol and Mercury were conjunct. The astronomical occasion was a rare one: Mercury, in apparent retrograde motion, transited across the solar disc.)
The actual superior conjunction of Sol and Mercury occurred in the evening of 6 March at seventeen degrees Pisces, when storm planet Saturn was crossing the lower meridian at Detroit. The windstorm did its worst as Sol was crossing the lower meridian of the season chart, with Mercury now almost two degrees ahead.
Further indication of windy weather during the week: Luna in Gemini (where Mercury is lord) at the lower meridian of the lunation chart. (See Luna opposite the circle-with-vertical-line in the outer ring, and opposite Saturn in the season chart as well.) Plus: Sol, Mercury and Neptune appear near the horizon — the circle with horizontal line — of the lunation chart, and near the lower meridian of the season chart.
That is a classic case of astro-meteorology in action.
Alas for Michigan and Detroit. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
George J. McCormack, A Text-Book of Long-Range Weather Forecasting, 1947
“Hellacious Great Lakes Windstorm Fells Trees, Knocks Out Power to More than 1 Million,” Weather Underground, March 9, 2017
(Hat tip to TF.)