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Golden Days 31/07/2014

Posted by zoidion in Event, Hellenistic, Long Emergency.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The golden days of Sun-ruled Leo are here, have been here all week. Since Monday, at least.

Sunday was a dramatic day, beginning clear but clouding with impressive swiftness as northwest winds more typical of September and beyond swept through the region. The invasion of northern air–anticipated in the astro-forecast–was sufficient shock to the lingering Saturday mugginess for several brief, light showers to sprinkle small areas.

But the days since have begun with remarkable regularity: a golden hazy sun in a calm sky with a temperature of 62. Afternoon temperatures have been peaking in the low 80s, with comfortable dew points. 

Absolutely delightful. And conducive to a staycation mindset. I’ve been consistently ignoring my scribbled notes to investigate this or that, opting instead to spend much more time than usual sitting in the green light under the hops trellis as I sip experimental peppermint-and-black-raspberry sun tea and read a section from one book, then another.

About the only homestead work I’ve done has been to siphon the yeasty bubbling black raspberry wine-to-be from the bucket into two gallon-size glass jugs and attach airlocks. Like me, all they need to do right now is ferment.

But not all is sweetness.

To its considerable credit, the local Star Tribune newspaper–“The Strib” around here–marked Saturday’s New Moon with its two most prominent headline stories devoted to environmental health issues: the chronic tainting of groundwater and rivers by agricultural pesticide residues, and the oil train traffic not only through the Twin Cities but across the state, mostly northwest to southeast, coming out of North Dakota.

The pesticides are insidious, while the “tight oil” shipments are potentially explosive. Certainly one is tempted to call the exponential growth in the magnitude of oil shipments explosive: Nationwide, oil by rail has grown 4,100% since 2008, despite a comparably growing incidence of spills and near-disasters.

And the Twin Cities and Minnesota are ground zero, the epicenter of oil-by-rail traffic.

When I attended an open-air town-hall-style meeting, organized by MN350, on 30 July–within easy biking distance of my house–the danger was graphically illustrated: Four all-or-mostly-oil trains either passed through or sat idly on the tracks within sight, and within a half-mile of at least a hundred homes and a school.

The tracks are within a quarter-mile of Minneapolis’ emergency command center–a reminder of the brilliance of situating New York’s within one of the World Trade Center towers–and water works, and a similiar distance from a company closely involved in managing the U.S. electrical grid (itself frequently referred to as “antiquated” or “substandard”).

According to one of the speakers at the meeting, the chairman of the Minnesota House transportation finance committee, the oil trains are keeping emergency response teams awake at night. Another, a retired locomotive engineer, pointed to railroads’ history of minimizing expenditures on safety measures.

I’m awake more at night too. On what used to be a quiet spur line two blocks from my house, longer and more frequent trains, including oil cars, come rumbling through. And more often, the jolts along the chains of couplings boom through the dark lanes of “Shady Hollow.”

Several somber minutes marked the heart of that town-hall meeting: a reading of the names and display of photographs of the forty-seven victims of the oil-train disaster that befell Lac-Megantic, Quebec, a little over a year ago. There, early on a Saturday morning, a runaway train carrying oil from North Dakota (the Bakken field) derailed and exploded, enveloping a portion of the town in intense flames. The train had been parked on a side track seven miles outside of town and somehow began moving, accelerating until it reached Lac-Megantic traveling sixty-three miles per hour. The victims were unsuspecting regular folks, celebrating a birthday and celebrating surviving a week of work, or sleeping in second-floor apartments or small homes in their small town near the Maine border.

What were the planets “doing” to bring an accident decades in the making to fruition?

For one thing, the attention-deficit signature–Mercury in apparent retrograde motion–was at the lower meridian of the chart (below): the spot that is so often the most important one with reference to weather. It’s the point where something in motion, in development, finds a place to happen. In this case, the oil-train-without-a-driver came to a catastrophic stop.

Lac Megantic bomb train

The disconnect is even more emphatically represented: Mercury and Moon are in “mutual reception”: each in the sign ruled by the other. Usually, that is an indication that things turn out okay. But not in this case: Both Moon and Mercury are “in aversion”: each in the sign next to the one that the other rules. The significance of each planet–and that for the Moon includes common people engaged in common activities or non-activities–thus is in a major blind spot.

The Moon in this chart is an old Moon: two days away from New, symbolizing that the situation has been developing for some time. Its next planetary connection is with Mars: inconvenient at best, violent and destructive at worst, definitely a signal for a quickening of events. And Moon is within one day of reaching monthly maximum North declination: another heavy-weather factor.

Saturn just below the western horizon, and Venus exactly square to the horizon, are other factors pointing to an incident of significance–if confirmed by ingress and lunation charts.

The Cancer ingress chart–for the three months between solstice and equinox–also had Cancer (and the season’s Sun) on the lower meridian, with the ruling body Moon in a difficult place in Scorpio (along with out-of-sect Saturn) in the eighth house of death and terror. Dire symbolism. Uranus (surprises, disruption of normality) was potent on the eastern horizon, and in a close square to Pluto, the never-the-same-again signature for the decade of the twenty-teens.

Finally, the fourth-quarter lunation chart (30 June 2013, 12:53 a.m. EDT) has a very tight Sun-Pluto-Moon-Uranus configuration, with Sun once again–now tightly–on the lower meridian, and the Moon closing in on Uranus.

People within that belt of longitude–including Boston and Portland–could have been forewarned to be on the alert, to double-check their equipment, to possibly avert disaster, or at least be in greater readiness.

Where and when will be the next theatres of disaster? That is one of the many urgent tasks–including, especially, medical astrology in combination with herbal medicine–for practitioners of astrology in the Long Emergency.


P.S. The golden days lost much of their lustre for me this evening, as I began composing this post: I learned that David Roell–avid astrological researcher, thinker, writer, publisher and proprietor of Astrology Center of America–had died on 27 July. Though I never met him in person, I will miss him.

It was his reprinting of George J. McCormack’s Text-Book of Long-Range Weather Forecasting that instigated my efforts reflected in nearly all of these 93 (so far) articles. (He did the astrological community a great service by reprinting a number of classic and essential texts.) Over the past two years, I exchanged a number of emails with him; without fail, I was astounded with the extent of his knowledge and understanding of astrology. Each Monday–sometimes Sunday night–during this period, I would download and immediately read his feature article within his newsletter.

Though admittedly I breezed through the one this week, I noted no hint of any new health troubles. (He shared them in some detail in the newsletter, especially in early 2013.)

His Gemini ascendant with ruler Mercury in Aquarius came through so vividly: Both the volume and challenging quality of his thought were impressive, and often daunting. To me, he was consistently supportive and challenging.

His passing is a great loss to the astrological community which he championed so ardently. His voice amplifies mine.


A Chill in the Air 17/07/2014

Posted by zoidion in Climate, Long Emergency, Mundane, Photography.
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Twin Cities ephemera: As much fun (and obsessive) as the process generally is, I’ve found it challenging lately to find / make time for this endeavor. One might think that by midsummer the garden would be “in”– way in — and coasting. But no.

True, the lettuce has been having a great season, with a seemingly nonstop string of cool weather and plenty of rain. Salad days indeed.

But I’ve had a bumper crop of crabgrass to deal with. And now the first fruit harvests are at hand. I’ve waded in jeans and long-sleeve shirt into the barbed patch of black raspberries three times, and have come out with almost enough to start a batch of wine. They’re still coming.

It’s an off year for cherries, before its first major pruning next winter. Only a single unblemished cherry came off the tree: I left the funky one to the ants that had already claimed it.

But there’s a medium-size bowl’s worth of red currants to do something with. And the black currant bush is fairly heavy with plump fruit that I plan to dry: Black currants are great with oatmeal and brown sugar.

At this point there’s no need to do anything but watch the elderberries: The green berries-to-be are small nodules, and most of the stems that hold the clusters of nodules have already turned from green to purple: a clue to what’s to come.

I start each day with a look at the thermometer and rain gauge, then stand at the deck railing and survey the small expanse of vegetation. My gaze this week is blessed with the purple rockets of blue vervain, and the satisfaction that they have grown from the small root that I buried in barely-thawed soil only three months ago. The awesome powers of nature . . .

But my gaze is not untroubled: In the process of my near-daily browse of the Minnpost.com site of Minnesota news and commentary, I came across an item that hits very close to home.  The nationwide organization ForestEthics has posted an interactive map  showing the routes and potential blast and evacuation zones relating to oil trains.

It confirms what I’ve known for a while: This place where I live, on a ridge overlooking the towers of the corporate district, is a danger zone. The single-track line that passes two blocks from my house is on the map. Over the past couple of years I’ve noted many more and longer trains, including some oil cars.

My neighborhood–or yours for that matter–could become a version of Lac Megantic, Quebec.


After that last forecast–for the days of the baseball All-Star Break–some closer-than-usual followup seems appropriate. There was rain the evening before–not the morning before–the Big Game (the Home Run Derby was delayed), but not in any problematic amount: only a quarter-inch at my place a few miles away, up to an inch in outlying spots.

The dominant factor that had the media buzzing was the wind shift: not merely the surface winds but the jet stream that tugged a blob of chilly air out of Canada in time for the opening pitch. (For more on the current phenomenon, see this.) A mostly-cloudy day–picturesque nonetheless–yielded to fair skies by game time, and an unseasonably cool and very dewy morning after to begin a glorious day of getting back to normal.


The main thing I neglected to take into account was Mercury’s entrance into Cancer two days before, crossing the Sun in the season chart. That was when the jet stream began sagging south. Mercury was retrograde in the season chart, promising some tricks later. When Mercury returned to the retrograde-station point–right around the time the game was ending–the tricksy weather made its impact.

One part of the forecast was closer to actuality: It was a close game, relatively low-scoring.


In a year in which the temperature has yet to reach 90F here, a general surge of heat is due–foretold by the tightening Mars-Jupiter square, with Mars soon to shift into its own sign and Jupiter already in fire-sign Leo.

But between the winter of the “polar vortex” mania and a cooler-than-average summer so far, the segment of the public not firmly embedded in denial has perhaps been shocked out of its expectations of “global warming forever.” (See Wiki’s list of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming.) Personally, I’ve thought for some time that “global weirding” was a much more appropriate term, more descriptive of the mental/emotional wrenching of this era, than “global climate change.”

But my research–hat tips to J and M–leads me to acceptance of the likelihood of a long-term chill. A lighter sleeper than I, it was J who put me on to the “Suspicious 0bservers” videos on Youtube: a new one each day summarizing the latest earth and space weather and relevant peer-reviewed scientific investigations. Perhaps their most cogent one that includes a historical perspective is a recent one that sketches out five seldom-mentioned climate change factors.

1. Earth’s weakening magnetosphere: The magnetic field has been weakening since the 17th century, and has weakened by ten percent since mid-19th century, and an additional five percent in the past ten years. There’s also a magnetic pole shift underway–the north pole more than the south so far.

2. There is a potential water formation mechanism above our heads: “star water” or “space water”: oxygen in upper reaches of atmosphere combining with solar hydrogen (especially coming from coronal mass ejection) to form hydroxyls and then water which would add to cloudiness of atmosphere.

3. A weaker magnetosphere means more hydrogen influx.

4. Cosmic rays make clouds, and a weaker magnetosphere means more penetration of such rays.

5. A Grand Minimum of sunspot activity (similar to the Maunder Minimum ~1645-1715, which coincided with the middle of the Little Ice Age), and therefore cosmic ray surges, may come very soon.

See the whole piece here, and follow the links to sources.

Thus a cooler–and more normal–regime is in the forecast.

From an astrohistorical perspective, the 2020s would appear to be the likely period of the critical shift: On the day of the Capricorn ingress 2020 (winter solstice for Northern Hemisphere dwellers), Jupiter and Saturn conjoin in the first degree of Aquarius. That alignment marks the start of what will constitute the essence of the two millennia of the Aquarian Age.

Capricorn Ingress 2020

A key feature of the chart is the square between Jupiter-Saturn and Uranus, with Uranus on the ascendant at Washington, DC. and Jupiter-Saturn (with Pluto) high in the sky (if the calculated time can be trusted). This portends far-reaching and profoundly disruptive political, economic — and environmental — changes unfolding that likely will force a precipitous end of the United States of America in its current territorial and governmental format. (Let’s leave aside for now the violent implications of the exact Mars-Pluto square.)

That’s news to virtually no one, since a sense that “this can’t continue” is so much in the air now.

But what seems rather curious–and potentially instructive–is the reversal of the configuration. In 2000, Jupiter-Saturn were in earth-sign Taurus, square to Uranus (and Neptune) in Aquarius: This was the moment of seeming stability before the mad unraveling that continues apace.

Were we lulled then into somnolence by the seeming ease of Y2K transition? Did we really buy into the notion that technological tweaking would solve all pressing problems? Did we collectively discount all the evidence that a predicament was bearing down upon us?

It would seem so. It would not be long before drones supplanted dreams.

It was twenty years after the anomalous Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in air-sign Libra, breaking the string of earth-sign conjunctions that began in 1840: the run that marked the most productive (or, from an Earth-centered point of view, rapacious) decades of the Industrial Revolution.

Soon the slope of inexorable unraveling steepens, bringing a distinct chill in the air.



 P.S. Oh, and did I mention that, in astro-meteorology, Saturn-ruled Aquarius is the coldest of all the zodiacal signs? Especially when Saturn is there, and more especially when an era begins with Saturn there. Just sayin’.

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