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Heavy Weather 14/07/2017

Posted by zoidion in forecast, homesteading, Photography, urban agriculture, Weather.
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Twin Cities ephemera: The solstice has come and gone, the poignancy of the start of the long slide into darkness replaced by a sometimes febrile rush to embrace the fruits of the season. Along with the poignancy, and alongside the lushness of midsummer, comes a sobering recognition of areas of failure in the garden, and the necessity of waiting ten months for the next opportunity to do better.

For improved yields, two main points stick with me: I would do much better to use fresh seed (and discard older seed), and I can better safeguard the viability of the garden’s produce by saving seed from what has (obviously) successfully adapted to weather and soil conditions on the most local level of all: my yard.

As for fruits: First came the red currants. Not enough to make jelly, but enough to press and cook (just a bit) for a very rich juice. Then came the cherries: a prodigious yield from one medium-sized tree, five years out from planting, requiring much labor in the picking and pitting. (Neighborhood fireworks on the Fourth of July punctuated a delicious cherry cobbler.) Almost simultaneously, the year’s first crop of red raspberries and only crop of black raspberries began ripening. And now: black currants.

One might gather from such a report that weather has been favorable. Indeed so.

Though there have been scattered incidents of severe weather events in the region, this has been an easy summer so far. Obnoxious heat and humidity have largely remained to the south, and there have been some days — including yesterday — that were cool and cloudy, more typical of September. (Some northern Minnesota low temperatures dropped into the thirties.)

But that pattern is due to change.

The period that most concerns me about local weather is about three weeks away. I know from five years of observation with astrological weather charts that heavy weather is most likely when a lunation — New, Full or quarter Moon — aligns with either the vertical or horizontal axis of the season chart.

It’s fairly to easy to see it coming. With Sol in the late-night quadrant of the Cancer solar ingress (Northern Hemisphere summer solstice) chart, Sol is moving (counter-clockwise) in zodiacal passage toward the western horizon of the chart, where the zoidion Leo is in command.

When Sol enters Leo (where Sol is lord) on 22 July, in hot pursuit of Mars — they conjoin on the 26th — more persistent and withering heat can be expected. As they come to the descendant of the season chart around the fourth of August, challenging conditions of dryness are likely to become more prevalent through the mid-continent. (Keep a watch on the U.S. Drought Monitor, mentioned in the previous post.)


The Full Moon (partial lunar eclipse, not visible from North America) of the seventh of August — stretching across the horizon of the season chart — presents a troubled picture for this area. Capping an extended period of heat buildup, a great degree of atmospheric turbulence is indicated as a cooler air mass advances from the north. What symbolically adds to the forcefulness of the storm potential is Venus: That symbol of moisture has now arrived at eight degrees of water-zoidion Cancer. That is the very midpoint — a power point — between horizon and meridian.

The missing ingredient — a northbound air mass brimming with Gulf of Mexico moisture — seems set to unleash a major rain event.

After multiple such events scattered around the state in recent years, one wonders about the readiness of this metropolitan area, with its vast areas of pavement and water-shedding buildings.

(Fun facts: The all-time record hottest recorded temperatures in this region date from 1936, when the season chart featured fire-zoidion Leo on the ascendant, and Scorpio — where Mars is lord — on the lower meridian: where weather comes down to Earth. The hottest-ever local temperature — one-hundred-ten degrees F — occurred on 14 July 1936, with Sol and Mars less than ten degrees apart in Cancer, plus Mercury and Venus there.)


Recent reading: The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben, 2015; The Harrows of Spring, James Howard Kunstler, 2016
Recent listening: “Koyaanisqatsi,” Philip Glass; “Casual Gods,” Jerry Harrison; “Heavy Weather,” Weather Report; “The American Shadow,” Carolyn Baker on Radio Ecoshock
Recent investigation: The background to the “Qatsi” series of three films; link — “A Visit with Godfrey Reggio,” WNYC radio 2014


Break Point 17/04/2015

Posted by zoidion in Long Emergency, Mundane.
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Twin Cities ephemera: It’s been a lovely week here (more so than expected, actually–some rain at the start,but neither drizzle nor deluge), living in the fleeting moments of spring’s awakening. Each day, the call to be outside has been more insistent than the day before.

Each morning, the slice of the moon has been thinner than the morning before. 

waning crescent
resplendent before dawn
clinging to the eye
in the sun’s first hour
but vanished by noon
like a goose gone south

Each morning, I’ve noted the buds on the elderberry bushes and hardy kiwi vines bigger than the morning before. And the more cautious ones on the cherry.


And it was delightful to bask in the mild, still air in the gloaming just now, playing my fiddle. Past when I would have thought they’d be about, several birds stopped by briefly, wondering perhaps what that singing — or chirping? — sound was. As dusk deepened, Jupiter, at its zenith, came into view. I played on, knowing Venus had my back, in the west.

I improvised a bit, in G major, but mostly ran through whatever of my standards came to mind: “Old Billy Hell,” “Fiddler’s Elbow,” “Off to California,” “Irish Washerwoman,” etc.

But there’s one tune that keeps sticking in my brain, and it’s not even a fiddle tune, though I’ve been working on getting it down. It’s a Philip Glass tune: the theme, with that deep male voice intoning that one word, from the 1983 movie, “Koyaanasqatsi.” (I saw the movie, back in the day, and I think the CD was the first I acquired.) A Hopi word meaning: life out of balance.

The sounds, on the lower strings (viola or cello would be even better), give resonance to the words I’d taken in earlier from an hour-long conversation between John Michael Greer and Chris Martenson — you can listen or read the transcript.

Some would probably call it doomer porn, yet it helps me make some sense of the cultural dissonance I encounter on a daily basis. And it helps me sort out the indications of the current planetary cycles.

Like many people who avoid immersion in the nonsense drumbeat of the mainstream media, I have a strong sense that “things” are very near a tipping — or breaking — point. Greer, for example, spells out a key societal operating principle that is generally considered unmentionable: White’s Law.

Economic development is a function of energy per capita. As energy per capita declines, economic development goes into reverse. That is one of the things you cannot say in public.

That’s the background, but what — and when — will be the next big event that disrupts whatever fragile equilibrium remains in the world, or domestic U.S., economic and political situation?

Major recent domestic tumults have involved military invasions and occupations of civilian areas: Boston in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013; Ferguson, Missouri, following the police killing of Michael Brown last summer.

Both were during very “Marsy” periods: when Sun and Mars were conjunct in Aries (where Mars is lord) in 2013, when Mars and Saturn were conjunct in Scorpio (where Mars is also lord) in 2014.

By late May 2015, Sun and Mars will be together in Gemini (where neither is lord) and forming a major configuration: opposite Saturn and square Neptune. Sun and Mars will conjoin on 14 June at twenty-three degrees Gemini: very close to the Mars position in the U.S. Declaration of Independence chart. Yes, a very martial period is shaping up. It could be military, it could be something else disruptive or explosive.

The U.S. has been stupidly poking the Russian bear for some time now; will Russian patience be exhausted?

Military situations in the Arabian peninsula have been spiraling out of control, both in the north and the south, with an increasingly shaky Saud regime in the middle. A full-scale Shia-Sunni conflagration could be underway by June, with oil infrastructure as primary targets.

Another spate of police killings of unarmed civilians across America could spark ugly mass confrontations as summer heat frays nerves.

Or the domestic break could come from another kind of spark: lightning. In a place such as Cushing, Oklahoma, the largest single oil storage place in the country, a crossroads of pipelines, and a hotbed of earthquake activity, thanks to fracking — a disaster waiting to happen.

A civilization, a nation, this dumb can’t count on luck forever. And with so little positive change for anyone to believe in since the economic meltdown of 2008, — large-scale voluntary change, so stoutly resisted through the entire Uranus-Pluto period (2012-2015), that may have helped avert greater calamity later — alas, a bigger fall must follow.

Every place seems as precarious as “Corn Island.”


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