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|Tuesday, May 21st, 2013|
|Venus is in my 6th house and is not my "fun, sexy" planet at all
Yesterday I had the Uranus-Pluto square that probably steamrolled Moore, Oklahoma hitting my natal chart pretty hard too, just a degree from the Venus square Uranus aspect I have that makes my skin so "interesting". Also, Mars was exactly opposite my Moon. My blood sugar did this weird crash, and also I broke out in hives. My heart was racing 100 bpm for no reason. It was nothing serious, but it was pretty out of the blue and bizarre; I hadn't been handling or ingesting anything unusual. I wasn't exactly in a good mood, I felt like my body was out of control.
Unbelievably, this aspect will perfect four more times over the next year and a half.
I was skiing very carefully this season because I was paranoid about it. I never hurt myself, amazingly. I wasn't on my usual adrenaline high either; when I got scared I didn't find it fun. I used to ski at the edge of what I could handle all the time, which it was pretty awesome until I'd get injured - but then I'd just wait a week, heal, and do it some more. Not this year.
Did you know that Pablo Picasso had Saturn in Taurus in the 10th house, opposite Sun in Scorpio, both square his Leo Ascendant?
Weirdly, his chart reminds me of Ray Charles. Their Marses are conjunct in Cancer; Pablo's was sextile Uranus, Ray's was square Uranus. Ray Charles had Sag rising, Picasso had Moon in Sag. They both had Jupiter conjunct Pluto and square Uranus! Even though they were born in different generations! This aspect complex is infrequent, since the planets involved are slow-moving. Picasso had Venus in Libra trine Pluto, Ray had Moon in Libra square Pluto. Picasso had Neptune conjunct Saturn in an Earth sign, Ray had Neptune trine Saturn in Earth signs.
They were both geniuses who revolutionized their respective forms of art, and they both collected women who fought over them. They also artistically vampirized their lovers, and related to them more as muses than as people - or at least that's how they were portrayed in their cinematic portraits.
Ray Charles was blind. Pablo Picasso was perhaps inconveniently petite - 5'4" - and he was also dyslexic. Not saying these are in any way analogous difficulties, just that both may have been motivated to express the true selves hidden within a conventionally unpromising package. (Let's just say that it's easier to sell your soul for shallow social rewards if you're the kind of person who can blend into the crowd.)
Mercury-Venus - Buddha Hand cohobation
12:11 PM 5/21/2013
Mercury and Venus are conjunct in Gemini within two degrees, and Luna in Libra is translating light as she separates from Mercury into an exact trine with Venus. I used this election rather than Luna applying to a trine with Mercury because Luna was in a t-square with Uranus and Pluto at the same time, which is associated with disasters. I also like Venus for this project because it will be sweet. Mercury and Venus are in the 10th house, giving added prominence. Mercury is L2 and L11 and Venus is L3 and L10. Luna is waxing gibbous on the cusp of the 3rd house. Somewhat annoyingly, Mars in Taurus and the South Node are conjunct the MC.
Mercury is in his own Domicile, Venus is in her own Terms. Luna's in the Domicile of Venus, so there's reception, and Venus is in the Domicile of Mercury, so more reception. All three are in the triplicity of Saturn and Luna is in his exaltation, which is interesting because it's also the Hour of Saturn (Day of Mars). Otherwise Saturn is inconspicuous in this chart.
Mercury is conjunct the star Tabit: "Strong, dignified, self-confidence, inconstancy, arrogance, violence, impiety; prosperity in trade & by voyages or abroad; danger of treachery & poison." This sounds dickish, but it's said to be a fortunate star. A bit yo-ho-ho though. 27 Leo is on the Ascendant so Alphard rises, "Gives wisdom, musical and artistic appreciation, knowledge of human nature, strong passions, lack of self control, immorality. Sudden death by poison or drowning. Problems with law, love affairs, drugs." More poison, eh. Still, this star is said to be fortunate. Too bad about the criminal perversion theme though, yeesh.
The buddha hand tincture was bright yellow before the cohobation, which is the same color as the peel of buddha hand fruit. The ashes were fine and white with a few black flecks, and the yeild was about two teaspoonsful. After the cohobation, when the ashes settled out the tincture was a clear amber about the color of whiskey. I tasted a little and the flavor was strong, citrus with a bitter kick that really came into its own after it had lingered on the tongue awhile. The total yeild after filtration was a few ounces shy of one quart.
I decided to turn the tincture into a liqueur by mixing it with the 18 oz of buddha hand syrup we had left over from the candying project. (The buddha hand was candied in raw organic sugar.) The mixture of the two was darker and much more cloudy. The bitter citrusy flavor became stronger, especially the bitterness. Even though I tinctured in everclear I didn't need to dilute the liqueur with water to make it drinkable. The syrup was as thick as honey; the liqueur is as thick as maple syrup, and sort of looks like it too. The energy of it is bright and sacred. "Bitter" is the flavor of the fifth element, and I always think that it adds power and depth. Citrus flavors such as orange peel are quite cheerful and refreshing, but not so much like a ringing gong.
I bottled the liqueur into two bottles - fitting Gemini symbolism.
At first I had only planned to consecrate the tincture and syrup to Mercury, but after the Mercury invocation I had the distinct sense that I needed to add a Venus invocation, so I did that next and then used the qabalistic hierarchy of both to charge my aura after the middle pillar. Venus really made it, by the way. After the Venus invocation the temple seemed to be in a bubble set apart from the world, with outside sounds muted, and the energy within bounded securely and filled with otherness. During the Mercury part of the invocation I had felt quite distracted and impinged upon by construction noises and such, so this made me a lot happier.
The sign following, if that's what it was, was a visit from our squirrel, who let me pet her belly through the screen. She's come by every day this week. We can tell she's nursing, but she didn't build her nest here. She doesn't usually invite me to touch her, but she seemed cool with it today. Also a flock of birds is going nuts at the feeder, two species in competition mode. For the moment the goldfinches are winning. None of this is really all that weird, but it's nice to be popular.
|They revised the tornado body count drastically *downward*!
Did one of you uber-wizards use juju on this sitch? If so, I will find you, and I will kiss you.
(Yes, it's possible to rewrite history with magic. I've heard about it done on health issues - cancer is not merely put in remission, but the doctors run another test and it turns out the person never had it. Or you can find "lost paperwork" that probably hadn't existed previous to the working. Undoing deaths would be Magus-level power, but I'm starting to wonder if anything is impossible.)
Not sure if it's any more unlikely than the Oklahoma City medical examiner miscounting dozens of bodies. Did you know the New York Times was saying the death toll was 91 yesterday? Current Mood: I want to believe
|Monday, May 20th, 2013|
|If I were in charge of distributing karma
Dusteroo was one of the backup singers/dancers to the “Shooting Star,” and was dressed in a big, puffy, shiny, bright blue fabric star that had a little hole cut out in the topmost point for his face. His arms had to be outstretched at all times to keep the two side points from drooping. His spandex clad legs stuck out the middle of the bottom of the star. It was truly a hilarious costume, provided you weren’t the poor bastard inside it.
During rehearsals, Dusteroo asked me how a grown man was supposed to get through this song without feeling utterly humiliated. The only way I saw was to go deeper down the rabbit hole. Don’t act as big as the women smiling and singing beside you. Go further. Smile bigger. Sing louder. Don’t just grin and bear it. Don’t just accept it. Don’t even just embrace it. This is camp we’re talking about. You’ve got to lube it up and fuck its brains out.
But Dusteroo couldn’t.
One of our technicians and I used to watch from the wings to try to fill in the inner monologue that must have been going through his head as he sang and danced the Shooting Star Song.
Oh what I'd give to stuff certain people in that costume and watch them sing that song and dance on stage. Their friends could be wearing the animal costumes. And not just once - they've got to go on tour. (Not that singing Crowley poetry is any less embarrassing.)So it is eighteen years,
Helena, since we met!
A season so endears,
Nor you nor I forget
The fresh young faces that once clove
In that most fiery dawn of love.
We wandered to and fro,
Who knew not how to woo,
Those eighteen years ago,
Sweetheart, when I and you
Exchanged high vows in heaven's sight
That scarce survived a summer's night.
What scourge smote from the stars
What madness from the moon?
That night we broke the bars
Was quintessential June,
When you and I beneath the trees
Bartered our bold virginities.
|Sunday, May 19th, 2013|
|It may surprise you to know that the sloth has many natural enemies
When I started watching Boardwalk Empire, I thought I'd found a cool new show. It has speakeasies, corrupt public servants and moonshiners in it. But then two different stories turned out to be about single mothers and their mothers-in-law. Uh, okay. And things kept going to a torture/maiming/violence-against-women place. The hospital became a familiar interior shot. It's bleak and depressing, and the Chicago storyline in particular is hard to connect with. Truth to tell, I never really liked The Sopranos either - maybe thanks to the wives-n-hos female character options that really are probably the uber-sexist truth of the underworld.
Societies in which money and the power to get it are by far the top priorities are societies in which women are chattel. So are children, animals, the environment . . . you can't save the earth and exploit everything you see at the same time, which is at the moment the important ethical conversation to be having and which I don't see portrayed much by the kind of art I happen to see. The mafia underworld and all it stands for is the enemy of the world in more ways than one. But when it's part of a TV show, it's about guns and tits, not what it means for our culture to be hijacked by an antisocial countercurrent. But maybe it will go there if I hang in there and keep watching.
I probably like science fiction because the familiar human narrative, when accurately portrayed, does not appeal to my sense of adventure on the one hand or my sense that humanity has a future on the other. It reiterates what I wish I didn't already believe, which is that everything is futile because the world is run by dicks and jerks, and the rest of us are predictable robots who are easily controlled by a few simple tactics. The stories about real people that I like are about _real_ people, unlikely heroes of the Erin Brockovich persuasion: the exceptions that I think are what are meant by the Tzadikim Nistarim, the 36 secret holy people who prevent the world from being judged and destroyed. That's what I'm interested in, not how low people can go.
I also like stories about the inner struggle, between the desire to get and abuse power and the desire to be redeemed, or the conflict between outer image and the secret double life, so things like Dexter and Breaking Bad are interesting if done well. We often want two things and can't have both. And do we accept it and let go of one of them? In other words, what makes life worth living, and who are we really?
I also saw Django Unchained. I liked it. I heard the PC crowd disapproves of this movie, but I couldn't see why. If more liberals thought like Tarantino it would be interesting times. Beats using mouthwords to try to reason with psychos and sadists (who are never held accountable if they're well-connected white guys). Where philosophy ends, asskicking begins.
|Exploited as an exhibition: the shocking true story
Uranus square Pluto is almost exact again you guys - you know the aspect that has been creating political, economic and natural chaos for the last few years? With the radioactivity, and the revolutionary unrest? It's exact at 4:02 PM PDT tomorrow. Right after Sol enters Gemini, which is sort of interesting too. (This really is a long dance - Uranus square Pluto perfects again November 1st.) That will make four planets in Gemini, which sounds like some sort of Ocean's Eleven type scenario to me. And Mercury will be sextile Uranus tomorrow. No wonder I'm feeling a bit thick - who can compete with all these planets in the most mutable, dextrous sign of all? Some of us like to go deep. Some of us like to sip from every flower. And some of us like to wear t-shirts that say "Keep calm and fuck off". Know thyself, and don't get hustled into crap that's not for you.
Random acts of violence, natural disasters and infinite twitter feeds - sounds like a typical combination of Uranus-Pluto and Mercury-Uranus action to me. Speaking of which, apparently the press is stalking those poor rescued kidnapping victims. You know that thing where if any horror goes down, it has to be fed back to us as porn? Those gloating, delighted syllables as the page hits mount and the comments pile up; and it's not like the writing is either accurate or insightful. The press mainly goes bananas if the victims are white and decent-looking, but is all the attention actually a compliment - to be barbecued by the harsh event, and then served up as a meal to the voyeuristic public? People really like to wank over harm befalling someone cute. If you yourself are cute and harmed, you may have noticed that people are fascinated to hear the deets. Well, don't tell it to them.
Rumors, writing, stories, and insatiable curiosity, eh. Mars will enter Gemini as well on May 31; let's see how many planets end up stuffing this sign, given that Mercury leaves just as Mars arrives. Hmm, checking the ephemeris I see that four is it. Venus leaves Gemini too by the time the Moon comes around to that sign. So it'll be Sun/Mercury/Venus/Jupiter in Gemini until the end of the month, then Sun/Venus/Mars/Jupiter for the first week of June, then Moon/Sun/Mars/Jupiter for a few days after that. That's a respectably long stretch of twinliness. Watch out for ever-shifting polarities and being expected to pick skills and hints up instantly. Those of us who are a bit slow on the uptake may feel battered by too much information and not enough structure. However, those of us who are usually bored by the tedious pace of daily life may finally be entertained. You've probably noticed that polyamory is popular among Mercury types, so with Venus and Mars in that sign this will also be a likely proposition. Non-Mercury types who take a dim view of Internet affairs will be sourly unamused by the head games, shallow seductions and dangerous liaisons, so there's that. If *you're* the sourly unamused type (I know I am) keep your pants on - you're probably being video-recorded on a cellphone, and your butt probably doesn't look like Kim Kardashian's. God, gross. I'm bringing pepper spray to this little shindig.
Uranus square Pluto perfecting again explains my sudden interest in nuclear reactions - that's kind of cool. But what isn't cool is that the last thing a bottle of poison needs is an explosion, and that we keep stacking bottles of poison on the shelf.
|Saturday, May 18th, 2013|
I invoked Saturn today during the Day and Hour of Saturn, while Saturn was in a tight sextile with Luna in Virgo. (Luna was also square Mercury and trine Pluto.) I blessed the crow skull and one of his feathers, bathing them in incense. I started the invocation by turning over an hourglass filled with black sand - that really brought the Saturn energy in dark, heavy waves. I prayed for the soul of the crow in whatever his next incarnation has become, that he be rewarded for all the Saturn work he did as a crow returning the dead to the earth.
I love our crows - we found his skeleton here on our property (that is, the large rental property upon which our apartment building sits) and I know they know who we are. Even when I taunt them with calls they don't sound the alarm caw when they see us. (I call to all the birds - today a goldfinch heard me and landed on the windowsill right outside where I was sitting and checked me out; I was pretty flattered that he noticed me trying to whistle like him: I figured they thought I was a bird nerd and ignored me.) Anyway, it was a nice bird funeral, and I thought he'd be happy on my altar if he got a formal welcome.
For the libation I blessed some black currant and mango wine, with elixirs of poppy, bamboo root/nettle/cardamom, and echinacea root.
|Friday, May 17th, 2013|
|In Soviet Russia, Saturn does puja to you
We just found a crow's skeleton, complete except for one leg. The skull is on my Saturn altar (it was in surprisingly good shape - the delicate eye orbits were intact); so is the wishbone (also unbroken). The little vertebrae are so cute, and the pelvis has lumbar vertebrae and one femur attached. It died awhile ago I guess - the bones were completely clean of meat. Feathers were scattered around the area too, but they were pretty tatty.
Saturn in Scorpio was rising. That's appropriate!
We poured out wine for the little guy after we collected his remains.
|Here's the method I *don't* use
You know how the Golden Dawn has a looooong method for everything? I was reading Herbs in Magic and Alchemy
by C.L. Zalewski when I found the Z2 formula as applied to spagyrics! I'm going to summarize it - get the book or maybe find it online for a more robust description, if you're interested in trying it out. This would take months, months I tell you.
Before you begin, you must first
invent the universe
make the elemental weapons, the flashing tablets for the seven classical planets as well as Kether, the white triangle, and the two pillars. Also you need a distillation apparatus. And an herb. And a menstruum. (If you want to use a metal I can't help you, but apparently this formula still applies.) I'm going to make my life easy and assume that the menstruum you are using is alcohol. Properly you should ferment the herb to produce the alcohol before you do the distillation, but that is not what these instructions say, so let's assume that you're starting with a dried herb and ethanol. You know, kind of like making gin.
Step one is to do your banishing. Then consecrate your herb to the astrological principles with which it has an affinity, which is the part I've been doing. For some reason, the text calls this a "Blind Force". That's not how I roll; I ask for help from the archangel and choir right here. Apparently they restrain themselves to using the invoking pentagrams and hexagrams in darkness and silence, so I'm guessing they don't vibrate the divine names when they trace the lineal figures.
As far as I can make out, they then put the herb and alcohol in a distillation vessel, set up the distillation, do an evocation appropriate to the nature of the herb, and distill the alcohol over.
The next step is familiar - calcine and grind up the dead head. Add the distillate back to it. Seal it in a vessel. Put it on the altar, on top of a flashing tablet appropriate to the herb, as well as the white triangle. The altar also has the four elements and the elemental weapons arranged around the vessel. This is the part where the consecration of the matter takes place in its full robustness. The Lotus wand is used (red band), and standing East of the altar the lineal figures (of whichever planet/sign are appropriate) are traced over the matter with the right hand while the left hand is on the vessel. Then the alchemist says, "So help me the Lord of the Universe and my own Higher Soul." He raises the vessel in both hands and says, "Arise herein to action, O ye forces of the Light Divine."
This is the part where they let the matter putrefy. Hopefully the essential oils made it over in that first distillation, because they have already destroyed the body of the plant. *I* let the matter putrefy and *then* calcine the dead head. At any rate, the way they do this is by placing the vessel in a warm water bath in a very gentle heat.( Here's where it gets freaky. Frightened? You should be.Collapse )
|Thursday, May 16th, 2013|
|Easter Lily Tincture
Easter Lily Bulb Tincture
11:30 AM 5/16/2013
Day of Jupiter, Hour of Mercury. Moon in Leo is conjunct the Ascendant and trine Uranus, just separating from a sextile with Venus. Saturn is conjunct the IC. Mars, Sol, Mercury and Venus are in the 10th house. Luna is not yet in orb of the square to Mars, and Mars is leaving combustion though still a bit toasty - none of the planets are horribly afflicted by aspect at the moment, and Mercury is very strong by sign (thought the square to Neptune is questionable). All the planets but Jupiter are accidentally strong by angularity. Jupiter is sextile the Ascendant. Sol is conjunct Algol, however.
This plant has been sitting on my altar since Easter, so it's been present for an invocation of each of the classical planets at one time or another. I did not specifically consecrate the entire plant to any of them, though one of its flowers was consecrated to Sol in Aries. I prepared the tincture today because the upper part of the plant had died back, and I want to make sure I tinctured the bulb while the life energy that had withdrawn back into it was at its maximum. And it was, I could feel it in my hands as I chopped it up. The flesh was very white, crisp and mucilaginous.
The easter lily bulb looks a lot like a garlic bulb. I saved some of the cloves and a few baby bulbs and replanted them, watered them and set the pot outside in the sun. The bulb that I tinctured I first washed carefully, then separated it from the stalk and roots, finely it diced with a ceramic knife, and put it in a mason jar and covered it in Everclear. The solution turned a beautiful milky color that became opalescent. It looks like a moonstone, unusual and rich. I can't recall getting a tincture that color before; white is not a common tincture tint. We'll see what happens as it sits for the next few months, if not year - I may wait to cohobate this until Easter (it's only appropriate). My mind might be changed by a particularly luscious election if I find one.
I talked to the bulb the whole time about how it was going to be prepared. I felt like I knew this plant, and was glad that there was a way to keep parts of it alive.
|Our various experiments
We racked our rosehip mead into bottles yesterday, and I'm very pleased with it. Its flavor is pleasantly tart and astringent, and it feels good in the body. Perhaps since it's a Saturn-Venus wine, a little goes a long way - I felt a bit tired after two glasses. Though to be fair, I *had* been working my ass off cleaning bottles and the like. I don't know how strong it is, but I'm guessing around 12-15% ABV based on how much honey we used.
We then racked Interrupting Cow IPA into a carboy from the fermenting bucket, getting it off the old yeast and reducing contact with oxygen. It was warm last week, which helped it ferment quickly, and it looks like it's already done (5.8% ABV). I'm very pleased with the flavor: it has the kind of bitterness that I find refreshing, the very reason I love hops. Surprisingly, since I'd only used a little yarrow and even less southernwood, it has mind-altering properties that lasted until the next morning. And these are not exactly relaxing; I had a hard time getting to sleep. The energy is very powerful in and of itself, so to me the alkaloid angle (the alkaloids achiceine, achilletin, betaine, betonicine, choline, moschatine, stachydrine, and trigonelline
have been found in yarrow) is a bit over the top. I found it unusually diuretic and drying, which was uncomfortable to wake up to. And I'd only had half a mug! On the one hand it's one of the best beers we've ever made flavorwise. On the other hand it's mysteriously ass-kicking. Both hops and yarrow affect hormones (hops contain a phytoestrogen - 8-prenylnaringenin, which has an activity greater than other established plant estrogens
- and yarrow eases menstrual difficulties, possibly thanks to the phytoestrogen betaine). They're both traditional beer bittering agents, however I don't know whether they like working together in the body. And whether this will make all my dreams come true regarding decongesting clutter from our lives remains to be seen; it's not like the garage is a uterus or something.
Oh, interesting. Rosehips also contains phytoestrogens (as well as many other useful ingredients such as bioflavenoids, which one can only hope survived the fermentation process). I hope I didn't overdo it with those things. *boobs suddenly twice as big* Linus Pauling says rosehips fight cancer, though, and who am I to argue with Linus Pauling? Not that this is an issue so far as I know, but with Angelina Jolie's recent surgery you can't swing a cat without whacking an internet article about it. I mean, I'm pretty sure I'm going to die of stupidity rather than natural causes, but I wouldn't necessarily rule out stupidity-induced cancer - so, you know, doing my research here.
. . . aaaand, southernwood contains phytoestrogens. This should be an interesting premenstrual week. Current Mood: avoid during pregnancy
|Wednesday, May 15th, 2013|
|Reverent skepticism, I know that feel
Concerning the Vision of Spirits in the Air
I have a little more faith in the meaningfulness of my ingredients, but a similar willingness to make it happen with whatever I can get my hands on when I feel the sudden guiding lust that makes me ever do any of this at all. Magic has a lot in common with art and writing; the thing inside you *will be born*. Love of your materials is usually part of this, even if your "materials" are the music in the syllables and not the paper that they're written on. It will come to earth and is just looking for the poet, painter, musician or magician who can bring it through. If feels like you are the paintbrush in the hand of something more than you. Artists who get ridden make paintings that look back at you; I wonder if non-artists can also see the eyes. There is something about doing what you know was an invisible collaboration that generates what I can only call hope; I think it's the way the sun shines through the lens that we are.
Well, I am seeing the logic in assigning grapes to Jupiter instead of Sol now that I check out the inflorescences of other Jupiter plants. Both maple and fig trees produce drooping clusters that really are reminiscent of clusters of grapes. Currants also produce drooping clusters, so maybe I was actually correct when I consecrated red currant flowers to Jupiter. (They're so staggeringly beautiful that it was hard not give them to Venus!) Wisteria must also belong to Jupiter; in fact if I had a Jupiter temple I'd grow wisteria around the entrance, which would be supported by fluted columns.
I thought magnolia did, but maybe it does not. That one probably is a Venus tree.
What this implies about Dionysos is another matter. I always thought of him as the winter sun.
|Luna Wine Cohobation
Luna - Coconut Almond Wine Cohobation
5:03 AM 5/15/2013
Day of Mars, Hour of Venus. Luna at 24 Cancer is a waxing crescent. She is in her Domicile and Face. Luna is angular, conjunct the IC. She is conjunct Procyon, "Wealth, fame, good fortune; sharp mind, willpower, stubbornness; violence, sudden success then disaster, occult, politics, dissipation; death by drowning; love of dogs; dogbites." She is exactly sextile Sol in Taurus, who receives her by exaltation. Luna is Lady of the 3rd and 4th houses. She is sextile Mars and Mercury, both of whom are combust in the 1st house.
This chart is for the time when the washed ashes were added to the wine. Just prior, I added 4 oz organic almond extract (this is the alchemical Sulfur of Almond; I thought this wine needed more soul) and 4 oz genuine vanilla extract (I used vanilla beans in the original recipe, but it's possible they'd been sitting around too long - I wanted a stronger flavor). The consecration of these materials went well enough (getting up at 4:30 wasn't fun). After I invoked Luna, I recited her Orphic hymn, called the spirits of the six directions from Picatrix, recited her invocation from Picatrix, and recited her invocation from Cantus Circaeus. Now that they're added I feel sparkly and alert with a feeling of rushing pinpricks to my head. It's a relief, as if cresting a hill and finally being able to coast.
This was energizing but I also felt cold all over when I went back to bed, and it took forever to get to sleep because of this.
|Tuesday, May 14th, 2013|
|The Moon should be pure, sensitive, innocent and giving, not cynical and crusty.
It took three days, but I finally finished the Moon calcination. Every time it started burning I felt like my head was on fire. I dreamed last night that the house (not where I actually live - a house that had a proper porch with steps) caught fire. That's appropriate. As a magical operation this worked. The physics is a bit more hinky, since rain dripped into the stainless steel pan and as time went by rust got into my ashes, which are therefore pink. Iron drops out of solution, so this shouldn't be a big deal. But it isn't as pretty as the beer ashes were when I mixed them into solution - they were so white. I'm waiting for the water to clear up, and at the moment it is pale grey. I think that I might pour this precipitate into my hops planter after the cohobation - hops contain iron so maybe they'll appreciate this augmentation to their soil.
Another interesting consequence of this work is that an energetic block seems to have released; I can feel kundalini waves during sex again, and I was even seeing green lights hovering in my field of vision, like looking into the sky and seeing stars. I really disagree that daring to assimilate the crude and vile side of human sexuality makes us any wiser. Crowley was an asshole who never felt this in the first place, and probably ruined it for other people. So I'm glad to have gotten that straightened out. Back in the day I misinterpreted Jung, who was also a dick, as recommending that we integrate opposite traits to our own (such as being a dick) and do things that were not characteristic of ourselves (including wanton dickishness) so as to achieve the wholeness of Self via a reconciliation with our shadow. Huh. Nah. So that's two things I tried and don't recommend: cessation of rational thought, and transgressing perfectly valid inhibitions. Apparently I'll fall for anything. I can see how harsh experience collapses glamours, but it also poisons perfectly decent wells. We've all had harsh experiences that we couldn't avoid and that weren't our fault and damned if they don't create even more tunnel vision, not less. This is not the way forward.
This week's astrological weather chart was vindicated yesterday. We *did* have a proper windstorm, with three lightning strikes and brief power outages. The wind was blowing one raincloud after another past us, and though it rained hard at one point, and then flickered between sun and rain for hours, at the end of it all the sun came out and we had a clear calm night. It was clear enough to see the wee sliver of the new moon in the sky after the sun set. Nice! So I guess the chart for the week is possible to read, I just wish I could pinpoint which *day* a storm I see in it will happen. Yesterday's aspects were a grand trine involving Luna, Neptune and Saturn in water signs, and Venus square Neptune. It made me feel very sleepy, almost entranced while the aspect perfected.
Today Luna is sextile Mars in Taurus. People are determined to use their strength to take care of others, but it feels like slow going, like there aren't enough resources available to do what really needs to get done.
|Monday, May 13th, 2013|
To make it worse, Steve actually flags these assholes down and makes them sit with us.
One time my downstairs neighbor ambushed us at the front door - after I'd spent a long day doing something I didn't want to do and was pretty tired - to tell us that his birthday party was happening _right then_ and we should come down and meet a bunch of people I'd never seen before _right now_. As if. I didn't even like that guy - he would sit under my balcony all day and talk, smoke and hork up whatever was stuck in his lungs. I assumed he was dealing pot, since he had an expensive truck and no apparent life. Well, I didn't go, but Steve did. I guess the dick never forgave me for that. He stopped acting "friendly" (creepily overly-solicitous) and went so far as to train his dogs to bark all afternoon, as well as all night when they weren't at home. I had to move.
One time when I was 19, I was trying to eat a sandwich on my lunch break when a hideously ugly guy yelled at me from a park bench and tried to wave me over. When I ignored him, and then finally got annoyed and walked off, he started screaming insults. This was totally in public with people all around. Later I found out that he owned the hippest nightclub in town, and therefore figured all girls my age who hung out downtown wanted to be his "friend". NOPE. I wasn't even old enough to go yet, and I was certainly not a skanky coke whore trying to starfuck long-haired grunge musicians. Courtney Love was doing exactly that at that very club at the time; I was oblivious to Portland's underworld such as it was but heard about it later. It was awkward being a young hipster because I've never really liked sleaze. It doesn't make me uncomfortable exactly, but it's not my vibe. To start with I dislike the fake smile on top of the ugly look in their eyes. The girls fake-laugh and bare their teeth, mentally stacking the men into a pecking order and selecting their targets accordingly; the men spout bullshit and pull drugs out of their coats. Once the girls know simply everyone they recruit and bring fresh meat into the club, making themselves useful to the drug-providing men. It becomes quite a little family.
Pushy extraverts, though. Have you noticed that they're always stupid - and not only that, they assume that you want them? Gross. They're also usually mean. I wonder if this is what high school cool kids turn into. The female ones try hard with the clothing and accessories, so there's a little more warning to run before they start talking to you - though not always. Their hair is typically unnatural and fancy, OR they've given up on that end and make up for it with sheer aggression: the loud bitch with stones for eyes. I always like to picture the print their face would leave if it were smashed into an airbag. To figure out if guys are like that without actually talking to them first, you usually have to see their car. Brand new truck or SUV? Probably an asshole. BMW? Okay you knew that one.
I mention all this because I can see why people are afraid to be rude to them - they really will lose their shit if you don't waste your time being polite when they want. I can't tell whether it ever occurs to them that you're miserable and hate their fucking guts. I think not. I think they assume you feel honored they're torturing you.
|Mercury is about to get really strong
Ooh, I guess I got the eclipse weather forecast right. We have alternating sun and rain, with gusty winds. This forecast is good until Friday, so it'll be interesting to see whether it stays windy or settles down. I remember another year when the eclipse weather chart produced highly changeable, almost chaotic weather.
I'm still working on the Moon wine calcinination. It caught fire twice but still hasn't burned down all the way. We racked it into a carboy last night, which means I got to taste it now that most of the solids have settled. Dude, it's yellow, and kind of like lemonade. I don't pick up on an almond flavor hardly at all. If I try this again I'm going to cook the almonds into the liquid before I pitch the yeast. I think what I'll do it is add bottling sugar when I rack it the final time, so that it will be carbonated - it might be pretty good foamy and chilled. I really wonder why it came out sour; it's not gross, but kind of puckery.
This is the week that Mercury enters Gemini, his own sign! And he only stays there for a couple of weeks, so we should make the most of it. He'll even be free of combustion because he's moving much faster than the Sun, who won't join him in Gemini until May 20. The only hiccup is Mercury's square with Neptune on Saturday. People will exercise questionable judgment regarding driving and shopping as well as communicating, and will hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe with results that will vary depending how far off their fantasies are from reality - but they will quite intuitive about other things, so this is great for skrying and creative writing. Mercury-Neptune is droll and great for comedy and performances. There can be bullshit, lost items and theft in the worst case scenario, but when Mars and Saturn are not in the picture it's not usually overly malevolent. Be careful with chemicals this weekend, that's another issue - especially those that one inhales. We'll be more sensitive than usual, so it's better to stay sober or only use substances in a ritual or sacred manner Friday night.
The rest of this two-week span should be unbelievably great for all Mercury-ruled endeavors, because check this out: Mercury will be conjunct Venus and Jupiter at the same time! Does it get any better than that? Okay, it would be nice if there wasn't a lunar eclipse on May 24, which is the day Mercury is exactly conjunct Venus - but it's just a penumbral eclipse, in fact visually imperceptible so emotional barely a blip will be felt. I wouldn't even worry about it. The actual annoying thing is that this Full Moon in Sagittarius will be square Neptune, and the reason this is annoying has little to do with Mercury so really it's a separate topic.
Anyway, the good news. Check out Mercury trine Moon in Libra on May 21: awesome. Mercury conjunct Jupiter on Memorial day: totally awesome. Venus conjunct Jupiter May 28: oh baby. This series of aspects is fantastic for signing papers and making purchases as well as for legal matters. So if you plan to buy a car, computer or cell phone, or plan to go on a trip - or even get married if you prefer a cerebral connection - think about this time window. Also good for getting a job relating to communication, sales or software. May 30 looks interesting, with Moon in Aquarius trine Jupiter, Venus and Mercury, though not perfect since Luna is square Mars in the afternoon - that day will be best in the morning. And on May 31, Mercury enters Cancer - Elvis will have left the building, the paparazzi will be bummed, Paris Hilton will start wearing underwear . . . nothing this great can last forever. Not that Mercury in Cancer is *bad*, it's just doesn't keep quite as many balls, batons, flaming torches and chainsaws in the air at once and it also tends to brood over the past (tedious if you don't go in for hearing about people's childhood traumas and parade of dippy exes). Mercury in Gemini however epitomizes the stage magician, and with Neptune jumping in on that this week the illusions he generates could be highly convincing. Come to think of it, if there's a movie you've been meaning to see where special effects are the main draw, then Friday night could be a lot of fun for that.
Fun, you know? Won't that be nice? Finally, a non-dire couple of weeks! Good Mercury times are scarce, so don't miss out. Instead of The Tower we get The Lovers, The Star and The Hierophant (yes, there will be the sharing of many facts and figures), not bad at all. Picture it: in your head, a brain. And in that brain, many thinky thoughts. All of which sound even better as they come out of your mouth. Man I miss times like those - how great will this be? And playful! Like partying with talking otters.