Death and Facebook

I experienced my first Facebook bereavement today. A friend of mine whom I didn’t realise had cancer had passed on, and I only found out when his brother (whom I didn’t know) sent me a Facebook message and broke the news.

I try and cultivate the responsible use of Facebook, carefully managing my privacy settings and posting only news of genuine amusement or interest (as opposed to flooding others’ newsfeed with Farmville updates). I know Facebook has its critics but it appeals to my Gemini Sun and my Aquarian 3rd house, and I use it to support existing relationships.

Still, nothing prepared me for the news of a relationship prematurely terminated in this manner. And yet, I am grateful for it, for I might never have found out otherwise.

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Pluto in Capricorn at the movies

In 2009, I posted that Disney Pixar’s Up, an animated film featuring a septuagenarian as its key protagonist is unprecented. I surmised that this reflected the new age of Pluto in Capricorn, where our perceptions about age (Capricorn) are being transformed (Pluto). That the film is an animated feature aimed at children is also significant in that the sign of Capricorn, while representing age and wisdom, produces natives who are supposed to get younger as they grow older.

Up proved phenomenal success, earning nearly US$300 million in the US alone and $450 million in the rest of the world, hugely profitable given that the production budget was about $175 million (source: Box Office Mojo). Grumpy old Carl became a household face in weeks. Sure, there have been films about old people getting young, and Ron Howard’s 1985 Cocoon is one example, but the pensioners in Cocoon eventually had to leave on a spaceship to retain their youthfulness. Carl is old and youthful.

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Healing Pluto Problems

In honour of Pluto going direct on 11 September 2009, I thought I’d share some thoughts about Donna Cunningham‘s book, Healing Pluto Problems, whose title I’ve borrowed for the title of this post.

I picked up this book on Neith’s recommendation. It is not as heavy-going as Judy Hall’s Hades Moon, which I’ve written about here and also like for different reasons. Rather, Cunningham’s book contextualises Plutonian issues (deep transformation, sex, death, guilt, resentment and so on) in terms of the things one can do to mitigate their effects, whether one is the Plutonian or on the receiving end of one. And it could well be both — Plutonians tend to attract other Plutonians.

Being a Plutonian herself, Cunningham exhibits great empathy for the depth and intensity of Plutonian feelings. If there are ‘problems’ with being Plutonian, it is not the natures of Plutonians that are put on the line, only a lack of understanding (and resources) in wider society to address them. The book does not victimise Plutonian native either — each one is required to take responsibility for their own actions and feelings, and the author is quick to point out that the unevolved can quite easily turn their Plutonian power on others and themselves.

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‘Active laziness’

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (1992) is an interpretation for the modern world by Sogyal Rinpoche a collection of texts commonly known as the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Sogyal Rinpoche interprets some of the ideas from the ancient texts for the modern world, and argues that the lack of respect for death in the modern world prevents us from living life to its fullest potential. This is not, however, license for hedonism, to do what you like, ‘cos we’re all dying anyway’. It is, in fact, a call for more responsible living, rather than less. Death is a fact of life, and death is encountered in every facet of life, not just the physical — we may experience the death of an idea, the death of a relationship, a feeling, a way of life, and so on. In other words, death speaks to impermanence. The death of our physical bodies is just one aspect of that process.

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Down the (rabbit) hole

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I came across this poem in Sogyal Rinpoche‘s The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (1992) (Will say more about the book another time).

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Hades Moon II: The darkness that is mine

Parts I and III.

cups05Judy Hall’s book spooked me (in a good way) because nearly everything she described about the Hades Moon I recognised from my own life. Now, I like working with astrology, but there are times when the general descriptions in astrology ‘cookbooks’ don’t necessarily apply, and thus require creative interpretation. Because Hall’s book focuses on individuals with the Pluto-Moon aspects, and thus their specific life circumstances, description and implication of the aspect become that much more personal and vivid. The Hades Moon is not about behaviour or circumstance but about psychic experience so deep there are few words to describe it.

Until I read Eric Francis’ delineation of the Capricorn Moon, I could never really identify with textbook descriptions of the Cap moon as ambitious, money-grabbing, and so on. It is likely that many with Cap moons come across that way because they channel their repressed emotions into tangible achievements, as if to say ‘If my material circumstances are okay, I’m okay’. The impact of Pluto aspecting this fragile but tough moon never really crossed my mind until, in consultation with Eric Francis himself one day, he said, ‘Pluto aspecting your moon gives me the sense of hanging onto a cliff by your fingertips’. He meant having both planets at their anaretic degrees, or the last degrees of the signs. My Pluto at 29+° Virgo was in exact trine to my moon at 29+° Capricorn.

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The rough beast slouches, or Pluto on the move I

Pluto has finally turned direct a couple of days ago after months in retrograde for its last tour of the last few degrees of Sagittarius. And I think we’re all feeling it in various ways. What is likely to be common for many is the theme of death and rebirth, metaphorically speaking. What is outmoded — lifestyles, ideas, institutions — must be destroyed and something else rebuilt.

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