Do what you’re doing when you’re doing it

Large scale natural (and man-made) disasters, like the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, often drive people to come up with ‘explanations’ for why these events happen. Like the response to the tsunami disaster that struck the countries in the Indian Ocean in 2004, I’ve come across a few claims that the ’cause’ of the suffering in Japan today is the ‘result’ of a collective national karma for its past. Depending on which you read, accounts range from their misdeeds during WWII, to their failure to take care of the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki! All of which I personally find pretty outrageous, and the reason why I’m not linking to them — in the age of the Internet, they’re easy enough to find if you’re inclined to look.

I don’t claim to know whether or not it is a collective karma at work. It may well be so, I can’t say. What I’m more intrigued by is the audacity of any one person to claim to know such a thing. I don’t feel particularly well versed in any of the theologies that support the concept of karma, but from my own fledgling and intermittent Buddhist studies, I’ve picked up a sense that the notion of karma, at least in the Buddhist tradition, is far more complex, layered and ineffable to be so crudely applied.

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I write, therefore it is

I decided to buy an astrological datebook this year, after years of relying on electronic calendars. By chance, I picked up a copy of We’Moon 2011, and I really like it.*

Apart from noting lunar cycles, it also gives you daily aspects made by the transit of the moon. Geared towards ‘womyn‘, it aims for a holistic celebration of our common humanity. Its pages also take us beyond the ordinary datebook: they are full of amazing pictures and inspirational writings, poetry, as well as a wealth of astrological information and even an ephemeris. It’s brilliant! Makes me happy to write stuff in it.

I use it to record daily tarot card draws, dreams and other metaphysical phenomena. In the notes pages at the back, I listed my new year’s intentions on the day before the Capricorn solar eclipse, and felt something powerful as the words emerged on the page. As a triple Gemini, I’m as wedded to my computer as anyone else — I used to make these lists on Word, and notes on iCal — but I am slowly recuperating the pleasures of taking pen to paper and savouring their materiality.

* I don’t work for We’Moon! Just sharing my experience of it.

Happiness is …

Mars stationing direct after a long retrograde (since last December) seems to be easing the energy constipation I have been experiencing around me in the past months; not to mention the number of men that seem to have been incapacitated in one way or another — I have lost male colleagues temporarily to illness, broken bones, sprained backs, and other leaves of absence!

Even the mood in my therapy group was much lighter this week compared with the intense self-scrutiny of the past weeks (you might say that that’s what a therapy group is for — yes, but the easing of tension today was quite noticeable). We talked about the things that made us happy, which we almost never do, les misérables that we usually are! :)

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Full Moon in Leo, or how Byron cured my busy work hangover

Byron, 1813-14, R. Westall (1765–1836)

So much has happened for me since the awaited solar eclipse of 15 January that I haven’t had time to process it all, much less try and write about it properly (sorry, Neeti!).

What I can say is there have been flashes of new beginnings for me, but it is too early to tell what they may spark or what shape they may take. Given that the solar eclipse new moon occurred close to my north node and natal Moon, I reckon that what changes it heralds will have to be processed emotionally. What it feels like following my ‘sleepy’ start to January is like the stuff I didn’t have the energy to get to just piled up behind a large hatch. At the eclipse, the hatch was released and all the stuff, junk and jewels both, tumbled out higgledy-piggledy in a crazy mess I’m still slowly trying to sort through.

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Small wonder: Banana pancakes

I have been making banana pancakes.

It’s the only thing I know to do right now in this coffee-press climate of clusterfucks, eclipses, internal turmoil, change, transition, transformation, etc., etc. (I refuse to use the ‘h—–’ and the ‘w—–’ words!).

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Venus retrograde: Reassessing what you value

These are tense times. Scanning the headlines on the Huffington Post makes me dizzy, anxious, and mildly depressed. Trying to fix the world is important, but perhaps the only way to do that is to look within and fix ourselves, if ‘fix’ is even the right word.

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Betty’s back

Not that she’s ever gone away. But that doyenne of masturbation, selfsex, and self-confidence, Betty Dodson, teams up with sex-positive activist and entrepreneur, Carlin Ross, to launch a new website this week that takes her into the 21st century. Given all the repression we still see everywhere, I’d say it might be the 21st century that will have to try and catch up with the irrepressible octogenarian Dodson.

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Sex and Zen II: Quelle probleme?

Part I

Le PenseurWhen asked how to deal with the ‘problem’ of sex, Krishnamurti gave this answer:

Why is it that whatever we touch we turn into a problem? We have made God a problem, we have made love a problem, we have made relationship, living, a problem, and we have made sex a problem Why? Why is everything we do a problem, a horror? Why are we suffering? Why has sex become a problem? Why do we submit to living with problems, why do we not put an end to them? Why do we not die to our problems instead of carrying them day after day, year after year? Sex is certainly a relevant question but there is the primary question, why do we make life into a problem? (The Krishnamurti Reader, 167)

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Waking up your Venus

Aphrodite An astrologer friend casting a brief eye on my chart recently left me with this piece of advice:

‘You need to wake up your Venus.’

Venus in my chart is one I rarely think about, being far more obsessed about Sun-Mercury-Saturn in the sixth house; i.e. the doing aspects of my chart. As a novice astrologer, however, I am also aware that we also have to be our charts. Sometimes, the natal chart is mistakenly treated as a chart of limitations — this is who you are — a set of characteristics written in stone. I much prefer to think of the chart as who one can become — that is, the task of the subject in this life is to manifest the chart’s potential.

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Mussel bound

I live along some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, and — inexplicably — also with some of the worst seafood cuisine in the world.

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