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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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.

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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Poll: Neptune direct — sleep, and perchance to dream?

I don’t often take naps. When I do, it feels like a luxury. And I definitely felt like one today after a very long few months, and took it. A cue from Neptune direct (see also) perhaps, to give the psyche a break, a rest, and a chance to recuperate. Dreams were strange too.

Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
— William Shakespeare, Macbeth II.ii

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Doing nothing: When and where

I spent most of a three-day weekend at a friend’s place (two hours away from me) not doing very much… It depends on what you mean by ‘doing’ anything, of course.

South American sea lions

South American sea lions

It occurred to me that doing ‘nothing’ at home is not quite the same experience as ‘doing’ nothing someplace else.

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Break up songs: the Zen pick

Annie of CafeAstrology Relationships posted a list of break up songs. All great choices.

It might date me a bit, but personally, ABBA works for me, weirdly enough; especially the late-career songs mirroring the group members’ own failing relationships.

Anyway, here’s one that speaks to the Zen approach to break-ups, I think. Lyrics below the break.

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Down the (rabbit) hole


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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‘Peace is this moment without judgement’

Broken Mirror As the Moon conjuncts Pluto in Capricorn and buried emotions rise to the surface, I was originally intending to blog about a heartbreaking experience that happened to me recently. My natal moon is in Capricorn (trine Pluto = Hades Moon!) and Eric Francis writes about how Capricorn moons often have their hearts shattered; well, I feel like it’s still holding together — sort of like seeing cracks in the glass but the shape is visibly intact. At the tipping point, I can shatter or I can reconfigure the shards, and right now, I choose the latter.

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Grateful for zazen

862412_hand_of_buddha The past few months have been rather trying, and while I can easily point to Pluto (see past few posts), ‘blaming’ the transits is missing the point. Life happens. Learning about Pluto is a means of understanding what’s happening. A means of coping with it is practice.

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Rainbow connections

The mood of the times is such that we need to be reminded of rainbows from time to time.

Here’s a cloud-chasing, funk-busting, happy-making video for all. I bow in gratitude to those dedicated to making us smile.

The rough beast slouches, or Pluto on the move II

Part I.

In honour of the ‘rough beast’ that is Pluto, I offer you W.B. Yeats’ powerful poem, ‘The Second Coming’ (1920).

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Image: Xylophanes Pluto, or Pluto Sphinx moth.

Wholesome Matt-ness

This is one of those life-affirming things that deserves as much publicity as it gets.

I first read of it on Robert Wilkinson’s site, then found the homepage.

It’s one of those things that makes me feel like the world is in fact less crazy than it appears.

Thank you, Matt, and keep dancing.


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