Thursday, June 30, 2011

Crabby Moon...

Friday (July 1st) is a New Moon in Cancer, with the added punch of a partial lunar eclipse. Cancer is ruled by the moon which gives this New moon cycle extra power, in addition to the energy added by the eclipse. Eclipses speed things up. Make things happen. They put things into a position where they demand your attention. So get ready...

I did my usual mass reading of info for the coming moon. Cancer delves into the feminine aspect of things. Sensitivity, protection, nurturing. It also involves dreams and imagination. 4th House themes are very strong...hearth, home, and family are in the forefront. It's important to shift your attentions to familial relationships and to restoring harmony where there is discord. Nurture others, but also look inwardly and focus on your personal needs. It's important to "learn to feed your soul, and honor your innermost feelings".
The majority of the zodiacal interpretations I read around the new and full moons have their subtle differences, but they were pretty unanimous on this forecast. The partial eclipse that is accompanying this moon is the third and final eclipse for the period that began at the beginning of June. The general consensus is that it is time to grasp this new moon/new beginning with both hands and get cracking on addressing the remaining issues discovered with the past two eclipses. It's time to put things into action, so we can put our ducks in a row and move forward with a fresh perspective. Look for the effects of this new moon cycle to hang around for awhile...up to six months. No specific timeline...I guess it depends on how long it takes for those issues that remain to get resolved.

Personally, I have some issues that I had almost closed the door on. Frustratingly enough, that door is being wrenched back open by someone completely unrelated to the original issues. Old buttons are being punched. Nothing a series of primal screams and several rounds with a heavy bag wouldn't cure...sigh...what to do, what to do...I think I'll hit up Ms. MacLaine for the more productive help of a Chakra meditation. All I know is that focusing my energies on myself to help me deal with and close the door on this insane making subject...well, it definitely sounds good to me.'s hoping it doesn't take the next six months... ;)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Rain Came...

Finally! We finally had some formidable rain here. Threats of possible thunder storms have been made for several weeks now, but the most we would get would be the occassional sprinkle. The sky would flash and wail, but hopes would be dashed and another day would pass without event. In our mid-afternoon that all changed. I could almost hear Savannah issue a sigh of much needed relief.

The cloying moisture in the air was replaced by a pleasant cooling rainfall that fell pretty consistently throughout the afternoon and into the evening. It did vary in intensity over the hours, but it's effects were immense. The ground has been supplied with valuable moisture, and the air that has been thick with smoke and fire debris is clear. At least for the moment. I could tell a difference immediately.

The sound of rain is one of the most soothing sounds around. I could be holding the weight of the world on my shoulders, but a thunderstorm can lift it away in no time. The sound, the accompanying breezes...even the smell of the rain. A clean earthy aroma that announces the impending drops before they even start to fall.

I had a quick errand to run and decided to take Glenn's truck rather than try to wade through the wide river of drop dimpled run-off rushing down the road to get to the car. As I neared the vicinity of the mailbox kiosk I learned that my decision had been a good one. What had been a river by my neck of the condos quickly turned into an ocean. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the twin wakes the truck tires were cutting in the expanse of water. It gave the illusion of the truck gliding along on ski's. I was glad to be up high in the truck seat rather than low to the water's surface in the Audi. I had visions of flooded floorboards...not a good scene...

As I got dinner underway, the sky darkened as the storm grew in fierceness and evening took over. The rhythmic drumming of rain on the deck above ours, the grass covered ground, leaves, was a meditative symphony of calm. The growing darkness just added to the mood. The Tuscan stone tiles I put in the entryway in back were slick and shone deep grey under the flashes of lightning. I usually stray far away from using the flash when I take pictures. I prefer the look of natural lighting. However, there are short periods of time in the hours between the afternoon and evening when the use of the flash can create some dark and moody photographs. Almost like a glimpse at a different side of the world. Yes, some of the pictures I get are a bit distorted, but there is something haunting about them that I really like. Like the stone tiles above, and the shot below of the tidal creek and confederate jasmine as seen through the screened porch door.

The rain today was sublime. It came not a moment too soon. I hope the next passing storm stays for awhile, too. And soon.

My Visitor...

The end of June is within reach. Summer is well underway, humidity's damp cloak enveloping this southern region of the US of A. Every day is a mirror image of the next here. Hot and sunny days (in the 90's) with or without a smattering of white billowy clouds. Always accompanied by the frequently empty promise of possible scattered/isolated thunderstorms. Daily the skies will shift to varying shades of grey, a moody breeze swirling up from nowhere. The darkening world of evening will pass over us. Distant storm clouds rumble sending hopeful waves of anticipation. We may have the continual damp of high humidity, but we are experiencing a drought here. I have always been enamored of rain, and at the moment it is a luxury I crave.

Night before last (Monday) I headed out for one of my short but therapeutic walks. I had looked out the glass doors off the kitchen and saw the muted light of darkening skies. The tree branches and puffy garlands of Spanish moss were swirling in strong breezes. It appeared to be my kind of evening...but here so many of them are.

Camera in hand, I opened the front door expecting the usual warmth and moisture hanging thickly in the air. There was a moist feel to the air, but it was lessened by the playful breezes. The temperature also seemed to be a bit lower than usual. Yes, all of that was immediately apparent, but there was something else.

Walking down the sidewalk, my eyes were drawn to the beautiful blue-grey of the sky. The trees looked like the black paper of silhouette art, flat and stark. There was an energy I had missed. An energy I know all too well. I was standing at the front of my building looking across the grassy expanse between parking areas. Looking at the far buildings dotted intermittently by orange balls of lamp light. In that moment I felt myself take in a deep lungful of my visitor. Autumn had stopped by to say, hello. To remind me that it was not that far off. That the next couple or so months would go by quickly, and to never fear. If I'm patient, I just might not melt after all.

I had intended to write this post in the wee hours of Tuesday morning while the experience was still fresh. Distractions presented themselves as they are wont to do, so I wasn't able to settle down for it until now. The wait was actually a benefit. Tuesday brought summer's heat and humidity back in full force. The delay in sharing has allowed me to re-experience that evening in my memory. To re-run it.

Okay, autumn. I will see you soon.

Paranormal TV...

As someone who has experienced haunting's first hand, I watch my share of 'paranormal' television. There are quite a few shows currently airing on a number of channels, but in comparison to the number of shows that are airing and have aired over the last few years, my list of regular paranormal based viewing is rather short. Two main reasons for that. First, who (other than people who have nothing better to do) has time to watch every show that's on? Not I. Second, not all of them are that intriguing and they are rife with annoying added effects.

As a kid, I used to love to watch the Leonard Nimoy narrated "In Search Of" (aired 1976-1982). Especially when it was about ghosts. Other shows that followed were "Unsolved Mysteries" with Robert Stack (1987-2002), and a show that aired on the Sci-fi Channel called "Sightings" (early 1990's). (Most of the older shows were comprised of a few stories each episode, but not all of them were about ghosts, etc.) Then in October of 2000, supernatural TV seemed to go through some changes. Within my personal memory banks (my brain), that's when the shows focusing on paranormal investigation truly began.

"Scariest Places On Earth" was the first hour-long paranormal investigation based show I can remember seeing. Hosted by Linda Blair of "Exorcist" fame, and narrated by Zelda Rubenstein (best known as the short and quirky medium in "Poltergeist"), a family of five or six people were blind folded and taken to a famously haunted location where they would engage in their own ghost hunt. "Scariest Places" had it's interesting moments, most of them with a serious humor factor. Honestly, some of the people were so scared it was comical...why they agreed to go if they were that terrified is beyond me.

Then there was MTV's foray into "reality" based ghost shows with "Fear". "Fear" had some definite 'what the hell was that?!' moments. Like "Scariest Places", a group of non-professional hunters were involved. The differences here were that none of those involved knew each other prior to the show; they were left at the famously haunted location on their own; they operated from a 'safe room' filled with necessary equipment (digital recorders, various cameras, etc.) and computers with their instructions for the night. It was kind of a one night 'Real World' moment with ghostly activity thrown in. (Andy Dick did a hilarious skit on his MTV show based on 'Fear'...he investigates a .99 Cent store.) Before the group of curious teenagers arrived, surveillance cameras were installed in the various areas they would be sent to, so there was other footage of supposed activity. Unfortunately, it was a short lived show. Some pretty compelling video was caught on "Fear", and I must say that a lot of what was heard (things going bump) was shared with the viewer. This particular point leads me into the main focus of this post.

As I mentioned before, I have a short list of paranormally based shows that I watch regularly. Most have a more open minded approach and don't automatically call every occurrence an act of 'spirits'. Having watched most of these shows past and present, I'm going to mention some of the good and the bad. I'll start with the 'bad'.

During it's early days on The Travel Channel, I started watching a British show called "Most Haunted". The UK is filled with purported haunts, and many were featured on the show. The historians on each episode gave some very interesting facts and folk lore on each location, and I do truly think that some regular members of the investigation team were trying to find some actual proof of preternatural goings on. Then again, maybe I'm giving the show more credit than it deserves. My main problem with the show from the get go was the host, Yvette Fielding. Ms. Fielding is (to date) the most irritating person on any show of this genre I have ever seen. Not only would she not shut up, talking over everything we viewers were trying to hear for ourselves, she would scream incessantly. In the second season or so, even her fellow team members were telling her to shut up...yes, it was that bad. Then there was psychic Derek Acorah. I fully believe in psychics, and maybe Mr. Acorah is a legitimate talent, dunno. He was just a bit over the top with his moments. I also have always taken those psychics who take money for their services to be a bit suspect. There have been a few psychics among my friends over the years, and they just saw it as an added ability and would never want to take money for anything they 'saw'. Charlatan mediums are some of the biggest con artists around, building their supposed visions/sights on the reactions of and nuggets of information provided by people around them. Before I go any further, the following video is an example of blatant fakery on "Most Haunted" as initiated by Ms. Fielding:

Yvette is very obviously moving the table herself. I had sensed that the 'wool was being pulled' on more than one occasion, and a plethora of information to support my suspicions was easily available online. Faked knocks, faked table tipping (as seen in the video above), obviously scripted "scenes" from an episode. The show quickly became exiled from my list. A shame, really. The sites they visited are ones I find quite interesting. I would jump at the chance to visit them myself. What could have been a legitimate paranormal investigation always seemed to be full of parlor tricks and bad acting. "Most haunted" is no longer on the air...color me disappointed...not.

The most recent spook filled addition to The Travel channel's line-up is "Ghost Adventures". I have attempted to sit through a few of the episodes, but it is just so formulaic (yes, paranormal TV has gotten to the 'formulaic' stage in many regards) and the host, Zak Bagans, is so annoying. For me to want to watch something I need to be entertained. That doesn't mean that every claim has to be verified and linked solidly to the supernatural. Sometimes reports of spirit orbs turn out to be flecks of dust drifting through the air; energy fields both natural and man made can cause anomalous readings; and so on and so forth. Some history is always welcome, either of the site or the reported paranormal events. One of the chief elements essential to my continuing to spend time in front of the tube is a decent host or hosts. Some likable investigatory team members are important, too. Since I have been watching a healthy amount of ghost stories, I am acquainted with the bulk of the better known haunts. I have upon occasion even watched a show and have ended up knowing more about a location than the investigators. Every episode of "Ghost Adventures" that I have attempted has been based around a location I've already seen a lot about. For the sake of this blog post, I decided to punch up an episode on NetFlix so I could view an installment in it's entirety. Impressed I wasn't. I'm going to take a brief side trip here: When I was in college we had a drinking game we would play during re-runs of 'The Bob Newhart Show' was called Bob. Every time someone said 'Bob' on the show you were supposed to drink. They said 'Bob' a lot, so you know what the draw was for us college rebels (hehe). For the number of times Bagans says 'dude', we all would have been hammered to the point of black-out. Gelled spiky hair (or maybe it's ectoplasm...), tight black t-shirt and jeans...Bagans looks like a cross between a Henry Rollins wanna-be and an aged boy band member. Yes, I realize that the show probably has a healthy viewership of young females, but this guy is trying way too hard. I am not saying that he doesn't know what he's doing as an investigator. I am sure he is well learned in the field. Personally, I find him a tad annoying and nothing he covers is anything I haven't already seen. I need more solids with my fluff, if you catch my drift. Actually, the catalyst for this post was an even more recent show on Travel that is also hosted by Bagans. "Paranormal Challenge" is a competition show, and signals the complete Hollywood-ification of the genre. Two up and coming paranormal investigation teams are put in a haunted location, given the necessary equipment, and are challenged to find evidence proving that there is indeed paranormal activity there. The two teams go up before three 'professional' ghost hunter judges and Bagans to present their findings. The first time I saw an ad for the show I was bummed. The lines between one of my main points of interests (hauntings) and 'reality' (I use the term loosely) competitions has been!

Since its start, I would have to say that one of the most widely known of the shows is "Ghost Hunters" on the SyFy Channel. Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson the head honchos of the 'Hunters' team seem like nice guys. I think they are quite knowledgeable and I dig the fact that they look for scientific explanations before giving way to paranormal causes. In my opinion it is the logical approach. I do put it on as background noise while I'm doing other stuff, but it ceased to be something I could really sit and get into awhile back. Why? It's boring. Steve and Dave the two chief team members that we spend quite a bit of time with are just as dull as dish water. Watching paint dry would be preferable. I didn't mention this in the last critiques, but something that really seemed to become popular in the early days of "Ghost Hunters" was the use of background music and noises, and the infernal fake green "night scope" effect. First, the background is so frustrating and, yes, infuriating for the investigators on the show to say something to the effect of, "Oh my God! Did you hear that?!", when my only response is "NO I DIDN'T! All I can here is the 'spooky' background music and canned effects that your editors added in during post!" Then there's the EVP, or Electronic Voice Phenomenon, where an investigator asks questions hoping for spirits to leave verbal responses on their digital recorders. During the phase of the investigation where they go through the data collected looking for evidence, they will supposedly find something. They play it back on the show for the viewers to hear, and many times it just sounds like gibberish. Then a team member will say "Wow, did you hear that? It said 'GET OUT!' " No, it didn't, but now that you suggested that it said that, that's all anyone will hear when you play it back. Sheesh. Now for the green night vision is extremely obvious during these times that the area they are in is clearly lit. I think they believe that viewers will forget the fact that they have an additional camera crew following them around on the investigations. Those guys usually use camera lighting. Also, if you pay attention, you will notice the team spotting and looking at things that they couldn't have possibly seen since they are supposedly in pitch darkness. It is very common for them to actually be in a room with some form of light. The industry standard appears to be the use of the green lens for spooky effect. I am not saying that they never use night vision, but not with the regularity that you are led to believe.

Now I am going to get into the realm of what I watch regularly. The Animal Planet Channel has a show called "The Haunted". This isn't so much an investigation show, but they do have segments where a team is called in. This show centers around people who have experienced some serious haunting activity, and have contacted outside help in the form of paranormal Investigators. It's pretty interesting. I have lived in two haunted locations over the years, and although my experiences weren't malevolent I know what it's like to have an other worldly room mate. The accounts on "The Haunted" involve pets (they kind of need to if they are going to be on Animal Planet), and over all have been interesting tales. Narrated in places, it is chiefly built on interviews with the actual people involved and re-enactments where necessary. I recommend it.

Another show that involves individuals recounting their personal experiences through personal interview and re-enactments is the Biography Channel's "Celebrity Ghost Stories". Each episode usually has three or four story tellers from various levels of fame sharing a ghostly experience from their past. Some of them are fascinating and seem genuine, and others have the feel of being embellished a bit. After all, a number of those featured on this one are actors, writers...embellishing is kind of their job. But then again, who am I to say that they aren't telling the absolute truth? I know what I have been through and I am sure that there are some who would not believe me. To each his own. Anyway, the thing I find funny about this show is how many of the stories 'fit' the sharer. For example, Joan Collins' experience took place at a villa in Europe somewhere, and it involved the irate ghost of a countess (or a similar gal of the 'upper crust'). Sounded like the plot of a Halloween episode of 'Dynasty'. Marilyn Manson's involved some dark woods, a book of witchcraft, a concrete room below an abandoned housing foundation, and what he thought to be demonic activity. See what I mean? The experiences fit their personas. I don't catch all of the episodes when they first air, but tend to catch up with them upon re-air...they re-show this one frequently. I'll give this one a recommend, too.

The last show I am going to comment on is at the top of my list. "Paranormal State" airs on A&E, and is the main show I schedule time for. Ryan Buell and crew are all students at Penn State, and met through their common experiences/interests in the paranormal. The investigations Buell and Co. embark on are by request. Individuals who are having paranormal problems contact them, and they pick the most severe cases. They assist those who are in the greatest need of help. Dark hauntings and sometimes even the demonic are encountered, as well as a fair share of the harmless but annoying. There is a definite religious presence with the team (priests have been enlisted on many occasions), but for those who aren't necessarily of the religious bent there is a wiccan on the team, and the religious side of things isn't rammed down anyone's throat (so to speak). They show an all encompassing spiritual sensibility that I appreciate.

Buell might be seen as overly intense by some, but I just find him to be serious about what he's doing. He is on his own personal quest to learn more about the paranormal because of his own experiences, but at the heart of each episode...when all is said and done...I think he just wants to help people. Buell is a young man with a very comforting yet authorotative air to him. His team seems equally capable. There are three main psychics they use on most of their excursions: Chip Coffey (my favorite...a fellow Atlanta native), Michelle Belanger, and the well known Lorraine Warren. Do the Penn State gang try to find scientific explanations first? Absolutely. They employ all of the same tools of the trade as everyone else. However, they don't use some of the "tricks" of the trade that other shows use. There isn't the usual over produced background nonsense drowning out the things I most want to hear...what they hear. If any EVPs are collected, I am allowed to hear it clearly, and don't have someone telling me what I'm supposed to hear. Here's a biggie for me...when you see things in night vision, it's actually night vision. A lot of the investigations are shown as they are conducted, in a semi-lit environment. If you see the dark green of a night vision camera on the screen, then you know that the people being filmed are in complete darkness. I appreciate the honesty.

"Paranormal State" is the only paranormal show I have seen that is of the quality I want to see in a half-hour format. You don't see the added unnecessary footage of tech cabling cameras, etc. No fluff. Other shows on the air ("Ghost Hunters", "Ghost Adventures") could learn from them. If you are looking for a chill or two, "State" definitely delivers. I definitely give this one two thumbs up.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Solstice, 2011...

The Summer Solstice occurred on Tuesday, June 21st, at 1:16 PM in the US. The longest day of the year when the sun meets the Tropic of Cancer. Here in Savannah it was the hottest...well the hottest so far. In many ways I wish it turned out to be the hottest (around 100 degrees). I know that here in the deep south, there are days to come that the temperature will rise higher than that. Damn...

The Earth absorbs heat. That means that the first day of summer is actually not the hottest day of the year as some think. In the few days before and after the summer solstice, the earth's oceans and atmosphere act as a 'heat sink', absorbing the intense heat of the solstice. It actually takes several weeks for that heat to be released, causing July and August to be even hotter. "Sol" and "stice" are derived from a combination of Latin words meaning "sun" and "to stand still". We in the northern hemisphere are the closest to the sun, where as the southern hemisphere is embarking on their period of winter. I'm wishing I was in the southern hemisphere...

Personally, I am not a fan of the summer. When was I born? July...under the fire sign of Leo. My reigning planet is the sun. Go figure. If I were to rank the four seasons, one being my favorite and four being my least favorite...summer would definitely be number four. I have never had a good relationship with the blazing Sol. No matter what grade of sunblock I put on, I always seem to fry like bacon. That fact has always prompted me to joke that I am part vampire...but not the glittery kind...

From a celebratory standpoint, the summer solstice marks another place on the pagan calendar. Fires are lit, prayers are burned. Renewal is in the air. Sun, fertility, and marriage. Whoopee. I enjoy the onset of a new period of a rebirth, as it were. The heat...I can do without.

To all of the pagans, Blessed be and merry meet. To everyone else. ARGH!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Addendum To Last Post / "Smoke On The Water"...

Since I had gone out for a couple of errands earlier today (it was around 1:00 PM, or so), I was rather surprised when I looked out the glass doors off the kitchen (around 5:45 PM). The smoke in the air was obviously thicker than it had been earlier in the day.

The moment I opened the glass door to go into the screened in porch, I was hit with the strong smell of something burning. It smelled like the biggest bonfire in the world was billowing smoke from close by. Not altogether unpleasant, but very earthy and pungent with smoldering wood. The above picture was taken just in back of the condo here. The tide was obviously out. I think most who view the photo without the knowledge of it being smoke might think it to be fog. Take it from is smoke, and it is thick.

I decided to walk back down to the location of the pictures from my last post for comparison.

Evidence of a change was huge over by the marsh. Usually when I look across the expanse I can see the land on the far side. This particular time I could barely make out anything. It is not apparent in these photos of the bridge, but the cars coming from Tybee Island all had their lights on as testament to the dense haze.

As a final example of what it's like here in Savannah on the Georgia coast, I created a comparison. The photo on your left is an earlier shot. The one on the right is from this evening. No wonder my nose is burning, and I'm suffering from a sinus headache...

Smoke On The Water...

Well, not so thick in the last day or two, but still a bit noticeable. Wild fires have been hitting the south. The first I noticed the change in our air quality was about a week or so ago. I was heading out to run an errand, and was immediately struck by how hazy it was. It was during the mid-morning hours and true it is not uncommon to encounter some mist in the air either due to encroaching rain or just plain old overcast humidity. This was different. I knew on sight that it was smoke. Having lived in Los Angeles, California, for roughly 18 years I have seen more than my share of smoke filled skies due to brush fires. I've even experienced snow fall in the form of ash. That was an odd sensation...driving through Santa Monica and having to utilize my windshield wipers to keep the windshield free of ash. No ash present in my current situation (thankfully). Just varying levels of smokey air.

The first day or two of our smokey skies was apparently due to fires in Florida. More recently, fires roughly 75 to 100 miles south of us have been burning away just this side (the Georgia side) of our border with Florida, a huge blaze in some swamp areas. In a previous post I mentioned the massive storm front we had plow through here a few nights ago. It grumbled, flashed, dumped some much needed rain, and blew over by morning. Was it welcome? Absolutely! Did it help extinguish the fires to the south? Unfortunately, no. The fires blaze on.

The marsh here always expresses a mood of one kind or another. The climate has been hot and muggy, the southern humidity making it's presence known as it always does in summer. This year there is a slight difference. The brilliant blue of the sky is up there, but it's only clearly seen upon higher scrutiny. The grey and amber haze of the wild fires has created a muted layer of lethargy that hugs the horizon line. However, this too shall pass.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that these fires will be extinguished before they spread.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lunar Eclipse & Full Moon...Both of Which I Missed...

(Almost Full Moon, June 14, 2011 ~ Photo: Lisa Erin Brown)

Today was not only a Full Moon in the sign of Sagittarius, it was also a total lunar eclipse. Regretfully, the eclipse took place during daytime hours here in the US, so I had to miss witnessing it for myself. I was only able to experience June's Full Moon last night when it was a mere percentage point or so away from full. The moon reached it's complete orb status this afternoon during daylight hours here, so I wasn't able to see it. No viewing of the actual full moon. No viewing of the total lunar eclipse. Was looking forward to seeing more of a close-to-full moon tonight, but our skies became cloudy as dusk fell. A massive storm front came barreling into Savannah a few moments ago and has started dumping rain on us in a fury. A huge clap of thunder just shook the nearby window glass in it's frame. Rain is another thing I absolutely love and as Savannah appears to be headed into a period of drought it is extremely welcome. Didn't get to see the moon tonight, but the rain is a more than fair trade.

On to today's Full Moon in Sagittarius. I do a lot of reading during these times. Although the various astrological forecasts I read have similarities, the many and varied authors of these reports impart their own impressions. Some write from a more technical perspective naming planets and their places in the grand scheme of it all..."lunation axis", "natal charts", ascending this and transitioning that. I find it all interesting and informative, but sometimes I just want to read a simple, comprehensive approach to what the particular moon position and accompanying sign means for the particular time concerned.

This is an amalgamation of forecasts I've read for this full moon period. It's pretty concise, but just think of it as a Reader's Digest version. These days that's what I'm kind of looking for. My arthritis (which I feel I'm too young to be plagued with) has been flaring in my right hand (my dominant one), so I haven't been feeling the best. Short and to the point is where I'm at.

With Sagittarius we are passing through a time of reflection and expansion. A time to look within ourselves to heal. To see past our individual struggles and learn from them. To stop pointing a finger of blame elsewhere. Look squarely at what is bugging us, deal with it, and move on. Let go of all that needless negativity. When you let something go, take a good look at how it got tangled up inside you in the first place. Do you have automatic internal devices that you throw out to defend yourself, or are you just keeping life at bay to avoid dealing with it? I think we all do that to an extent. Now is the time to really look at how you cope with things and make some serious changes. Whatever is throwing up walls, identify it, face it, and toss it away so you can move on. I've got my share of that stuff, and had been going through that mental process before I even read any of the forecasts. Funny how stuff like that happens.

The other thing that kept popping up was that there could very well be communication issues within various relationships. For the coming few months it was advised that we really need to stop, consider what we say, and how we say it. Many of the forecasts also said to be prepared for things to start coming to the surface to be dealt with. It won't be easy, but facing them and working them to resolution so they can be released is the way to go. In my experience, anything that needs to be consciously "released" isn't going to be easy to process. If it was something easy to deal with, it would have passed by unnoticed.

Finally, this is a time of completion and change. Things may seem to be blowing up in our faces, but it's important to sift through everything and brush off the not so pleasant pieces that may be there to see the important aspects and facilitate change through those. Things may fall apart, and the accompanying emotions may be difficult to handle, but it's important to feel them and maybe even teach ourselves new ways to process those things we find the most difficult. The sense I got is that we are going to go through a mental, emotional, and spiritual internal housecleaning whether we want to or not, but by working through all of it we'll learn some much needed lessons and come out the other side with a new perspective.

We had the partial lunar eclipse of June 1st; the total lunar eclipse of June 15th (today); next up up is a partial lunar eclipse on July 1st. The next partial eclipse of July 1st will be during the new moon in Cancer that falls on the same day.

Now I think I'll go enjoy some of the storm.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Have Returned...

I have been slightly absent from my blog as of late. Was taking a little time to start a photo blog on Tumblr. It appears to be a great venue for the posting of pictures, but I started to feel old. Rather quickly, too. You follow people and are followed much like you are here in the world of Blogger. The difference? As far as I can tell the large majority of Tumblr-ers are young. Well, younger than me, anyway. A lot of young girls/gals smitten with teen idols long past and present. I'm not in the market for participation in an online version of interactive Tiger Beat Magazine, so my time on Tumblr is looking like it will be short lived. Oh well. I have my blog here. I'm very glad to be redirecting my time and energy back here where it belongs.

There is no particular reason for this post other than to say I am still around. I have a couple of posts brewing so more is to come.

The poem below has no other purpose than to share a piece by my favorite poet, Pablo Neruda. The majority of his work is really romantic. Steamy even. If you ever have need of a poem to give your love, his work will definitely fill your needs. This particular poem, "Cat's Dream", is not necessarily romantic, but it is a favorite of mine.


Cat's Dream
by Pablo Neruda

How neatly a cat sleeps,
sleeps with its paws and its posture,
sleeps with its wicked claws,
and with its unfeeling blood,
sleeps with all the rings--
a series of burnt circles--
which have formed the odd geology
of its sand-colored tail.

I should like to sleep like a cat,
with all the fur of time,
with a tongue rough as flint,
with the dry sex of fire;
and after speaking to no one,
stretch myself over the world,
over roofs and landscapes,
with a passionate desire
to hunt the rats in my dreams.

I have seen how the cat asleep
would undulate, how the night
flowed through it like dark water;
and at times, it was going to fall
or possibly plunge into
the bare deserted snowdrifts.
Sometimes it grew so much in sleep
like a tiger's great-grandfather,
and would leap in the darkness over
rooftops, clouds and volcanoes.

Sleep, sleep cat of the night,
with episcopal ceremony
and your stone-carved moustache.
Take care of all our dreams;
control the obscurity
of our slumbering prowess
with your relentless heart
and the great ruff of your tail.

Friday, June 3, 2011

R.I.P. James Arness...

Known to many as sheriff Matt Dillon on TV's western series "Gunsmoke", actor James Arness died today of natural causes at the age of 88. (For the next time you play Trivial Pursuit, Arness was brother to another actor, Peter Graves, who did in March of last year of a heart attack at age 83.)

As I said, most know him for his role on "Gunsmoke", but I remember him for a classic science fiction film called "The Thing From Another World" (since I'm a sci-fi geek). At a tall 6'6", Arness was quite effective as the thawed out alien. Thought I would give James a parting nod, and share this nicely put together video based on the film that I found on YouTube. The movie was later re-made by director John Carpenter..."The Thing" starring Kurt Russell. The re-make is a great film in it's own right, but the original is well worth a look if you haven't seen it. Classic.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

No Moon On Monday...

The absence of the moon in the sky gives everything a moodier feel. I know that the celestial orb is hanging up there per usual, but as with every new moon we can't see it with the naked eye. Shadows caused by the moon's glow aren't present at these times. There are plenty of dark spaces...they are just created by absence of light rather than the shadows caused by the directed light of a partial to full moon. These times are equally as mystical and mysterious as when the moon is in full glow, projecting the sun's fire from the other side of the planet.

The sky was a beautiful shade of blue on my short evening walk. Without the moon's beams, the trees looked flat, and one-dimensional. They looked like they had been meticulously cut from black felt and laid against the sky.

The only immediate light sources were of an electrical nature. Headlights of cars in the distance as they made their way back from Tybee Island (it was Memorial Day's end). The few street lamps dotting the drive through the condos, accompanied by a sprinkling of porch lights. Whenever I go out for a stroll, I'm usually looking up in admiration of the moon and the stars. Since the moon was on break I focused more on my immediate vicinity down here on planet earth.

I am not a big fan of the camera flash. I do use it from time to time, but I prefer to turn it off. For me the flash negates so much of a scenes feel. When I see something that moves me to photograph it, I want to capture what I see. The camera's flash can kill a shot for me. It blows away the elements I wanted to grab, so that I could experience them again later. However, there are times in the darker hours of the day when turning the flash off can get tricky. There is an ability one needs to possess to take 'clean' pictures. To avoid them being fuzzy. You need to be able to hold the camera rock steady. I, unfortunately, do not have that skill. Unless I'm using the tripod, the 'fuzz' will be there.

I was on my way back home when I decided to snap a few more pictures. The lights dotting the condos in front of me proved to be difficult to capture clearly because of the various light sources. (The picture above is a cleaner shot of where I was headed.) I decided to play a little, and came up with some more abstract photos that I have posted below. I think they're kind of interesting...