Friday, September 28, 2012

Full Moon In Aries...September 29, 2012...

Saturday, September 29th, at 11:19 PM/EST, is peak time for this month’s Full Moon in the sign of Aries. There are several aspects that will add nuances to the overall picture, but if one word has to be picked to describe the strong energies during this lunation, that word would be “volatile”.  Aries is a fire sign, and things could definitely get “hot” in more ways than one. Transiting Uranus in Aries retrograde will closely conjunct the Moon. That will create a Cardinal T-Square with Pluto in Capricorn and the Libran Sun. The potential is great for tempers to be short, and easily ignited. It is best to try and channel the energies in a productive way, rather than letting the fire of anger take control.
The likelihood of ‘feeling the burn’ during this lunation is great, as things are emotionally charged and could get pretty intense. Definitely expect the unexpected. There could be arguments/disagreements, confrontations with those close to you (friends or family), emotional turbulence…all possibilities that could turn on a dime. If your temper flares, it’s important to take a step back, and consider others feelings. You may do some damage that will be hard to undo, if it’s possible to fix at all. Anger based issues that have been floating around may come to the fore. Friends and/or family may unload their own pent-up frustrations and repressed anger over their own issues on you, and/or others. There is great potential to get easily agitated, which can make one make poor snap decisions.

If this is all making you nervous, I’m going to pull some sage words of advice from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”…two words that are “written on the guide’s front in large friendly letters:  DON’T PANIC!” Just be cognizant of your part in things. Instead of allowing anger to take over, try to utilize this Moon’s potential. Use it as a tool to help empower, and evolve. In all dealings, it is best to proceed with care and caution. Try not to speak from a place of anger, and take a moment to chill out first. On the flip-side of this, if you are facing someone else who is irate and need to speak from a place of emotion, utilize the Moon’s energy to help muster the courage to speak up. It’s true that sometimes it’s better to just walk away from someone who is being confrontational and unreasonable, but sometimes it’s necessary to speak up and express yourself. It’s all about patience. Something it would be wise to exercise now.

Venus in Leo, and Mars in Scorpio, will be in a waxing square. It may not be the best time to start a romance if you are looking for something long lasting. A whirl-wind, hot and heavy start will most likely implode as quickly as it began. This Mars-Venus aspect could easily help generate some sexual tension. You may find yourself attracted to someone in a big way, knowing full well that to pursue things would be a really bad idea. The libido might give you some difficulty, but try to take a moment to decide if it’s really worth it. As mentioned before, if you want to pursue something deep and meaningful this might be a good time to err on the side of caution.

Neptune in Pisces will be trine Ceres in Cancer. This aspect will add some nurturing energy into the mix, making you feel the need to nurture those close to you. Jupiter in Gemini will make an extremely wide trine to a Libran Mercury, which will inject a touch of humor into the mix. This aspect will help lighten things up, and keep the lines of communication and conversation open.

("Aries", Artist: David Palladini)
The status of existing relationships is a ‘hot’ topic for this lunation, as Mercury, Saturn, and the Sun are all in the sign of Libra. This is a good time to really take stock of your relationships in all areas, whether they involve a business associate, friend, or significant other. What criteria do you have for what you value in a relationship? Do the relationships you have measure up? Even the best relationships involve a certain amount of give and take, but what are you letting slide that is actually really important to you? Putting a magnifying glass to those connections you question could reveal some things you hadn’t noticed before. Things that might help you see that some relationships aren’t worth keeping around. The “volatile” vibes may pose some difficulties when ending things, but look at the severing of ties as more of a cleansing. Why be a jerk about it if you don’t have to be? The Libran Sun will help in looking at things from all sides, so you can better judge if a compromise is needed. Also, don’t be afraid to say “no”.

Through the strong presence of volatility also burns a vibe of opportunity. An opportunity to toss old emotional/mental garbage into the cleansing fire. Some issues may be tougher to let go than others, but releasing/burning all of that old trash you have been carrying around can be empowering. Kind of like the mythological Phoenix bursting into flames at the end of a life cycle, and then rising renewed from the pile of ash. Your cleansing and renewed perspective may not be that dramatic, but the time is ripe for tossing off that old stuff. Don’t get/stay stuck in powerlessness, and take control back and work to exact positive changes on your life. Channel this energy into a renewed perspective.

(The following link is for one of the better astrology dictionaries I have seen ~ for those of you who would like definitions of some of the terms used in the above:

The following excerpt is from "The Farmer's Almanac":
  • Full Corn Moon or Full Harvest Moon:  "This Full Moon's name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested.  Most often, the September Full Moon is actually the Harvest Moon, which is the Full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox.  In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the Full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Autumnal Creativity...

(The sun rises over the marsh on an autumn morning...)

Autumn is here. Finally. The leaves have just barely started to turn, but the overall energy is there. After several months of  temperatures in the realm of 'swelter', the days have grown cooler. Last night was the first night in awhile that I slept under an open window. Cool breezes blew over me (which was glorious), and the sounds of the rustling trees stirred my dreams. Although it didn't last for the relatively normal duration of eight hours, my sleep was more restful than it has been. It seems that autumn is working her magic on me.

Tonight I am up later than I had planned, as I felt the need to be creative in some fashion. I had been going through some of my Fall photos, and decided to play with some of them. I utilized elements of nature to jazz things up a bit. Nature is filled with textures. This post features some of the fruits of my labor, autumn's vibe influencing them all.

(Pampas grass...)

(Toad Stools...this particular kind are known as 'Fairy Ring' mushrooms...they are poisonous)

(I love the variety of colors (from tan to bronze) that these trees show when they 'shed their skin'...I'm not 100% sure, but from what I was able to find, I believe these are Eucalyptus trees)

(The bright sun beaming down on the tidal creek...the tide was out, so the muddy creek bed was prominent...the brilliance of the sun's rays created a haze of sorts...I saw spots for a short time after this shot)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Autumn & Mabon...2012...

September 22nd marks 2012's Autumnal Equinox, and the pagan celebration of Mabon. The second of the three harvest festivals, it is a time of thanksgiving to celebrate the fruits of the earth. It is a time of family and community, to acknowledge and be thankful for what we have. Reflect on your life, and acknowledge the balance between the light and the dark. It is a time of feasting with loved ones, and counting one's blessings.

Whether you celebrate Mabon, or just dig Autumn, happy Equinox!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Beach & The Blue...

Visiting the beach on Tybee during a weekend isn't something I would normally do. I live by the Bull River bridge, which is the access to the one road that acts as both entrance and exit to the island. When the sky is clear and the temperatures are warm, the traffic of beach-goers tends to be heavy. Sometimes, it can be described as 'bumper-to-bumper'. No, thank you.  Not my idea of fun times. Creeping along in a long line of cars, to be faced with the chore of finding a parking space you are lucky enough to get. No, during weekends I usually turn my attention elsewhere.

This past weekend I decided to tempt the fates. I had added Tybee to my photography 'To Do' list awhile ago. 'Iffy' weather prevented me from making the short drive over. I have wanted to get some shots of the north beach during overcast skies, but the percentages of possible rain were high enough to make me re-think the trip. As the temperatures have lowered a bit below sweltering, and the skies have been clear more often than not over the last week or so, I bumped my Tybee trip to the top of the list.

My weekend was starting off much the same as the previous week had. I was spending more time than I would like in 'Insomnia-ville'. Up and awake all of Friday night, the urge to feel sand between my toes hit me. In the few years I have lived in Savannah, all of my trips to the Tybee north beach had been during colder months, when walking along the sands in one's bare feet is far from advisable. My urge to see the beach was so great that I decided to throw caution to the wind, and take a spin over what I call the "land bridge" to Tybee Island. The only caveat would be if the traffic headed over the Bull River bridge was moving slowly.  In that particular case, I would definitely rethink things.

I found the bridge to be clear of traffic, and made my way toward "my beach". (I refer to Tybee's north beach as "my beach", just as I refer to the park here on Wilmington Island as "my park"...I obviously own neither, but...well, I think you get what I mean.)

There wasn't any traffic to speak of. That was one obstacle down. The next possible wrench that could throw itself into the works was how full the parking lot was. The beach is located on the coastal side of the ruins of Fort Screven (that will be the focal point of my next photography trip to Tybee). They have a museum there, and there is the lighthouse across the street.  Both can generate some traffic. There is also a small bar of sorts on the Screven side of the beaches parking lot. All reasons for the lot to be full. Luckily, the lot wasn't packed. However, it was blocked off to half capacity. It appeared that a couple of local radio stations were setting up an event of sorts, and they were taking up a little more than half of the lot space. They were early on in their set-up process, so the event was far from happening. Everything was working out for me.

The good news was that there were people on the beach, but not enough to make picture taking difficult. Actually, it was nice to have some people around this time. Since all of my prior visits had been in bone chillingly cold weather, the only people present were me, myself, and I. I have been known to enjoy my share of people watching, so it was nice. There was a lovely breeze blowing, and the call of a seagull would occasionally blow by. It was really nice.

I stayed long enough to decompress, and snap a number of pictures. No one seemed to take much notice of me as I walked by snapping a shot of this, or a shot of that. Fine by me. I was just enjoying the day 'being out among them', as my father says.

I always enjoy photographing the breakwater. Lots of interesting textures in the rocks, and in the wet sand. I always find interesting abstract designs in the beach sand around the base of the stone barrier, put there by the churning waters of the tides.

There was so much blue. Between the wide expanse of the Atlantic spreading out and away, and the paler blue of the sky meeting the water at the horizon line, the various shades of blue were beautiful. The puffy clouds hanging in a line above the horizon were pretty, too.

The rushing sounds of the water created a meditative vibe. I was having a Zen moment. Very peaceful. Very nice. The sun didn't even bother me that much. I have always joked that I must have vampires in my family's lineage because the sun and I do not get along. At all. It appeared that for my visit to the beach, we had called a short truce. Well, a truce of sorts. That sand was hot! The soles of my feet had a slight case of sand-burn when I left. That is my only complaint though.  Overall, it was a nice afternoon.

On my way home, I remembered that I needed to swing by the local produce stand for some potatoes. For a rather small stand, they always have a nice selection of veggies and fruits.

Since autumn's official return is just a few days away, I was thrilled to see the big bins of pumpkins and squash. I look forward to my future trip there to purchase a carving pumpkin for All Hallow's.

Per usual, I took a few pictures while I was there. It all looked really good, but I left with the Vidalia onion and red potatoes I went there for. The end to a great and much needed outing. 

Until next time...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

"Autumn Leaves"...

My favorite season of the year will be officially welcomed to 2012, on Saturday, September 22nd. Just 6 days away. It's the day of the autumnal equinox, and Mabon.

I love everything about autumn. The crispness in the air; the earthy red, orange, and yellow coloring of the falling leaves; shortening days washed with a moodier, calmer energy. Autumn makes me think of cozy sweaters, hot spiced cider, and pumpkins. Autumn also puts me in mind of a song.

I don't recall when it was that I first heard, "Autumn Leaves". It was years ago. There have been so many versions recorded in so many styles. If you have never had the pleasure of hearing it, I will be changing that for you in this post.  First, I'll give you a Reader's Digest version of the tunes background.

(Left Kosma; Right: Prevert)
"Autumn Leaves", was originally titled "Les Feuilles Mortes" ("The Dead Leaves"). French composer, Joseph Kosma, and french poet, Jacques Prevert, wrote the now famous song in 1945. In 1946 the song saw it's introduction in the film "Les Portes de la Nuit" ("Gates of the Night"), as sung by singer/actor, Yves Montand. (Yves was discovered in 1944 by France's beloved, Edith Piaf, who is also featured in this post.)

Note: To listen to the videos in this post, you can pause my page's music player. You can find it by scrolling to the bottom of the page.

(Yves Montand)

In 1947, American music great (and Savannah, Georgia, native), Johnny Mercer, wrote English lyrics for the tune. It would see much notice and fame under the English version.

In 1956, a version by Nat King Cole, was played over the title sequence of the film, "Autumn Leaves", that starred Joan-"no more wire hangers"-Crawford.

(Johnny Mercer)
It has become a jazz and pop standard, that has been recorded by a rather eclectic list of performers. From Sinatra, to Jerry Lee Lewis, to The Coasters. In 1955, an instrumental version played by pianist, Roger Williams, would be the only instrumental to ever make it to #1 on the charts, and it would hold it's position for four weeks.

Some songs are timeless, and "Autumn Leaves" is one of the songs on my personal 'timeless' list. As the seasonal shift has been approaching, I have been put in mind of it. With different interpretations comes noticeable variations, but the haunting bittersweet elements of the song always show through. From the first time I heard it years ago, it has been a permanent track on my autumnal soundtrack. I have posted a selection of interpretations below. Whether you have heard the song before, or are hearing it for the first time, enjoy. (Most of the video links below have links that will take you to YouTube to watch them. Just click where it says "watch on YouTube", and another window will open.)

(Edith Piaf)

(Roger Williams)

(Doris Day)

(Stan Getz)

(Tom Jones)

(Nat King Cole)

(Wynton Marsalis & Sarah Vaughan)

(Eric Clapton)

(This last version by the late Eva Cassidy, is my gives me goose bumps.)