Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rising Sign!

NEPTUNE/JUPITER CONJUNCTION IN THE 3rd HOUSE
Neptune, the planet of escape, and the Jupiter, planet of expansion, are together in the 3rd House, the house of communication and writing. People may be returning to reading and writing for entertainment. There may be a renewed dedication to blogging or maybe folks will pick up that book they haven't been able to get through.

Speaking of books, I have a bit of an announcement, if you'll forgive the shameless plug. My first novel, Rising Sign, is now available for purchase. If you're looking for that great summer read, this is a great choice, if I do say so myself (and I do).

"What's it about?" you ask. Well, imagine if the astrological signs were made human. What if they had special abilities on top of that? Now, throw in a deadly enemy and an child who can save the world. Sound interesting? If that doesn't sell you, head over to the Star Child Trilogy website and read the first two chapters. Here are a few of the reviews from folks who have read the novel:

"This novel kept me enthralled from start to finish."

"[...]it consumed my lunch, my train ride, and into the wee hours of the night."

"The development of each character in conjunction with his/her astrology is a remarkably intriguing twist on the sci-fi adventure epic[...]"

"This is a great book for both teens and adults who love adventures in the world of the supernatural."

So stop by and grab a copy today! :)

And now, back to your regularly scheduled blogging...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pride

MOON IN LIBRA
The moon, an emotional planet, resides in Libra, the sign of harmony and equality. This combination makes for a strong inner sense of fairness. We may see some movements towards equality and a desire to avoid conflict. People may show more tact in their methods of communication.

One of the greatest demonstrations of the fight for equality is the gay pride parade which occurred today in NYC. In the four and a half years that I've been here in New York, have never had the opportunity to attend this illustrious event. Needless to say, I was eager and excited to go this year and I made arrangements with friends of mine to meet up. Prior to this, I had had the pleasure of attending Allentown Pride (oh, yeah, REAL exciting), and Philadelphia Pride (much more exciting). I couldn't imagine what NYC Pride had in store.

Friends of mine went to Love Ball last evening. And I use the term "evening" loosely. Cinderelal would not have been able to handle this ball. It went from 10pm until dawn. Now, let me go on record by saying that I am not the party gay boy and never have been. It's not a lifestyle to which I am accustomed, but I have nothing against it. I spent last night at home, enjoying roommate time. I arose this morning and dressed in my best regalia: tight little jeans and my Ja(Red) shirt. Leather bracelet, rainbow bracelet, and gay pride rings. I strapped on my rainbow shoulder bag and my boots and I was out the door, on my way to the parade.

I arrived at the parade at noon and immediately found that my friends were going to be late. I befriended a photographer and we chatted for a bit. She and I watched the opening of the parade. Dykes on bikes started it off. There is something so awesome (in the traditional sense of the word) about the pride parade. There are so many ways to show pride and so many different areas of life to be proud of, not just in the gay community, but even within the alternative lifestyles. It was incredible to me. I especially loved the PFlag groups. It actually brought tears to my eyes to see families marching together.

My friends and I met up eventually. I never realized how political it would be. There were innumerable politicians marching with stickers and buttons and signs, demonstrating their support. There were so many different elements of support. In fact, the sign that caught my eye the most was carried by a woman marching alone: "Straight Married Christian Supporting Gay Rights." There was so much love and screaming and clapping. It was incredible to be part of it.

It was an experience I will never forget and I am looking forward to next year. To all who are celebrating every day in their own way: happy pride!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Happiness

EARTH TAKES OVER
Half of the major planets are sitting in Earth signs. Venus and Mars (love and strength) in Taurus (stubbornness), Moon and Saturn (hidden emotion and limitations) in Virgo (health), and Pluto (power, AND retrograde on top of it) in Capricorn (ambition). The one quality that all Earth signs share is practicality. They are the grounded signs, the ones who hold to stolid, steadfast logic.

Happiness is finding a pencil, knowing a secret, telling the time...

Happiness is fragile, isn't it? It drifts in and whispers in your ear and the corners of your mouth twitch. Your lips stretch into a smile; the quintessential sign that someone is happy. There are so many kinds of smiles, though. There are sad smiles, fake smiles, smug smiles, concealing smiles. There is so much meaning behind a smile and yet, we assume that when someone is smiling, it means that they are happy.

Yet, happiness itself can be a lie. It is fleeting. Only a word or a gesture and the feeling is gone. And we fear that. Even the Funny Girl tells us, "Don't rain on my parade!"

Life is so harsh. It forces us to be practical, even negative at times. There's the fear that someone will burst your bubble. And it takes so little, doesn't it? It's very often with respect to love. New relationships bring so much happiness, but have the potential for so much heartache. It may be ourselves that brings about the fatal pinprick. There's a tendency to watch everything we say for fear of breaking the euphoric trance that we're in. Relationships can be like a drug; they bring incredible highs and tremendous lows and we struggle to find the right way to achieve the fix that we felt at the beginning. Is that possible? Was that true happiness? Or does true happiness lie within the latter parts of the relationship?

What is true happiness? And in finding it, does it contain within itself the seeds of its own destruction, usually manifesting in fear? Can we recognize it when we have it? Hey, everyone, if you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! Clap and you get to save a faerie, for when a baby laughs for the first time, it becomes a faerie. So says J M Barrie. Clapping has been tied to happiness since we were children.

It's so hard to find this elusive element of life and yet, when you find a small pocket, you want to stay in its warmth forever. This is not always tied to relationships. There are many areas of life that may bring incredible happiness. Sadly, even then, it is a breakable quality and it usually takes something to small to douse the flame. Some way to "bring someone back to reality" that forces the happiness out, which begs the question, is happiness diametrically opposed to reality? Is it unreal? Surreal? Insane? Is ignorance really bliss?

This was explored somewhat in the previous blog Reworking Rene, but where that was a study of mind vs. heart, I want to know why happiness is so hard to pin down. Does the practical element of Earth have its own measure and method? Is its stolid take on life a weight that prevents those who attempt to soar from achieving flight? Or does it protect us from the Icarian fate that awaits those who soar too far?

I don't know these answers, but I do know that I shall cling to that sliver of insanity, that attempt to soar. As is said in Jeffrey, "How dare you not lunge for any shred of happiness?"

So I lunge. Don't rain on my parade.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Idiomatic

MERCURY IN GEMINI IN THE 3RD HOUSE
Triple threat. Mercury, planet of the mind, sits in its naturally ruled sign, Gemini. Both are in their natural house, the 3rd House, house of communication. We'll see a sharp peak in communication while this alignment exists.

Communication is a funny concept. We discussed some of it back in Tact: A Lost Art. There are always certain phrases that are innate to a language. Vernacular is powerful. Phrases such as "It's raining cats and dogs" or even "What's up?" are ingrained to mean things other than their literal interpretation. We all accept that these are known.

I had an interesting incident today at work. One of my supervisors sent me an instant message. Now, I know that instant messages have their own versions of language and their own rules regarding response time.

Sidebar: Apparently, if there is romantic interest, not responding within four hours to a text message is considered rude. (Keep that in mind.)

So, I was in a meeting and I get back to my desk and there's an IM on my screen asking for a username and a password for one of our sites. It had been sent, I saw, some seven minutes prior. As I laid my fingers on the keyboard to tap out a response, a new message popped up on the screen: "Nevermind." Shrugging, I went back to my work. Not three minutes later, another message pops up. "Are you going to respond to my IMs? It's been like, 10 minutes." I blinked. Um, did I miss a social cue? Does not "nevermind" mean "forget about it; don't bother responding?" Who responds to "nevermind?" I wouldn't even know what to say to that.

Seriously, let's get with the program people! Learn the words and know what they mean! I mean, am I alone on this? Anyone? Anyone?!

Nevermind...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Drink Up!

PISCES IN THE 2ND HOUSE
Pisces, sign of illusions and escape, is completely encompassed in the 2nd House, the house of sensuality, food, and possessions. People will show different ways of escaping, but through strange twists on practical means, especially imbibing and possibly drugs. Uranus's influence will add some eccentricity to the mix.

My grandmother is overfond of reminding me of a statement I made as a child, when I declared that I would never drink alcohol. I was maybe seven or eight. Naturally, I was unaware of what alcohol can do as far as good feeling is concerned. Nor did I understand that people drank to escape.

Needless to say, I have broken my former vow. I mandate that a promise made under duress is invalid and ignorance is certainly duress. I have had more alcohol in the past five days than I have in quite awhile. Oh, don't look at me like that; there are circumstances warranting a little alcohol and a wedding is certainly one of them. A friend in crisis is yet another. For those that know me, I am not a drinker by any stretch of the imagination and this is not because of any moralistic code. I don't like the taste of alcohol. Never have. The only alcohol I'll readily drink are sweet drinks or fruity wines (insert staple joke here).

It's interesting. Many people turn to alcohol or drugs for escape; to dull the pain or stress. Sometimes, I think it's a societal reaction. We know that's a routine for some. I know it. Strangely enough, I've said, "Man, I need a drink," but I never mean it. I just know that's what you're supposed to say. I know that's a natural thing to do. I still don't love the bite of alcohol. I don't even like being drunk. Don't get me wrong; I enjoy being tipsy. Yet, cross that line into drunk and forget it. I'm one of the most obnoxious creatures ever to walk the face of the Earth. Including Sarah Palin. I even annoy myself. There are very few drinks that I will willingly seek out purely for the taste.

I think it's fascinating that I react this way. It's almost Pavlovian. Okay, maybe not that far, but it's definitely a reaction. "Oh, you've had a hard day? A drink will help." Well, it's either that or cookie dough and honestly, given the choice, I'd rather eat cookie dough. I don't even like shots. I know that I am probably unique in this respect and if you enjoy alcohol, by all means, party on.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go have a glass of wine with dinner.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Health Education

SATURN IN THE 1RST HOUSE
Saturn, planet of health, sits in the 1rst House, the house of self. People will be focusing more on themselves with regard to their diet, exercise, and overall health. Especially with the influence of Virgo.

Health is a recent issue for me due to the class I took this week. This is large part of why I've been blogless this week. I know, you've been desolate without new Sign In Ink to read, but it's been a long week, trust me. A large part of that was because of my Teaching Health for Special Education Students class. This has to be the most depressing class I've ever had the misfortune to attend. Of course it's a required class! No one would take it otherwise.

It takes me back to middle school, when they first started teaching health, especially sex education. It lacks the incredible awkwardness of those first years of learning about sex from a gym teacher, but I'll be damned if it doesn't make up for it in story after story involving injury or death. The class is only a week long, so they're clearly trying to shove as much insanity into these 2.5 hour classes and they succeed. Fortunately, the teacher is a very nice and somewhat humorous older man who has a lighthearted attitude about his age and a somewhat feminist outlook on life.

We began with child abuse. I learned all about the horrendous things that can happen to a child and what to do if I should encounter or suspect it. The laws are extremely strict regarding the treatment of children. I am all for the protection of children, but did we have to go through and detail the countless ways that a parent or guardian can harm a child? Really, I didn't need to know what "sock burns" are. (If you really want to know, it involves scalding water.) The class has gone downhill from there.

We moved on to school violence. As if child abuse wasn't bad enough, let's talk about when the danger comes from inside the school. Children, parents, and strangers have been known to bring in weaponry, putting each attendee in jeopardy. It's a terrifying prospect. My professor was quick to reassure us that most of us would not encounter something like that, but now that he's declared that, it's fairly certain that I'm going to be one of those teachers. Beyond the gun issue, school violence also traverses the wild world of bullying.

Day three brought the most tumultuous subject: sexual education. Of course, it involves none of the joys; just the possible effects (STD and pregnancy) and how to prevent them. Ah, yes. There's nothing like American education to take all the pleasure out of sexual education.

Yesterday, we began forays into drugs, or as my professor likes to call it, "Better Living Through Chemistry." This time, there were none of the fun details to make us go, "Oooh." It was just a brief overview of the kinds of drugs and the ways that they enter our bodies. Of course, our professor was kind enough not to gloss over physical effects that could be detrimental. For someone who tends to have MSS (Medical Student Syndrome), that is NOT a good thing.

Monday, the last class will delve into nutrition. At this rate, the class will be exploring all eating disorders and the ways that food can negatively affect us. I know I can't wait.

I'm sure everyone is jealous that they don't get to take this class with me. If you really want to know how it feels, on Monday, June 22nd, from 430-7pm EST, just go back in your mind to your 6th grade health class. Remember sitting there with all of the other students, listening to a middle-aged teacher who usually forces you into dodgeball on rainy days, showing you the most revolting pictures they can find to scare you away from drugs and sex.

This is worse.

Monday, June 15, 2009

There Will Be Blood

1RST HALF
All of the planets, save Saturn, rest in the first houses of the zodiac, commonly ruled by Aries through Virgo. Currently, Capricorn through Gemini have usurped the usual rulers and taken over. The first half of the zodiac is commonly associated with the self, the individual's world. The 1rst House is especially self-associated. Yet, the planets in the first two houses are in retrograde. This would suggest that there's a warped sense of self going on and I can honestly say that I'm experiencing that today. Especially when it's the farther planet, Pluto, sitting in the 1rst House. Saturn, meanwhile, sits in the 8th House, the house of death, while traversing Virgo, the sign of health. An interesting combination. Perhaps that twist is what is affecting the introspection that accompanies a full first half.

Warning: Oddly dark thoughts ahead.

Blood. It's so powerful. So primal. So frightening. There is something about blood that is hypnotic and repulsive at the same time. The deep maroon river, coursing through our bodies to the heart current. It carries nutrients, drugs, disease, DNA. It oozes, pools, spurts, streams. It pulses and engorges. And it lightens to scarlet at the first taste of air. It is animalistic. Its presence may signify salvation or destruction.

Creatures are associated with blood: the hematophagytes. Leech, bat, mosquito. They feed on it. Vampire, of myth, is most easily identified as one who drinks blood. As Spike (vampire) says in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, "Blood is life [...] Why d'you think we eat it?"

It is the wine to accompany a carnivore's meal of choice.

Blood has religious significance. The Red Sea turned to blood. The transubstantiation of Jesus Christ. It has been used for decoration in Aboriginal rituals. It is a vital part of sacrifices from many religions.

The blood thundering in your ears. First blood of a fight. First blood of a maiden. Blood-ties. Blood-relatives. Signing a contract in blood. The significance of blood shows up in many ways throughout our lives.

I can't honestly say what prompted me to write this particular blog, unless one considers that I watched the season premiere of True Blood last evening and took a class examining child abuse and school violence this afternoon. There is so much hurting that happens in this world. People just seem so eager for it. Are we, at our basest natures, such fighters that when angered, we crave a way to affect the blood in someone else the way ours has been heated? To cause their blood to boil, to pool, and in extreme cases, to splatter. "Spilling blood" makes it sound like an accident, doesn't it? "Oops, I spilled your blood. Well, no use crying over spilled blood..." I wonder what it is within us that creates such an impulse. Is it instinct? Is it survival? I choose to think that we have evolved beyond that. Then why have we created such weaponry as to spill the blood of not just one person, but many within a very short time? There is such capacity for harm, for hurt, for hatred. Is this part of what it means to be human?

Is the killing instinct really an instinct anymore? Animals kill to survive. Humans rarely do. We kill for sport, for game, for fun. We kill in the name of our country, our god, our people. And the blood spills. To what end? What good is it to have the intelligence that we profess to have when it seems that animals cherish life far more than we do? I do not understand.

Perhaps the British phrase "Bloody Hell" is more literal than we thought.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

All That Jazz

MOON IN PISCES
The moon, a planet of hidden emotion, just recently entered the sign of sensitivity, Pisces. This all takes place in the 11th House, the house of originality and eccentricity. A romanticized expression of emotion emerges while the moon traverses this sign. It will manifest in odd ways that might not be obvious at first. Exploration will reveal its path.

Last night, I had the experience of sitting through an improvisational jazz performance. I have to confess that although I would love to be the "artist" who is able to grasp the intricate complexities found within the lingering notes of a boisterous brass instrument, I was not a fan. I sat, assailed by the cacophony, attempting to discern the magic pattern behind the music, while dedicated patrons eagerly awaited the next blast. It was unfathomable to me. I could detect no given pattern, no rhyme or reason to the music. It appeared to me to be a series of solos wherein the given performer would demonstrate his prowess with his instrument. I saw nothing more than consecutive showing-off with no regard for the other performers onstage. Strangely enough, from what little I knew of jazz music, I assumed that musicians had to listen to each other to keep some sort of cohesive form. This is not to say that they weren't listening to each other, but it wasn't apparent to me.

In an attempt to understand, I turned to a companion of mine who not only enjoyed jazz music, but had participated in a few performances, and asked him whether the music before me was following a given routine or whether it was created on the spot. He responded that it was a little of both. The musicians, he informed me, were following a set of chord progressions, but within that construct, they had the freedom to improv. This made sense to me.

It does seem to be a metaphor for life. We work within a given construct, but we make decisions that help us standout. There are certain rules, whether they're set by family, society, religion, or by our own sense of personal duty, that we have to follow. Beyond that, we have the freedom to explore our own interpretations of the choices handed to us. Jazz seems to view music (and by my own interpretative extension, life) as a choose your own adventure. Remember those books? For those of you who have never experienced one of these books, at the end of certain pages in the story, you have a choice. "If you want to see Matt go through the door, go to page 52. If you'd rather see him take the stairs, skip to page 147." The story changes depending on the choices that are made, but if you're following the rules of the book, you have to make the choices given to you. You can't suddenly skip to page 204 if the page isn't offered. The story makes no sense.

I developed a different appreciation of jazz music in this light. Admittedly, the music that I heard last night is not that which I would naturally seek out, but the inherent constriction/freedom dichotomy within it is highly attractive. For those who study Kabbalah, the balancing elements of Chokma (expansion) and Binah (limitation) can be found in jazz music. Though my ears were reluctant to accept the sounds overtaking the room, my mind was fascinated by the varying meanings found within those sounds. They declared their own individuality within a world that requires certain acceptances.

I think that's part of why I write. It's my version of jazz.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened...

JUPITER IN AQUARIUS
The expansive planet Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius (sign of exploration), is in Aquarius, the sign of originality. A wider realm of exploration opens before us. Travel to exotic places will be highly attractive now. New ways of learning will develop.

I am happy to announce that I've adopted one of the newest developments: the forums. I realize that online forums are not well-known, but I've seen them used in many ways. One is for education, as used by the Grey School of Wizardry. Another is for authors to communicate with their readers, such as Skyla Dawn Cameron's forums. A friend suggested to me that this might be a wonderful medium for my own novel. I thought it was a great idea and thus, the Star Child Trilogy forums have been created.

I'm so excited about the forums that I just had to announce it and invite all readers to check them out. They're easy and fun to use. You can create a profile. You connect with friends. You can discuss numerous topics. It's definitely a new world to explore. I encourage everyone to take a gander at the forums and maybe take a chance by creating a profile. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Using Your Beans

PLUTO IN CAPRICORN
I know what you're thinking. "Honestly, how many times can Jared talk about Pluto in Capricorn? We got it. Power backing career and ambition. There's only so much of that we can take." Well, folks, I hate to break it to you, but Pluto will be traveling through Capricorn for the next 15 years. So, the influence is highly general, but it's still quite useful as support for varying topics.

Today's topic: Coffee.

I'm just gonna say it. I hate coffee. I hate the taste, I hate the smell, I hate the flavor, I hate the pretension that accompanies the product. Perhaps this is because I never grew up with coffee-drinkers. No one in my household drank coffee. Interestingly enough, my father and sister now drink coffee, but my mother and I still don't.

I suppose I shouldn't hate coffee. It's probably just a misunderstanding, but coffee has always seemed somewhat aloof. Still, it's better than the relatives: latte; espresso; the twins, cappuccino and frappuccino; and the cold side of the family, the iced coffees. I'm also not a fan of when it marries one of my favorite friends, chocolate, and produces little mochas. However, I do get along well with the family friends: milk, sugar, cream.

Ironically, I've worked in two coffee serving capacities. I worked as a barista for a week. Why would someone who hates coffee work for a barista, you ask? Well, iI didn't plan on that. I applied at a Barnes and Noble, thinking that I would be working with books. In a cruel twist of fate, I was assigned a post at the cafe. The pervasive smell of coffee clogged the air. It was then that I learned the difference between a latte and a cappuccino and what rubbish that is. Folks have said that it's very different in Italy where such things are authentic, but in my experience, the difference being mostly the amount of milk and whether the steamer is placed at the top or the bottom of the milk, I was annoyed to find that such widely diverse names indicated so little.

Add to that the position as a waiter. Coffee became the bane of the morning. Everyone wanted coffee with its varying accoutrement. Gracious, there is no such drink that has quite as many conditions. If you must drink coffee, people, drink it black! That's how it comes. It's supposed to be bitter. If not, there's sugar on the table. And goodness, people are particular about their coffee! This is too hot. This is too cold. This is too sweet. This is this; this is that. I'm not Coffeelocks. Make it at home and get it just the way you want it. Don't drive me all over the diner for two Splendas and a Sweet N Low and heated milk, etc.

Like I said, perhaps coffee and I just haven't had the right conversation, but I don't think we will ever have the relationship that others seem to have and I think that's because it's just too high maintenance. It demands far too much of its partners.

Those are grounds for dismissal.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

So Over It

SUPER SAGITTARIUS
Sagittarius is rising, taking over the 1rst House, the house of self. Additionally, we just experienced a full moon in Sagittarius. There's going to be a strong desire to travel (perfect for vacation season) and explore.

Okay, so it's a little late in the year for senioritis, but seems like everyone has it right now. Yesterday, all of the status updates were frustrated messages that clearly stated, "I'm over it," and it was only Monday. I woke up feeling disgruntled and the morning proved to exacerbate the situation. I had a total MTA Fail morning. Every train seemed to be running as slowly as possible and was crowded as Hell (and I mean that literally) when and if it finally arrived. So, I opened the door to my office with a cinder block on my shoulder.

Then, I opened my numerous networking sites to find out that I wasn't the only one. Rounding out the "over it" crowd was my boss. She radiated apathy and annoyance (I didn't realize one could radiate synchronized elements of caring and not caring, but somehow, she managed it) from the moment I saw her. It was more contagious than swine flu.

A friend and I began talking and she expressed her desire to be elsewhere. She asked if there was anything astrologically that would indicate this feeling and, doing my research, I saw that Sagittarius had just experienced a full moon. At first, I couldn't understand it. Why would such a happy-go-lucky sign affect us in such a negative way? Ah, but then the desire to travel suddenly made sense. The wanderlust had taken over due to full moon influence and universal senioritis took over.

Fortunately, we're coming up on summer, when everybody loves to get away. Hopefully, we can all hold out until our vacations kick in. If we can do it through years of school, eagerly awaiting that moment when classes end and we cavort into the free days of summer (oh, admit it, you cavorted). Even though there's no end of the semester, we're still feeling those confining bonds of the routine. My advice? Do something that might change your routine, even if it's slight, and as soon as you can, grab a vacation to somewhere new.

Hang on to your sanity, kids. We can do this!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Food For Thought

MERCURY IN TAURUS
Mercury, planet of the mind, is moving through the sign of food and sustenance, Taurus, which currently sits in the 6th House, the house of health. A focus on what we eat will take precedence in our mentalities. Now might be a great time to do a food journal. See what you're eating.

That's for those of you who are eating. Seems like there aren't a lot of people who eat on a regular basis. I have many friends who have said to me, "Oh, I totally forgot to eat today." Or, "This is the first time (6pm) that I've eaten since this morning." What? As a Jewish mother in a male body, it's my right as the friend to reprimand them for this, right? Especially when I can't seem to stop eating. Apparently, I'm eating for numerous friends.

Did I miss a memo? Is there a hunger strike that I haven't been informed of? On a side note, isn't "hunger strike" a misnomer? Wouldn't that term indicate that someone has stopped fasting?

I don't think I could fast for days on end (besides the physical element of it). "Fasting" is another misnomer, isn't it? Time never passes so slowly as when you're not eating on purpose.

The point is, you have to eat, people! Haven't there been numerous articles advocating frequent meals with small portions? Granted, I'm still working on the small portions. We all skip a meal now and then, but to make it a lifestyle is bordering on dangerous. It wouldn't register so strongly on my radar if it weren't so prominent among my friends. Look, folks, I said I would call and make sure you're eating (great, I've turned into my grandmother), but instead, I'm blogging about it.

Regardless of your reasons, not eating is going to cause reactions beyond this blog that you're not going to want. Your body will let you know that it needs food and believe me, that's not a level you want to reach. There comes a point where your body just crashes. I speak from experience and it's terrifying. Food is an important part of life and it's supposed to be enjoyed.

Chew on that.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Happily Ever After

PISCES IN THE 7TH HOUSE
Pisces, the sign of dreams, is in the 7th House, the house of relationships and partnerships. It should provide a romanticized notion of relationships in our lives, both platonic and on other levels. It's time to see others through rose-colored glasses.

Is this purely the fault of the fishy sign? After all, dating is equivalent to fishing, right? And the fish in the sign Pisces are representations of Venus and Cupid in their efforts to escape danger. Of course, the love goddess and her son escape. They have to. We need love to survive in the face of overwhelming odds. Where does such faith come from?

Why, movies, of course. What would we do without those romantic comedies that seem to be the backbone of the human condition. They expand our hearts and our minds and help us keep our faith in love. Is this a good thing, though? Have we developed a skewed view of what a relationship is supposed to be? Should "should" enter the picture? Should I like him more? Should I buy her flowers? Should we still be so happy after so much time? Valentine's Day, anniversaries, etc. Must love follow a given pattern? I mean, so many movies are formulaic and we've heard it a million times. Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy loses girl, boy fights for girl, happily ever after. It's even in cartoons, damn the Mouse!

Regardless of gender preferences, we're all affected by a good romantic story and who doesn't love a happily ever after? What do we do, though, when our happily ever after doesn't quite equate to our own lives? Have we set ourselves for disappointment or are we creating wonderful hope to blossom within ourselves and giving ourselves something to reach for? Folks have been claiming the detrimental effects of video games on children for ages, but have we ever stopped to consider the possible effects of videos themselves on people of all ages? Are we creating a lose-lose situation?

I say no. I think humans need to dream of love. We have been doing so since time began, through stories. We yearn for the connection we find with another person. As I sit here, watching Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (oh, please, like you've never seen it), I can't help but think how apropos that name is for a story about a woman trying to find and keep love. Love hovers at the edge of reason. It contains just enough of it to make sense in our lives, but in movies, we can create a story where anything can be fixed in under three hours.

Still, whether we get it from movies or whether it's innate to the human heart, I stand in favor of love. I dream of it.

A dream is a wish your heart makes.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Dating Game

VENUS IN THE 4TH HOUSE
Venus is traveling through the 4th House, the house of belonging. Venus is the sign of sociability, and now is a period of figuring out where we fit in on a social level. Sometimes, it's not what we expected and this may be a connection to childhood because of the Arien influence.

Dating is such an odd world. It falls within the realm of love and that's never a logical area in life. It's all shaky ground. We do all we can to make the best impression possible. We watch what we say. We choose our outfits with utmost care. We check to see if someone has texted us. We ask all of our friends their opinions. We review the entire conversation in our head and we sit and analyze every word that was said. And heaven forbid we ever check the status on Facebook or Twitter. So much can be communicated without the intention to communicate. And then, on top of that, how long should we wait to contact them? Should we make the first move? So many questions.

Oh, wait. Is this just me? Did I just admit to complete neuroticism? Oh, come on, you must have known I was slightly crazy after reading all of the other posts. You have been reading the other posts, haven't you? Well, if I'm ever going to show true quirks, it's certainly in the dating world. I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets a little nuts about dating. It's such a murky part of life.

Let's add to this mass confusion the wonderful element of league. "S/He's out of my league," people say. Who created these leagues? What makes someone part of one league or another? Did we develop a dating caste system. Are there untouchables? Though I find it hard to believe that the lines are so strictly set, I've stated that someone was out of my league on more than one occasion only to have my friends turn around and smack me. "Oh, please. You're a catch." A catch for whom? How odd to equate dating with fishing. Then again, there are plenty of fish in the sea, right? And we talk about the man that got away. Perhaps the league that we're referring to is one of the 20,000.

The varieties among people are so vast and there are already odd strictures placed upon romantic entanglements, such as religion, race, age, sexual orientation. Must we place yet another restriction on love? League? Such a ludicrous notion to think that we can only work with someone on our "level," especially when there is no set definition of what that is. There are so many hierarchies already in place in life. Let the heart speak for what it wants.

If you think you're out of my league, go fish.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Death Watch

SUN IN THE EIGHTH HOUSE
Change is inevitable. With the sun in the 8th House, the house of regeneration. Scorpio, the sign of death and natural ruler of the 8th House is on the horizon. That combination shows this to be a time of change, when one chapter ends and another begins. A new plot line opens.

Apparently, I'm a death junkie. I spent yesterday watching the entire first season of True Blood while unpacking. The writing is highly clever and the writers clearly know their vampire lore. And not just the traditional mythos associated with vampires (garlic, holy water, crucifixes, etc), they are out to reference almost anything, including Buffy, Blade, and Anne Rice. Every time someone introduces a new vampire world, they have their own twist on the traditional knowledge. Anne Rice did it with Interview With A Vampire, Joss Whedon did it with Buffy, and now, Charlaine Harris has done with the books that are the base for this new television series.

Still, there's quite another element to this series. True Blood is not ashamed to emphasize the vamp in vampire, nor the suck in bloodsucking. Of course, there's a natural eroticism to the vampire world - always has been. This series puts it right out there in your face. In this series, you can literally flirt with disaster, and many people do. It's part of the subculture.

Still, flirting with disaster seems to be my whole fascination as far as television is concerned. Taking note of my media interests, the list includes dead and undead in various forms: Buffy, Angel, Six Feet Under, Dead Like Me, Dexter, and now, True Blood. Not that every show I watch has an element of death to it. After all, Ugly Betty is bright and campy. Still there is a fascination with the trappings of death, including that which happens after death and the possibilities of undead life.

There is fear involved. It's terrifying to think that our slice of life is so minuscule when compared with the expansive timeline we've created to make sense of the world. Perhaps that's why we take comfort in the idea of immortality. However, considering immortality as a realistic concept, it is highly probably that living forever, even an undead life, would be fantastically boring. Still, it's wonderful to think of furthering life, regardless of the darker stage in which such a drama might play out.

The vampire is a fabulous creature associated with death and sex. In fact, one might consider it a Scorpio's dream creature. It is powerful, intense, erotic, and dangerous. There's something fascinating about such creatures and we're drawn to them with, dare I say it, unholy attraction. Death is terrifying and intense and powerful in its unknowability and I have no doubt that there will be many more media forays into its uncharted lands.

I say bring it on.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Up, Up, And Away

URANUS/NEPTUNE SUPPORT
These two planets are supporting each other by sitting in each others' signs. Uranus, the planet of eccentricity, rests in the sign of illusion, Pisces. Meanwhile, Neptune is Pisces's ruling planet and it drifts in Aquarius, the sign ruled by Uranus. When two planets are positioned in such a way, they make each other's influences stronger. Thus, originality will harmonize with illusion and the phrase "Dare to dream" leaps to mind.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing Disney Pixar's new movie, Up. Two friends of mine and I eagerly grabbed our 3D glasses and took a row for ourselves. As with every Pixar movie, there was a short film before the feature. I have seen numerous shorts by this point, and my favorite one is the one with the snowglobe. It's so fun. This short was no different from the others. Very cute, and quite enjoyable. Amazing how people think up movies that are quick and simple and yet give us a comprehensive story in a little amount of time. I adore them. They're soundbytes of the film world, but sometimes, that's all one might need to feel quite a range of human emotions.

Having been wonderfully warmed by the short film, my companions and I were ready for the full length feature. I was not prepared for the sweet, poingancy of the first 20 minutes of the movie. I never expected to tear up at a Pixar film. Oh, sure, Wall-E also caught me with its moments of tenderness, but Up just completely got to me and right off the bat. Not half an hour later, I was crying with laughter and before the movie ended, I was once again tearing up with empathy. For such a creative, fun movie, it certainly tugged at the heartstrings.

The Neptunian sense of dream combined with Uranus's originality certainly lends flight to the elderly main character in this wonderful film. I highly suggest that anyone who has ever dreamed of finding a new way to achieve a goal go and see this movie.

Dare to dream.
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