Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mid-week Meanderings

This post will stand until the weekend. I shall be otherwise engaged. Currently I have something serious on my plate - some surgery. More on this later on, perhaps.

Anyway, a few odds and ends:

On the environment....
"Your descendants shall gather your fruits." (Virgil)
(Note: no doubt it was implied anyway, within this ancient wisdom that: "whether the fruits be nourishing or poisoned is up to you.")

"And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use. And soon the earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried: "Look at this Godawful mess."
Art Buchwald, humorist.

On future potential for revolution - here, there and everywhere:

A poem, by Otto Rene Castillo who was a Guatemalan revolutionary.

One day
the apolitical
of my country
will be interrogated
by the simplest
of our people.

They will be asked
what they did
when their nation died out
like a sweet fire
small and alone.

No one will ask them
about their dress,
their long siestas
after lunch,
no one will want to know
about their sterile combats
with "the idea
of the nothing"
no one will care about
their higher financial learning.

They won't be questioned
on Greek mythology,
or regarding their self-disgust
when someone within them
begins to die
the coward's death.

They'll be asked nothing
about their absurd
born in the shadow
of the total life.

On that day
the simple men will come.

Those who had no place
in the books and poems
of the apolitical intellectuals,
but daily delivered
their bread and milk,
their tortillas and eggs,
those who drove their cars,
who cared for their dogs and gardens
and worked for them,
and they'll ask:

"What did you do when the poor
suffered, when tenderness
and life
burned out of them?"

Apolitical intellectuals
of my sweet country,
you will not be able to answer.

A vulture of silence
will eat your gut.

Your own misery
will pick at your soul.

And you will be mute in your shame.

On different elemental matters:

In "The Night Sky" by Richard Grossinger, some food for thoughts astrological:

In 1869, the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev discovered that the chemical properties of the elements (My note: this refers to the non-astrological elements)are periodic functions of their atomic weights, i.e. of the number of protons in their nuclei. When he arranged the then-known elements in a series, he found that there were familial resemblances among elements at regular numerical intervals. For instance, carbon, silicon and tin lie in a series for which the member between silicon and tin was then apparently missing. This was later found to be germanium. Fluourine, chlorine, bromine and iodine constitute another family. Then there's a group of lithium, sodium and potassium; another of nitrogen phosphorus, arsenic and antimony; and so on. Nature contains a hidden periodic function which is basic to form and order in the world. (My note: There are "families" in astrological elements too, at regular numerical intervals - the Fire family Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, the Air family Gemini, Libra, Aquarius etc.) All the other elements are based on the simplest one, hydrogen with its single proton, which is also - we were to find out - the fuel of the stars.

Mendeleev's periodic table, and the reality that lay behind it gave a new basis for understanding the history and evolution of matter. Mathematical relationships determined the seemingly limitless display of forms in nature, from plants and animals to stars and galaxies. It was hauntingly Pythagorean, as Heisenberg would remind us.

The echo of astrological elements and modes and the way they were arranged by ancient astrologers is discernible. They had no knowledge of periodic tables and suchlike, as far as we know.

I have confidence that astrology is more than mere superstition. It's something rooted in the very nature of the universe. Oh - it's rough and ready, imperfect and encumbered with a plethora of unnecessary accessories, but beneath it all there is a gem - just waiting to be discovered.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Vernal Equinox!

Welcoming Spring with, appropriately enough,
"The Coming of Spring" by Erté

An archived post on Erté is HERE.

“In olden times, it meant the long dark of winter was finally over, and things would start growing again and the world would be renewed. The solstice was the promise–that the days wouldn’t just keep on getting shorter until they disappeared altogether. The equinox was the day when the promise was fulfilled.”
― M.R. Carey, The Girl With All the Gifts

Also today the Sun moves into zodiac sign Aries, bringing in an astrological New Year - here's to a happy one for us all!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Saturday, March 17, 2018

"Watch Yourself!" (Zeus to Narcissus)

Not a day passes when I don't read at least a handful of questions at Quora relating to narcissism. For example :
Are relationships with narcissists doomed to fail?

Does a narcissist know they are a narcissist?

Do narcissists know when they are wrong? Mine never admitted he was wrong and never apologized.

Why is there so much unreliable, erroneous and opinionated information about narcissism on Quora?
Narcissism. Can we lay blame on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others, names of which escape me? People use those tools because they are like mirrors - all about them, their need for an audience . Blogging filled that need for some people, for years. Blogging was but the overture to the full-blown symphony!

Is blogging a symptom of chronic narcissism? Is using Twitter and/or Facebook et al a sign that the disease has become acute?

Blogging, for me, is and has been simply a way to experiment with a girlhood dream of being a writer or a reporter or journalist. Maybe there is some retro-narcissism going on.

I've always found Facebook a wee bit creepy, though was never quite sure why. I opened an account early on and almost immediately deactivated it, re-opened it years later, then deactivated it again. As for Twitter, I can see that for some people it could feed incipient or rampant narcissism (and that is a very awkward word to type, I'm finding). Looking in on Twitter has, very occasionally, led to information I'd have otherwise missed, but beyond that, I'm not enthusiastic. If Twitter is a narcissistic pastime, I fear I'm not doing it right!

Here's a ponder-worthy topic on which to close: is perusing one's astrological natal chart the ultimate in narcissism?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Arty Farty Friday ~ A Glance at Impressionism

I've been a little distracted and otherwise engaged for a few days so, instead of my usual arty farty dish with a side order of astrology, today's post is just a brief review of some well known Impressionist paintings. Impressionism isn't my own favourite genre, but it is easy on the eye, that cannot be denied. Impressionism is almost like comfort food, when one is weary of surrealism, abstract art and...well...the outright weird!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sheepishly Heading for Easter and Springtime

Easter, and the run up to it, brings to mind a rhyme I used to repeat, long ago and far way near the north-eastern coast of England:
Tid, Mid, Miserai (or Misere)
Carlin, Palm, and Paste egg day.

Reciting it as a child, gobbledegook-wise, I didn't care what it meant, I just wanted to get at those chocolate Easter eggs! I later grasped that it had something to do with the Sundays of Lent, and customs attached.

Carlin(g)s are black peas, eaten on Passion Sunday, On Palm Sunday sometimes dried palm leaves were handed to members of church congregations, and Paste eggs (possibly a corruption of Pasch) eggs were what all the kids eagerly anticipated.

As for the mysterious first line of the rhyme, there are two explanations:
'Tid' was the second Sunday in Lent when, it seems, the Te Deum was sung/chanted in church; Mid could refer to a hymn 'Mi Deus', sung on the third Sunday of Lent; Miserai/misere might be the psalm 'Miserere Mei', sung on the fourth. But there's also a very slight possibility, because the purpose of the rhyme was to count Sundays before Easter, that Tid, Mid was a variation of an ancient Celtic-based method/language once used in the north of England for counting sheep. Exact spelling varies with dialects of northern England, but one, two three, four, five = yan, tan, tithera, mithera, pip. Could 'tithera', 'mithera' equal 'tid' 'mid'? I'm not confident about this, it doesn't really fit snugly. Interesting though. It has been noted that even in parts of the United States the old sheep-counting method is not not unknown, possibly brought across the Atlantic by early immigrants.

The full ancient sheep-counting method went like this, with spelling variations.
(My grandmother and neighbours of her generation always pronounced "one" as "yan", by the way.)


The sheep were counted up to twenty, the shepherd then closed one finger and repeated the count until all his fingers of one hand were down = a hundred sheep. Next he would close a finger on his other hand and begin anew. So up to 500 sheep could be counted using this method.

Regarding the mysterious custom of eating black carlin peas during Lent: there's no religious significance, but the tradition is said to be linked to the civil war of 1644. Royalist Newcastle in the north-east of England was under siege from the Scots. People were dying of starvation. The story goes that, either a French ship docked in Newcastle with a cargo of Maple Peas which were distributed to the people out of charity; or that a French ship was wrecked off the coast near Newcastle and containers of peas were washed ashore, much to the relief of starving inhabitants. Either way, a custom was born! Carlin peas are soaked overnight in water, boiled well then fried in butter and served with vinegar and bread and butter. My East Yorkshire grandmother used to prepare carlins that way, each year around Easter time.

Here's the late and much lamented Jake Thackray with one of his self-penned ditties, very appropriate to this post.

When I first posted on this old counting method, 4 years ago, some comments received added more interesting tid-bits:

David: "Hickory, dickory dock the mouse ran up the clock" is from the same counting scheme

Hi! I didn't know that - but now you've mentioned, of course! The rhythm is the same and..."hovera dovera dik" - Wikipedia: Westmorland shepherds in the nineteenth century used the numbers Hevera, Devera and Dick.

JD : Still used by shepherds in Cumbria (it was on the BBC's 'Country File' not so long ago). Base 20 counting system goes way back to the Babylonians, I think, and was used by the Maya.

Twilight: I suppose 5, 10 or 20 counting methods were an inevitable consequence of humans finding themselves with 5 fingers on each hand - and 5 toes on each foot. :-)

Kaleymorris: This reminds me of a 10-based counting method called Chisanbop. Yours seems a bit more efficient.

Twilight: Hmm - I'd never heard of that one - clever stuff!
Looking for generally related information on finger counting, I came across the fact that, well into the Middle Ages, the Greeks and Romans seem to have used fingers for computations. The Homeric term for counting = "pempathai", which means to count by fives. It's interesting that in the sheep-counting language in my post the word for five is "pim", so it could possibly be a left-over derivation from words used by the occupying Roman legions back in the mists of time?