The people around us help us create our reality

for what most of us already know:  our friends can make us fat, happy, and sad.

The National Heart Institute has followed more than 15,000 residents of Framingham, Massachusetts and their descendants, giving them comprehensive physicals every four years.  This data has resulted in a treasure trove for medical research.  Recently two social scientists, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, began using this data to study behaviors of the participants.  They discovered that good behaviors — like quitting smoking or staying slender or being happy — pass from friend to friend almost as if they were contagious viruses. The Framingham participants, the data suggested, influenced one another’s health just by socializing. And the same was true of bad behaviors — clusters of friends appeared to “infect” each other with obesity, unhappiness and smoking. Staying healthy isn’t just a matter of your genes and your diet, it seems. Good health is also a product, in part, of your sheer proximity to other healthy people. By keeping in close, regular contact with other healthy friends for decades, Eileen and Joseph had quite possibly kept themselves alive and thriving.

When a Framingham resident became obese, his or her friends were 57 percent more likely to become obese, too. Even more astonishing to Christakis and Fowler was the fact that the effect didn’t stop there. In fact, it appeared to skip links. A Framingham resident was roughly 20 percent more likely to become obese if the friend of a friend became obese — even if the connecting friend didn’t put on a single pound. Indeed, a person’s risk of obesity went up about 10 percent even if a friend of a friend of a friend gained weight.

“People are […]

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By |2009-09-16T07:53:53-04:00September 16th, 2009|Health & Healing, Life|Comments Off on The people around us help us create our reality

Pluto changes direction today, September 11, and Astrology in my world

Today is the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, but it’s also the day that Pluto changes direction.  Planets don’t really move backwards, but they appear to do so because we observe their motions from our vantage point here on earth.  When they do, we call that “retrograde motion” and Pluto has been retrograde since early April of this year.

Pluto was the god of the Underworld, and he takes that role astrologically as well.  He brings us into the realm of the subconscious, the dark and frightening, the secret rage and desire and shadowy obsessions that lurk beneath the Sun of the conscious Self.  But Pluto has another role as well: aligning our intentions and our Will with our higher self.  He is a god, after all.

Our fear of Pluto correlates with our concept of the Underworld.  Some writers call Pluto the “Lord of Hell.”  But the Underworld that Pluto presided over was not a hellish place.  The dead and the living commingled there and communicated with each other.  In addition, Pluto had another role in Roman mythology – he was also the god of wealth that came in the form of gold, silver, and other treasures that were mined from beneath the surface of the Earth.  So we have a correlation here of gifts and divine treasures that are provided by Pluto when we have the courage to enter the Underworld.

Pluto transits can be hell, and they can also be divine experiences of the empowerment of the soul.  For at its core, Pluto is the god of ultimate Power.  Where Mars rules war, Pluto rules nuclear war.  But while Pluto’s power is destructive, it is also the power of the Soul to transform us in an […]

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By |2009-09-11T07:41:12-04:00September 11th, 2009|Life|Comments Off on Pluto changes direction today, September 11, and Astrology in my world

A challenging planetary week ahead

Mercury is the planet that rules over communication, the transmission of information and the operation of small machinery, and for the next week or so it will be under stress, potentially causing disruptions in the way we communicate with others and the smooth operation of business.

Mercury is in its own sign of Virgo where it is usually practical and logical, good with details and effective in creating order out of the routine of day-to-day life. It is approaching a conjunction to Saturn which will encourage us to take a more serious approach to the everyday workings of our life. This is a time to knuckle down and honor responsibilities rather than seek the freedom of our individuality.

Mars is the planet that stimulates desire and passion, and it is in Mercury’s other sign of Gemini. A heightened intensity in communication is one of the hallmarks of Mars in Gemini and we are certainly seeing this with the fervor exhibited in the Town Hall meetings over health care that began last week when Mars (aggression) made a square to Saturn (authority figures)..

Mars in Gemini also seeks new experiences and does not like to be tied down, and as Mercury gets closer to the conjunction (a challenging aspect) to Saturn it will also square Mars which will exacerbate the heightened passions that we are seeing and perhaps feeling as well.

Mars is raw energy, and offers the potential to harness that energy and utilize it to accomplish our goals. However, these are challenging aspects that make it necessary to use a conscious application of WIll in order to focus this energy in a specific direction and mobilize our intentions.

The exact square from Mercury to Mars will occur on August 27, so this tension is likely to prevail until then and […]

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By |2009-08-14T09:34:41-04:00August 14th, 2009|Life, Planetary cycles|Comments Off on A challenging planetary week ahead

The Solar Eclipse unmasks the fact that racism is alive and well

The major force of the eclipse is now behind us, although its influence will linger for the next few days.  Eclipses are often associated with the “unmasking” of something that has been hidden – in the solar eclipse, the power of the lunar unconscious force unmasks that which has been hidden from the conscious mind.

So here we have the revelation that Professor Henry Louis Gates, arrested last Thursday (July 16) was arrested for trying to open the front door of his own home in Cambridge Massachusetts after a passer-by called the police to report a break-in. There is some debate over whether Dr. Gates provided identification when asked, but I know from personal experience with friends how sensitive these things can be, and I can just imagine how Dr. Gates would feel, returning from a long trip to China and probably exhausted, being confronted on his own front porch and asked for identification.

The eclipse fell about five degrees from the 8th house Mercury (communication) in the US chart, provoking discussion and inquiry (Mercury) about the hidden motives and power imbalances (8th house)  that are still alive in the US.  I sometimes think that it’s the African Americans who hold the cards now – we have a black president, everyone wants to be hip and talk like black people, and our most powerful cultural leaders are black.  But evidently there are still pockets of prejudice left to be cleansed.

The Chiron/Neptune conjunction (together with Jupiter) occurred within a degree from the Moon in the US chart.  The Moon in a national chart represents the heart of the people, and the Chiron/Neptune conjunction is serving to open up old wounds (Chiron) to be healed so that […]

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By |2009-07-23T06:40:41-04:00July 23rd, 2009|Life, Moon|Comments Off on The Solar Eclipse unmasks the fact that racism is alive and well

The Mars square and recent cyber-attacks

The recent cyber-attacks on government computers in the United States and South Korea coincide with the square (90 degree aspect) from Mars (warfare, aggression) to the Triple Conjunction of Chiron, Jupiter and Neptune which is still tightly in alignment.  On a personal level that Triple Conjunction has served as a call from the soul to delve deeply into the unfolding healing process in order to more consciously awaken to every part of our being.  (See my website and this blog for plenty of articles on the Chiron/Neptune conjunction.

That square from Mars began moving into alignment to form a challenging square aspect to the Big Three just after the first of the month, and by July 4, the date the attacks began, Mars was within one degree from the aspect to Chiron and moving quickly towards an exact square to all three.  This has been a challenging few days for many people, particularly because of the addition of the lunar energy from the Full Moon.  There has been a great deal of aggression in the air with a tremendous bomb blast in Afghanistan, revolution in Honduras, riots in ethnic areas in China, a surge of violence in Iraq.

When Mars squares Chiron in our personal birthcharts there is often a stripping away of any veneer that protects us from our wounded emotional places (Chiron), and we often react with anger (Mars) as a result.  The same appears to be occurring on the global stage as well.  With Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius, the sign that rules technology, and Uranus, the planet ruler of technology, in the sign of Pisces which can obfuscate the truth and create confusion, it’s no surprise that techniques of war are rapidly mutating into […]

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By |2009-07-09T07:50:53-04:00July 9th, 2009|Life|Comments Off on The Mars square and recent cyber-attacks
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