Search This Blog

Sunday, August 31, 2008


I was looking up the definition of the term sutratma:

Sutratma-buddhi (Sanskrit) [from sutratma thread-self + buddhi human spiritual soul]

The buddhic monad passing from life to life as the thread-self or spiritual thread of self, and hence the spiritual essence of all past incarnations, the higher self in each person.

And I found this lovely video of a meditation site that is being built:

The Wundermap

This image shows the current tracks for Hurricane Gustav and tropical storm Hanna on the Wundermap, part of the Weather Underground site. It uses Google Earth to show topography and has all the names of the places as well. It looks like Gustav is going to make landfall between New Orleans and Houston, which would be ideal, because that is the least populated area for it to go. I-10, which connects the two cities, had the "contra lanes" open last night when we left our party. In other words, all the lanes of I-10 were west only, from New Orleans to just east of Houston. There was a lot of traffic on it, but it was moving well.

Esperanza's Birthday Party

Esperanza is one of my dearest friends. She is originally from Ecuador, and still has a strong, beautiful Spanish accent. She gives so much love to everyone around her, she is an inspiration to us all.

Her 70th birthday party was last night, at a small rancho set in the middle of a very industrial area. The place has a house, patio, party room where we met, a big pond encircled by trees that have their trunks painted white up to about four feet high. In the back, if you walk around the pond, is a barn with goats, three nannies and a billy (yes he stunk, but he was the only odoriferous one), and several beautiful horses. Someone later told us that there was an alligator in the pond. (!)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Evacuation Preparation

We live in the green area (I put a red dot to approximate our location), evacuation zone B. Yellow evacuates for a Category 1 or 2 hurricane, green for Category 3 or greater, and orange for category 4 or 5.

I still hope it will not come to this, but I am not in charge of Gustav.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Fiendish Mexican Bug Retold

I told Osprey the story of the Fiendish Mexican Bug, but it fell flat, so here is the story for your pleasure or disgust.

Long ago in a far-off land, Nancy Elliott left for vacation in Monterrey, Mexico. When she returned she had gifts for her friends. My gift was a small carved horse (the dog above approximates the level of craft). I cherished my gift, painted pink, purple and red, and put it in a place of honor beside my computer monitor.

The next day there was a tiny pile of sawdust under the carved animal. I could not imagine where it had come from, as there did not appear to be a hole in the animal. However, the next day there was an even larger pile of sawdust. I hoped it was some sort of packing that was seeping out of the horse's belly, and tried to ignore it.

Finally, on the third day, when the pile was larger yet, I approached Nancy with the problem. "I think there is something inside that is drilling, drilling drilling," I said.

Not one to hesitate, Nancy said, "We will get to the bottom of this. Fetch me a glass of water!"

I brought the water back and she dunked the little carving into it. The color came off and into the pink water swam a little black bug, paddling for his very life.

"It's a Fiendish Mexican Bug!" Nancy shouted. "We have to kill it!"

We managed to end that bug's life there in the art department, but I wish I still had that little pink wooden horse. Between the drilling and the water, sadly, he was utterly ruined.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

State (and Province) Rivalries

photo: Wisconsin Dells

Finally! HWMNBMIMB* stated it perfectly. We were discussing his Alma Mater, I saying he was obsessed with it ... he saying yes, it is like Texans feel about Texas. I: Wisconsinites do not feel that way about Wisconsin, as if it were the best and only good state. Wisconsinites tend to be obsessed with their nearest neighbor, Illinois. Some use epithets to describe natives of that state! He said, yes, they (the outsiders) come in and take the place over, then put it down.

If one visits the Wisconsin Dells, or Door County Peninsula, one will see hordes of Chicagoans who do exactly that: simultaneously mob the place and put it down, making fun of the natives as being ignorant fools, because most people in Wisconsin are not as obsessed with making a killing financially than are their Chicago neighbors. Life moves more slowly and is more relaxed.

The same thing tends to happen with Northeasterners (USA) who mob Williamsburg, Virginia, and scream that the bagels are not to their liking, and where is their New York Times! ... And Ontarians flood into Buffalo to shop where the prices are better, and to get elective medical care quickly, then look down their noses at the United States.

I think this is more a phenomenon of big-city dwellers going to vacation areas that are less densely populated than it is state/state/province rivalry, but it is ugly no matter what the reason for it.

*He Who Must Not Be Mentioned In My Blog (thanks to Osprey for the term!)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Italian Ironwork Dream

This finial by Nigel Tyas of England is the closest image I could find to match the dream:

I am in Italy, in a small town with winding streets. I am here to purchase some wrought iron decorative pieces from an artisan. I find him and buy what I need. I am speaking to him when I realize he has a translucent fabric patch over his eye area (both eyes). When he looks away from me, I cannot see through it. When he looks directly into my eyes, I see them quite clearly. He explains that he had an accident many years ago and this became necessary. It is permanently attached to his face. His wrought iron work is exquisite. I buy one serpent shaped piece that is quite lovely, for the next serpent festival (leave Freud out of this!).* **

*Addendum: His kitchen is beautiful: white wood bowfront, small-pane glassed in cupboards above, in two bow shapes, over a double-bow shaped white countertop. Things are arranged neatly and beautifully inside, and all the objects are well crafted.
**Also, the shape above is very like the shapes in my paintings below.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Paintings in Progress

As you know if you have ever done any painting, it is a process of looking and working, back and forth, over and over again. These four paintings are close to being finished. Putting them on the blog gives me smaller images to look at. In a way it is like standing back from the paintings to assess them.
I hope these will be finished in a day or two, and I can have slides made, then ship them out to a gallery.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Poor Lampshade Head!

Bear must have had an insect bite. He licked his underarm till it was raw. Now he is on antihistamine medication that makes him very sleepy and he is wearing an Elizabethan collar. He hates it of course.

Paperless Society In Action

Is it me, or are there even more magazines out there, for tinier and tinier segments of the population? Many of these publications are new to the shelves, and most of them use heavy, coated, frequently varnished (an even heavier application of chemicals) paper stock for their covers, and sometimes even for their innards.
What happened to the idea of LESS PAPER? One of these is a "green" advice magazine, which is deeply ironic.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Second Life in Parabola Magazine

Parabola Magazine (Tradition, Myth, and the Search for Meaning) had this as its final page this quarter (theme: Man & Machine). The text is hard to read, so here it is repeated:

This snapshot by Rita J. King was taken in the popular virtual world Second Life. The photo depicts King's Second Life avatar, Eureka Dejavu, who has just returned to her office after preparing for a virtual Hajj to Mecca as part of the "Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds" project. To learn more, visit dispatches from the Imagination Age at

Launched on June 23, 2003, Second Life is an on-line user-defined virtual world where "Residents" interact with one another via "avatars"; build domestic, recreational, and commercial environments; and participate in and maintain an actual money-based economy (currency: Linden Dollars). At the end of March 2008, thirteen million accounts were registered and an average of 38,000 Reisdents could be found in-world at any given moment. To learn more, go to

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Eddie, Eddie Eddie ... The Clean Side

THIS .....

Looks like THIS. Hardly a breeze man. Just a lotta rain coming down very steadily. I steeled myself to "ride this one out", and it is here. We live approximately in the middle of the second "o" in Houston on the radar map. Just goes to show ya, the "clean side" is very nice.

Monday, August 04, 2008


Edouard is headed for Galveston Bay and we will probably feel the effects of this tropical storm tonight and tomorrow. Apparently it is targeting us with very little probability of change. If I lose power, I will not post for a while. See you later!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Pluto On the Verge

Above are two charts in which Pluto is on the Midheaven. If you click on the image, you can see the details. One is TODAY, and the other is December 1, 1761, in the Age of Reason, 15 years before the American Revolution and 28 years before the French Revolution.

I put these up to illustrate Pluto, a tiny iceball whose movements have a clear effect in the lives of individuals (events can be traced by timing the transits of Pluto in one's chart), and in the life of humankind in general. These charts are set at Greenwich England, with 0 degrees Aries on the Ascendant. The reason for this is to represent all humanity's chart. Only the outer planets are shown, because they move slowly enough to affect everyone in the same manner.

The midheaven can be said to symbolize aspirations, in this case, the aspirations of mankind. Pluto moved over that point in the eighteenth century, a century of intense change and upheaval, when Europe moved from the Middle Age superstitious mindset into one of rational examination of natural phenomena. In a sense it is the time when the scientific method as we know it became the overriding consciousness. Many of the old ways were overthrown and now appear to our eyes to be alien.

We are in a similar time these days, when the ways we have lived are obsolete, but the new ways are not yet conscious. Uranus, the planet of revolution, and the new, has not yet crossed the horizon into the first house, symbolic of self-conscious awareness. In the chart of 1761, it is in that house; the new ideas were already being thought about and discussed.

Neptune, planet of glamour, mysticism, drugs and romanticism, was then in the 5th house of creativity and individuality. Now it is in the 11th house of brotherhood and the collective.

I see these sky augurs as part of the trend observable in our daily lives. We are witnessing change on a scale unprecedented in what we know of human history. Humanity must change but the change is still unconscious and formulating deep inside the collective consciousness.

Pluto could be said to have the motto, "change or die". It moves more slowly than any other planet, and where it moves, it changes everything on a very deep level. Things are never the same again in the area in which it travels. The level of change we saw in the eighteenth century will be matched, but on a higher arc of the spiral ... the "heavenly bodies" move, not in a static circle, but in a dynamic spiral. Every turn is a new experience, the same sort of change but from a different perspective.

For an astrologer's perspective, visit Astrodynamics