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You probably know that Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian Renaissance master, painted "The Last Supper." It's one of the most famous paintings in the world. The original was commissioned as a fresco painted on the end wall of the dining hall at the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. What you may not know is that da Vinci hated frescos.
Most frescos are created using dry pigments mixed with water, which are brushed into wet plaster while the wall is being built. Da Vinci hated the limitations of the technique. The choices of colors are limited because of how the pigments react to the lime in the plaster. But the biggest challenge is that you don't have time to perfect the painting. You only have until the plaster dries to finish the work, and once the pigment soaks into the plaster, you can't make any changes to it.
This article originally appeared in the June/July 2016 issue of The Mountain Astrologer. All referenced charts in the article can be downloaded as PDFs from this link.
You can stop worrying. We will not be inaugurating President Trump in 2017.
Predictive astrology operates in the realm of possibility. The prevailing conditions define what is possible and what isn't, and then astrology can identify if and when a particular outcome is likely to occur. Trump can no more be elected President of the United States than he can be crowned Miss America.
Admit it. You can't stop imagining the swimsuit competition.
You may have heard the story of the blind men and the elephant. It's a parable that has been around for quite some time, and turned into a poem by John Godfrey Saxe in the early 19th century.
A group of blind men encounter an elephant, each feeling only one part, and then attempt to make sense of the whole. The man who feels the side thinks the elephant is like a wall. The man who holds the trunk thinks the elephant is like a snake. The one who grabs the tail insists the elephant is like a rope. Their individual observations are valid, but their conclusions are wrong because they missed the big picture.
Every time I encounter astrologers asking big questions, such as who will be the next President of the United States, I think of the blind men and the elephant. Each astrologer insists that his or her predictions are accurate, but no one sees the big picture.
Where do baby carrots come from?
Despite their name they don't show up because a mommy carrot and a daddy carrot love each other very much. Baby carrots aren't carrot babies. They're adult carrots cut down to "baby" size.
The "baby" description of baby carrots is misleading.
Rulership in astrology is also misleading. It doesn't always mean what you think it means.
What is the significance of Saturn being in Leo (Fall) [sic] and being in the 10th house (Ruler)? Or in a broader sense, what is the significance if a planet is in Fall and in the house that it rules at the same time?
When sharing his thought on prison reform at a fundraising event in 2015, President Obama said, "We should be reforming our criminal justice system in such a way that we are not incarcerating nonviolent offenders in ways that renders them incapable of getting a job after they leave office."
Everyone laughed it off (including the President), but just because it's funny doesn't mean it's not true. This is a classic example of a Freudian Slip where messages from the unconscious mind show up unexpectedly.
The unconscious mind is vast and deep, and because it's unconscious, we have no idea what it contains. The unconscious mind communicates with encoded messages.
As an astrological or spiritual counselor, it's important to understand this. Your clients are always sending out unconscious, encoded messages. Your client will tell you when you've made a mistake — even if they're not conscious of it.
A young woman walking down a street one night notices an elderly man on his hands and knees under a street lamp. She asks him what's wrong, and he replies that he's looking for his lost car keys. She offers to help him look, with no success.
"They don't seem to be here," she says. "Where did you last have them?" The old man points down the street and answers, "Back there, near my car."
"If you lost them back there, why are you looking for them here," she asks. The old man replies, "Because the light is better."
It's an old joke, and you've probably heard it before. But did you know this old joke illustrates the Secret of Happiness?
Everyone wants to be happy, but almost everyone looks for happiness in the wrong place. You search for happiness in the outside world where the light is better, but true happiness lives within you.
Astrology can help you find it.
How can I check for musical talent in a natal chart? What positions of Venus/Neptune foster musicality best? From what I gather, these two planets should benefit aspiring musicians the most.
Have you heard the legend of the $250 cookie? It's been around for decades, but the most current version goes like this.
A woman and her daughter were having lunch at a café at a Dallas Neiman-Marcus and decided to try the famous "Neiman-Marcus Cookie" for dessert. They were so impressed with it, they asked for the recipe. The waitress allows that she couldn't give them the recipe, but she could sell the recipe for "two fifty." The woman agreed and the recipe was added to her tab.
When she received her credit card statement a few weeks later, she was shocked. She wasn't billed $2.50 for the recipe—she was billed $250! She demanded a refund, and the store refused. She consulted attorneys and was told she had no case. So to get her revenge, she makes the $250 "Neiman-Marcus Cookie" recipe available to everyone on the internet.
Snopes.com does its usual, thorough job of debunking this myth, but what's interesting is the recipe itself. It makes a tasty cookie, but not a cookie worth $250. But that doesn't mean the recipe is worthless.
Once upon a time…
Why do these words have such power? As soon as you hear them, you want to know more. You know that what follows "Once upon a time," will be a story.Story is the engine that drives the universe. The real motivation in life is the desire to know what happens next.
Your life, in fact is a story. The truth is that you are an eternal, multi-dimensional being, currently having a human experience. That human experience is an epic story, called The Hero's Journey. You experience this story from within as a character. But because you're multi-dimensional, you're also the author of the story, the storyteller, and the audience.
You're a character in the story, but are you the hero of your story? Have you embarked on your quest to fulfill your potential and claim your greatness?
I have the Moon on the cusp of one sign, while it is entering another sign. Is it to be interpreted in the sign it's in, or the sign it's going to, at 29 degrees plus?
Most astrologers know about the planets, but a talented astrologer knows them. There's a difference.
When you know about something, it lives in your head. You have an intellectual appreciation of it, but it's an abstract concept.
When you know something, it lives in you. You embody it. It's subjective and real and automatic. You can access and communicate it without thinking about it.
Knowing the planets is easy. You just have to access your inner astrologer.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, "Yesterday" is the most appreciated song the Beatles ever recorded. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, between 1965 and 1986, over 1,600 versions of "Yesterday" were recorded making it not only the most popular Beatles song, but also the most recorded song ever.
If you wanted to listen to every recording of "Yesterday" back-to-back, it would take more than 56 hours. And even though you would be listening to the same melody time and again, you wouldn't get bored. Frank Sinatra's cover of "Yesterday" is different from Elvis Presley's. And you would never confuse Tammy Wynette's "Yesterday" with "Yesterday" performed by Daffy Duck. They all sing from the same sheet music, but they each bring something different to the interpretation. The art of musical performance means that "Yesterday" has a an infinite number of variations.
The art of astrology works the same way. Instead of sheet music, the natal chart contains blueprints. You work from the two-dimensional blueprints to build something three-dimensional, like a chair. But you can build an infinite variety of chairs from the same blueprint.
Lisa Asks: I have Libra and Aries intercepted in my 5th and 11th houses. What do intercepted signs mean? And what about the planets that occupy those signs?
Shannon Asks: What is the significance of two signs (Aquarius and Leo) being totally engulfed inside the houses—starting and stopping but never touching a cusp?
Danny Ocean had a plan. It wasn't a simple plan by any means, but he had lot of time to work out the details while he was in prison. He would get back at his rival by simultaneously robbing all three of his casinos and stealing back his former girlfriend.
The moment he was released on parole, he met up with his partner in crime, to set his plan in motion. Clearly, this was more than a two-man job. To pull off this heist, Danny Ocean needed a total of eleven accomplices. Getting everyone on board was the easy part. But to sell everyone on the plan, they had to show how it could succeed. They knew what they were going after: over $150,000,000 that would be held in the vault at the Bellagio Casino. They knew how to find it. But most importantly, they knew they could get out so fast they wouldn't get caught.
The film, Ocean's Eleven, is more than entertaining; it also contains an important lesson about astrology. You need to approach a natal chart the way that Danny Ocean approached his casino heists: like a bank robber.
What if you knew everything about color except what it looked like? You knew tomatoes are red, grass is green, and the sky is blue, but you had never experienced it for yourself. This is the basis of a thought experiment by Frank Jackson, called "Mary, the Colorblind Neuroscientist."
Mary knows everything there is to know about color. She understands how the eye perceives color, she knows the frequencies of light associated with each part of the visible spectrum. And yet, she has spent her entire life in a black and white world, and observes everything on a black and white monitor. One day, a door opens and she steps out into the real world, a world in living color. What happens?
My nodes fall within 2 degrees of a house cusp and I'm wondering if they should be interpreted in the next house as with a planet. Where it gets confusing to me is that the nodes are retrograde.
Mais, bien sûr, je parle Française!
I used to imagine myself saying that, seated at a picturesque café in Paris, followed by a stimulating conversation about art with a group of Parisian natives. That's why I decided to study French as my foreign language in school.
In my French classes, we spoke French, listened to French, and read French. After five years of French, I could understand a lot of French, but I wasn't close to being fluent. I couldn't think in French. It wasn't until many years later that I realized what was missing.
We didn't spend enough time writing in French.
I always resented the written assignments. I didn't dream of writing in a café in Paris; I dreamed of conversing. I didn't realize that reading French only developed the skills I needed to understand when other people spoke French. To develop the skills to become fluent in French I needed to write. That's why you have to write interpretations to become fluent in astrology.
Everyone likes to host a pity party, but no one wants to be a guest at one. Still, when I throw a pity party, I don't mess around. I have it catered.
I never plan for a pity party. They're spontaneous. Last week, I was feeling out of sorts, and then, Surprise! I woke up in the middle of a pity party, eating my third bag of cheddar and caramel pop corn. But I didn't know why.
I had a lot of work I wanted to accomplish — creative projects that excited and inspired me — and yet I couldn't make progress on any of them. I was feeling a little bit frustrated, distracted, impatient, and depressed, but those feelings were in the background. Most of all, I was feeling stuck.I was out of alignment with Mars and experiencing the side effects of unexpressed anger.
I was wondering if you could explain to me how it affects me that my 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 11th houses are empty?