Sun, Summer, Summit

This trio of words — inspired by the Summer Solstice — are completely unrelated historically, but their phonosemantics are remarkably similar.

Sun

Sun derives from Proto Indo European swen or suwen, a slightly modified version of the base form saewel, which meant both “sun” and “to shine”. Old English sunne was a feminine noun, and originally all references to the sun assumed that it was female (as in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth — and you may be sure that this was something Tolkien was quite aware of). The sun only became male in English in the 1500’s, long after the noun itself no longer had gender. Phonosemantically sun indicates powerful directed energy (”s”), narrowing toward a goal (”n”), but nevertheless suffused with relaxed, thoughtful qualities (short “u”). Perhaps this reflects the paradoxical power of the sun to both bake you in its heat and lull you to sleep on a golden afternoon.

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Sarah Palin: A Reading

Today I found myself inspired to do a name analysis reading, and since Sarah Palin and her political influence have been on my mind recently, I decided to inflict her with one.

druidzodiacSarah, the name which represents her spiritual guidance in the social world, is a Biblical name, and one of the oldest: the name of Abraham’s wife. Actually Sarah’s original name, according to Genesis, was Sarai, which probably meant “contentious”. Some theologians think it unlikely that Sarai was a native Hebrew name — after all, who would deliberately name their daughter “contentious”? They think it more likely that Sarai was not a Hebrew woman, and the name Sarai wasn’t Hebrew, and meant something else; it just sounded like a Hebrew word meaning “contentious”. However, given the misogynistic nature of many ancient societies, I personally wouldn’t be surprised if it really were her name.

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On Astrology, Ancient and Modern

Spinning their eternal solitary dance in the endless void, the burning stars fall forever around the galaxy, dropping, as they go, a few precious photons into our eyes. Each tiny light-droplet is thousands, or millions, or billions of years old; and it has traveled almost six trillion miles in each of those years. Today an astronomer can catch such a precious photon on glass, place it under a microscope, and know how old its parent star is, how large, what elements are burning in its core, how fast and how hot it is burning, and how many years remain before the star collapses into ash, or explodes into a galaxy-blinding supernova.

Long ago, our ancestors looked at the stars and learned different things. They learned about themselves.

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Dealing With Difficult Times and Transits

Occasionally we stop and take stock of ourselves.

peleIs our health ok? How about our family, and the other important relationships in our lives? Our education? Our career?

And usually we find ourselves wanting in one way or another. We could be a little healthier, our family could be a little more tightly bonded, and frankly we could be making more money than we do. And so we might draw up a list of goals, or at least join a gym or try to buff up our resume. And we might follow our new plans for a week or a month, and maybe we’ll even make some hard-won progress in these areas.

Frankly, this whole process is ridiculous, from start to finish. Continue reading Dealing With Difficult Times and Transits

Barack Obama: A Reading

On November 4th, 2008, Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, and the stars noticed.

astrologyAncientAndModernOn that very day, the Earth was placed directly between Saturn and Uranus, creating an apparent opposition between the two planets. Astrologically, this planetary opposition indicated a conflict between an established authority and the forces of necessary change and upheaval. That was definitely a theme of the election. But this drama isn’t over yet: Earth will slide back between these planets four more times — on February 5th and September 15th of 2009, and then again on April 26 and July 26 of 2010. (Then it won’t happen again for 40 years.) Mark your calendars!

Actually, as an aside, this is part of a 20 year cycle of disruption. Twenty years ago, when Saturn and Uranus were conjoined, communism collapsed. Twenty years before that, when Saturn and Uranus were in opposition, it was 1968, an infamous year of assassinations, escalating war worldwide, etc. Twenty years before that, when Saturn and Uranus were conjoined, fascism came to an end; and twenty years before that was the beginning of the great worldwide depression…

So Obama will be president in very interesting times, and since time and custom and ambitious men have endowed the office of the presidency with powers far beyond what any one person can wield easily, it’s worthwhile looking at Obama’s name and astrological chart. What manner of man is he, and will he be up to the task?

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The Druid Zodiac

[Disclaimer: while I am a linguist, I am not an expert on Celtic languages (ancient or modern), and I cannot vouch for the translations offered below. Most of the information in this article comes from the book The Lost Zodiac of the Druids by Gregory Clouter, and it should be noted that the views in the book are not those entertained by most scholars.]

That the ancient druids practiced astronomy and astrology is beyond doubt. It would be amazing if they did not, since practically all ancient cultures did. But beyond that, their astronomical knowledge is specifically cited by many of the Roman, Greek and Irish authors that describe them; and there are even a few archaeological finds that suggest it.

mistyriver2Primary among these is the Coligny calendar, discovered as little more than a pile of bronze fragments in 1897 — most likely smashed by Roman authorities during the suppression of druidic practice — and painstakingly restored piece by piece. Less than half of the calendar remains, but there is enough to clearly see a beautiful time-keeping system that aligned the sun and moon into a single calendar, and listed dozens of holidays, rituals, celebrations, and the like.

But if Gregory Clouter (The Lost Zodiac of the Druids, 2003) is right, the Gundestrup Cauldron puts the Coligny calendar to shame.

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Steve Pavlina Book Review II: Seven Planets for Smart People

This post is the second in a series of three concerning the correspondences between astrology, the Tarot, and Steve Pavlina‘s seven principles of personal growth laid out in his new book, Personal Development for Smart People.  In the first article, I reviewed the book and suggested that Steve’s seven principles (Truth, Love, Power, Oneness, Courage, Authority, and Intelligence) corresponded exactly with the seven visible planets of astrology (the Sun, the Moon, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Mercury, respectively).  In this post, I’ll dig a little more deeply into astrological matters, and talk about what this means for you specifically.

At the end of the article, I will give summaries of Steve’s system applied to the twelve Sun (Truth) signs, as well as the placement of Jupiter (Power) and Saturn (Authority).  If you know your date of birth, you will be able to locate the section that applies to you, even if you know nothing about astrology.

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Steve Pavlina’s Seven Principles for Smart People: Astrology and Personal Development

Steve Pavlina, the blogosphere’s foremost authority on personal development, has written a fantastic book on astrology and the Tarot.  The odd thing is that he doesn’t know it.

ire21In fact, as far as I know, Steve is completely ignorant of astrology and the Tarot.  He is something of a mystic — by his own account, he has contacted dead people, entered the astral realm, and channeled spirits — but this isn’t his main focus.  Instead, his passion is personal development — the pursuit of individual growth.

Personal development is a wide area of interest, and covers everything from time management to strength building to better business practice to exploring psychic powers.  Steve has touched on every one of these topics on his blog over the past four years.  Partly in order to bring all of these diverse interests into one framework, and partly because he’s a nerdy guy who likes challenging puzzles, he has written a book called Personal Development for Smart People, in which he boils his mission of growth down into three basic principles (and four derived principles) which can be used by anyone as a guide to self-betterment.  The seven principles are Truth, Love, Power, Oneness, Courage, Authority, and Intelligence.

What Steve doesn’t realize is that these seven principles are already an integral part of astrology and the Tarot.  In fact, the mapping is incredibly straightforward, as you’ll see.  But that doesn’t mean Steve’s work is redundant.  On the contrary, he brings a fresh perspective and insight into these ancient symbols, and lays out a framework to put them to work in your life immediately.  In this series of articles, I’ll review his book, show how his system maps to astrology and the Tarot, and tie the systems together to produce a rich tapestry of direction and possibility.

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On Pluto

As everyone knows by now, Pluto was recently demoted from “planet” to “dwarf planet”. (“Dwarf planet” is an unfortunate name; for a readable explanation of why, try this article by a linguist.) For some folks, this change is of huge importance; for others, it means nothing. It doesn’t matter to the astronomers themselves, for example — Pluto is what it is, regardless of the name attached to it. It does make a huge difference to teachers of astronomy, of course. But what about astrologers?

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The Structure of Consciousness, Part Two: Astrology

This post is the second part of a series on the integration of several theories about the structure of consciousness. I’m going to charge right into the middle of it here, so make sure you’ve read the first part!

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