Thursday, January 17, 2013
At the Crossroads, by Jessica Murray
Review by Virginia Bell - Writer, Astrologer
A New Book From the Maureen Dowd of Astrologers: Jessica Murray
"What a time to be alive," begins Jessica Murray in her powerful and extremely relevant book, At the Crossroads: An Astrologer Looks at These Turbulent Times (MotherSky Press). Indeed it is! This past year has gotten more buzz than PSY's "Gangnam Style" and created its very own brand thanks to the end of the Mayan calendar and doomsday scenario. And while the world was fixated on December 21, 2012 (the date the Mayan calendar ended) astrologers were focused on something else: the historic aspect of Uranus and Pluto. In June, 2012 they made their first major aspect since the mid-60s. In September, they connected a second time. These two game changers will rendezvous five more times between 2013 and 2015, reshaping the world and our lives in the process. And you thought life would go back to normal when the world didn't end?
Ms. Murray is a highly respected astrologer and a superb writer with a passionate interest in politics and history. Her real gift is using her cosmic perspective to make sense of complex global issues and she does so brilliantly. In her previous book, Soul Sick Nation (which I reviewed on the Huffington Post in 2009) Murray took on the World Trade Center bombings, the war in Iraq and the Bush administration. At the Crossroads is comprised of a series of in-depth essays, articles, and blogs she wrote beginning in 2009 through June 2012.
In these essays she explores every major political, financial, and environmental crisis of the last few years (global warming, the oil spill in the Gulf, the economic crash, WikiLeaks, the Occupy movement, the Tea Party, Facebook, Robert Murdoch and Osama bin Laden, etc. etc.) as well as the corresponding planetary cycles. Even if you are not familiar with astrology, this book will provide you with a deeper understanding of the social, political and economic issues that challenge us today and the intricate ways they impact our lives.
Many of the essays focus on Uranus and Pluto; these planets joined forces in the '60s and the world hasn't been the same since. Now these two powerful energies are currently locked into a tense relationship and serve as a backdrop for many world events. Pluto's entry into Capricorn (the sign that rules business, banking, and corporations) in 2008 coincided with the meltdown on Wall Street. Uranus, a planet associated with earthquakes and extreme weather, moved into explosive Aries on April 11, 2011, the same day as the earthquake in Japan. The planets don't cause these events; they mirror what is going on in the world and in our lives. Ms. Murray's approach is to discover the potential in each situation so that we are "empowered and not devoured" by them.
She doesn't claim to have the answers but like an astrological Maureen Dowd, Ms. Murray uses her keen intellect and political savvy to examine the hard truths of our current crises and expose the story behind the story. She offers neither doom and gloom scenarios nor easy answers and magical thinking. Like a wise shaman she uses her visionary perspective and the language of symbols to show us the deeper meaning and humanity in these turbulent times. From this place of compassion we can find a path towards healing and hope. At the Crossroads will stretch you, challenge you, shake you up and hopefully wake you up. Ultimately it will inspire you to see the world and yourself in a new way."
THE REAL(ISH) SCIENCE BEHIND HOROSCOPES
Martha Gill has written a fascinating piece in the New Statesman today, collating the scientific evidence for personality differences based on birth month into a set of alternative horoscopes. And there's plenty more where that came from ...
1. In February 2011, the Bombay High Court ruled that astrology is a science. Government Deputy Drug Controller Dr R Ramakrishna specifically excluded astrology from India's Drugs and Magical Remedies Act (Objectionable Advertisements), 1954 which bans false advertising. He said: "Astrology is a trusted science and is being practised for over 400 years."
2. In the 1950s a scientist called Michel Gauquelin published a study of the "Mars effect" which, he argued, made it more likely that top sports stars would be born when Mars was in certain parts of the sky. His study was widely criticised by his peers.
3. In December 2010, it was reported in the scientific journal Nature Neuroscience that babies born in the summer were more likely to grow up with an optimistic outlook, while winter babies were more likely to suffer depression. Something to do with an exaggerated response to seasonal affective disorder, said Professor Douglas McMahon.
These guys are good.
The Astrology Podcast 5th episode:
In the fifth episode of the podcast Chris and Patrick discuss the 2012 presidential election in retrospect, and some of the things that astrologers learned from it in terms of which techniques worked, and which didn’t.
They also discuss some other notable events that occurred in the past few months since the last episode of the show was recorded in September.
This includes topics such as the eclipse in Scorpio in November that coincided with the Petraeus sex scandal, and the end of the Mayan calendar in late December that coincided with… nothing.
This leads to other discussions about the Age of Aquarius, the 8 year cycle of Venus, and more.
The Astrology Podcast