The State of Aging in America

January 30, 2011

Last week three middle-aged people knocked on my door, and introduced themselves as children of my neighbor, two doors down.  She moved into the neighborhood within weeks of my move-in, and had been a school librarian in Iowa before her retirement, so we had a lot in common–I’d worked for decades in K-12 education and was also a librarian (but was never a School Librarian).   These lovely siblings were knocking on neighbors’ doors to tell us that Barbara had unexpectedly died the night before, and to invite us to a gathering to honor her, at her home, on Sunday.

This WAS a shock.  Barbara was only 69.  She was taking medication for high blood pressure, but there was no medical concern about imminent death.   Her kids said her greatest fear was a long period of incapacitation.

At the gathering, I heard more.  She called 911 herself, and after the ambulance came, she was intubated–a breathing tube was inserted down her throat.  She clearly indicated that she wanted it OUT, and it was removed.  She died before reaching the hospital.

Of course, I’m questioning the accuracy of the details, repeated secondhand.   But the point was, Barbara feared incapacitation worse than death.   And quite possibly consciously made a decision to die rather than start a series of medical interventions.   And there’s good reason for that.

Thanks to the false use of the phrase “death panels” and the propoganda against “killing grannie”, old people have even more to fear than if the original health coverage plan had been allowed to pass.  The personal cost of health care for the aging and infirm, and the difficulty these people have in simply getting through the day without help, makes dying a pretty attractive alternative.  At what point does it all become Just Too Hard?  Almost no one has a pension anymore.  And social security is again being attacked.   Most people are in the position of hoping they do NOT live long lives.

It shocks and saddens me to hear friends tell me they’d rather die than face the financial and personal catastrophe of too long a life.   THIS is the country I no longer recognize.

Anne’s Lecture: Feb 13, Dallas

January 30, 2011

I’ll be speaking at the Astrological Society of North Texas on Sunday afternoon, February 13, 2011.   The topic:

Astrological Archetypes and their Planetary Remedies

A lively series of illustrations and examples will take you deep into the energy patterns of our familiar planets.   Then we’ll use this insight, plus wisdom from the Vedas, to discuss practical remedies for any planets that aren’t doing what you want them to do in your life!   Both beginning and advanced astrologers will be able to use this information to improve patterns in their lives and in the lives of friends and clients.   A limited number of Anne’s book on planetary remedies will be available for $12 each.

The meeting will be from 1:15 – 3:30 at

Stacy Fur­ni­ture Com­mu­nity Room (upstairs)
1900 S. Main, Grapevine, TX  (Dallas/Ft. Worth suburb)

Anne’s Art Tapestry: SHOW in March

January 30, 2011

My Sacred-Threads tapestries will be featured at a month-long show at the gallery of the  Unitarian Church of Austin, at 49th and Grover.  Nearly 40 tapestries will be on display.

There will be a special show opening party, and I’ll let you know the time and date of that celebration as soon as I know!  Prices will be discounted during the show, and a portion of each sale will support the ongoing activities of the Unitarian Church.

Changing Astrology?????

January 30, 2011

I can’t begin to tell you how many questions I’ve received about the recent spate of “news” stories about the changing zodiac.   I confess that my irritation (not with the questioners, but with the source) shows.  This is SO stupid!   In fact, every few years, some astronomer figures he can get his name in print and bash astrology (about which he knows nothing) with this very same story.

There were actually two stories in one.  One was that the zodiac has been changing, slipping backwards, so that the sign you think you are is suddenly no longer your sign.   Why this is suddenly news —well, we had some slow news days.  This has actually been happening for over 2000 years.

If you want to be literal about constellations and zodiac signs, the sign of Aries would be about a week long and Pisces would be almost two months long.  SIGNS are not the same as CONSTELLATIONS.  Constellations don’t arrange themselves in the sky in equal-size 30-degree chunks.    The zodiac is a circle of symbols.  Circles have no beginning and no end, but in order to talk about them, we have to point somewhere and say “Start Here”.  Western astrology starts by linking the beginning of Aries, the first sign, with the first day of spring: the spring equinox.   India-n astrology usually starts by linking the beginning of Aries with a spot in the sky opposite the star Spica.  The Indian system doesn’t drift because it’s linked with a star, rather than with the earth.  Both measurements have a complex system of rules and procedures for interpretation that are internally consistent and are different from each other.

And what about the “NEW” sign, Ophuichus???  Well, if you run a chart for the year 0001 CE, you’ll see exactly the same thing you see today.    And what is that?

First, imagine a map of the orbit of the sun around the earth.  It will look a lot like the equator, but it’s in the sky (and in a different place).  This is the ECLIPTIC, the linear path of the sun, that stays the same each and every year.  Spread out across the Ecliptic,  you’ll see the 12 constellations that give their names to the Zodiac signs.  These constellations are ALL laid out, SPLAT!, right across the Ecliptic.  The line of the Ecliptic goes right through the MIDDLE of these signs.

And 2010 years ago, exactly like today, one TEENSY corner of another constellation slips over the line.  ONE STAR of the large constellation Ophuichus crosses the Ecliptic.

When you have 12 constellations neatly bisected by the ecliptic and one more, with the toenail of its little toe crossing the Ecliptic, and when this pattern has NOT CHANGED for way over 2000 years, you tell me how this is suddenly news!

Congresswoman Giffords, and trends of 2011

January 8, 2011

Over the holidays I’ve been asked what we might expect for 2011.  I answered that I haven’t done a serious analysis of the year yet, but the one thing I do see is the possibility of political assassinations.

Unfortunately, the assassination of a judge and attempted killing of Congresswoman Gifford of Arizona bring this closer to home.  This follows the assassination of a Pakistani Governor by only a few days.

The reason for this involves planets that were active in the series of assassinations in the Mid-1960’s.  This time the rebel planet Uranus, about to enter angry and impulsive Aries, is traveling with Jupiter, the planet that makes things bigger.  These planets are squaring the phoenix planet Pluto, the planet of death-rebirth, or total transformation.  The square is a challenging aspect that forces action.  And Uranus is in an OPENING square to Pluto, which is a crisis of action.

These are long, slow aspects, and I expect to see more ‘revolutionary fervor’ (e.g. political violence) after Uranus enters Aries again in March.  Most of this year will be a collective reaction to these planetary positions.

What’s the point in making predictions like this?   Collective events are a result of individual consciousness.  If we are to contribute to sanity here, each one of us must learn to recognize our own anger and reactivity.  Not only must we act sanely, we must THINK sanely and FEEL sanely.  If a room of angry and upset people contains a few who do NOT lose their cool, who can stay on the scene and stay calm, the nature of the group will change.  Most of us choose to leave the reactive group and hang out with others who can stay cool, and while this is not bad, we only indirectly affect others this way.   IF you are one who can stay calm and centered around others who have lost their cool, your greatest contribution is to mingle with others.   Either way, our  job now is to stay calm, cool, collected, and centered.