• Category Archives Astrology
  • Young Men’s Dreams, an Old Man’s, too

    Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

    Saturday gratefuls: Tal. Bread Lounge. F1. Red Bull. Scuderia Ferrari. Mercedes. Charles LeClerc. Max Verstappen. Carlos Sainz. A hobby. I think. Warming. Snow melting. Dr. Doverspike. Coming today. Kep, the early. His rear legs. Love for and from him. Tal’s dream. His own theater company. Like the Group of the early 1920’s. Young men’s dreams. Old men’s dreams.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Dreams


    Had lunch with Tal. He got let go at Evergreen Players where I had taken two acting classes from him. Budget. He landed on his dream. He’s doing two acting classes right now, holding them at CBE. American Jewish Playwrights and Improv.

    His plan. Build a theater company based on the Group, a late 1920’s creation of Lee Strasberg and others. An ensemble, The Group often performed plays written for them, using the same pool of actors, the Group, to cast each play. Tal wants to develop an ensemble which will choose plays and perform them, directed by himself. The plays will fit the ensemble rather than assembling a cast to fit the play. He had the first board meeting for his company last week.

    Luke, too. Wanting to work with the things he loves: Tarot and Astrology and Art. A young man with a dream. He had an interview two days ago with Judaism Yourway for a tech position with them. If he gets it, it could fund his developing a practice with Tarot and Astrology. Give him more time to develop his art.

    The late twenties, early thirties. A time for exploration. Testing the self. Trying this, then that. Who will I be? Who can I be? When will it happen for me? Dreaming with them both. An old man’s dream, may these young men realize theirs.


    This old man has dreams, too. He wants to write a book, another book. That one about the pagan life. About finding and developing a love for Mother Earth and Father Sun. But. He’s stuck. Maybe depressed?

    I have plenty of time. Plenty of material, both original and researched. I know how to stick with a project until I have completed manuscripts. Yet. I’m not writing. Not even picking up a keyboard.

    Maybe the deep sadness over cancer has combined with suppressed feelings over Kate’s long illness and death, over Jon’s life, his divorce, his death, and Ruth’s mental health to cast a darker pall over me than I’ve known. Recognized.

    When I worked with Alan and Cheri last weekend, I discovered I had stamina. Yet when I come home, I fall into routines. Some helpful. Like Ancientrails. Like caring for Kep. Though I’ve not been as good a dad as he’s needed of late. Zooming with friends and family. Zoomies. Exercise. Cooking for myself.

    But my reading has tailed off into finishing CJ Box’s long Joe Pickett series. I watch too much tv. I don’t feel energetic at home. One or two events outside of the house and I’m done with my day. Yes, there’s the trifecta: low testosterone, altitude, and my funky diaphragm. And, yes, they affect me. But I’m beginning to think my low energy may have deeper and other roots.

    Not sure where to go with this. Not sure I’m right. Paying attention in a different way now.

  • Final Take on Astrology for now

    Beltane and the Living in the Mountains Moon


    My presentation for the last class of three semesters of Astrology and Kabbalah.


    Embrace the fuzziness. Nicole. Good advice, Nicole. Life is full of fuzziness. Anyone who claims clarity needs to polish the lens of their inner eye. Anyone who claims certainty needs to pause and open the scope of their knowledge. Even science, perhaps especially science, is true for this moment only. Until new data becomes available.

    Knowing these things lead me for many years to be a flat-earth skeptic. Even if you think you can prove it to me, you can’t. I wasn’t, at least most of the time, belligerent about it. I would quietly say no and step to the side of onrushing dogma or ideology. Only put up a raised hand, palm out, if I considered them racist, or unjust, or sexist, or dangerous in some way to self or others. Turns out there are a lot of those, but you all know that.

    With Astrology I’m choosing to step to the side. I can see the benefits it brings to those of you who pursue it. A means of self-reflection, self-critique. Amen to that. With the caveat that Judaism insists on: no predictive Astrology, its value as a tool is first and foremost for personal, even soul learning.

    As Elisa said, “It may not be your language.” As a tool for my personal use, not right now anyhow. I still want to get readings of my chart. Go figure. But as for pursuing this more on my own. Not right now.

    As with all the classes at Kabbalah Experience, I’ve enjoyed my fellow students and teachers. I’ve learned a lot. Certainly about Astrology, but also about how Kabbalah interacts with the months and how the Tree of Life can add meaning to the pursuits of Astrology.

    A pleasure to learn with you all. Thanks for all the fish.

  • No Title

    Beltane and the Living in the Mountains Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: Life review. Sumi-e. Ruth. Snow. Yes. I mean it. June 1st, big Snow. Limbs down. Good sleeping. Astrology. Sun sign, Moon, and Ascending. Kep in the bed for the second night in a row. Hawai’i. I was there last year this time. Richard Powers. Reading. Trail hiking. TV back in its usual spot. Alan. Tom.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Snow!

    Tarot: Queen of Arrows

    “In Shamanic terms, Swans are about developing a sense of self, awakening your intuition, and a graceful disposition to others…Within the card lies the promise of rebirth and creativity – the tiny primrose peeping through the long grass. Willow is also more than a symbol of sorrow, it also promotes great healing and relief of pain…Queen of Arrows is completely independent, but she loves groups that bring like-minded people together.” tarotx.net


    These heavy, wet Snows put a lot of pressure on powerlines. My lights flickery. Power on and off. Not sure if the generator is on or not since I’m up in the loft. The maintenance kit for it has not come in yet. Ordered a month ago. Still working after that brief hiccup when Diane was here. Grateful to have it.

    Also grateful to have the Snow. Fire repressing Snow. And the liquid flowing into my tiny Aquifer here atop Shadow Mountain.

    Snow has started up again. How bout that?


    Astrology class yesterday. A question for the day: What gives you purpose? I said as I get older each new day gives me a sense of purpose. Yes. We live in the moment only. But that those moments, together, constitute our days, months, years. And each day with sunseen and sungone is a whole life. A rising up, a developing morning, a quiet midday, a winding down, and then, darkness, a night of sleep.

    Resurrection. Death. Resurrection. A new chance. A moment in which life can begin again. Old angers put aside. New loves recognized, acted on. Beauty admired, inhaled. Actions taken for justice. Following the Tao. Letting the day flow as it will. “Within the card lies the promise of rebirth and creativity – the tiny primrose peeping through the long grass.” Queen for a day.

    Simpler. Write. Workout. Lunch. Rest. Read. Go out or watch TV. Enough life for me. No pressure, no angst. Just the day. Some words. Some movement. Food. Learning. Other people some days. Some days not. Rest. My purpose; my day.


    Guns + white supremacy + Trump/GOP validation + inflation + job slippage among working class whites + fear of other others (liberals, gays) = chaos and violence. Topping this all off with a stacked supreme court? Priceless.

    My hope lies in two places: Gen Z, Ruth and Gabe, and dissolution. The acids of populist insurgency dissolving the current order, bringing chaos, forcing a new alignment of forces and beliefs. Probably not in my lifetime, but if so, yeah. I want to be there, put my foot on the accelerator.

    Not much, I know. But there nonetheless.



  • You’re Joyful

    Beltane and the Beltane Moon


    Friday gratefuls: Tiredness. Long sleep. Denver Mountain Parks. Trail off Brookforest Drive. Mussar. Feelings shared. Luke’s hug. Acting. Felix. Learning lines. Reading. Zweig. Powers. Meisner. Tal. Out of the head, into the heart. Jon. Ruth. Gabe. Diane. These wonderful Mountains. Shadow Mountain. Herme. Kep. Kate, always Kate.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Denver Parks Mountain Trail

    Tarot: Ten of Bows, responsibility

    “To tackle the challenges that come with responsibility here requires resilience, endurance, and assertiveness. The burden may be overwhelming and disordered, but the task given to you is aiming for a good, great goal, not only for yourself but also for your family or tribe.” tarotx.net


    OK. Second time in two days for the Ten of Bows. Psyche telling me. Pay attention dude. Responsibility. Those bows weighing me down. Keep moving. Be assertive. Yes. Endure. Yes. Be resilient, yes. Figure out a way to hold a relationship without giving in to hurt or immorality. Or, figure out a way to let it go altogether.


    More learning of lines. Reading about Meisner. “Renowned American actor and acting teacher Sanford Meisner developed his groundbreaking technique to guide actors in behaving instinctively and getting in touch with their emotions instead of getting trapped in their own thoughts.” NFI  “The Meisner Technique is a brick-by-brick process designed to get you out of your head and into your gut.” Meisner Technique Studio.

    A great way to move myself beyond the last period of my life and into the new one. Didn’t take the class imagining this reward, but there it is. Thanks Alan and Tal.


    Mussar yesterday. A sweet time. These folks have my back. And my front. Getting to know Luke better. Leo, his dog. A sweetheart. Sweet. A word I reuse. Means I often see the world as precious. Most of the time. Life, too.


    Acting class on Monday. Kabbalah and the Stars on Tuesday, zoom. Diane on Wednesday zoom. Mussar on Thursday. A lunch or breakfast with Alan or Luke or Rebecca. The Ancient Brothers on Sunday. An occasional service, a visit from the grandkids and Jon every couple of weeks. MVP once a month. That’s plenty for me. I wouldn’t want much less and certainly not much more. The Hermit in a Crowd. Living alone with a crowd.


    On the way home from mussar I stopped for the lovely Denver Mountain Park Trail near the bottom of Brook Forest Drive. About 30 minutes. A Stream. Valley walls covered with Ponderosa. Green Grass along the Stream bed. Going in and out of Shadow. Lodgepole. Dogwood. At the end of the trail the reward is Water falling over a graduated step of Rock, the Stream not yet finished wearing them down. The sound, soothing. On a small Pond I saw Water Wtriders. Picked up a Pine Cone that had a new Pine growing from its tip, a chartreuse baby Tree. Overstory on my mind the whole hike.


    During an acting exercise aimed at getting us to our feelings Tal said of me in succession: you’re patient. I am patient. You’re kind. I am kind. You’re joyful. I am joyful. That last one. Yes. At last.


  • Oh, the Wonders We’ll See

    Beltane and the Beltane Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Deb. Robbie. Tal. Gretchen. Alan. Terrence. Jill. Nights. Lunar red. The full red Moon. Cloudy skies. Skipping Sefer Yetzirah. Learning things in astrology. Not enough. Reading plays. Loving it. Art is not only sculpture, prints, paintings, metal work. Literature. Theater. Music. Oh. Remembering.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Alfieri and Felix

    Tarot: #8, The Stag


    “The Stag shows our connection to the universe and…organic life on this planet. The hatchet is a symbolic image of the human will to alter the environment. In order for the environment to change more positively, we need not only more effective actions but also (to accept) our responsibility to nature. On the shield, the picture of a great Oak tree reminds us that we must preserve and protect natural resources.” tarotx.net


    Wow. Up at 9:22 am this morning. To bed at 10:30 pm. Acting class and pre-bed routine. Woke up and felt great. I went, huh? No time to write Ancientrails before Astrology class. No time to exercise so I skipped Sefer Yetzirah. Skipping class. For me? Hardly ever. I loved doing it this time.

    Had brunch, then exercised. Felt and feel great. Pay attention to accidents. Like the fall, yes, but in this case a late night, late morning. Well. I could do this, I guess. Just because for the last 30 years I’ve gone to bed early and gotten up early does that mean I still have to? No. It doesn’t

    If my acting lessons take me anywhere, which I’m not expecting, but if they do, rehearsal? At night. Performances? At night. Services at CBE? At night. It would open up a different lifestyle for me.

    On that note. I got stuck. My Minneapolis Institute of Arts experience led me to a Johnny-one note approach to the arts. Painted. Sculpted. Printed. Sewn. Splattered. Photographed. Videoed. Yes. If I couldn’t regularly see high quality art of this kind, well…

    Then my buddy Alan suggested I take an acting class. Sure. Why not? At the very least a reminder of a different art form. One I’d engaged in the long ago far away. Whoa. Heart work. Body work. Get the mind out of the way work. Reread some contemporary work like The Odd Couple, View From the Bridge, next American Buffalo. Act scenes from them. Develop the Self in a new way.

    I mean. Like the proverbial 2×4. Oh. Yeah. And music, too. Gotta get somebody, maybe Alan, to help get my audio world turned on here on Shadow Mountain. Will begin again to read classical literature. Metamorphosis first, I imagine.

    As Ode said, routines. The only difference betweeen a rut and a grave are the dimensions. Yeah.

    So I may become a later to bed, later to rise guy. For art’s sake.


    Here’s a realization I had today. When I take something from Taoism, I take it as a Taoist.When I take something from Christianity, I take it as a Christian. When I take something from Judaism, I take it as a Jew.When I take something from Islam, I take it as a Muslim. When I take something from Hinduism, I take it as a Hindu.

    Furthermore. When I take something from Japanese culture, I take it as a Japanese. From Colombia as a Colombian. From the Celts as a Celt.

    Syncretism and appropriation are dirty words in most intellectual circles. I’m not trying to create a new, smashed together religion, nor am I lifting ideas from their living culture to reorient in mine.

    Nope. When I say I’m a follower of Shiva, which I am, I mean I’m aware of and beholden to the cosmic dance of creation and destruction and Shiva is its name. When I say ichi-go ich-e is important for me, I’m saying this moment, this one while I’m typing on the keyboard, throwing these ideas out into the cyberether, will never happen again. And, is precious for that reason. When I say I follow the Great Wheel, I’m an ancient Celtic thinker noticing the stars and the changing of the seasons, tying them together in a long, yet repeating spiral.

    I don’t pick and choose. Nope to that either. Some ideas and concepts that come to me as I read, listen, see change my way. When they change my way, they become part of me, part of my ancientrail.

    Neither striving for nor hoping for a neat package tied up with a bow. Nicely systematized. Not important to me. Insights into life and how to live it? Very important to me.

  • Continuance and Remembrance

    Spring and Kate’s Yahrzeit Moon

    Her 75th.

    Wednesday gratefuls: Kate. Her yahrzeit. Ode. Yahrzeit candles. Ebony and Vine. Pulled pork. 15 degrees. Geez. High fire danger. Kep. Who kept me warm last night. A year with no new firsts. No first birthday with no Kate. No first Hanukkah without Kate. No first anniversary without Kate. Changing of the heart.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Ode


    When I came upstairs this morning the yarhzeit candles, which I lit around 7 am yesterday, were still burning. I love this Jewish custom and added to it. The candle for that third entity between us, our marriage. As those first yahrzeit candles burned down, the last first, I could feel a weight lifting. My life feels a bit freer. Maybe a lot. Will take some time to tell.

    Yesterday was a busy day. Looking into the astrological meaning of Neptune. Investigating the significance of mem heh, “what”, in the Haggadah and in the Tree of Life at Chochmah, the sefirot of wisdom. Ode’s arrival.

    We chatted for a while and then both took a nap. We old guys. An early dinner at Ebony and Vine where Mark ran into a waiter from Jamestown, North Dakota. “My name’s Odegard.” “Oh! I know Odegards! Good to hear a name from home.”

    Came back and talked some more. It is like they say. True friends, no matter how long apart, pick up the conversation from where it left off. He gave me a sweet of gift of decal edged thank-you cards with Ode’s trademark leaves spray glued to the front: a Gingko, a Cottonwood, a Maple, an Oak, and a Fern.

    Felt like a good way to experience Kate’s yahrzeit. Two classes from the Kabbalah Experience, which I would never have found without her long ago conversion to Judaism. Then a good friend dropping by on his way to Tucson, staying the night.

    Remembrance and continuance. The very nature of grieving. Its core. The ritual of the candles. Ode’s memory of Kate making a big salad for the Wooly’s gathered at our house. A salad made from vegetables grown in our Andover garden. “Then she sat down and ate with us.” That was unusual because spouses did not eat with us on our meeting nights. But she was Kate and she lived her life as she wanted. I loved her for it.

    I feel different on this side of her first yahrzeit. Lighter. There was that strange joy I mentioned yesterday. It continues. A sense of completion rather than loss. We made promises that we kept. We stood with each other in tough times and in good ones. We weathered flaws that bothered our marriage and grew stronger from them.

    Today her memory is truly for a blessing.





  • Certainty

    Spring and Kate’s Yahrzeit Moon

    after the election, 2016

    Saturday gratefuls: Hoo, boy. Workout on Friday. Good, but hard. Two sets. Wondering whether I need to go to 3. Got my cardio up. Well up. 300 minutes in the last week. 5 hours. Love the energy boost a working or partly working thyroid gives. Jackie. Haircut. She’s a sweetheart. She said of Kate, “I miss her flipping you off.” Me, too.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: April



    Decided two things. 1. Write Ancientrails and workout. See where the day goes after. 2. Make one new recipe and one new salad each week. On 2. Still trying to navigate cooking for one, yet liking to cook. Difficult. Finishing the first phase of kitchen reassemble today and tomorrow. Gonna. Get. It. Done.

    Even though my energy level has improved a lot, my stamina is still not great. Plus I find myself easily overwhelmed with trying to imagine a good way of replacing items in the cabinets. Plan to push past that and finish. Things can always get moved later if I don’t like their location.

    I would also like to get the remaining common room papers at least moved out of the room, set up the Roomba. Let the common room enter its useful period. May hang some art if I have energy left. Still have to call Dave for the couch reupholstery. And Peter needs to come and hang two lamps. Chandelier coming later.

    Plan to get some firewood today, too. Not a lot, enough for two or three fires. See how my lungs handle it. Should be ok, but…


    To Speak for the Trees is a feminist work of top order. Also a work about claiming and owning your own gifts. And, not coincidentally, a powerful expression of the Celtic cultural deposit. Very similar to the First Nations in kind and quality. In fact, the Celtic experience in the British Isles has many similarities to the Native experience in the U.S.

    Although their near genocide happened much further back in time. The Romans drove them into Wales and up into Scotland, down into Cornwall. The Vikings attacked what is now Ireland. Where the red hair comes from. Then the Roman Catholic Church, allied with the Anglo-Saxons, drove the ancient Celtic faith often literally underground, building their churches over holy wells and other sacred spots. The bastards.

    The old Celtic culture lasted longest in Wales, parts of Scotland, and in the Gaeltalk part of Ireland. Brittany and Galicia, in France and Spain respectively, as well.

    Beresford-Kroger writes of her education in the old ways in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s as the final waning of Druidic lore and the old Celtic culture. She is in my pantheon of heroines. Be like Diana.


    Setting out on another semester of classes at the Kabbalah Experience: Sefer Yetzirah III and Diving Deep into the Stars or Astrology and Kabbalah III. Having fun with these. Guess you could call it a quasi-hobby. Quasi because it’s too serious for fun and too much fun to be serious. I really like these classes, the strange world they open up. And, as David says, even if you’re agnostic about astrology you’re still learning something about yourself, aren’t you? I am.

    Because I’ve dipped a foot (way more than a toe by this point) into Kabbalah, astrology, and tarot, when I saw the sign for new moon intuitive readings, I thought, what the hell? $20 for 15 minutes. Just down from Jackie’s hair salon.

    Put my money down. Get quiet, then when you’re ready, say your name three times. Charles Buckman-Ellis. Charles Buckman-Ellis. Charles Buckman-Ellis. You’re at a big turning point. Well, yes. You’re a strong psychic, you could do this work. Oh? I need to lean into certainty. That’s probably true. Ha ha.

    After I told her Kate died a year ago, she said Kate reassures me, wants me to know that’s she fine, better than fine. Dancing. She taps me on the left shoulder sometimes. She wants me to live my own life. I have a strong core and that new life has begun to blossom. Mary, the psychic, mentioned a rose, but I saw a lotus opening.

    Not sure what to make of it. Some of what she said made me think she had read something of me. The part about certainty in particular. And, the time of a big turning point. Though I suppose we’re all always at some turning point or another. Still. I liked hearing  Kate reassured me even if I doubted it. Because I’d like it to be true. An odd time, definitely worth $20.






  • Learning Curve Trending Down

    Imbolc and the Seoah Citizenship Moon

    Monday gratefuls: Kep. My phone, which reminds me when 6 am is now. Darkness again. Sadness. Ukraine. Russia. War. Peace. That Dragonfly lamp. The slowness of things just now. The Ancient Brothers. And their still more ancient fathers and grandfathers. Including the con man, the Irishmen, the one in green flannel underwear.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Finding the stock pot and the mixing bowls


    Ah, the simple joys of kitchen remodeling. I put the stockpot up over the refrigerator, but when I first looked I saw only the second shelf akimbo. It was too heavy for me to lift into place. Can’t be there. Left hand cabinet door. Later, when I decided to look everywhere, I opened the right door and there was one of my favorite kitchen tools on a bias at the other end of the slanted shelf. Really? I did that? Yep.

    And the mixing bowls. Determined I went through everything again. Then, there they were. Again, right where I’d put them behind the Pyrex measuring bowls, sort of hidden. Whew. Not crazy.

    Bouncing between final moves on the furniture rearrangement and the kitchen reassemble. Both take time and energy. The end results I love. But still more slogging to go. A ways to go before I finish. At this pace? Maybe a month.

    I took a big check over to Jodi at Blue Mountain Kitchens on Friday. Bowe still has to come out and finish a few things. Minor. Convince one drawer to glide easily. Some staining. A filler piece between the dishwasher and the sink.

    Nausea has begun to get in the way, too. Damn. That’s no fun at all. This Erleada may be important, but it’s not very friendly. Hot flashes seem to have disappeared. Bowels a bit happier. Fatigue, stamina, and my tummy-not so much.

    Wrote a piece about astrology for the final class tomorrow. I’ll append it here*. Feels like a fail for me. Might be, might not.

    One similar tale. Long ago. Logic, my freshmen year at Wabash. I had done fine in Philosophy 101, all my other classes, too, except German. Which I dropped. Second semester I took Logic from Professor Larry Hackestaff, notable for wandering the green with a six pack of Bud dangling from his side, his belt run through an empty plastic ring. The beer looked like a large set janitor’s keys. Perhaps to the unconscious?

    It wasn’t happening for me. I listened to his lectures. I studied hard. I flunked an early test. Oh, god. Was this going to be my first grade below a B ever? And maybe an F? How could this be? Couldn’t imagine. Shame. Fear. Anxiety. None of which helped me of course. It was around this time I got diagnosed with a spastic colon, now irritable bowel, I think.

    And then. One morning in the library, in my favorite carrel, I pushed one more time and the world of logic opened up to me, blossomed. The law of excluded middle. Yes. Proofs. Yes. It was fun. A puzzle. Riddles within riddles. Aced the midterm and the final. Felt like I’d strapped myself to the mast like Odysseus, escaping the Sirens of doubt.

    Maybe someday I’ll have a similar experience with astrology. Not now. Not sure when I’ll go back to it. Maybe soon, maybe never.

    It’s weird because the Tarot has become a daily part of my spiritual practice. I thought astrology would, too. Apparently not.

    Breakfast now. Then over to see Dr. Gonzalez, see if we can figure out the fatigue-stamina-nausea trio. Does make me feel a bit fragile. A feeling I don’t like.



    *Astrology and me

    A learning curve difficult to surmount. Not sure why. Usually. Fast into the wheelhouse of an idea. This subject. Not so much.

    Part of it no doubt is my bedrock empiricism which can swing close to scientism, something I despise. Part of it is a lifetime of seeing the astrology columns in newspapers and reading them for amusement or entertainment. Part of it is a strong existentialism which finds it hard to give outside influence impact over my life. Part of it is the how. How can this be? How can this work? Maybe it’s the wrong moment in my life.

    These classes have helped me. I now have a better grasp of the elements of astrology, still unable to put them together with any ease. Not even sure how I can advance. Perhaps I need to go back to work with Elisa on my chart. Learn it. Get it down.

    Got to admit this troubles me. A strong part of me relies on intellect. Another strong part of me relies on the heart. At my current age I’d say they are in balance. When my intellect finds it hard to crack the code of a subject, I feel hesitant, reluctant to dig deeper. I had the same issue with languages. Just. Real. Hard.

    I wish I had a better way of describing my journey. Yes, I’m intrigued that my chart seems to get some parts of me right. Yes, I’m intrigued by the idea of transits inflecting our lives as the planets move. But moving past intrigue into using astrology as a tool for my own journey? Still not there, after two private readings and two wonderful classes.

    Leaving this path with way more questions than answers.

    But, as Douglas Adams said, Thanks for all the fish.



  • Mind Blown

    Imbolc and the 3/4 Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Past lives. Near death experiences. Mystical experience. Reincarnation. Ode. Cooking. The meister chef, Tom. Cabbage and beef soup. Catfish. Chicken potpies. Rigel. Drinking. Ruth, so much better. Jon, too. Gabe, puzzling. My mind twisting round. The lamp, Ruth assembled. Swapping out coffee tables, the new one down here. The old one upstairs.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Reincarnation


    Mind. Blown. Where to? Don’t know. That ship haha has sailed. Into the area of the map famously identified by: Here there be monsters. Or, angels. Or, Grandma. Or, the Otherworld.

    My buddy, Ode, who has long insisted that reincarnation is a fact, long proven, as might a friend of both Terence and Dennis McKenna, has finally pushed me aboard the good ship Beyond. As most of the scientists in the video below claim, I don’t know where the ship has set sail for, nor how to interpret the evidence in a definitive way. But I’m aboard, maybe as a reluctant stowaway, but I want in on this journey.

    No accidents. Not sure this idea and the idea of post mortem consciousness belong together; however, it is the case that for the last four years plus I’ve studied kabbalah, an ancient Jewish mystical philosophy that includes reincarnation as a reasonable and accepted part of its world (otherworld) view.

    Astrology, too, as well. A brand of this even more ancient discipline called Evolutionary Astrology which presupposes reincarnation and strong hints about yours revealed by the nodes of the moon in your natal chart.

    You might say, well, Kate’s dead so these ideas have more traction? Or, this is the day before your 75th birthday. What better time to throw on a sash that reads, Reincarnated! An escape hatch at last.

    Those could influence me, I suppose, but all my life I’ve thought on my own, accepting ideas and rejecting ideas because they listen well in my inner chambers of judgment. Or, because they seem like nonsense. The video below listens well there.

    An old and strong aspect of my thought could be called flat earth humanism, or as Ed in the video rightly calls it, physicalism. Materialism in its fancy philosophical dress clothes. Existentialist me, a Camus influenced college part of me, faced the darkness unafraid. Willing to make my own meaning. Living because I wanted to live, not because I had to and not because anyone told me how.

    That Alexandria First Methodist guy, a young one, had some notion of the afterlife. My mother’s death at 47 took it to the grave along with her. Not fair. Not fair at all. Therefore neither just nor loving, both attributes of the one, the true, the mighty.

    A while later I picked up the Christian mantle again and threw it over my shoulders, but this time I was not interested in the next world, but this one. How might we live here? Right here amidst war, the Vietnam War, economic injustice, racial and gender discrimination? I found answers in old Jewish notions of just kingship and a New Testament that demanded extension of love and compassion to the poorest and most despised among us.

    Nowadays the Great Wheel, that pagan metaphor of life’s seasons, including the long fallow one in which we temperate folks find ourselves right now, guides my thinking. I can fold this post mortem idea into it.

    This is a willed rejection of Wittgenstein in the Tractatus when he says: Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. I shared this chivalric reticence, its honesty, for a long, long time. Now I feel it reveals fear rather than expressing a stoic truth.

    Over the course of the next few years I plan to continue my study of kabbalah, astrology, and tarot. I ordered the three books of Edward Kelly. Gonna read them. I’m also reading two new anthropological books reassessing human development from physical, historical, and genetic perspectives. Taoism is in there, too.

    The Rockies and the complicated textbook about life and change that they are teach me everyday. Pursuing these investigations because they interest me. I may have a book in there, some way of showing others how the natural world can teach us what we need to know about life, and now perhaps, death.

    Gotta do something with this extra time the oncologists have given me. May as well be of some use.

    And, happy birthday to me!

  • Education and Snow and Drugs

    Imbolc and the 3/4 Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: David Sanders. Rebecca. Claire. Bonnie. Elisa. Snow. Coming down hard. Shingles vaccination. Safeway pickup. Rigel’s meds. Kep’s good appetite. Kabbalah Experience. Their classes. The kitchen. Mostly remodeled. The Mountain roads in the Snow.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Language, mediator or creator? Or both?



    2/2/22 -4

    Today. Trash out early in advance of snow too deep to move the bins through. First push for Vince, tomorrow. See how he’ll do. I’m hopeful.

    Talked about soul mates in Torah and the Stars. Is there some one, perhaps only one, who can complete you? Kate considered me her soul mate and I considered her mine. Took me a lot of relationships to find her. Worth it. In the class following Torah and the Stars,  Sefer Yetzirah II, David Sanders quoted Eric Fromm: love is being committed to the growth of another. Excellent. Kate and I fit that definition in so many ways.

    It also allows for the sort of love I have with Kep and Rigel, with my ancient brothers, with Jon, Ruth, and Gabe. The sort of love that CBE has shown to me.

    I felt energized after the two classes. I needed it because I still had to go back to Safeway, after a jaunt there around 8:30 am to pickup groceries and drop Rigel’s prescriptions at the pharmacy. After Mark Odegard’s bout of shingles, I committed myself to getting the vaccine(s). Did it. Got the first one. Two months later, the second one.

    Picked up Rigel’s meds, muscle relaxant and oxy, got a poke in the right arm. Which hurt, btw. Came back home.

    Next up tomorrow: getting started on kitchen reorganization. I plan to savor the opportunity to organize plates and silverware, herbs and spices, bread box and coffee maker. Getting them in places that will not recreate the clutter I had before the work began. When I see how long that will take, not long I imagine, I’ll call Modern Bungalow and schedule the furniture delivery.

    Ellen Arnold, Jamie’s mother, served on a subcommittee of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) vetting the new social studies standards for Colorado Schools. She asked those of us in the Thursday mussar group to read the ADL’s positions and to comment to the school board.

    This is what I submitted:

    As an old man who’s seen the changes in our country since the early 1960’s, I’m proud to be part of a state that takes history seriously. But.

    The ADL’s comments on these revisions, which I have read and with which I agree, make me remember the adage that history is written by winners. While this may be true in the short term, the job of historians and educators is to balance the winner’s version with the facts of how others were affected by the winner’s victories.

    This would include at least the facts about Native American deaths and cultural cancellation by the United States Government. It would include at least information about slavery congruent with the information in the New York Time’s 1619 project. It would include factual information about the Yellow Peril era and the subsequent incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. It would include factual information about US colonialism in the Philippines. It would include information about the Holocaust, Nazi’s, and other genocides that have occurred, e.g.the Armenian, the Rwandan, and the Cambodian.

    This is far from trivial. The history that we learn in school becomes the bedrock against which we measure the veracity of competing claims in political campaigns, in discussions with friends, in making business decisions.

    The trust given to you is not only to the truth, although it should first be that, but it is also a trust given to you by those not educated, by those not born, by all of us who need informed fellow citizens to make our democracy work. Don’t put the shackles on young minds. Set them free with the truth. Please.