Archive for January 2011 | Monthly archive page

“I’m telling you, THIS is why astrology is a bunch of bs! You’re telling me that all of a sudden, I’m just magically a different sign, all because some yahoo from the mid-west finally realizes that the earth has shifted? I don’t buy….”

Man, he wouldn’t stop. My boyfriend is a serious skeptic about things like astrology. For him to go out on a limb and believe that something he always took with a grain of salt was shifting completely, was asking too much. Apparently, a lot of people have their panties in a grand cross over the issue. It is quite the reflection on how society handles change in general.

But has that change really changed ANYTHING? Sure, the earth tilted a scooch. And now this constellation, Ophioucus (pronounced O-Few-cus), is in big bold bright view. Does that really make you a Taurus now, dear?

Well, even though his response was bull headed and stubborn, no, it doesn’t. To get to the root of this, I called up Dr. Craig Martin, an astrologer based in L.A. He was a funny man, short and to the point. He made it  clear from the beginning that Ophioucus was a bunch of phooey. I asked him why he thought so.

“I’ll tell you why I KNOW so… Astronomy and astrology are different. Astrology is an interpretive art.” One that an astronomer knows little about. As you may already know, the hubbub began when an astronomer named Parke Kunkle (poor bastard) proposed that because of the shift in the earth’s axis, a new astrological sign would come about and shift all of the other signs back to make room.

The point that Dr. Martin was making is that on the whole, astronomers don’t fuddle much in astrology. It’s an art that compromises the credibility of their science in the science community. So, according to Martin, the link between astronomy and astrology is tenuous at best.

He acknowledged the shift in the earth’s axis, but then he also went on to point out that this was something astrologers have known about for a long, long time, and that it’s already been accounted for. It’s called precession, and while it does have an affect on our signs, they knew that already. Duh.

He’s not alone in his conviction either. He has been interviewed by quite a few major media syndicates and publications since the uproar, and when he gave his take to Fox News and the Associated Press, they looked less than shocked. “That’s what everyone has said,” seems to be the overwhelming consensus.

Additionally, he pointed out that in order to make room for the new sign, you have to take time away from the other signs. “There is no way you could move through Leo that quickly… It’s huge.”

I must admit, I was a little bummed about the debunking. My birthday lands right in the middle of what would have been the new sign’s territory. Ophioucus would have been sort of awesome! And I still can’t understand for the life of me why people would be opposed to the change. But hey, if it doesn’t add up, it doesn’t add up.

For further counsel on the matter, I highly recommend getting in touch one of our local astrologers. Harry Farmer is a great person to contact, as well as Barb Heiam-Bjornsen.

Heaven and Hell Zen Parable“Of Heaven and Hell” |  A Zen Parable from Bambu Batu


A samurai warrior makes his way home after a long and arduous campaign against the barbarian tribes of the hinterlands. His robes are stained with the blood of enemies and allies alike, and the specter of death weighs heavy on his mind.

Before heading back to his own village, the weary soldier takes a detour into the forbidden forest to seek counsel with the wise Hermit of the woods. Making his way into an enchanted grove, penetrated only by the thinnest splinters of sunlight, the samurai swordsman comes upon the simple cabin of a solitary, old monk.

The hermit, taciturn, looks the warrior over and raises his eyebrows in expectation. “I come in search of your fabled wisdom,” says the visitor. The sage shrugs his shoulders, then nods, inviting his guest to continue.

“I’ve travelled to every corner of the kingdom, and beyond,” the warrior explains. “And I think I’ve come to know the ways of this world. But I keep hearing people speak of Heaven and Hell. Every battle I fight, I see more and more death. And with each battle it grows more senseless and more meaningless.”

“But,” he says, “I keep thinking about this business of Heaven and Hell, and I don’t understand. I can’t help thinking that Heaven and Hell are merely an empty promise and a hollow threat. Tell me, Wise One, are there truly such things?”

The wise hermit scratches his chin. Then he clears his throat. Then he looks his visitor in the eye and asks, “What kind of soldier are you? You don’t look very brave, and you certainly don’t sound very bright.”

Startled by this language, the samurai jumps to his feet and furls his eyebrows. The sage continues: “I don’t see the strength of a warrior in you. Who would possibly want the likes of you in their army?”

With his heart pounding and his blood boiling, the insulted samurai now reaches for his sword, and gripping it fiercely, begins to draw it from its scabbard. Noticing this aggression, the old man asks calmly, “And what do you intend to do with that? I doubt you even know the first thing about how to use such a weapon. You don’t frighten anyone.”

At this, the warrior raises his mighty sword over his head and drives a piercing glance into the hermit’s eyes. The wise old sage now raises his boney finger and says softly, “There, you see, you have reached the gates of Hell.”

The flummoxed warrior pauses to make sense of this. Then, finding his poise, he returns his blade carefully into its sheath and nods silently.

“And now,” the guru concludes, “you stand at the gates of Heaven.”

And so the soldier bows to the sage with gratitude and continues home.



For more enchanted Zen Parables to tickle your mind and soothe your soul, be sure to check out Everything FlowsThe Magician and the Prince, and Mind is the Forerunner of All Things.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sensō-ji, Taitō-ku, Japan (Unsplash)