A New Chapter
Like it or not, our lives have chapters. Mine is no exception. This entry marks the beginning of a new chapter in my online blogging efforts, and it marks the beginning of a new chapter in other ways as well.
Astrology has attracted me since a young age, before personal computers were available.
When I was young, I wanted a way to understand others, to apply categories. On the one hand, I have learned methods other than astrology for that. On the other, I have learned that the true power of astrology does not come from putting someone in a box or affixing a label.
The true power of astrology comes from developing an understanding the cycles that repeat in our lives both as individuals and collectively and applying that understanding for our own benefit and the benefit of others.
Even when computers did become available in the late 1970's, they lacked sufficient power to do the job and most people still used books (called an "Ephemeris") to look up the positions of the planets to cast a chart, all done by hand using paper and pens or pencils.
For personal computers, what were called "micro-computers" then and "desktop computers" today, the power to calculate charts in any meaningful way, meaning to draw a chart, did not emerge until the early 1990's.
In the summer of 1986, I met a brilliant individual who I will simply refer to as "Wayne." I was a computer programmer. So was he, but he was also an astrologer and a bit of a local personality, a fellow known as both a musical and mathematical genius. In more ways than one, Wayne was "stellar."
We chatted for a short period of time, no more than thirty minutes total. The heart of the conversation was less than ten minutes, after he had "run" my chart using a "pen plotter" on a multi-million dollar mainframe, a DEC-10.
He told me, "you are rather good at symbol manipulation" as he stared at my 11th house stellium. I grinned and replied, "of course, I am a computer programmer." He replied, "I think you can do more."
He mentioned the 11th house leaving much of the significance for me to discover on my own.
By the time I began to get a grip on what he was really telling me, it was too late. He had died, and we could never meet again, at least not on this plane.
I have had some teachers who could convey more to me in half an hour than many university professors can impart in a semester or two.
Wayne was one of those teachers.
I know others, somewhere out there, need the messages I am passing on. Just as Wayne died before we could meet again, I know I will die before some of you, much younger than I, can meet face to face.
But, today, we have the Internet. And before that, by the early 1990's, I was using Nova Chartwheels 2 to cast charts for friends. I became a more serious practitioner. In 1998, I attended UAC 1998 and met both Ed Hand personally (it was actually a bit unpleasant) and his employee Ray (who I like a great deal).
Though I had none of the modern certifications, I had become a fairly serious astrologer.
And, by 2000, my life changed again. I went to graduate school, and that program had no room for astrology practitioners. I had to "go underground" as Cheech and Chong sang about Santa Claus ("the dude in the red suit ringing a bell"). I continued my work entirely in private, no more charts for friends. It was during this period that I developed my method of using multiple oracles, SUMO.
When I posted my first GrandTrines site on Tripod, in 2004, I wanted to make certain that important aspects of my methodology did not die with me. Many years would pass before I came across "Multi-Trait Multi-Method," a system that research psychologists use that is analogous to my system, SUMO. The psychologists are rather rigorous in their methodology. Most are atheists and "skeptics" who discount astrology or any similar system. However, my system is not for "research"; it is for personal guidance and necessarily must be tailored by the individual to fit the individual.
That method ("SUMO," or the "Strategic Use of Multiple Oracles") has become quite lean since those early days. The tools we need, and the opinions we hold, change at different stages of our lives. What worked for me in 2004 is not necessarily suitable for me any longer in 2020, and beyond.
I do continue to check the Llewelyn's Daily Planetary Guide most days and cast a chart for certain events or days a few times a week. But reaching to Cainer, Rick Levine's StarIQ, Kelli Fox's work, Holliday Mathis, or the work of any of the other famous astrologers is not something I do on a daily basis any more, often not checking any of them for months at a time.
Drawing a rune was something I once did for fun, but that is increasingly rare. And an I Ching chart is simply too demanding to do more than once every year or two. (I do make exceptions to all of this. But, most of the time, I no longer have the time or energy to accomplish what I once did.)
What I practice now is "Lean SUMO," just enough forecasting to make it through the day. I do keep considering the possibility of developing my own independent system of oracle, maybe a Tarot deck or some other kind of deck or a completely independent set of runic symbols but, so far, I have yet to do so.
Funny, but as I write this I wonder if I should expand back to at least part of the old system, if not daily then maybe weekly. Who should I pick? Maybe Cainer and Holiday Mathis? Or StarIQ and Kelli Fox? Or maybe that lone rune again? Decisions, decisions....
By 2008, I had been playing with "blogs" for about six years. GrandTrines on Wordpress was merely an experiment in 2008, a nearly private repository available to the world if they "knew where to look." I would cast a chart, and if it caught my eye I would put up an entry. I could share the link with select friends by email. My worldview was different.
By 2014, I had experienced certain setbacks that made life profoundly difficult and started one of the longest periods of difficulty in my life. From 2011 to 2014 had also been difficult, but a different kind: I made an erroneous career decision.
During this period, after 2014, I blogged on GrandTrines more seriously, and spin-off blogs, as a way to keep myself glued together. Just as my first yoga teacher had practiced yoga as a way to survive the murder of her only daughter, and a subsequent trial that failed to yield a conviction, I practiced astrology through a blog to hold myself together.
This was an odd period of my life (with serious health issues) that, in hindsight, worked well until several things happened. (At least it worked well in terms of astrology blogging. The rest of my life was disintegrating, circling into the central abyss of the drain, as I entered my second Saturn Return.)
But, those "several things" did happen. First, I began running out of space on GrandTrines (at Wordpress). I simply did not have anywhere to grow, and my numerous reblogs of the content of others, especially the ones who were too "generous" with their display of graphics, had chewed up my space.
Second, the eclipse of August 21st, of 2017 heralded a yet more difficult period of my life. I wrote an entry about that eclipse forecasting, to some degree, that "big changes" were coming. I had no idea how much that applied to me or just how profound the changes would be.
Other problems cropped up. Money was tight. (Still is.) Public assistance was not an option. Other forms of assistance were also off the table for reasons I cannot mention here. We found it necessary to leave our home. (Luckily, we found a smaller home that has been suitable, better in a number of ways, though older and smaller.)
Things worsened in ways not appropriate to describe on the Internet, even on an anonymous blog.
This confluence of events, running out of space on the blogging platform and the horrendous life events, left me unable to continue the GrandTrines blog on Wordpress. After one or two minor updates, Grand Trines became frozen, unchanging, and devoid of new material.
Tonight, the Moon and Sun are in Aquarius and just past a new moon. They signal the beginning of the Chinese New Year of the Metal Rat, what I have read called the "Golden Rat" in some circles.
I am not a Rat, but the year is important to me for other reasons. And, with an 11th house stellium and an Aquarius natal moon, this point in time, the Chinese New Year that begins with an Aquarian New Moon (true for all the others that I know of) is particularly significant to me. Astrologically, it is a turning point for me, a window to explore a new opportunity. My intuition tells me that either it will kill me or render my best work yet, possibly both. My hope is for a long life, but my difficulties worry me.
The truth be told, none of us have long in this realm. In the twinkling of an eye we reach the end of our road, the final destination none of us can avoid.
I was planning to start a new WordPress blog with little fanfare or effort. But they have made it difficult, maybe impossible, to start a "free" blog (actually paid for by advertisements). I am not going to buy a domain because I am forced to do so as part of a signup process. I am not going to buy hosting for a blog that I want to be able to last beyond my death. The internet, itself, seems to be changing (does that ever stop?), and free blogging is vanishing.
Wix seems the only option. And, for what it is worth, I like how they handle commercialization better than WordPress. So, if I do change my mind and decide to monetize my astrology work (or something similar), then I will almost certainly do it here. The support for moving a "free" blog into commercialization seems to be better.
In all fairness, I am not angry about what happened with WordPress. The same is true for the Tripod site.
The Tripod site was suitable for that era of the Internet and that time of my life. My only gripe is that "Webring," which I added to improve the options of my visitors, has since hijacked my site. I no longer have the associated passwords, so I cannot undo this damage. But, if you want to learn "SUMO," that is the place to start. Just persist, entering the grandtrines.tripod.com URL repeatedly until you have the site, free of "Webring."
I hope that WordPress prospers. They have done amazing things for the Internet. And I hope my sites are up for the decades to come, to show aspiring astrologers and oracles a methodology, an approach to astrology, that I developed and tuned from 2008 through 2017.
Now I open a new chapter, here on Wix. There will not be any more reblogs; as far as I know, Wix does not have that feature. I have no plans to continue the gags and jokes and satire of Lost Dudeist Astrology. It was fun, my own not so private version of the movie "Animal House" in Astrology blog form. The same is true for any of a number of other projects.
The lone exception might be continuing to post graphics of monthly outer planet transits, including the more exotic quintiles, biquintiles, septiles, biseptiles, triseptiles, and the several members of the novile family. This was on Mystic Rectangles.
Those calendars of aspects on Mystic Rectangles were fun, and some rather startling forecasts came from them (posted elsewhere).
One of these configurations of exotic aspects involving outer planets and asteroids helped me offer to "be kind to veterans" [and police and security guards] about a week before the Pulse Club shootings (by a security guard of Middle Eastern heritage who had profound Taurus-Scorpio energy, an energy that has the potential to be cruel (Taurus, as in Hitler) and lethal (Scorpio, as in, well, Scorpio). At least a few people (in mainstream media) commented on the deep alienation of the shooter, and I seem to remember one or two indicating how a "kind word" might have made a different. Sadly, my forecast had been eerily accurate but the warning ineffective.
I might reboot the material at Mystic Rectangles, the repository for information on the aforementioned exotic aspects of planets and asteroids from Mars out. And, I MIGHT post selected posts on some of the other ancillary blogs. But, for now, the original Grand Trines blog at Wordpress and Lost Dudeist Astrology are done, meaning no more updates.
At some point, I might add an update to this post if I run a chart of the launch of this blog.
Beyond that, I am uncertain of the direction. I will probably look at major lunations (New Moons and Full Moons), Mercury retrogrades, and maybe some of the other retrogrades. Rare patterns that leap out (like Diamonds and stretched Pentagrams) are good candidates too. But I am not planning to spend six hours a day on it again unless I am being paid and being paid well. A few hours per week, on weekends, seems more likely.
Finally, for some of you, I know this entry will be "tl;dr," meaning "too long, didn't read." You are not my audience.
A few of you, not many, have asked about my state of affairs (i.e. something along the lines of "why did I disappear?"), sending me messages through different channels.
For you, those who want to know, this entry is your answer. And for some of you that have not yet been born, this may prove to be an important "message in the bottle."