Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The Return of the Rings
Dedicated to all between 26 and 31 years old..... (and Heath Ledger ...sob....sob....)
THIRTY. The number seems to strike fear, dread and anxiety in most people. Male or female, one should have, must have, done this, bought that, had this, reached here, gone there etc. When the late 20's hit, there is a maniacal assessment of one's social, financial, physical, economic and even spiritual station in life. Watching those in the last quarters of 20-something I look bemusedly and with much sympathy at those who are going through it all. Unlike many of my peers, I am actually looking forward to hitting the Big 3-0 I still have twenty something months to go as i sit and see if i will fall all two's on the other side. Not because I am right on track with everything I want to achieve, but because of a little known planetary pattern that astrologers have come to call "The Saturn Return."
The what? The Saturn Return, and yes I am referring to the original Lord of the Rings (sorry Tolkien) and it's "return." To be more specific, the first time Saturn completes its cycle through your birth chart and returns to the spot it occupied when you were born. Without getting too technical Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest in diameter in astronomical terms but is known as "The Great Teacher" in astrological ones. It completes a cycle approximately once every 29 years, and its energies are believed to be the cause of why those years approaching 30 seem so messed up!!
If you are 30 and over, look back at your life between the ages of 27 1/2 to 29 1/2, if you are between 27-30 or are close to someone who is, stop and read this, please. I can assure you that it's not going to be a sermon, and you can of course come to your own conclusions and use this editorial to train your dog. But, if it does spark an "Oh man, so THAT'S why....?!!" reaction, then do more research on The Saturn Return because it doesn't just come once, but even thrice in a lifetime. The last cycle may catch you at 87, and honey, you had better have learned the lessons by then, or you are going to be one cantankerous old goat! (smile) Although a surly 28-year-old or a 58-year-old is still pretty unpleasant.
What exactly happens during the ages of 27-30 (I'm lazy, so let's just round the numbers off)? Hmmm, why don't you tell me? Perhaps you're in a relationship now, everything blissful, perfect...and yet...you just want to be left ALONE, your partner doesn't UNDERSTAND you, you feel like you don't know whether to STAY or LEAVE. How about work? Normally you content, all of a sudden there are other offers or major changes abound. You feel you're being pulled in all directions, the career path you've chosen is unfulfilling, your colleagues or your business partner PISS YOU OFF, or worse, you have just decided that life behind a desk is hell compared to making beaded underwear for a living. But so what? Life is nothing if one is not happy right?
Basically, on a whole you're going nuts. The normal you is almost unrecognizable, your family, your colleagues, your romantic partner and friends see you turning into something different, and they're right. Saturn asks you to "break" old patterns in your life, in order to sit your ass down, look you in the eye and say "Grow up, or get out."
True adulthood and wisdom are obligatory, because Saturn strips away illusions and points out limitations, allowing you to view yourself in a harsh, often unflattering light. At the same time, it endows you with prudence, practicality, and the perseverance to work hard toward achieving your purposes. The people and situations that enter your life in this season are literally being "used" by the Universe to teach YOU a lesson. You may even befriend someone suddenly who has recently passed a Saturn Return, because they know "exactly how you feel" even on a subconscious level.
If you, on the other hand have a friend who is going through his or her return, then you have to be the patient and understanding one, it is not an easy time. They'll be a little psycho, and trust me, so were you (ask your older friends or relatives). Sadly, 27-29 is the age when most suicides occur, because instead of growing up, the individual gives up. (yikes)
There is good news though...this phase is temporary, and it's always for the best, because that is what change is for, the chance to renew, to rediscover and to recreate the path this is meant for your absolute peace of mind and peace of heart.
Saturn brings to your attention what is important to you, to fill a void. Think of Saturn as that teacher you had in school, the one who was super strict, but knew his stuff, so even if the lessons were hard, you learned from him the most. That's what this planet is attempting to do with you, and it is a worthwhile education.
Let me clarify that the life lessons you have to endure are directly correlated to the quality of life you have lived during your 29 years. If you learn the lessons quickly, and take them to heart then the dramas won't be as dramatic. And when you hit your 30s you can, like me, look back, with a smile and say "Phew! Thanks for the lesson!" See you again in 29 years.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Les Catacombes : The Cemetery of the Innocent
After 2 failed attempts to visit the Paris Catacombes, the famous world of the underground, Jess, Manu, Marius and I finally had our missed shots rewarded. In my mind I had always imagined how scary it was going to be scaling the stairs surrounded by 6 million skeletons in the dark, I had an uneasy feeling at first but managed to cover it up well with my jokes on the never ending rotating stairs down to the Catacombes, we had to go 20 metres underground to access what to me would easily qualify as a world wonder.
It wasnt anything I expected or feared, the whole setting was dark, abit cold and but amazingly serene. The main entrance has a sign "Attention, you are now entering a place of rest, please show respect......." It felt so spiritual, so alive yet dead, so serene..........the beautiful poetry about death on the walls made it even more touching. Alot of thoughts ran through my mind as I looked at the remains of the many previous Parisians. At the end of the day, we will all cross this path, all that you have dreamt of all you have done, all you have not done, all you have acquired, material or not, all comes down to this, yet many of us tend to be afraid.
The Story of the Catacombes in brief: find on Wikipedia
(Heres a great site that takes you through the step by step experience http://triggur.org/cata/entry.html)
Friday, March 24, 2006
The Globe Trots along.....
Place: Rue de Courcelles, Paris
Im somewhere between Paris and Amsterdam, or living in both cities sort of simultaneously.....its kind of wired to have a double personality like that......my identity is so un-ZEN right now and i cant even tell what i think like nowadays.....its been an adventurous couple of months and for those that understand me "Mercury has been retrogade" which perfectly explains my current state of mind.
Im moving on to the corporate world and NO im not following Annita Roddicks "Body Shop" merge with "L'Oreal" but i bet we are on the same page ! (I wont give details lest i have stones hurled at me) Ive become an expert at dodging them though.....Paris has turned into a not-so summer party of late with thousands of students on street parties daily in the name of the notorius "CPE".... im obliged to believe that it IS french culture to "strike" theres a strike every day for chrissake.......transport, social services, students, religious fronts ....... transport, social services, students, religious fronts.........you catch my drift? To top it all Mr. Chirac stormed out of an EU brussels meeting when his minister addressed a business meeting in English (LOL)......No i dont hate these people.......its just so so wierd. I thought Amsterdam was the maddest city on earth !
I'm soon leaving Amsterdam (leaving party to be confirmed) and moving on to Paris and making some industry adjustments in my career, I'm still green, I will be doing green stuff.......only this time i will be doing it in the ungreen scene..........
Stay tuned for my "once in a while" thoughts
Bon nuit !
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
There are ways & ways of Change
THERE ARE WAYS & WAYS OF CHANGE
I realise that although almost any change is possible given the right conditions, the most possible change is the one that the heart most dreams of and this is because the heart is integrally connected to the universe and to an intelligence that is 'bigger than us' so to listen very carefully to its beat and rhythm and follow this is the key to struggle-free change. If you refuse to fight your own heart, you will be able to follow this rhythm.
One small point
To struggle is not the same as to have a healthy challenge. I refer to struggle as being the negative stress that slowly kills. Positive stress is what is needed to be able to grow. Life gives us positive stress quite naturally and if we are able to tune it to the subtle messages of our body, we can tap into a very natural internally-driven motivational force. Imagine what it would be like for many many more people to be driven from their inner values and principles. Might we return to a planet that is in harmony and driven by the natural life force which we feel and experience in community as well as individuals? Would this be a return, and yet also a progression to a new level of evolution?
I believe that we create our experiences.
I believe that separation is an illusion. I believe that at a deep level there is a web that connects us all.
I believe that this century will be amongst other things, about building bridges that cross divides.
I believe in a natural way of finding inner balance. That this is a journey and we are learning continuously. I believe in working with multiple intelligence, in a holistic way- using left and right brained approaches,
I believe in cultivating a humane lifestyle that honours the different parts in us.
I believe in ‘prosperity for all' as I believe that there is enough for all. The universe provides for us in every way that we ask, whether we ask consciously or unconsciously.
I believe in integrating emotions, mind, body and spirit.
I believe that we have the answer to all that we need inside us and in the moment.
I believe that under the more difficult emotions there is an intelligence waiting to be heard. This will persist and if not heard will develop into a troublesome shadow.
I believe that we create the struggle in our lives, at some level, often unconscious.
I believe there is an easy path of no struggle and that by tuning into the flow of life, we are always given the next step.
I also believe in the intelligence of children as new seeds for the future.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
The art of representing objects in perspective, especially as applied in the design and painting of theatrical scenery.
Ah well, I was expecting some exhibition full of artistic scrolls and backdrops with imaginative and wierd pictures (my belief is that all artists are wierd)so since she was "designing" the art behind the movies or plays - i didnt read much into what all this was about.
All guests were welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine and bitings before entering the main exhibition hall by suprisingly friendly dutch ushers - I was to meet the gang inside the exhibition hall so i walked in slowly looking out and about for them without spotting them, I noticed that we were in some really dodgy looking hall with wierd noises and with no fancy scrolls and backdrops nor people explaining them so i walked back to the ushers and asked them where the exhibition hall "really" was and they pointed back in the direction i came from. I went back and even tried to open some door in the corner hoping thats where it was but nope. For the third time - i impatiently went and made my case to these girls and told them they have been pointing me towards an "empty" welcome hall without any art !! The girl smiled at me and offered to take me in and explain to me what the "ART Exhibition" was all about. I was not prepared for this.
In essence, there were 5 main contributors from different parts of the world to this fair and under the theme of scenography, they had designed various "ambiances" to project their creativity, the first piece was the noise manipulation one done by an American student. He basically placed mobile microphones around different parts of amsterdam close to the exhibition building - he placed them under a bridge, by a canal, by the train station, by a hotel so basically all the sounds were caught at the same time and using some PC manipulation reflect back the sound into the room producing very strange sound effects.
Item no. 2 was Annabels' she had played about with mirrors and foil paper and random bits of wire and batteries - jungled them together so that they had 2 effects in the room we were standing in - first it appeared smaller than it actually was, secondly, it looked like summer daylight in the room (considering the dull amsterdam weather in an autumn evening outside)
The 3rd piece was from China - the curator recorded the tick and gong of the Beijing clock so that ever 20 minutes you could hear the loud speaker outside ticking nervously and "gonging" intermittently giving a communist aura to the whole setting. This one was particularly interesting.
My favourite was the 4th piece which was a dutch guy copying the walls and pillars of the exhibition hall and making the exact wall and pillar effect with cardboard and placing them in the building - there was no way on earth you could notice this - the cardboard walls looked extremely real and the chipped cement effect made them match those of the hall.
Lastly was the "conceptual" piece (to me this was just an excuse from the curator to a job not well done and replacing it under a complicated category name last minute) apparently his piece of art was the fact that he would advertise the very same event, the same day, same newspaper, same ad banner for the next 3 consecutive years. Ah well - these artists are all wierd anyway.
All in all - besides this being one of my most embarrasing moments in my life - I enjoyed myself and learnt a great deal.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Crossroads for Planet Earth
The Climax of Humanity
Demographically and economically, our era is unique in human history. Depending on how we manage the next few decades, we could usher in environmental sustainability--or collapse
By George Musser
HUMANITY HAS GROWN, gotten richer and transformed the planet. These three great historical trends define the present day. Understanding them provides a framework for dealing with, rather than becoming paralyzed by, the problems of the world.
The 21st century feels like a letdown. We were promised flying cars, space colonies and 15-hour workweeks. Robots were supposed to do our chores, except when they were organizing rebellions; children were supposed to learn about disease from history books; portable fusion reactors were supposed to be on sale at the Home Depot. Even dystopian visions of the future predicted leaps of technology and social organization that leave our era in the dust.
Looking beyond the blinking lights and whirring gizmos, though, the new century is shaping up as one of the most amazing periods in human history. Three great transitions set in motion by the Industrial Revolution are reaching their culmination. After several centuries of faster-than-exponential growth, the world's population is stabilizing. Judging from current trends, it will plateau at around nine billion people toward the middle of this century. Meanwhile extreme poverty is receding both as a percentage of population and in absolute numbers. If China and India continue to follow in the economic footsteps of Japan and South Korea, by 2050 the average Chinese will be as rich as the average Swiss is today; the average Indian, as rich as today's Israeli. As humanity grows in size and wealth, however, it increasingly presses against the limits of the planet. Already we pump out carbon dioxide three times as fast as the oceans and land can absorb it; midcentury is when climatologists think global warming will really begin to bite. At the rate things are going, the world's forests and fisheries will be exhausted even sooner. continue at http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&colID=1&articleID=00031010-F7DA-1304-B72683414B7F0000
Monday, September 26, 2005
The best trained army in the world...
US forces have fired so many bullets in Iraq and Afghanistan - an estimated 250,000 for every insurgent killed - that American ammunition-makers cannot keep up with demand. As a result the US is having to import supplies from Israel.
A government report says that US forces are now using 1.8 billion rounds of small-arms ammunition a year. The total has more than doubled in five years, largely as a result of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as changes in military doctrine..........