The Day My Car Died

My 2007 Hyundai Accent met a watery death on Sunday’s New Moon. At about 11:30 on Aug. 28, I drove into a 7-foot puddle in New Jersey and had to abandon my car. I survived the accident because I climbed up on the roof through the sunroof until I was rescued. (Thank heavens I drive around with my sunroof open, even at night!) I’ve done the astrology of my car’s life with me. I purchased the car on Jan. 27 at 2:30 p.m. in Beacon, NY. Here’s the chart with transits to the descent of the car on Aug. 28.

The July 1, 2011 Eclipse and Hurricane Irene

Does anybody remember at UAC in Denver when astrologer Shelley Ackerman analyzed the July 1, 2011 eclipse chart and compared it to New York City’s chart and predicted “mass migrations” because of weather? I do.

Of course, I thought her prediction would manifest immediately so I stayed out of New York City in the days that followed that eclipse, including the July 4 weekend. As I drove to work today and watched millions of New Yorkers heading out of the city because of storm-related evacuations, I made a note to self: Eclipses are usually active for up to six months after they occur. Anyway, bravo Shelley!

Check Out the Mindful Walker!

Susan DeMark, a friend of mine with a nearly exact opposition of Mercury in Capricorn and Uranus in Cancer, has launched a new Web site called Mindful Walker. I quietly added it to my blogroll about a week ago, but now Susan’s ready to spread the word about her new “baby.”

I think Susan’s timing is perfect. With Pluto about to move into Capricorn, we’ll be taking time to notice and enjoy our surroundings, from Manhattan’s Fred R. French Building to the ‘Gunks of New Paltz, N.Y., to use two examples that are near and dear to Susan’s heart.

Susan has lots of plans for Mindful Walker. She told friends in an e-mail: “I’ll be adding photos within posts, other media and interactivity, Google map links, Google ads, etc… My plan is to expand in Phase 2.0 during the coming year into possibilities like podcasts and/or video. I have different content conceptions that I will build on, like 15-minute walks, “5 Top” this and that, and children’s walks.”

What I’m really excited about, is the section of her Web site called “Mindful Activist,” which she says “will promote various issues and encourage actions people can take (like saving the world from sprawl).” Can you tell that Susan is a community-oriented Aquarian?

Next year, when Jupiter is in Aquarius, Susan plans to introduce Mindful Walker excursions and workshops. Kudos to you, Susan.

Pete Seeger: Alive and Kickin’ at 89

Imagine the scene. You’ve just taken a leisurely jog down a trail that hugs the Hudson River. You’re nearing the dock where a farmer’s market is in progress, and you hear the familiar tune She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountains.

She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes
She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes
She’ll be driving six white horses, she’ll be driving six white horses,
She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes

Getting closer, you see a bearded, rangy man of indeterminate age in blue jeans strumming a banjo. No, you’re not hallucinating. At 89, Pete Seeger is playing for farmers’ market shoppers outside his Sloop House in Beacon, N.Y.

How many singers out there can pepper their performances with asides like “This is a song that Woody Guthrie taught me”? Say what?

I did a little research on Seeger, the legendary folk singer who has been a driving force behind the revitalization of this gritty mill town. Among my generation, he’s best known for writing the Byrds hit Turn Turn Turn and the folk classics If I Had a Hammer (co-written with Lee Hays) and Where Have All the Flowers Gone? recorded by Peter Paul & Mary and others. My mother knows him for Goodnight Irene.

Guess what? Today, Sept. 30, he’s released a new CD called, of all things, At 89.

Here’s Seeger’s chart, courtesy of Astrodienst. He’s got a Sun/Mars conjunction in artsy Taurus. He was briefly a painter before becoming a singer and musician. His popular folk band was called The Weavers, which has a very Taurean feel to it. The chart is set for noon because I don’t know the time of birth.

Mars is very active and it’s with the life force of the Sun in a Venusian sign. Think about that Mars when you hear:

If I had a hammer
I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening
All over this land
I’d hammer out danger
I’d hammer out a warning
I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

Seeger is a crusader. And look at his longevity: He’s basically a marathoner among folk singers. There is tremendous physical endurance in this chart.

The Taurus conjunction is sextiled by a strong stellium in Cancer, including a Jupiter that is quite close to the U.S. Sun and is very tightly aspected to his own Sun. Along with Guthrie, Seeger is the prototypical American troubadour.

Although he did not write it, Seeger adapted and helped popularize We Shall Overcome before it became the anthem of the civil rights movement. (To musicologists and African-Americans reading this: Don’t worry, I’m not trying to give him credit for the Negro spiritual. It was a black thang long before Seeger arrived; he merely helped spread the gospel, so to speak.)

Back to Seeger’s Jupiter in Cancer, which rules spirituality. As he did for his rendition of We Shall Overcome, Seeger drew on historical material for Turn Turn Turn: The Bible, no less. Those familiar with the Byrds classic will recognize the words of Ecclesiastes 3:2: There is “a time to be born, a time to die, a time to sow, a time to reap.”

Bruce Springsteen gave a new generation an introduction to Seeger with his folkie album and tour We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, in 2006. It was the first album recorded by Springsteen that didn’t showcase his own material, and was not a commercial success in the U.S. However, it was critically acclaimed overseas, where they generally appreciate “classics” more than Americans do.

Get this: Seeger has an out-of-sign opposition of Saturn in Leo and Uranus in Pisces. Sound familiar? The aspect between restriction and rebellion in his chart is similar to the one between Saturn and Uranus that’s going to be exact on Election Day, though Saturn is currently in Virgo, not Leo, as it is in Seeger’s chart.

At 89, Seeger is back in tune with the times. Some would say he was never out of tune; we just weren’t listening. Let’s just say he’s striking a chord once again.

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Seeger’s not afraid of another Depression. He had the time of his life criss-crossing the country with Guthrie in the late Thirties, holding concerts in support of striking workers, a journey that gave rise to Guthrie’s standard This Land is Your Land.

You know, they never taught me the last two verses in school. Do you know them?

As I was walkin’ – I saw a sign there
And that sign said – no tress passin’
But on the other side …. it didn’t say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!


In the squares of the city – In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office – I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.

I Thought a Frenchwoman Was Coming to Lunch

On Saturday morning, I opened my e-mail to learn that a former boss and his French-born wife would be driving through our neck of the woods on their way to the Finger Lakes in Central New York. Could he, his wife, and their two daughters stop by for lunch on Sunday? Bien sur.

I e-mailed back with my cell-phone number (I turned off the home phone about a year ago in a cost-saving measure), directions to the house, and a suggested time for lunch: noon.

Lest I sound too calm, please know that in my heart of darkness, I was quoting Kurtz: “The horror! The horror” of entertaining a Frenchwoman. All prepared foods, synthetic fabrics, and extraneous paper products (read napkins, paper towels, not toilet paper) would have to be hidden from view lest I be viewed as the sorry, overprocessed spawn of an American-based multinational.

I’ve read Colette, I’ve read Frenchwomen Don’t Get Fat. No, I haven’t spent a year in Provence, but our town has a farmers’ market and I have a garden. I have known pastoral splendor on these Yankee shores. I would prepare a Hudson Valley lunch that would not embarrass my fellow Americans. More than personal pride was at stake here.

I moved into high gear with the vacuum cleaner, sucking up cat hair that had accumulated in the nooks and crannies of the house in the past month or so. I drove to the supermarket and bought a leg of lamb, which I cooked for my husband on Saturday night with a rosemary-lemon-garlic rub that I made in the food processor, not in the mortar and pestle so prominently displayed on the counter.

Lunch on Sunday would be cold lamb and chilled cucumber soup. My side dishes would be fresh succotash with lima beans, tomatoes, and corn from the local farmers’ market and a wild rice salad with pecans and cranberries. I would serve a homemade blueberry cobbler for dessert. To top it off, a crusty peasant loaf from Mario’s Bakery down the road in Hopewell Junction — Frenchwomen eat carbs and still don’t get fat!

All the while that I’m running around, I’m mentally noting that I haven’t gotten an e-mail back from ex-boss, who as a young man was known to be quite mercurial. (I haven’t seen him in 14 years, but that’s just the blink of an eye for an Army brat accustomed to hearing from people out of the blue.)

Still, I know that if I make no preparations whatsoever, the family will be ringing my bell at noon on the dot. Isn’t that the second law of thermodynamics, that the opposite of what you plan for will happen? 🙂 Maybe it’s just Murphy’s law, but it’s definitely a law in my book.

Of course, if I did nothing, when my guests arrived I could have always taken them to Homespun Foods on our lovely Main Street in Beacon, where Jessica’s salads, sandwiches, and soups would certainly pass muster with a Frenchwoman. But I did not want to serve the fruits of someone else’s labor to our honored guests.

Fast-forward to noon on Sunday. My husband has ironed the brightly colored Jacquard Provencal tablecloth (no Indian knockoffs here!), which has come out of the cabinet in honor of the Frenchwoman. The coordinating, but not matching (too cookie-cutter), cloth napkins are arranged on the table, as is the Noritake Sterling China china, a gift from my grandmother upon the occasion of my first wedding. Six sets of matching silverware! Now, that involved a lot of digging through the drawers. (Who takes these forks, anyway? I’ll blame it on the subletters in the interest of marital harmony!)

Plenty of ice in the freezer, homemade iced tea in the fridge, fresh cut flowers from the garden on the table. Outside, I have pulled weeds and picked up trash on my street, as far down as three houses on each side.

Nothing to do but wait and check e-mail. At 1 p.m. I call the house in California and leave a message on the home voicemail. I don’t have his or her cell-phone number.

You know the end of the story. My husband and had a lovely lunch à deux, and the house has never been cleaner. It’s Monday at 10:55 a.m. and I still haven’t gotten a cell-phone call or e-mail from my former boss. I left the other place settings on the dining room table because they look so beautiful.

For the astrologers who are reading this, perhaps a void-of-course moon is to blame.