Archive for July, 2017

Lammastide Landscape

On the eve of Lammas in 2017 I painted this watercolor landscape with seasonal images of migrating birds, foliage and water in hues of late summer as the sunrise greets the day of the much anticipated eclipse coming later in the month.


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Here is a follow up on establishing White Cat Appreciation Month! Sent by Susan F. A lovely lady from the poetry club.

Subject: RE: Templeton’s White Cat Manifesto

“Marvelous! I was one of the Ladies in Waiting for my girlfriend, Elena, as we prepared for a family reception for the fiancé of their daughter’s family arriving from England. Snowball, the white, blue-eyed kitty,  was grooming herself in preparation for the family dinner, as we peeled, chopped, drank wine, and nervously chattered. You see, daughter, Rachel, had fallen into commitment with the son of an Irish aristocrat, studying to be a pilot at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Sean’s family was arriving for a week of festivities prior to THE wedding! Thomas, the Father-of the Bride, had picked them up at the airport, and delivered them to a car rental depot. He was unusually subdued this evening, watching ESPN, as he waited for the show to begin.

The doorbell rang, and it was as if a fire alarm had sounded. Instinctively, we smoothed our dresses and hair. Elena looked at me for approval, and I nodded, as I took her apron. Finally! The years of watching “Upstairs Downstairs” on PBS with my mother was going to pay off! Tom opened the door, and polite exchanges were expressed. Snowball had taken her place in the living room picture window, and looked as charming as she could, blue eyes checking out every detail for her family. Everything was going perfectly so far, except when Elena ushered the family into the sparkling living room. “Oh my God! A Ghost Cat! “ screamed the strange lady from across the sea. The Yanks, shocked by the outburst, nervously exchanged glances in wonderment. I scanned the room for renegade spirits. “There! There! “ pointing at Snowball who was frozen in fright. “It’s a bad omen, for sure!” “Our Snowball? She’s a member of the family.” “ Get her out of here! Too much bad luck!” Sister ran to the rescue of Snowball, and removed her to the bedroom, soothing her dander.” “Here, Mother, sit down and have this drink.”

The marriage lasted two years.

Snowball tried to warn them. She nestled into Rachel’s new husband’s lap the minute he sat down on the couch!”




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A Tale of Cats

Templeton’s White Cat Manifesto
As told to Dikki-Jo Mullen

“Meow! Oh no. On the calendar it is again
August 17, Black Cat Appreciation Day
The thought makes me leap to fend
Off those so quick to agree and say
Those confounded black felines deserve
A whole holiday
I, Templeton, proclaim and implore
A celebration of white cats
Whose merits are so very much more
Than that of all the black cats who claw my door.
Meowing in protest it is said and done,
White Cat Appreciation Month is a point well won.
Of a hundred random felines throughout the land,
Thirty three of black there will be
Twenty two of grey will follow in their band
Next another forty three, felines all of marmalade, tiger stripe and calico
Overwhelming the neighborhood together these ninety eight cats will go.
At last the lone white cats number only two and wander,
As none will their love and attention squander
On the most beautiful and brilliant of all, barely
Two percent of kittens are born purely white
And we are never honored with an Appreciation Day or even a Night.
A whole month we surely should have
It is time. Proclaim White Cat Appreciation Month
With cream, tuna and treats would be sublime.”
(The story is that August 17 has been designated as Black Cat Appreciation Day, an annual holiday honoring Black Cats. The history refers to a lady who loved black cats having this day established in tribute after her passing by her brother. Templeton doesn’t buy it. Of all the cats born 22% are grey, 33% are black, 43% are tiger stripe, orange and calico, while only 2% are pure white.)

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Wonderful horse a race
Shadow swept
From daily pace
Prancing deep self
Promises not kept
By Dikki-Jo
(This original water color and poem reflect thoughts on a grey and quiet Sunday. The background is meant to suggest the ordinary, mundane and familiar, while the horse is the secret inner psyche racing through a colorful and imaginative framed landscape of secret dreams.)

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A Black Moon And The Great Eclipse Saga of 2017
Astrology for the Summer of 2017
By Dikki-Jo Mullen
The anticipation has been building for avid astrology and astronomy fans for many years. One young planetarium director said on a television segment recently that waiting for this event has dominated his entire adult life. It is a story to be written in the sky and played out on Earth below. On August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will sweep across the entire Continental United States. The 75 mile wide swath of total darkness at mid day will begin in Lincoln Beach, Oregon and end in Charleston, South Carolina. Memphis TN, Casper WY, Hopkinsville, KY and Columbia, SC are some of the large cities which will experience the totality of this, expected to be the most watched celestial event in human history. It is anticipated that 80 million people at least will have an experience which is expected to be a lifelong highlight. Yet, the entire event, from the time the shadow of the Moon blocks the light of the Sun bringing less than three minutes of total darkness, until the Moon glides on and the sky looks normal again, will take just a couple of hours. The entire United State will witness at least a partial coverage of the Sun, here in Central Florida it will be about 85%. 2:30 pm EDT is the time on the East Coast. It will be 11:30 AM PDT on the West Coast. Adjust if you are in the Mountain or Central time zones. Remember to consider Local Mean Time variations, the distance from your viewing area to the center of the time meridian, in your area. (The LMT for Orlando, for example, is minus -25 minutes and 32 seconds.)
Astronomers are hoping to learn more about the Sun, to be able, if the weather permits, to see stars and more. While astrologers are preparing for how this alignment of the Earth, Moon and Sun will correlate with events on the planet and in our personal lives. 1918, 99 years ago, brought the last eclipse of this magnitude. It correlated with the escalation of World War 1 as well as the Spanish Influenza epidemic. Eclipses have been linked to the births and deaths of influential people as well as other history altering events for thousands of years. Notably Robert E. Lee and Karl Marx were born on or near eclipses. Princess Diana died one day before an eclipse. More recently Prince William and Princess Kate were both born on Eclipses. So was Mark Zuckerberg, one of the most influential people on the planet. The Facebook Founder was born exactly on a lunar eclipse on May 14, 1984.
Eclipses usually come in pairs and always at a New or Full Moon. Solar eclipses are at the New Moon while the lunar eclipses are at Full Moons. The summer of 2017 brings a partial lunar eclipse on August 7 at 2:11 pm EDT, but this won’t be visible except in Antarctica, Australia and a few other places in the Southern hemisphere. The Great American Eclipse which is generating all of the enthusiasm will be on August 21 at 2:30 pm EDT. The two week period between eclipses tends to bring significant events. This has The 18 months following an eclipses will bring the full significance to light. There is a ripple effect. Also before an eclipse there is a foreshadowing of what is ahead.
There are actually two New Moons in Leo in 2017. The Great eclipse of course, but the New Moon on July 23, 2017 at 5:46 am EDT is also in Leo. It is rare to have a lunation fall in the same sign more than once a year. With two consecutive New Moons in the same sign this is called a Black Moon, while a double Full Moon is the more well know Blue Moon. It’s a “Once in a Blue Moon”, that is a rare time of surprises and strange serendipity. The fey folk and other supernatural beings are thought to be especially active at the Black Moon.
The New Moon on July 23 at 0 Leo 44 minutes is conjunct Mars at 5:46 AM EDT. This ushers in an assertive and competitive mood. Spiritually it is the double Sun decanate of Leo. A fire festival! Ritual candles to enhance the atmosphere as well as a solar incense such as Frankincense would be apropos. Fire elementals may visit under this lunation. Amber would be a favorable crystal. Amber cools the heat and anger, amber was once thought to be the tears of the Sun.
The partial eclipse on August 7 is at 2:11 pm EDT at 15 degrees Aquarius 25 minutes in the Uranus-Mercury decanate. The Sabian Symbol for this degree reads “A big business man at his desk”. The lunation will trine Jupiter. Accomplishment, material security, efficient efforts are the keynotes. This is a South Node eclipse, near the fixed star Dorsum, a small star on the back of the Goat. Dorsum has a Saturnian-Jovian nature and brings a caution against venomous insect and animal bites. Respect and be careful of the creatures. Amethyst and lapis lazuli are favorable crystals to wear or carry.
At the First Quarter Moon Mercury will go retrograde, a pattern which spans August 13 – September 4, 2017. Mercury will be retrograde in Virgo and Leo.
The Great American eclipse, the big cat, will be in Leo on August 21 at 28 degrees 53 minutes in the Sun-Mars decanate. It is near the fixed star Regulus, one of the four royal stars of Persian astrology. Regulus is at the heart of the Lion, a triple white and blue star. Regulus refers to the rise and fall of word leaders, Influence, honors and drama. This is a North Node eclipse. Peridot is the favorable crystal.
The Moon’s nodes are sensitive points in space that reveal when eclipses occur. The North Node eclipses are generally considered more favorable than the South Node.
There will be an eclipse in Leo on January 31, 2018 and another in Aquarius on February 15, 2018. These eclipses will mirror and elaborate upon the influences of the August, 2017 eclipse pattern.
How does this all affect you?
Well, look at placements in your birth chart within three degrees of 0 Leo, 15 Aquarius and 28 Leo. The house and celestial body involved will provide a clue, but do remain flexible. Eclipses tend to surprise us.
Here Are Some Guidelines – Sun, Moon and Planets in Conjunction with The Eclipses
Sun – health, status, opportunities
Moon – emotions, family life
Mercury – debate, opinions, intellect, travel
Venus – love and fine arts
Mars – assertiveness, sports, military, challenges
Jupiter – church, philosophy, growth, fortunes, travel
Saturn – limitations, health, survival skills
Uranus – technology, astrology, changing friendships
Neptune – psychic insights, imagination, dreams, illusions, veracity
Pluto – mass karma, hidden facts surface
Eclipses In The Twelve Houses
First – appearance, personality, wellness
Second – money, source of income, job skills
Third – transportation, neighbors, siblings, mental state
Fourth – residence, heritage
Fifth – pleasure, children , romance
Sixth – health, pets, daily schedule
Seventh – partnership, justice
Eight – spirit world, financial planning, taxes, insurance
Ninth – higher education, religion, distant travel
Tenth – fame and fortune
Eleventh – goals, friendships, politics
Twelfth – service, peace of mind, secrets
Well … at least the summer of 2017 will be interesting. Hold on for the ride, it’s all an adventure.
“To change is to grow, to change often is to grow much” is the mantra! Plan early if traveling to see the eclipse, 80 million+ others may be on the road with you. And be sure to wear special eclipse glasses or number 14 welders’ lenses or make a camera obscura to protect your eyes. Pointing your cell phone directly at it will result in the phone cracking, I’m told. To photograph it you will need special lens filters. Visit a good camera store. I like Colonial Photo and Hobby here in Orlando.
P.S. If you do happen to miss this eclipse, don’t despair. There will be another visible in the USA in 2024, no need to wait another century.

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Faerie Tree At Sunset

By Dikki-Jo
Water color with black sumi ink. Shadows of evening gather observed by the fey ones. Eagerly they point to other dimensions, This mysterious landscape blends the past, present and future and the sun sets.

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