It turns out there’s another chapter to the story of Sid’s mother’s passing and the ancestral legacy she bequeathed to him at that time, not to mention the catalyst she provided for so much that has unfolded in his life since then. It involves Hurricane Katrina, which occurred 17 ½ years later. In fact, the death chart for Hurricane Katrina brings Sid’s story full circle, from his Mother’s passing, to the Randazzos of Italy, to even more distant gypsy ancestry in Benares, India, to Katrina, to Plano, Texas (where Sid lived for nine years after Katrina), and back home to New Orleans, finally and completely in June of 2014.
Shortly after Sid’s mother’s death, while still in his twenties, Sid met a woman who was to become very pivotal in his life, Denise Baudier, and it was she who introduced him to the world of psychic mediumship by inviting him to a workshop on the subject. This officially started him down the road he has been on ever since (at least where this lifetime is concerned).
Fast-forward almost two decades to August of 2005. Sid was working as a nurse at a hospital in the greater New Orleans area when Hurricane Katrina came to town. For several days, both during and immediately after the mega-storm, Sid was stuck at the hospital, where he witnessed many patients die when access to adequate medical care was catastrophically interrupted. He also assisted in the evacuation of many others, out of the hospital and away from the ravaged city, to strange places they had never been before and where they knew no one, with only their names and addresses in their pockets for identification.
It was a desperate time when people were forced to call upon inner resources they didn’t even know they had. Sid was no exception. The temperature inside the hospital was 120 degrees, and Sid and the other nurses became so depleted by the ordeal of caring for the sick virtually around the clock under extremely adverse conditions, that they eventually resorted to giving themselves IV infusions of essential nutrients just to stand upright and keep going. Finally, on the Thursday after Katrina, Sid was able to leave the hospital, pack his SUV and head for Plano, Texas, for the next chapter of his life that awaited him there.
In retrospect, all these years later, Sid recently shared with me his sense that Katrina was in some mysterious way the return of his mother (whose name happens to have been Katherine, a variation of Katrina) for one final, very dramatic wake up call. It propelled him out of his comfort zone in New Orleans and toward the suburb of Dallas he called home for nine long years; the number nine being especially significant because it represents an entire cosmic birth or karmic completion cycle.
What specifically drew Sid to Plano on a practical level, I do not know, but at the level of soul activation it seems he was drawn like a moth to a flame to one of the few cities on earth that happens to be smack dab at the midpoint between his Uranus and North Node Midheaven lines, symbolizing the call of his soul to fully embrace his destiny as a psychic medium.
The tri-wheel chart for the relationship between the New Orleans’ birth chart, Sid’s birth chart and the Hurricane Katrina death chart, indicates a profound relationship between these three events. Again, we see a Finger of Destiny, the sacred geometrical configuration that seems to be the hallmark of Astrological Mediumship readings, most likely because it is both so intensely focused and intensely karmic.
The death chart for Hurricane Katrina involves the Ascendant (moment of death) and Saturn (karma, soul responsibility), with the Sun (identity, illumination, higher Self) at the activation point, and Uranus (shocking, life-altering events, lightning flashes of intuition, the revolutionary impulse to find true freedom) at the focal point. The birth chart for New Orleans adds Pluto (descent into the watery, emotional underworld, a dark night of the soul, followed by rebirth) into the mix, conjunct the Uranus focal point. Finally, Sid’s birth chart underscores the death and resurrection theme, while also introducing the Wounded Healer archetype, with his natal Pluto conjunct the Sun activation point in the Katrina Finger of Destiny, exactly opposing his Chiron (Wounded Healer), and Pluto/Uranus at the focal point.
The keynote message of the Chiron/Pluto/Uranus focal point for the Finger of Destiny, at between 6 and 8 degrees in the watery, mystical sign of Pisces (Christ consciousness, martyred savior, Wounded Healer), is this:
Being put to the ultimate test. Concentration of values amidst the chaos of life. The fullness of life as it manifests in service to the whole. The clear light of high realization.
Hurricane Katrina was indeed the “ultimate test,” inspiring Sid to identify and concentrate on those things he truly valued amidst the chaos Katrina had left in her massive wake. On an emotional level, it was through going into the wound (Chiron) of that experience of profound dislocation and embracing it fully that I believe Sid was able to truly activate his psychic gifts.
Amazingly, by relocating to the midpoint between his Uranus and North Node Midheaven lines, I believe Sid was able to gain greater access to the spiritual resources and psychic abilities bequeathed to him through his maternal, Romani/gypsy line of descent, rooted in ancient India. This is because the midpoint between his Uranus and North Node Nadir (ancestral) lines, 180 degrees opposite the midpoint for his Midheaven (higher calling) lines in Texas, runs right through India. In other words, if Sid were to drill down from Plano, Texas, straight through the center of the earth, he would pop out the other side of the planet in India – Benares, to be exact: the site where the Buddha gave his first sermon (“The First Turning of the Wheel of the Dharma”) after attaining enlightenment!
What is especially significant about the reference to the Wheel of the Dharma is that it is the root symbol of Buddhism, representing the basic structure of the universe. Thousands of years after that first teaching by the Buddha, this symbol shows up on the flag of the gypsy/Romani people, harkening back to their ancient roots in India, as well as on the coat of arms for Sid’s Romani ancestors, the Randazzos!
Synchronistically, the keynote messages for Sid’s Uranus at 24+ degrees Leo and Node Node at 27+ degrees Leo, which blend together in Benares, India, suggesting Sid may have been present at the time of the Buddha’s first sermon in Deer Park, are:
A yogi with transcendent powers. From the East, light slowly increases. Transformative power of creative impulses as they bring ideas into concrete manifestation. Soul-power.
With Sid’s return to New Orleans after the nine-year gestation period on the midpoint between his Uranus and North Node Midheaven lines, we come full circle. All the dots are now connected. The founding of the Metaphysical Resource Center, in the neighborhood where he was raised, demonstrates, in no uncertain terms, Sid’s full-out, unconditional surrendered to his destiny. Appropriately enough, a painting of his mother, Katherine (Katrina), complete with angel wings, graces its interior space. No doubt she is pleased.
One final note: In the synastry between Sid’s birth chart and his mother’s death chart, Sid’s Ascendant (birth moment) is exactly conjunct Katherine’s Midheaven (higher calling) at 26+ Scorpio. This is perhaps the most significant karmic connection two people can have. It suggests that the catalyzing of Sid’s journey down the cosmic birth canal into a complete expression of his destiny in this life was his mother’s highest calling and deepest prayer at the time of her passing. The keynote message is:
Sharp and applied discernment connects seen and unseen worlds. Thanks to a fine x-ray diagnosis, a man’s life is saved.
Much has been written about a very rare series of four, total lunar eclipses, evenly-spaced six months apart, which will cast their rose colored shadows across the darkened landscapes of the North, Central and South American continents, while illuminating the inner landscape of the entire human family. The first of these potent eclipses, known as Blood Moons, occurred shortly after midnight on April 15, 2014. The next two will take place in the early morning hours of October 8, 2014, and April 4, 2015, with the final one during the evening of September 27, 2015.
Several recent books (including the New York Times best seller “Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change,” by John Hagee) have tied this Blood Moon tetrad to Biblical prophecy related to the Second Coming of Christ. I believe something of this evolutionary magnitude is, indeed, playing out upon the world stage, but in a manner that transcends the boundaries of Christian theology and is ultimately empowering to all of humanity, regardless of religious orientation or any other consideration.
What got me thinking in these terms initially was the term Blood Moon, itself. From an astronomical vantage point, the phrase is merely descriptive, since the Moon typically appears to turn red at the apex of a full lunar eclipse. But, what if there is a deeper, esoteric meaning related to the “royal” bloodlines of the human race?
Many have speculated that we humans are a hybrid species, part terrestrial, part extra-terrestrial, in origin, with as many as twelve different ET bloodlines running through our veins (for example, see the April 26, 2014, Buzzsaw interview with Project Camelot’s Kerry Cassidy on Youtube). And, while there is much controversy concerning what percentage of the human genome is currently active, recent scientific studies, as well as common sense, suggest there is really no such thing as “Junk DNA” when it comes to our human genetic make up.
We are not made of junk, even if some of our ET ancestors may have had psychopathic tendencies, which it certainly appears they did. Ultimately, we are made of star stuff, in other words, God Consciousness itself. This means our genetic inheritance is more accurately characterized as Star DNA rather than Junk DNA, which by its very nature possesses the ability to override any genetic distortions, or so-called “junk” that may have been passed down to us through our very ancient and complex evolutionary history.
Whatever portion of our DNA is currently either dormant or in need of healing and balancing, I believe it’s entirely possible the series of Blood Moons, spanning the period from mid April, 2014, through the end of September, 2015, may be playing a key role in its activation and recalibration to the essential harmonics of God Consciousness or unconditional love. From this perspective, the Second Coming of Christ might be understood as a global awakening to our full potential as divine/human beings, each descendants of a “royal” bloodline in the truest sense of the word.
The chart for the next Blood Moon on October 8, 2014, is representative of this general evolutionary trajectory, revealing a kite formation, symbolic of spiritual blessings, resourcefulness and an expansive, visionary worldview, with a Sun/Moon opposition forming the spine of the kite. The Sun (father aspect or Y-chromosome) is conjunct Venus (love, natural rhythms, creativity) and the North Node (destiny) at one end, while the Moon (mother aspect or mitochondrial DNA) is conjunct Uranus (revolutionary impulse toward true freedom, lightning flashes of intuition) and the South Node (past life inheritance) at the other.
What this suggests is a dramatic awakening to the deepest, most potent levels of our genetic inheritance, the Mother Lode DNA, the pure, undistorted, non-mutated, Akashic Records of our entire history as a species. Our “royal” birthright is to become the kings and queens of our own inner domains, sovereign beings unto ourselves, who, therefore, act with utmost integrity and exercise great care in all matters.
To the extent we come to know our true origins and gain direct access to the ancient wisdom and nobility we innately possess, we can successfully meet any challenge, fulfill our individual and collective destinies, and co-create a true Heaven here on Earth.
Sid’s mother passed away on Sunday, February 21, 1988, at 5:30 in the morning, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Other than that, and some information about her Italian ancestry, I know very little about Sid’s mother, the circumstances of her death, or Sid’s relationship with her, and I’ve decided to keep it that way for the sake of this Astrological Mediumship reading. I want to follow the clues where they lead without any preconceived notions.
Once again, as in the previous three Astrological Mediumship blogs I’ve posted recently, a Finger of Fate dominates the synastry chart for this reading. The Finger of Fate can be likened to a cosmic birth canal, or portal, through which the soul travels on its evolutionary journey toward mastery in various fields of endeavor. And, as with all natural birth processes, progress toward the desired goal is facilitated by a series of intense contractions, which are sometimes experienced as violent and even life threatening by those undertaking the journey.
Before I get into the details of the Finger of Fate, however, let’s first take a look at the all-important moment of death for Sid’s mother, represented by the Ascendant in her death chart, which is at 12 degrees Aquarius. The keynote message for this placement could not be more evocative and beautiful, in my opinion:
Life’s broad stairway, each landing a new grade of life. Points of pause and transition where the soul can evaluate its progress.
The overriding message seems clear: during Sid’s mother’s passing she experienced a profound life review, which helped her ascend the spiraling, evolutionary staircase toward a higher plane of existence and a more expansive understanding of All That Is. This message is relevant not only for Sid, but for everyone who knew and loved his mother, since it doesn’t involve any special aspects to his chart, in particular, but is of a more general nature.
For the message specific to Sid, we need to decipher the Finger of Fate formation, mentioned above, which is created by the relationship between Sid’s birth chart and his mother’s death chart. This particular configuration involves Sid’s mother’s Mars, Saturn and Uranus, all exactly conjunct, on the cusp between Sagittarius and Capricorn, at 0 degrees Capricorn, closely sextiling her Sun at 2 degrees Pisces. Sid’s Jupiter is situated precisely at the mid-point of this potent, densely-packed sextile, at what is known as the activation point of the Finger of Fate, at 2 degrees Aquarius. The culmination point of all this intensely focused energy is Sid’s Sun at 2 degrees Leo.
So, what was Sid’s mother trying to convey to her son with all this very “pointed” symbolism? First, with Mars, Saturn and Uranus all crossing the threshold between Sagittarius and Capricorn, I believe she was communicating, quite insistently, that her passing was a “crossing over,” not only for herself, but also for Sid. The timing of her death was intended as an important rite of passage, a ritual of empowerment, for him, into a new stage of life where he would be called to embrace his higher purpose or destiny, and take responsibility for himself in a much deeper, more soulful way.
I believe Sid’s mother’s death was meant as a very carefully timed catalyst. It lit a fire under Sid at just the right moment, compelling him to “step into” his courage and will force (Mars), become his mature, adult self (Saturn), and, most importantly, own his innate psychic abilities (Uranus). I also believe Sid’s mother was communicating that these gifts were passed down to him through the mother line, and/or through past lifetimes spent in relation to her, given that Sid’s Moon, at 4 degrees Capricorn, is conjunct the Mars/Saturn/Uranus conjunction in her death chart.
The keynotes for 0 and 4 degrees Capricorn, respectively, blend together seamlessly in underscoring this basic message:
Mastery of a situation through purposeful planning and venturing. Bold rising to opportunity. Extreme of self-confidence.
The mobilization of latent energies for determined self-exertion.
Sid’s mother’s Sun (identity, nobility, higher Self, illumination), at 2 degrees Pisces suggests Sid’s heightened psychic abilities, passed down through his maternal line, go back to ancient times. The keynote for 2 degrees Pisces is:
A permanent record of ancient lives, during which conscious mastery was achieved.
Given the above, it seems likely that when Sid’s mother experienced her life review at the time of her death, the details of this particular lineage were made available to her in the form of a kind of ancestral, and/or past life, Akashic record.
When I checked the astrocartography lines for Mars, Saturn, Uranus and the Sun in Sid’s mother’s death chart, I discovered that all 4 lines converge in Italy, her ancestral homeland (with names like Livaccari, Randazzo and Patusso in her family tree). Furthermore, the Randazzo coat of arms shows a wheel, reminiscent of the symbol on the Romani (or gypsy) flag, which is derived from the Wheel of the Dharma, a potent religious symbol in ancient India, point of origin for the Romani people. I strongly suspect this Italian/Indian/Romani connection may be the mother line through which Sid’s psychic abilities have passed down to the present day.
Both Sid’s Jupiter (spiritual blessings, guru, long-distance pilgrimage, ancient wisdom), at the trigger point for the Finger of Fate, and his Sun (identity, nobility, higher Self, illumination), at the focal point, echo the theme of a challenging, yet divinely inspired, birth process through which he has honed his abilities over many lifetimes.
The keynote for Sid’s Jupiter at 2 degrees Aquarius is:
Liberation from adverse conditions through violent, spectacular developments. Galvanizing to action. Cosmic visitation.
Likewise, the keynote for his Sun at 2 degrees Leo is:
Turning life’s adversities into growth opportunities. Self-creation, true sovereignty and inner freedom. Will power.
Amazingly, when I checked Sid’s astrocartography for his Jupiter and Sun lines, I discovered he has a Jupiter/Sun crossing line running horizontally through the middle of India. As if to seal the deal, he also has Uranus and North Node (destiny) lines bisecting his Jupiter/Sun crossing line, running vertically through India. Even more amazingly, the keynote messages for his Uranus and North Node, at 24 and 27 degrees Leo, respectively, are as follows:
A yogi with transcendent powers.
From the East, light slowly increases. Transformative power of creative impulses as they bring ideas into concrete manifestation. Soul-power.
When I tune in and listen carefully, I’m pretty sure I can hear not only Sid’s mother, but a long line of feisty, and very opinionated members of the Randazzo clan, going all the way back to the trunk of the Randazzo family tree, speaking across the generations to their “golden boy.” The words I keep hearing are these:
It’s your time, son; seize this moment to shine.
Hurricane Katrina blew through New Orleans in late August of 2005, bringing massive flooding and devastation in its wake. Almost nine years later, the skeletal structures of hundreds of condemned buildings still haunt the urban landscape like dead bodies that have rotted where they lay and never been properly put to rest. But there are other, more personal and private, ghosts of Katrina that still linger here, as well. They seek healing and resolution on the inner planes of psycho-spiritual experience, through various means, including, it turns out, Astrological Mediumship: the practice of using death charts to decipher messages from beyond the veil.
Denise Baudier’s experience of Hurricane Katrina is typical of so many Katrina survivors whose lives were forever altered by that cataclysmic event and who are haunted, to one extent or another, to this very day. Her home was flooded to the roof within two hours after the levee protecting her neighborhood failed. Before telling her story, however, some backstory and astrological context is in order.
New Orleans became an American city on December 20, 1803 (85 years after it was first incorporated by the Spanish). It’s birth chart for that day in 1803 shows four planets in the latter degrees of Sagittarius (the constellation associated with ancient wisdom, spiritual teachings and principles) conjunct the Galactic Center (the Great Galactic Mother): Mars (spiritual warriorship and will); Sun (spiritual identity and illumination); Mercury (spiritual messenger and discernment); and Chiron (the Wounded Healer). All four planets are squaring Saturn (karma), but the square between Saturn and Chiron is exact.
What this suggests, in a nutshell, is that New Orleans is an “Old Soul City,” which may have a special, karmic role to play in highlighting issues related to the Wounded Healer archetype, bringing the Divine Feminine forward and facilitating an evolutionary leap for the human species during this time of the Earth’s alignment with the Center of our Galaxy (an auspicious event which happens only once every 26,000 years for a period of approximately 35 years (in this case, from approximately 1985 – 2020).
In his recent book, Bienville’s Dilemma, Tulane University professor Richard Campanella characterizes the role of post-Katrina New Orleans on the world stage as “the ultimate warning, test case, metaphor, prophetic voice and inspiration” for the times in which we live. This describes the parameters of the Wounded Healer archetype to a T. Think of the Tower card in the major arcana of the Tarot. Lightning strikes the tower from all sides and on all levels simultaneously. Old, outdated structures, both inner and outer, are left in ruin. An opportunity for something entirely new and inspired is inherent in the destruction.
Denise’s story is a case in point. She, her partner and autistic stepson had evacuated, with the clothes on their backs and very little else, to her partner’s parents’ home in Mississippi on Saturday, August 27. Meanwhile, most of her extended family had decided to stay in New Orleans and “ride it out,” despite Denise’s begging and pleading, followed by even more desperate “cursing and crying.”
Cell phone communication was completely cut off due to Katrina, followed by Hurricane Rita in mid-September, so for almost a month Denise had no way of knowing whether her parents, her siblings, including a brother with Down’s syndrome, and their families were dead or alive. Finally, a text came through. All had managed to get out of the city at the last minute, except her middle brother, who successfully rode out the storm, and a second stepson, who had been in an evacuation camp for a time and was now staying with a local family.
Denise and her partner returned to New Orleans in early October so that Denise could resume her responsibilities as a teacher of developmentally challenged, middle-school students on October 3. They had been required to get shots, which included several vaccinations, in order to be allowed back into the city, since it was now completely disease ridden. Denise had an allergic reaction to the vaccinations. Her throat closed up and she was rushed to the emergency room, where they gave her a second shot to counter the first one.
Denise arrived at school on her first day back wearing what was to become her post-Katrina uniform: a pair of jeans and a t-shirt she had salvaged out of a Red Cross care box. Given the school district’s very limited resources, she now had 23 students who were bussed in from all over the greater New Orleans area. The classroom proved to be her salvation, at least in part, because it gave her the opportunity to focus on the needs of others “who didn’t have anything either.” Numb and on automatic pilot a lot of the time, she somehow managed to help the children understand they were not alone and constantly reassured them that everything would be okay.
For a year, Denise and her partner, and later her autistic stepson, lived in an upstairs room of Denise’s sister’s house, which had partially flooded but was still minimally inhabitable while the downstairs was being renovated. In their spare time, she and her partner began the daunting process of digging through the soggy remains of what was once their home, looking for serial numbers to satisfy the insurance company, plus any family keepsakes that may have miraculously survived the floodwaters. With the insurance money, she was able to pay of all her bills and be debt free for the first time in her adult life, which she described as “a big relief” and “a breath of fresh air.”
In those early years after Katrina, during a very long, dark night of the soul period, Denise was immersed in a watery underworld of what often seemed like unrelenting death, destruction and loss. About a year after Katrina, she noticed that “everybody seemed to be dying.”
From a single page of death notices in the Times Picayune, suddenly there were three to four pages of death notices. Families had been split up during the evacuation process. Many had never been out of New Orleans. They ended up in different states, different places. There were no second line parades. The food was really different. The culture was really different. The people were not so friendly. There was no support system. People who found themselves way up north didn’t know what to do in cold weather. The social fabric that had previously held people together and to life, itself, was gone. The center wasn’t holding. People were dropping like flies.
On a personal note, though everyone in Denise’s family survived the initial Katrina event, she has since experienced the devastating loss of her “Momma” and her brother with Down’s syndrome. In addition, her partner’s father and stepfather have died, plus her stepsons’ grandparents. Also, her autistic stepson had to be institutionalized for an extended period of time and her dog passed away.
Another significant loss that Denise experienced in the aftermath of Katrina had to do with her profound disillusionment concerning what she had previously imagined as the almost God-like powers of the US government to keep its citizens safe, or at the very least, to respond adequately and in a timely manner in the face of natural and/or man-made disasters. She no longer trusts the government to care for its people, which has forced her to dig deep in search of the place where true security resides.
It was relatively easy for Denise to help others in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but very hard to ask for help for herself. Basically, she was in a state of paralysis brought on by complicated, unprocessed grief and emotional exhaustion. Her symptoms were many, and some of them quite bizarre, though entirely understandable given the circumstances. She wore the same pair of jeans and t-shirt for several years (in fact, until 2013, when a new principal required the teachers at her school to adhere to a dress code). Shopping for anything, even groceries and other necessities, brought on a flood of tears. The thought of going into debt again caused her to hyperventilate. When she did eventually buy another house, she refused for almost a year to furnish it with anything other than a couple of lawn chairs and some plastic dishes. When pressed by her well-meaning sister to “get her life back on track,” she would go to the store and take pictures of items she liked, but never purchase them. She found she could handle shopping at Thrift Stores for recycled items but would not allow herself to purchase anything new. To this day, she has only been shopping for new clothes three times in almost nine years. The bottom line, Denise now realizes, is that she didn’t want to feel like she needed anything, or anyone, because she feared the experience of loss.
I knew I was in survival mode. So many people have asked me why I was angry. What’s wrong? I didn’t think I was angry. I thought I was disconnected, trying to protect myself, keeping people at a distance.
The ultimate lesson Denise took away from her Katrina experience was this:
Nothing is more important than family. Other stuff you don’t need. Stuff isn’t important. None of it was worth digging through stinky mud and slime for. You don’t need any thing. You just need people around you who care about you. What are you doing with your love? Don’t let yourself get bogged down with a job you hate and people you can’t stand.
With all this in mind, a couple of weeks ago I decided to take a look at the birth chart for New Orleans, overlaid with Denise’s birth chart and the death chart related to Hurricane Katrina, calculated from the moment Katrina made landfall in New Orleans and the first of over 50 levees failed. I wanted to see what message the ghost of Katrina might have for Denise. The result was something I have almost come to expect when practicing Astrological Mediumship.
The death chart revealed a Finger of Fate, involving the Ascendant (moment of death) and Saturn (karma, soul responsibility), with the Sun (identity, illumination, higher Self) at the activation point, and Uranus (shocking, life-altering events, lightning flashes of intuition, the revolutionary impulse to find true freedom) at the focal point. The birth chart for New Orleans added Pluto (descent into the watery, emotional underworld, a dark night of the soul, followed by rebirth), into the mix, conjunct the Uranus focal point. Finally, Denise’s birth chart underscored the death and resurrection theme with her natal Pluto conjunct the Sun activation point in the Katrina Finger of Fate, exactly opposing the Pluto/Uranus focal point. In addition, her natal Venus (natural rhythms and cycles, personal love, the Divine Feminine, creativity) was conjunct the Ascendant (death moment).
The keynote message of the Pluto/Uranus focal point for the Finger of Fate, at between 6 and 8 degrees in the watery, mystical sign of Pisces (Christ consciousness, martyred savior, wounded healer), was this:
Being put to the ultimate test. Concentration of values amidst the chaos of life. The fullness of life as it manifests in service to the whole. The clear light of high realization.
The message from the ghost of Katrina was clear, as least to my mind. It seems the Katrina event was preordained and set in motion at the time of the founding of New Orleans as a US city. New Orleans is, indeed, one of those Ground Zero/Wounded Healer places on the planet in the evolutionary scheme of things and, furthermore, its natives are the canaries in the mines of broad evolutionary patterns that are occurring worldwide.
For Denise, in particular, with her Pluto conjunct the Finger of Fate Sun activation point and Venus conjunct the Ascendant/death moment, Katrina was the ultimate test, dragging her down into her own watery depths, even as the city, itself, was initially 80% underwater and later “bogged down” in bureaucratic inefficiency, indifference and corruption. The good news with Pluto, however, is that what goes down must eventually rise again to the surface. After a dark night of the soul, glorious rebirth and a fresh flowering of creativity are assured. And with Uranus conjunct Pluto at the focal point in Pisces, Denise’s rebirth most certainly entails a massive, evolutionary leap outside the box of consensus reality and into a place of true spiritual freedom and service.
Not surprisingly, given this particular, very steep and accelerated growth trajectory, Denise and two close friends recently opened the Metaphysical Resource Center in the New Orleans area. In her words:
We opened the center to help people in New Orleans heal from Katrina, to provide a sanctuary. People have survived but are not thriving since Katrina. We felt like people needed to heal and NOLA needed a healing place. Peace and quiet, a place to sit and read a book. Sit and breathe. Whatever you need to do. People need it. That’s why we’re a resource center. We can connect anybody with anybody. It’s not about making money. It’s about what really matters, community and connection.
Clearly, the ghost of Katrina has served its purpose in Denise’s life. Message delivered. Message received. Ideally, the haunting can now cease and Denise will be free to move on to an entirely new chapter of her life, one that is no longer “post-Katrina,” but simply “in the moment,” listening to her guidance and living the life she was meant to live all along. The universe has conspired to bring her to this place. It’s up to her now, as always, to take the next bold step, and the next one after that, into the great unknown.
My father was pronounced dead at 7:10 pm on December 1, 1967. He was 38 years old and had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage the day before, resulting in immediate and total loss of brain function. He was at the accounting office where he worked at the time, preparing to leave for the day, when he suddenly raised his hands to his head, gasped, “Please don’t let me die, I have five kids to support,” and collapsed to the floor, never to regain consciousness.
Those were the last words my father ever “spoke,” or at least that’s what I had always thought, until recently when I began to consider the possibility that those who are crossing over may get one final opportunity, through the medium of Astrology, to communicate with us while in the midst of the dying process. What I’m suggesting is that people typically choose their time of death with great care and intentionality, in part, in order to send a message through their death charts to loved ones left behind. Unfortunately, the message is almost never received and decoded because the practice of Astrological Mediumship has been virtually nonexistent, at least until now.
My mother played a key role in determining my father’s time of death, or so it seemed at the time, since she insisted, with uncharacteristic conviction and courage, not to mention a great sense of urgency, that the doctors “unplug those f***ing machines and let him die with dignity.” I’ve always marveled at her ability to be so decisive under very trying circumstances, especially considering that she had never asserted herself in any remarkable way prior to that day and consulted no one before making such a momentous decision. The weight fell entirely on her shoulders, yet she never hesitated nor expressed a moment of self-doubt.
In retrospect, I now think it’s entirely probably my mother was acting as an open channel for my father, who, no doubt, understood the futility of his situation very well and was determined not to languish in the liminal space between this world and the next, brain dead and on life support indefinitely.
It’s been forty-six years since my father’s “untimely” passing and the person I have become in the interim has been shaped in large part by that ground zero experience. For the first ten years after his death, I was in a state of major existential angst, acutely aware that there was no real security to be found anywhere in the world “of birth and death,” yet unable to adequately grieve and, consequently, to access the spiritual dimension where I might have found real relief. I was functionally an atheist during the decade from age thirteen to twenty-three, though still too young and lacking in self-awareness to articulate the inner workings of my world at the time.
Finally, I bottomed out from that untenable situation in my early twenties when the pain became so unbearable that I sought relief in a radical form of healing known as Primal Therapy. In the wake of six months of non-stop, hard-core grieving, for the loss of my father and my childhood innocence, as well as the collective suffering I perceived at the time as part and parcel of the basic, human predicament, I had a spontaneous mystical awakening, during which I came to know first-hand that everything in the universe, myself included, was nothing other than luminous, blissful energy, vibrating at various frequencies and patterns of resonance. Furthermore, I understood that death and separation were, ultimately, illusions caused by the limitations of our human sense perceptions.
For the next decade, my father came to visit me periodically through the medium of my dreams. A typical dream/visitation went like this: There’s a knock at the door. I open it. My handsome father is standing there, looking like a cross between Gregory Peck in the prime of his life and Jesus Christ after the resurrection. Shocked, but delighted, I say, “What are you doing here? You’re dead.” He says, matter of factly, “I know. I came to take you out to dinner.” Over dinner, we communicate telepathically, downloading massive amounts of information back and forth directly through our third eyes. My father lovingly tells me that he sees all of me and is proud of the woman I have become. I know, without a doubt, that this is true.
In recent years, my siblings and I had begun to speculate that our father’s death was not a random event; that, perhaps, prior to taking birth in this lifetime, we had all agreed to experience what initially felt like such a meaningless tragedy, in order to dramatically accelerate our evolution. Perhaps, his death had propelled us each, in turn, down the Yellow Brick Road of our respective Heroes’ Journeys, to the only place where true security lies: deep within the cavern of the Soul where nothing ever truly dies and separation is an energetic impossibility.
In my own case, in my mid-twenties, I gravitated toward the mystical teachings and practices at the core of the world’s religious traditions, especially those having to do with the dying process and the continuity of consciousness after death. Much to my surprise and initial embarrassment, this lead to my becoming a Religious Studies major at the University of Oregon, including a year of foreign study in Japan as an undergrad, followed by masters and doctorate degrees in Comparative Religion and Women’s Studies, at the U of O and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, respectively. On a parallel track with my academic pursuits, I have spent the past thirty-five years engaged in various spiritual practices, including meditation, and also spent several years living and working at Buddhist retreat centers in the US and Ireland.
With all this in mind, it finally occurred to me the other day, after the sudden, shocking death of a family friend, to investigate whether the medium of Astrology might shed light of matters of loss. After receiving a deeply meaningful message regarding my friend’s passing, I decided to see what I might see concerning my father’s death. Again, I was not disappointed.
In order to unpack the message I believe my father has been waiting all these years to deliver in this way, I need to first provide some background on the centerpiece of my natal chart: a sacred geometrical formation known as the Finger of Destiny, which has been likened to a jackhammer of very focused intensity and intentionality. Over the years, I have come to understand the Finger of Destiny in a more feminine way, however, as a kind of cosmic birth canal, intent upon giving birth to some quality or offering that has been predetermined, prior to conception, by the person in whose chart it appears.
The Finger of Destiny formation in my chart has been a major guiding force in my life since my mid-twenties, in the aftermath of the mystical experience I alluded to earlier, when I initially became aware of it and had my first faint inklings of its possible meaning. In my case, the Finger of Destiny involves my Sun (higher Self/Spirit/divine masculine) and Moon (Soul/divine feminine), with my ruling planet Venus (romantic love/divine union) at the activation point, exactly conjunct my South Node (past-life influences) and the fixed star Sirius, while pointing directly at my North Node (destiny).
In Astrocartography terms, my Venus and South Node/North Node axis lines run directly through the middle of Tibet, which explains why I have come to understand the Venusian energy at the apex of my chart as representative of the Buddha Tara, have felt a deep, Soul affinity with the core teachings and practices of Tibetan Buddhism throughout my adult life, and even felt inspired to change my name to Tara in my early 40s.
In this context, I recently created a synastry chart overlaying my natal chart with my father’s death chart and was astonished and profoundly moved to see that my father’s Ascendant, representing his moment of death, was exactly conjunct the Venus (divine union), South Node (past-life influences) and Sirius activation point in my Finger of Destiny, while exactly opposing my North Node (destiny point). What this suggests, in no uncertain terms, is that the two of us most likely did have a very profound meeting of souls in at least one previous lifetime, perhaps as romantic/tantric partners in Tibet (and before that on the star Sirius?), during which time we set the wheels in motion that eventually resulted in my father’s shocking death in this lifetime, in order to provide the catalyst that would accelerate my evolutionary trajectory and help us both fulfill our destinies. It also suggests that when my father left this earthly realm, he may have returned to Sirius, which, may, in fact, be our shared galactic home.
These insights helped explain why, at approximately the age of seven, I had such an overwhelming feeling of being in love with my father, which was much stronger than can be explained by the typical Electra Complex scenario. In retrospect, it felt like a déjà vu, karmic bleed-through experience from other times and places.
At around that same pivotal age, I was haunted by a powerful sense of destiny (though I had no word for it at the time), coupled with what can only be described as a sense of foreboding. It was as if I was bracing myself for something that was about to happen and was trying to remember what it was. For several months in a row, I had a recurring, prophetic nightmare in which my father abandoned the family, at which point I, the oldest child, set off on a long, lonely journey in search of my true home, protected by a ring of luminous angels. In the dream, I was reassured by the voice of my future Self that I would forget who I was for a while, in order to survive the challenges ahead of me, but would eventually remember and reclaim my true Self.
From my current vantage point, I marvel at the courage and strength of the Soul on its path to wholeness. I marvel at how truly heroic the Hero’s Journey can be for those of us who choose to take birth here on earth in human form. Looking back at all that I have experienced in this lifetime, I wouldn’t change a thing. I feel only gratitude for the role my father played in my life, and especially for the challenge his death provided, to take what was surely a heart-breaking tragedy and find a way to compost it into fertile soil that would eventually provide the conditions necessary to grow something akin to a lotus flower. Out of the muck came something strong and beautiful. I see now that this is precisely what was intended all along.
“Michael died at 6:21 pm yesterday…Can’t believe it! Call me when you can…”
“Rough night…Going to turn off my phone and sleep in…I’ll call you…”
It’s been a little over three years now since the above texts landed in my inbox in the middle of the night. They were from my twin sister, Renee. Michael was a dear friend of hers whom she had dated during most of 2010. The two of them had remained close after the romance fizzled, texting or talking on the phone almost every day, even after her move to Hawaii in December of that year.
Suddenly, in mid-January, 2011, after several days of uncharacteristic silence, Michael had sent Renee an alarming text saying he was in the hospital being treated for a respiratory infection and felt he was fighting for his life. We’re talking about a vibrant, “gentle giant” of a man, in his early fifties, with a very strong constitution and a reputation among his guy friends as a fiercely competitive athlete, especially on a basketball court. Later, his doctors would say he was the strongest man they had ever met.
Heartbreakingly, Michael’s last text to Renee before they put him on a ventilator a couple of days later said:
“In case I don’t talk to you again, just know how much your sweetness, kindness, and thoughtfulness have meant to me…”
After that, Renee and I began following Michael’s progress through postings from his family on Facebook. We knew he was unconscious in ICU for about six weeks, much of that time in a medically induced coma, and then had regained consciousness briefly, but was apparently unable to move or speak. Eventually, he was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of pneumonia, one of those superbugs that are entirely resistant to antibiotics.
Michael had been carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders for several years prior to his death, laboring under a mountain of debt that had piled precipitously on top of him in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, followed by an expensive divorce. He worked long hours at his two veterinary clinics, and generally put a lot of pressure on himself to pay off the debt as quickly as possible. Acutely aware of the precarious nature of life in the early 21st century, he seemed driven by a desire, bordering on obsession, to construct a fortress of security around himself and his loved ones, in particular his three children, all of whom were now making the transition into adulthood and struggling to find their way in an increasingly unstable world.
I got the news of Michael’s passing on the morning of March 22, 2011, when I turned on my phone and read the texts from my sister. Through my own tears, I sent the following reply:
“Can’t believe it either. Such a shock. I’m here. Call me when you wake up.”
A couple of hours later Renee checked in, sounding sleep deprived and emotionally raw. I listened while the pain poured out of her. Gradually, as the conversation meandered, we began to try to make sense of what had happened. I mentioned how curious it was that Michael had managed to die at the exact moment of the spring equinox, symbolizing rebirth after the long, dark night of winter, and speculated that he may have been trying to send a message of some sort.
As we talked, it occurred to me that just as we choose the moment of our birth in order to establish a blueprint, in the form of our natal chart, which can later be decoded to help guide us toward our destinies, we might also choose the moment of our death, in order that others might decode its meaning after we are gone, possibly finding inspiration and comfort therein.
With that realization, I quickly got off the phone and began comparing Michael’s birth and death charts, looking for clues that might explain the deeper meaning of his death. From an astrological perspective, the spring equinox marks the moment the Sun moves from the last degree of Pisces to the first degree of Aries. The chart for Michael’s death showed this transition from Pisces to Aries occurring on the cusp between the 10th and 11th houses. What this suggested was movement away from the “business as usual” mindset characteristic of basic survival strategies into a heightened sense of belonging to the human community, along with a direct and profound experience of unity consciousness.
Other clues were to be found in the keynote messages associated with the Midheaven and Ascendant moments in the spring equinox chart. The Midheaven at 11+ degrees Pisces described “an inner ordeal” leading to “God-revelation,” while the Ascendant at 27+ degrees Gemini spoke of “forgiveness of all debt” and “a release from collective pressures that have become impossible to bear.”
These poignant messages provided a context for something even more stunning. When I overlaid Michael’s natal chart with his death chart, the sacred geometry of a Finger of Destiny took shape, pointing from Michael’s natal Pluto (death and resurrection) and Neptune (the mystic) to the equinox Sun (rebirth into the clear light) at the very last moment of Pisces (Christ consciousness), the keynote for which is “It has been accomplished.”
As I explained to Renee later that afternoon, it seemed that Michael had, in fact, chosen the moment of his death and that he knew exactly what he was doing: “It’s as if he is broadcasting to everyone who knew and loved him, but especially to you, that he has merged into the zero point of unity consciousness and been reborn into the clear light.” “What if Michael knew for quite a while that he was going to be crossing over and he held on, in part, to deliver this message to you?” I pondered.
By way of confirmation, Renee quietly reminded me that her name, Renee Clare, literally means “reborn into the clear light.” After a moment of stunned silence, followed by mutual exclamations of amazement, we began to marvel in earnest at Michael’s astonishing resourcefulness and intentionality. He knew I was an astrologer and would be able to help Renee decipher the code he had left behind in his death chart.
Later that day, still trying to fathom everything that had transpired, Renee and I had the following text exchange:
“I’m glad Michael was in charge, making things happen for his greater good…Bravo!!! Great how he’s tying up all those loose ends…:-)”
“He was always such a Type-A, Alpha male. Now, too, even in death…”
“Yup, way to go Sweetheart!”
“He’s your Guardian Angel now.”
“He is…This is the Michael I knew he was…”
“Truly impressive! And he’s just getting started.”
“Rock on, Michael!!! We’re watching…”
A week later, I attended Michael’s memorial service on Renee’s behalf, since she was still thousands of miles away in Hawaii. In the days leading up to the memorial, Renee and I had discussed the possibility that I might place a heart-shaped, rose quartz crystal in Michael’s coffin. The “pink heart,” as we called it, had special meaning for Michael, Renee and me during the time Michael was part of our family, so this gesture felt deeply right to the two of us. It symbolized that he was now officially a member of “The Pink Hearts Club,” an extended family network of prayer, healing and love. In order to accomplish my mission, Renee and I asked that two conditions be met: 1. That Michael give me a sign indicating he wanted the pink heart in the coffin with him; and 2. That he make it possible for me to place it there.
As I walked into the foyer of the church, my eyes fell upon the table where people sat solemnly signing Michael’s guest book. There, behind the open book, was a beautiful, framed picture of Michael taken by Renee in our living room less than a year before. Renee had shared the picture on Michael’s Facebook wall after his death and it had “somehow” made its way into his memorial service from there. In the photo, Michael sits on our large, sectional sofa, looking happy, radiant and relaxed, with a giant painting of a field of red poppies, symbolic of clairvoyant communication, framing his shoulders and head.
As I entered the chapel a few minutes later, I noted this same photo projected at least six feet high onto a screen directly behind Michael’s open coffin under the words “In Loving Memory.” If I had any doubts that I was being given the green light for delivery of the pink heart, they vanished in that moment.
Approximately 200 people were already milling around inside the chapel, but miraculously none of them seemed to be looking in the direction of Michael’s coffin. It was as if the sea had temporarily parted. Seizing the opportunity, I made my way to the front of the chapel, and, with a prayer in my heart, leaned in toward Michael’s lifeless body and slipped the pink heart into the folds of satin under his right elbow directly across from his heart.
Mission accomplished and with a sigh of relief, I turned to look for my seat and noticed Michael’s daughter standing nearby. When I approached her, introduced myself and explained that I was Renee’s sister, she immediately embraced me, saying “Renee’s sweetness and kindness meant so much to my Dad.” Her words, so reminiscent of the last text Michael had sent to Renee, brought tears to both our eyes. I couldn’t help but feel his presence moving through her as I offered my condolences and turned to go.
The memorial service was a moving testament to Michael’s life and spirit. Over 400 people came to pay their respects that day, and Michael was beautifully eulogized by several family members and friends. What impacted me the most, however, was a story shared by the preacher. He had visited Michael in the hospital around the time he was first admitted, assuming “they would fix Michael up with some antibiotics and he would be out of there in no time.” But as the preacher said his goodbyes that day and started to leave, Michael had stopped him, saying, “Sean, I want you to promise me you will officiate at my funeral.” Shocked, the preacher had tried to brush Michael off, saying, “Of course, I will do whatever you ask, Michael, but let’s not speak of this again for another fifty years.” Michael had insisted even more forcefully, however, in order to underscore the point.
It seems clear that Michael did, in fact, know early on that he would not be bouncing back from his mysterious illness. And, yet, I believe he purposefully held on for more than two months, much of that time in a coma with his devoted daughter at his bedside, lovingly holding his hand and calling him “Daddy.” Perhaps, he made such a mind blowing sacrifice, in part, in order to send a powerful message of transcendent wisdom and renewal to everyone who hears this story. If Michael’s case is any indication, we do, indeed, chose the moment of our death, and we do so with great clarity, intentionality and love for those we leave behind.
(DISCLAIMER: Some of the names, dates and identifying details have been changed out of respect for Michael’s family. Otherwise, this blog is entirely factual.)
As a young child of approximately 2 ½ years, my client had undergone open-heart surgery to repair a faulty valve. Now in his 50s and a therapist by profession, he recently remembered an out-of-body experience related to his surgery while under hypnosis. Among other things, he remembered that while the surgeons were performing the procedure, a ring of angels had encircled his heart. They communicated with him telepathically, explaining that the surgery was necessary in order to purify his heart because he had “done some bad things” in a past life. This gentleman told me he was certain he had been a Viking warrior in one or more past lives and had accrued some negative karma as a result, possibly by stabbing his enemies through the heart.
My client’s ancestral DNA test revealed that he was descended from the haplogroup Rib, associated with the Scandinavian tribe of Sigurd, through his paternal line. Furthermore, his Astrocartography map revealed an astonishing 12 planetary lines crossing chaotically in the vicinity of Northern Sweden, including all of his Mars lines, associated with the warrior archetype. These lines radiated outward to all the various regions occupied by the Vikings during their long period of conquest. Even more astonishing, his father’s Astrocartography map revealed the same dense concentration of tangled planetary lines crossing in Northern Sweden.
When I looked at my client’s birth chart, I was amazed to see that his Mars was located at 2 degrees of Capricorn (ruled by Saturn, the planet of karma) in the 2nd house, very near its cusp, which in developmental terms, correlates to the approximate age of 2 ½ years! This very karmic Mars placement formed one corner of a Grand Trine (or triangle) with the benefic planets Jupiter, at the top of the chart, and Venus, indicating the angelic blessings and love that were visited upon this man as a young boy and, no doubt, throughout his life, thereafter, in order to purify and protect his heart. Synchronistically, the Sabian Symbol for my client’s Mars placement read:
Three Rose Windows in a Gothic Church, One Damaged by War.
Gradually, I have come to understand that the evolutionary process of “waking up” to transcendent dimensions is also, simultaneously, a process of “waking down” into our ancestral roots and the experience of full incarnation. What follows is the story of how I came to this conclusion as well as a brief description of the Ancestry Mapping process.
A dozen years ago, in the midst of one of those classic mid-life crises, I decided something drastic was in order: a meditation retreat of indefinite duration. The plan was just to sit still, quiet my mind and not move until the contents of my unconscious finally, completely emptied themselves and I achieved ultimate clarity and bliss. Needless to say, it didn’t happen quite like that.
Toward the end of the third month, my efforts to get to the bottom of the dissatisfaction I had been feeling with my life took an unexpected turn: I heard a voice say, “Stop meditating! Get up! Go to Ireland and find your roots!” It was my own voice, coming from some place deeper than I had ever heard before, so I did as I was instructed. I spent most of the next two years living in Ireland, discovering what it means to be both biologically and karmically rooted to a place. The experience was profoundly life altering and empowering for me in ways I could never have anticipated (Please see my blogs “Close Encounters with the Faeries and Wisdom Goddesses” and “Feeding the Hungry Ghosts” for more information).
Since then, I think it’s fair to say I have become obsessed with issues of ancestry and identity. I come by these interests organically. My mother is a genealogist, with whom I have travelled around Ireland and Michigan, placing flowers and candles on the graves of our ancestors. I also happen to be an identical, mirror twin (Please see my blog “Revisioning the Twin Archetype” for more information).
The thing about being an identical, mirror twin (I’m left-handed; my sister is right-handed) is that I am constantly looking in the mirror at someone who looks like me, only in reverse. We have the same DNA, were raised in virtually the same environment and have virtually identical birth charts (I am 5 minutes older). So how to account for our differences? This question has driven me beyond the conventional parameters of the nature vs. nurture debate into a metaphysical and karmic approach to epigenetics. In other words, I’ve come to understand that though my sister and I share identical DNA, the souls with which we relate to our DNA are different, having chosen different experiences over many lifetimes before arriving here on planet Earth this time around. This somewhat confusing and unusual situation is accounted for in Vedic astrology, where first-born twins are assigned the primary birth chart, while second-born twins are assigned an entirely different chart.
In 2005, after several years of exploring my ancestry from the karmic and past-life side of the equation, I took the scientific approach and had my DNA tested through the Genographic Project (sponsored by National Geographic). At the time, it was the only company I was aware of that offered ancestral DNA testing, though in the years since many more such companies have come online, offering various approaches, perspectives and services. If you happen to be female, the Genographic Project maps your maternal lineage, from your mother to her mother to her mother all the way back to the first human female on the East coast of Africa tens of thousands of years ago (If you’re male, it maps your paternal line). I managed to persuade three of my relatives, my brother and two cousins, to also take the Genographic DNA test, so that I could map the ancestral lineage of all four of my grandparents: my mother’s mother; my mother’s father; my father’s father; and my father’s mother.
The first time I looked at these maps was absolutely stunning. It felt like my entire ancestral lineage flashed before my eyes, going back to the very beginning of the human race. But every time is amazing. I can literally feel the roots growing under my feet, from Michigan, to the East coasts of Canada and the US, to Northwestern Europe and the Mediterranean, to Eastern Europe, to the Aegean region, to what was once known as Mesopotamia, to the Arabian Peninsula, and finally to the Horn of Africa.
Since then, several programs tracing the ancestry of high-profile Americans have appeared on TV: Faces of America, African American Lives, Who Do You Think You Are? and, most recently, Finding Your Roots. I have watched each episode with complete fascination and always purchase the DVD sets when they become available.
About a year and a half ago, I had my DNA tested again through a company called DNA Tribes* (www.dnatribes.com), which offers relatively detailed ancestral information going back 500 years, from all four lines of descent combined. I discovered that in the context of the past 500 years, I am approximately 25% Swedish, 25% Polish and 25% Irish, plus 8% Spanish, 8% Italian and 8% Arabian! I was so jazzed by the information I received from DNA Tribes, that I persuaded about a dozen friends and family members to take their ancestry test, as well, and share their results with me. In the last year or so, I have been correlating this DNA information with anecdotal evidence as well as with karmic indicators in each of our astrological charts, derived primarily from Sun and Moon placements, Ruling Planet placements, South Node placements, Astrocartography and Mayan Star Glyphs.
This process has been truly mind-blowing, leading me to conclude that even within the limitations imposed by the hardwiring of DNA, identity is an extremely fluid and karmically-driven thing. It has also helped me understand that our epigenomes, the softwired curly cues capable of switching genetic tendencies on and off, even in utero, are influenced at least as much by karma from past-lives as by our physical environment and lifestyle choices in this lifetime.
My sense is that prior to conception in any given lifetime, not only do we choose our biological parents, we also choose our genetic profiles from the various options within our parents’ combined ancestral DNA pool, in some cases, in ways that defy conventional logic. For example, I know of one man whose biological parents are both primarily of European ancestry, however, his DNA indicates he is almost exclusively of Indian and Asian descent. Several years ago, he traveled to India on a pilgrimage and became so ill while there he almost had to be airlifted back to the US. In another, similar case, two parents of European ancestry have produced an offspring whose DNA is primarily Native American. Several years prior to learning about their son’s ancestral DNA profile, they travelled as a family to the exact locations in the American Southwest and the Yucatan Peninsula where his ancestors once lived. Finally, a close friend of mine who has always felt a strong affinity with indigenous cultures around the world and been estranged from his Northern European family of origin, discovered, through his DNA profile, that he is descended from an Aboriginal tribe which was colonized by Northern Europeans several hundred years ago.
In my experience, the overlay between DNA mapping and karmic influences highlighted in one’s astrological chart, form a rich tapestry of identity and rootedness, assisting in the waking down, as well as the waking up, process.
(*Disclaimer: Please be aware that ancestral DNA testing is still in its infancy and is, therefore, not an exact science. For example, the DNA Tribes test reflecting one’s “deep ancestry” is derived from the “top 20 matches in a database of 827 native populations that have experienced minimal movement and admixture in modern history (approximately, the last 500 years)…identifying populations where your DNA is most common…)
As I write the final words of this blog, it is June 5th, 2012, the date of a very rare Venus transit of the Sun, and, “coincidentally,” my 58th birthday. It’s also the day I officially change my name from Tara McKinney to Tara Faulkner. Yesterday, during the Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse, I managed to complete the elaborate bureaucratic process necessary for my new name to be legally recognized, but today I celebrate that this has actually occurred, through the posting of this blog and in other meaningful ways. This is the story of a series of seriously strange and significant synchronicities that led to my decision to change my last name to Faulkner and then helped me understand, in ever-widening circles, the underlying reasons for doing so.
Numerology and the Case for Major Mojo
It all started a couple of months ago, in mid-April. I was in Montana for a quarterly meeting with my Inner Sight friends and colleagues, Isha Lerner and Janet Morrow, and for fun one afternoon we decided to each have a reading by a local numerologist by the name of Terry Cito. Much to my surprise, after giving me a lot of very valuable and insightful information based on my birth name and date, Terry gently but firmly advised me to change my last name, explaining that the name McKinney “doesn’t have the right ‘mojo’ for you at this stage of your life.” I should explain that McKinney is not my birth name, but rather my mother’s maiden name, which I gave myself fifteen years ago at the age of 43, in the throes of my Uranus and Saturn oppositions, more commonly known as “the mid-life (identity) crisis.”
The name McKinney has very meaningful associations for me, so initially I resisted the thought of changing it (Please see my blog, “The Hungry Ghosts of the Irish Famine,” for more information on the McKinney ancestral line). By the next day, however, I was starting to wrap my mind and heart around the idea of the name change, so I called my Mom, who happens to be a genealogist, and asked her for a list of our family surnames, going back as far as my great-great grandparents on all sides. One surname on the list called out to me: Faulkner, the name of my mother’s maternal great grandparents, Ione and Frank, and a long line of others from whom Frank was descended.
I asked Terry to evaluate the name Tara Clare Faulkner from a numerological standpoint and he gave me an enthusiastic two thumbs way up, saying it had “major mojo” for my work (Destiny Number: 77 (master number), indicating dramatically increased mystical and clairvoyant abilities), would give me the visibility and strength to inspire justice in the world (Soul and Ultimate Goal Numbers: 17/8, representing the Star Card, plus the Strength and Justice Cards in the Major Arcana of the Tarot), and, last but not least, would even improve my love life (Personality Number: 60/6, correlated with the Love Card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot).
The Falcon Animal Totem
I did some research on the origins and meaning of the name and discovered it derives from the 12thcentury occupation of the “falconer,” i.e. one who trains falcons to hunt prey for humans. I looked up the esoteric meaning of the falcon animal totem and was excited to learn that falcons are associated with great clarity and focus, in addition to the ability to identify inner obstacles (prey) and overcome them at an astonishing rate of speed (since they can fly over 200 miles an hour!). For all the above reasons, I was leaning heavily in the direction of changing my last name to Faulkner, but what happened next definitely sealed the deal.
Am I a Falcon, A Storm or a Great Song?
On my way home from the quarterly meeting in Montana, I had a 2 ½ hour lay over in Minneapolis. Just off the plane, I was meandering through the terminal in search of edible food when I heard someone call my name. It was a friend of mine from Montana whom I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. Over dinner, we got caught up on our lives and I told her all about the possibility of changing my last name to Faulkner. At the end of my story, I raised my hands above my head, replicating the flight of the falcon as it circles the heavens, at which point my friend excitedly interrupted me to announce that a falcon-related poem had been spiraling around inside her head for the past week or so, apparently in anticipation of this very moment. It was Rilke’s “I Live My Life in Widening Circles,” which she promptly recited for me:
I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?
As my friend said the word “falcon,” I had one of those goose bump experiences I always get in the presence of seriously strange and significant synchronicities, and, as it turns out, that was just the beginning. On my flight to New Orleans later that night, I fell into a kind of reverie, imagining the falcon forever circling the “primordial tower,” evocative of the trunk of the World Tree, with it’s branches reaching into the heavens and its roots to the far side of the galaxy. The evidence was piling up and I suddenly knew the Faulkner name change was inevitable.
My Faulkner Ancestors and the Revolutionary War Connection
Back in New Orleans, I received a large manila envelope in the mail from my Mom with 20 pages of detailed records on our Faulkner ancestors going back to my 7th great grandfather, Samuel Faulkner, born in Dublin in 1691. With the crucial birth and death records, I was able to do some research of my own and confirm that at least two of my Faulkner ancestors were veterans of the Revolutionary War. (This is not true of any other line of my family tree, most of whom arrived in the U.S. in the mid-1850s). I was thrilled to discover the Revolutionary War connection, especially since I am feeling the need at this time in our evolution as a species to find my own 21st century expression of the revolutionary impulse, nonviolent, of course, but nonetheless Plutonic. (As I allowed this information to sink in, I reflected upon the fact that we are fast approaching a series of six Uranus/Pluto squares, which will play out over the next three years beginning on June 24, 2012. The last time we experienced this particular astrological configuration was during the Revolutionary War period in the latter part of the 1700s.)
More recently in the Faulkner branch of my family tree, I knew from stories passed down to me that my great-great grandmother, Ione Faulkner, had been a feisty, tee-totaling member of the Women’s Temperance League throughout her adult life, and that she had once threatened to disown my grandmother for playing women’s baseball on a team sponsored by a beer company! Her yard was always overflowing with wild flowers that she cut every Sunday morning and took to church to decorate the altar. In fact, I have a picture of her and my Mom in Ione’s front yard – Ione in her mid-80s but looking truly ancient; my Mom about 3 years of age, with a pageboy hair cut and one of Ione’s wild flowers in her hair.
The Story of Odin, the Tree of Life and the Falcon, Vedrfolnir
Less than a week after my return to New Orleans from Montana, my niece (my identical twin sister’s daughter) gave birth to a healthy baby boy here in New Orleans, whom she and her husband named Odin after the Swedish God who hangs upside down from the Tree of Life, Yggdrasil, in order to gain wisdom and humility. In researching this Nordic version of the Tree of Life story, I discovered that perched at the top of the Tree was an eagle with the falcon, Vedrfolnir, sitting between its eyes, symbolizing omniscience. As the story goes, the falcon reported directly to Odin on all it saw in the Heavens, on Earth and below. In this way, Odin gained wisdom from the all-knowing falcon with the 360-degree perspective at the top of the World Tree. Shades of “I Live My Life in Widening Circles”!
With more help from my Google search engine, I soon discovered that, on a galactic level, the Swedish version of the Tree of Life is identified with the Milky Way. When viewed from the northern hemisphere at midnight on the Winter Solstice, the top of the World Tree/Milky Way is due north in the constellation Aquila, associated with the falcon, Vedrfolnir, while its base is due south in the constellation Hydra, associated with the serpent that coils around its roots (where, by the way, my sidereal Moon is located).
Carl Calleman’s Planetary World Tree and the Swedish Connection
Similarly, in his book, The Purposeful Universe, biologist and Mayan scholar, Carl Calleman, hypothesizes the existence of a planetary Tree of Life – a macrocosmic, galactic version of which he identifies with the Milky Way. According to Calleman, the trunk of the planetary Tree of Life coincides with the 12 degrees longitude line demarcating Western and Eastern Europe, running through Sweden, Germany, Italy and Libya, etc., with its roots in the deepest parts of Africa.
Using the tools of Astro*Carto*Graphy (which superimposes one’s birth chart on a map of the world), as conveyed to me by the very gifted astrologer and wizard, Wayne Moody, I had recently learned that my Saturn Midheaven line (the vertical line bisecting one’s astrological chart (which is, itself, symbolic of the uppermost point of the Tree of Life)) happens to run exactly on top of the trunk of Calleman’s “hypothetical” World Tree, at 12 degrees longitude. Furthermore, much to my surprise, according to the results of a recent DNA test, my deep ancestry going back approximately 500 years is primarily Swedish!
The Egyptian Falcon God, Horus, and His Mother, Isis
With all of the above in mind, I did a Google search for additional iconography related to the falcon, worldwide. In a matter of seconds, I was scanning a list of websites dedicated to the Egyptian Falcon God, Horus, with his all-seeing “Eye of Horus.” I had been vaguely aware of Horus as the son of the Goddess, Isis, one of my all-time favorites (due to her associations with Venus, the star Sirius and the Galactic Center), but hadn’t paid much attention to him. Suddenly, Horus shifted to the forefront of my imagination and came into sharper focus.
In Astro*Carto*Graphy terms, my Venus/Saturn crossing line (the place where my angular Venus and Saturn lines intersect on the planet) runs right through Egypt, at 29 degrees latitude, wrapping itself around the planet horizontally and connecting me in especially impactful ways to those places which fall on the 29 degrees latitude marker, including the city of New Orleans where I currently live (on my Venus Midheaven line, no less).
Even before knowing any of this, I had noted a mysterious connection between Egypt and New Orleans, as evidenced by the number of Mardi Gras parade krewes (crews) that are named in honor of various Egyptian deities, including the Krewe of Isis (which every year spends many thousands of dollars decorating its elaborate floats with her likeness). What I find especially moving and significant about the Egypt/New Orleans connection is that Egypt was one of the places where the revolutionary impulse erupted most dramatically during the “Arab Spring,” or “Arab Awakening,” of 2011. I felt the idealistic energy of that grassroots uprising very powerfully here in New Orleans and continue to be inspired by the ongoing efforts of the Egyptian people to achieve true democracy. The Egyptian Revolution catalyzed the revolutionary impulse in my own DNA, I believe, going back through my Faulkner ancestral line to the Revolutionary War that birthed the United States into being, and beyond.
Conclusion: Angels Among Us
Three weeks ago, as I was standing at the sink loading the dishwasher, I announced to my sister that I intended to “manifest” a June 4th date for my name to be legally changed, just in time for our birthday on June 5th. I’m really not the sort of person to make pronouncements like that, but something came over me: I was in the manifestation zone, in the interest of co-creating yet another seriously strange and significant synchronicity. Yesterday – June 4th, I might add – I found myself in the Civil District Court Clerks Office at New Orleans’ City Hall completing the final bits of paperwork for my name change before heading to Courtroom G, where I had been assured a “friendly judge” was on the docket who would rubber stamp my Name Change Judgment.
Minutes later, my sister and I walked into a courtroom that was completely empty except for a very elderly gentleman sitting with his back to us, hunched over the table where lawyers typically sit facing the judge’s bench. He appeared to be having a heart attack or at least in a lot of distress. Just as we were about to intervene (my sister is a nurse), the gentleman swiveled around in his chair, saying in his gravelly Louisiana drawl, “Oh, hello. I didn’t realize anyone was here. What can I do for you?” I quickly explained my mission, at which point, I began to consider the unlikely possibility that the mysterious gentleman who appeared to have one foot in the grave was, in fact, the judge.
Noting the 2012 date on my Judgment document, the gentleman began speculating about what might, in fact, occur on December 21, 2012, telling us he had heard that all the planets would be lining up with the Center of the Galaxy, the poles would spontaneously reverse themselves, causing the volcano in Yellowstone National Park to erupt and burying all of us under two feet of ash. This prompted an animated five-minute conversation on the subject, during which my sister and I shared our thoughts and feelings on all matters related to 2012, including that extreme weather events might occur but that, ultimately, we felt the Mayan Calendar end date was all about rebirth. “Good!” he’s said, “We could use a rebirth! Actually, we could use two!”
We all laughed as, to my relief, the judge finally signed my Judgment! As I turned to follow my sister out of the courtroom, he called after me, saying, “Ms. Faulkner!” I immediately turned around, saying, “Yes?” and then “That’s the first time anyone has ever called me that.” He laughed and said, “I know. I just wanted to make sure you were ready.” I felt his words land somewhere deep inside me, setting up a resonance that made me feel I was in the presence of a guardian angel of some sort, not unlike the Archangel Michael character played by John Travolta in the movie Michael. It was a little spooky, but in a good way.
I stumbled out of the courtroom in a daze, down the hall and back in the District Court Clerks Office to file the Judgment. This is when things got even weirder, like Twilight Zone weird. The clerk who had advised me to seek out the judge in Courtroom G, looked at the judges signature on my Name Change Judgment and with a very puzzled look on her face, said, “Louis De Rosa? Who’s that?” When I asked if there was a problem, she replied, “No. I’ve just never heard of that judge before. Hmmm… Sometimes they call in adjunct judges. That must be what happened.” Mind you, this was a clerk who was close to retirement age, who, no doubt, had worked at City Hall for at least 30 years and would presumably have known all the judges, adjunct or otherwise. And what about that name: De Rosa, meaning “Of the Rose,” the rose being the most Venusian, 5-petaled/5-pointed stars of all the flowers? Are you kidding me?!
I had to restrain myself from bolting back down the hallway into Courtroom G, where I suspected I would NOT find Judge De Rosa sitting hunched over the lawyers’ table, but, instead, some other judge of a less ethereal nature with a full docket of cases and no time or inclination to speculate about 2012 or test my readiness for the mantle of my new name. Part of me wanted to know, but another part of me was just as happy not to…
My entire adult life has been oriented around the conviction that to truly know oneself is to know the entire universe. Recently, I have become convinced that the reverse is also true: to the extent we understand the universe we inhabit, and, in particular, the societal forces that profoundly impact us on a daily basis, we come to truly know ourselves. It’s a dialectical relationship. Consequently, I’m about to do something I haven’t done before in the context of my blog writing. I’m about to share my perspective on our global monetary system, the embryonic sea in which we swim throughout the course of our lives.
About a month ago, I was doing research on the big Venus transit that will be happening on June 5 and 6, 2012. In the midst of that process, I stumbled upon a website dedicated to an enterprise called The Venus Project. After quickly scrolling through the site, I concluded The Venus Project actually had nothing to do with the planet Venus or the upcoming Venus transit, so I moved on (but with a nagging feeling that The Venus Project was something I would be revisiting in the future).
I have a basic rule that three synchronicities on the same subject in a short period of time constitute a clear message from the universe, namely: THIS IS IMPORTANT! PAY ATTENTION! What happened next falls into that category. A couple of weeks ago, the link to a video entitled Integral Zeitgeist landed in my inbox. I was intrigued, so I watched it. The video offered an enthusiastic endorsement of the documentary Zeitgeist Moving Forward, so I watched that, too. “Coincidentally,” it featured the deeply thought-provoking and radical (as in, getting to the root of the problem) views of the founder of The Venus Project, the futurist, Jacques Fresco. A few days later, Fresco was featured in a TEDx video recommended by a friend. Realizing that The Venus Project had just achieved “three synchronicities and your in” status, I sat up and took extra special notice. Since then, I have immersed myself in Fresco’s vision for a truly humane world.
In a nutshell, Fresco advocates the phasing out of our current money-based economy, altogether, in favor of a “resource-based economy” on a global scale. He argues that the elimination of money is necessary for all kinds of reasons I found very persuasive, including the fact that the use of money, in and of itself, results in social stratification, elitism and inequality, based primarily on economic disparity. Intuitively, I know this to be true.
A couple of night’s ago, I found myself having an email conversation with a friend of mine who has committed his entire life to community organizing and activism, starting in the late 50s at UC, Berkeley, where he was one of the founders of SLATE. During the course of our conversation, I was surprised by the depth of feeling that came pouring out of me with respect to our current monetary system. Among other things, I paraphrased my favorite line from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, following that up with a question and an observation:
What if “a new world, conceived in liberty and justice, and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal” can only truly be created when we understand that liberty, justice and equality are basic human rights, given freely to everyone by virtue of the fact that we exist and nothing more, rather than the privilege of those who can afford to pay for them?
Maybe I’m naïve, but it seems to me that if everyone were truly afforded liberty, justice and equality by virtue of the simple fact that they exist, there would be no need for money. So, if we’re still messing around with money, then that means we don’t really believe in these values. We still think on some level that if you don’t go out and earn your keep, you deserve to be destitute and homeless, and even die on the streets like a dog.
I do some of my best blog writing in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. Last night is a case in point. True confession: I thumb-typed the outline for this blog on the notebook in my iPhone in the wee hours, after my cat, Diego, woke me up by sitting on my head and, simultaneously, purring like a motor boat. After gently but firmly showing Diego to the door, I tried to meditate, but was, instead, serenaded by this stirring sentence from The Declaration of Independence on a replay loop in my mind:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The word “unalienable” flashed insistently in neon lights every time it went whizzing by on the replay loop in my mind, and each time it did, it tugged at my heartstrings. Here’s the official definition: “cannot be annulled, voided or undone.” CANNOT BE ANNULLED, VOIDED OR UNDONE. I had a major epiphany this morning when I read these words. They underscored my growing conviction that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are intrinsically at odds with any and all monetary systems, even those that seems relatively benign. This is because if something is truly unalienable, it must be given unconditionally.
It’s 2012, the year about which so much has been prophesied. Maybe we’ve all signed up to be here NOW, at this amazing time in our evolutionary history, when anything is possible. I believe we have. If I’m correct, there’s no time like the present to reboot our entire global system, from the ground up. Time for Earth 2.0. Time to rise up and embrace the true spirit and promise of the Gettysburg Address and The Declaration of Independence. Last year at this time we experienced the Arab Spring. This year, how about a 99% Spring, when we turn this Earth ship around and reorient ourselves toward a truly humane and sustainable future. Nothing less than this is acceptable, for the human species, for all beings, for our beloved planet.
Coming full circle, I began this blog saying that when I stumbled upon The Venus Project website, I concluded it had nothing to do with the planet Venus and the upcoming Venus transit in early June. I suspect now that I was wrong about that. Ostensibly, The Venus Project was named for the fact that it was founded in the rural town of Venus, Florida. I suspect there was a much deeper, karmic reason for the name, one that was not at all accidental or coincidental, but was, in fact, prophetic. Is it possible that the vision of the future expressed through The Venus Project, a future in which everyone is truly and unconditionally afforded Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, is all part of the greater plan in which the planet Venus is playing a very significant role in some mysterious way, as prophesied by the Mayans and others? I believe it is.
(If you would like to learn more about The Venus Project and the future envisioned by Jacques Fresco, please see: www.thevenusproject.com)