Memory From Good Old Days

Once, when I was a young girl at the age of nine, I dreamed I wrote a book. When I saw the title on the cover with my name beneath it, I was amazed! For days afterwards I would try to remember the title, but couldn’t. Although the dream had planted the idea in my mind I told nobody about it. I believed it was foolish to even think I could do such a thing. Others would shame me if they knew of my conceit, that I even dared to dream I had written a book! Who was I to think I could write something others would want to read?

Forward thirteen years to age twenty-two. I had recently married and was also expecting my first child. I confided in my new husband, telling him I’d always wanted to write (the first time I’d ever dared to tell anyone!). “Then why aren’t you writing?” he said, as if what I’d said was not outrageously ridiculous! Duh! Don’t ask me why I didn’t know that if I wanted to write I should be writing! Perhaps it was the result of an inferiority complex. But after that I began taking pen to paper. When I later read what I’d written I blushed with embarrassment. The writing was full of cliches. As much as I had read, and I’d always been an avid reader, I knew too many cliches meant poor writing.

Forward to age thirty-three, the mother of four young children, all in school. I dared to enroll in a writer’s workshop. We had this wonderful teacher who had us put our writing on a large blackboard and the class would critique what we’d written. Thankfully, sharing our writing with the class was not required. Perhaps Mr. Young (bless his heart!) knew I was very insecure about my writing and did not draw attention to me or pressure me. I remember thinking one evening that my writing was just as good as some of the other writings on the board and I began posting mine.

That’s how my first written piece (besides all the ones I’d rejected and thrown away, of course) was written. Mr. Young told me it was publishable and to send the mss to Good Old Days magazine, a nostalgic publication. My piece was called The Log Train, a short story about my siblings and I watching for the log train to come out of the hollow where we lived in the Kentucky Mountains, how we played in the meadow beside the old tracks and called “Log Train’s Coming” when we heard the screeching of the iron wheels on the metal tracks. It was during a glorious yet short time in our young lives after our dad had died leaving a widow and eight children, the older children caring for and providing for the younger ones, my baby brother age six and me age eight.

March 1973 Issue

I cannot tell you how that short piece of writing, taking up only one page in the magazine, changed my life. No, I didn’t become a “writer”, so to speak, except for a few pieces here and there and finally a family book in 2006 called “Stories of a Kentucky Mountain Family” As Told by Two Sisters and a Brother,” in which I also included many of my eldest brother and only sister’s writings.

Back to the day I received two copies of the March 1974 edition of the magazine: I hadn’t heard back about my submission until the day I received the copies. My little story was on page 11 (my birth path number in numerology). I looked at the printed page in wonder (I later received a check for $9.00). What it did for my self-esteem was unimaginable. As if it confirmed to me that I was still alive. And I still marvel at the change it made in my life, which is too much to go into here. But the latest thing that’s happened regarding the outcome of the story of The Log Train may be hard to believe. Although I saved the magazine for a while, during several moves and interruptions it disappeared. I had lost track and forgotten how important it had once been in my life.

Click image to read the story

This July (2019) 4th my daughter Teresa, her husband and two of my grandchildren went to Des Moines to celebrate the 4th with my son-in-law’s family. On the way home they stopped at a place called Brass Armadillo Antique Mall in Altoona, Iowa, and were browsing. They came across some Good Old Days magazines and Teresa called me to find out what year my little story The Log Train was published in the magazine. I can’t believe it took me awhile to remember (I’m getting old so I had to dig deep!) but I finally timed it because I suddenly remembered that when I began studying Astrology I learned I’d had a progressed New Moon that began the very same month the story appeared in the magazine, which was March, 1973. Teresa learned someone on ebay had the Good Old Days magazines for that year. She bought them for me. I can’t tell you what a thrill it was to hold the copy with my story in my hands. I hadn’t realized fully until now had such a “small” thing (in many ways) had changed my life for the better. It’s also amazing that Teresa, who was only nine years old that year remembered that pivotal time and that she sensed how important it was to me. I am blessed in so many ways.

A Voice of Wisdom From the Past

“It has been Europe’s destiny. . . to provide the intellectual foundation for the emergence of new powers and new social ideals.  It seems to be America’s destiny to be the main field within which the two basic possibilities of use and management of those powers have to fight for supremacy.

“The fight is on, as perhaps never before and it need not be a violent fight in the streets, although our city streets every day spawns violence and crime.  The basic area of conflict is the mind of American men and women, even if this conflict is so often masked and distorted by emotional whirlpools and devotional glamour.  This conflict is inherent in the whole Western civilization and has been since the days of ancient Greece.  In a sense it is the conflict between individualism and holism, individual freedom and group participation, intellectual curiosity and soul-wisdom, Gemini and Sagittarius.”  The Astrology of America’s Destiny, A Birth Chart for the United States of America.” Dane Rudhyar

This book was published in 1974 after Watergate and describes what is still relevant 45 years later.  Dane Rudhyar was a great leader in the world of astrology.  This book has languished among my astrology books for several years, a second-hand copy I ran across and bought to “read later”.  I think it was the “Destiny” part that scared me a little but I finally dove in.  I’m glad I did.

The astrological community owes thanks to this author and astrologer who led the way to humanistic astrology.   

Lost Yet Found: My Inner Journey – Part 5

Decisions are hard for all of us. Which way do I go now, which path is
the right one, what do I do next, or, most urgently, where do I go from
here? Life is never easy and some decisions can be hard ones, very hard.
And, at times, it can seem as if there is no answer, although we know that
is untrue and every situation has a solution, no matter how hard it can
be to glimpse it at times.
This is where Hekate comes in. Hekate is the goddess of the crossroads.
She is also the mistress of the magic arts, and is included in the grouping
of the Moon goddesses. In ancient portraits she is shown to have three
heads and they look in each of three directions.
When we are at a crossroads Hekate is there with her torch light and
her ability to transcend both heaven and hell and her dwelling place on
earth. She can bring both the conscious mind and the unconscious mind
together, and the need to live in day to day reality home to us. She is
the one to go to for direction when we don’t know which path to take and
which road makes the best choice. Excerpt from STANDING AT
THE CROSSWOADS, Llewellyn. Co
m

I find this description of Hekate fascinating for one reason. If you are a female you are presently living through one of three periods of time, all of them represented by the goddess. During childhood you are helped to grow into your onset of puberty. After which you reach a state of maturity that will enable you to take on adult responsibility. This period lasts for some time as you grow further into your womanhood. You may become a mother and/or make other choices for what you want to do with your life. The second major crossroad will lead you into the third period of your life, when you reach what is referred to as old age. Most likely preceded by menopause. This period is referred to as the age of the crone.

If you doubt the existence of goddesses be reminded they have been around for thousands of years. As a stock character in folklore and fairy tales, an old woman. In some stories, she is disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner, often with magical or supernatural associations that can make her either helpful or obstructing. The Crone is also an archetypal figure, a Wise Woman.

The astrologer Alex Miller has researched many asteroids including Hekate.
He also says she is sometimes depicted as a triple goddess, in aspects as maiden, Mother and crone and identified with old age. In Athens she was revered as a chief domestic goddess, protector of the home. He adds that
Hekate relates to far-seeing, prophecy and ceremonial magick; the wisdom
accrued by age; intuition; protection and guidance, especially during crucial life passages such as puberty, childbirth and menopause.”

The crone is often depicted as thin and ugly, but also as a Wise Woman. So it may behoove us to get fat and spread wisdom. But also to heed what Ben Franklin said “Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom – and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.”

Lost Yet Found: My Inner Journey – Part 4

“As above, so below”.  The structure of the solar system continues to reflect the structure of the human mind. There is proof of this. Many of us have reflected on the historical synchronicities connected with the timing of the discoveries of Uranus (the American and French revolutions), Neptune (the Communist Manifesto, and Spiritism), and Pluto (nuclear energy and the widespread cultural integration of psychological language).

“But the discoveries of those three planets were just the first few drops of rain in the desert. Since 1992, there has been a downpour: not just one new planet, but a deluge of them. …….The solar system has become more complex. Has our sense of the complexity of the human mind also deepened in the past two hundred years? Do we simultaneously entertain many more avenues of perception and belief systems than did our great-grandparents? ……..Developments in astronomy are still reflecting cultural sociology……..The new solar system is real.”   World-famous Astrologer Steven Forrest in The Mountain Astrologer, August 2007.

I’ve learned there are many pathways to the Truth; but there are also many Truths.  The search for my own truth finally led me to astrology.  It may not be for everyone but it works for me.

 Over the past twenty-odd years the most exciting development in astrology has been the discoveries by astronomers of new planetary objects.  As Steven Forrest says, the solar system has become more complex.  In accord with the “as above, so below” the new discoveries reflect what is going on “down below”.

Names were chosen for the new discoveries, ephemerides were created going back many years.  The newly named objects had been there all along, waiting to reflect our evolving consciousness. Which reminds me of a time years ago; I was having trouble with my computer, calling for help from the IT trouble shooter.  He fixed my problem, saying “You were not in sync with the host.”  Perhaps that’s what the new planetary objects were waiting for – for us to get in sync with the host.  Synchronicity. 

As I searched the new ephemerides online and read the results of research by top astrologers (thankful for the Internet!} I was amazed at the new understanding I gained of my own natal chart.  Contacts with the new discoveries were revealing a side of me I’d lost touch with. I found myself going back to my personal history, watching events unfold that had seemed to come out of the blue.  I checked the progressions and transits of the planets and house cusps for those times.  Synchronicity.    

To be continued

Lost Yet Found: My Inner Journey – Part 3

“We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the years and of the season of which we are born.  Astrology does not lay claim to anything more.”    The Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist Carl Jung was one of the major forces responsible for bringing psychological(having to do with the mind and its processes) thought and its theories into the twentieth century.

My timid search for what lay behind the door in the back of my mind eventually led me to the study of Astrology: I’m now an advanced student, still learning.  Over the past few years professional astrologers have explored the meaning of newly discovered bodies called Dwarf Planets or  minor planets, along with specific asteroids and Trans-Neptunian (Kuiper Belt) Objects.  When I checked the ephemerides for their positions at the time of my birth I was amazed at how they tended to explain my natal chart.  Indeed “as above so below”.

Today Huya the Rainmaker, a TNO,  is transiting both my Lunar Return Midheaven and my natal Moon.  A New Moon arrived a few days ago, following my Lunar Return.

Although Huya was named for a Venezuelan rain god, different tribes of indigenous peoples throughout many countries have been adept at making rain.  The shamanic or spiritual way was once practiced worldwide. It used intention, prayers and ceremony to open the heart and mind of the seeker to contact unseen forces that exist in nature.  Most Native American tribes also included a rainmaker. In the shamanic tradition a person could become a rainmaker after a long apprenticeship.

I have a long way to go but I feel I too am working on an apprenticeship. Whatever gains I may make in this life, I hope to carry over into my next incarnation.

My American Indian heritage is very scant. As far as I know it began when a great grandfather took a young Cherokee bride way back in the pioneer days in the southern mountains of Appalachia.  Her name did not survive in our genealogy yet a legend was born.  Traces of her has appeared ever since through one descendant or another.  Not only in physical traits but also in spirit.

For instance I had a great grandmother who was a “Bee Charmer”.  My mother told me Great Grandma Polly Stamper could walk among the bee hives unprotected, talking gently to the bees and they gave her all the honey she wanted.  Whereas Great Grandpa could cover up from head to toe and still get stung. 

I’ve never felt an affinity with bees but I have always loved the rain.  The crashing thunder sending a thrill through my body, flashes of lightening across the sky bringing anticipation of things yet to come.    

I have hope for the future.

To be continued.

Waiting for Uranus

Did you know there’s a place in the back of your mind
That’s gathering dust?
A place where you’ve stored things
Over the years
Just for awhile, you said
Until you have more time
Until you have more money
Until, until….
Sometimes a small beam of light flickers from this dark place
In the back of your mind
And you wonder, briefly, what it was
But then it goes out and you forget to wonder….
They still wait there, you know, beneath the dust on the shelf in the dark place in the back of your mind
For something
To trigger your memory
And bring back your future

Yes, Mr. Sagan, We Are Made of Star Stuff

You know how the clichéd light bulb goes off in the middle of a thought? I had such a thought this morning, about how the real meaning behind a word can get lost when the word represents something controversial.

Take the word astrology, for instance. I won’t go into the misconceptions the word evokes for many people but go straight to the nitty-gritty: what astrology really is. It is proof that we are all connected; the earth, the planets, the cosmos. Even Carl Sagan, who pooh-poohed astrology, said we are made from star stuff. And as my dear mother quoted to me “the proof is in the pudding.”

What brought this thought to me is that someone dear to me has been experiencing difficulties lately that sent me off on an investigation. I finally turned to the solar and lunar eclipses we had last year, and saw that three of them were conjunct planets in his natal chart. I noted the dates the transiting Sun and Mars triggered the eclipse degrees and those turned out to be significant dates for the evolving problem.

Other such transits to those eclipse degrees are on the horizon, as eclipses are effective for an extended period of time. They indicate, at least to me, since I’m an optimist, that the problem is working its way out and will be resolved.

I mulled this over last night. So…..big deal, right? He already knew this problem existed. This is not news to him. But the big deal (and to me, the big deal with using astrology) is that it verifies once again that we are not separate from, but part of, the Universe. Perhaps God created us to be observers of the mighty wonders He created. Perhaps we are meant to study, not only the stars as astronomers do, but to observe their connections to each other and their connectedness with our own lives, in order to understand how we are all a part of the same equation.

In our birth charts, the positions of the Sun, Moon and planets at the time of our birth documents our connectedness to the stars, the planets and all that is. Through Astrology we can find a pathway to Divine Truth.