Some ideas on one more Ophiuchus astrology-bashing episode …

Nicely, it’s been every week! For the time being of writing, I think that my esteemed colleague and UK’s Astrological Journal editor Victor Santo Olliver is mendacity down in a darkish room with a moist material on his brow, recovering from a minimum of twelve radio interviews within the house of some days, all devoted in essence to explaining why Ophiuchus isn’t and by no means has been a zodiacal signal.

When you’ve got been hiding in a moist cave someplace far-off with no entry to social media and have subsequently not been uncovered to the large pointless fuss, to begin with this quick piece of mine from a earlier Ophiuchus-fest will provide you with the naked details of the matter. You may additionally want to learn a for much longer, extra erudite article by revered astrologer Deborah Houlding going into the problem in additional depth.

Subsequent, do learn this Press Gazette piece wherein Victor is quoted, which ought to provide you with some perception into the media’s typically hardening perspective in the direction of astrology and the explanations for this.

I left a touch upon Victor’s Fb Web page the place he’d shared the above article, to the impact that what he had stated was as ever, clear, correct and to the purpose. I then went away and considered the entire problem of why this particularly frenetic assault by the media – producing many, many articles by a variety of astrologers refuting what was being stated – had flared up at the moment.

For what it’s price, listed below are my ideas, with due to Victor for exciting them:

On this time of uncertainty and worry we live by way of, I can perceive why on the whole phrases the media are attempting to root out inaccurate misrepresentation –or pretend information – which is harmful within the political and cultural sphere. Nonetheless, it appears clear that utilizing this as a possibility but once more to assault astrology is simply one other instance of the left mind versus proper mind cultural wars which have intensified ever for the reason that scientific revolution of the seventeenth century.

A protracted-term drawback is that the left mind cohort have by no means taken the difficulty to research the massive variations that exist between two discrete kinds of astrology. The ‘astrology lite’ of the favored press – at its greatest! – is nicely written by clever and considerate folks and helps to place the lives of we small people into the context of a significant greater image, if just for just a few moments of reflection in a busy day.

This astrology fronts a deeper, extra highly effective in-depth apply requiring years of research and apply to grasp at any helpful degree; It has a 6000 + yr previous custom upon which to attract when it comes to commentary of the interplay between our photo voltaic system and the collective/ particular person lives of the people who inhabit it.

Nonetheless, the usual bearers of the left mind cohort e.g. Dawkins and Cox, have by no means taken the difficulty to embark on any in-depth research which might reveal the facility and worth of that astrology which lies behind its fashionable masks.

I used to be an astrology dismisser myself a few years in the past, till I took the difficulty to embark on some critical research of the artwork and science which is astrology (since its main power lies in combining proper and left mind views on the human situation) and have been a practitioner ever since. Till ignorant and prejudiced folks determine to exhibit somewhat humility in correctly investigating a deep and highly effective discipline of data earlier than dismissing it, I worry we astrologers should not going to make any progress in lowering the rising ranges of prejudice that are being directed in opposition to us.

My very own private method to this, and I do know it’s the method of many fellow astrologers whose work I respect, is to ‘maintain the road’ because it had been by demonstrating by way of respectful, moral, and well-informed and educated apply, an in-depth astrology which has been useful and enlightening to innumerable numbers of individuals all through historical past.

I believe that partaking with an more and more polarised and nasty public debate on that is fairly futile; all we will usefully do is about a great instance by high quality apply, as I’ve stated above.

Nonetheless, within the spirit of exchanging views, agreeing to vary, and never vilifying each other within the course of, I realise that not everybody shares this view!

700 phrases copyright Anne Whitaker 2020

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

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The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

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