Apr 28, 2005

Do you believe in magic(k)?

There are innumerable quizes to take on the web. "Which color are you?" "Which dragon are you?" "Are you a redneck?" You get the picture.

The latest quiz I bothered to take, was the cynic test. One of the questions was, "Do you believe in magic(k)?". I answered "yes".

There have been books and articles on the nature of "magic" in our lives. The transcendental writings of, say, Henry David Thoreau, are one example of discovering the magic in our lives, i.e. the wonder that is happening right under your nose, in your own life.

There is also the claim that there is no such thing as coincidences. The psychologist Carl Jung went one step further and noted that people would experience "meaningful coincidences", like having been invisibly guided to the right moment or person or thing, a phenomenon he called synchronicity. (The link takes you to the skeptic's take on Jung's idea, so you can draw your own conclusions.)

In my world, meaningful coincidences are verifications of correct thought or desire. They are evidence of being on the right path, that previous choices have been the right ones for you even if you didn't see it at the time. (So a bunch of meaningful but negative coincidences should tip you off that perhaps you need to change course.) One question that constantly returns to me, is why don't I do things then and there? Invariably, a reason shows up.

My priorities when moving to a new town, are to find a dentist and a hairdresser as soon as possible. (Astrology: Capricornian Saturn (teeth) and Venus (hair) in 1st house, focusing on long-term health and bolstering well-being.) The dentist I found in 1982 was my dentist for many years. He sold his business to a woman dentist, E.F., meaning to retire, but died suddenly. E.F. was my first female dentist but she managed to pull off something I greatly appreciated and admired her for: She managed to talk me through the entire procedure of changing a filling so that I wouldn't need anaesthesia.

Unfortunately, she didn't stay my dentist for long. Her son developed a chronic illness and she needed to be with him. She sold her business to another woman, whom I've seen once a year for about 3 years. She doesn't talk much, and I don't feel it easy to talk to her. Oddly, she's a Capricorn and you'd think that would mesh well with my chart, but I assume she's hitting my Saturn too exactly to transcend the feelings of limitation and fear (Saturn's shadow side). So, I've known for a couple of years that I'm not happy with my current dentist, but just haven't gotten around to shopping around for another dentist. Until now.

Last year, a new dentist's group opened next door to where I work, and several co-workers have bragged about the service. Last night, I decided to call them today and see if they were taking new clients. I also wondered idly if E.F. was working again, figuring enough time had passed for her life to have adjusted back to normal. Today, I browsed the web pages for the dentists, looking for a phone number. Each dentist seemed to have her/his own phone number. Then I saw E.F.'s name. Indeed, she is working again, and right next door!

I called, asked if E.F. was taking new customers (she was), explained that I'd been to her before a few years ago, and now have an appointment for Friday the 13th (heh), listed as "previous customer".

So my not immediately switching dentists turned out not to be a matter of dragging my feet, but of actually waiting for the absolutely right moment, the right situation, the right dentist. How did I know to wait over two years? I can't tell you. I thought I was just procrastinating. :-) But so many times, my apparant procrastination has turned out to be perfect timing. So many times, I experience synchronicity, that bit of magic that happens in an ordinary day.

Yes, I believe in magic(k).

PS: For the record, the cynic test claims I'm not a cynic because I trust my friends too much. Stupid test.

Apr 15, 2005

The astrology of a meeting

Prologue 1: We have just finished a period with Mercury retrograde (Rx), the time when the planet Mercury seems to move backwards. This happens about three times a year. Since Mercury is the planet of communication and paperwork, all kinds, its condition can influence everything from relaying a simple telephone message to international computer systems. The keywords for a Mercury Rx period are that such matters will experience misunderstandings, glitches, delays, or false starts. Anything done during a Mercury Rx usually requires extra care and even redoing in order to get things right. Mercury was still retrograde Monday evening where I live.

Prologue 2: The influence of a void-of-course (VOC) Moon is often compared to Mercury Rx. The hours the Moon is no longer forming an aspect to any other planet, and will not form a new aspect until it changes sign, are considered to be a time during which there is confusion, miscommunication, or lack of action. In horary astrology (the only truly predictive branch of astrology), a VOC Moon means "nothing will come of the matter". One of my readers found that companies formed during a VOC period, went belly-up within few years. The Moon was void-of-course all Monday evening where I live. (See my calendars, in English or Norwegian.

The meeting

In Norway, there are building societies, originally formed to pool resources so that one can build affordable housing. Individual building projects (like ours, a collection of 19 apartment buildings) are called "borettslag" (literally: "right-to-reside" association), or housing association, made up of shareholders. The individual owner does not own the buildings or grounds, but instead owns a share (one per unit). Housing associations are handled administratively and financially by their own steering committee, elected among and by the shareholders, and we have bylaws.

Now, every year there is a regular shareholder's meeting of the local association, with a standard agenda to follow, elections, and voting on any matters that involve large or extraordinary expenditures and/or changes to the property or buildings. After having not attended a shareholder's meeting for several years, I decided to make a show this year. I must've been psychic, because it turned out that there had been a campaign among the neighbors to oust our current steering committee foreman, a man who's been foreman for more than the 18+ years I've been living here.

So we packed our club house to the rafters, over 140 shareholders and proxies present (usually we're around 60), called the meeting to order shortly after 7:00 pm, and immediately, some contrary people interrupted the process to claim that the process was not going exactly according to the bylaws.

After over 2.5 hours of arguing, interruptions, as well as normal business according to the agenda, we had a break, and then started our elections. With a bare majority, our foreman of over 20 years was no longer foreman.

It was heady. It was comical. It was irritating. It was confusing. It was unnecessary. The one issue that was the real reason behind the "coup" was parking. We don't have enough parking spaces for everyone, so a few years ago, the steering committee opted for zone parking, rather than assigning individual spaces. Apparantly, not everyone is happy with that. Well, we voted to not discuss that particular point on the agenda, as it would take another hour to go through details, have a discussion, vote, etc. and it was already close to 10:30 pm and we were all weary. Anyway, the bylaws require the steering committee to quickly call an extraordinary shareholder's meeting in such cases, so the issue would be delayed only a couple of weeks.

As I went home after the meeting, listening to the comments of my neighbors, getting a better picture of the background of some the events earlier, and noting the injustices and weaseling behavior of some, I wondered how the new steering committee would actually fare, elected as it was with Mercury retrograde and the Moon void-of-course. By all astrological signs, the results would not stick, though at the time I didn't see why not; it all seemed above board.

Yesterday evening, with Mercury once again direct (forward-moving) and the Moon not void-of-course, a next-door neighbor showed up with a petition to call an extraordinary shareholder's meeting in order to hold another election, claiming the discussions at the first meeting had been too disruptive and misleading. I grinned widely, realizing that astrology does work, and signed.

Apr 10, 2005

The arrival of the soul

Native Americans say that it is bad for the body to travel too fast for the soul can't keep up. And it did take me a whole week, after I got home from my vacation, to truly feel like I had finally come home.

I have spent 3 weeks in California, in the Bay area, staying with an old friend about 45 minute's drive from San Franciso. I hadn't seen my friend in 15 years, but it was as if no time had passed when I saw her again. I had a wonderful stay! 3 weeks felt like 3 months, and I thoroughly relaxed. Coming home did not give me the same feeling of joy as I usually get.

There were a couple of reasons for me to be struggling with feeling "home":

  • I am not yet done with grieving for my cat. I still wish I could hold her again. Waiting for me in my mail was the pick-up slip for Sammy's ashes.

    She haunted me when I got back. I saw her walking in the hall, I heard her scratching in her litter box. These "hauntings" disappeared once I got her urn placed in the spot of the window sill where she liked to sit and watch the outside world. I installed my new printer and tested its photo capabilities by printing one of Sammy, and that too sits in the window sill.

  • I came home to a messy home, and I do wish my home were better kept. (Working on that.) A computer problem, forcing me to reinstall a few things, has made me finally tackle a stack of stuff that's been sitting for ages. Which is just as well; I do need to get rid of stuff.

    On my vacation, I saw this sign on someone's bathroom mirror: "The more I know, the less I need." One interpretation is that spiritual knowledge reduces the need for material things. I don't think that's the only interpretation but I have to muse on this before I can elaborate. In the meantime, the Zen concept of not owning too many things or they will own you, is quite appropriate.

  • There is so much on offer in America, including my preference in religion, and groups, activities and things I can't find here in Norway – at least not as obviously. So I came home to an unexpected boredom, job included. Boredome is a sign of a need of change, so this is something to address.

So is all wrong and bad? Heavens, no! I also feel like I have so many possibilities and options, and that it just takes focus and some courage to make things happen. But I'm still not sure of what I want to be when I grow up.

While on vacation, I was asked by a reverend where my heart was. Honestly, I have no idea. And that is the challenge and the struggle.

I'm feeling a little bit like I did on my first day in California: I was so weary from travelling that nothing my friend suggested for dinner sounded agreeable. I apologized for being a difficult guest. As it turned out, I was fine within a couple of days, so it was just travel fatigue. So once I get back into the proper routine of things here, perhaps finding out what I can do to make my life here more like what I want, I will be more agreeable again.

All I know is, it's time for a change. Time to figure out where my body and soul should really be. In one sense, I'm "homesick." I am, after all, a native of California.