AK Reader: “CELESTIAL NAVIGATIONS,” Welcome and Prologue (2001)

I’m still pursuing my recapitulation project (gathering and sharing hundreds of essays and longer forms written since the late 1970s,  archiving them either under AK Reader or Astrology), though the project slows during the growing season. There’s a time for emergence, and there’s a time for recapitulation, and mostly, that’s a fall and winter endeavor.

So here we are, heading into fall; the light is changing and the nights cooling, garden groaning abundance. And wouldn’t you know, yesterday evening I discovered a cache of word docs I had nearly forgotten about, so quickly do things disappear if a website goes down. This one did; I don’t know how it happened, but since it was years ago, I’ve just let it go. But not, apparently, before taking a screenshot of the front page, and not before preserving its inaugural essay.

Amazingly enough, I started that website, Celestial Navigations, as the first dedicated to just “my” work, on September 10, 2001, exactly one day before the Twin Towers fell. I find that timing rather astonishing now, as you can imagine. But then? I found it eerily synchronous, since my inaugural essay was one which, when I wrote it, wondered if it was too intense, too extreme; and then, come to find out, it was, instead, eerily predictive. More on this, below.

Celestial Navigations was my first personal website, very different than my efforts until that time, which were dedicated to collecting and sharing personal expressions of a group of people, in print. For example,  Crone Chronicles: A Journal of Conscious Aging (1989-2001), or even earlier, OpenSpace (1978-1980), hardly any copies of which still exist, though I did memorialize the front page of the first issue, under glass. It hangs over the toilet to this day, symbolizing how all endeavors, no matter how promising, flush into oblivion.

So don’t get attached, unless you need to suffer.

Remember the Buddha’s first two Noble Truths:

1. LIFE IS SUFFERING.

2. THE CAUSE OF SUFFERING IS ATTACHMENT.

OpenSpace was dedicated to opening space in my home town, a periodical written by and for my friends, weirdo misfits in Twin Falls Idaho who did not identify with a religion as their primary social group.

Oh, and I mustn’t forget The Nutria, the little internal xeroxed weekly with student work I printed out in 1972-73, at New College of California, the contents of which eventually got me fired. (Story for another time). Or Heartland, the peace activist magazine I and another furious peace activist published to network far flung peace activist groups in the three states of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana — the “deep west,” I called it then — to protest Reagan’s Wyoming MX “Peacekeeper Missile” planned installation in 1982. It ran for two years (one Mars cycle), fueled by our mutual fury, until the day I suddenly recognized that I had become a violent peace activist, that peace on earth begins within me.

Each of these rags was an experiment, among other experiments, including marriages (four to date), and other living arrangements (like various communes, and a yurt village and now, Green Acres Permaculture Village). Indeed, I’ve been experimenting, in one way or another, both with publications and with my home environment ever since I decided to treat my entire life as an experiment! That was after my first consciously conducted experiment, in my mid-20s — forgive me if you’ve heard this story before — when I decided to find out whether or not I would still feel guilty after three Sundays in a row not attending Mass. I figured that if I was merely conditioned into obedience (like Pavlov’s dog), so that “guilt” was purely a social construct, I would find out after three Sundays, assuming the “guilt” would lessen, bit by bit.

Well, to my utter surprise, and frankly, fury, I realized after only one Sunday without Mass that I didn’t feel guilty at all! Not even one tiny bit! So what had I been doing all my life, being such a “good” girl according to some kind of outside standard for fear of “feeling guilty,” if I didn’t?

That was it. I never looked back.

Fast forward to the year 2001, when I finally decided to put up a website that had my work on it only, and call it Celestial Navigations, in honor of my long time explorations as a professional astrologer. Here is the saved screenshot of the front page.

Note the Dedication and Date:

This site is dedicated

to all those who,

knowing that our species

faces extinction should

current trends continue,

seek to transform knowledge into wisdom

conflict into harmony,

violence into compassion.

 September 10, 2001

[I also wrote weekly CN updates, sent by mail to about 100 subscribers. That went on for a few years. I might “recapitulate” some of them.]

Welcome

The purpose of Celestial Navigations is to use my own personal experience and reflection as an example of the search for personal and universal harmony. In this endeavor I integrate my own personal, psychological, cultural and philosophical perspectives with the ancient language of astrology.

This work demonstrates:

  • a way to gather meaning from experience, thereby reconnecting the lower self or personality with the higher self or soul.
  • a way to link the inner life with the outer world through a continuously expanding, multidimensional philosophical framework.

Prologue

“Mental Transformation is Key to Environmental Regeneration” — A.K., August, 2001

“In the nuclear age, everything has changed except our way of thinking.” — Albert Einstein

“The ongoing implosion of ideas and beliefs is generating a collective nervous breakdown. This crisis is also our opportunity. Breakdown can become breakthrough.” — A.K.

The crisis of the accelerating deterioration of Earth’s biosphere is much discussed. The ultimate cause of this degradation is however, little discussed. This is the way our minds are currently hard-wired to only interact with the outside world in certain sorts of ways. If we wish to continue to dwell upon this planet for the forseeable future, we must fundamentally alter our mental environment.

Our mental hard-wiring has both inductive and deductive components. Both of these are extreme, and they interact in pernicious ways.

  • Inductive: communication and transportation technologies, including the internet, besides linking us together, vastly amplifies the already overwhelming sea of information in which we are continuously inundated.
  • Deductive: the rise of religious and political fundamentalism tends to polarize us into opposing camps of rigid beliefs and sparks separation, judgment, hatred, violence, war.

There is so much information flowing by us every day, every minute, that we grow confused. We feel as if we are drowning in a sea of factoids. On a subliminal level, we grow afraid. How to make sense of it all? Our survival instinct kicks in, and we latch onto one or another set of simplistic rigid beliefs as a life raft.

Thus, it is no accident that extreme information overload co-exists with fundamentalist extremes. These two are linked. Yet they are also on a collision course, for our rigid beliefs must become stronger and stronger in order to continue to refuse more and more information. The increasing use of pharmaceuticals, alcohol and other mind-numbing drugs is symptomatic: the ongoing implosion of ideas and beliefs is generating a collective nervous breakdown.

This crisis is also our opportunity. Breakdown can become breakthrough. We need to transform both inductive and deductive modes of thinking and learning. Inductive: in order to thread our way through the daily inundation of factoids we must develop new ways to discern genuine information from spin and spam. Deductive: in order to release fundamentalism, we need to trust in uncertainty and allow in new ideas which conflict with our beliefs.

In astrology this situation is described by the opposition between two signs: Gemini (ideas, information) and Sagittarius (fundamentalism, beliefs, world-views). These two signs are linked, for opposites are also complements. Each sign needs the other in order to fully develop its capacity.

Thus, we see (Gemini) what we expect to see (Sagittarius). Each of us looks out at the world (Gemini) through a set of glasses with a certain prescription (Sagittarius). If we change the prescription, we see a different world. Our action in the world is dependent on how we see it. If we are to create harmony within ourselves, with our species, and with the Earth and all Her creatures, we will need to transform our limited way of thinking.

And the time is ripe. The time is now. Between the years 1995 and 2008 the planet Pluto travels through Sagittarius, something it does only once every 248 years. (The last time was the Puritan Revolution in England.) As usual, there is synchronicity between our current challenge and a current planetary transit which both describes the challenge and helps us work with it successfully.

Let us take advantage of this rare transit. For Pluto symbolizes the power of transformation, of death and rebirth. For the next seven years, we have the opportunity to die (Pluto) to our old ways of thinking (Sagittarius) and be reborn into a much more spacious manner of recognizing and interacting with the world. Sagittarian transformation opens our minds. We leave behind the certainty of “true belief” for the exploratory search for meaning which yields continuous expansion of awareness.

The most intense focus for Pluto’s passage through Sagittarius is the current two year window: Between April 2001 and June 2003 Saturn moves through Gemini.

This opportunity is further pinpointed to the next nine months: between August 2001 and May of 2002, Saturn and Pluto crisscross exactly in opposition to each other in the middle degrees of Gemini and Sagittarius.

I chose this date, September 10, 2001, to launch Celestial Navigations on the web. As a double-Sagittarian (Sun and Ascendant in that sign) with two planets in Gemini, a doctorate in philosophy, 25 years as a student of astrology, and nearly six decades of real life experience, I offer the contents of this site as nourishment for all those who wish to change their way of thinking in order to serve the transformation of the world.

_______

Okay, fast forward to now, August 2019.

First, please note that in the astro chart for the first tower fall on 9/11, that the ongoing Saturn/Pluto opposition in Gemini/Sagittarius conjuncted the Ascendant/Descendant axis. Please recall that the Ascendant/Descendant axis changes one degree every four minutes; thus, one wonders if the attack itself was astrologically timed.

And so here we are, fully eighteen years later, and somehow, still here, despite having not made the mental transformation that is still so very necessary. In fact, it’s even more obvious now, what needs to happen. And I suppose the eternal Sagittarian optimist in me could say that since optimistic, generous, far-seeing Jupiter is now mid-way through its home sign of Sagittarius, echoing Pluto’s transit there all those years ago, we now have another chance to begin to transform our way of thinking. But the temper of the time is difficult. Polarization has increased, not decreased. Fundamentalism of all sorts abounds, and is more stuck and rigid than ever.

Just last night, for example, talking with one of my brothers, once again I was greeted with utter dismay and shock, when I told him, quietly, after he uttered a few furious remarks that showed me the extent of his TDS, that I was more for Trump than against him. WHAT? ANN? ARE YOU CRAZY? YOU OF ALL PEOPLE! I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!

Yes, another in my own family with whom I must now somehow find a way to freshly communicate, and with love.

Yes, let us invoke celestial navigations. Let us learn to see ourselves from above, from afar, how foolish we all look, fighting one another just because we clutch divergent mental contents in our fevered brains! Let us invoke the spacious, radiant silence of endless creation, embracing us all in love, no matter what. If we are to get through this great crisis, this great opportunity, for it has accelerated, and deepened, after all these years, we are going to need miracles.

Fortunately, miracles are commonplace, when we stop long enough to notice them. After all, why haven’t we blown ourselves up already? That we have not is the overall, ongoing miracle.

Please realize: the world does not work the way we think it does. The world is not confined to the scarcity driven, fear-based, combative competition of 3D. The world is much much MUCH larger and more mysterious than that. Invoke it. Be it. Allow it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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