Saturday, March 22, 2008

March 22 - Celebration of Two Artists

Marcel Marceau and Agnes Martin:

Mime and Minimalist

Admist all the celebrations for Spring, I decided that it was high time that I lived up to the subtitle of this blog and began paying homage to art - and indeed those Amazing Ones who create art. Today, March 22, marks the birthdays of two artists, Marcel Marceau and Agnes Martin. Although their medium of choice was quite different, each of them spoke eloquently of their personal experiences and philosophies in the world through their art.

Marcel Marceau was born in Strasbourg, France on March 22, 1923 and captured the world's attention through "the art that dare not say it's name." Yes, you guessed it. Mime.

Born Marcel Mangel, this thoughtful child found great inspiration from film stars. He reveled in the comedic brilliance of Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy, but the genius that truly captured his heart was none other than Charlie Chaplin. His father took him to see Chaplin in "City Lights" and soon after that, Marcel began his first silent impressions.

"I have designed my style pantomimes
as white ink drawings on black backgrounds
so that man's destiny appears as a thread
lost in an endless labyrinth. I have tried to
hed some gleams of light on the shadow
of man, startled by his anguish."
Marcel Marceau

During the early part of the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, Marcel and his brother Alain moved to Limoges and worked for the French Resistance. (Their father had been captured and killed in Auschwitz). It was at this time that they also took the surname "Marceau" to conceal their Jewish roots. It is no wonder that Marcel sought to bring light to Man's suffering and inhumanity through his moving, silent commentaries.

"I learned to become a humanist, and not to dwell
on the differences between Jews and Christians."
Marcel Marceau

Through the world of his well-loved character, Bip, Marceau eventually became a household name, appearing on American Television in the 1950s and 60s and then wowing the world around the globe. He died on September 22, 2007 (exactly on his 84th and a half birthday), leaving a legacy as an Artist and Humanist, having opened our eyes to the wisdom and unity of silence in a divisive and clamorous world.

Preceeding Marceau by some 11 years, Agnes Bernice Martin was born in Macklin, Saskatchewan on March 22, 1912. She spent a good part of her youth in Vancouver, British Columbia, before moving to the United States in 1932, becoming an American citizen in 1940. Her ventures into art began that same year while living in New York and studying intermittently at Columbia University as well as in Albuquerque at the University of New Mexico. She also taught painting at UNM from 1947-48. In 1958 after returning to live in New York, she held her first one-woman exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery. Her paintings were constructed on a grid system, where she superimposed lines in pencil with bands of washed painted colour over fine-grained canvases. Sometimes it gave the impression that the colours were floating off the canvas. (Above work: "Friendship" by Agnes Martin, 1963)

Martin's paintings actually influenced the development of Minimalism in the U.S. (The Museum of Modern Art defines as a "Term used in the 20th century, in particular from the 1960s, to describe a style characterized by an impersonal austerity, plain geometric configurations and industrially processed materials..." Although some described her work as austere in form, she defined it personally in a lecture that she gave at Yale University in 1976 entitled, "We are in the Midst of Reality Responding with Joy." In her mind, the work she did was not intellectual, but highly spiritual. (Above work: "Untitled Number 5" by Agnes Martin, 1975)

In 1967, Martin concentrated less on painting and more on writing, but went on to form alliances in 1975 with the Pace Gallery in New York, and in 1991, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam opened an exhibition of her paintings and drawings which then travelled on to other European museums. In 1992 the Whitney Museum of American Art held a large gallery of her work. She passed away in 2004 in Taos, New Mexico.

Althought one might not immediately see similiarities in their chosen artistic expression or their messages, I believe that both these "artistic Ariens" were both successful and highly expressive in mediums that are not easy to master.

Out of interest, I decided to run a natal astrology chart for both of them and found that they shared a Sun in Aries and a Moon in Taurus - many artists have these two signs in the same placement. The forward moving, self-interested Aries combined with the loving, dependable, and strong-willed Taurus moon.

Even though both these artists are no longer with us in the flesh, we have been fortunate to have known them and the gifts that they bestowed upon us. To see such wisdom in silence and simplicity is certainly the truest test of an artist.

As I bid you a fond goodnight, I'd like to also wish Mr. William "Captain Kirk" Shatner a very Happy 77th Birthday today...


"Never get a mime talking. He won't stop." Marcel Marceau

My thanks to Danann and Butterflies-R-Free at Flickr:

Friday, March 21, 2008

FULL MOON IN LIBRA: Listen with an Open Heart

March 21, 2008
1:40 p.m. E.D.T.

Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn



Today's Libra Full Moon is opposing or reflecting the light from the self-interested Aries Sun. In addition to this a square that is formed by Mars in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn, which as a whole creates a cardinal grand square. (Grand squares are formed when four planets are placed 90 degrees apart across the zodiac). Squares are referred to as "hard aspects" - and usually bring tension and frustration but can often give the impetus to achieve great things.

This particular grand square in cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn (considered dynamic, initiating and leadership oriented signs), can be interpreted as "learning (Pluto in Capricorn) to set personal limits and boundaries (Sun in Aries) during relational interactions (Moon in Libra) while maintaining an attitude of care and compassion (Mars in Cancer) for all involved." (From Lisa Dale Miller So we're being asked to look at the relationships we have with ourselves and others. It may be that you are encouraged to "reach for the stars" during the Sun in Aries, and with the full moon in Libra, you will be enlightened regarding any imbalances you may have in your life, (especially around relationships.)

There are so many feastdays/celebrations of Springtime and "New Years" around the world during this auspicious weekend. Here is a list of a few that our brothers and sisters around the world are joining together to share:

Good Friday: In the Christian Tradition, this is the day that Jesus the Christ "took up his cross" in Jerusalem and traveled to the hill of Golgatha, where he was crucified. In ancient scriptures it is written that he spent three days in a tomb, but arose from the dead on Easter Sunday. (Celebrated this coming Sunday, March 23).

: Celebrated as early as 247 BC - 224 AD, Nowruz is an ancient feast day of the Persians/Iranians. The word Nowruz is a compound word meaning "Now" or new and "ruz" which means time/day. This festival begins on the first day of spring and recalls the cosomological and mythological times of Persia/Iran. As well as being a celebration of spring, it is also a celebration of the love between the Supreme Creator and His Creation, Man and the material world.
"Although colored with vestiges of Iran's Mazdian and Zoroastrian past, the Nowruz celebration is neither religious nor national in nature, nor is it an ethnic celebration. Jewish, Zoroastrian, Armenian and Turkish Iranians and Central Asians celebrate the Nowruz with the same enthusiasm and sense of belonging. Perhaps it is this very universal nature of the message of Nowruz that speaks to its wealth of rites and customs as well as to its being identified as the unique fount of continuity of the Iranian culture." (my thanks to Iraj Bashiri:

: Keeping with the Persian theme from above, Purim is a joyful Jewish festival commemorating a time with the Jewish people that lived in Persia were saved from death. During these celebrations, the Jewish people read from the book of Esther (where the full story of Esther's role in delivering the Jews from an evil decree against them is told) and gifts are given to loved ones, to the poor and celebratory meals are enjoyed by all.

: In Pagan practices, the festival of Ostara (which the Christian tradition took and changed to create the word "Easter"), marks the Spring Equinox. It originally took it's name from the German goddess of the spring and the dawn - Ostara. These celebrations encompass the joining together and awakening of the Mother Goddess (Earth) from her slumber (winter). One of the traditions of Ostara involves the colouring and giving of eggs (a tradition which the Christians took to in their Easter festitivies). As eggs represent fertility and spring is the season when animals, flowers and trees pollinate and reproduce, these aspects of nature and the "awakening" of a new year at spring.

Alban Eiler
: The Druidic festival of Alban Elued dates back to Neolithic times, and each festival of the year are agricultural markers. "Alban" means light and "eiler" means "Earth" - literally means the Festival of the Light of the Earth. The significance of the rituals done at this time supported the return of life/light to the Earth and the return of fresh food. Druids also practice well as "spring" cleaning of their surroundings and their psyche at this time, examining their lives and their relationship to God/Goddess, themselves, each other and nature. Festivities include the painting and giving of eggs (fertility), visiting sacred waters, planting seeds.

Shunbun no Hi
and Higan no Chu-nichi: or Vernal Equinox Day, is one of the most traditional of all Japanese holidays. Like the Pagan/Druids, one of these festivals recognizes the seasonal change noticed in most agricultural societies, while the other is a recognition of the day when the night and day are of equal length. Celebrations of these festivals include the visitation to family tombs to pay respects and leave gifts of food to the anscestors.

However you choose to celebrate this weekend, you can see that many of our brothers and sisters around the world are joining you!

Posting this right at the Full Moon in the Northern Hemisphere...


Thursday, March 20, 2008





I like reading different astrolgers and their slant on the energies of our times, interesting as they are. As I was perusing a few writings regarding the arrival of Spring, or what astronomers and astrologers call the Vernal Equinox, I came upon this interpretation of our current astrology in the Northern Hemisphere from Soul-Searching Astrology:

"This week could very easily be called “the week of heavy lifting.” Existing tensions continue to increase, and in many parts around the world, there is a state of near panic rising. Geopolitical unrest is at a point of massive uncertainty, and with such shifting and movement happening, it is hard to see exactly which way things will shift, other than, at least for a period, likely quite far down. Financial markets are taking incredible plunges, leaving people holding their breath, waiting for who will fall next. Time is beginning to compress, and the intense changes that will continue to come upon us are beginning to rise up and challenge everyone to new levels of pressure not seen for centuries...

With the Vernal Equinox this week, the first day of spring, we have natural forces of light and consciousness rising into the forefront once more. And as the Sun enters the first degrees of Aries, the Cardinal Cross comes to bear on this awakening consciousness, pressing into it messages of great urgency and the force of change. It is good that it is so, that this volatility and pressure is coming to bear as the Sun enters the Equinox degrees, for it symbolizes to me that the real action in this world is now beginning, and that we can now take an active part in making real change happen. The light is illuminating what needs destruction. It is a matter of course that change will involve destruction, but if you are prepared, if you are conscious and really try to connect with the world, and in particular, with people around you, we can grow into a new state of being, weathering this time together.

The long-awaited tearing down of the structures of power, and the exposure of widespread corruption is beginning to speed up now. It makes sense that the movement of the Sun into the first degrees of Aries, returning light and heat to the earth, should find itself at odds with Pluto, newly situated in Capricorn, slowly building speed and power for it journey through Capricorn, the sign which rules power, establishment, dogma, administration and government. Now we shall see the real action begin, and sadly, much trouble as well..."

I like how this astrologer writes - it's evident that there's always the element of regardless of how things look, it's really all for the best. While I agree that what we may well witness over the coming months is not going to be comfortable - it will provide us with the opportunities that SO MANY OF US have been waiting for - some of us - for our whole lives. (And you know who you are...)

In more "Scientific" terms, I've included here below, an illustration of the equinoxes (in this case the Vernal Equinox is pictured below the Sun), so that you can see what all the fuss is about.
In astronomy, the equinox is "that moment in time when the centre of the Sun can be observed to be directly above the Earth's Equator...On a day which has an equinox, the centre of the Sun will spend a nearly equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on Earth and night and day will be of nearly the same length. The word equinox derives from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night)" (

In astrology, the Spring Equinox or Solstice is the birth of a new astrological year. It has often been said that any events and issues that you tackle this coming month in the Fire Sign of ARIES, are the issues and events you will be dealing with for a full year. So make note of the energy around you!

Watch the issues as they surface this month being very careful how you deal with them.
It will set the tone for your entire next year.

Before I close this latest entry, I would like to insert yet another quote from Kaliyugashaktimama of Soul Searching Astrology:

"...given the fact that we are approaching Easter, a pagan/Christian celebration, in the spirit of Lent (which, when you strip away all the Catholic dogma surrounding it, is actually quite a wise observation), I challenge you all to sacrifice something until the end of the month. Yes, Easter is this weekend, but go further than that. If you are strong, this practice might even change the rest of your life. Sacrifice something that gives you pleasure – it can be a food, a drink, a habitual treat for yourself. It can be a thought process that you return to when you are feeling insecure or needy. It can be some form of entertainment that you use to turn off the world and your reality. But in the spirit of consciousness, in a spirit of unity with those who are suffering in the world today (and I do not mean just those in Tibet – look around the world and you will see more suffering than you can stomach) give something up.

Take that energy and time, and focus on those who are without, who are hurting, and most specifically, have nothing that you have and cannot even dream of it where they are right now. Share your heart, don’t be selfish, and be strong in your focus. If we can concentrate our heart energies towards alleviating suffering, we can lift the energetic essence of this world. You might think your little efforts and concentrations are not doing anything, but they certainly are...Share your talents and passions and do something good, either in your home or in your community, something that you know how to do and something that you really care about. The planets are supporting us, and we have to support one another. Madness is a universal affliction, and a human being in pain has no nationality. Step past dividing lines and open your heart to the world!"

My grateful thanks to Kaliyugashaktimama for her wonderful website.

With that being said, this first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, on the Astrological New Year's Day where day and night are equal, I send you Great Heart-Opening Peace...make sure you spread it around...


Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day...

Legend of one the Patron Saints of Ireland
St. Patrick

Approaching the Vernal Equinox of
March 21st

Today marks the Feast of Maewyn, better known to the world as St. Patrick, one of three patron saints of Ireland.

Maewyn was born in Wales around the year 385 to wealthy parents. At the age of the 16 he was abducted by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland. There, he lived as a slave for six years, finally escaping to return to his family after hearing a voice, which he believed to be God in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland. This journey back home was an arduous walk of nearly 200 miles to the coast and beyond to Britain.

After his escape, Patrick then experienced yet another revelation in which he saw and heard an angel in his dream tell him that he would return to Ireland as a missionary. Up until this point, he had considered himself a pagan, but after this dream, he began his religious training which lasted some fifteen years. When finally ordained a priest, he was then sent to Ireland to minister to the Christians and to convert the Irish to Christianity.

Patrick was a wise man and realising that he needed to be able to "speak same language" of the people of Ireland, he chose to incorportate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity, thus encompassing and amalgamating the Irish beliefs with his own. For example, he used bonifres in his celebrations at Easter since the Irish honoured their gods at the time with fire. He also joined the Sun (an ancient and powerful Irish symbol) to the Christian cross, thus creating what we now refer to as the Celtic Cross.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Patrick became quite popular with the people and had many pagans add to and often change their ideals and beliefs. There were
a group of Celts that found this disturbing, so as is usual for any pioneer, he had his enemies amongst the Celtic Druids. The legend goes that Patrick was indeed arrested many times, but always managed to escape. On his travels throughout Ireland for nearly 30 years, he set up schools, churches and monasteries. He ended his life on March 17, 461 after some years in retirement, and March 17 has been celebrated as St. Patrick's Day ever since.

One traditional icon of St. Patrick's Day (and indeed of Ireland itself) is the Shamrock, or Irish Clover. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the three leafed clover to illustrate the Holy Trinity and how Father, Son and Holy Ghost were all separate elements of the same entity. Thus, his followers adopted the fashion of wearing shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day.
Today we are three days away from the Vernal Equinox/Spring Solstice of March 20, one of only two days in one calendar year where for a moment in time the center of the Sun can be observed to be directly above the Earth's equator. Get out your glad rags - it's soon time to celebrate Spring and Mother's Earth awakening from her winter slumber...and then we get to celebrate Easter!

As we approach Springtime with joy and hope, I wish you each today, the "Luck of the Irish" for years to come.


and to Wikipedia for the photo of St. Patrick:

Thursday, March 06, 2008

March 7, 2008: World Day of Prayer / Pisces New Moon

Ceiling of Hall of Prayers, Beijing, China

"God's Wisdom Provides New Understanding"

New Moon in Pisces


Today marks a very special day for all of Humanity as we move more fully into the energies of the Age of Aquarius.

Today's New Moon in Pisces is an auspicious one - and one that sets the stage for a further awakening during this momentenous paradigm shift. Every new moon augurs a time of new insights and understandings, and this New Moon in particular brings special gifts.

Currently, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn are now in Earth signs and in conjunction with the Mars Pluto opposition and the Pisces New Moon, we are experiencing a move from fear and separation to love and unity - which could also describe the Humanitarian concepts of the Age of Aquarius at it's best. What a beautiful shift in consciousness. The Mars-Pluto opposition assists us to see our personal will (Mars) within the context of Divine Intent (Pluto). Where Pluto always brings light to shadow, Mars, the mythic God of War, brings enormous confrontation, and thus transformation. What was hidden, is now in full view and the opportunities for change are glaringly obvious.

How appropriate then, that today is also marked by the World Day of Prayer - "a global ecumenical movement" first founded in 1918, that brings together people from all over the world to observe a common day of prayer. Each year, a theme is chosen for prayers to be directed not only to our world and Humanity at large, but also to one area of the world, the peoples there and their specific challenges. This year, the focus of prayers and healing is centred on the country and peoples of Guyana. The motto this year is "God's Widsom Provides New Understanding." Thus, as a Human Family during this astrological alignment, the world's people are focusing on what some have not wanted to see/confront or solve in the world - whether it be hunger, violence and those who live in constant fear. Indeed, our Brothers and Sisters in Guyana face just those problems every day. (Photo above right is Kaieteur Falls, Guyana)

Guyana is currently a country living on the edge. Chaos, anarchy and fear are daily experiences and their institutional forces of law seem all but impotent. These people not only need our focused prayers, but our Divine Intent to assist them physically as well as mentally, emotionally and spiritually. To read more details about Guyana and her peoples, you are welcome to refer to this link:

Looking towards hope and divinely guided action, we can view this astrological news as a good omen. Uranus is closely conjunct this Pisces New Moon and is a harbinger of the opening of dimensional doorways and huge breakthroughs in a positive evolutionary process.

May our thoughts, prayers and actions be in alignment with Universal Source during this Piscean New Moon. We are the positive change that is now and the future.


P.S. A very Happy Birthday today to my friend and fellow musician, Janina!

My thanks for the photographs for this entry goes to: