WXYC Chapel Hill, NC 89.3FM – Monday 3:00-6:00pm ET – www.wxyc.org

WXYC Friday, July 25, 2008 6-9pm

Woo-hoo!  Look at me!  Getting my blog entry for my radio show posted in a timely fashion!

Review, if you will, my misdeeds for a Friday evening:

25/7/8 18:00-21:00

We were *not* messing with the Donovan record intentionally—well, we *were* intentionally trying to get it to play and not skip. It was an errant discwasher cleaner.  You know.  If you’re old enough you might remember these things:

Anyways, the record just kept skipping at this one point and wouldn’t go any further, and I noticed it was the discwasher laying across the turntable blocking the tone arm at the same moment I was trying to adjust the tone arm, and there was that *really* big skip… but then, you know, I moved the discwasher thing, so it did get to play all the way through, at least from the point where the needle last landed after I moved the discwasher.

Hey, that’s just one of the myriad reasons you listen to WXYC: We’re human! =) !

Meanwhile, I finally, this week, got a chance to check up on my email account at been-there, and discovered I had some email! With requests! The Les Savy Fav request, made before their Durham gig on the 12th, may have been played after the fact tonight, but, hey… anytime is the right time for Les Savy Fav! I’ll be better about checking that email account from now on.


…and then, there was my ironic closing set, given my not playing a couple of requests earlier on, due to our kindly guardians, the federal government…

Again, it was unintentional.
 I cued the wrong Jam song and then figured, eh, it’s fine: there weren’t any notes on the album, and it’s been here since 1977, so it’s gotta be safe… right?
of course, well, that was just one, so it’s cool… and yeah… now which New Brutalism tune was it that I wasn’t supposed to play? Track 4? Yeah I think that’s it… Here, the opening guitar on this is *exactly* what I need!
…wait a minute…
this sounds oddly familiar…
oh crap! It *wasn’t* track 4! It was *this* track. Damn. Well. There’s only that one…
That’s it, I’m pretty sure…
and happily it was the only, and the last

…and the final entry in the human, all-too-human category, even though I had the astrological weather report *written down*, right in front of me, I shoulda checked the alabe site before I sat down in the control seat, because that Sun Opposite Neptune totally threw me… as I repeat below, I know…

on the Zarathustra side of things, though, I’m pretty damned pleased with the “How It Works…” part, because I can’t imagine how *any* one could not understand the fundamental mechanics of astrology, now. Please, please, one and all, most especially the ones who think they know all the reasons why astrology is “wrong,” scroll down and get your mind unwarped from that crap you read in the papers and magazines. You see, it’s not “star” based in the way most people want to argue about it… anyways, check it. And make comments if you’re brave, or drop me email if you’re shy, because it’s time we resolve the total non-conflict that astrology vs. astronomy is (not). Now that I’ve given you the mechanical functioning, rethink it, and reconsider. Makes more sense than you thought, nicht wahr?

…and if you fuckers ain’t gone ‘n’ scoped Jupiter yet, what the fuck is holding you back? That sucker is big and bright and beautiful, and at 11pm on the east coast, you can’t miss him! In fact, the more overcast it is, the more likely you’ll see him, cuz next to the moon, he’s the brightest thing in the sky.

Am besten, aber alles auf deutsch:

This one, in English, written for Americans:

(but really, that German site is way, way better)

Oh! and as for Caltrop last Friday at 506… That place was packed to the gills and then some. People were pouring out, onto Franklin …so I’m sure you were there, which you should have been. As lame as I’ve been the past year, even *I* got there. (I had a running side-bet with the guys that Glenn wouldn’t let me in, but hey! That’s a bet I *wanted* to lose!) The best post-show news is that their new CD, World Class, is in HEAVY rotation, where it oughta be, and I intend to do my part to get that baby listed in CMJ. To quote Stuart Davis, c. 2003, but with my 2008 revision: “Caltrop To The Top!”
…and so it was…


Currently listening:
Sweeney’s Dream
By: Kevin Burke
Release Date: 1972


The astrological “weather” report:
In general it looks like it’s going to be a pretty good weekend. The moon doesn’t go void till about 10 minutes before midnight *tomorrow* night, but then it stays void till 11:56am, almost noon Sunday.

At the moment, we’re operating under the sobering aspect of a Taurus moon trine a Virgo Saturn:
Applying Moon Trine Saturn (21:21 EDT)
People are thoughtful, shrewd in business matters, and they find practical solutions to problems now. It’s a time for traditions, formalities, pragmatic decisions, and sensitive diplomacy.
“Applying” aspect text taken from alabe.com

So it’s a good time to conduct business meetings, especially if there is a real financial element involved, like maybe a business dinner, but that’s over at 9:21pm.

The moon’s next aspect, overnight, *that’s* the feature for the evening. We’ve got a “grand trine” with the moon, Mars and Jupiter going on overnight and into tomorrow about 6pm when Mars finally completes the trine with Jupiter.

*So after 9:21 tonight, things will likely liven up abit, and we may be more likely to feel emotional, but in positive ways: if you enjoy crying during sad films, for example, or expressing anger in such a way that it causes people to take notice and make long overdue changes, being driven to defend something beneficial, and of course, love and joy are positive emotions on their own. We may be more emotional, but in comfortable and beneficial ways.

The moon triggers the grand trine a little before 11am, and the Mars trines Jupiter ’round about 6pm.

Applying Moon Trine Mars  Saturday, July 26, 2008 10:59
This is a time for action, initiative, and decisiveness. It’s a good time for constructive projects and physical activity.
“Applying” aspect text taken from alabe.com

Applying Moon Trine Jupiter  Saturday, July 26, 2008 11:21
Demonstrations of generosity, benevolence, successful actions, and even luck are associated with this transit. Good attitudes make for successful collaborations and social situations now.
“Applying” aspect text taken from alabe.com

Applying Mars Trine Jupiter 🙂  Saturday July 26 18:03
This is a good time for outdoor activities, taking the initiative, risky ventures, speculations, enterprise, and quick judgments. Confident thinking leads to positive results.
“Applying” aspect text taken from alabe.com

The other thing of note for the weekend is Mercury entering Leo at 7:48 tomorrow (Saturday) morning. Mercury’s next aspect is with the Sun on Tuesday, after which it joins with Venus *and* the sun in applying an opposition to Neptune, so that this coming week will have its fair share of confusion, perhaps things of a secretive nature that impede our progress, and you may also want to be careful regarding exposure to alcohol and drugs: even if you don’t usually have problems with these things, after Tuesday, it wouldn’t hurt to take a little extra care.

Tonight, however, totally rocks with the moon-Mars-Jupiter trine in our collective on-deck circle!

*I had all that written down, but I don’t think I read it all, and I’m sure I didn’t read it that way, because I was a tad thrown seeing that “Applying Sun Opposite Neptune” that led off the alabe site tonight:
Applying Sun Opposite Neptune  Friday, August 15 03:43
This period may coincide with indecisiveness, the reaching of an impasse, resignations, scandals, and other uncertain conditions. Holding to a vision of the future may be challenging. Changes or breakdown in agreements, and also in artistic and religious circles, may occur now.
“Applying” aspect text taken from alabe.com

when I *know* the next solar aspect is a conjunction with Mercury:
Applying Sun Conjunction Mercury  Tuesday, July 29 16:04
This contact indicates news or an announcement of some importance from leaders is imminent. It’s a time of decision-making based on rules and regulations. Transportation related issues are active now and may require special attention.
“Applying” aspect text taken from alabe.com
anyways, that threw me and I got off-track, cuz I wasn’t thinking about any problems with Neptune happening till after Tuesday.
Sorry ’bout dat!

/astrological “weather” report

Astrology — How It Works, How It Doesn’t — Week 8:
1!WTF!11! Astrology Is About The Ecliptic And *Not* The Constellations??/? WTF!!?
…Aye, ’tis true, young Grasshopper…

OK, so as promised, this week on “Astrology: How It Works – How It Doesn’t Work,” you’re going to learn exactly why, according to an astrological ephemeris, Jupiter is 15° 31′ Capricorn, but if you check navigational or astronomical references—indeed, if you walk outside and look up to the sky tonight—you will see Jupiter smack dab in the constellation *Sagittarius*.

A couple of weeks ago, we learned that the ecliptic is a sort of belt that encompasses the globe. It’s the apparent path traced by the movement of the sun around the earth, and the ecliptic is the key to the whole thing.

You see, even though the ecliptic is a circle, we humans have assigned it a start point and an end point. It begins with the zero degree and ends at the end of the 359th degree.

The first day of spring—that is, the moment of the vernal equinox, when night and day are of equal length—the sun is at the zero degree of the ecliptic. *This* is a fact upon which you’ll find astronomers *and* astrologers both quickly agree. No arguments from anyone on this statement.

The disputes begin when astrologers say this zero degree of the ecliptic is also the zero degree of Aries.

Now I haven’t spent any time at all checking the credentials of the people who argue that astrology is all wrong with its zodiac signs, so I have no idea if any of them have so much as studied astronomy briefly in high school, but to me, it seems if they were real astronomers, they’d have figured this out, because it’s just *too* easy to explain and understand.

Here’s how it goes:

Like the cheesy little song says, there are 12 signs in the zodiac, so we take the 360 degrees that are the ecliptic and divide it evenly by 12, so that we have 12 sets of 30 degrees. Hold on to *that* for a moment while we consider this:

Even though we’ve been starting our year with the month January for a few hundred years, call it a couple thousand if you like, before Pope Gregory or Julius, or any of those guys, humans viewed *Spring* as the beginning of a new cycle of life, and so in astrology we consider the vernal equinox— when the sun enters the zero degree of the ecliptic—as the beginning, and in traditional Western tropical astrology—which relies upon Greco-Roman mythology for its imagery—Aries is the first sign.

…which incidentally lets us know that whoever wrote the cheesy little zodiac song didn’t know much about astrology, because they start with Aquarius, probably because Aquarius starts in January, but really, Aries should be first there…

One fact that gets lost in this, of which I’ve been reminding listeners since I began this little project, is that astrology and astronomy entered human existence as conjoined twins. Forget writing, it was long before we’d even developed agriculture, and in fact, the development of agriculture required the ability to predict animal behavior and plant life. By relying upon the apparent motion of heavenly bodies, in addition to other environmental cues, we learned how to predict these things.

My point here is that someone didn’t just look up and say, “Oh! There’s the constellation, Aries! I’m going to make up some things that will happen when the moon is there!”

That’s not where or how astrology began—rather, patterns were observed in nature which could be measured in terms of celestial movement. *That* is where and how astrology began.

And while we’re here, an important corollary that applies to this traditional Western tropical astrology that I know, is that the signs *preceded* the names of the constellations: consider how Aries/Mars is *not* a figure in ancient Babylonian belief. Now hold on to *this* while we go back to our ecliptic with its 360 degrees divided into 12 equal portions…

So, astronomers and astrologers all together with 0º on the ecliptic happening on the vernal equinox… but then, we separate.

Because astronomy is the study of the heavens, we expect it to describe the heavens, as they are, as accurately as possible. Therefore, in astronomy, 0º on the ecliptic is currently in the middle of Pisces. Due to precession, it will continue to “move backwards,” at least throughout *our* lifetime. (!!!post-show addendum: if you click that link, you’ll see that actually, on the vernal equinox, the sun has almost backed into Aquarius, so *not* the middle of Pisces, but the *end* of Pisces; here’s the close-up on the sun’s location at the vernal equinox, which will give you a better idea of how close it is to Aquarius, in case you don’t know how to manipulate the fourmilab site to get a closer look).

Astrology, on the other hand, is the study of patterns through human existence in relation to the rhythm of the heavens as experienced on earth, so it makes sense to mark that rhythm in relation to terrestrial seasons, so 0º on the ecliptic is 0º Aries.

Once upon a time, 0º on the ecliptic *did* align with the boundary of the constellation Aries, but the constellations, as we define them, have *never* aligned in a contiguous manner with the ecliptic, evenly divided into 30º arcs. Never. And this system of 30º arcs is what we have in the astrology I know how to use, which is also the astrology most Americans know a little bit about.

It may be a bit of a challenge at first, but when you think about the 12 signs in astrological terms, even though we use the names of 12 specific constellations, remember that it is *not* the constellations themselves that define the signs. The signs are measured by degrees on the ecliptic. So when we see Jupiter in the middle of Sagittarius in the sky, when we look at its location on the ecliptic, we see it’s at 285º on the ecliptic, which is 15º into the 10th arc of our divided ecliptic. Capricorn is the 10th sign, so astrologically that means Jupiter is 15º Capricorn (and some change, but it’s hard to see the minutes on the fourmilab site because they use such giant things to represent planets and they also don’t mark off the minutes on their ecliptic, so I’m just mentioning the degrees…oh, and on the star maps at fourmilab, Jupiter is the circle with the symbol that looks kinda like an open 4. You might need to know that! Here’s a really good link for all the glyphs/symbols used in standard astrology.).

So there you have it!
…and alladat…

/astrology report’s supporting commentary

Here’s the list of signs with the degree on the ecliptic upon which each begins:
 1   0º Aries

 2  30º Taurus

 3  60º Gemini

 4  90º Cancer

 5 120º Leo

 6 150º Virgo

 7 180º Libra

 8 210º Scorpio

 9 240º Sagittarius

10 270º Capricorn

11 300º Aquarius

12 330º Pisces

Check an ecliptic on a star map and see how the signs—that is, the 30º arcs on the ecliptic—don’t line up with the constellations. They *never* could have lined up with the constellations we recognize today.

Those arbitrary 30º divisions happened *before* intermingling with the Greco-Roman zodiac.

It’s first and foremost about marking events in time than ever marking events by where they fall in a constellation. The constellations are irregular–it would be like trying to have a clock that had some hours with 67 minutes, and some hours with 10 minutes, and some hours with 53 minutes, etc.

Astronomy is for navigating from one location to another (on earth or beyond), and then it crawls into bed with physics and does all kindsa crazy things; astrology is simply for navigating experiences. Astrology and astronomy are not used for the same purpose. Because astronomy and astrology share certain elements, however, it gets a tad confusing. Some people confuse mathematics with physics, and those disciplines *also* share certain elements, but they’re two very different animals. The dog and the duck-billed platypus are both mammalian quadrupeds that can swim, ya know, but dogs don’t lay eggs…

Richard off on a tangent… eh… here, let me reel it back in and close:

The last thing I wanna drop here is having you note that while Jupiter is sitting very close to the ecliptic, other planets are not so close to the ecliptic… astroNoMers argue over how “wide” the ecliptic should be, but for the “typical” astrology most everyone uses in the US, you can pretty much spread it out as far to the left or right as necessary to accommodate the planets (but there *are* astroLoGers (mostly those who study various sidereal zodiacs) who also argue over the width of the ecliptic)… In the “traditional” Western tropical astrology, we still include Pluto, for example, and that puppy flies all around the ecliptic, which helps explain why it’ll spend 31 years in one sign and only 18 in another (the elliptical orbit, ya know).

If you’re bored, you can check Pluto’s position (it’s the circle with the P) in relation to the ecliptic back in 1930, and you can see how it was much closer then than it is now. Actually, if you change the date there in the Universal Time text box, back to 1926, you can see one example of how Pluto criss-crosses the ecliptic…

God, I love the fourmilab site!

Now go outside and look at Jupiter already!


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