Sunday Surfing – 14/02/16

I had some super feedback from my Sunday Surfing post so I want to try to keep this going…thanks very much for your thoughts and opinions on the topics that cross my desk each week (or two). I appreciate it!

– weaver


allegory of the freedom of trade Gérard de Lairesse

Allegory of the Freedom of Trade, Gérard de Lairesse

Remember Aaron Swartz? There’s a bio out about him now (as reported by Tom Chatfield in Intelligent Life) and I thought this news synched nicely with Guy Rouleau’s pledge that  ‘all results and data will be made freely available at the time of publication, for example, and the [MNI] will not pursue patents on any of its discoveries.’ I think Aaron would be pleased.


A Tribute to a unique thinker: Marvin Minsky. Quite profound, that 2nd law…

Minsky’s First Law
Words should be your servants, not your masters.
Minsky’s Second Law
Don’t just do something. Stand there.


‘The quality of time in the Chinese calendar is described by two primary components- a ring of 12 animals and a cycle of 5 phases of energy.’

Check out Austin Coppick’s Monkey Time. [I’m a rare Fire Horse. I know, you probably guessed that  😉 ]


I mentioned back in July that I expected to see feminine/anima energies to be on the rise in our collective consciousness. Thus, I was chuffed and so grateful to see just last week that Kimberly Maxwell has taken the time to gather so many examples of this phenomenon in one place. And the trend goes on.


‘The farther apart the keys are on a piano keyboard, the farther apart they are within this imaginary dimension; a given distance along the keyboard translates into a given distance within the dimension. You don’t see this dimension as such; to you, it’s an abstraction that captures the acoustical independence of sound waves. But it’s a remarkably fitting abstraction. Musicians call the difference between pitches a musical “interval,” which has connotations of distance, as if our brains really do think of the differences between pitches as spatial separation. AdS/CFT duality takes this abstraction literally and suggests that one of the dimensions of the space we occupy represents the energy or, equivalently, the size of waves within the underlying system.’

Yep, that’s another blurb from the previously shared Space piece. Its ok, take your time… 🙂



“When an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate.”  – Jung






Saturn square Neptune. Lets break it down.

First of all, a square is just what you might think; it refers to a 90’ angle being formed between two archetypes on the astrology wheel. It can be helpful to visualise, say, a two-way electrical cord bent into this shape and imagine how difficult – what a pile-up/traffic jam – it will be for all the electricity coursing through the cord to navigate around that angle. One end or the other will have to send the order out to give the right of way to the other. Speaking of traffic jams, this is another great analogy. Without a system understood (and accepted) by all drivers, there are going to be a lot of serious crashes at intersections. And by no means are all vehicles equal…Taking these examples to the dynamics of living, we see that squares force change.

  1. Sometimes this is a somewhat obvious course correction that we are willing to take or watch and appreciate another taking.
  2. Sometimes we can be truly blind to the cause of the squaring issues – though certainly aware of the effect.
  3. And sometimes, we feel certain of the cause and regardless of effect, we make a decision that we absolutely will not budge for love nor money. We let it be known on the other end of that power cord.

While you may call it by another name or phrase, you know it when you are ‘in a square’. Now lets look at the archetypes: Saturn & Neptune and their placements in Sagittarius and Pisces.

All energy is neutral until it is channeled/wielded/offered/manipulated/stifled/let loose/ect, and so on, by an individual or an entity. By entity, I mean a group, a tribe, a government, an institution, a nation, a coalition of entities under a particular banner. An entity is your family unit; its also your home owners association, your church, synagogue, mosque, temple.

Keywords for Saturn:

Concrete. Physical reality. Boundary/Red Line. Hierarchy. Tradition. Patriarchy. Authority. Earth Time. Karma. Ruler of Career, Reputation, Standing in the Community or Entity.

When an individual or entity feels challenged, Saturn is often channeled as rigid/passive-aggressive/dictatorial/wall-building and refortifying/backward focused. This is because when our physical reality feels threatened, we like to retreat to the fortress we are familiar with, regardless of whether it still provides what is needed. It is the System that has worked. And we don’t see another system that has stood the test of Time.

Sagittarius is the sign of the archer. This archetype is generally depicted standing on a high point looking out over terrain yet to be traveled. His view is spacious, he registers the general topography and gallops forth with enthusiasm. Mutable fire, he hungers for greater knowledge and experience in new realms.

Keywords for Neptune:

The god of the boundless sea. The All-One. Maker of the tsunami and the still waters. Spirit space. Source of Gnosis, fantasy. Space Time. Sacrificial lamb. Peace that passes understanding.

When an individual or entity feels challenged, Neptune is often channeled as isolation or an inability to bear empathy and imagining a future ‘lost at sea’. Mirroring our perceptions, we can metaphorically drown in our favourite form of escapism in an effort to console our victim-circumstance. Some of us are finding we can choose to use our imagination as a starting point for connection to Gnosis. Neptune rules the heroin addict but it also rules the practices of the Dalai Lama and the prayerful.

The archteype of Pisces is the unbound realm of mystery, that which is divine and that which we conjure – indeed, Neptune rules these mutable waters. Primal soup of Alpha and Omega.

So…wow. Two areas or themes in our life are ‘in square’ with ZERO apparent common ground for negotiation. In some matters, we have been floating along in our little boat with our vision, our story, our beliefs and bam, a steam ship looms in the thinning fog, closing in fast. We’re flailing around best we can but it looks like we’ll be going under. Or perhaps we have been making quantifiable strides in building an area of our life; we’ve been going from strength to strength and everyone can see the fruits of our labour and bam, one of the support beams starts to crack and you can daily measure it spreading while you run around trying to source a solid fix.

Phrases I am hearing: ‘I can’t absorb any more responsibility’. ‘All I want to do is sleep.’ ‘I don’t know how we can both be from the same family.’ ‘I cant concentrate.’ ‘I am not a racist but its not my fault.’ ‘For a while, I could see a way to keep training for my dream job while I pitched in with an ailing relative but now I just have tunnel vision.’ ‘The money I was counting on for Christmas must now go for a washing machine.’ ‘My parents say I am not a good Christian if I like that politician.’ ‘Where does all the time go?’ ‘I want to give my kids the best Christmas presents to make up for being away so much but there is no way I can afford it – what will they think of me?’ ‘The test results are back but the doctor says he cant fit me in til next year!’ ‘Invest some more or close up shop?’


Checking out our handy road map, we can start framing our thoughts around the following points:

This vise is going to tighten, let up a bit and tighten up again three times between this November and next September. That’s three chances to perfect a balance between Earth and Sea, tangible and intangible values. You are in the midst of the first chance: take detailed notes about how you and the other end of the power cord are positioned: pre-existing grudges, vague or timid language, and what would happen if you considered and, maybe, said out loud that you could compromise or that you have been wrong? What would your response be if the other side said that to you…are you ready?

Saturn is in Sagittarius. Yes, the analogy of E.U. governments slamming doors on emigrants could apply to your situation. But I feel strongly that in individual readings, we might also need to check our analysis with a basic premise of astro: Saturn must express according to Jupiter’s house rules. While Saturn feels harsh, its prime objective is physical security via tangible world systems. Saturn generally cuts off excess. Maybe we shouldn’t be too quick to pout. The area of your life that is run on Sag or Pisces energy could be excessive in ways that aren’t obvious – are you willing to zoom in and see? Good Times Jupiter needs that foundation in order to party-plan realistically. Sag also rules our philosophies and our understanding of Justice; maybe we need to rebuild or edit the mental structures that we use to judge these themes. Yes, Saturn is ‘cold’ but its travelling through fire. Yes, Saturn expects action but in Sag, that action will be manifest in all sorts of creative ways and if we find we must backtrack to begin again, we can decide to be glad for the chance.

Neptune is in Pisces – its very own castle –  which means there is access to passwords, security codes, way cool intuition, aha!moments every bit as much as death-by-chocolate cake. In this area of life, you can gnosis that what you feel and experience here is universal. From the dawn of humanity, others have felt desolation, pain, confusion; others have felt so high, transcendent, metamorphic. You are not alone. This may sound trite but let it sink in. You are not the First Victim. You are not the First to experience Rapture. No one can judge you or compare your experience as greater or lesser. You are being. Try to visualize the boundless power that courses through your unique self simply because You Are, with or without physical means.This is a warm reality check.

This square is fair notice that the Nodes have moved from cardinal to mutable mode. That means the flexibility inherent in the square belongs to both sides. Growth now comes infreedom copywrite1weaver direct proportion to how adaptable and responsive we can be – and yes, that will be far more difficult for some, but just considering a change in operation mode can be a start. Even a tyrant can get curious about how it might feel to have less friction in their interactions. This square between Saturn and Neptune will generally manifest as one side clearly having all the apparent power. Beware of falling for this mirage.

Ah, there is more I would like to say but, generally speaking, I hope this gives some bumper guard. I have been wanting to post for weeks but so much is going on (one example of the square, in fact: literally half of the house is a construction site as walls and floors are removed and we go ‘open-plan’ while the winter torrential rainy season hovers ominously. Oh, and have I mentioned that The Engineer recently inherited a pregnant goat?!), it is wiser to pour what I’ve got into quality client work. I worry specifically about clarity in my writing with this square and hope that you will let me know if something reads amiss.

What themes are squaring for you? Areas of your life that resonate with this post will be affected again in June and September of 2016. Take advantage of the big picture with a reading today.

– weaver





Superforecasting for Cool People

The hot news in astro circles is the unfolding of the recent Leo new moon and its direct influence on understanding the new Venus phase we are in. Let’s factor in the upcoming Mercury rx ping-points when thinking on the lay of the land. This also serves to create helpful portion sizes for study or reflection.

Just make sure you put the portion size back into the big picture. Yes, the increments of time that inner space bodies indicate for phases of experience are relatively small: the little but mighty moon has just a 30 day cycle; mercury zips around every ten or so months; mars marches the circuit every couple of years, but we must never forget that these are cycles within cycles composing millennia of manifesting experience. Thus a person’s life, like a wave on the ocean, takes up existence, flows and subsides in these cycles.

When you first begin to apply astro philosophy, it can be overwhelming and it does help tremendously to see it in short spans. But gradually, you must integrate this knowledge into its true scale for wise living. When we look at a person’s chart we are looking at a baseline for their perceptive past, present and potential future. A good reading is always going to consider the 28 year Saturn cycle and how that has and is going for the individual. Guess what? Superforecasters (some of the smartest, most disciplined and open-minded people on the planet) are interested in the accurate gauging of manifest reality, usually in financial markets and international relations, up to 30 years into the future. And you thought only astrology was that cool. 🙂

Along these lines, I want to recommend some science publications to immensely broaden your landscape of thinking and imagining in the here and now. When we think about all the various relationships we maintain – and the various whys that motivate us – lets take some cues from the pros who study the macro at a granular level. Seriously, while the exercise is by no means an across-the-board drawing of conclusions, there are workable parallels to be considered and implemented for the individual and small group. Upgrade your toolbox:

The Calm Before the Storm, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Gregory F. Treverton    (thanks to rune soup for the heads up)

and from Philip Tetlock: A Short Course in Superforecasting

I recommend Tetlock’s intro: Office of Anticipating Surprise.

The Calm Before the Storm presents five principal sources of nation fragility. While reading about them, I thought about the plausibility of applying these concepts on a micro level. After all, if there is no way of knowing what may happen tomorrow or a year from now, whether you are a country of millions or a body of one, a basic template for gauging responsiveness is going to give some peace of mind.

‘…it’s much more fruitful to focus on how systems can handle disorder—in other words, to study how fragile they are. Although one cannot predict what events will befall a country, one can predict how events will affect a country. Some political systems can sustain an extraordinary amount of stress, while others fall apart at the onset of the slightest trouble. The good news is that it’s possible to tell which are which by relying on the theory of fragility.

Simply put, fragility is aversion to disorder. Things that are fragile do not like variability, volatility, stress, chaos, and random events, which cause them to either gain little or suffer. A teacup, for example, will not benefit from any form of shock. It wants peace and predictability, something that is not possible in the long run, which is why time is an enemy to the fragile. What’s more, things that are fragile respond to shock in a nonlinear fashion.’

I can identify with the teacup, thank you very much. I really don’t want a tempest in – or anywhere near – my teapot. So, I am motivated to create a life structure that, when necessary, can bust a move in seemingly unpredictable ways; that’s called optimal crisis response. Generally speaking, however, wisdom-logic rewards positive outcomes for generally predictive behavior in my dealings with others. You might want to rewrite that into a mantra for the long-term future.

I responded with my interest in all of this at rune soup…and wow…in no time at all, Ivy, over at Circle Thrice wrote up a brilliant Personal Fragility Inventory Tool based on Taleb’s theory. This is one to print and flesh out to your particulars.

The Edge offering will span five free classes, two of which are now available. I see it as a deeper delving into the fragility theory. Phil Tetlock and Barb Mellers relay and explain their experience of and vision for superforecasting to an esteemed group, all attendees fully listed within the link above. It is packed with insights and takeaways and we are not even half way through.

I find it both fascinating and educational to consider how superforecasters must guard against a myriad of personal, cultural and political factors. Just like your average human being…

For example, in discussing national rescue missions and their probability of success, resources were available about many past exercises but as Axelrod points out, ‘There was a lot of censorship on cases. For example, you may remember that Mussolini was rescued by Hitler when he was first captured by the partisans, and that worked. It was done much like Entebbe; the rescuers pretended to be the authorities, basically. Nobody mentioned that one because we don’t want to learn anything from what Hitler had done, even if he was good at hostage rescue.’      (This is, of course, a sensitive example of cultural blockage; still, if the professionals can get blocked when their mission is to gather historical results and not allow emotional bias, could I be missing any important relational lessons because I refuse to even consider a subject or person? Is this a subconscious position?)

A bit later, Sutherland remarks, ‘There’s a big path dependency there, isn’t there? If you negotiate, it doesn’t preclude military action, but if you engage military action, it completely changes your negotiating power.’      (That may sound obvious as hell when you read it, but can you keep it front and center in your dealings with the people you don’t like so much?)

In response, Hillis remarks, ‘How much of the discussion was an honest attempt to evaluate the situation and make the correct decision versus an attempt to justify the decisions? In other words, people came in with a predisposition towards diplomacy or not, and then they told the stories to justify what they had already decided.’     (Ringing any bells in your cosmos?)

And in more familiar lingo to readers here, this is a series of excerpts on storytelling:

Shetland says, ‘In your parallel world—and this is obviously someone from an advertising agency speaking—the perfect solution would be for the superforecasters to hire good storytellers to dress up their predictions in a way that was easily spread. There is a value to shamanism, correct? In order to unify human action, there’s a kind of shamanistic value to a good story, which it coordinates people magnificently.’

Hillis: ‘What makes a good story is being able to present a set of predictions in a way that people can personally relate to. If you can show us the facts or paint a picture of the world that people can see, “Oh, that connects to my own personal experience,” that’s a good story.’

Kahnman: ‘It’s not a characteristic of the story, it’s a characteristic of the people who hear the stories. What makes a good story is a story that will be convincing…’

Lee:I’m just reflecting on what Bob and Danny have been saying. There is something about storytelling that must have psychological effects, probably comforting effects in the case that your prediction turns out to be wrong. I’m just putting myself in the shoes of someone who was involved in Entebbe and now maybe that has persuaded me to make a certain prediction that if it turns out wrong, at least looking at my own psychological fragility, I might say, “Well, it worked out in Entebbe, so…”

Tetlock:’ “I was wrong, but at least I had a good reason for being wrong.” ‘

Lee: ‘Yes.’


From the mind, body, spirit of the singular person to the family, the community and network dynamic, how’s your mythology department measuring up as an asset? Saturn in Scorpio has taught us the fragility of the fairy tale’s happy ending. How will we incorporate our findings in this next chapter for those areas of life where the Venusian archetype backtracks, the staff of Hermes drags, and the Teacher moves into Sagittarius?

Positive Prediction

Astrologically speaking, these life areas are in complimentary positions to one another, meaning that how well you do in one ‘class’ directly affects how successful you are in the others – kind of like 3 for the price of 1 and the energy is on tap for positive results! If we can maintain the attitude of the student, the analyst and ponder these things free of base ego drives, we cannot go wrong even if it happens that we didn’t foresee a particular reality manifesting. Because we will be in the best possible position to respond, to SEE at the granular level, to regroup and recreate. Rather than a mountain, we scale a speed bump.

If you haven’t picked up on the similarities in the patterns yet, tap in and re-dedicate now. Its dedication that counts for students. Wheels spin at all sorts of speeds but the hub remains centered. Your passions, your self-value, your level of emotional dependency on others, your style and motivation in communicating and the openness-level of your listening are all in the frame. What’s happening in each of these subsets with you and around you will provide invaluable insights into the others.

Need some help breaking it all down? For clear and concise assistance, just email:

– weaver

just one of many kinds of relating :)

just one of many kinds of relating 🙂