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Responsibility For And To Our Children

Responsibility For And To Our Children
In this article I want to speak on the topic of responsibility as it relates to our responsibility for as well as to our children. 

The degree of responsibility we have towards another person depends on the relationship we have with that individual and what that particular kind of relationship calls for. 

Parenting is one of the rare instances when it is necessary to take responsibility for another human being. When we bring a baby into our lives, we are responsible for that infant's every physical & emotional need in the beginning. AND we take less and less responsibility for them as they grow and develop. 

It is important to remember that we are responsible for our children only for a limited time. Only until that child is capable of assuming responsibility for themselves do we take responsibility for them! (And, in most cases, that's of a shorter duration than most of us, as parents, think!) 

Our job as parents is to take every opportunity to teach them how to assume more responsibility for themselves in keeping with their level of ability and understanding. 

The ancient understanding is that a parents moral responsibility ends when the child is 14 years old. By that age a child already has in place his or her basic concepts of what the world is like and their place in it. Then they have arrived at the age where they are "trying out" their ideas separate from the parents. 

By the age of 14, a child has begun the individuation process, nature's way of moving the child towards more independence from his or her parents. It's a natural process and is the way both humans & animals evolve from a state of utter dependency to one of autonomy & self responsibility. 

We interrupt the natural progression of the individuation process when we continue to assume responsibility for our children past the time when they can assume that responsibility for themselves. 

We must come into a trusting relationship with the Universe rather than acting out of a compulsive need to protect our loved ones from it if we are going to successfully move from being responsible for to being responsible to those we love. 

Blessings, Anne

The October 27 Full Moon is the last Supermoon of 2015

A Super Full Moon in Taurus is the third of three Super Full Moons in a row which produce an intense energy today, Tuesday. Supermoons feel more intense than your average full moon and this one may create some pretty heavy emotional energy. After the Cosmic Connections Convention Sunday night, people were exclaiming how beautiful the moon looked. It will also bring a message to many of us as Full Moons often reveal things or bring light to situations.

If any of you are feeling more sensitive to things, sad or hurting, that's because the wounded healer Chiron is in the mix of this cosmic cocktail. The Moon in Taurus focuses on creating some sort of stability and security. We need to feel safe but Chiron stirs up old wounds and hurts, bringing them to the surface so we can eventually work on healing them. With the Scorpio Sun, opposite the full moon in Taurus, we are being pushed out of our comfort zone by someone. Any time the sign of Scorpio comes out to play, it reveals something that is hidden. Secrets come out. So this full moon on Tuesday is kinda like a wake up call in our lives; pushing us in a new direction whether we are ready or not. You will feel more sensitive to things. Look for the Super Moon's personal message. You could find it in many signs and symbols this week. 

Remember I mentioned the good luck and prosperity times we are in now through November 2nd? This is a lovely period to draw wealth or opportunity to you. Push your luck and ask the Universe for things you need and more. Good things come to those of you who ask.

Halloween Forecast 

The days leading up to all Hallow's Eve appear to be intense. The energy is in Scorpio and the Cancer moon on October 31st is one of over indulging. It will be easy to gobble up the Halloween candy and other goodies in one evening. This emotional eating signals the likelihood that Pluto is dredging up some old feelings that need to be released rather than fed with food. Be aware or beware.

But overall, Halloween looks like a friendly spirited one. The moon in Cancer creates a peaceful energy. So whether you are out and about reveling on Saturday night or staying home and passing out candy, it looks like the vibe is a pleasant one for ghosts and goblins.

#ILookLikeASurgeon, Not an Imposter

By Dzifa S. Kpodzo MD, MPH

Born to a family of scientists --  my father an engineer and my mother an  oral surgeon -- I was given a clear message  that I could do anything. Case in point: at age nine when I declared my career goal of being “president of the world” nobody batted an eyelash. Their unwavering confidence followed me through college at UC Berkeley and medical school at Harvard and continues to be a sustaining factor in moments of doubt.  Entering medical school, I was certain I would not become a surgeon. The stereotypes and messages about surgeons being malignant and aggressive deterred me. Independent of the people and the culture, I fell in love with operating and treating surgical disease. I followed my heart, my passion, and my talent to the field of plastic surgery and did not turn back. Countless mentors (most of whom did not look like me) were vested in my success and allowed me to grow in this challenging field.  To my surprise I was the first black woman to complete the Harvard Combined Plastic Surgery residency program. I didn’t know there were still “firsts” like that.  While I was fortunate  to train with four female plastic surgery attendings over the course of my residency, there were some aspects of my experience as a “first” which felt unique, lonely, and difficult to share.

Being a surgeon is challenging for anyone.  However being a female surgeon and a black woman add additional layers of frustration.Verbally, the message can be clear: “Are you going to do my surgery?” or  “When is the doctor coming?” from a patient; or as stated by a colleague, “We really have to get you into a white coat so that you can look like an attending.” In actions, the sentiment can be even more explicit and hurtful. Patients hand me the meal tray when I enter the room, or continue talking as if I had never entered at all. I speak to an anesthesiologist who is so focused on determining  the title on my name badge that she misses all of my instructions about the case.  

During residency I remember receiving a page at 3AM for what would be my seventh consultation that night.  There was a family who came in for treatment of a small laceration on their child’s lip.  They seemed confused as I entered the room. Their demeanor questioned my abilities and they stated outright that they were transferred from another hospital because they needed “one of the old white male surgeons” to take care of their child.  I was tired and definitely not in the mood for this exchange. I was there to provide care and to help, not to deal with their racism and sexism. Even more aggravating was that these false expectations had been validated by my fellow medical colleagues.  I willed my lips into a smile, channeled my inner nine-year-old President, and told them that luckily for them, they got me tonight and that they were in the best possible hands.

Yet another experience occurred as the chief resident. I entered the room with my team which happened to be comprised entirely of males with the exception of the nurse practitioner and myself.  We had been rounding on this particular patient for the last 3 weeks dealing with a challenging abdominal wound.  I informed the family of the plan for the day and delegated one of my junior residents to return and change the dressings. Later on I returned to check on the patient and to verify that the task had been successfully completed.  As I started looking at the dressings the patient’s mother anxiously requested that I consult with “Dr. Junior Surgeon” before making any changes. I laughed and informed her that as a member of my team “Dr. Junior Surgeon” reports to me and not vice versa.  It was interesting to watch the awareness slowly manifest itself upon her face. She blushed, apologized profusely and said she hoped she had not gotten “Dr. Junior Surgeon” in trouble. She was an extremely lovely lady and until that moment, I believe she was unaware of the degree to which she was influenced by these stereotypes.

On top of all the pressures already inherent to being a surgeon, each of these moments required emotional restraint and redundant explanations that I was, in fact, the surgeon.  While it is rewarding to make people (patients and their families, colleagues and hospital staff) aware of their biases and shatter stereotypes it can also be frustrating, burdensome and repetitive. My energy should be focused upon caring for my patients, not defending my position. Contemplating the amount of time and energy spent on these interactions makes me feel resentful and cheated out of some of the joys of being a surgeon.

Constant messages that you are not the right person for the job can be particularly damaging in a field where confidence is key.  I realized that I was not alone with fleeting moments of self doubt when a surgeon well known to be tough as nails described to me how a medical error brought him to tears as he hid on one of the back staircases at the hospital. Many highly successful professionals suffer from impostor syndrome, and highly successful female professionals disproportionately so. In spite of the quantitative and qualitative proof of success, there persists an internal voice that wonders if you will soon be discovered and everyone will know that you do not belong. In surgery, confidence is essential, but the truth is that surgeons have moments of doubt. When I am daunted by a particularly difficult case, or perhaps recovering from a recent complication and trying to get back on the horse, it is taxing to muster the additional energy needed to enter the hospital and overcome the verbal and nonverbal messages challenging my position, knowledge and training; telling me I do not belong.

Heather Logghe's “ILookLikeASurgeon” hashtag has been a rousing call to action about diversity in surgery. The response in social media has been inspirational and indeed overwhelming at times. #ILookLikeASurgeon is the loud answer to the subtle but insistent question that hovers over women and other under-represented groups in surgery...do you belong? From the outpouring of responses to  #ILookLikeASurgeon, it is very clear that surgeons have been aching to look that 100lb gorilla in the room squarely in the eye and say YES!! Even patients are weighing in and expressing that they are tired of the stereotypes, and that race and gender should not affect care. Seeing my fellow surgeons of all ages, genders, ethnicities and backgrounds share who they are inside and outside of their surgical masks has been magnificent.  Their tweets and photographs show complex women and men like me with amazing talents, interesting hobbies, families and successful careers. With every tweet I am reminded that I am not alone; I am not an imposter.  There are many others in the ranks, and we share a powerful collective experience. Thank you Heather, for distilling the problem in such a compelling way and giving it voice. Being a surgeon is not determined by age, race or gender. Regardless of societal expectations and stereotypes, #ILookLikeASurgeon, along with countless surgeons the world over who have shared their image and voice in the movement. May we continue to post our pictures, celebrating the diversity of our profession and our lives.

 Dzifa S. Kpodzo MD, MPH

A native of Ghana, West Africa, Dr. Kpodzo also grew up in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Canada, and moved to the United States during high school.  After graduating with honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in Integrative Biology, she completed a dual medical doctorate and master in public health at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.  Dr. Kpodzo has received unparalleled education by world-renowned surgeons.  She trained in plastic surgery at the Harvard Plastic Surgery Combined Residency Program where she also served as a chief resident and became the first African-American woman to graduate from her program.  She then completed her fellowship in oculoplastic (eyelid surgery) and aesthetic (cosmetic) surgery at Paces Plastic Surgery in Atlanta.

As an Assistant Professor at Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Kpodzo is proud to be the first full time plastic surgeon on faculty.  She is dedicated to teaching, academics and service. She has received numerous academic awards, published book chapters and peer-reviewed articles, and presented to national professional medical organizations.  She had the honor of participating in 3 full face transplants during her residency training, and received recognition through the Partners in Excellence Award for Teamwork.  She has shared her skills internationally providing care in Ethiopia with Operation Smile, as well as spending time in her homeland Ghana. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and remains involved and active in the community in various ways.

The Federal Election Day in Canada from an astrological view

Federal Election Day in Canada
October 19, 2015 is a Federal Election Day in Canada. This is my first one and, I am feeling excited and, quite frankly more included, into the mix of Canadian society. It seems to have come in stages. 

So, I decided to train as a Poll Clerk partially for the pay, partially for learning about how the system works. Further down, is some information about Identification and the three ways to prove who you are and have an easy time voting.

Top 10 activities while waiting in a line to vote from an astrological view.

  1. Be grateful. You may vote your choice without guilt. And, the time in line can give you more time to analyze your options.  South Node in 6th house and Virgo planets.
  2. Take a mental break to rejuvenate your brain cells and nervous system. Virgo self-care.
  3. Visualize the result of the vote is a step closer to bringing your vision of an ideal Canada (or world) into reality. Saturn in Sagittarius combined with North Node in 12th house.
  4. Radiate Compassion and Love for your fellow voters in line, then the poll clerks, then the riding, followed by the province, the country, then the continent, and finally the world and beyond. North Node in the 12th House.
  5. Practice Big Patience. Mars/Jupiter in Virgo.
  6. Ponder your priorities and long term hopes and wishes. Virgo planets in the 11th house.
  7. Smile.  7a. Smile directly at someone and try smiling at someone you would not normally smile at. The Sun is still in social Libra!
  8. Reflect on your ancestors and how they came to be on the land that is Canada originally or how you came to Canada. Karmic Axis/Lunar Nodes.
  9. Evoke a feeling about what you want for your life and imagine every day doing something practical toward that goal even if it is a momentary slowdown in a voting line. Jupiter and Virgo planets and North Node in the 12th House.
  10. Breathe. More self-care. Virgo planets.
Now give yourself a big mental hug and let your body relax.


Programming languages: The good, the bad and the ugly

For a few days already i was about to write about my thoughts of summing up what a haxor noob like me thinks the main three programming (even not really programming, more of a scripting actually, or most correctly [web]developing i guess) languages would be to know in the first place.
Like here TimTowdi talks about it: http://blog.mattcallanan.net/2013/03/larry-wall-5-programming-languages.html i would say that everything a prophet says is yes and amen. Because what he calls here 5 programming languages everyone should know, makes a lot or even perfect sense. The one and only front end web dev language. The most OO'ish language. The most funct. lang. To compare the most different ways of doing it. The most systems language. And finally those three best ones. With very lite differences. Choose one which best fits your use case.
But what i wanted. I wanted to round it a little bit up. To, for example three langs instead of five.
And, while i have left that idea to brew a few days in my head. To reap up somewhat. Something happened.

What i intended to write was this:
1) (hint: this one is supposed to be the one which is ugly)
The first language i find would probably be very good to start with is JavaScript. Because to start coding in it you don't even need anything at all. Just create a html file. And there you go. Edit it in any text editor. And there it is. Ready to work. And ofc you can make the fun of it all you like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqhZZNUyVFM But you even have this very thin and popular book on the good parts of it. https://www.google.be/#q=javascript+the+good+parts This book is even thinner then the legendary super thin, compared to some other crazy fat ones, K&R book. Which i adore for being so lite. And ofc you also got this cool scripting practice site: https://www.codecademy.com/tracks/javascript
2) (hint: this one is supposed to be the one which is bad)
The second language i find would be the Perl. Because basically this is the general purpose scripting/programming language on which the internet works. Basically discovering what is CPAN made me a Perl convert. Perl is included out of the box on any unix/linux system you can imagine. So the same way, that i find very pervert idea of me, that i can script Windows with JS (JScript actually) an Open Source scripting/programming language without having to install anything, out of the box. The same way you can script any unix/linux out of the box with Perl.
Ah, yes, and Modern Perl is based or influenced on ideas of the JS the good parts book; https://www.google.be/#q=modern+perl
3) (no hint needed: no doubt this is the one and only lang, so this obv. is the good one)
And the third and the last you should ever learn is the C lang. The best book i have ever seen to this day. Which is still relevant after 30 years. Is the one and only K&R. https://www.google.be/#q=k%26r

The reason why i find that i would skip the other two languages that TimTowdi mentioned in his five languages. Is because funct programming is a joke. It shouldn't be your third language. Fifth maybe yes. But most probably not third. Because all you need to know about it, while starting out is this "a monad is a monoid in the category of endofunctors what's the problem". http://james-iry.blogspot.be/2009/05/brief-incomplete-and-mostly-wrong.html And Java, well, i didn't understood whats wrong with it (tough heard critique on linux events once in a while), and actually thought to learn it as one of the first langs. But then, happily i realized, i don't really want to have anything to do with it. http://steve-yegge.blogspot.be/2006/03/execution-in-kingdom-of-nouns.html

But then something happened. I finally got my hands on a certain Python book. Python is this language i thought was a little bit stupid/annoying because of the white space. What? A space in the wrong place could break my code? This is nonsense.
But then, after i started reading the Black Hat Python, i realized that this is exactly the kind of book i was looking for. Some networking/scripting/hacking. Perfect. That i even forgot about the while space. :D https://www.google.be/#q=black+hat+python

So this is about it.
Happy hacking :D

New Moon in Libra October 12, 2015

The New Moon cycle is interesting in that it comes on the heels of a Solar a Lunar Eclipse, the latter of which completed the 4-in-a-row and which received a lot of press and prediction. In some respects, the results were rather anti-climactic, which in many respects is a relief, as in ‘no news is better than bad news’. However, it should be noted that the influence of these eclipses will continue until the next eclipse season in six months. According to the charts, the influence of the September 2015 eclipses contains a revolutionary impulse woven with spiritual undertones. In simple terms, this should manifest as a continuation of ‘awakening’ occurring within humanity. By now this is an old theme and there are many interpretations of what it specifically implies.

In keeping with a core them of Aquarius, as in the Age of, it is a reflection of a dynamic and prolific exchange of information which is far from over yet and which with each new days is overturning long held and even sacred beliefs. Some would refer to this revolutionary impulse as science, but it is much deeper than that even and even the foundations of science are under review and scrutiny.

Libra is a special sign. It is the only object in the Zodiac, the rest are symbolized by an animal or a human and a mix of both as with Sagittarius the centaur. The weigh scales that symbolize Libra can be interpreted in a variety of ways. The principle of fairness, balance, equality and justice are the most obvious. That it like Aquarius is an Air Sign indicates that the themes of Libra are very significant to Aquarius. Woven into this theme is the philosophical and ethical ramifications of inequality.

I will elaborate upon this shortly and I will also bring some extra attention to the principles of Libra in general and to current political realities, specifically those occurring in Canada by way of a Federal Election. Even if you live elsewhere in the world, the themes outlined regarding these elections will serve to present an example that can be applied to your own country.

But first, here is an overview of current and upcoming events.

It comes with no small pleasure to remind you that Mercury Retrograde in Libra ended on Friday October 9th. I commented on my FB Fan Page that I experienced and recognized for others as well that it was a difficult cycle. This New Moon occurs at 19 Libra 20. Woven within this degree placement generally is a process of consciously considering what is important. On the other hand, it brings political themes of inequality and subsequent social protest to the fore. In its deeper reaches it implies people coming together in support of common causes. The increasing disparity between rich and poor, the declining middle class should be cause for concern for the Fascist elite as much as for everyone else. Future scenario’s conjured by the Hunger Games movies may not be so far off and having to become a psychopath due to unbalanced social structures may be less appealing, especially spiritually, than some may realize. Ironically, it is the masses that must protect the elite few from such a scenario.

Woven into the New Moon portrait was Venus, Mars and Jupiter in Virgo. Mars will conjunct Jupiter first on October 17 then Venus will follow suit on the 25th. While Mars is well placed in Virgo, Venus and Jupiter are both more challenged there. However, the fact that they are closely aligned serves to uplift their respective energies like quality time shared among good friends during challenging times simply chalked-up to bad weather.

Regarding the notion of awakening implied by these current cycles therefore includes the following themes:

Beyond the scope of national politics and power, there are international forces, or what may be deemed ‘multi-national interests’ at play in the world and these ‘networks’ have held power for decades at least, centuries most likely and even in some cases millennia. It is hard to imagine given the steady flow of change in life that some ‘powers that be’ are families with ancient roots.

Other features of this awakening are linked to the existence of ‘other dimensions’ prospectively many in fact. A third theme of awakening, by extension, is that of the realization that consciousness preceded matter. Yet, the entire paradigm of Western Civilization and now in many respects of the world continues to hold on to the illusion that matter precedes consciousness, that consciousness is a by-product of the brain and not the other way around. This is a grand illusion and is why physicists, especially theoretical and those focused upon quantum physics remain so perplexed by what has come to be known as the “Double Slit Experiment”. The results of it defy linear logic and moreover bring the entire materialistic paradigm into question, but few in this arena are willing, able or ready to question it since their entire education and therefore conditioning not to mention their careers are founded upon it.

Because Libra is so strongly associated with relationships and the ongoing processes of achieving the above listed characteristics, the reality of politics comes to the fore. Politics occurs at every level of human interaction from couples to large social groups to the entire human race. Given the prospect of other species of beings, as in beings from another planet, it would of course extend there as well. Another principle linked to Libra and the scales is that of sensitivity. It does not take much to cause the scales to swing back and forth. In fact, it is this swinging or to and fro process that best characterizes the reality of the ever moving and therefore dynamic process of life. It is interesting to note that from the standpoint of astrology, the planets have never or will never be in precisely the same relationship with each other from one moment to the next. In any and every case or aspect of life, this has been described as ‘change is the only constant’. This of course refers to us as individuals and to the ever-changing social, economic and political reality.

As Canada enters the final days of a Federal Election, a process which is likely occurring elsewhere in the world at this time as well, we are yet again in a time of decision. Upon reflection of the charts of the competing candidates the Natal Charts of each provided insights as to the probable victor. It may seem illogical to some to look at it this way but woven within the Birth Chart cast for the moment of first breath at birth are profound reflections of destiny and timing and of ‘probable’ outcomes. This can be basically understood as synchronicity which refers to what may be described as meaningful coincidences, an apparent contradiction all on its own, from the standpoint of materialistic linear logic.

This perspective defies linear logic and random chance. Yet, due to a chaos factor woven into existence, which among other factors, is revealed in the notion and exercise of free will, certainty cannot be achieved in any absolute sense regarding the outcome of future trends and events and so on. However, the probability factor may be so high that we can at least confidently proceed with enough certainty to relax in to the flow.

As it is, upon review of the charts this is what I predict will occur in the Canadian Federal Election. But before I commit to words my assertions, I would like to say that this is neither the outcome I would choose and perhaps in saying it some contributions will be made to tilt the scales to a more positive overall outcome. I will elaborate upon each point further below.

  • The existing Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party will win again.
  • NDP leader Tom Mulcair will not run again and will in fact probably retire his post as leader of the party and may even retire from politics altogether.
  • Justin Trudeau will do well enough and will remain popular among his supporters and will continue to lead the Liberal Party.
  • The Green Party and Independent will, as usual, not do very well at all but we may be lucky enough to get a Green party representative or even a few
  • Stephen Harper will continue to be plagued by irresponsible and corrupt activity within his party. Before his term is over he will have to squarely face the consequences of these sabotaging elements. This will take place mid-way in his term especially, in about 2 years.
  • Despite Tom Mulcair’s loss many NDP candidates from the local ridings around the country will win and thereby prevent a Conservative majority.
  • Justin Trudeau leading the Liberal Party will call for significant party reform and over the coming 12-18 months.
Intuitively, I imagine there will emerge something of a stand-off between the will of the government and that of the people. Stephen Harper’s appeal is largely based on economics but the high price we are all paying for his extreme measures, a reflection of both Venus and Mars in ‘out-of-bound’ status in his chart combined with Mercury in Aries conjunct the Lunar South Node altogether revealing an extremist who cares little for ‘anyone’ else’s opinion or perspective contrary to his own. In the bigger scheme of things he is a perfect fit for the hidden interests of multi-nationals.

These predictions will be verified the evening of October 19th. The Moon will be in its waxing square or 1st Quarter phase which implies ‘decisive action’. With the prospect of a conservative win and another term for Stephen Harper, this theme will spark activists everywhere into a new round or efforts to contribute to a democratic process. In this particular case, I would like to be wrong about this prediction. We will have to wait a week to find out.

This example can be directed to your Natal Chart as well which reveals deep themes of destiny. These invite you to engage your conscious free will choice in a co-creative process, which itself is a cornerstone of destiny. This is where a deep understanding of your Birth Chart represents the core foundation of your self-understanding with the help of Astrology. Too often people seek predictive outcomes. But in order to truly activate your free will at a deep level of co-creation, coming to more deeply understand who you are, why you are here, what constitutes your core challenges and karmic debts as well as your gifts and natural proclivities is all part of the whole package.

P.S. Our karma is measurable and cannot simply 'be cleared' by a healer despite convictions to the contrary. Some of the issues and reactive tendencies and so on that stem from our negative karma may be able to be healed. But we each must live with what we are born with and our challenges will be triggered and tested throughout our lives. Learning what they are and deciphering what can be done about them is where a deep Reading with the help of astrology can help a lot. The first key is awareness. But I am constantly surprised by people who would prefer to not know as though not knowing will help. Just the contrary actually. The other scenario is people who become indignant if they are told even though all the reflections of their karma is clearly evidenced in their life. It takes a weave of wisdom and courage to know but in so doing one can become strong and thereby activate the spiritual warrior principle, which can also be described as spiritual integrity.

So, Libra moves us to seek the balance. This occurs on both individual and collective levels. That the process of balance is dynamic and not static is a reminder that the scales have and will forever more tilt to and fro as is the nature of things. Recognizing, accepting and working with this understanding and process in our own lives and at collective levels as well, is simply the way it is. With awareness we can cultivate more balance in our own lives and thereby contribute to the same in the world. This is the perennial ideal and as the game goes, the ideal ever remains or at least continually slips in and out of reach and it is our challenge to play along lest we progressively find ourselves, and by extension, slip out of balance. It should not take too much effort to notice this natural process at play. It is called the game of life.

Thank you for being here!

Astro News October 15, 2015

This week Mars is trining Pluto so much can get accomplished once you set your mind to something. You'll get a burst of confidence and feel very ambitious. Luck is especially strong on Thursday.

This Friday, as we approach Sweetest Day, Venus opposes Neptune You could easily be fooled by someone's charms who is not sincere. If you meet someone under this influence, do not wear your heart on your sleeve as the romantic interest could be nothing more than illusion. Friday is not a good day to make any big committments or decisions involving partnerships.

But on Saturday, the energy shifts and we have a lot of potent energy! You'll feel like making sweeping changes and perhaps a large move. With Mars and Jupiter working in unison, this is a wonderful day to do something BIG. Whatever you are perfecting, will likely succeed. Most people are in a good mood this day and eager to please. However it is a day you could easily blow your diet so watch for overindulgence. 

Heads up: The Sun will move into the intense and passionate sign of Scorpio on the 23rd. Venus is working with Pluto which is Scorpio's ruler. You may have very strong feelings about something or someone today. It is an excellent time for psychic impressions, connecting with the other side and digging deeper into metaphysical study. It's no accident that I planned our Cosmic Connections Convention October 23-25. The energies are off the charts for this type of activity. 

Enjoy the week ahead and hope to see many of you on our travels. 

Pan (2015)

12-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny -- to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.


Joe Wright


Jason Fuchs, J.M. Barrie (characters)


Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund


12-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny -- to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.

Release Date: 9 October 2015 (USA)


PAN is a gorgeous mess. Visually beautiful with a superb music score, this mish mash of the writer and director's favorite movie scenes, all shoved together and pelted at the audience, ends up being infuriating and tedious. Peter Pan was written by JM Barrie in about 1904. Not 1940, as this film thinks it starts. The London Blitz sets the Little Orphan Peter scenes with cartoon Catholic Nuns and suddenly switches to galleons which whisk kids through The Batlle Of Britain to Mad Max Thunderdome or is it Fury Road. Utter preposterous ridiculous rubbish, even by fantasy standards. This is THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MAUNCHHAUSEN colliding with MADAM BUTTERFLY in operatic OLIVER cacophony with Hugh Jackman in the most stupid pirate lacquer since Burt Lancaster in THE CRIMSON PIRATE. Hook is introduced and played by a ridiculous Garret Hedlind who clearly has been told to sound like Jack Nicholson imitating Clint Eastwood imitating John Huston dressed as Indiana Jones doing Michael Douglas in ROMANCING THE STONE. Some jungle scenes crash in which collide Aztec SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON with RAPA NUI. A risible crystal amphetamine smoking scene should have been deleted from the picture as is all hunting the addictive crystal should have been. The endless fighting, screaming and yelling will drive any audience to tears... and then it all ends. This is a terrible beautiful mess of a film, and I groaned audibly often. Levi Miller is magnificent as Peter... but what is this Pan Flute crap? JM Barrie did not write PETER PAN FLUTE. This is just stupid, endlessly. What a waste of all the craftsmanship on show.

Astro News October 10, 2015


It's been a rough one but now it turns direct at 0° Libra. Communications and contracts will start moving. Slowly over the course of the weekend, you'll feel shifting energy. We won't have another Mercury Retrograde until January. The Moon will be in Virgo giving you a productive day. 

Look for an energy shift on Saturday. It's an aspect we call a square between Venus and Saturn which will help you understand your values, make decisions on financial and job matters and even solidify or terminate relationships. Look back to an issue in mid November 2014. There was something happening back then with you. You may have made a decision in January 2015 and then it peaked in April 2015. Whatever you were dealing with over that period, is becoming crystal clear. You will decide to make a move or make an adjustment to that situation once and for all.

For my client Kate, she decided to end a relationship in November 2014. Her boyfriend came back in January 2015 and she took him back and then in April of the same year, she found he had cheated on her with a girl he has been seeing in December. She took him back. Her reading yesterday, showed she would be ending the relationship once and for all because of her recent suspicions again which will ring true by the full moon on October 27.

If you look for signs from the Universe over the weekend,you will understand what you need to do to create a happy, healthier cycle in early 2016. In other words, you are ending one cycle and starting a new one over the course of the next 3 months. You may need to release something so you can begin the new one.
Spend some time alone, Listen, Feel, Get a reading, meditate, etc. The answers will soon come.

By Sunday you may not feel so anxious about a decision and the shift within is unfolding. You can decide to be excited about the changes or you can decide to feel stressed. You choose. Change your perception of the issue if you feel anxiety. With the moon in Libra on Sunday, it will be a social day and many people will want to gather for fun, food and companionship. Through talking about what is making your anxious or doing some form of physical exercise, you will feel better about the changes and the choices you must make. 

On October 11th, lucky Jupiter will make its first of three beautiful aspects to Pluto. This means help is on its way to support any changes you are making! They can happen easier now. You will find a way to take control of any situation and you'll find solutions for it. 

Don't forget the new moon on October 12 in Libra is a good time to set your intentions and make up your wish list. Because Libra rules loves, marriage and partnerships, this is a nice time to include what you want from relationships on your list. 

Venus moves into Virgo Friday so our Virgo Starscopers are looking extra beautiful for the next 3 weeks!
Have a Happy Weekend!



Estimating and minimizing consumer worry

The process of selling in general, and web commerce in particular, is often described or charted as a funnel. Prospective customers are poured in at one end, and a fewer number of paying customers come out at the other. The other prospects spill out through other holes or over the side of the funnel and don't bring you any revenue. The fraction of customers left, converted from prospects to customers, is called the conversion rate. As prospects proceed from initial interest to final sale, from initial entry page to clicking the final "I Agree" button, more and more of them become discouraged by various worries which beset the consumer. They drop out. The remaining prospects, those who have not dropped off, have been converted into customers or into an audience for your advertisers.

There are a variety of factors that cause drop-off, which vary from business to business. A common cause is forms.  Simplifying forms often greatly increases conversion rates.  For example, in one study cutting the number of lines on a form in half increase conversions by a third. As one web designer put it: "[i]s every field you're asking the visitor to submit absolutely necessary?  Can you trim the fat and make the process simpler?"

Besides the sheer tediousness and time consumed in filling out forms, rational consumers also worry about the potentials for privacy violation and identity theft from the information most e-commerce sites currently require them to divulge: physical and e-mail addresses, phone numbers used for cross-site behavioral tracking, insecure credit card numbers, and more.

The tinfoil-wallet crowd is now mainstream

Instances of regret that one has filled out a form, only to have one's trust violated -- or pride among the sophisticated that they refused to fill out such a form -- are on the rise.

The worst worry culprit is usually the step you most want your customers to complete -- paying you. "[T]he credit card form likely has the highest abandonment rate of any other part of the sign-up process." [Source].

If you don't require payments, you are probably funding your service through advertisements. Those also cause worries. Ads typically distract and delay from the content users are after, provide a low quality of entertainment or information, and are too often offensive. And sophisticated users are worried about the tracking that tends to go with ads. Ad blocking grew nearly tenfold between 2009 and 2014.

Replacing ads and identity-based payments with payments that don't require identity, such as bitcoin, can greatly reduce these worries, lowering the barriers and hesitations that currently prevent consumers from paying for your service.

But there remains a big worry that no payment system can reduce.  Consumers worry about whether they are getting their money's worth -- the mental transaction cost problem (see also this paper). If e-commerce were as worry-free as some of it could be, your customers would neither have to fill out forms, nor be bothered by ads, nor have to worry about repeated charges for content or services of variable value. They would be able to just insert a few digital coins into your online vending machine and then not have to worry about losing your service for another year. Eliminate forms and eliminate repeated payments -- both are key to worry-minimized e-commerce.

Many bitcoin startups are making the grave mistake of replacing one set of worries with another. The ability of cryptocurrency systems to facilitate small payments tempts many companies to nickel-and-dime their customers with pay-per-click micropayments and other such excruciating schemes. Don't follow the many lemmings who have already jumped off that cliff. Stick to long-term subscriptions for content (or other services of variable value) and pay-per-unit for fungible units of consistent value (as in phone minutes).  That way customers aren't saddled with having to constantly re-evaluate the amount and worthiness of recurring charges. The costs to your customers of having to finance a years' worth of low-cost subscription to a reputable brand is almost always far less than the mental transaction costs of recurring charges for content or services of variable value. The ideal worry-free commerce is to "stick the coin into the machine" once, and then never have to pay again for an entire year. A vending machine for subscriptions. Reduce your customers' worries across the board: eliminate forms and eliminate recurring charges.

Ideal worry-minimization can only be closely approached in some purely online forms of commerce, such as video streaming, remote storage, privacy services, and the like. The more physical and offline contract performances are -- a common example being physical delivery -- the more location, various kinds of identity (legal, social network, etc.) may need to come into play, adding, often greatly and necessarily, to the worry overhead, the mental transaction costs, of your relationship with your consumers.

I have previously called this worry-minimized commerce by a narrower label, "form-minimized commerce."  The complexity of the forms you make your users fill is indicative of the worries you are causing them, and thus the barriers you are putting up between your prospects and their decisions to purchase your services.

When you are a consumer, the tediousness of the forms you are filling out is not only a direct cost of your time, and your ability to enjoy that time, it is on top of that a decent proxy measure of the odds of your identity being stolen and of your privacy otherwise being violated. The fewer forms you fill out, the more the tediousness, worries, and risks in your life caused by interacting with the world's institutions will drop in proportion.

While such a proxy measure does not account in particular for the wide variety of information that can be disclosed, nor that some kinds of information (social security numbers) are more risky to divulge than others (throw-away email addresses), nor for the wide variety of risks in identity theft and privacy violation that are consequent, nevertheless consumers necessarily must bring to bear such sweeping rules-of-thumb in order to satisfactorily navigate the bizarre complexities of the digital world.  And when your users are using, whether consciously or implicitly, such estimates, you the service provider and the product designer must use them too.

Add to the forms your customers must fill out the repeated charges you make your customers make, and we get a rough proxy measure of the worry that you are causing your consumers:
Index of worry = number of lines of forms +  number of repeated charges for content or services of variable value
If you are funded through ads rather than consumer payments, you can substitute for the repeated charges the proportion of screen space covered by your ads, or any other reasonable estimate of the delay and distraction the ads on your pages cause.

The index of worry allows you to estimate and minimize the worries you are causing your users, and as a result to minimize the drop-off in your sales funnel and maximize the number of users coming back for more -- and willing to view your ads or pay for the privilege.

Astro News October 6 - 9, 2015

Good news
Good news....Mercury is moving forward on the 9th and so will you! Yes you can sign contracts, buy a computer, say yes to the dress and basically take action on things you have been holding off on.

The Moon is in Cancer all day Monday so your need for comfort food and nurturing is strong. Don't blow your diet! It will be tempting. You will also feel a little more sensitive than usual. In fact, we all will so be careful of not hurting folks' feelings. 

A challenging aspect is the Sun/Pluto square and then Venus gets in the mix. Expect some challenges or irritations in relationships early in the week. Someone may be overstepping their bounds or overstaying their welcome. 
On Tuesday the moon moves into Leo so the energy shifts into more of a fiery one. It's a good day for getting sales and maybe even playing your lucky numbers.

On Wednesday we have a long moon void starting late in the day, so not much will get accomplished from 5:11p.m. eastern onward. When the moon is void, people usually do not want to commit to much. You'll feel a little more lazier than usual and just want to take a nap or two.  

But there are a few zodiac signs that do accomplish a great deal on moon voids. Moon voids do not affect them. They are Taurus, Cancer, Libra and Sagittarius. The moon stays void until Thursday afternoon at 3:51p.m. eastern time and then it moves into Virgo. At that point, everyone will feel like getting down to business. 

Late Thursday and Friday, much can be accomplished. Then we have another moon void on October 9 from 6:12p.m. eastern until Sunday morning the 11th at 4:46a.m. eastern. Suffice to say, you may feel a little lazy over the weekend. So block out the times when the moon is NOT void this week to tackle the tougher chores.

I am - Universal mantra of manifestation

I am
This article focuses on two words that can easily be called the "Universal mantra of manifestation."

It is the phrase, "I am". 

These two words, "I am" are used both to reinforce a victim state of consciousness (and, as such are part of a victim's vocabulary) and/or they can be used to empower and affirm a more conscious and expanded notion of ourselves. 

Either way they have tremendous power over us. When we use the words, "I am ...", we are telling ourselves who we believe ourselves to be. With these two words we deliver a pronouncement to ourselves and the world about what to expect from us, what we are capable of, how much success, love and happiness we will allow ourselves to have. 

We must be very careful about what we are "I am-ing" because whatever that is will be exactly what we live out in life. 

If we say, "I am stupid," "I am bad," or "no good at ______ (fill in the blank)" or we say, "I am inept," "powerless," "undeserving" or "a failure," etc, we are affirming and investing belief in a limiting and stressful idea about ourselves. Doing so leads us to behave in ways that will lead to the very outcome we are "owning" with the pronouncement, "I am." 

With the words, "I am" we formulate and take possession of a definition of ourselves. It starts in childhood when we introduce ourselves, "I am Sally Sue" or "Billy Bob," etc. and goes from there. 

We use these two words to announce our status in life with such phrases as, "I am poor (or rich), "unloved (or loved)," "unlovable(lovable)". Whether the mantra, "I am" manifests for or against us depends on what follows those first two all important words because that will be what we believe! 

Here are some healthier options:
Instead of "I am stupid," try, "I don't know how to do that." or "I have never studied or tried that before so it may take me awhile to do it."

Lynne Forrest

Sicario (2015)

An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.


Denis Villeneuve


Taylor Sheridan


Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro


An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

Release Date: 2 October 2015 (USA)


To be honest, this was one of the movies I have been most hyped about, the director, Denis Villeneuve, directed a film which I personally consider to be an example on how to do a crime thriller right: Prisoners, and even though I don't think his latest feature "Sicario" is as good as Prisoners was I believe it is still a very solid film and I was surprised how relatively little wrong there was on the technical point of view, a thing most thrillers (Hollywood ones in particular) completely do wrong quite often.