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June 7th to June 12th 2004
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MONDAY June 7
Venus Transit comment
Set your alarm nice and early for tomorrow. If you want to catch the sky's most amazing show for over 100 years, you'll need to be putting the kettle on by about 6am. Around 6.20am, depending on where in Britain you live (a little earlier in the North, a little later in the South) the Sun will rise in the east, and, as it edges over the horizon, a small black dot will slowly creep across its fiery face. To see this, you won't just need to sacrifice a little sleep. You'll also need to emulate Astrocat. Because without a home-made 'pinhole projector' you are not going to be able to see anything. Or rather, you are... but it is likely to be the last thing you ever see! If you ever stare at the Sun for more than a second, you will rapidly begin to do permanent damage to your eyes. Some people argue that if there is a lot of cloud cover, and if you blink a lot, it is OK to glance briefly at the Sun. Maybe so... but what if those clouds suddenly part or thin-out? It is certainly not safe... and nor is it safe to use sunglasses. They are far too weak. You either need to be looking through a sheet of heavy-duty, extra-strength welder's mylar or you need to create a cardboard contraption. But if you DO go to the effort, you will be well rewarded. You'll see something that not a single soul, now alive on this earth, has ever seen before. The planet Venus suddenly appearing, as if out of nowhere, in broad daylight. And you'll see it in shadow, in shape, in short, sharp reverse relief. Not as the famous twinkling star of the night (and sometimes the morning) but as an alien interloper, a moving mystery, a small dark visitor to a great bright beacon or - perhaps, as a passing pimple on the cheek of whatever backside the Sun actually does shine out of! If you love nature, if you appreciate the magic of the universe, if you're fascinated by the mechanism of existence... or if you've got even the slightest trace of a poet in your soul, you HAVE to see this. And if you're wondering what it all means... watch this page tomorrow and all through the week. Better still, watch that space. SEE the event. BE your own astrologer. Meditate on what the experience seems to be showing you. And make sure, NOW, that you've got two bits of card and a pin!
Astrocat'S Pinhole Projector
You need two pieces of card
Make a small hole in one card (start with a 1mm hole, you may need to try different sizes of hole)
Hold this card above the other one
Move the cards in line with the sun and you will see the sun's image, with Venus showing as a slowly-moving dot, projected on the bottom card.
TUESDAY June 8
Make a Wish: Transit of Venus
Make a Wish: All astrologers agree that the moment of a Venus Transit is exceptionally auspicious. Whether or not you actually watch the event today, take a moment this morning to make a promise - or to give a heartfelt commitment to some important cause or project. Wishes made today should have a very high chance of coming true.
WEDNESDAY June 9
Historic Transit of Venus comment
Yesterday, I woke up to find light streaming in through the curtains. My first waking thought was, 'Oh no! I have slept right through the historic transit of Venus.' Thankfully, as I leaped out of bed, I saw the clock. Never before has 5.50am seemed so reassuring. Half an hour later, I was standing on the Millennium Bridge in central London. Peering through a piece of high strength welder's glass, I could clearly see the Sun to the East... but no sign of anything remotely resembling Venus. Minutes crept by. Either Venus was late, my watch was slow or the early morning spots before my eyes were bigger than the second planet from the Sun. Fortunately, a sharp sighted Virgo with a keen eye for detail drew my attention to a dot in the distance. It took me a while but eventually, I saw it too. A tiny speck, about the size of a pimple on the nose of a miniature angel, dancing on the head of a doll's house pin. Twenty minutes of observation confirmed that is was moving in the right direction. This HAD to be Venus. Soon after, I became overwhelmed with a wave of deep desire which is, as every student astrologer will confirm, a classic symptom of the Venus effect. In my case though, the burning yearning was for coffee and toast. It took a while, but we found it... near the Millennium Wheel. At which point, the famous planet of creative inspiration reached out to me once more. How better to view this heavenly event than to get as close to the sky as possible? This proved to be a shrewd move. From the air-conditioned comfort of the capsule, I could easily see the little black dot, edging along the face of the fireball. I began to have a meditative moment. Venus, outlined against the circle of the Sun was starting to make all sorts of shapes in my mind's eye. As I slipped further into my post-toast trance, I began to receive revelations about what this event could come to mean for the world. I'm sure that, amongst other things, it heralds an increase in the global population... and a planet-wide time of great prosperity and comparative peace. I also predict that in the eight years from now till the next alignment, there will be a music revolution, a blossoming of the arts, a decision to host the 2012 Olympic Games in London... and a dramatic increase in the number of women holding top jobs in society. It may only have been a very small dot but it is yet going to have an enormous impact on us all.
THURSDAY June 10
Unexplained Powers: Staring animals awake by Rupert Sheldrake
Last November I wrote about the sense of being stared at. Most people have found they can tell when someone is looking at them, or make others turn by staring at them. But this is not just a human ability; it works with animals too.
As a child, Frances was fascinated by her family's chickens, and used to pick one out and look at it through a nail hole in the fence. She says: "I would see it pause in its scratching and feeding, look ill at ease, then fix its gaze on the nail hole."
Sometimes this ability is of survival value. Tony in High Wycombe told me, "I hate magpies. I sometimes try to shoot them with an air rifle, but I have only ever managed to bag one bird. They seem to have an uncanny sense of being observed."
The sense of being stared at probably evolved because it enabled prey animals to sense when predators were looking at them.
Animals are particularly vulnerable when asleep, and some seem able to detect when they are being watched. Kevin in Coventry says, "Often if I stare at my dogs and cats while sleeping, they wake up and look at me."
Roosting birds seem particularly sensitive. Fiona in Reading noticed that if she looked at her pet hens when they were sleeping, they would become alert and open their eyes. She told me: "I experimented by trying to eliminate such signals as noise and movement. I also tried looking with my mind on something else; they would roost, but uneasily. They seemed to respond immediately only when my full attention was on them."
I am curious to know if any pigeon fanciers have noticed that they can wake roosting birds by looking at them.
This is my last column on Jonathan's page. I would like to thank all the people who have written to me in response to my appeals for information. I have received more than a thousand letters and emails, which are really helpful for my research. I would like to hear from readers who have found they can awaken animals by staring at them. You can contact me via my website at www.sheldrake.org or via: email@example.com
FRIDAY June 11
Venus Conjuncts Mercury comment and link to Eric Francis article 'Astrology Questions & Answers'
After her impressive alignment with the Sun, earlier this week, Venus now goes on to form a conjunction to Mercury. That's good news for all with deals to do and important points to communicate. It may be some while before we realise precisely how the Transit of Venus has changed our lives but it is clear already that somehow, it has caused many people to look again at the things they love and desire most - and to see the 'shadow side' of these involvements. And that, in turn is playing its part in helping people all over the planet reach a higher level of awareness.
Site Update: More astrological Questions & Answers from Eric Francis on his page - click here.
SATURDAY June 12
No Thought for the Day