February 15th to February 21st 2003
MONDAY FEBRUARY 17
As I was saying on Friday, there’s something strange about the way they count attendance at marches. I can understand why official figures might differ by a few thousand. But by more than a million? Hmmmm. Could someone somewhere be manipulating the truth? My children suspect as much. They marched with great enthusiasm on Saturday, despite the cold, the noise and the very slow progress. I told them that, though it isn’t easy to see how many people are voting with their feet, the residents of a democracy can always be sure that their vote will be counted accurately in a ballot box... er... as long as it doesn’t happen to be in Florida.
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 18
Comment from an Iraqi friend
Just before the peace march, my youngest daughter had a birthday party. One of the mums there told me that she came from Iraq. “Will you be marching tomorrow?” I asked. She looked cross. “No,” she said. “And I don’t think you will find many other Iraqis marching. We hate Saddam. We want George Bush to remove him, the sooner the better.” “But Nadia,” I said, “surely, two wrongs don’t make a right.” “Perhaps,” she replied. “But, whenever I talk to a peace protestor, I ask what else I should do to free my country from a horrible dictator. They never seem to have a useful answer.”
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 19
Mars, the planet of War
Mars, planet of War, is now in conjunction with Pluto. Later this year it will come closer to the Earth than ever before. Meanwhile Jupiter (planet of wisdom) is opposing Neptune (ruler of psychological insight). Just as these rare events unfold, millions of people all over the world seem to be asking the same set of questions at the same moment. Might conflict only ever lead to more conflict? Might violence only ever produce more violence? Are there really baddies and goodies? Or are we all good when we try to be constructive - and all bad whenever we decide to use force?
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 20
How can I make clear predictions
People often ask me how astrologers can make clear predictions about so many things when there are only ten planets in our solar system... and only twelve signs of the zodiac. It doesn’t seem like a lot of information to work with. But then, there are only twenty six letters in the whole of the English language. We can say an awful lot with these... provided we know how to combine them. And just as grammar and context are crucial in speech (“I saw you” means something very different to “I will saw you”) so the planetary combinations have to be studied carefully for nuance.
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 21
The permutations of the planets
Yesterday, I suggested that the planets and signs are like letters of the alphabet. There are not many of them but, once you start mixing and matching, you can make millions of permutations. Much the same can be said about music. There are only a few notes in the scale, even if you include the sharps and flats but from these simple components come complex compositions. The ancients said the planets were playing a sort of silent symphony. They called it ‘The music of the spheres’. “If you are sensitive enough,” they said, “You can hear this through your inner ear.”
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