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January 12th to January 17th 2004
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MONDAY January 19
New Year's Resolution and New Moon in Aquarius comment
How are you getting along with your new year resolution? It's around this time of year that, unless they have been extremely successful, people start to give up. Actually though, this is the very best moment to wipe the slate clean and begin again. The annual New Moon in Aquarius will, this year, take place on Wednesday. The people of China and Tibet consider it so important that they won't even start their New Year till it has taken place.
TUESDAY January 20
No thought for the Day
WEDNESDAY January 21
Year of the Wood Monkey
Tonight brings a New Moon in Aquarius. That will help to resolve a lot of the tension that people have been feeling lately. It will also bring the official start of the Chinese 'Year of the Wood Monkey.' Interestingly, the Tibetan New Year does not begin for a few more weeks. Yet one more reminder of the vast cultural gulf between China and Tibet. China's occupation of this noble and ancient land is terribly sad.
THURSDAY January 22
Dogmatic scepticism by Rupert Sheldrake
Last week I took part in a public debate on telepathy at the Royal Society of Arts in London. My opponent was Professor Lewis Wolpert, a pillar of the science establishment.
Prof Wolpert claimed that telepathy did not exist. He provided no evidence for this opinion. He just kept repeating it, implying that those who disagreed with him must have something wrong with them.
When I summarised evidence for telepathy from thousands of scientific tests and showed a video of recent experiments he looked away from the screen. He did not want to know.
Over 80 per cent of the audience disagreed with him. The great majority had experienced telepathy themselves, particularly in relation to phone calls, thinking of someone who then rang. There is a similar situation in the country as a whole. Most people believe in psychic powers because they have experienced them personally, or seen them in their pets. Yet a minority claim these abilities are impossible, and dismiss them as superstition. Usually they have never taken the trouble to look at the facts. Like Prof Wolpert, they believe they know the truth already. But science is not about dogma, but about evidence. As I have discussed in this column over the last two months, the facts strongly support the existence of psychic abilities. It is scientific to accept these abilities on the basis of evidence, and unscientific to deny them on the basis of ignorance. Of course scepticism is necessary and healthy, and we would be foolish to believe everything we are told. But genuine scepticism is about open-minded enquiry, not denial (see the excellent website www.skepticalinvestigations.org).
Why are some people so afraid of telepathy? Perhaps because they fear that others will invade their mental privacy, or know what they are thinking. Some people also reject telepathy because it goes against their belief that the mind is confined to the inside of the head, and is nothing but the activity of the brain. Telepathy implies that we are interconnected with the people and animals we feel close to. For most people this is reassuring, not frightening.
Rupert Sheldrake would like to hear about people and animals who sense when someone is about to call on the phone. Email Rupert Sheldrake's researcher, firstname.lastname@example.org with subject heading: Rupert Sheldrake.
Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and the author of The Sense of Being Stared at: And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind. His website is www.sheldrake.org
FRIDAY January 23
Looking out for luck by Bernard Fitzwalter
Bernard Fitzwalter writes:
Winter weather of the sort we've been having of late, grey and damp, is often described as dismal, but to astrologers the word means something more than just cold and wet. The word 'dismal' comes from two Latin words, 'dies mala', which means 'unlucky day', and in times gone by it was used to refer to a specific number of dates which were supposedly ill-omened. The original string of dates is at least two thousand years old and originated in Egypt, though the precise reasons for them are no longer known. I'm not sure I go along with superstitions where you don't know why you're doing it: I reckon that when it gets to that stage there's not much magic left in it. For what it's worth, though, this Sunday is the next dismal day, which gives you a good excuse for not doing anything much; and, to counteract that, next Tuesday is a day for increasing your fortune, so if you buy or sell anything on that day you'll make a profit. The old books don't say anything specific about Lotto tickets, but they probably come under 'increasing fortune' somewhere.
To old astrologers negotiating the calendar must have been like stepping through a minefield: not only are there good days and bad days, but days with potholes in them, when 'a man cast into a ditch cannot easily get out without help' (which sounds like the roads around where I live) and even so-called 'smoky' days, which sound rather interesting to me, and conjure up images of some sort of celestial speakeasy, where planets do deals in the dark. Maybe it's just my active imagination!
SATURDAY January 24
Raging Bulls comment
Famous people born under Taurus tend to be stubborn, determined and, well, there's no other word for it, bull-headed! Once they have started something, they won't back out and they won't back down. Here are just a few examples: Saddam "It's my country and I'll rule it how I want to" Hussein; Tony "It's my country and I'll rule it how I want to" Blair; Elizabeth "It's my country and I'll rule it how I want to" Windsor; Stephen "It's my body and I'll expose as much of it as I want to" Gough; Cher "It's my body and I'll expose as much of it as I want to" La Pier; Paul (Bono) "It's my world and I'll save it if I want to" Hewson; Barbra "It's my world and I'll save it if I want to" Streisand; Jack "It's my life and I'll live it how I want to" Nicholson, and Grace "It's my life and I'll live it how I want to" Jones.
Interesting, isn't it.