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March 8th to March 13th 2004
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MONDAY March 8
Blue streak on Jupiter email comment
Dear Jonathan, What do you make of the 'blue streak' that appeared on Jupiter last week. Astronomers are fascinated yet none can explain it. Do you think there is a message in it? Gordon
New-age hippy-trippy far-out types will tell you that this is just what we can expect as the people of earth now ascend to a higher level of consciousness. Jupiter though, is the planet of hope while blue is the colour of spirituality. So I think, er, um, ahem ... that it means the earth is about to ascend to a higher level of consciousness.
TUESDAY March 9
Forecasts email query
How do you know what to say in your forecasts? Do the planets speak to you in a special language that no one else can understand? What gives you the right to tell us what heavenly alignments mean?
Yours sincerely, Julia
I use a rather complex system of interpretation that dates back at least 6,000 years. I don't claim that the body of knowledge is complete or that its practitioners are infallible but it IS a subject with strict rules that any determined person can learn, not a form of clairvoyance that requires a 'gift'
WEDNESDAY March 10
Addiction to sex by Mark Winter
One in six men are so addicted to sex that it is playing havoc with their personal and family lives.
Once in the grip of sexaholism, it is extremely hard to break it. Doug Weiss, an American specialist on the subject, claims that the craving for brain chemicals released by sex can be ‘four times stronger than heroin’. Facing up to the problem can be difficult too as the media is saturated with sex-related coverage, and reports the sexual exploits of footballers and celebrities uncritically until their behaviour turns nasty. Weiss, a one-time sex addict himself and now 16 years sober, campaigns for greater awareness and understanding of what has been a taboo subject for ‘far too long’. He told me, when he was in London last week, how the 24/7 availability of pornography on the Internet is turning this tide of sexual obsession into an epidemic. “It has caused an explosion in sex addiction. In drug terms, this is crack cocaine.”
Addicts, who can spend up to six hours a day on line, are now getting caught more often – because of the trails left on computers while surfing porn sites. Paradoxically, he says this can be a blessing. As for many sexaholics this is the first confrontation with their obsession.
Unfortunately lack of knowledge among health professionals, social workers and the police about the causes and cures of this illness is hindering the recovery of those who suffer from it.
Weiss estimates that the UK is ‘probably ten years behind the US in its awareness and treatment’ of this debilitating disease.
As with alcohol and drug dependency, sex addicts try to anaesthetise their feelings and control their own disturbed reality with their drug of choice – lust.
Once acknowledged and accepted as an illness, like alcoholism, sexaholism can be brought under control by counselling and attending support groups, such as Sexaholics Anonymous.
Over 80 per cent suffering from this sickness will have been victims of either physical or emotional abuse. Women are also afflicted with this compulsion, which has physiological, psychological and spiritual dimensions.
Addiction to sex is nothing new, Weiss explains: “Alcoholism was not invented in the 1930s, the disease was just given a name. The same is now true for sexaholism.”
Weiss has a simple check-list for those who think they might have a problem with sex addiction:
1. Are you leading a secret life?
2. Are you unable to stop acting out sexually?
3. Are you engaging in sexual behaviour, such as masturbation, long after you think you should have stopped?
4. Are you engaging in behaviours which conflict with your moral code?
5. Are you spending excessive amounts of money and time on sex-related activities.
For more information: visit - www.sexaddict.com, www.sauk.org or call 07000 725463.
THURSDAY March 11
Email telepathy by Rupert Sheldrake
Last month I wrote about telephone telepathy. I am grateful to dozens of readers who have written to me about their experiences of thinking of someone for no apparent reason who then phoned. Telepathy continues to evolve. The latest form involves e-mails. Shefaly, in London, says: "A friend of mine is now spooked that every time he starts to write to me, he receives an e-mail from me just then." Christine, in Guildford, reports: "I think of a friend in Australia and receive an e-mail that must have been written at about the time I was thinking of him."
Sometimes the e-mails are not ones that people particularly want to receive. A leading publisher told me that several times when she was clearing out her files and throwing away material from a would-be author, she received an e-mail from that person, whom she had not heard from for months.
As with telephone telepathy, sometimes this could just be a matter of coincidence, or of unconscious expectations. The only way to find out scientifically is to do special experiments.
In our research tests, we ask the subjects to name four people who they think they might respond to, usually close friends or family members. For each trial we pick one of the four people at random by the throw of a die, and e-mail them to say they have been chosen. Then they send an e-mail at a prearranged time, say at 10am, to the subject. A minute before, at 9.59am the subject sends us an e-mail with their guess as to who is about to email them.
This guess is either right or wrong, and by chance people would be right about one time in four, or about 25 per cent of the time. So far, in 800 trials, the average success rate is 42 per cent, very significantly above the chance level, showing that telepathy does indeed seem to be at work.
Would you like to take part in an e-mail telepathy test? If so, visit: www.sheldrake.org. It will involve two, three or four other people, and take less than 20 minutes. Please try it out.
FRIDAY March 12
Mercury enters Pisces by Bernard Fitzwalter
At the end of last week Mercury overtook the sun. Not really, of course, but it looks that way when seen from Earth. Today, for example, the sun is at 22 degrees of Pisces, but Mercury has finished going through Pisces and is already entering Aries.
These phases when Mercury is ahead of the sun are not rare. They occur about three times a year and last for about six weeks at a time. Astronomically, therefore, they're nothing special; but astrologically, I think they mean something. Some people, people born under Gemini or Virgo, or with Virgo rising, which is a large percentage of us in these latitudes, seem to be very sensitive to Mercury cycles.
It works like this. Whenever Mercury is ahead of the sun you feel upbeat and confident. You are on top of your work, and you take minor problems in your stride. Then, as Mercury starts to lose speed, you find that your energy fades, and when the sun overtakes Mercury again you fall behind, having to work longer and harder just to keep up with what you have to do. Then Mercury starts to speed up again, chasing the sun, and at the same time you start to catch up on your backlog, so that as Mercury overtakes the sun you find you are slightly in front of yourself, and can relax again. And so the cycle repeats. The odd thing about this, as any Virgo will confirm, is that you never intend to get behind; you work as well as you can all the time, but somehow it just happens. Anyway, happy days are here again, until mid April, at any rate.
When Mercury is ahead of the sun it becomes visible after sunset. The further ahead it gets, the higher above the horizon it is as the sun sinks. Mercury should become more and more visible as the month goes on. See if you can spot it.
SATURDAY March 13
No thought for the Day