Friday, December 11, 2009

Casual Stroll or Crash and Burn?

I've been talking to a friend about his upcoming Saturn Return. He says he is a bit scared that it's looking him in the face. It's not an uncommon reaction when you know there's one coming. But it can be a lot worse if you don't. Whoever said "Ignorance is bliss" certainly didn't know about the Saturn Return. I was completely ignorant when my first one came around.

It was near the middle of September, 1979. During the previous year, I had been spinning around like an out of control top. I had left my career as a cop in the dust and my marriage followed soon after. Actually it was final on September 9. We had been separated for a year and a half. When Saturn crossed my Ascendant, the astrologer had said, I would experience a break-up. When it did I told my wife that we needed some time apart. After all, isn't that what he had told me would happen? Not might, would. He got some other things right so I figured he had to be right on that one. That was my first experience with self-fulfilling prophecies.

Anyway, the year before I had been working as a drill instructor at the Detroit Police Academy. I loved it, teaching young rookies how to stay alive at work. I was the quintessential street cop with a huge reputation. All the stories in the world. Except they wouldn't let me tell most of them; couldn't swear, couldn't growl, couldn't do anything that might upset these poor up and coming police officers. It's been said that you come out of the academy knowing about 5% of what you need to know to become a good cop. I could see why.

I didn't remember my days as a rookie in the academy that way. It wasn't long after the riots in Detroit and things were different, I guess. So, as it turned out, I did tell some of those stories and the students loved it! I was their favorite instructor because I tried to tell them what was. My supervisors hated it. Then they began to hate me. I had walked into this place 8 months before having no experience whatsoever teaching. The commander had greeted me, handed me a lesson plan and told me to go to work. No problem. What's new?

I had worked hard to become the best instructor I could be, and I was doing it. But, I was doing it the wrong way. Apparently. So we began to battle, the administration and me. I was learning what happens when you bang your head against a wall enough times; you got a really sore head and nothing else. Do I have to tell you how this worked out? One day I just told them to shove the badge where it don't shine and walked away. Not just from a job but an identity. Walked away from something I loved so much I did it 24/7. Well, we were required to by law. We were always on duty wherever we were in Michigan and I loved that part of it.

One day in October of 1978, as this was all starting, I was confused, depressed and separated from my wife of 6 years. I was sitting on the couch one day trying to figure things out and wondering how I was going to pay all the bills. The phrase "Rent-a-Poet" flashed through me head. I said, "huh?"

I had written a poem for a friend in a lecture at the university who wanted to meet a girl in the second row. He ended up taking her out to lunch. This came out of nowhere like things of that nature tend to do. I immediately picked up the telephone and ran an ad in the Detroit Free Press: "Rent-a-Poet, your thoughts through my pen." One of the things about those flashes of inspiration, you can't sit on them because the ethers will give them to someone else. A telepathic network.

At this point, at the Academy, they knew just how to get to me. The wouldn't give me anything to do. I would walk around all day or sit at my desk and meditate. This got some attention, too. My buddies all knew me and they just threw paper airplanes at me. Management thought I was crazy. The ball kept rolling.

So, after a week I'd had no response to my ad. I decided, "oh, well, nothing ventured nothing gained." I didn't put it just like that but something close. The last day of the ad came and the phone rang. It was a reporter from the Free Press. He said his editor had seen my ad and thought it was 'cute." Would I mind if he came over to interview me. I thought 'what the hey?' And he came. When he got there and discovered I was a cop, he called for a photographer. They interviewed me and took pictures and left. He said he was going to run it in tomorrow's paper. See where this is going?

The next morning I looked in the paper. I was thinking 'Section G, page 38." Oh, no, it wasn't like that. The article was on the second front page with this big picture of me and the caption, "Detroit cop writes Poetry, he's the Rent-a-Poet." I wanted to cry. What was going to happen to my great rep now? Excuse my language but I would become known as the "Sissy Cop." Lovely. I was thinking, 'I'm calling in sick.'

Luckily, that day they had me assigned to the Federal Prison at Milan to conduct research on a new training program we were developing. I was out of there before anyone came in. When I got home, my brother was there. He had been answering the phone all day long. People were calling every few minutes to have poems done! Dear God, I hadn't even thought about how I was going to do this! So I made it up on the run.

I called some of the people back and found that they wanted mainly poems to boyfriends or girlfriends. One lady wanted a eulogy. On the fly, I started asking them questions about their situations. Important things in relationships, memories, code words, dates and anything they felt was important. I had said in the interview that I was charging two dollars a line. It sounded good at the time. Initially I had about half a dozen poems to write. I hadn't even thought about format, delivery or how to charge. Right at that point, my head was spinning.

Later that day, the story hit the wire services, went all over the United States. The next day, which was a Saturday, thank God, I started getting calls from places as far away as Alaska, Hawaii and Cleveland. I got calls asking me to be on talk shows, radio and TV. But, I didn't let it get into my head; I had poems to write.

It wasn't long before I figured out length, format, delivery and, of course, the money. It took me about 20 minutes to write the average poem which was 4 stanzas or sixteen lines in length. That was worth thirty two dollars and I could do two an hour. My muse was working overtime. Sixty four dollars an hour was a little more than I was making as a cop. Probably ten dollars an hour. This could be worth something, I thought.

Then Monday came. I reported to work and immediately was told, the Chief wants to see you. This was not good. It was the straw that broke the camel's back. In four months I was standing out on a cold downtown street wondering what had happened to my life.

Nine months later was my Saturn Return. Rent-a-Poet had pretty much gone by the wayside; I had no business sense, no marketing ability, no start up money. And so it goes. I was broke, I had to send my dog off to a lady in Washington State because I had to sell my house and move in with my parents. The only thing left from my former life was my pool cue. I had written her a poem and we became friends. I think it was six months later when Mt. St. Helens blew up. She lived at the base of it.

Looking back at the astrology of it, Saturn was conjunct my Saturn (maturity); Jupiter had just crossed my Ascendant, (opportunity, new relationships, greater understanding of self); Pluto was conjunct my Neptune in the third house (creativity, confusion and the beginning of my spiritual life); Uranus was conjunct my IC and opposing my Moon (residence, career, reputation and security); Neptune was conjunct my Mercury in the fifth (more creativity and confusion, sense of self and communication skills); Chiron was conjunct my Moon on the MC (old wounds, new healing and the beginnings of a new self).

All of the major planets save Jupiter were at seventeen degrees of consecutive signs; Virgo through Capricorn. Most of the planets in my chart are in the middle decanates, five at seventeen degrees. All of the planets connect to each other in major aspects. One of them may be a semi-square. Whenever a transiting planet hits one of mine, everything is activated. Is it surprising that I've led such a wild and crazy life?

So, my Saturn Return was an all or nothing time. I suppose I took both the all and the nothing. What would I have done if I had known in advance about the Saturn Return? If I had had someone talking to me about it? I'm sure my choices would have been less radical, less based upon emotion and much more considered. This aspect happens for everyone around the age of twenty nine. It is when you fully - and finally - become an adult. When you let go of things that no longer have a purpose in your life. Baggage. Saturnian rules apply. It's when you move forward with your life toward your second Saturn Return which happens at about fifty nine. That's a story for another time. Suffice to say, "forwarned may be forearmed."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

You Just Gotta Do What You Think You Can't...

September, 1982. I was driving a methadone delivery truck for a security company, part time. There wasn't much work for an ex-Detroit cop who didn't want to be a cop anymore. I had just gotten married and my wife was working but we needed more income. It wasn't much but it was all right as long as I didn't run into any of my old buddies in the precinct. Which I did one day when my truck was struck by a drunk. Oh, that was hard.

My friend Steve, who was a personality on Detroit rock radio at the time, and I had recently applied for a grant to produce a news show on the local cable station. Neither one of us had a clue how to do it, but we were very willing to learn. Our application had been granted and we had taken a 2 hour class on how to turn on and white balance a studio camera.

My wife, Denise, was working for a corporate travel agency as administrative assistant to the president. He told her one day that he wanted to produce some video training tapes on the reservation computers. He said he'd rented the equipment, written the script but he had no one to produce them. Denise, a fast thinker in all kinds of situations said with a big smile, "My husband works at Group W, the Dearborn cable company!" Uh huh, yeah, works. Right.

"Excellent!" said Brent. "Get him in here!" There was no moss growing under this guy. Denise came home with the good news that night. "Guess what, honey! My boss wants to see you tomorrow about doing some video work!" Of course I asked her what was involved and she told me. I looked at her with confused astonishment, wondering if she had all her faculties right then.

The next afternoon, dressed in my suit and tie, I arrived on time at Total Travel Management, still wondering what the hell I was doing. I had no idea what I was doing or what I was going to do. It was a blank slate and I hadn't started thinking about writing on it, much less actually doing it.

Then it hit me. There was no way I could do this, absolutely no way. I had no idea how to make a video, no idea what it entailed. I started to get up and leave when the receptionist said Mr. Garback was ready for me. Ah, shit, I thought, this is really going to be embarrassing. But, by the time I got to his office door, I had a plan. A plan to get out of it gracefully. I have Mars square Uranus. One astrologer called it the "hair trigger" aspect; I was good at making split second decisions. So I did.

I walked in, shook hands and sat down. We covered the pleasantries for a minute or so, then got down to business. I asked him to explain just exactly what he needed. My plan was to quote a figure so high that he would politely kick me out of his office. When he explained what he needed done - I had trouble following him at first because of the terminology. "Talking head, multiple camera shoot, computer screen B-roll, AB editing" and on, I would nod politely when I thought I should and generally acted intelligent. I pretty much had no idea what he was talking about. But I knew how to white balance a camera.

When he was finished, he asked me what it would cost him for me to do the project. I looked contemplative for a while, figuring in my head if I had enough gas to get home. Finally, I looked at him right in the eyes and gave him my figure, trying not to laugh. Then he said it. The words that would change my life.

He said, "Fine, you've got the job. When can you start?" I started to say that it was nice to have met him when his words hit me right between the eyes. I wanted to say, no, no, this was all a joke, I don't have a clue how to do what you want, I only know how to white balance a camera! What I said was, "Let's see. Next Tuesday would be good. I've got commitments until then." He said, "Excellent, I'll see you then."

I walked out in a fog with my stomach churning like a sea storm. Oh, God! What did I just do? Ah, shit, this is ridiculous. I've gotta go back in and tell him the truth! But, I kept walking to my car, a beater, and discovered to my amazement that I did have enough gas to get home.

When Denise came home that evening, I told her what had happened and the figure I had quoted. She looked at me, eyes wide, mouth open and said, "What are you going to do?" I said, "You got me into this and I don't know what in the hell I'm gonna do!" I knew, I would be sick to my stomach for the next week then call him and tell him something had come up, a family emergency and I wouldn't be able to handle his project. Sorry, but I know you understand.

I told Steve what I'd gotten myself into and he just looked at me. "You idiot. You can't do that. What are you going to do?" I didn't have an answer. I finished my soup and rye toast and went home.

Next Tuesday came and I delivered my methadone. There was a shotgun in the truck but I never touched it. If someone had to shoot somebody it wasn't going to be me. Then again, I thought, now there's a way out. Nah, I'd still have to shoot somebody. Me.

After work, I dressed casually and headed down to the travel agency thinking to myself, "You're a poser, an impostor, and they're going to know it as soon as you show up with your thumb in your ear." I walked in. There was an area set up with cameras, this complicated looking two-deck videotape system, wires everywhere and an idiot standing there. What the @#** am I going to do here? I saw a pile of manuals sitting on the counter and picked one up. It was on the two-deck editing system. I opened it and began to read.

I started to come in everyday after work, reading the manuals and playing with the equipment. I was actually having fun and looking intelligent at the same time. After about two weeks I felt comfortable with the cameras and the editing system. I had a deadline, a date by which Brent wanted the videos - yep, multiple videos -done. But now I was fired up.

I finally got everything set up, created my own teleprompter out of an art easel and a dowel and was introduced to my "talent." Three travel agents whom Brent had picked for this project. They were as clueless as I was, but I was determined. Very determined not to embarrass myself.

Do you know that I produced those three videotapes by the seat of my pants and finishing them before the deadline. And, I did it all on crutches. My knee had swelled up like a balloon, the result of a motorcycle accident seven years prior. I had no health insurance so I bought a set of crutches and got to work. It was very hard and very sweaty to do it that way but what was the alternative? Ah, I so love challenges.

Then the day came when I was to show Brent the finished product. I don't know how many takes it had taken to do this thing, probably millions. I wasn't sure if he would kick me out of his office or just cry. He did neither.

What he did was smile broadly and write me a check for that way over the top figure. He was so impressed with my work that he hired me full time as his Multi-Media Manager, bought the equipment I had used and gave me a company car. My salary was more than I had made as a cop.

My life had turned in those three months as I learned a trade and got paid handsomely for it. I would go on to work in the business for the next eight years, producing videos for Ford, Chrysler and other corporate clients. It would become a pattern for me: falling into positions doing something I had no idea how to do. It was always basically the same. I would teach myself how to do whatever it was through on-the-job training. Always saying with confidence, "Sure, I can do that." And then doing it.

I can't delineate the astrology of it because I don't know the exact dates when I presented and when I accomplished. I guess I'll have to see a psychic to get them. Now, if I only knew one besides me.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

You Gotta Love That Intuition...

It was June 1, 2003. I had just received notice that I would be granted a disability pension from the VA and Social Security. We were living in Dearborn, Michigan, our home town in a house owned by my wife's family. We had cared for Denise's parents full time for two years while they died slowly. We also had cared for my mother during the same period though she was living with us. We moved in to her parent's house after their deaths.

Now, Denise's older sister, the executor, wanted us out of the house so it could be sold. We hadn't even thought of where we could go but we finally had the means to go somewhere. This all happened pretty quickly, the retirement, the note we got saying we needed to get out of the house. It was a great time in our lives but a little confusing, too.

On this day, a Sunday, I woke up with this strong gut feeling that I needed to go up to northern Michigan. I am in tune with my gut and it has saved my life on several occasions. I turned to Denise and told her. She has seen me do this before, many times, so she just nodded her head and went back to sleep. I got my things together and left. Going out the door, for some reason, I grabbed my checkbook.

I had absolutely no plan in mind and just started driving north. After about 300 miles I could go no farther north without crossing the Mackinac Bridge and heading to the upper peninsula. So, I turned right. This part of the drive took me through Cheboygan, just south of the Straits of Mackinac. I drove through town but was not impressed. Just as I was leaving the city, I remembered that an old friend from school and the neighborhood had retired and moved up here somewhere. I put on my investigator gear and started looking.

After a couple of dead ends, I checked with the County Clerk's office. There I found, in the Platt book, David's name and address. It was about 25 miles south of me and I headed out. It was beautiful country and US 23 ran right along the shore of Lake Huron. The sky was a deep blue and the water, very calm, was a turquoise color. Much like the Caribbean. Wow. I pulled up to David's house on a little lane that ran down to the water. His was set back a couple of hundred feet and was gorgeous. I remembered then that he had built it himself. I hadn't seen him in five years and was surprised when he opened the door immediately.

It was old home week, just like it is everytime when you see someone from your past. We sat down with a beer and started talking. We weren't halfway through the cold Budweisers when he said, "Hey, man, you've got to see this house!" I kind of looked at him like a crazy man and said, "Why do I need to see a house?" We went back and forth and finally I gave in. We got in his truck and headed south again.

After about seven miles we turned into another little lane that led down to the water and pulled up to the first house we saw. There were only four houses on this lane and the lake was about two hundred feet from the house. It was a ranch style home with an unattached carriage house. It was surrounded by forest in every direction. The home owner met us outside and invited us in.

When I walked in and saw the interior, I was stunned. It was beautiful! It had large windows and french doors that made it seem like the walls were glass. A country kitchen with more windows that looked out into the forest. I thought to myself, "This is ridiculous! Why did he bring me here in the first place? I couldn't afford a place like this!"

The owner offered us coffee and we sat down. After talking for a bit, I asked him how much he was selling the place for. He replied with a figure and my jaw dropped. The figure was about the same as the houses in Dearborn. No way! A beautiful home on a beautiful lake in the middle of a forest, twenty miles from any town. In any of the surrounding suburbs of Detroit this house with it's proximity to water would go for at least half a million. Not so here.

I looked at him, looked at Dave and brought out my checkbook. I asked if he would accept a down payment on a land contract for a year. He looked as stunned as I was. Dave was just shaking his head slowly. He knew I was impulsive; growing up I had proven that. But this!

After a few seconds, the owner shook his head and then shook my hand. I had offered a little less than he was asking but apparently it was no impediment. I wrote the check and handed it to him. Then I thought it wise to call Denise and tell her what I'd done. Since I hadn't called her before I wrote the check. Uh, trouble?

I knew there wouldn't be because when she saw the house, I knew she'd fall to her knees. I was that positive. We had wanted to move up north since we first married, twenty two years ago. But, there were no jobs up here because Michigan's economy had been in trouble for years. So, we dreamed.

I drove home to face my family. The looks I saw struck me. Denise was tight-eyed and stern mouthed. Danielle my oldest had a smile on her face. Jessica, my youngest, looked like she wanted to tear my heart out. She had just finished her senior year of high school and was looking forward to hanging out with her friends. How could I do this to her?

Well, the next week I took everyone up to see the house. Just as I knew, Denise almost fell to her knees and looked at me with this huge smile on her face. Danielle's smile was just as big. She was attending Albion College downstate and it was a straight drive up for her. Jessica still had fire in her eyes but when she saw the private beach and the soft sand, I could see her relent. The carriage house has a finished upstairs and the first thing she asked was, "I can bring my friends up here, right?"

A month later we closed on the house. On our twenty second anniversary and started moving in a week later. We have now been here for six and a half wonderful years. It is our dream house. Back in 1994 we made a list of the things we wanted in our house when we got it. Up on a hill near water. Glass all around and trees, too. A place where our friends could come and relax and the animals would be our friends, as well. There were a few more stipulations that just so happened to match this house, too.

The house was built in 1994 as we were dreaming of it. We didn't get the house we wanted back then but we were here now. And it matched everything on our list to a T. We just laughed. We've been working on trying to understand the universe and the one thing we have learned is that your dreams come when you least expect it, and just when you need it.

I looked at the astrology of June 1, 2003 and laughed again. Almost too much to write about here: Jupiter in the 12th, opposing Sun/Venus/Jupiter in the 6th. Saturn conjunct Uranus in the 11th (in Cancer) with the Moon conjunct them both.

Mercury conjunct Moon and MC in Taurus, Pluto conjunct exactly Chiron in the 4th, Chiron conjuncting exactly Mercury in the 5th, also trining Moon/MC and Saturn in the 2nd. Neptune was exactly conjunct Venus/Jupiter in the 6th and Uranus trining Uranus, 7th house to 11th. Finally, the Sun/Venus/N. Node in transit trining the stellium in the 6th, Gemini to Aquarius.

I'm not going to delineate but I'm sure the aspects are self-evident. No wonder my intuition scored that day! I love the way the universe works, the way my God works, both who know more about what I need than I do. Sometimes we need challenges to wake us up with tough times and other times we are rewarded for our efforts. Myself, I just thank my God every morning for the day and what it will bring. As long as I'm upright and taking nourishment, I'm good...

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Case of Ironic Astrology

I was an MP in the U.S. Army on April 8, 1970, stationed at Ft. Stewart, Georgia. It was a small, quiet little base where helicopter pilots were first training on fixed wing aircraft. Not much going on at all. Actually, it was pretty boring for a guy who loved action.

I was a good cop and tried to be super professional, making rank pretty quickly. I was 20. I was called into the commander's office and told he was sending me to Sergeant's school in Alabama. It was a very high honor because they were able to send only one soldier a year. Upon finishing the school, I would return to Ft. Stewart as a Sergeant. I was geeked to say the least. I had been in the Army for only 15 months.

I decided that I wanted transportation at Ft. McLellan, so I rode my little 350 Honda all the way there. 3 days of mind and hand numbing travel. Just before I got there, in the early morning dark, I was coming down the side of a mountain in the rain. I was scared to death. All of a sudden I saw these huge headlights in my mirror; it was a semi, right behind me. And I mean right behind. Feet behind. All I could see in my mirror now was this huge grill with huge headlights.

The road was slick and downhill. I was having to go 60 miles an hour to keep in front of this truck. I knew I was dead but I wasn't sure when. My back wheel was sliding sideways and I was nearly rigid with fear. The rain was coming down in sheets. I didn't have a visor on my helmet; it had been cracked by a rock thrown up by another semi the day before. It served it's purpose, though, the rock surely would have killed me.

This horrifying ride lasted nearly a half hour but it seemed like twelve. With this bozo blowing his horn all the way down; it surely hadn't helped my disposition. All of a sudden, after coming out of a sharp turn and almost losing it, I saw the lights of an intersection. I made it to the light as the it turned yellow. I stopped the bike, started breathing and the asshole cut out and screamed by me as it turned red. But, I had made it! Oh, man! I was still among the living. I think I cried.

I was late getting to the base and the company where I was reporting. My mission had not started well. The duty sergeant gave me a nasty lecture then assigned me a bunk. Everyone else had unpacked and repacked their footlockers in the manner prescribed by the sergeant. I had no clue. Ah, shit. But the sun was shining and everyone else had gone to dinner. So I sat on my bunk and waited.

Finally, someone else came in. It was another student. We got to talking and he said he, too, had driven in on his Honda 350 and he knew the base. Thumbs up for synchronicity. I had recovered sufficiently so when he asked if I wanted to take a ride, I agreed. We were going to drive by the WAC - Women's Army Corps - barracks to see what was what. Ft. McLellan was a WAC Basic Training base. I had not known that. It was April 12, 1970.

We took off and started cruising the base. We turned down a street filled with WAC barracks and there were girls everywhere! I could see that it was going to be heaven here. In a flash, as I was looking to the side, my right hand came off the throttle. I lost control and started falling to the right, where my new friend was riding beside me. The next thing I knew, I opened my eyes on the sidewalk with this beautiful face looking down at me. I had no idea who it was or why she was there. I remember thinking that she must have been an angel. I'm not sure how long I was out but it was too damned long as far as I was concerned. An ambulance showed up, they put me in and drove to the base hospital.

When I arrived, two doctors in the ER checked me over. My loss of consciousness was never discussed. My right shoulder was getting sore, I had abrasions down the entire length of my right leg and I was having a little trouble turning my head. After examining me without x-rays, the two doctors pronounced me fine and told me to go to the barracks and clean my up my own leg . What could I say? I think I called a cab and left.

It was dark when I arrived at the barracks, and most of the guys were already asleep. I somehow climbed into my bunk with my uniform still on and passed out. No supervisor had asked me about the accident.

I awoke the next morning and I couldn't move. At all. Nothing. Panic hit me and I think I screamed. At this, a supervisor came running. He called another ambulance and back I went to the hospital. This time there were competent physicians in the ER. They took x-rays and told me that I had a broken collarbone...and a broken neck. If I had moved the wrong way during the night, they said, I might have been dead. Cool.

I spent a month in the hospital, flat on my back wearing a collar and a sling. No pillow. Every 4 hours for that entire month I was given a shot of Demerol. All of us in the ward got one. We were constantly high and in rare humor. I discovered after I was released that I was addicted to the stuff, but never having had drugs before, I thought the extreme pain was due to my injuries. I was sent home for a month of convalescent leave.

When I returned to the base, healed, physically and psychologically, I discovered that I was persona non grata. I had screwed up their plans for a new supervisor and there was no changing their minds. I tried. The next day I was washing scout cars. I did this, and other menial tasks, for 2 weeks before they finally let me back on the road. I was angry. Very angry. Prior to my assignment to Alabama, I had filed two requests for transfer to Vietnam. My buddies were over there dying and I needed to go. Requests denied. I tried again. Request denied. I couldn't understand it.

On the road again, I developed a plan to piss people off, thinking they would send me to 'Nam as punishment. Writing tickets to officers for traffic violations was a no-no. Rank had it's privileges at Ft. Stewart. Unwritten policy. So, I began to write officers tickets. One was the Deputy Post Commander, a colonel. The next day, I was standing in front of the Post Commander's desk. On a red carpet, actually, while I got the crap kicked out of me verbally. I remember a lot of "yes, sirs" before I was ordered out of his sight and back to my company. My plan had failed. I was assigned to wash scout cars once again.

After a week, they needed another body to go out on patrol. Back on the road again but with another plan. There was a company on the base called the POR Levy Section. These people were responsible for putting names in blanks, filling requests for more troops to go to Vietnam. I began to mess with them. Severely. Tickets, minor arrests, just your petty, basic harassment. Within a week I had my orders for Vietnam. I spent 13 months there and was subjected to the defoliant, Agent Orange, and other dangerous things.

I made it home safely - having been promoted to sergeant in the process while receiving a Bronze star - and joined the Detroit Police only to leave seven years later. After that, my career was varied until I finally opened my own Private Investigator Agency. I had banked no retirement savings, no 401k, no stocks or bonds so my future financial situation looked pretty bleak.

One day while on a moving surveillance, I felt a sharp pain in my back. Just about where I had injured it in a jeep accident in 'Nam. It went downhill from there until I was unable to sit in a car for more than a few minutes or walk any distance at all. I was done as a private investigator because I was it for my company. I hadn't grown to the point where I could hire another person. On my way but not there yet. One day flying, the next augering into the ground. Gone, just like that.

On a visit to a doctor, I discovered I also had diabetes and I didn't have any medical coverage. No place to go but the VA. Not at the top of my list of providers but the only one I had. I qualified for free treatment at that time because I was broke. Nothing coming in. Very tough situation for my family and I. Two daughters and a beautiful wife.

During the course of my "treatment", and I laugh at what they called treatment, I was told that my back was too degenerated to be helped by surgery. Not that I would ever do that, anyway. They said, "you're 50, your back is 80. Live with it." So, I did but I couldn't work. On the way out of the VA hospital, I ran into an old friend from the police department. He told me that my diabetes was compensable because I had served in Vietnam. Elated, I applied. I asked my doctor why he hadn't told me this and he replied, "it's not my job." Ah, the VA.

Three long years later - my wife had been working and supporting us while I was battling with the VA - I was awarded my disability. 100%. Now I had enough coming in to retire. We were able to move up to paradise here and I'm covered medically for the rest of my life. Isn't it strange how things work? If I had not attended that sergeant's school and had that accident, I would have spent the rest of my enlistment at Ft. Stewart. Did I unconsciously make some kind of Faustian deal, would I have ended up here anyway, just by a different means?

Uranus was conjunct my Mars in the second house on the day of the accident, which trines my stellium in Aquarius (6th house - Sun, Venus, Jupiter). Mars was conjunct my Mercury in the fifth, part of a grand trine in earth and Jupiter and Neptune were conjunct my Part of Fortune. Seemingly lots of good luck and opportunity there, but obfuscated by Neptune. Oh, and Saturn had just conjoined my Moon and MC. Another third of that grand trine.

Astrology is a tough nut to crack and in life it's usually only through hindsight that we can understand what happened to us. I could go deeper into my chart on that day but I don't know if it would clarify anything any better. The aspects were good yet in the short term it was bad then good again. In the long term it saved my family and I. So, who knows?

But, God, I love it anyway!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Deathless Voyage

I am a seeker on a deathless voyage
to points unknown
an adventure
I seek light and wisdom
and the opportunity
to share mine

I have lived
six lifetimes in one,
I have seen the shadows
and chosen the Light
I have closed with the darkness
and walked away wiser, untouched
and free

I am a seeker of destiny
and union