Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson: The Virgo In a World Apart |

Michael Jackson: The Virgo In a World Apart |

Shared via AddThis

The late, great Michael Jackson always displayed a Leo's flashy style, but he was born with his Sun in modest Virgo. The self-critical nature of this zodiac sign can lead to shyness (think Michael Jackson's last few years, all but living as a recluse). Dark Pluto's conjunction to Michael's Virgo Sun added power, mystery and -- in the end -- danger to his personality.

Before his recent, untimely death by heart attack on June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson was long considered one of the most enigmatic celebrities on the planet. A star since early childhood and the creator of some of the most popular and recognizable music of his time, his legal difficulties have outshone his musical work in recent years. Born August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, Michael was a Virgo, the zodiac sign of the clean, careful and quirky. In the latter half of his career, this germ-phobic performer seemed to have embraced the shadow side of Virgo's characteristics.

The astrological explanation for this is the close conjunction of Pluto, the planet of extremes, to Michael Jackson's Sun. Pluto's presence empowered Jackson with almost superhuman skills as an entertainer; unfortunately, Pluto is associated with the mythological Lord of the Underworld, which means Pluto's presence also revealed the potential for Jackson's dark side and deep secrets that require complete privacy -- this explains why Jackson demanded complete control of his environment, and why he left the stage and studio to create his own, childlike haven (Neverland Ranch in California). Trust doesn't come easily for Pluto types, even ones who weren't famous at the age of six. The Sun is also a symbol for the father, with Michael's famously controlling and allegedly abusive papa (Joe Jackson) well-represented by Pluto in his son's chart

The finely tuned precision of Michael's Sun wouldn't have attracted audiences and produced beautiful music without the exquisite sensitivity of Jackson's Pisces Moon. The Moon represents feelings, and none are more refined than those of the last sign of the zodiac. This gave Michael Jackson the lush imagination to complement and inspire his truly Virgo, high-level skills. People with their Moons in Pisces often live in a world without emotional boundaries; they're sponges who pick up on the reactions of those around them.
This is a gift when it comes to healing others and tapping into a bottomless well of creativity. But it can also bring a sense of uncertainty, an unrooted quality that makes for restless souls. Faith helps overcome this vulnerability, as Pisces Moons often find the universal connection they seek through religion or spiritual practice. Still, Michael remained isolated by his uniqueness, separated by actions both inspired (his relentless musical creativity) and profane (his questionable relationships with young boys) that made him so different from the rest of us.
His rare musical brilliance shone most brightly through the symbol of artistic Venus in the expressive sign of Leo. But Michael's Venus was both gifted and complicated by its close proximity to Uranus, the planet of uniqueness. Venus-Uranus people bring fresh perspectives to the arts and often break the boundaries of old categorizations. The success of the quirky Plutonian hit 'Thriller' was a breakthrough for African-American artists in the culture of early MTV, showing how this placement of Venus and Uranus added sparkle and freshness that excited audiences and confounded critics -- Michael Jackson did not fit into any conventional category as a performer.

On a personal level, this relationship between Venus and Uranus could hint at unusual relationship preferences, as well as a fear of being confined by love. The vast majority of individuals with this combination in their chart are in no danger of violating laws or shocking the community. Yet in Michael Jackson's case, the absence of clear sexual orientation (or the questionable ways he tried to express his sexual orientation) have sadly become his most publicized characteristics in recent years.

It is unfortunate that a profoundly talented soul -- and such a creative mind -- made his mark on pop culture, only to have it marred. With this Venus-Uranus placement, it remains unclear whether Jackson broke any laws, or if he truly was just an eccentric with an innocent -- if misunderstood -- love of children.

Whether guilty of crimes or not, however, Michael may have felt that in his uniqueness there was also something deeply wrong with him, as if his creative genius had not put him above us, but had simply set him apart. Interestingly, the strength of all these elements -- his honed Virgo work ethic, his highly imaginative Pisces Moon, his Venus-Uranus-inspired way of flaunting convention, even the Plutonian tendencies to push musical boundaries to the extreme -- truly combined to make Jackson the once and future King of Pop.

Celebrity Deaths: Is There a Cosmic Connection? from Cosmic Reporter's Tarot Blog

Celebrity Deaths: Is There a Cosmic Connection? from Cosmic Reporter's Tarot Blog

Shared via AddThis

As you probably already know, today brought the untimely deaths of two American pop culture legends: bombshell actress Farrah Fawcett and “King of Pop” Michael Jackson. Two days ago, we also said goodbye to TV personality/television host/all-American good guy Ed McMahon, a loss which came fast on the heels of actor David Carradine’s tragic end.

Although there is no stand-out cosmic explanation for the sudden rash of celebrity deaths, master astrologer Jeff Jawer offers a couple insights, noting, “Monday’s New Moon in cozy Cancer was opposite Pluto, the planet of death and rebirth, setting the stage for some dramatic exits. Pieces of our cultural history are leaving with the departures of Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed MacMahon.” He adds, rather optimistically, “Expansive Jupiter’s close conjunction with spiritual Neptune is a great time to make an escape. The recent deaths of so many famous people may look like a tragic loss to the living but could be a joyous journey for those who have left us.

Still, it is interesting to look at each celeb's Sun sign to see what we can learn about their deaths.

Michael Jackson
The often scandalous saga of Michael Jackson's life came to a sad, shocking end when he died suddenly of a heart attack. He was only 50, and although he had spent the better part of his last decade either in court or in seclusion, his fame never waned. His Virgo sense of perfectionism (combined with his romantic Pisces Moon) had awarded him an outstanding career, from endearing child star to King of Pop to eccentric legend. True to Virgo form, he was defined by his career (after all, he penned some of the most enduring pop hits of our time) and was strongly influenced by his surroundings, which prompted him to create his own paradise in California, Neverland Ranch. For a time, he could tap into his fantasy-driven Pisces Moon and create his own reality. Sadly, he was taken just as this same ability to dream prompted him to organize an epic comeback tour.

Read more about Michael Jackson's unique astrological profile here, and please, feel free to leave your own reflections on these dearly-departed celebs in the comments section.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is Australia racist: Let's look at the whole picture

Is Australia racist: Let's look at the whole picture
By - Vandana K Mittal,
04 June 2009, Thursday

Shared via

Disclaimer: Whatever I write below is not meant to condone the attacks on Indian students.Those attacks are reprehensible and must be condemned and stopped.The effort is to present the whole picture and not the narrow breast beating of our national channels.

IT IS the season for bashing it seems. While some hoodlums are up to targeted bashing of Indian students in Australia (mainly Melbourne), we in India are up in arms as a nation to bash an entire nation and its population as racist. Our media, that has trouble finding reporters to send to some not-so-remote parts of the country to report on the problems of these regions, seem to have no trouble sending shrill voiced, excited and half-baked young reporters to far away Australia to prowl the streets and send back reports that confirm our 'worst fears' : Australia is a racist country.
It all has a sense of deja vu... remember when Bhajji and Symonds had that monkey/maa -ki spat and we rose as one to beat our collective breast and shout racist...we got that mercurial sardar off the hook by some fancy testimonies of 'senior' players and flexing the BCCI financial muscles only to have him slapping Sreesanth a few months later. Now these 'seasonal' birds are at it again...walking the streets of Australia sending back lop sided reports without any regard for the long term effect they will have on the Indo-Aussie ties.

Like migratory birds, they are there for the short haul and once their channels and newspapers have something new and equally sensational to report on, they will pack up their microphones and depart the Aussie shores. But what about the people of Indian origin, who have lived there for decades, who will continue to live there after this storm has passed and who for the most parts like the lives they have made for themselves in Australian cities?

And what about the thousands of Indian students (at last count about 90,000), who will be continuing to stay back in Australia to complete their degrees?

And what about the injustice done to million of Australians, who are not racist but have been painted as such?

The media is making a grave mistake and doing a disservice to everyone by whipping up this 'racism' hysteria.

In all my years of living in Australia, I never felt that the nation was racist. What it probably has are some people, who are without a doubt racist.

And those who are blatantly racist are racist probably because of :

1) Their own narrow and xenophobic tendencies and
2) Because they know very little about India and Indians
3) What they do know about Indians comes from the Indians, who are there (so maybe the Indians there are not being very good ambassadors for the country).

The vast majority of Australian population is warm, welcoming and accepting of the huge deluge of immigrants that has been arriving on its shores for almost two decades now.They are keen to put behind them the days of 'whites only' policies and move in tune with the changing global trends and attitudes.

Aussies are the biggest champions of the underdog and the under privileged. They hate the 'tall poppy syndrome' (some being more advantaged and prominent than the others) and go to great lengths to be the ordinary 'bloke' next door, the 'mate' who will chugg a stubbie with you and be there for you when needed.

In my initial days in the country, I was over whelmed by the number of Aussies, who helped me in ways big and small. (If they sometimes seemed patronising it was because they did not know the difference between a well-off, well educated migrant and those seeking asylum from disadvantaged, war torn countries.)

They explained things at work, helped me find books at the local library, explained to me the labrynthine Australian tax system and helped me find my first job. When I turned up at the interview looking very tense and stressed ( I had lost way while driving to it and had was late) the interviewer held my hand, smiled warmly and told me to relax as, according to her, my CV was enough of an interview. She did not have to do that but she did.

During this same period, I met a large number of fellow Indians, who have made huge economic strides in their new country and who by and large live peacefully and happily in Australia. But I also met a large number of those who remain caught in their 'us Vs them' mindset. In their large, double storied houses (dubbed Mc Mansions by the media) they gather routinely for chai and samosas and for 'Indian dinners' wherefor the entire evening they try and outdo one another in detailing how Australia is not all that great, how Aussies do not accept them, how they are discriminated against, how the 'white' culture pollutes and alienates their children and how 'great' their motherland India is. In their curry aided weepy, sentimentality they forget to mention the eagerness with which they had sought migration to Australia, the haste with which they had discarded Indian nationality for the Aussie one and how when they go to India for vacations they can hardly find anything good or right about the country. Ghettos are dangerous things but mental ghettos are even worse.

If Aussies are upset (as New Zealanders earlier were) about the rapid demographic changes in their country, it is also because of the arrivals failing to integrate fully with the locals. And this applies to all immigrants. In the suburb, where I worked, the large number of Afghan and other Muslim immigrants had forced the local KFC to turn Halal and keep no pork products, the nativity scene celebrations could no longer be held in schools during Christmas season lest they offend the Muslim sensibilties. Mince pies, those most iconic of Aussie treats, were not to be served during school fairs etc (pork/non-halal issues. Electoral considerations make the local politicians also bow to these demands (in some case the demand is assumed and not actually made).

In the local play grounds, the Aussie boys play Footy on the weekends and the people from the sub continent play cricket to loud music from Bollywood films. The Indians (and others) also by and large fail to embrace the concept of volunteering in the community. Voluntary work in the community is the virtual backbone of the Aussie way of life and by focussing only on what they can get from Australia the sub -continent immigrants fail to address the issue of what they can do for the communities they arrive into. This often leads to white Aussies leaving suburbs to move to newer or suburbs further away and the old suburbs gradually turn into 'Asians only' areas. This happens with the Chinese/Vietnamese/ Indian and various other communities.

Then there is the vast student population from India. Where are these large numbers coming from? In areas like Chandigarh, there are virtual assembly line businesses specialising in sending the Punjabi youth to Australia. None of these students have any intention of coming back. Most intend to settle down under. Australia is the new 'Kanaada' for the Punjabi. With the Canadian immigration now taking close to five years to get through they have set their sights on Australia as the country to migrate to.Australian migration rules are more stringent then the Canadian ones and hence the use of the education route to achieve the immigration dream.

They enrol in small TAFE (tertiray educaion system) courses in hair dressing, nursing care and similar with an eye on filling the vacancies in these areas and making Australia their new home. Nothing objectionable in all this except that they arrive in Aussie cities from small towns and cities of India with little or no idea about the culture and value systems of the new country. For them all 'goras' are the same and they carry the baggage of these stereotypes with them. I have personally heard some of these students talking in English (and Indian languages) about how 'loose' white women are, how little the 'white' parents care for their children, how easy it is to trick the benefit system of Australia to claim more dollars...

Why am I writing all this in an article supposed to discuss the attacks on Indian students? I am sharing this so that people understand how bizarre and one sided is the picture being painted by our jingoistic media. I am sharing all this so that we pause to look inwards towards our own idiosyncracies and inflexibilties, while clamouring for action against the perpetrators of the current attacks. Those guys need to be caught and punished but we too need to soul search a bit about how we treat the 'other'.

Australia on its part needs to crack down on the violence agaisnt overseas students and it also needs to take a long hard look at its immigration policy and its mega efforts to sell Aussie education all over the globe. It spins money ofcourse but by ignoring the concerns of the Australian population and without making a good case for its policies they are going to invite further problems on their head. Australia maybe a large continent but it has a small population of just 21 million and although they need the immigrants to keep their economy chugging along they also need to look far into the future and anticipate how their society may have to change with the arrival of more and more immigrants. Easy education dollars, earned now by roping in students via education fairs held world wide, may be attractive and tempting but may prove too expensive in the long run.

The time to act is now. For both countries. Both countries need to sensitise their young people about the other's cultures and way of life. The media could still redeem itself by focussing on this rather than calling a whole country racist and beaming interviews of students who say they want to leave Australia. Take my word for it. Most won't

It never ceases to amaze me, how as a nation, we are so ready to hang our jingoistic nationalism on to the peg of one arrogant and ill mannered cricketeer but show no desire whatsoever to actually change in ways that would do India proud.