Sunday, December 4, 2011

Astro Shite for December 2011 - the Christmas Edition

Aries (21 March to 20 April)
The best gift you will receive on 25 December is the New Moon in Capricorn in your career sector. Why is this pressie so great? Because it signals a dynamic six months of plundering and backstabbing your way to the fairy-tale job you covet. With Pluto thrown into the New Moon mix, you accomplish this feat with the morals and finesse of the Boston Strangler gone to Hell twice over. Before you get over-zealous about the immediate future, remember that great wisdom comes from recognising when it’s time to pause and step back. Even celestial warriors have to stand still occasionally. Go on … have a break, have a Kit-Kat. 
Aries Christmas gifts: hand grenade, slingshot, hunting spear

Taurus (21 April to 20 May)
Forget Christmas, professional goals are the focus from 21 December for you stubborn Bulls. Venus and Pluto join on 2 December and your desire to be in control ruins the festive mood when you demand honesty from others in an intense and revealing game of Truth or Dare at the office Christmas party. Your work colleagues are pissed off that they didn’t play Celebrity Head, and you are blacklisted from attending future social events. Don’t worry, Pluto blesses you with power and you have a mental breakthrough on 2 December, which materialises into a mental breakdown when you realise that there are only twenty-three shopping days left until Christmas. 
Taurus Christmas gifts: fire oven, Egyptian cotton, Italian table wine

Gemini (21 May to 20 June)
Gemini, this month your relationships need reworking under Mercury, which has been retrograde since November. Do this quickly if you want loads of Christmas presents this year. Pluto triggers your shared money zone on 2 and 31 December. Make the most of whatever assets are available to you, and I don’t mean your callisthenic thighs and ripped torso. The Full Moon eclipse in your sign on 11 December brings high and low tides in the emotional realm. It’s only now that peeps believe that you really are two people in one body. You drop the social conditioning and go with what you trust in your heart. Your legendary flirty behaviour sees you sitting on Santa’s lap more than once this silly season. 
Gemini Christmas gifts: iPhone, iPad, iGossip

Cancer (21 June to 20 July)
Mercury retrogrades until 14 December causing chaos and asking the big questions of who, what, where, why, and how is Christmas gonna happen this year. Mind you, these crucial questions arise every year at the same time, so you should already have a disaster management plan drafted. Pluto continues his extended visit through your partnership zone. Themes of truth, honesty, and passion in relationships arise on 2 and 31 December, so be prepared to find some extra goodies in your Christmas stocking. 
Cancer Christmas gifts: DIY kit home, handcrafted photo album, vintage twin set

Leo (21 July to 21 August)
Leo, this month the focus will be on the post-Christmas period. The Sun and Pluto join on 31 December to remind you what an unattractive gluttonous yob you were during the festive season, and that now is the time to get obsessive about health issues. Thankfully, transformations are possible under this transit, and you will be successful in shedding that 90s Rosanne Barr look when you fulfil your New Year’s resolution of starting the Weight Watchers Pro-Points Plan and sticking to it. 
Leo Christmas gifts: wall mirrors, diamante tiara, French perfume

Virgo (22 August to 22 September)
The celestial organising guru that is Mercury helps you plan Christmas day at your place this year for one thousand and twelve of your closest friends and relo’s. You will need your ruling planet’s proficiency in preparing the two hundred and thirty-eight course dinner you’re going to murder under extreme anxiety and a couple of packs of Xanax. How else does a Virgo function? Learn to be patient under this transit, as the turkey won’t be the only thing that’s stuffed on 25 December. 
Virgo Christmas gifts: Moleskine diary/planner, clothing starch, well-crafted zines

Libra (23 September to 23 October)
In true Libran harmony, you will create ‘togetherness’ with friends and family this month. You will broker a peace treaty in order for everyone get along, even if it kills them. Pluto transits your sector of domestic desires until 21 December, when you lust after that new Nigella Lawson Flameware Buffet that gets you hot and bothered under the apron. Expect to receive motorised kitchen gadgets as gifts this Christmas, which you use in bold and innovative ways. 
Libra Christmas gifts: Moet & Chandon Brut, Cubist art, Bauhaus furniture

Scorpio (24 October to 22 November)
Peeps shouldn’t expect gifts from you tight-arse Scorpions this month, when Mercury takes a backward spin with your money until mid-December. The world can always count on a sneering Scorpio stooge to ruin Christmas. This year is no exception. Expect to spend 25 December under your favourite rock with a couple of gnats and armpit bacteria for company. Sounds promising. 
Scorpio Christmas gifts: leather cat suit, fishnet stockings, studded dog collar

Sagittarius (23 November to 22 December)
It may be asking the impossible, but shopaholic Sagittarians need to control their spending during the post-Christmas sales at Corporate Scum department stores as of 31 December. Keep your dosh in your pocket; you will need it to see in the New Year, when too much Jatz ’n’ Carona is barely enough. Mercury retrogrades in your sign until mid-December, so be wary of maddening the Scrooges with your jovial Jupiter cheer. Not everyone is up for a day of eating trillions of mince pies with honey-glazed ham, and receiving Danoz Direct merchandise as presents, although that kinda thing may appeal to Bert Newton. 
Sagittarius Christmas gifts: Harley-Davidson Softail, round-the-world ticket, denim

Capricorn (23 December to 20 January)
This month sees you Goats racing to Coles for John Frieda hair products to compliment the ‘love yourself, you’re worth it’ transit which ends on 21 December. You end up looking like a Garnier hair ad, which contradicts your ‘go natural’ health and beauty philosophy. Mercury triggers your spirituality zone throughout December, prompting you to yodel Yuletide carols in a Celtic dialect not used since the coronation of Robert the Bruce. Peeps believe that you’re going mad, but that only happens under a Moon-Uranus transit. 
Capricorn Christmas gifts: cash, cash, and more cash

Aquarius (21 January to 17 February)
The social back flip Mercury took recently reaches great heights this month and crash lands into your Ego on 14 December.  This race to the bottom propels you to rethink how you can be a better friend to others. Baking a few trays of Christmas rum balls with brandy butter is a good start. Venus visits your spiritual sector until 21 December, and you devote an altar of patchouli soy candles and sandalwood joss sticks in your living space to the most divine entity in your Universe: you. 
Aquarius Christmas gifts: home laboratory kit, periodic table, music by John Cage

Pisces (18 February to 20 March)
Mellow Pisces, just when you thought you could chill through the end-of-year holidays, Mercury decides to spend time in your career zone until the first week of January 2012. You’ll be one of those losers working on Christmas eve, while the great unwashed get smashed and start brawling in a pub somewhere in The Rocks. Venus visits your sector of groups until 21 December, generating compassion towards the marginalised who will be spending Christmas alone. You end up volunteering at the Wayside Chapel soup kitchen, avoiding your boorish bourgeois family on the most stressful day of the year. It’s like the Age of Pisces all over again. 
Pisces Christmas gifts: Kava, tropical fish, hemp sandals

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11: A Date with Destiny?

A lot of malarkey has been generated about the dates 1/1/11, 11/1/11, 1/11/11, and 11/11/11 that, on writing, I can’t recall one embellished story. I’m sure they will come to me when I’m hoovering my flat or washing the dishes. I can only share my own research and experience of these cosmic numeric patterns that supposedly promise luck and wealth, trigger monsoons and tsunamis, prompt the end of the world, drop the hoe of your dreams into your bed, etcetera, etcetera …
I write about the 11/11/11 experience from an astrological viewpoint, of course, with smatterings of numerology thrown in. I’m not a numerologist, not by any stretch, but what I do know of that arcane science goes a fair way to explaining why today’s date is significant to those on the esoteric path.
The number 11 in numerology inherits a high level of spirituality, offering humankind the potential to develop their metaphysical faculties. The 11 brings an awareness of mystical forces which express themselves through clairvoyance, intuition, spiritual healing, and meditation. Material life becomes meaningless, but we have to learn to balance this with the ideal. Spiritual values are of little merit unless they can be transmitted into practical application. The challenge for us mortals could well be to practice leading a sacred life regardless of how interlocked we imagine ourselves to be in materialism.
The Full Moon in Taurus coincides with this date. The purpose of a Full Moon is to highlight issues that need addressing. There is a build-up of energy, accumulated since the New Moon approximately three weeks prior. By the Full Moon phase, this energy is ready to be released to spirit. With Taurus in the picture, luxury and decadent pleasures become the focus, especially after an extreme couple of weeks of sex, power, and money issues via the Sun in Scorpio. With the initiating number one appearing as an 11/11/11 pattern, stopping to smell the roses takes on a life-or-death urgency, so rush to relax, folks.
On a higher level, today is an excellent time to initiate change through meditation. Beginning new projects or starting again with ventures that have failed previously have opportunities to succeed. The number 11 symbolises the divine force that protects and nudges us in the right direction, but only if we relinquish control and keep an open mind.
However, I do advise that you read the mystic warning label stuck to the bottom of the metaphorical tin: careful what you wish for … you may actually get it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Astro Shite for November 2011

Aries (21 March to 20 April)
Your plans for Another Bloody Cathedral tour of Europe will be delayed between 3 and 27 November, when Mercury retrogrades through your travel sector. Double and triple check travel arrangements to confirm that you haven’t booked the Blue Rinse excursion to the Rhine Valley. You may be stranded at various airports in exotic locations all month, so pack extra zine reading material, and avoid unwashed gypsy kids flapping pieces of cardboard in your direction.
Aries essential viewing: Apocalypse Now (1979)

Taurus (21 April to 20 May)
Fickle Mercury’s retrograde motion in your shared money zone from 24 November could create delays with debt repayments. Use this period to discuss the finer details of pooled resources before the loan shark dismembers your right arm and sets fire to your garage. Avoid borrowing from this meathead; it’s far better to be broke and have both arms intact than to be packed as bite-size chunks in the deep freezer at Pyrmont Fish Market. You will be glad to know that the Full Moon in Taurus on 11 November brings abundance. Note the date – 11/11/11 – this is a perfect time to meditate if you want to attract the good things in life like Thai fish cakes with pickled cucumber. Mmmmmm …
Taurus essential viewing: La Grande Bouffe (1973)

Gemini (21 May to 20 June)
Your primary relationship needs reworking this month, Gemini. You question the higher purpose of your union, and conclude that it isn’t all about sex and money. Speaking of dosh, Pluto triggers your financial zone on 22 November, and you win eight bucks on the Instant Scratchies. Your accountant advises on the best way to invest this windfall as your eyes glaze over and you are teleported to another solar system. Venus makes a trip to your love zone between 3 and 27 November. This planet prefers pleasure rather than practicality, so do the deed in the Hyatt Regency penthouse for a change. The AV Jennings display home in Castle Hill is getting kinda boring as a shag den.
Gemini essential viewing: The Crying Game (1992)

Cancer (21 June to 20 July)
Health and well being are the focus this month, Cancer. You imagine that you have a plethora of ailments that can only distress the characters of Oliver Twist and Bleak House. Your period of hypochondria lasts until 22 November, when the Sun provides power to boost your immune system. Venus triggers your relationship sector from 27 November. You will have opportunities to increase the amount of lovin’ you get in your life now, so don’t blow it by being an insipid sod. You will be at your most attractive under this transit, and are mistaken for a famous nobody with an eating disorder.
Cancer essential viewing: Cries and Whispers (1972)

Leo (21 July to 21 August)
This month an adventurous spirit takes you into unexplored territories like the Afro tropic eco-zone; terrain that David Attenborough may have covered during the Ice Age. Mars keeps you keen and mean until 12 November. Peeps find you too hot to handle under this transit. Ouch! Venus triggers your creativity zone between 3 and 27 November. Relaxing is the key to creative inspiration, so start zine-ing in your undies from the comfort of a banana chair while sipping pina coladas and sculling absinthe. After getting shit-faced on cheap cocktails and grande wormwood, the hooey-humbug-hokum of your hand drawings evolves into a respectable zine that you’re too legless to photocopy at Officeworks. Damn the Green Fairy.
Leo essential viewing: Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Virgo (22 August to 22 September)
Virgo, this month you will be sensitive to the moods of your ruling planet, Mercury. He spends three weeks retrograde each year, giving you a few chances to hit pause and chill out. Expect this to happen after 24 November. Remove your Duracell batteries and take a breather from polishing the skirting boards and shredding your old bank statements. Venus triggers your home zone between 3 and 27 November, propelling you to bring love into your Spanish villa from sleazy singles bars and dodgy internet chat rooms. Fortunately, the onslaught of crabs and scabies become too much for your anal-retentive ways that you quickly revert to Virgo type by the end of the month. Sterilised bed sheets rock!
Virgo essential viewing: Desk Set (1957)

Libra (23 September to 23 October)
Libra, you will be absolutely fabulous this month when your ability to express yourself blossoms between 3 and 27 November. Librans love latching onto a cool social scene, and this transit brings opportunities to get out there and crash as many drag balls as you can handle. Confident Mars helps you win fans until 12 November, and like Groucho Marx, you find yourself joining clubs that you secretly don’t want to be part of. Never mind. Watch Paris Is Burning for fashion and make up tips, and transform yourself into the human mirror ball. You will make Venus Xtravaganza look like a fishmonger.
Libra essential viewing: Paris Is Burning (1990)

Scorpio (24 October to 22 November)
Any positive health habits you implemented at the beginning of the year will pay off now. All that munching on wheat grass and guzzling of chlorophyll has your body functioning like a V8 engine on amphetamines.  Mars in your career sector this month makes it an ideal time to jump-start your career as a personal trainer, swimsuit model, or porn star. Venus arouses your need for beautiful things like Murano glass and Julio Iglesias between 3 and 27 November. Your eye is sharper than usual for spotting useless, overpriced crap as found in the boutique shops of Paddington and the Queen Victoria Building. You are on a quest under this transit to sought and purchase a Matt Blatt replica Kouichi Okamoto liquid wall lamp (whatever the hell that is) at any cost.
Scorpio essential viewing: Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Sagittarius (23 November to 22 December)
Sagittarius, you will flirt madly with anything that moves between 3 and 27 November when Venus joins your sign. Accept and cherish your ‘unique’ beauty because nobody else will. Believing that Roman noses and halitosis are making a comeback will go a long way to improving your sense of self-worth. As you get into the groove of loving who you are with the aid of sex toys, it becomes easier to improve the quality of romantic relationships with peeps (let’s not get into details). You will experience foot in mouth disease when Mercury retrogrades on 24 November, and you appear on a sexy episode of Crownies where you are charged with slander while wearing a figure-hugging garment and matching sling backs. The law maybe an ass, but at least yours is toned and firm. She’s lookin’ good, Vern.
Sagittarius essential viewing: Easy Rider (1969)

Capricorn (23 December to 20 January)
Adventurous Mars arouses your restless spirit from 12 November, kick starting one of the strongest travel phases in 2011 for you Sea Goats. Taking the road less travelled actually helps you move forward without wearing a suit and tie from Roger David. Physical adventures like crocodile wrestling in Wangi Falls appeal to you now, so go for it! This is an ideal period for accumulating life experience, rather than material achievement, without wearing a suit and tie from Roger David. I can’t stress that enough.
Capricorn essential viewing: Citizen Kane (1941)

Aquarius (21 January to 17 February)
Your work life is in focus under the influence of the Sun until 24 November. You will impress your boss with your nauseating sycophantic ways, you grovelling git, you. Leonard Cohen was wrong: not everyone wants a box of chocolates and a long stemmed rose. Not even middle management. Venus transits your house of Facebook and Twitter between 3 and 27 November, so make your cyber friendships top priority before blabbermouth Mercury gets in on the act on 24 November and does a social networking back flip, exposing you for the total dick you truly are.
Aquarius essential viewing: The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)

Pisces (18 February to 20 March)
Jerky Mercury stands still in your career sector at the end of the month, prompting you to postpone job hunting until mid-December when you receive support from the Universe to resume writing your resume. Your sexual perversions are under the spotlight from 12 November. Use this transit to spice up your banal love life by letting Mars show you the way. If you are a solo flying Piscean who has given up on romance, expect your luck to change this month. Face it; if a fat bogan like Shane Warne can pull a hot WAG like Elizabeth Hurley, there’s hope for the rest of us.
Pisces essential viewing: The Seventh Seal (1957)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Astro Shite for October 2011

Aries (21 March to 20 April)
The saying ‘money talks, bullshit walks’ will apply to you this month, Aries. Peeps are sick of seeing your head disappear up your arse every time you open your gob, so you give them your word and mean it, when airhead Mercury teams with sensible Saturn on 17 October. This transit highlights how important reliability is in relationships. The Full Moon in your sign on 12 October shifts the focus away from you and onto others. Selfish individualism maybe fashionable in the way nude planking and gluten-free cupcakes are, but it’s also one of the most unattractive human qualities. Show the world that you are more than a walking-talking Versace advert by being of service to others.
Compatible with: Leo, Sagittarius

Taurus (21 April to 20 May)
Venus in your relationship zone between 10 October and 3 November brings out your unbearably embarrassing horny side. This planet is about attraction, so now is a good time to get your lips pierced and your eyebrows professionally shaped Count Dracula style. Mercury triggers your relationship sector from 14 October, making communication with your hot-other-half painless. Taking time to talk about your private parts helps deepen the bond between you. The New Moon in your relationship sector on 27 October asks you to probe the depths of your soul and face your fears, that is, confront that sordid zine dude who sleazes around the swap meets you frequent, to going drinking schooners of blood together.
Compatible with: Virgo, Capricorn

Gemini (21 May to 20 June)
Gemini, this month you crave spiritual connection, especially between 24 and 31 October. You tire of listening to Yanni Live at the Acropolis on constant rotation, so you make plans to go to the real Acropolis for some divine Hellenic intervention and dolma. You just can’t get a decent plate of stuffed vine leaves back home. Responsibility to children surfaces between 14 and 17 October, when you are conned into reading Where’s Wally to a group of snotty-faced school kids at your local library, wishing that you were where Wally is, wherever that is.
Compatible with: Libra, Aquarius

Cancer (21 June to 20 July)
The period between 24 October and 22 November is your most creative this year, Cancer. You will drum up the confidence to seek bolder avenues to promote those scratch ‘n’ sniff boards you’ve been working on. Forgo the one that stinks of Parmesan cheese; it really does reek of vomit. Mercury in your fifth house from 14 October helps liven up your serious side and gets you living from the heart in a puerile, pubescent way. This month, discard the working drone persona and believe in the power of playtime.
Compatible with: Scorpio, Pisces

Leo (21 July to 21 August)
The Sun in your home sector from 24 October sees you getting creative with the rented premises you share with other boneheads. Splurge on some fluro light bulbs and grind them into the fibro walls in cosmic patterns just for the hell of it. Venus in this sector of the chart helps you adopt a compromising attitude towards domestic concerns, making your commitment to a dishwashing roster rather enjoyable. Mercury triggers this space from 14 October, prompting the Mrs Nick Cave obsession of rearranging furniture to make the most of physical space. Yes folks, you read it here first: the Bad Seed is married to a flake.
Compatible with: Sagittarius, Aries

Virgo (22 August to 22 September)
Mercury in your third house of communication from 14 October will bring you a fertile zine-making phase. You will be at your most productive in a DIY sense at this time. This is exacerbated by the New Moon in Scorpio on 27 October. Under this transit, you will create the first silent-but-deadly zine, where your penetrating thoughts and ideas on sex, death, and the occult are communicated without writing anything down. This makes many Scorpio zinesters jealous. This month sees Virgo enjoying talents that our scorpion friends think are theirs by divine right. What tossers.
Compatible with: Capricorn, Taurus

Libra (23 September to 23 October)
If there is one thing that Librans love more than themselves in this life, it’s the moooooolah baby. This month sees your financial fetish soaring to the next level when Venus, Mercury and the Sun occupy your cash sector between 10 October and 22 November. Mercury’s influence throughout October helps you swindle your Centrelink interview in a notable fashion worthy of an Academy Award. The New Moon of 27 October is a great time to quit bludging and get a job pushing paper, coz that’s a goddamn meaningful and productive way to spend your days, yeah!
Compatible with: Aquarius, Gemini

Scorpio (24 October to 22 November)
This month sees the continuation of the love theme that has flavoured most of 2011 for you sexy Scorpio fiends. Jupiter trines Pluto on 24 October, helping you grow and transform like a pus-filled abscess on your arse. You make romantic relationship choices based on your deepest beliefs, which are depraved and illegal, and will probably get you arrested before the year is out. Nevertheless, you see the glass half full in relation to love this month, which is a refreshing change from your usual bitchy, bleating, boring self.
Compatible with: Pisces, Cancer

Sagittarius (23 November to 22 December)
Key dates for socialising Sagittarians this month are 14 and 17 October, so get your gold lame straight jacket dry-cleaned and ready for events occurring on or around these dates. It will make the cops’ job more efficient when they’re ramming your booze-filled carcass into the back of the paddy wagon. Devote some time to exploring the mysteries of life this month. Mercury in your spirituality zone from 14 October has you yearning for new age books with titles like Receive the Divine by Closing Your Legs and Opening Your Third Eye, although I’m sure that bestseller has been out of print for some time.
Compatible with: Aries, Leo

Capricorn (23 December to 20 January)
Capricorn, you will be at your most social this month, when Venus, Mercury and the Sun trigger your friendship sector. Loyalty is one of the most important qualities you look for in friends. You prefer a small, close group of peeps with whom you stay in touch with over the course of your life, as opposed to superficially collecting Facebook friends who clog your news feed with updates of when and where they farted, and how it made it to News of the World despite the phone hacking scandal. You develop a deep curiosity about your mates’ lives under Mercury’s influence from 14 October. Your friends appreciate your interest, but you are just playing the dutiful, reliable Sea Goat with a bit of inquisitiveness thrown in.
Compatible with: Taurus, Virgo

Aquarius (21 January to 17 February)
October is a quiet month, cosmically, for most Aquarians. This puts a dent in your social calendar, as most Water Bearers need to be where the action is. You will have to wait until the end of the month for any significant astrological encounters to occur. The New Moon in your public sector on 27 October has your wide-angle-lens-butt back on the cover of Hollywood Celebrity Bogans magazine, which infuriates Bum Queen, Kim Kardashian, and her Scorpio-control-freak-of-a-mother, Kris Jenner, but them’s the breaks, kiddo.
Compatible with: Gemini, Libra

Pisces (18 February to 20 March)
Pisces, get ready for action this month. Your most adventurous period this year runs from 14 October to 24 November when Mercury, Venus, and the Sun energise your travel sector. You crave meaningful experiences under this transit, and end up on a rooftop on the Rooftop of the World - Tibet. The view is more impressive than the one of the footy oval from your Aunt Beryl’s on-suite bathroom in Wangaratta, and that’s saying something. Mercury helps you broaden your mind this month; you acquire concrete evidence of how wonderful, diverse, complex, and tragic the world really is. It beats going to Budgewoi for your Christmas holidays.
Compatible with: Cancer, Scorpio

Monday, August 1, 2011

Join the Club: What’s the Deal with Rock Stars Dying at Age 27?

It’s fitting that I should revisit moments of the first issue of my zine, Astrobabble, in the light of Amy Winehouse’s death on 23 July 2011.

For those of you lucky enough to score yourselves that ripper first issue, you will recall that I banged on about the Progressed Lunar Return at age 27, coupled with Neptune completing one third of its orbit around the horoscope. There is an emotional and spiritual preamble during this time that prepares us for the work of the Saturn Return at approximately age 29. How we handle this lead-in depends on our development in the world up to this point. Young luminaries such as Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse rarely had the opportunity to develop spiritually and emotionally, having morphed into archetypes and losing their individuality to the collective in a blatantly open manner.

The Progressed Lunar Return phase can expose us in a way that can be painful since it necessitates brutal honesty of who we are as emotional and spiritual beings. In the case of Winehouse, transiting Chiron squaring her natal Chiron would have exacerbated this issue, reopening old wounds. Winehouse had a Virgo Sun. Those born with either a Virgo or a Pisces signature struggle with the polarity of addiction (Pisces) versus recovery (Virgo), an issue that needs addressing and rebalancing in this incarnation. There is rarely equilibrium for these souls.

Both Kurt Cobain (Pisces Sun) and Amy Winehouse (Virgo Sun) were casualties of the dying Age of Pisces. They publically displayed symptoms of collective disease: drug abuse, depression, anxiety, and psychosomatic illness. Their Progressed Lunar Returns intensified their susceptibility to environmental disorders in the current, unstable transition from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius.

Having said all this, there is great potential for growth and transformation if we manage the Progressed Lunar Return adequately, but we must be willing to open ourselves to new possibilities of awareness. It’s unfortunate that the lesson arrived too late for some. May they Rest In Pieces.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Astrobabble Cover Art

My first blog entry for Astrobabylon commends my creative partner, Cate Riley, and her execution of cult leader, Charles Manson, for the latest cover of Astrobabble. Cate designed the cover below for issue three, incorporating the issue’s number five theme and main article concerning American actor and artist, Dennis Hopper.

Cate sent me the image electronically via Facebook. When I first opened it, I experienced one of those rare moments of gratitude; of truly realising how lucky I am to have a talented somebody contributing to my baby. It’s not something I take for granted.

Check out Cate's striking website at to see what her and husband, Rob, are doing for Canberra (and the rest of Oz) design-wise. It's worth a sticky beak.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Continuing the theme of My Zine Man in Japan (that is, happily flogging Gianni Simone’s many zine projects), this week I review his other self publishing nugget, Kairan (issues 14 and 15) which covers the history of photocopier art, most commonly known amongst zinesters as xerography.

Issue 14: Xerography 1938 – 2008, Vol. 1 is, more or less, a reproduction of an article, Copy Art: Some Preliminary Notes on Technique, by Reed Altemus. The issue opens with a forward by Gianni bemoaning the fact that the zinester’s right to mess with machines has been boycotted by technology. Older photocopiers possessed shortcomings which worked to the zinester’s advantage when experimenting with xerography. The new generation of copiers, such as those found in Officeworks, doesn’t allow the zinester to play the same ‘tricks’. It’s these ‘tricks’ which Altemus covers in his article. And what an education in copy art techniques it is.

Altemus covers methods such as collage, degeneration, overprinting, and one that I will be experimenting with for the next cover of Astrobabble, copy motion. This is the (seemingly) simple technique of moving material to be copied during the scanning process to create a motion effect. Kairan is littered with examples of copy motion and other techniques by various copier artists and zinesters. Altemus praises Belgian born copy artist, Lieve Prins, as being one of the pioneers of copy art. Check out her handy work at Impressive stuff.

Issue 15: Xerography 1938 – 2008, Vol. 2 contains articles by John A Walker, Klaus Urbons, and John Held Jr who cover the historical, social, and technical aspects of copier and mail art. Like issue 14, it has a generous supply of copy art examples. I find both issues educational and overwhelming. I now realise that the hard work is ahead of me.

Kairan can be purchased or traded by contacting Gianni through his blogs Gloomy Sundays at and A Man Called Horse at

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Call and Response

A parcel arrived from Japan a few days ago, sent by the zine maestro, Gianni Simone, containing some of his exceptional zines, one of them being Call and Response. The zines were accompanied by a gracious letter written in Gianni’s distinctive handwriting (which resembles Japanese ideographic characters to my eyes). Veteran zinesters never fail to amaze me with their proficient use of stationery, printed media, and innovative ideas when it comes to beautifying snail mail. The most ingenious I get is sticking cheap Betty Boop stickers randomly onto drab manila envelopes for my zine mail out. I’m not exactly letting my freak flag fly in the mail art department, but I’m working on it.

Issue four of Call and Response is a (mostly) black and white photocopied collaborative zine. The theme is Windows (as in the peep holes in buildings not the computer operating system). The stories vary in quality and are written by a clutch of zinesters in various stages of their self publishing journey. They attack the theme from different and fascinating angles; no two stories are alike.

Swedish contributor Mikael X Eriksson records some fine insights in his Libraries and Churches Saved My Life piece. He says:

‘there are two places where you can always sit in peace without having to spend any money: libraries and churches.'

It got me thinking about the astrological significance of what he said.

In the birth chart, libraries and churches are institutions traditionally ruled by the twelfth house of what is hidden from the mundane world. The institutions represented by this sector of the chart are not established for profiteering; they are organisations set up to shelter and protect the vulnerable (hostels and halfway houses); heal the sick (hospitals); reform the misfit (prison); educate the curious (universities and libraries); and provide solace to the seeker (churches). Eriksson states that he had a drinking problem and then lived rough. Libraries and churches played a significant part in his survival during this phase. The twelfth house demands that you confront your demons and take responsibility for your recovery within the parameters of these institutions. I think that Eriksson’s piece represents the twelfth house anecdote completely.

He ends his story experiencing true twelfth house divine home sickness:

'I’ve had many addresses in many cities. Never a place to call my home. I’ve come to understand that when I miss home, I miss a place inside myself. A place I’ve never lived in. A place I constantly long for and will probably never find.’

Eriksson, my man, I hope you find want what you’re looking for.

Call and Response also contains other gems written by Gianni himself, Andrew Culture, K Frank Jensen, and a couple of Australian journalists/zinesters, Dann Lennard and Helen Vnuk, who write about the view of Harris Park, a suburb in western Sydney,  from their window. The stories are multi-layered, mature, and thoroughly engaging.

To discover more about zine extraordinaire Gianni Simone and his various self publishing projects, check out his blogs Gloomy Sundays at and A Man Called Horse at They are also good insights into Japan’s zine culture.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Prophet

The Prophet is a book of poetic essays by the Lebanese artist, philosopher, and writer Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931). In conception it was to be the first of a trilogy: The Prophet addresses the realities of the human experience such as birth, children, marriage, love, work, pain and death; the second book, The Garden of the Prophet, was to address humankind's relationship to nature; and the third, The Death of the Prophet, would focus on divine union. Gibran was working on The Garden of the Prophet at the time of his death in 1931.

Possibly the original 'self-help' guide, The Prophet is a book I refer to whenever I need solace. Each passage is a jewel of self-contained poetry laced with wisdom. It is as comforting as a well brewed pot of Twinings. Despite the growth of the New Age movement and the barrage of self-improvement books that has accompanied it, nothing quite resembles The Prophet in terms of foresight and philosophy. Many esoteric practitioners have based their psychobabble on Gibran's principles, but most are mediocre imitations of the real deal. The Prophet was written in an era before selfish individualism became an acceptable part of the human condition (was it ever?). The rare quality of selflessness that is virtually non-existent in the new millennium is what streams through the pages of Gibran's words.

For those of you who live in Sydney, The State Library of New South Wales is holding an exhibition of Gibran's artwork and manuscripts until 20 February 2011. The sixty items on display are on loan from The Gibran Museum in Bsharri, North Lebanon (Gibran's birth place). It was euphoric to see the original watercolours and charcoal sketches that compliment the pages of this notable book. Gibran's charcoal drawings in particular are mesmerising - the eyes of his subjects are piercing, particularly those of Almustafa (frontispiece for The Prophet) as seen below on the copy I bought in an op shop in Portland, Oregon about ten years ago:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Welcome to Astrobabylon

Welcome and Happy New Year!

Today's New Moon and partial Solar Eclipse is the perfect opportunity for me to launch Astrobabylon. Hopefully this moon, situated in the practical sign of Capricorn, will support my plans for making this blog work.

The purpose of Astrobabylon is to compliment my zine Astrobabble: the Zine for Astrology Nerds which I have been creating for two years with the help of my creative partner, Cate Riley. I am a Sydney-based astrologer and Cate is a Canberra-based artist.

My aim with each issue of Astrobabble is to stick to an astrological theme of some sort, hoping that the articles and information on each page connect to each other in some way. I see this zine as a manifestation of my two passions - astrology and pop culture.

As I straddle two opposing Universes - the zine world and astrology - I am ambivalent as to how Astrobabylon should function. I guess the blog will morph organically and take on a life of its own. Initially I was going to back track two years worth of zine work, but that seems unrealistic and exhausting. Instead I will pay credence to Cate, who generously takes time out of her busy schedule to create Astrobabble cover art.

Below is art created by Cate of cult leader Charles Manson for the latest issue. Check out her website fadstudios for more shit-hot art at For copies of Astrobabble (I have created four issues so far), contact me here at Astrobabylon.