Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's the End of the World as We Know It ...

The end of the Mayan Long Count, also known as the 2012 Phenomenon, is synonymous with imminent doom destined to occur on 21 December this year. But before you disappear into your apocalyptic-proof bunker with your stash of non-perishables, I am here to tell you that it isn’t the end of the world. Not yet, anyway.

It’s unlikely that ancient Mayan annals contain apocalyptic predictions. These prophecies are modern fabrications usually generated by the media to create fear and hysteria. The 2012 Phenomenon draws more from the New Age movement and a fascination with esoteric teachings than it does from ancient Mayan culture. The idea that the Mayan Long Count ‘ends’ on 21 December 2012 with disastrous consequences for the world misrepresents Mayan civilisation.

One of the earliest records concerning the calendar’s connection to cataclysmic events involves Christopher Columbus’ voyage in 1502 to the Americas. End-of-the-world predictions were widespread amongst Europeans during the early years of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire, and Columbus believed that his discovery of ‘most distant lands’ was prophesied and would bring about the Apocalypse.

By contrast, the people of ancient Maya were concerned with developing a sophisticated civilisation in the Yucatan and Guatemala, not predicting events for a future world they would not live to see. The Mayans reached their highest state of development during the Classic period (c. 250 to 900 AD) where they established a method of timekeeping called the Long Count, a system more complex than our Western calendar system. The Mayan calendar describes the number of cycles through which Humanity must pass in order to reach certain stages of evolutionary consciousness. The exact timing of the beginning date of the Long Count falls on a day the Sun was on the zenith point, which corresponds to 11 August 3114 BC in the Gregorian calendar. Archaeologists believe that the final date - 21 December 2012 - is based on this solar zenith day.
The end of the Mayan Long Count appears to be astrologically significant because it falls on a Solstice. However, its astrological value lies in its connection to the Uranus-Pluto transit of March 2011, an event which triggered a series of global disruptions such as the uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East, Occupy Wall Street protest movements in the West, the collapse of the Eurozone, and panic over ecological issues such as scarcity of food, water, and oil. Here we have erratic individualism (Uranus in Aries) clashing with the status quo (Pluto in Capricorn). Our individual rights and freedoms, as well as the wellbeing of the planet, are at odds with retaining and protecting capitalist power. This turbulent period in the world’s history will end in 2015, but not before our personal and collective ethics go through the wringer. Expect to see the institutions of mass capitalism weaken as people power gains momentum over the next three years.
This ties in beautifully with the end of the Mayan Long Count where the current cycle finishes with the destruction of outmoded ways of living, and begins with a new cycle called the Fifth World. We can mark the date 21 December 2012 as the beginning of spiritual maturation; the result of a disconnected and dissatisfied society that struggles to find meaningful answers to life’s big questions:
Who am I? What is my purpose? What is the meaning of life?
So how does the 2012 Phenomenon affect the Inner West? What happens this year totally depends on what Inner Westies decide to make of it. It can be a blessing or a curse, depending on our perspective and the actions we take. We can stand still, shrug our shoulders and sigh ‘that’s the way it is’, or we can feel empowered and supported by the Universal forces at work.
I see movements such as Reclaim the Lanes and Reclaim the Streets revitalised and gaining power through repossession of poorly utilised urban spaces in the name of community spirit, creativity, and fun. Support for small businesses and legendary landmarks such as the Annandale Hotel will increase, as locals grasp the importance of preserving these unique gems. There will be a swing away from affluent sectors of the community waging and winning campaigns against desperately needed affordable housing, public transport, and other services. The tables will turn on those lobbying against the creative class, the poor and disabled, multiculturalism, and egalitarianism, ensuring that diversity will always have a home in the Inner West.
All Inner Westies will benefit from Mayan wisdom by integrating their modern lifestyle with a rich spiritual life and a genuine sense of community. After 21 December, older residents in particular will yearn for the traditional values of former working class suburbs like Balmain, Rozelle, and Marrickville. Balmain natives are frustrated by the popular view that the coolest activity their historic neighbourhood has to offer is standing in the queue outside Zumbo’s cake shop! Locals will feel homesick for a time when pubs acted as major social centres that glued the community together, and not the over-priced wine bars and bistros they are now. It will become clear that middle class values perpetuated by the upwardly mobile fail in a working class community enriched by people who choose not to succumb to the live-to-work ethic that prevails in Sydney.

Far from being an overblown catastrophe over nothing, the 2012 Phenomenon can be a time of positive transformation for the Inner West. The various grassroots movements that are emerging globally to fight corporate and government control are sprouting on a micro level in our backyard in a quest to reclaim the community that so many of us love. The Gods of Change are on our side.
Originally published in C!ao magazine, issue #190, 22 June 2012. With thanks and respect.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Astro Shite Christmas 2012 Special

     Aries (21 March to 20 April)
Mercury and Venus enter your ninth house of travel in mid December. Forget about stuffing the turkey or kissing your sweaty uncle under the mistletoe, this year the Gods want you to retreat from the stress and tedium of your usual surroundings to an environment that’s teeming with annoying families and grumpy retirees. Links from Mercury to Uranus mean packing an i-Book full of puzzles and brain games for those empty moments in your hotel room when you can’t afford to drink the contents of the bar fridge.
Aries yuletide pressies: crampons, pocket stunt kite, Swiss army knife

Taurus (21 April to 20 May)
Saturn’s visit to your love zone continues this month. You get wise about certain relationships that have run their course, while taking necessary steps to develop and deepen those that nourish you. Naturally, this is all based on the quality of gifts you receive on 25 December. Pay particular attention to the funkiness of the Christmas cards and the wrapping paper’s hip factor – all critical stuff to the cultivated Bull.
Taurus yuletide pressies: Pinot Noir, handmade chocolates, quality fabrics

Gemini (21 May to 20 June)
With the New Moon, Mercury, and Venus occupying your house of relationships on 13 December, set aside a few minutes each day in mid December to focus on your romantic wishes, and then ask Santa to put them in your Christmas stockings while you’re wearing them. This is a far more successful method of meeting potential lovers than stalking online dating sites crammed with lonely losers who are ten kilos heavier and fifteen years older than their mug shots indicate.
Gemini yuletide pressies: zines, digital chess board, Kindle

Cancer (21 June to 20 July)
The year ends as it began with the Full Moon in Cancer. The approaching Full Moon on 28 December is activated by Pluto, triggering a cycle of transformation that will carry you into the New Year. ‘Purge and purify’ is your New Year’s resolution, as you begin a detox program consisting of dandelion root, fennel, and raisins. You’ll suffer a severe case of the herbal squirts throughout the post-festive season but ‘better out than in’ which, apart from being Shrek’s catchphrase, is an archetypal Pluto obsession.
Cancer yuletide pressies: sterling silver jewellery, food hamper, cookbooks

Leo (21 July to 21 August)
Mars enters your relationship sector on 26 December. Your love life takes on operatic proportions, as close encounters with others are coloured by conflict, resolutions, and multiple wardrobe changes. You’ll be at your most intense under the Sun-Pluto link on 31 December, so pour into the body-shaping undergarments for that streamlined Dita Von Teese look. Wellbeing rituals need to be implemented after the office Christmas party where too many Bacardi Breezers mixed with cheese and prosciutto puffs race straight to your hips and thighs.
Leo yuletide pressies: Dom Perignon, Chanel No.5, skin care products

Virgo (22 August to 22 September)
Despite having completed the Christmas shopping in July, the New Moon in your domestic sector on 13 December has you running around for last minute festive clobber such as pancetta wrapped shoulder joints and petrified finger food. De-lish! To add to the horror known as Christmas Day, you’ll be planting an angel-dusted macaron tree in the backyard as part of some peculiar half-pagan/half-Zumbo ritual you saw in a documentary on Foxtel.
Virgo yuletide pressies: stationery, hospital-grade bed linen, woodworking tools

Libra (23 September to 23 October)
This has been a trying year for Libra, what with Saturn cramping your style and all that. Breathe easy; that tiresome stuff is behind you. Thank the planets for aligning during the Click Frenzy where you emerged from the other side alive and armed with bargains. Loved ones will be impressed by the quality and quantity of your giving this Christmas.
Libra yuletide pressies: Murano glass, shopping vouchers, postmodern art 

Scorpio (24 October to 22 November) 
The theme of ‘emergence’ continues through Christmas into the New Year, with Saturn and the North Node giving you grief even on public holidays. Remind yourself that it’s part of your metamorphous. Saturn aligns with Pluto on 26 December, helping transform the way you communicate. You’ll be firm with your word and expect others to be the same. Develop the power of persuasion on Boxing Day when everyone is too hung-over to argue.
Scorpio yuletide pressies:
Crowley Thoth tarot deck, leather g-string, nipple clamps

Sagittarius (23 November to 22 December)
The message of the New Moon in your sign on 13 December is hope. Yep, that’s the kind of present you’ll be receiving this year, mate. You’ll experience a mental breakdown when Mercury aligns with Uranus and you fail to find parking at Aldi. Nevertheless, the Universe ups the x factor with a Venus transit and you enhance your appearance by growing a moustache despite the sorry end of Movember in November.
Sagittarius yuletide pressies: solar wind up radio, compass, collapsible shovel

Capricorn (23 December to 20 January)
The Full Moon on 28 December shines the celestial spotlight on relationships. Pluto aligns with the Sun and opposes the Moon, urging you to swap poor habits with healthy ones once the festivities end. Set clear boundaries. Eliminate toxic peeps and fatty foods in the New Year as part of your cosmic colonic irrigation plan. Saturn stabilises the transformative effects of Pluto on Boxing Day by helping you connect with support groups like AA, NA, OA, OMG, LOL, and WTF.
Capricorn yuletide pressies: pipe, slippers, coffee grinder

Aquarius (21 January to 17 February)
Mars enters Aquarius on 26 December. You are ready to leap into life like an emancipated elf after surviving Christmas day with the relo’s. Be prepared for summer celebrations like Bogans’ Day Out and Not Tonight Darling I’ve Got My Pyramid Rock Festival, where you’ll be in your element relishing the role of fest whore while moshing ‘n’ sploshing with the great unwashed.
Aquarius yuletide pressies: video games, sat nav, Brian Eno anthology

Pisces (18 February to 20 March)
Mars enters your spirituality sector this month. Under this transit you will look back at 2012 and reflect on what a total loser you’ve been. The tax office could catch up with you, so plan to enjoy a white Christmas in the Arctic Circle. You may experience insomnia thanks to the midnight sun, but try to enjoy an active dreaming life and allow your imagination to run free. You will determine which goals feel right to pursue in 2013 as a result. Good luck and Merry Christmas.
Pisces yuletide pressies: mood ring, aromatherapy oil, cotton wick candles

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Astro Shite for November 2012

Aries (21 March to 20 April)
You can achieve a lot professionally when Pluto and Mars merge on 17 November, propelling you to express your energy in a focused but overbearing manner. Like those crazy eurodance dudes Snap! you got the power and you ain’t afraid to use it. You spin the peeps right round on 28 November with your determination to win. Travel warnings come courtesy of the Mercury retrograde between 4 and 14 November and Channel Nine’s Tracy Grimshaw, who forewarns that any area outside Sydney’s North Shore is a war zone occupied by plebs with venereal warts.
Aries astrologer extraordinaire: Alan Oken (USA)
Taurus (21 April to 20 May)
The first in a series of relationship eclipses occurs on 14 November. Enhance your prospects for getting laid by mooning during the New Moon-North Node eclipse. Lovers will have a significant impact on your life direction, so avoid the paramours on the road to Humpybong. Venus and Saturn link on 27 November. Grow up and learn to make lasting relationship commitments. Mars aligns with Pluto on 28 November, making your travel dreams to Yorkeys Knob a reality.
Taurus astrologer extraordinaire: John Frawley (UK)

Gemini (21 May to 20 June)
With Mars in your money sector from 17 November, you’re in a position to tackle arrears without the assistance of Debt Relief. Speaking of your rear, take charge of where you invest your cash on 28 November when Mars aligns with Pluto. The Full Moon eclipse in your sign on 29 November brings out your curious side. Satisfy the cravings of your mind by reading some quality zines to unravel the mystery of the Bogan Prince, although I hear that he’s more of a dick than a prince.
Gemini astrologer extraordinaire: Jim Lewis (USA/Australia)

Cancer (21 June to 20 July)
Mars joins Pluto in your love house from 17 November, arousing the unspoken desire to play Michael Buble downloads while cooking penne pasta with red wine for two. This transit makes you brave ‘n’ bold about honouring your physical needs and asking others to meet them. Your romantic life takes on maximum intensity like Hermes’ ice-cream manwich, fortifying your reputation as the zodiac’s Caramel Rough Nut between the sheets.
Cancer astrologer extraordinaire: Ed Tamplin (Australia)

Leo (21 July to 21 August)
New domestic arrangements come together on 14 November, when the vegan from Uki finally moves on, leaving his body odour in the second bedroom as a memento. Mercury moves backwards in your creativity sector between 4 and 14 November. Expect misunderstandings to arise regarding your fagcore-inspired Casio Learning Keyboard compositions. Be patient, as peeps will eventually ‘get’ your ‘art’ once Mercury moves forward later in the month.
Leo astrologer extraordinaire: Gregory Clare (Australia)

Virgo (22 August to 22 September)
The Full Moon eclipse on 29 November triggers your aspirational careerist side, only to be interrupted by the Mars-Pluto transit in your creativity sector. Playtime comes first under this phase. Devastating news for a Virgo, I know, but the Gods will not allow you to be dreary this month. That’s Kevin Rudd’s gig. Concentrate on activities that involve joining the human race like tequila worm tasting or composting toilets, preferably at the same time.
Virgo astrologer extraordinaire: Liz Greene (UK/Switzerland)

Libra (23 September to 23 October)
Mars and Pluto transit your domestic sector from 17 November. If you’ve outgrown your current home environment, the Universe provides you with new living arrangements without trawling through in your lunch hour. Under Mars, you take on the role of ‘The Boss’ in your household. The defining moment occurs on 28 November when your housemates protest and declare that the only ‘Boss’ they listen to is Bruce Springsteen.
Libra astrologer extraordinaire: Stephen Arroyo (USA)

Scorpio (24 October to 22 November)
The New Moon eclipse aligning with the Node Node hurls you into the future from 14 November. Expect the Universe to drop appropriate events, experiences, and people into your life to shift you forward. Mercury retrogrades through your money house between 4 and 14 November to cook the books with gas and oil, before moving into your sign. Venus joins the all-star line-up in Scorpio on 23 November, activating a formidable dynamism that provides cosmic turbo diesel like a Mitsubishi Pajero. It may all be in a day's work for the eighth sign of the zodiac, but really, how much can a Grizzly Bear?
Scorpio astrologer extraordinaire: Bil Tierney (USA)

Sagittarius (23 November to 22 December)
Mars and Pluto merge in your cash zone from 17 November, providing motivation to get on top of your money or someone with money. The phrase screwing them for all they’re worth takes on new meaning under this transit. The lunar eclipse energises your relationship sector on 29 November. This will be a time of soaring emotions and Kafkaesque-type drama, so be sure to capture it on YouTube. As the Full Moon aligns with Jupiter, your chances of getting it on with some desperate soul are heightened, so ditch the overrun monobrow. Venus and Saturn indicate that this could be lasting love, but not as lasting as laser hair removal.
Sagittarius astrologer extraordinaire: Robert Hand (USA)

Capricorn (23 December to 20 January)
Mars enters your sign on 18 November, marking a phase of growth and achievement. You will be at the peak of your power when Mars and Pluto align on 28 November. You exercise strong self-control as you confidently take calculated risks to shape the life you want. Expect to be in demand at parties and barbeques thrown on or around 14 November, where your RoboCop thighs of steel are well equipped to crack open walnut shells and tins of cocktail weenies.
Capricorn astrologer extraordinaire: Noel Jan Tyl (USA)

Aquarius (21 January to 17 February)
You could be sensitive about friendship issues during the eclipse on 28 November. Gossip and rumours circulate at this time, so be mindful of your words and actions. Mars joins Pluto in your spirituality sector from 17 November. A two-year cycle of action and progress is ending. Your physical energy drops. Recharge by connecting directly with the natural world instead of slouching naked in front of the computer.
Aquarius astrologer extraordinaire: Sue Tompkins (UK)

Pisces (18 February to 20 March)
The New Moon eclipse on 14 November heralds the start of a new cycle in your travel zone, supported by the transits of Mercury and Venus. You become restless and dissatisfied with regular routines. Participate in activities that expand your mind and free your spirit, such as extreme ironing and Base Warehouse jumping. Your buried leadership skills shine under a Mars transit from 17 November. Honesty issues surrounding friendship arise on 28 November. Secrets are exposed, helping you see the truth about those so-called friends.
Pisces astrologer extraordinaire: Nicholas Campion (UK)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Astro Shite for October 2012

Aries (21 March to 20 April)
You’ll have an indication of the structure your love life will take after 5 October, when killjoy Saturn finally leaves the building to join Elvis. Quit fluffing around and get realistic about relationships. The fun times return when Venus calls you on 28 October with promises of pleasure involving party balloons and marshmallow whip. Mars fires up your travel sector from 8 October. You’ll seek extreme sports like storm chasing in Nebraska or Persian waxing in Kabul to break the routine.
Aries colour association: red – audacious, focused, spirited

Taurus (21 April to 20 May)
The sensual Full Moon in Taurus on 30 October helps you get physical with anyone who will have you. Break the modern day habit of living in your head by reconnecting with your body, barnacles ‘n’ all. You’ll be ready for commitment and security when Saturn begins his once-in-thirty year visit to your seventh house, aligning with the Sun and Mercury. Avoid joining the ranks of the unreliable and keep your promises for a change.
Taurus colour association: green – grounding, whole, earthy

Gemini (21 May to 20 June)
The pace of romance accelerates when Mars enters your relationship sector on 8 October. ‘Treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen’ is your motto this month, as you morph into the modern day Casanova and break a few hearts. Saturn wraps up his once-in-thirty year visit to your creativity zone on 5 October. If you haven’t made an effort to develop your creative side, begin it now. Under Saturn’s influence, you’re developing skills to support yourself in the future. This includes zine-making skills, although I doubt that will pay the rent on your love den.
Gemini colour association: yellow – cerebral, inquiring, unreserved

Cancer (21 June to 20 July)
There’ll be some serious zine making occurring under Saturn and Mercury’s influence from the first week of October. Saturn loves tangible goals, so aim for a two-year plan to develop your craft and establish yourself as the DIY extraordinaire. You’ll ascertain what your artistic strengths are, and where to direct your energy. Venus and Mercury team up at the end of the month to transform your home into a safe and creative environment, ripe for some old school copy-and-paste ventures.
Cancer colour association: silver – reflective, connecting, traditional

Leo (21 July to 21 August)
The Sun-Saturn merger on 26 October compels you to be realistic about your domestic situation. Your predicament is more Desperate Housewives than Leave it to Beaver. Learn to set limits with housemates. Mars creates fire in your belly after 8 October, resulting in random moments of anal acoustics. How embarrassment! The positive side of this transit is that you get competitive about zine-making and nominate yourself for the Golden Stapler Awards 146, 895 times. You then get your friends to nominate you 283, 945 times. Oooooh, was that harsh? Don’t mind me; I’m just forecasting like an astrological dick.
Leo colour association: gold – bold, opulent, warm

Virgo (22 August to 22 September)
Venus moves into your sign on 4 October, producing a challenging aspect to Mars. Watch the passive-aggressive streak; peeps already think you’re mental. Your financial empire building should be completed by 5 October when Saturn leaves your money house for your communication sector. Be mindful of unconscious body language. What you don’t say will speak louder than words. Mars literally lights up your home environment on 8 October, when the deep fat fryer catches fire and burns the house down. Damn those deep-fried-crispy-fried-deep-deep-deep-fried-fat-thinga-ma-jigs.
Virgo colour association: white – purifying, emetic, healing

Libra (23 September to 23 October)
The good news is that Saturn leaves your sign on 5 October. Your days of responsibility are over, and you can go back to being the frivolous imbecile you naturally are. A new cycle regarding money begins on 6 October. Cut back on spending and put together a sensible financial plan if you can drag yourself away from Etsy. The New Moon in Libra on 15 October indicates new romantic beginnings of the New Romantic kind. Peeps are drawn to your vintage Flock of Seagulls look. Nice. An adventurous link from Mars to Uranus advises that now is not the time to be vanilla with your lover. No one ever got laid being vanilla, except Vanilla Ice, once or twice during the 90s when Madonna had him by the gonads. Poor bastard.
Libra colour association: pink – charming, polished, agile

Scorpio (24 October to 22 November)
Say goodbye to the good times, Scorpio. Dead-beat Saturn enters your sign on 5 October, ordering you to grow up, cut your hair, and get a job. This is the start of a two-year cycle of growth, maturity, and tax returns. Saturn visits your sign every thirty years, making late 2012 and all of 2013 significant. Be honest about what isn’t working in your life. Does matching a yellow business tie with that pink puffball shirt and green tennis shorts work as a fashion statement? And is this the right look for your outings to The Hellfire Club? Mars ignites your money sector from 8 October. The Gods beg you to go shopping for respectable bondage garments before the doors to the underworld close on you out of sheer revulsion.
Scorpio colour association: black – concealing, enigmatic, expunging

Sagittarius (23 November to 22 December)
Saturn completes restructuring your hip social network on 5 October, after an occupancy that dates back to November 2009. Rest assured that all dags, Philistines, and Liberal voters follow Saturn into your twelfth house of remoteness where they evaporate. Mars occupies your sign for most of the month. Your trademark recklessness is heightened, so try taking a step back and breathing for a change, before plunging into a course of action.
Sagittarius colour association: purple – imperial, voluminous, masterful

Capricorn (23 December to 20 January)
Saturn enters your group sector for the first time in 29 years on 5 October. You take up leadership roles for causes that involve the community, charities, or environmental concerns, but you’ll be assertive and say ‘no’ to events that don’t interest you. Your spiritual side becomes important when Mars rejuvenates your twelfth house from 8 October. Turn off the telly and get into the corpse position. This may shock your loved ones into calling the cops, but at least you’re tuning in to your inner world while they’re outlining your body with chalk.
Capricorn colour association: brown – loyal, protective, deterring

Aquarius (21 January to 17 February)
Saturn triggers your career zone on 5 October. Examine which professional limits are necessary and which are fear-based. Mars revives your social scene from 8 October. Attend to unfinished business concerning a friend. Your leadership skills are renewed under a Mars transit, so organise extreme group activities, like Tough Mudder, to blast friends out of their comfort zone in the most severe way possible.
Aquarius colour association: turquoise – innovative, open, experimental

Pisces (18 February to 20 March)
You become passionate about your work when Mars invigorates your career sector from 8 October. Grow some balls and follow a career path that is meaningful to you. Saturn starts a two-year passage through your education zone on 5 October. Mercury joins him on 6 October. Both planets form favourable links to your Sun, indicating a preference for teaching, writing, and research. Venus enters your relationship house on 4 October, generating a messy, romantic, and dramatic phase that would make Lord Byron blush.
Pisces colour association: aquamarine – altruistic, redeeming, pensive

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bizarrism #12 & Kairan #17

In the midst of the zine tsunami that hit my letterbox recently were copies of the ever-informative Kairan #17, and Bizarrism #12, which looked like it was ironed with a steam press board. I don’t want to bang on about Bizarrism too much, as it's reviewed and commended by just about anyone who has read a zine, so my appraisal would be pointless. But what I do want to say is that I love Bizarrism’s primitiveness. In an era where zines don’t really look like zines anymore, it comforts me to know that peeps are still making zines that look like they’re photocopied at work during a weak moment or two.

When I think of zines, I think of Gianni Simone’s output, most notably Kairan, Orga{ni}sm, and Call & Response. It’s a pleasant surprise to receive material from Gianni because he sends stuff randomly without notice. Moreover, his work broadens my (still) relatively narrow DIY horizons.

Kairan #17 is devoted to mail art chains. I’m ignorant of artistic postal chains, although I occasionally catch glimpses of such artwork on someone’s blog or a social networking site. Through Kairan #17, I shake hands with mail art guru Ray Johnson and his postal activities dubbed The New York Correspondence School, an add-and-pass-on postal system that mutated into an international network in the early 1960s. As it is with zine culture, the communal underpinnings are what make Johnson’s actions noteworthy - his talent for connecting faceless correspondents in a worldwide cooperative undertaking long before the birth of the internet.

I clearly remember chain letters as a teenager in the 1980s. They freaked me out. My Catholic, superstitious upbringing got the better of me, so I burnt every chain letter I touched. I am still coming to terms with the idea of postal chains as arty, benign fun, but can at least appreciate how the system keeps the flow of creativity in motion. Kairan #17 documents the increase in add-and-pass-on activity with mail artists such as Mike Dickau and Ryosuke Cohen leading the way. Far from being the sinister, poorly photocopied letters of my ignorant youth, mail art chain has risen to new levels with the inclusion of photography, digital colour printing, and collective collage. However, the Gothic simplicity of Edward Gorey’s illustrated envelopes appeals to me the most:
It’s a good thing Gianni got the chance to produce Kairan #17 with his collaborator, Vittore Baroni, amidst last year’s earthquake and nuclear accident in his homeland of Japan, and through the existential crisis that comes with being flesh, blood, and spirit. I hear the man has only one or two issues of Kairan left in him, ending a run that started in 1997. Surely not, Mr Simone!

Gianni's excellent blog: Gloomy Sundays

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Astro Shite for August 2012

Aries (21 March to 20 April)
Venus’ influence from 7 August to 6 September helps sweeten family relationships by dropping a lethal combo of arsenic and Sugarine into their cinnamon-infused skinny lattes. That should keep the relos off your back for the duration of the transit. The North Node activates your travel sector until 30 August. Destiny and soul purpose are themes for this month. The quest to find your spiritual home deepens, as you don a Zena Warrior Princess outfit from Basement Warehouse and prepare for some serious intrepid globetrotting.
Aries age association: 0 – 7 the age of singularity

Taurus (21 April to 20 May)
This month you will have to exercise some of that classic Taurean patience, and wait until 23 August for Mars to enter your love zone. Even Phil Collins can’t hurry love, and he should know. The North Node visits this section of the chart on 30 August to stay for eighteen months. Your relationships will take on a fated quality as you recognise your paramours from previous lives. Wax your jugs and push back your cuticles coz the hot lovers of yesteryear are back to nudge you stubborn bulls in life changing directions.
Taurus age association: 7 - 14 the age of innocence

Gemini (21 May to 20 June)
Mercury’s retrograde motion in the first week of August occurs in your ruling third house of communication. A little less conversation and a lot more action are needed from you chattering twins. The period after 8 August represents new beginnings. Venus will help revamp your tired, shabby, I’ve-been-scrubbing-the-toilet look to a sexy, sultry, I’ve-been-airbrushed-in-Photoshop image. The fated North Node travels through your seventh house of relationships until 30 August. Mars aligns with Saturn on 15 August. You will be taking lessons in love from the Universe, which will be tricky as know-it-all Gemini think they know-it-all.
Gemini age association: 14 - 21 the teen age

Cancer (21 June to 20 July)
This is the month for self-loving as Venus enters your sign on 8 August. Venus in Cancer enjoys pampering, so book for a complete overhaul at your beautician/surgeon/butcher/wrecker and watch the external synchronise with the internal. Mars forms a favourable aspect with the Full Moon on 31 August to lift you to a higher ground with the help of Stevie Wonder and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Explore philosophies that inspire you through classic titles like: My Motherboard, Myself; I’m Dysfunctional, You’re Dysfunctional; and Life’s Just Not That Into You. This transit is about accepting that you’re boring but making it work for you.
Cancer age association: 21 - 28 the age of marriage

Leo (21 July to 21 August)
The New Moon in your sign on 18 August spells seed planting time, so get down ‘n’ dirty in the Garden of Paradise and bite the forbidden apple. It worked for Steve Jobs. A square from Venus to Uranus shows temporary separations from loved ones. This isn’t surprising as domestic agriculture can be addictive. You are called to take on leadership in family disputes when Mars energises your fourth house from 23 August. Venus triggers your spirituality zone on 7 August. Power meditation sessions held under this transit attract hippies, crusties, and hair scrunchies to your energy field.
Leo age association: 28 - 35 the age of parenthood

Virgo (22 August to 22 September)
Virgos will be elated to know that Mars and Saturn align in your financial house on 15 August. You get *serious* about money under this transit, and that turns you on. Venus energises your social sector from 7 August. Women’s groups interest you during this cycle, and not just as places to pick up. The Full Moon on 31 August in your relationship zone sends the Mystic Instructor who teaches you how to enjoy the present, live creatively, and not worry about the future – all the niggling little issues Virgos finds challenging.
Virgo age association: 35 – 42 the age of bachelor/spinsterhood

Libra (23 September to 23 October)
The period around 15 August when Mars and Saturn align in your sign is an ideal time for putting yourself first. As a planet that channels the ‘me first’ principle, Mars demands that you be less compromising and more authentic. Venus visits your work sector on 7 August for a performance review which wins you a Gold Logie. Hamish Blake gets nervous and you get the corner office with city views. Mars energises your money zone at the end of the month, attracting fiscal wizards like Donald Trump who can help you maximise your finances and sell you a tacky hairpiece at the same time.
Libra age association: 42 - 49 the age of recognition

Scorpio (24 October to 22 November)
Your traditional ruling planet Mars enters Scorpio on 23 August. This once-in-two-year influence is like spinach for Popeye in that it gives you courage and makes your muscles bulge. You’ll be fired up about zine-making. Enthusiasm and desire are powerful motivators and more productive than revenge and homicide. Expect fated events to occur when the North Node enters your sign on 30 August and hangs around until February 2014. This transit will be good, it will be bad, and it will be cringe-worthy like a spaghetti western, but the soundtrack is awesome.
Scorpio age association: 49 - 56 the age of introspection

Sagittarius (23 November to 22 December)
You’ll be viewing your romantic conquests through the rear view mirror of your Monaro when Venus leaves your love sector on 8 August. Mars triggers your spirituality house from 24 August. Forget the debauchery of the past few months and turn your attention inwards. This is a transit for developing intuition. Cutting back on superficial distractions gives you space to reflect and process events of the previous two years, which have gone your way as they usually do.
Sagittarius age association: 56 - 63 the age of spiritual enlightenment

Capricorn (23 December to 20 January)
The North Node enters your eleventh house of friendships at the end of August, drawing you closer to peeps who support you, while creating distance from those who waste your time and drag you down. Connect with new social and professional networks, and get LinkedIn. Special interest groups such as hunters and shooters’ parties, witches’ covens, and Dickheads Anonymous appeal to you now. Venus visits your love sector from 7 August. You will feel warm and fuzzy for most of the month knowing that your powers of attraction have accelerated to Justin Beiber status.
Capricorn age association: 63 - 70 the age of retirement

Aquarius (21 January to 17 February)
The Full Moon in your sign on 2 August highlights likeminded people literally tied together through a shared love of unconventional interests like underwater origami and necrophilia. Links from Jupiter and Uranus create the need to break routine. Mercury moves forward in your love sector after 8 August. The Gods send you a flighty but entertaining mate who bolts like Steve Moneghetti once they realise how dull you are. Mars triggers your career zone from 23 August. You get fired up and fired from your call centre job after leaving obscene noises and a Weird Al Yankovic music sample on your client’s message bank. Very mature.
Aquarius age association: 70 - 77 the age of second childhood

Pisces (18 February to 20 March)
Venus forms a trine to your Sun from 7 August, helping you tune into the beauty present in galleries, museums, ex-railway yards, and other wanky public sites. The Pisces Full Moon on 31 August charges your psychic powers so that you emit energy like a glow stick. You are mistaken for the Incredible Hulk, but that’s cool because divine service is the key to fulfilment this month. You touch the peeps, but not in that way. The North Node enters your ninth house on 30 August where it will stay until February 2014. Academic pursuits begin to shape your destiny in the second half of the year. Pipe dreams involving writing, teaching, or studying become possible. Impressive for a mute superhero who wears torn business pants, eh?
Pisces age association: 77 - 84 the age of death and rebirth