It seems appropriate that this video was just released. Right now, I am dealing with my own dark sides–Endo and Depression.
May 24, 2012 at 11:29 AM (Endometriosis, Life, Music, Relationships, Spirituality, Universe)
Tags: dark side, Endometriosis, Family, Fate, friends, Independent, Kelly Clarkson, Life, Love, music, quest for knowledge, Relationships, soulmates, soundtracks, Spirituality, Universe, videos
Here in Los Angeles, we didn’t get to see the “Ring of Fire.” We were only able to see a partial solar eclipse. However, I did manage to see the “Ring of Fire” on the Slooh.com live feed. I also managed to go outside and watch the partial eclipse using the pinhole trick on cardstock paper.
But as a photographer, I wanted to at least attempt to find a way to take a picture of the Eclipse. So I grabbed my Nikon D300, slapped on a circular polarizer and went out onto my driveway to experiment. Now I am sure I could have figured out a way to get better results if I hadn’t been on pain killers and had been able to stand for more than a few minutes. But what I did was I set my camera to Manual mode. I set it to the smallest aperture (F36 on the current lens), the fastest shutter speed (1/8000) and the slowest ISO (ISO 200). I snapped a few shots and they were just dark. So I switched my camera into Live Mode so I could set up the shot, then turn my eyes away (so I wouldn’t blind myself) and snapped the shot. I shot the picture in Raw and enhanced it slightly in Camera Raw by decreasing the Exposure to limit the halo effect.
The above shot is the end result. It kind of looks like a perfect crescent moon but it is indeed the sun with the moon blocking it. (Though due to my injuries, I got this one picture then went inside to rest and watch the remainder of the show on slooh.com).
Today marks this month’s New Moon, located in Gemini. It is also an Annular Solar Eclipse that is said to produce a ring of fire (is anyone else thinking of Johnny Cash, besides me?).
This ring of fire will only be visible in certain parts of the world. If you are in an area where you won’t be able to see it, thanks to current technology, you can watch it streaming live over the internet. One site covering the footage is Slooh. They will be streaming it live, starting in Japan. Check their site for “showtimes.”
You can also watch the eclipse live from Mt. Fuji thanks to Panasonic. Or watch footage from the Hong Kong Observatory and Space Museum. Or check in with amateur astronomer Scotty Degenhart broadcasting from Nevada’s Area 51.
Here in the west, we are supposed to get the best views of the eclipse, the “Black Moon” and the ring of fire. ”The western United States will enjoy bizarre solar effects that only occur every few decades. In the annularity path, which will be about 147 miles (237 km) wide when hitting our shores, the black moon will stand like a bull’s-eye in front of the sun, its motion through space in-your-face obvious,” said astronomer Bob Berman, who will be a commentator on the Slooh Space Camera webcast. ”In a wider zone that includes most western states, the sun becomes an eerie narrow crescent,” Berman added. “At maximum eclipse, the lighting on the ground will grow strange. Shadows of trees and bushes will contain thousands of tiny crescents, as spaces between leaves become pinhole cameras.” So it should be quite the sight to see.
Now this is all according to astronomers, Astrologers, of course, have a different view of the Solar Eclipse. According to Risa D’Angeles, Astrology columnist for the Santa Cruz Good Times, the new moon as a solar eclipse signifies that something essential in our lives has come to an end.
“Eclipses signify endings and beginnings. Lunar eclipses (at full moons) are times when exterior realities disappear. Solar eclipses are times when an inner subjective reality has completed its cycle. It disappears. These endings (and beginnings) can be subtle or very apparent. Eclipses have a six-month influence—three months before and after the new or full moon. With Sun entering Gemini the entire world begins to see duality and polarity. This is the task of Gemini—to gather and disperse all aspects (sides) of information. When we see and experience duality, what emerges is discernment and discrimination so authentic choice can be made. We (humanity) are at a crossroads in our world and, as one Age (Pisces) withdraws and the new Aquarian Age is forthcoming, important choices must be made. Our choices determine our future world. For we are to create this new world coming. Presenting duality being Gemini’s task, we thus understand Gemini’s icon of the twins, two brothers, two lights—one waxing (growing in light, the new world), one waning (lessening in light, the old world). In Taurus, we were given the opportunity to become enlightened. In Gemini we are shown the dual realities. Which “light,” which “brother,” which side will we choose?”
Other astrologers look at the “Ring of Fire” as something destructive on a global scale. For example, when we had the SuperMoon, the craziness was supposed to revolve around the individual and their inner circles. Where as a Solar Eclipse bringing a “Ring of Fire,” has more of a global impact, such as severe floods. It is somehow linked to Neptune and water (some of these astrology sites are very complex in their explanations). So this eclipse has the potential to bring about deep cleansing of the soul (as represented by the Roman Goddess Egeria, goddess of the Healing Spring). But because the New Moon is located in Gemini on the fixed star Alcyone in the Pleiades (“Seven Sisters” star cluster), there is also the potential for a flooding of tears, sorrow and broken hearts.
In all honesty, I don’t want to think about the possible negative repercussions of this celestial event. Instead, all I can think about, as a photographer, is “how can I take pictures of this rare event?”
When tragedy strikes, it becomes very clear who really cares about you. I don’t have any actual family out here in California but on Wednesday, I learned I have a very large extended family.
On Wednesday, I was driving home in the 5pm bumper to bumper traffic. I was at a dead stop when I heard tires squeal behind me. I looked in my rearview mirror and had enough time to say “Oh Shit” before the car behind me plowed into my back end, lifting the back of my car into the air before slamming me down. I was in shock and I suddenly felt pains shooting through my neck. I had enough sense to pull over to the side. The 20 year old girl behind me had been texting and didn’t see me.
So we went through the accident protocol and I wound up at the local hospital with severe whiplash and other minor injuries. At first, I was in a panic. I am single. I live alone and my family is on the other side of the country. So I called my best friend from the ER. Then they took me back into a room where the cell reception was bad so I started to text my friends and co-workers. To my amazement, everyone rushed to help me in any way they could. My California sister showed up at the hospital to be with me (and to tease me about the nice new neck brace that I will be wearing for a week). She started contacting people for me and giving updates while I endured many tests.
Since I was released from the hospital and put on bed rest, I am unable to act like my usual independent self. So my friends and their families have stepped in, taking me to appointments, getting me groceries, taking care of my fur babies, and picking up my meds.
So it no longer feels right to simply call them my friends, they are my family. They have been there when I really needed them. And going through something like this, you really do see who truly cares about you and who doesn’t.
So to my “family,” Thank you for everything!!!!
I was flipping through my Zen calendar and I came across this quote. It is a simple phrase that speaks volumes, in my humble opinion.
“No answer is also an answer.” ~ German Proverb
On Saturday, May 5th, the Super Moon rose into the Southern California sky. Per usual, I went out onto my balcony to take a picture of this amazing site. In some ways, it made me homesick because I know the view was so much better back east. I started to imagine what the Moon would have looked like rising over Higgins Lake (Northern Mid-Michigan). The reflection would be amazing. But instead, I am in SoCal where I had to wait for it to peak out from behind the mountains and then appear above the trees in my backyard. It was still a breathtaking sight.
Aside drom Saturday’s moon being a Super Moon (the Full Moon that is closest to Earth during that year), this was also the healing Scorpion Moon. This moon is described by a simple phrase. “what hurts us can also heal us.” Scorpions are deadly but in some cultures, the scorpion venom has healing properties. In Egypt, they are studying the use of the venom as a painkiller. Similarly, the Chinese have long deemed the scorpion venom as an analgesic. I guess it also coincides with the buddhist belief that through suffering, we can find truth and happiness.
So it is said that during this Scorpion Moon, you need to “have courage to move through pain into healing and strength.” This is a time for what is called “Scorpion Meditation,” where you think about painful experiences. ”Start small, with a fairly minor hurt, and move up gradually to more difficult situations. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Imagine walking through a desert with scrub bushes, cacti, and many different sizes of rocks. One small rock draws your attention–you turn it over to find a scorpion that stings you. The sting evokes all the memories and the pain of that experience you called to mind. Allow the pain to pass through you without resistance. How did you survive? What did you learn? How can it make you stronger? Feel resilience and strength fill your being as your healing begins.” ~Kristin Madden, Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook 2012.
Personally, this explains why I have been overthinking some past situations lately. I want the suffering to end so I can move forward. So I am taking the steps needed to get the answers that will provide me with a ticket to the future while leaving the baggage of the past behind.
I don’t usually post pictures of my furbabies, mainly out of fear of being labelled “the crazy cat lady.” But today, I managed to catch my kitten, Elvira, cuddling up with her baby so I couldn’t resist sharing.
For Christmas, my sister bought me this stuffed Monkey that has a warming beanie in its belly. You take the beanie out, microwave it for a minute or two, put the beanie back into the monkey’s belly and now you have something warm and soft to cuddle with. Elvira immediately decided this was her baby when she dragged it out of my suitcase. Now she drags it all over the house.
Normally when she drags around her “baby,” she won’t let me take any pictures or videos. But this weekend I managed to catch her cuddling with her “baby” while enjoying the view from my desk.
For those who know me, they know my absolute favorite holiday is Halloween. And today, I found the ultimate inspiration for what I want to do to my house in terms of decorations this year.
Right now, I am teaching my students about lighting. And one of the forms I like to teach them is horror lighting. So I was searching youtube for videos or examples that I could use in my lecture and I found this video. Now I am in full on planning mode. I want to do this in my front yard. (The website for the guy who designed these light shows:
Today is May 1st, May Day. It is also International Workers’ Day, a celebration of the international labor movement and a holiday for the commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886. Labor Unions, all over the world, are marching, rallying and even striking (at LAX today) on this first day of May. It’s amazing how this one day can contain so many different meanings to so many different cultures, many located right here in the United States.
Aside from the labor unions commemorating International Workers’ Day, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) declared May 1st as “Loyalty Day,” originally called “Americanization Day,” a day set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom. This started back in the 1920s as a counter to communists and was officially declared a national holiday by the U.S. Congress in 1958.
For the Latino immigrant population, May 1st is the day for the Great American Boycott, a general strike of undocumented workers and supporters seeking immigration reform legislation. This started in 2006 and is still going strong today, especially in downtown Los Angeles. It was all over the news this morning.
And not to be left out of all of the rallies and demonstrations, the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy LA movements are also planning demonstrations throughout the country. There are four rallies planned just for the Los Angeles area.
But for me, I like to think of May 1st as “May Day,” the festival of Flora, the Roman Goddess of Flowers. A festival where people dance with ribbons around a maypole and a Queen of May is crowned. It is the celebration of Spring time (and fertility). It lets us know that the long days of winter are behind us (though it is ironically raining here in Los Angeles today–our form of winter weather) and the long days of summer are in our future. It’s the whole “April Showers Bring May Flowers” ideal that we were taught as children. No violence, no demonstrating, no anger, no protesting–just ribbons, dancing, celebrating and flowers.