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Srijeda 13 Ševval 1439

Jun. 27th, 2018 | 12:46 pm
music: Angular Dreams - Weakness of Living Tissues

Planet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Mercury

Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Jesus

The Sun is still in 5 Cancer (in my 10th house): Game birds feathering their nests. (Symbol for 6 Cancer from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

The Moon is at 00Cap26 (in my 4th house). Lunar mansion (according to Ibn 'Arabi): 22, The Minerals, letter Ẓā, The Precious (Ash-Sharīr)

Lunar phase: Gibbous - Overcoming (phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

A few minutes ago, the Moon entered Capricorn (in my 4th house). About an hour after midnight, the Moon will enter its Full Moon phase, whose keyword is Fulfillment

Since I posted yesterday, an odd thing happened. In my review of my handwritten journal yesterday I found mention of a graduate student with whom I worked closely at that time and with whom I had a personal rapport. He subsequently went on to accept an academic position while still ABD and did not complete his degree. This morning I received a two-line text from him, after not having heard from him for several years: "I'm" was the first line, and "sorry" was the second line. I was hoping that this wasn't a cryptic suicide note. I wrote back, asking if everything was OK, but I have not yet received a response.

Yesterday evening I compiled more astrological data in preparation for continuing to read Chapter 9 of Sullivan's book. Among the things that she mentions on the topic of turning fifty is: "Divorce is an option that has been increasingly abused with the Pluto in Leo/Neptune in Libra generation; it is not a prime choice for the Pluto in Virgo generation, and is likely to become less so as we move on." (p. 143) I chuckled when I read this because my husband and I are of the Pluto in Virgo generation, and we feel rather conservative in our determination to stay together. Further, Sullivan writes: "Once the shock and excitement of turning fifty has come and gone, a sense of settling in will occur, and by the time one reaches the mid-fifties, there is a marked shift in psychological perspective." (p. 143) This is where I find myself now.

The next astrological topic that is mentioned in her chapter is the Chiron return. This happened for me three times--D on Mar 12, 2012; Rx on Sep 21, 2012; and D on Jan 5, 2013--at the age of 49-50. I don't have a strong sense of recall of what went on at that time, although I have marked Jan 2013 in memory as the time at which I resumed salat as a daily spiritual practice. "Here one realizes one's relationship to one's own tribal unit, whether that be aboriginal or secular or religious." (p. 144) "Recapitulation of one's life seems to come at this stage whether or not it is desired." (p. 144) "There is a point when your mother/father/sister/teachers are no longer culpable in your own discomfort or pain." (p. 145) "Whatever it was you did before your Chiron return, and, more significantly, why you did it, will alter radically, and your deepest, interior motives for life and action will change." (p. 145)

Age Fifty-Two: Saturn Square Saturn--Liminality/Consolidation

This aspect occurred three times--D Nov 18, 2012; Rx Jun 16, 2013; D Jul 29, 2013--at the age of 50 (slightly ahead of the schedule stated by Sullivan). As I mentioned in my previous post, I associate this period with the celebration of my 50th birthday (with my father present), my visit to Newfoundland with my father and brother (and my first absence from the Amma summer programs since I started attending in 2003), and the release of my Rudhyar CD. This was also a time in which Bosnian Islam and the Bosnian language became important components in my spiritual/cutural explorations. There are a couple of points that Sullivan raises that may be relevant here (although they pertain to the fifties in general and not specifically to this aspect). On p. 142, specifically with reference to the Pluto in Leo (Baby Boomer) generation, she mentions living spiritual teachers who may be lost (presumably through death, but possibly also through scandal or disaffection with the guru's organization) in or around one's fifties. She also mentions issues of family heritage: "The numbers of people who reconnect with cousins, elders, or family who may still be in 'the old country' is amazing." (p. 142)

Sullivan indicates that it is normal for there to be a feeling of latency to this period: "It can be an introduction to the wasteland, insofar as there is a two-year period after the initial aspect in which there is no other cyclic activity. It is oddly consistent with liminality that one of the biggest questions that arises for an individual at the age of fifty-two is 'Now what? I am supposed to be all grown up, but I don't feel it.' From the ages of fifty-two through almost fifty-five, the lack of other major cycles ocontributes to the experience of thresholding, drifting, seeking and questioning authority and one's own authenticity." (p. 146) "If one's life has been governed by the status quo and one has subordinated one's individuality to externally imposed values, this stage of development can result in revolution or depression or a bit of both--and both are healthy stimuli for change." (p. 147)

"Between the ages of fifty-two and fifty-seven come a flurry of developmental generic aspects, and with that a sense of urgency to 'get it together.' One feels an imperative toward self-fulfillment and self-honesty that must come to pass by the second Saturn return." (p. 149)

Fifty-Four--Lunar No More

"The second Lunar return by secondary progression recapitulates the first one at age twenty-seven and a half." (p. 149) At the time of the first Lunar return I was in my first year of graduate school. At the time of the second Lunar return (May 2017) I had been a tenured associate professor for 10 years and had begun to think about my exit from the profession. During 2017 I was dealing with a health issue--stress fractures in my right foot--that came on in January of that year. I am currently working with a personal trainer as part of a strategy for healing from that injury and trying to prevent further such injuries in the future. "With this second Lunar return, the mandate from the psyche is to move on from being in relationship to others based on dependency, old patterns, and family dynamics. This is not as easily done as it is said. To really mature with emotional grace, it means letting go of one's children as dependents, letting go of one's spouse or partner as a habitual necessity, and renegotiating these relationships so that they are based on choice, not need." (p. 151) Hormonal changes are typical of this time of life and it may be that my issues with bone density and spontaneous fractures may be related to that. This is a time to think about healthy versus unhealthy habits. For example, I committed to pursuing personal training at the gym in August 2017 and I have been more consciously using the daily cycle of prayer times as a guide as to how to organize my daily schedule of activity and rest.

Saturn Sextile Saturn: Graceful Boundaries

This aspect seems also to have occurred a little ahead of schedule. I experienced it in Nov 2015, just after my 53rd birthday. At the time of my birthday I was in St. Louis at a music theory conference (the first national conference I had attended in several years). Since St. Louis has a high concentration of Bosnian immigrants, I made it a point to rent a car (at my own expense) on that trip so that I would be able to sample some of the Bosnian restaurants in the area and to attend džuma. I also brought a copy of The Mountain Astrologer with me and read an article by Jason Holley about Saturn and Neptune. Soon after that I had an astrological consultation with him. These would all be indications that I was, on the one hand, fulfilling the expected professional obligation of attending the music theory conference, while at the same time carving out time and space for my own interests, trying to get the investment of time, energy, and financial resources to work for me. "If at all possible, begin to line up alternatives and things to do that will give you encouragement and excitement about retiring." Haha! That's what I've been doing recently.

Sullivan does not include a section on the Pluto trine, since only people with Pluto in certain signs will experience this in midlife. Virgo is one of those signs, and I experienced this trine three times in 2014--Jan 12 (D), Jul 30 (Rx), and Nov 13 (D)--at age 51-2. 2014 was perhaps the most remarkable year in recent memory. In that year I received two significant professional invitations: a guest lecture at a local university and a brief residency (including a musical performance) at a university in Utah. Although I feel I generally remain obscure within my field, I appreciated these invitations as tokens of recognition for my (albeit limited) professional accomplishments. In August 2014, shortly after the Rx Pluto trine, one of our (at that time) two cats met her demise. This was a very difficult loss for me. I felt myself tighten up physically, as if I were having trouble containing my grief, and I reached out to the Rosen worker I had worked with previously. I also reached out to a therapist I hadn't work with before. In addition, I looked for Sufi groups online and contacted the people in the next state over, with whom I am still friends. Before moving on, I think it is significant to recognize that I had not only professional accomplishments that year, but I also invested in therapy, Rosen, and Sufism for my personal enrichment.

Uranus Trine to Uranus and Neptune Trine to Neptune: If at First You Don't Succeed, Trine and Trine Again!

Once again, the generic aspects come in a different order from those listed in Sullivan. The Neptune trine occurred three times--Apr 7, 2017 (D); Aug 29, 2017 (Rx); Feb 8, 2018 (D)--at ages 54-5. Of these aspects, the Rx one is most firmly engraved in my memory, as that came at the start of the academic year, when I was tasked with being the Director of Graduate Studies, and when the second of (formerly) two cats had a stroke (on Aug 26). This was a difficult time, as I devoted myself wholeheartedly to my cat's care while taking on my new work responsibilities, keeping up with appointments at the gym and with the Rosen worker, etc. Eventually I missed a Rosen appointment and decided to let that go temporarily. My cat passed on Oct 8. That was a difficult loss, which signalled the end of an era that began in 1997 when my husband I adopted the two cats as kittens and prepared to purchase our first home. Clearly, ties to our former life in our previous location were loosening, even more fully than they had done previously. A couple of weeks following our cat's death, we adopted an adult cat from a shelter. I think that the sense of devotion that I feel toward her is colored in part by the still-fresh memories of the loss of the previous cats that we had had for 17 and 20 years, respectively. Regarding the Netpune trine: "I believe this is the aspect that begins the softening phase in the turning-point from maturing to aging--wherein acceptance is a grace and not a failing. ... Breaking out of the mold, thinking differently, taking risks with ideas, projects, and work brings a burst of life-force to the late fifties. This natural, generic 'boost' is the very energy needed to cross the threshold to the genuine elder years, where vitality is still high but the level of ambition and aggresson has softened." (p. 155)

Finally, the Uranus trine is in the future and predates the second Saturn return by a good year or so. I will experience the Uranus trine three times--May 30, 2019 (D); Oct 28, 2019 (Rx); Mar 20, 2020 (D)--at age 56-7. Sullivan points to this as a time of mental stimulation and of "renewed desires for the future" following a shift away from the "angst of middelescence." (p. 153) There may be a desire for travel and new cultures (whether or not one's means seem to support this). "By this age one has well-formed philosophies and worldviews that have a lot of history and experience underlying them. ... A new surge of mental youth arrives, and through the next few years may even mean studying and learning new subjects, or devoting oneself to an interest or passion on a greater or even full-time basis." (p. 154)


Peace,

KH

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Utorak 12 Ševval 1439

Jun. 26th, 2018 | 03:42 pm
music: Caul - At Midnight I Arise to Give Thanks to Thee

Planet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Mars

Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Aaron & John

The Sun is in 5 Cancer (in my 10th house): Game birds feathering their nests. (Symbol for 6 Cancer from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

The Moon is at 19Sag53 (in my 4th house). Lunar mansion (according to Ibn 'Arabi): 21, The Earth, letter Ṣād, The Death-Giver (Al-Mumīt)

Lunar phase: Gibbous - Overcoming (phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

Shortly after sunrise, the Moon entered my 4th house. About 2.5 hours ago, my progressed Moon (in my 4th house) formed a trine with my natal Uranus (in my 12th house). In about an hour, the Moon will transit my natal Moon (in my 4th house).

I have been reading Chapter 8 of Sullivan's book. She presents the Saturn opposition and Uranus post-opposition quincunx as happening at about ages 44-5. In my case, the Saturn opposition occurred at age 43, followed by the Saturn post-opposition trine at age 47 and Uranus post-opposition quincunx at age 49.

The Saturn opposition happened three times, between Aug 26, 2005 and May 5, 2006. I kept handwritten journals during this period and referenced them to see what had been going on at that time. The first opposition occurred shortly after my family gathered to disperse my grandmother's ashes in the Long Island Sound. Throughout that period I was friends with Y. My journals reveal that I frequently struggled in my communication with him, although there were moments in which I found his personal attention pleasing and reassuring. I entered this period as a client of a hypnotherapist and left her practice shortly before the second of the three oppositions. I then began to work with a conventional therapist, who I also left after a few months. After the oppositions were through, I began to work with yet another therapist, with whom I worked on and off until after my mother's death. A topic that I explored with the hypnotherapist was "abandonment pain." I related this intuitively to separation trauma following birth. Around that time I was reading Otto Rank, and then Stanislav Grof. I attended a Holotropic Breathwork workshop in March, 2006. Given the fact that the Saturn opposition was occurring during this time, it is easy to see why themes of separation and individuation would have been playing out through the experience of the "bottom falling out" of personal relationships, as I felt misunderstood or "not met" emotionally. Sullivan sees this period as one of coming back to one's historical sense of self following the upheavals of earlier (Uranus-opposition) phases of midlife.

The Saturn trine occurred on Sep 9, 2010. I recall that I visited my mother's grave on Labor Day weekend that year, the first time I had done so since my mother's funeral. I had also resumed the practice of salat by then, having lost motivation in my daily Amma-related practices. By the time the Uranus quincunx occurred, on Mar 25, 2012, I had moved further away from the Amma organization. I recall that I attended only a public program during the summer of that year (rather than the retreat that I had done annually since 2003) and I have not been back since.

Late this morning I had an attempted dental implant. Unfortunately, the implant did not take as securely as the oral surgeon was hoping, so he performed a second bone graft and said he would give the implant a second implant in a few months. This was disappointing and somewhat uncomfortable, but there were are.


Peace,

KH


Addendum: At the end of Chapter 8, Sullivan mentions the inversion of the lunar nodes and the Jupiter return. The inversion of my nodes occurred on May 7, 2009 when I was 46 years old. (I think I already wrote somewhere--perhaps here--that that preceded my trip to Slovakia with my father that summer. That directed attention to questions of heritage.) The Jupiter return occurred on Jan 30, 2010 when I was 47 years old.

Chapter 9 is devoted to age fifty and up to the second Saturn return. Toward the beginning of the chapter, Sullivan mentions the Saturn trine (which I experienced in Sep 2010, at age 47, as I mentioned previously) and the waning Saturn square, which I experieced three times--D on Nov 18, 2012; Rx on Jun 16, 2013; and D on Jul 29, 2013--all at the age of 50. My father visited for my 50th birthday in early November, 2012. Around the time of the second square I visited Newfoundland with my father and brother on another heritage trip. In August, 2013 my CD of music by Rudhyar was released, which led to my work becoming recognized by composers who were associated with Rudhyar, such as Peter Michael Hamel and Peter Garland. This has gradually been opening up another phase in my professional work.

I am going to stop here because I have more transits to print out in preparation for going through the remainder of Chapter 9.

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Ponedjeljak 11 Ševval 1439

Jun. 25th, 2018 | 11:34 am
music: Yen Pox - Purgatorio

Planet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Moon

Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Adam

The Sun is in 4 Cancer (in my 10th house): At a railroad crossing, an automobile is wrecked by a train. (Symbol for 5 Cancer from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

The Moon is at 5Sag40 (in my 3rd house). Lunar mansion (according to Ibn 'Arabi): 20, The Water, letter Sīn, The Life-Giver (Al-Muḥyī)

Lunar phase: Gibbous - Overcoming (phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

There are no significant transits or progressions for the remainder of today.

Obviously, I was away from writing during the second half of Ramazan. I took fuller advantage of the opportunity to participate in teravih than I had done in the past, an I am glad that I did. Following Ramazan, my father came to visit for a few days. With Ramazan and my father's visit behind me, I am feeling that I am moving more definitively into the rest of my summer.

I have completed my perusal of Forrest's Yesterday's Sky, and feel that I have benefited from doing that. One thing that I am coming away from that experience with is the idea that karmic processes are larger than my particular family of origin, my friendships, my relationships, or my job. Rather than faulting others so much for being wilfully uncooperative with respect to my needs, I am more willing to consider the perspective that there are karmic processes playing themselves out in everyone's lives. Somtimes this leads to mutual support, but often to mutual antagonism. Another thing I gaine by working through his book is a deeper consideration of Uranus as a significant karmic factor for me astrologically, since it is the ruler of my Aquarius south node.

I am returning now to Sullivan's book midlife and aging. I am continuing in Chapter 7, A Meeting at the Crossroads. The section I am on is Age Forty-two: Neptune Square Neptune: Beautiful Dreamer. Because of its retrograde motions, Neptune square its natal position five times in 2003-04: D on Apr 22, 2003; Rx on Jun 8, 2003; D on Feb 6, 2004; R on Sep 13, 2004; and D on Dec 2, 2004. The Rx transits coincide fairly precisely with dates that were significant in my friendship with X: we met for coffee on (if I recall correctly) Jun 9, 2003 an we reconciled (following a period of separation) on Sep 13, 2004. This is supposed to be a time in which one questions what happened to one's youthful ideals. Clearly, my involvement in the Amma org signalled a ramping up of the idea of pursuing a spiritual path. In my case these transits occurred when I was between the ages of 40.5 and 42, about a year an a half ahead of the schedule described by Sullivan (42 to 43.5). This period is often characterized by a sense of dissolution and corrosion of one's hard-won ego identity and the accomplishments associated with it. I experienced that challenge at that time and, generally speaking, I reveled in it, perhaps because it give vivid expression to my natal Sun-Neptune conjunction as well as stimulating my natal Neptune on its own.

Addendum: I have just read the section in Chapter 7 of Sullivan's book on the Pluto square to its natal position. Because of the irregular orbit of Pluto, this square occurs at significantly different ages for different generations. For the Pluto in Virgo generation, of which I am a part, it tended to occur earlier than some of the other generic midlife cycles. I experienced the Pluto square between Jan 7 and Nov 5, 2000. That was a year of intensified spiritual search as I made efforts to find a tariqat in which I could hopefully follow up on the intense experience of initiation that I had had in 1992 in the Nimatullahi order, which didn't work out to be a tariqat in which I could settle. I also see the Pluto square as a forerunner of some of the significant changes that would come later, such as my relocation, my mother's illness, and the spiritual (Neptune square) crisis (Uranus opposition) of my early 40s. Pluto entered my 4th house in 2001, which was when I submitted applications for the job that I eventually took here. This was followed by a significant relocation and significant changes in my family.


Peace,

KH

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Srijeda 16 Ramazan 1439

May. 30th, 2018 | 07:46 am
music: Jaja - Tayeta

Planet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Mercury

Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Jesus

The Sun is in 9 Gemini (in my 9th house): An airplane performing a nose dive. (Symbol for 10 Gemini from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

The Moon is at 19Sag05 (in my 4th house). Lunar mansion (according to Ibn 'Arabi): 21, The Earth, letter Ṣād, The Death-Giver (Al-Mumīt)

Lunar phase: Full Moon - Fulfillment (phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

Later this morning the Moon will transit my natal Moon (in my 4th house).

I have been continuing to read Sullivan's book, The Astrology of Midlife and Aging. One of the generic cycles I read about yesterday was the cycle of the lunar nodes. They returned to their natal positions in February 2000. That was the year that I put more energy into seeking out a tariqat in which to participate. It was the year I contacted the NAJ circle in the city where I then lived, which is where I received my second Sufi initiation. The transiting nodes opposed their natal positions in May 2009. By then I was already distancing myself from the Amma org, and I no longer had close friends within it. That summer my father took me to Slovakia, which increased my interest in my Slavic heritage. A few months ahead of that transit, I ordered Steven Forrest's book on the nodes, which I have still not read in its entirety. I may give it a second look, as I will experience another return of the nodes to their natal positions this coming October.

Another generic cycle that I read about was Saturn's trine to its natal position. I experienced that at the end of May 2001. That was the year I traveled to San Francisco to participate in the first-ever gay Muslim appearance at SF Pride. That's where I met Daaiyee Abdullah and Troy Perry.

In reflecting once again on my transition from the city in which I lived at that time to my present location, it occurred to me that one of my primary questions when I moved here was how to construct a community that was comparable to the one that I had experienced in my prior location. That has turned out not to be possible. My primary question at the present time is why I have not been more productive professionally, specifically as a published scholar.

To be continued ....


Peace,

KH

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Utorak 15 Ramazan 1439

May. 29th, 2018 | 08:28 am
music: Sundummy - The Great Machine Pulse of Dor

Planet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Mars

Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Aaron & John

The Sun is in 8 Gemini (in my 9th house): A quiver filled with arrows. (Symbol for 9 Gemini from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

The Moon is at 7Sag12 (in my 3rd house). Lunar mansion (according to Ibn 'Arabi): 20, The Water, letter Sīn, The Life-Giver (Al-Muḥyī)

Lunar phase: Gibbous - Overcoming (phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

Later this morning the Moon will enter its Full Moon phase, whose keyword is Fulfillment. About 30 minutes before akšam (magrib), Mercury will enter Gemini (in my 9th house).

With respect to the "generational impulse" indicated by the placements of Neptune and Pluto in my natal chart (Pluto in Virgo in the 12th house and Neptune in Scorpio in the 3rd), there is a tendency to confront issues head on. "The reality frame for Pluto in Virgo/Neptune in Scorpio is stark and clear." (Sullivan, p. 94) "The vision (Neptune) is Scorpionic--both fatalistic and realistic." (p. 95) "Scorpio is a reclusive sign, singular and morose. It is water, so it is deeply feeling and needs emotional contact with others, but often it is repelled by prolonged intimacy and tries to the kill the thing upon which it grows dependent. The global network that this generation has brought to maturity has two sides. On the one hand, theoretically, everyone is in connection with everyone else--but only so if they are alone in their room at their computer." (p. 96) There are definitely some things to consider in these quotes.

The next chapter of Sullivan's book ("A Meeting at the Crossroads") deals with several topics, the first of which is the preparation for the beginning of midlife. This takes things back to age 36. At that time, the time of the third Jupiter return, my emphasis was mainly on my career. The third Jupiter return occurred in February 1998. The previous November I had met someone at a conference who invited me to contribute an article to be translated for publication in a foreign-language journal. That would turn out to be my first significant journal article, and it was published in 1998. Just prior to the Jupiter return (in late January 1998) I was at the first of several international symposia dedicated to the work of the composer on whom I had written my dissertation. (Twelve years later, at the time of the fourth Jupiter return, I would be participating in a North American symposium dedicated to the music of this composer.) It was also in 1998 that I made an effort to establish regular Islamic prayer for the first time. (Previously, I had learned how to pray, but practiced it intermittently rather than 5 times daily.) I also came into contact online with gay Muslims and, from there, established a significant friendship with a gay Muslim locally. "A guru, counselor, friend, teacher, or mentor arrives with each Jupiter return but at this age comes in many forms. It can be a friend, a new neighbor, a movie, a famous personage--in whatever guise your exemplar comes, it is an indication of yet another threshold and a new perspective on a much bigger life." (p. 110) It was this friend who set the pattern for me of how to integrate gay identity and dedicated practice of Islam. Later that year, my husband and I purchased our first home. Shortly thereafter I participated in the Threshold Society 99 Day Program introductory Sufi course. Although my first contact with living Sufism had come in 1992, soon after my first Saturn return, it was in 1998 that my involvement with Islam (including with LGBT Muslims) became steadier and more focused. This highlights for me that, while professional accomplishments have ebbed and flowed, and while social scenes have come and gone, some form of involvement with (or avoidance of) Islam has been characteristic of my life since my late 20s. After the formative experiences I had had, especially in 1998 and the years immediately following, the question would often come up (after 2002 when I moved here) of how to get my involvement with Islam (or with a comparable spiritual path) back on track.


Peace,

KH

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Ponedjeljak 14 Ramazan 1439

May. 28th, 2018 | 07:40 am
music: Michael Santos - Perfect Pitch

Planet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Moon

Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Adam

The Sun is in 7 Gemini (in my 9th house): Aroused strikers surround a factory. (Symbol for 8 Gemini from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

The Moon is at 24Sco22 (in my 3rd house). Lunar mansion (according to Ibn 'Arabi): 19, The Air, letter Zāy, The Living (Al-Ḥayy)

Lunar phase: Gibbous - Overcoming (phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

Later this morning the Moon will transit my natal Venus (in my 3rd house). In the late afternoon the Moon will enter Sagittarius (in my 3rd house).

I have been reading further in Erin Sullivan's The Astrology of Midlife and Aging. I have generated a report for the aspects contained in the table on p. 51 of her book. What I noticed from that was that, during the times when Neptune was square its natal position, I got along well with X. Interspersed with those times were times when Uranus opposing its natal position intervened. Those were the difficult times, the last of which led to the dissolution of our friendship. In her description of Uranus in Virgo (where it is in my natal chart), she characterizes the basic nature as being one of serving, of "being on call for others." During the opposition of Uranus to its natal position (when transiting Uranus was in Pisces), this sense of service became intensified to the point of sacrifice. If successful, the sacrifice would have brought about clearer awareness of issues, and perhaps potentials, that may have been hidden heretofore. It was during the period of Uranus's opposition to its natal position that X revealed, first, his struggles with alcohlism and, later, his history as an abuse survivor. In a positive sense, one could say that he was sharing aspects of himself and reaching out for support. In a negative sense, one could say that he was playing on my sympathies and doing so quite successfully. There is proably some truth in both perspectives. With respect to the negative perspective, I had observed him playing upon other people's sympathies, and then betraying them and discarding them. This appears to have been one of his principal patterns, and of course I would ultimately be no exception.

When I think of the things that were sacrificed at that time, by making X and the Amma path my priorities I compromised my effectiveness in my profession, my relationship became strained, I suspended my identification with Sufism as my primary spiritual path, and ultimately my friendship with X failed. It was not until about 5 years later, in 2010, that I seriously began to reconsider my relationship to the Amma path, and by 2013 I definitively walked away from it and reconnected with Islam, although more as an individual than as an active member of a tariqat. One potentially significant stage in this process came in early September 2010, when I visited my mother's grave for the first time since her funeral (which was in January 2008). Saturn was trine to its natal position on September 9, 2010. In general, the period from 2009-13 had an emphasis on heritage. In May 2009, my nodal axis opposed its natal position. In the summer of 2009, my father took me to Slovakia in order to explore my mother's cultural heritage. In March 2012, I visited him in his new home in Florida for the first time. At that time Uranus was quincunx its natal position. That's when I began to develop an interest in studying the Slovak language. Ultimately, increasing attention to my Slavic heritage combined with my renewed interest in Islam and led to my focusing on Bosnia as a cultural base from which to explore Islam more deeply. Saturn squared its natal position from November 2012 to July 2013. In the summer of 2013 I visited Newfoundland with my father and brother, once again exploring connections with heritage, since some of my father's ancestors had come from there.

Addendum (6:35 p.m.): In her chapter, "The Half-Uranus House," Sullivan characterizes the sixth house midlife transit of Uranus (for people whose natal Uranus is in the 12th house) as an emphasis on the embodiment of traits that tend to have been subordinated or possibly concealed due to other concerns. During this period, I placed my involvement in spiritual community above just about everything else, as if I were temporarily effacing my profession and relationship in favor of becoming a spiritual seeker first, with a job and a relationship on the side. I had certainly been active as a spiritual seeker for some years prior to this period, but much of that activity had been online and in the margins of my work and household concerns. It was only when I became involved in NAJ in Atlanta that I began to build more of a social circle around my spiritual interests, and when I left to move here, that became intensified once I had met X and had become inspired by the intensity with which he pursued his spiritual path.


Peace,

KH

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Subota 12 Ramazan 1439

May. 26th, 2018 | 10:59 am
music: Hollan Holmes - Mist and Myth

Planet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Saturn

Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Abraham

The Sun is in 5 Gemini (in my 9th house): Workmen drilling for oil. (Symbol for 6 Gemini from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

The Moon is at 0Sco42 (in my 2nd house). Lunar mansion (according to Ibn 'Arabi): 17, The Inferior Sky, Sky of the Moon and House of Adam, letter Dāl, The Evident (Al-Mubīn)

Lunar phase: Gibbous - Overcoming (phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

The Moon entered Scorpio (in my 2nd house) about 30 minutes ago.

There was a time when I would look at videos of guest performers at the local Bosnian mosque online and wonder if or when I would have the courage to show up there and perhaps experience something like that in person. Even after I started going there, I would often see evidence online after the fact that I had missed a guest I would like to have seen. Last night my timing was right and I was able to see and hear the imam from Bosnia and Ahmed Alili. My guess is that Alili is maybe 20 or 21 years old. I believe he studies at the Islamic academy in Sarajevo. His famous father (who I met in 2016) is the imam of the grand mosque in Zagreb. He was invited to call the ezan last night and it was so beautiful that I was almost in tears. The guest imam led prayers for jacija ('isha) and for the first 4 raka'at of teravih. Then Ahmed led the rest of teravih and vitr namaz. Again, it was amazingly beautiful. Afterward, the guests sang some ilahis. The crowd thinned out at that point, so the atmosphere was quite intimate. At around 11:45 p.m., the local imam announced that they would be taking a break. I wasn't sure when they would be reconvening, nor did I know how late they planned to go, so I left to go home at that point. Men, women, and children were hanging out outside as I left, and some were standing around a bonfire that was burning fragrant wood. Clearly, I go there because it's like being transported into a different world. Last night was definitely that.

On another topic, I was re-reading Mary Fortier Shea's book on solar return charts yesterday. In the past few years I have been using her book as an aid in interpreting my solar return charts. The current year's solar return chart, along with its associated transits, etc., was remarkably appropriate to some things that have transpired during my current solar return year (Nov 1-Oct 31). I was reading yesterday about the period of the solar return's significance: "The significance of the solar return runs birthday to birthday with a three month overlap at the beginning and end of each year. ... Many times there is even an event exactly three months before the birthday which triggers awareness and signals the beginning of the new solar return." (Shea, p. 4) Three months prior to the beginning of the current solar return year, my husband and I were on vacation with his family while our house was being sided. Our (at that time) surviving cat was at home and was being checked on by our pet sitter. (The cat's sister had passed away three years previously, shortly after we returned from another vacation.) Just as the academic year was beginning, and coinciding with a difficult transit to a sensitive point in my solar return chart for 2017-18, our cat suffered a stroke. Back to Shea: "The main transitional month for the change from the old solar return to the new solar return is the month directly preceding the birthday." (p. 5) Yes: in October, three weeks before my birthday, our cat passed away. True, it is heartbreaking to lose an animal, especially one that one has had for 20 years. What I realized yesterday, however, was that both losing our cat and having our house sided were two manifestations of a common theme: symbolically letting go of remaining ties to our previous life in the city where we lived prior to moving here, and committing more fully to our situation in the present. Having the house wrapped in vinyl (which is the most expensive house project we have undertaken so far) is almost symbolic of "sealing" our current living situation. Before October had run its course, we adopted the cat that we have now.

I have noticed a similar pattern in other cases, particularly those involving our move here (which is when I began to track life events using astrology). I moved here in the hope of advancing to a better job than the one I left behind (that part is debatable), and three weeks after we moved here my mother was diagnosed with malignant brain cancer. Five years later, I achieved my goal of being granted tenure: about a month after that my mother heard me perform in public for the last time, and by the end of that calendar year she was gone. A few years after that, my husband returned to school in the hope of changing careers: a few months after that, his mother suffered a fall that set in motion the process of her decline. As he was nearing the end of his program (and the beginning of his new career), his mother passed away.

Where I am going with this is to consider that major turning points in one's life often have more than one aspect. I will not concede to a cliché such as, "One door closes and another opens." Rather, I choose to recognize significant experiences of loss for what they are, and to acknowledge that healing from them takes time: a lot of it. But I am hoping to encourage myself to recognize that experience is complex and, even though one aspect of a given life transition tends to monopolize one's attention initially, over time other--less initially pressing--aspects from these periods begin to reveal themselves more clearly. Ultimately, the good and the bad seem to have connections that make them both appear, in retrospect, more necessary and appropriate than may have been the case at the time.

Last night at the mosque, after having a deeply devotional experience comparable to ones I had experienced in tariqats and in the Amma org, I considered that, in part, the persistent sense of alienation that I experience in my job and in my (general lack of a) social life in my current environment can contribute to a deepening of spiritual sensitivity. This does not for one moment exonerate people in my environment who, in my view, should have been more sensitive and more supportive and who should have done a better job of understanding me and my needs. It does, however, open up some more positive space for me. Rather than feel quite as victimized by these people's failings (which I think are real, and not just a matter of my own personal, egocentric perspective), it becomes a little easier to allow their faults to accrue to them while I find more ways to seek out the things I need in my life. That is to say, I am not crediting them for sending me in positive directions indirectly: rather, I am crediting myself (and ultimately Allah džellešanuhu) for leading me into a more positive place in spite of the limitations I have encountered in my environment. It's not as if the people with whom I have been frustrated are suddently better people in my eyes, but it is rather that I am feeling slightly more confident that I can move forward positively, with or without them.


Peace,

KH

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Petak/Džuma 11 Ramazan 1439

May. 25th, 2018 | 07:34 pm
music: Arcana - We Rise Above

Planet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Venus

Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Joseph

The Sun is in 4 Gemini (in my 9th house): A revolutionary magazine asking for action. (Symbol for 5 Gemini from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

The Moon is at 22Lib23 (in my 2nd house). Lunar mansion (according to Ibn 'Arabi): 16, The Sixth Sky, Sky of Mercury and House of Jesus, letter Ṭā, The Numberer (Al-Muḥṣī)

Lunar phase: Gibbous - Overcoming (phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

This afternoon the Moon entered its Gibbous phase, whose keyword is Overcoming. A little over an hour ago, Mars transited my natal South Node. In about 3 hours the Moon will transit my natal Mercury. In the morning, the Moon will enter Scorpio (in my 2nd house).

I went to teravih last night for the first time this Ramazan. It was a good experience, although my left foot was cramping, which made it difficult to sit with my foot pointed backward. I went to džuma today. My foot felt better. Tonight there will be an imam from Bosnia as well as Ahmed Alili, who is supposed to sing some ilahis. I'm going to try to attend that.

Last night, when I was having my iftar, my husband had some Amma bhajans playing on his phone. Even though I have made it clear that I have distanced myself from her org, in part because of credible-seeming allegations of corruption within it, he sometimes still listens to her bhajans or archana when he is feeling in a meditative mood. Eventually he switched to some recordings of the ezan or the 99 Names. This allowed me an opportunity to compare the traditions, and what I noticed was that there was apparently a need for the emotionalism of the Amma org at one point in my spiritual development, but now I prefer a more clear-headed approach. Another way I thought about this earlier today was that each tradition featured practices that resulted in noticeable shifts in conscious awareness, but with Islam I have found there to be no "hangover."


Peace,

KH

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Četvrtak 10 Ramazan 1439

May. 24th, 2018 | 10:02 am
music: Resonant Drift - Crossing the Threshold

Planet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Jupiter

Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Moses

The Sun is in 3 Gemini (in my 9th house): Holly and mistletoe reawaken old memories of Christmas. (Symbol for 4 Gemini from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

The Moon is at 3Lib31 (in my 1st house). Lunar mansion (according to Ibn 'Arabi): 15, The Fifth Sky, Sky of Venus and House of Joseph, letter Rā, The Form-Giver (Al-Muṣawwir)

Lunar phase: First Quarter - Action (phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

Later this morning, the Moon will enter my 2nd house.

It has been a long time since I wrote anything here. We are now a week and some into Ramadan, and it is generally going well.

One of the themes that I am reflecting on this Ramadan is how the last 15 years--the time I have spent in my current teaching/research position--have been different from how I expected they might be. Usually I have seen this in terms of personal failure: why haven't I published more articles, or a monograph? Why haven't I found my way to serving on more editorial boards, etc.? Why has my social life seemed so stalled for most of the time I have been here? Why did I desperately go after spritiual community and friendship when they seemed within reach? Why did those efforts fail? Etc.

As the academic year was winding down, and as I was preparing myself to begin fasting for Ramadan, I began to notice a shift in my way of framing these questions. Yes, it's true that I had hoped for more productivity and for more professional mentoring in the position that I assumed 15 years ago, but so what? I did manage to achieve tenure. I have absorbed a greater range of responsibilities on my job without completely falling apart. On a personal level, I am glad that the people who once dominated my social life so strongly are now gone. There was a lot of "noise" that went along with that intensity (or "magic") and I don't want that now. Additionally, after lamenting that I couldn't find time to practice the piano this academic year, I started doing it again, every day.

I think another thing that changed my perspective is that I went to a presentation on the possibility of changing from my 403b to a hybrid version of the state retirement plan. Even though it may not be realistic to do so, I began to think about the option of grandfathering into a soon-to-be-phased-out plan in which I could be eligible for retirement in 7 years. Previously, I had assumed I would need to continue working for 12 years or more just to be able to save enough for a modest retirement. Once I began thinking in terms of a shorter period of time rather than in terms of trying to save up to a certain amount in order to retire (with a significant amount of those savings being wiped out during the current market "correction"), I began to prioritize certain projects while letting go of a general sense of feeling that I have to "do it all" merely in order to be marginally acceptable.

Among the things that I have achieved in the 15 years in this position are the recordings that my friend and former colleague produced on his private label. Some time ago, I came to realize that these projects were virtually a dead end in terms of distribution, since his label has no distribution strategy. Nonetheless, the recording of Rudhyar's piano music has served as a calling card to composers and astrologers and has helped to enrich my contacts with musicians and authors. One of those authors is Erin Sullivan, whose book on the astrology of midlife and aging was featured on a list of top astrology books on Facebook recently. I began re-reading it, realizing that the last time I had read it I was in the midst of the intensity of my experience in the Amma organization. Now, as I read it, I am ready to accept the ups and downs of that period as a part of my personal story, and not an experience in which my emotions were under the direct control of others (as I had experienced it at the time). Yes, the atmosphere of that time was thick with projection/transference, and yes, that was a necessary component of the processes that were working themselves out at that time. Now things are different. Yes, there is alienation, but I am no longer trying to overcome it in the ways that I did then.

Finally, in addition to salat, I have adopted the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Morning Zikr as a daily practice. It's of an optimal length to do while I'm walking on the trail, which presents a pleasing image of the idea of being "on the path." I find that it is a strong enough practice to effect a noticeable shift in consciousness, without being too much. Perhaps because it comes from a South Asian source, it brings me back in some ways to the times when I used to do my Amma archana on the trail, although it is definitely free of the baggage associated with that organization. I typically then follow up with a recitation of the 99 Names, and then I perhaps seek out an audio and/or video of the same on my phone. Today I found a nice one by a young Bosnian woman.


Peace,

KH

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Četvrtak 18 Redžeb 1439

Apr. 4th, 2018 | 08:22 pm
music: Beyond Sensory Experience - Youth Duality

Planet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Jupiter

Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Moses

The Sun is in 15 Aries (in my 8th house): Nature spirits are seen at work in the light of sunset. (Symbol for 16 Aries from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

The Moon is at 9Sag01 (in my 3rd house). Lunar mansion (according to Ibn 'Arabi): 20, The Water, letter Sīn, The Life-Giver (Al-Muḥyī)

Lunar phase: Disseminating - Demonstration (phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

In the morning, the Moon will enter my 4th house. About 20 minutes before akšam (magrib), the Moon will transit my natal Moon.

I am still struggling with busy-ness. Nonetheless, I am finding a few opportunities here and there to reflect and to contemplate some goals for my research.


Peace,

KH

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