Special for Akshaya Tritiya: Cover reveal for my novel BROKEN
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Special for Akshaya Tritiya: Cover reveal for my novel BROKEN

Cover reveal: Today is the auspicious day, Akshaya Tritiya. In honor of the Sun and Moon being exalted, and to celebrate the good energy, I am revealing the cover of my World War II novel BROKEN, which takes place in Paris from 1939 to June, 1942.

I must acknowledge Roberto Ferri, the extraordinary Italian painter who gave permission to use his ravishingly beautiful painting.


Guest Post from Renowned Astrologer LYNN BELL: The Archetype of War, April 2013

Guest Post from Renowned Astrologer LYNN BELL: The Archetype of War, April 2013

Renowned astrologer and author of 3 books LYNN BELL sent me this thoughtful essay this morning, and then graciously gave permission for me to post it here as a guest post.

Lynn Bell is American by birth but lives in Paris and teaches at the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London. She frequently lectures and teaches for groups in England, Germany, Norway, Austria, France and Mexico, including The Faculty Summer School at Oxford, The London School of Astrology, Agape in Paris and RAH in France.

Lynn is part of the core faculty for Wisdom University’s New Chartres School, and has taught courses for Caroline Myss and her CMED Institute in Chicago and at the Omega Institute in New York. Her articles have appeared in “The Mountain Astrologer,” “Apollon”, “Meridian”, and many other publications.


The Archetype of War and After, April 2013   

Lynn Bell
An iconic American city has been locked down, after explosive terror ripped through the lives of ordinary Americans. Both intentional violence and toxic mayhem erupted with the space of a week, with a massive accidental explosion in Texas, days after bombs ripped through a crowd of onlookers at the marathon. Massive earthquakes occurred on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in Sichuan province, China. 
We have all felt the potent eruption of Mars in the collective psyche.  The Sun conjuncts Mars, the traditional god of war, every two years. Each conjunction happens in different signs, where it awakens both aggression and great courage.  For the first time since spring of 1981, the conjunction happened in Aries, a sign where Mars has great power. Fiery, impulsive, courageous and active, the coming together of Sun and Mars in this sign brings great heat,  sudden danger, and often calls up the presence of men in uniform, the police, soldiers, and emergency responders who embody Mars in our society. A veritable war machine was mobilized in response to the carnage created by bombs, shooting and robbery.
In 1981 it was marked by the attempted assassination of President Reagan, with a corresponding shock to the national psyche. Days later there were massive riots in Brixton, London, as well military coups and massacres/ in other parts of the world, particularly Guatemala and El Salvador.  An explosion and fire in a coal mine added natural disaster to the political events. 
The previous conjunction in 1934 saw John Dillinger gunned down in front of a Chicago movie theater, as Bonnie and Clyde approached the end their wild ride.  More significantly, both Germany and Japan where in a phase of heightened militarization, Japan had invaded and annexed Manchuria just weeks before. A massive fire with great loss of life, and property, swept through Hakodate in Hokkaido, japan. 
Each of these conjunctions occurs within a backdrop of larger cycles, each has the force to ignite repression or freedom. The adrenaline we felt watching events, can serve to reawaken shock and lockdown in our psyches, well beyond the  scope of recent events. Over the next weeks Mars will oppose repressive Saturn, and it is essential to be aware of the temptation to overreact, to over-militarize. Mars also awakens inner courage, quiet triumph. It motivates the athletes and wounded who must overcome adversity, it reawakens the life force in those who have carried heavy burdens, It was expressed in the joy of the crowds who celebrated the end of a dangerous time in their city, applauding the outcome, coming together to affirm the return of their lives to some semblance of normality. The eclipse cycle in May, asks us to let go, to empty ourselves of dark fantasies, and long frozen terrors. 
 In some ways the violent energy of the past week can also be seen as a reaction to 
the frustrating celestial configurations of recent months.  Political deadlock in the US  is a near constant. The economy has moved forward and slipped back, while in Europe a frozen spring contributed to a possible triple dip recession in Britain, and the Euro was once again under threat from a financial meltdown in Cyprus.  These events are all part of a much larger context, the ongoing square between Pluto and Uranus, ( 2010-2017  although some astrologers will give an even greater time frame. ) 
Much is being decided at this time as the old social forms fail and a new model is yet to be born.  The early part of 2013 has been marked by a series of interlocking aspects that are best described by their ability to hold things back. The resulting tension and discomfort created by these misfit aspects, the quincunxes, often enough ends with a dramatic and unpredictable resolution. As Mars moved into these strong configurations and out again it acted as a trigger for energies that have been pent up for months, bound in struggle between light and dark. The ancient Greeks didn’t care much for Ares, their name for the god, but the recognized the state that descended on the feel of battle as a divine possession.  Mars is the ‘breaker of walls’  and any logjam can be burst apart by its arrival. not always with the expected results. The force of Mars can be difficult to control. 
Mars, has been in powerful ascendance since the last new Moon on April 9th, when five planets came together in the fiery sign of Aries.  Jupiter began to move out of these configurations at the same time. Over the next days, even though Mars has changed signs for quieter Taurus, it continues to form aspects with a high degree of tension. Perhaps most importantly for each of us, we are asked to move from fear to an affirmation of life. We need not to hold on to fantasies of hatred or revenge. In doing so we can benefit from a powerful opening that will come with a celestial Grand Trine in early summer. 
Caroline Myss and Lynn Bell will be teaching an intensive  in Chicago, October 3rd to 6th, 2013 
Sacred Contracts and Astrology: How Changes in the Cosmos Influence The Significant Crossroads and Opportunities of Your Life
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Saturday, February 19, 7-9 PM.

Gallery 300

300 WEST 22nd Street@ 8th Ave.

Sculptor SABIN HOWARD’s magnificent bronze statues of Greek gods become the focal point of Jungian astrologer and mythologist MONTY TAYLOR’s insights into the psyche and soul revelations that the sculptures bring to life, in a lecture tour at the Sabin Howard Gallery on 22nd & 8th in NYC.

Entitled “HEROES OF THE INNER VOYAGE”, the lecture tour will blend Monty’s mythological (and related astrological) insights with Sabin’s heart-centered visual expressions of the timeless self. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience high art and timeless wisdom and be uplifted in the process.

Admission is FREE. All are welcome within space limitations. Please RSVP today either on Facebook or to MontgomeryTaylor22@nyc.rr.com

to reserve a place on the Guest List.



Check out a preview of these magnificent works at www.sabinhoward.com. Read more about Jungian astrologer and mythologist Monty Taylor at www.astrologydemystified.com.


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Recently a wonderful opportunity came my way: I was able to tell a well-respected, practicing psychologist my objections to psychotherapy as it is currently practiced, and he listened carefully, and he responded with both clarity and respect. I have a chance to rethink my position with new insight.
Fine critical analysis is not always a gift. For those who follow Vedic astrology, I have Mars in Virgo rising. Astrology is descriptive, not causative. In my case it rather beautifully describes my forward movement (Mars) with critical discernment (Virgo) and how it pisses off people (energetic, non-diplomatic Mars, in the first house).
And to those who scoff at astrology: “I use astrology for the same reason I use the multiplication table, because it works.” This is a quote from Grant Lewi (1902-1951), an English professor at Dartmouth.
Astrology is a multi-faceted art and my chart yields a further description. Jupiter the great benefic sits in the 7th house, facing my rising sign. In Vedic astrology, Jupiter is in Pisces, its own sign, which creates a Hamsa Yoga, the swan yoga, for good luck and evolutionary progress. Jupiter aspects that rasty Mars of mine. It is surprising how often something good comes out of my forward movement.
In this case, the gift was twofold: one, the psychologist received and validated my careful observations (ever notice how few therapists can listen to anyone, or hear criticism?) and two, this thoughtful man responded with ideas that hadn’t occurred to me. His willingness to engage me intellectually gave me a new insights, new awareness. I enjoy that. I am grateful.
My beautiful step-daughter at Johns Hopkins is aware of my on-going debate about psychotherapy, and told me about a class she took at Hopkins called “Positive Psychology.” She sent her professor’s book to her dad for his birthday. Naturally, I pounced on the book.
And the book is fascinating. Dr. Martin Seligman makes the point that most current psychology is negative psychology: the study of despair, depression, organic illness, failure, self-sabotage, e.g., “discovering deficits and repairing damage.” What about the study of positive mental and emotional traits, like peace, joy, hope, faith, and optimism? Don’t we all want more of those in our lives? But those don’t get funded by grants so they tend not to be studied.
In my opinion, ‘positive psychology’ has largely been left in the hands of New Age self-help gurus and “The Secret” purveyors, which is mixed. Some of those people are selling snake oil, some of them are on to something. (No, there is no irony in a follower of astrology stating this truth.)
Seligman points out, rightly, I think, that people stand to benefit from studying “positive institutions that promote strengths and virtues,” that lead to “lasting fulfillment: meaning and purpose.”
Seligman admits to being agnostic and I am always surprised at the lengths to which ethical humanists go to avoid acknowledging a divine presence. What is the big deal about accepting the infinite field of all-consciousness in which we live and have our beings? Still, his well-written book builds toward an explanation of how to achieve meaning and purpose, and true happiness, in life. I recommend the book. It’s good reading. It’s a rich feast for thought.
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To Russia With Love, and Venus retrograde

A Russian reader asked if I read Anne Rice. First, thank you for contacting me, Russia! Second, yes, I read Anne Rice. I greatly admire her ability to create a world that sucks you in and doesn’t let you go. I am not one of those people who adore vampires–really, during love-making, I don’t want my blood sucked–but I do love a good story, well told. Rice can do that. I hear she’s crazy religious now, which I regret.

But I do understand it. The call of spirit is always there. In my mind, writers are especially susceptible to the lure of the universe of creation. We hear it in the ear of our mind and its siren call is exquisite, undeniable. I can well understand the appeal and solace of a fundamentalist religion. To feel, every moment, that intimate ecstasy, that ravishing certainty…. Then there’s the other part of me that says, Vishnu is Jesus is Zeus is Adonai is Buddha, and it’s my uncertainty, my longing, that is holy. Heschel called faith “a blush before God.” Well, let’s keep blushing. Let’s not take on the anemia of knowing. It’s the approach, laden with wonder, that fortifies us, and praises the divine.

Now: we are a few days into Venus retrograde. In the Vedic system, some authorities say that Venus retrograde in Pisces, the sign of its exaltation, acts debilitated. I am not certain of that. The jury is still out for me.

What I have seen with retrograde planets is that they are internalized. A certain process of curiosity and exploration about them becomes necessary. When Mercury turns retrograde–communication and computers go haywire. You can straighten them out, you just have to ask yourself a series of questions: Why did this happen? How do I untangle this? What’s the deeper issue? With computers, I’ve seen a few times that there have been problems brewing, and Mercury moving backward brings those problems to light. You just can’t ignore the virus, or the erratic motherboard, anymore. Is that a debility, to deal with problems?

I like Vedic astrology and use it because it works. But I can’t forget that it is Moon centered, while Western astrology is sun centered. In Vedic astrology, there is an underlying assumption that what is comfortable, what solaces the moon, is what is best. In Western astrology, the underlying assumption is that we are all here to self-actualize, to become our fullest soul selves–to shine our light. So I always weigh the two systems, along with other archetypal systems. For me, it’s about having a variety of tools with which to understand.