2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,600 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Plutonian Energy: Natal Pluto in the First House

In the Greek/Roman mythology, Pluto/Hades is the king of the underworld and god of the dead. As one can imagine based on this information, the planet Pluto has very strong and dark influence over us. His energy is rather mysterious and out of the ordinary; Pluto rules the sign of Scorpio.

Hades/Pluto and Persephone

Hades/Pluto and Persephone

Pluto is the slowest-moving planet in the Solar System. His energy influences entire generations. For instance, Pluto¬†spent about 11-12 years in the sign of Scorpio from Nov 1983 to May 1983, then from Aug 1984 to Jan 1985 and again from April 1995 to Nov 1995. This is considered a home placement for Pluto, where he naturally expresses himself at his best. Those people born in the years of Pluto in Scorpio have Plutonian energy about them and are considered the Scorpio generation. However, depending on how he’s positioned in everyone’s individual birth chart, Pluto has bigger or lesser influence on one’s life.

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Pluto in the First House gives a very noticeable and attractive but also¬†mysterious and even dark personality to those individuals as the First House is the House of self.¬†Free Spirited Mind¬†gives an excellent explanation about it: “The First House¬†signifies what someone IS. This means, that the body, the mind and the behaviour of the native are largely influenced by this house and any planet or mathematical point that is positioned inside it.” Therefore, here Pluto gives a very strong Plutonian energy to the individual, making them intense, dark and mysterious. Those people have very dominating and powerful eyes and a piercing gaze that cannot remain¬†unnoticed. In his Astrology, Karma & Transformation book, Stephen Arroyo suggests that First House Pluto’s “cooperation at a deep personal level is so difficult for them that they often wind up lonely and, in some cases, even alienated from friends and family. If the Pluto energy is used creatively here, the person can exhibit powerful concentration, dedication to higher spiritual or social ideals, and a remarkable depth of insight into life’s deeper meanings.

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Scorpio Nebula

Plutonians are very secretive people who¬†like keeping their personal life extremely private. They like surrounding themselves with mysteries and love being viewed as mysterious¬†people living in the shadows. Pluto people are loners- they love spending time with themselves, exploring deep levels of their subconscious or just thinking over highly existential problems. Plutonians are very emotional and they love and hate passionately. They wouldn’t mind being in the company of people they hate because this drives their negative emotions (emotions feed Plutonians and are a driving force in their life). What they hate though, is being in the company of people they don’t care for. Plutonians¬†consider communication with those people as a waste of time and no matter how much they are trying to hide their indifference and annoyance, it just shows up on their faces. This might be why people with strong Plutonian energy (Pluto in 1st House, Scorpio Ascendant, Scorpio Moon, Scorpio Sun, Pluto-Sun aspects etc.) are considered arrogant and sometimes even unsociable.

Scorpio

Scorpio

No matter the negative features a Plutonian might have, they are undoubtedly interesting people. They never pass unnoticed, although they try to as they hate being in the centre of attention. People either like or dislike them, there is no middle ground. What Plutonians need to learn is to tame the destructive energy within them or at least make it work for not against them. After all, Pluto is the planet of death and rebirth, meaning he kills one so that one can be born again stronger and wiser.

L. V. K.

The Art of Lucid Dreaming or how do I know that my reality is just an Illusion

Have you ever woke up and realised you were still sleeping? The feeling was amazing, right!

The concept¬†of lucid dreaming has been of interest to me for a very long time. For those of you who are not familiar, lucid dreaming¬†occurs when¬†one is aware that one is dreaming, while still asleep. In Buddhist culture, lucid dreaming has been recognised thousands of years ago. Western culture though, only took interest in the phenomenon in the last few decades, with biggest impact in the recent years. Even Hollywood told the story of lucid dreaming, making a few movies dedicated to its art. One of them-Inception- shows the world of lucid dreaming in a very detailed and complex way. Actually, Inception‘s director- Christopher Nolan, one of the most popular conscious¬†dreamers nowadays, took the inspiration for the movie from his own lucid dreams.

The art of lucid dreaming

The art of lucid dreaming

However,¬†Inception¬†is not the only movie inspired by the phenomenon of lucid dreaming. The movie¬†Avatar, made by another famous vivid dreamer- James Cameron, makes a parallel between dreams and¬†reality; moreover,¬†the way it’s been made resembles a lucid dream. The concept for¬†Avatar¬†occurred to Cameron many years ago in a dream, but he was waiting for the appropriate technology to be invented so that he would be able to make the film.¬†The Matrix¬†trilogy (again the Wachowskis¬†are lucid dreamers) is one of the first Hollywood movies that explores the concept of living in parallel worlds through vivid dreams.¬†“How do I know that my reality is not an illusion?”

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The Matrix

Film directors are not the only famous lucid dreamers out there. Loads of art personas, musicians, writers, scientists etc. have made a good use of the benefits of lucid dreaming. Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla are rumoured to have been under the influence of dreams when made their biggest inventions. Salvador Dali’s most popular paintings are a representation of what he’s seen in his dreams. Writers such as Stephen King and Edgar Alan Poe have taken most of the plots for their stories from dreams. Both of them have work dedicated to lucid dreaming- King’s¬†Dreamcatcher¬†and Poe’s¬†Dream-Land¬†and A¬†Dream Within A Dream. Even the tune¬†for one of The Beatles’ most popular songs-¬†Yesterday-¬†was composed in a dream.

The Temptation of St. Anthony by Salvador Dali

The Temptation of St. Anthony by Salvador Dali

As¬†you can see, lucid dreaming is an amazing skill, which can change your life in a very positive way. Through lucid dreaming, we get access to some of the deepest parts of our brain. While lucid in a dream, we are able to use a much bigger percentage of our brain’s capacity than when we are awake. We get rid of all boundaries and become free. But in order to achieve this incredible state of mind, we need to learn how to control our mind, even a little. It’s not difficult, but it takes time and patience. We need to understand the world that surrounds us by questioning it, by questioning the reality.¬†If we learn to question the reality, we’ll know how to control the illusion.

After all, reality is the biggest illusion!

L. V. K.

 

 

 

Stonehenge- The Unsolved Mystery

A couple of months¬†ago, I had the pleasure to visit one of the most popular and mysterious places on Earth- Stonehenge. I have been living in the UK for almost six years and I never went to see this magnificent monument. Scientists argue the first stones had been raised¬†around 2400-2200 BC¬†but the purpose it was built for, the technology of transporting and raising the stones and the place they’ve been brought from remain unknown, making Stonehenge one of the oldest and most mysterious places¬†in the world.

Stonehenge, bird's eye view

Stonehenge, bird’s eye view

The route to Stonehenge is quite a journey so when you decide to visit it, you gotta be prepared for a long travel. We headed off from Southampton, which is considerably close to Stonehenge. So we took the train to Salisbury and then the tour bus to Stonehenge, which takes about 30 minutes. The scenery was absolutely fantastic as it was mid-spring and everything was so green and shiny. The sun was up, though it was quite windy. But the air was fresh and one could feel a really strong connection with nature. Once we arrived at the entrance, we were to take a shuttle to the stones which took another 5-8 min. And suddenly, there it was- the mighty Stonehenge!

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The beauty of Stonehenge

At a first glance, I thought it was smaller than I expected. But boy, was it beautiful! It was surrounded by people, trying to take a picture from every¬†possible angle. My purpose though was to feel the energy that surrounds Stonehenge. When I was little, I was reading a children’s magazine called Wally’s World. For those who don’t remember it, it was a¬†weekly,¬†educational¬†magazine and each¬†issue was dedicated to a different country or region of the world, describing its history, legends surrounding it, facts etc. I remember one of the issues was focused on Britain and a particular article was telling the history of Stonehenge. I was so impressed and since then I’ve always wanted to visit it, to feel the air surrounding it, to witness the influence it has on people who see it for the first time.

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Stonehenge

The stones were surrounded by a fence, to stop people getting too close and touching them. There will always be someone who’d try to break the rule though, that’s why together with the fence there were people to guard the stones too. The stones are located on a little hill and everything one sees around is green fields. It was extremely clean, not a single piece of trash could be spotted anywhere.

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When we went back to the tourist point, we had about an hour to look around as the busses to Salisbury arrive every hour in the winter time and every half hour in the summertime. Next to the ticket office, there was a shop where you could buy all sorts of souvenirs such as T-shirts, pens, mugs; we got magnets. From the shop, you can enter the restaurant which was quite nice actually (or probably we were too hungry haha). When we had our lunch we went outside as there were model houses of the era Stonehenge was built in. They were really interesting and to me resembled time-machines cause when I entered any of them, it would feel like I was stepping over from present to the past.

A model of a house from 2400-2200 BC

Back to the past

Back to the past

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Stonehenge tourist point

By the time we were wandering around the tourist point and the ancients’ houses, the bus arrived and we caught it to go back to Salisbury. It is a gorgeous, little town which is exactly what one would imagine England is. The High street is full of ancient pubs and little shops which are so cute. Actually, Salisbury is very similar to Winchester, if you’ve been there. It has a river crossing the city centre and one of its landmarks is Salisbury Cathedral, where Magna Carta is conserved.

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Salisbury Cathedral

Old George Mall

Old George Mall

Beautiful stained glass

Beautiful stained glass

To everyone who hasn’t visited Stonehenge and Salisbury yet, I highly recommend you to do so! The magic that surrounds these places, especially Stonehenge, is indescribable!

L. V. K.

Devil’s Advocate or How to Lose Your Soul

“Vanity, definitely my favourite sin!”

This is one of my all time favourite movie quotes. It’s so full of truth, wisdom and¬†cynicism at the same time that I want to cry and then laugh and then cry again. The movie this quote comes from, as most of you know, is Devil’s Advocate (1997), starring the titans Al Paccino and Keanu Reeves accompanied by the gorgeous Charlize Theron.

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The film tells the story of Kevin Lomax, a young and ambitious attorney from Gainsville, Florida, who’s never lost a case. One day, he receives a job offer from the world’s most powerful law firm, based in New York and owned by the mysterious and charming John Milton. Kevin grabs the opportunity and together with his wife Mary Ann, leaves for the Big Apple to pursue his dream. However, success has its high price and in Kevin’s case, this is his soul, which he sells piece by piece for money and power. The movie is so powerful not just¬†because of the great story it tells but also because of the magnificent performances Al Paccino, Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron and the rest of the cast give. They’ve put their souls in the project which makes it so real and influential.

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For me, Devil’s Advocate is an allegory of the biblical story of Adam and Eve and how they’ve been tempted by the serpent to taste the forbidden fruit. In the movie, the serpent (John Milton) persuades¬†Eve (Mary Ann) to tempt Adam (Kevin) to taste the fruit of success, no matter the price. Mary Ann does that, she is a big influence over her husband in the beginning of the story because she stimulates his ego. She erases all moral boundaries he has and throws him in a world, where she believes they both should belong. Kevin himself has issues with his vanity, never accepting he ever might lose a case, which makes him an easy target for the devilish tricks of John Milton. However, as everything should be free will, John gives Kevin the opportunity to take all decisions himself. He always shows him two paths- the right and the wrong, manipulating him to take the wrong way but never closing the door to the right way.

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Devil’s Advocate is an incredible movie, which shows us how we’re losing our souls every day. It teaches us to let go of vanity, which is the core of all sins and makes us think over the matter of success. What is it? How do we define it? What price have we paid for it? The world we live in is our own doing and what happens to us is too. Devil’s Advocate makes us take a deep, real look inside¬†ourselves and ask, “Can I bear to look at myself in the mirror, and if I do, will I see a monster?

L. V. K.

How You Express Your Anger, Depending on Your Moon Sign

The other day, I came across an article summarising the way different zodiac signs express their anger and react to scandals. As most of you probably know, reading newspaper horoscopes is a waste of time because one’s personality is not limited to their Sun sign; it’s a complicated mixture, influenced by all planets and constellations, house positions, aspects and many more. That’s why I normally don’t read ‘astrology’ forecast articles, especially in the daily newspaper,¬†but for some reason, this one caught my attention. So I started reading, beginning with my own sign of course, which is Virgo. As I expected, what was written in there was 100% wrong. However, I decided to read the Scorpio part as well, which is my Ascendant. I’ve heard from astrologers that if you are reading the daily horoscope, you should check out the part of your Ascendant sign, not your Sun. And this was 100% accurate! I was surprised because the Ascendant does not normally play that important part in your emotional state, but then I remembered my Moon sign was in Scorpio too¬†(very bad positioning in my opinion). The Moon is in charge of our emotions so it was only logical that the way we express anger will be determined by the Moon sign. To be entirely sure of the accuracy of my realisation and the article itself, I decided to check the parts, describing my family and some close friends’ (Moon) signs and they were 100% true as well. If you don’t know your Moon sign, that’s very easy to check; just google ‘Moon sign calculator’, type your date of birth and that’s it.

So here are the descriptions of how all 12 Moon signs express anger (this might help you deal with them in critical situations):

Moon in Aries

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Aries is a fiery sign, the fieriest of all three. So you can imagine what happens when a Moon in Aries gets angry- they explode¬†with the power of a¬†nuclear¬†bomb. A scandal with a person having their Moon in Aries is like an electric storm and if you’re in the centre of it, you’ll feel like¬†a lightning rod. The only thing you can do after is to pretend nothing has happened; the Aries will grump for a while and will then forget it. However, if the offence was a serious one, they are likely to remember and their anger might erupt again like a volcano- sudden and scorching.

Moon in Taurus

Moon in Taurus doesn’t explode so easily. You must have done something extremely terrible to make them angry. But once they get on the going, there’ll be no safe place for you on Earth. There’s no point in trying to calm them down, argue, cry or beg, you’ll just make them angrier. The Moon in Taurus will hardly forgive you and if they do, they’ll remember the offence for a very long time, reminding you of your ‘sin’ every now and then.

Moon in Gemini

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People having their Moon in Gemini are quarrelsome and nagging.¬†They get angry very easily, anything could¬†make them explode and¬†they can even become quite aggressive.¬†Kill the Gemini with silence- this is how to¬†finish¬†them in a quarrel. The fact you don’t respond to their attacks could result in hysteria. To win against them, you need to be very calm and reasonable, because if you get angry too, that will give them pleasure and the quarrel will never end. A good thing about the Moon in Gemini though, is they forget very quickly. After the storm, you simply need to behave in a cheery and friendly manner and everything will be fine again.

Moon in Cancer

The Cancer is an extremely sensitive sign, so it’s very easy to offend them. Once they get angry, they will attack you, using every possible means. Don’t get shocked if a Moon in Cancer uses a very personal thing¬†you’ve shared with them, just to hurt you. However, they do it not because they are evil, but because anger blinds them, especially during a quarrel. The Cancer has a sense of fairness and will feel sorry for what they’ve done once they calm down.

Moon in Leo

The Leo is a very lazy beast; there’s no need for quarrel. They are smarter, prettier and much more elegant than you and on top of that, they have royal blood. Why would such a magnificent person waste their time to argue with you? But once you get them roaring, put on some earplugs and a helmet. They will aim at your weak spot, they will offend you and humiliate you; it could even get to a physical aggression. And don’t expect them to apologise after that. If you want to remain friends with a Moon in Leo after a quarrel, you need to take¬†the first step.

Moon in Virgo

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If they love you, they will forgive you. But they will shout¬†at you nonetheless. Every time you fail to do something in accordance to their rules, they will either¬†grumble or¬†scream at you, depending on the level¬†of your crime. They might even throw something at you (they are very well-aimed). Don’t worry while¬†they are screaming, but if they stop, then it means they’ve had enough and the situation gets critical. After the quarrel, don’t be the first to act because they’ll think you’re trying to trick them.

Moon in Libra

The Moon in Libra doesn’t like huge scandals. But they participate¬†in them nonetheless. People around them annoy them very often and they need to act whether they like it or not. The thing they hate the most during a quarrel is the opponent to present a serious argument they can’t over-think. This will drive them crazy because they hate losing an argument. And if you remind them of a similar case when they’ve acted wrong, they will eat you, quite literally.

Moon in Scorpio

scorpionewmoonOn the outside, a Moon in Scorpio doesn’t get angry. They keep cool and strike with their poisonous tail. ¬†To lose their temper and start screaming, something extremely terrible should’ve happened. A Moon in Scorpio will forgive people they consider close as long as they take¬†the first step to reconciliation. If they don’t consider you close though, a Moon in Scorpio will only pretend they’ve forgiven you while plotting a revenge.

Moon in Sagittarius

A Moon in Sagittarius might not even notice when they quarrel with you. It must have been a huge scandal with a few broken glasses, to make a Moon in Sagittarius remember it for a few minutes. The Sagittarius is quarrelsome, screams a lot, offends and sometimes involves external parties in the hassle. They could make such a show that the neighbours come out to the windows with popcorn. However quickly they explode though, they cool down twice as quick and might even forget they’ve quarrelled with you. You don’t even need to reconcile after that.

Moon in Capricorn

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A Moon in Capricorn does not normally shout, they will express all their emotions through their eyes. During a¬†hassle, they will not respond to their opponent’s attacks, they will just look at them sternly with a pinch of arrogance. A Moon in Capricorn will remember every offence and every wound you’ve given them and will pay you back accordingly. They would never admit their fault, even if they realise it.

Moon in Aquarius

Those with Moon in Aquarius shout only when they think it would benefit them; it never comes emotionally, from their hearts. A Moon in Aquarius could turn into a spitfire though, but only when they are overloaded, stressed or have problems. They might insult you terribly but they don’t mean it. That’s why they will come and apologize later because they are not resentful.

Moon in Pisces

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If a quarrel is a kind of sport for the Sagittarius, it is definitely a vocation for the Pisces. They cry, they shout, they insult. They could even throw something at you in their rage and cry over it being broken for days after. A Moon in Pisces will easily forgive you though because, after such a quarrel, they normally seek the fault in themselves.

 

The Moon is responsible for one’s emotional and instinctual energies and is a key component in the makeup of the basic ego/personality. The three main components in forming one’s personality are the Sun, the Moon and the Ascendant. The Moon represents the internal self, the emotional state; we express this side of our character only to people we consider close. The Ascendant represents the external self, how we act in an unfamiliar environment; the Ascendant is how other people (mostly those who don’t know us very well or meet us for the first time) see us; the Ascendant is the first impression. The Sun is the element that makes the connection between the two. In order to get a better¬†understanding about yourself and how you’d react in particular situations, read the descriptions for your Sun & Moon signs and the Ascendant.

L. V. K.

Artists vs. Celebrities: Is Celebrity Killing The Art

Today’s post is a little bit different from what I normally blog about. But since I love all forms of art- cinema, theatre, music, literature, painting etc., and definitely consider myself an art person, I decided to share my opinion on modern¬†cinematic art and its impact on society. My focus is on Hollywood because unfortunately, this is the only entertainment and show business industry we have access to on a global level. The thing that actually provoked me was a biography book I came across recently. It is the first biography of actor Christian Bale, published independently by his former assistant. I found out about the existence of this book through¬†Facebook, because its official page appeared as¬†a suggestion on my timeline. I checked it out and¬†decided to read some reviews on Goodreads to see what it was about as I don’t like¬†biographies and have read just a couple in my life. However, I do like Christian Bale so I thought I might give it a go if it was good and if it’s focus was on his career. Apparently, what it turned out to be was an angry former assistant taking revenge by revealing very personal aspects of a very secretive person’s life. I was disgusted by what I read and decided I will NOT read such thing.

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Christian Bale is one of my favourite actors and I respect him a lot for his talent and for his personality. I don’t know him of course, but I like his approach to the public- very respectful and a little bit reserved. What I like about him is that his personal life is very private and normal and I wish¬†it to remain so. I don’t want to know whether he talks to his¬†siblings or not, what he’s like at home, when he goes to romantic dinners with his wife etc., that’s his business. I only want to see him in good, quality movies like “The Machinist”, “Batman Begins” & the two “Dark Knight” films, “The Fighter”, “American Hustle”, “American Psycho”, “The Prestige” and so on (the list is quite long). And I want his performances to keep getting better and better with each movie he makes. I love his acting style and his dedication to his roles and¬†respect him for that. There are not many actors out there, who are ready to do the things he’s done. That’s why I think his former assistant’s biography is absolutely tasteless, disgusting and unethical. It’s robbing Christian Bale of his privacy and is exposing very personal aspects of his life to the public, which should never have happened. Actors’ job is to entertain the public and be ready to cross borders in the name of art but they are not obliged to feed the¬†public’s curiosity. I’m absolutely against actors revealing their personal lives because that is killing the art.

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Unfortunately, most of the so called celebrities are much different than the Christian Bale model I just described. Nowadays, talentless people rely on scandals to become famous. Drugs, alcohol, love relationships, marriages, divorces, affairs etc. are the things some celebrities use to get the public attention. And sadly, most of them succeed in that. What is sadder though, is that a lot of people really care about those celebrities’ lives and not about their art. Of course, there are many types of entertainment and a lot of¬†people enjoy reading gossip magazines¬†for example., but I think the¬†celebrities filling those magazines should not be put under the same category with real actors/artists/musicians who are famous for their talent and what they create and give to the world and not for their personal life. I think when an actor’s life is too exposed to the public eye, they somehow lose their magic and struggle to get into their characters and be convincing. This is because there should be¬†mysticism around actors as¬†this way they can easily become someone else; the public should never be allowed to see the real person behind the mask. That’s why I think celebrity is killing the art and that’s why I think actors such as Christian Bale and the late River Phoenix are brilliant because one¬†will never know who¬†the actor behind the character really is.

L. V. K.