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Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I believe that this was when the concept of astrology was developed. The basis for determining a person's zodiacal sign was the location of the sun on the day of a person's birth. By my reasoning this was calculated based on charts of the heavens since it it is quite difficult to see the constellations during the daylight hours.
It was the Greeks--from the time of Alexander the Great to their conquest by the Romans--who provided most of the fundamental elements of modern astrology. The spread of astrological practice was checked by the rise of Christianity, which emphasized divine intervention and free will. During the Renaissance, astrology regained popularity, in part due to rekindled interest in science and astronomy. Christian theologians, however, warred against astrology, and in 1585 Pope Sixtus V condemned it. At the same time, the work of Kepler and others undermined astrology's tenets. Its popularity and longevity are, of course, irrelevant to the truth of astrology in any of its forms.
We have since divided up the sky into hours, minutes, seconds, and degrees. Instead of 12 divisions, we now have 24 circling our view of the heavens which correspond to the longitude marks of our earth. The 12 Babylonian divisions and our hourly divisions do not correlate well.
Since that time millennia ago, the seasonal constellations have changed significantly. How does this happen? Our ancestors determined the celestial sphere was everlasting and unchanging. But as we now know, the universe is anything but static. Our planets move, our sun moves, our solar system moves, even our galaxy is racing away in space. Everything is in a constant state of motion in relation to everything else. We further complicate our view of the universe by the movement of our earth about it's axis. Because of the precession of the equinoxes, the equinox and solstice points have each moved westward about 30 degrees in the last 2,000 years. That is at least the width of one of the ancient Babylonian wedges. The bottom line is that the night sky we see is not the same as what our ancestors observed so many thousands of years ago when astrology was invented. This is NOT a result of the evolving boundary lines.
I find it interesting that although the sky has changed, astrology has not kept up to date. The sun now travels through different constellations in relation to the dates of the year. Yet the old Astrology date table has remained static.
The constellation boundaries were drawn up by Eugène Delporte in 1930. But his divisions recognized common accepted boundaries for the constellations. They may tread on the Babylonian twelve zones some, I will admit. But the fact remains that the constellations are now several degrees off what they were in ancient times.
I have determined the apparent location of the sun in each constellation throughout the year based upon the division allocated by Delporte and now accepted by the Astronomical Union.
Dec 18 - Jan 19 Sagittarius
Jan 20 - Feb 15 Capricornus
Feb 16 - Mar 11 Aquarius
Mar 12 - Apr 18 Pisces
Apr 19 - May 13 Aries
May 14 - Jun 21 Taurus
Jun 22 - Jul 20 Gemini
Jul 20 - Aug 10 Cancer
Aug 11 - Sep 16 Leo
Sep 17 - Oct 30 Virgo
Oct 31 - Nov 22 Libra
Nov 23 - Nov 29 Scorpius
Nov 30 - Dec 17 Ophiuchus
Note that there are 13 constellations through which the sun travels. The additional constellation to the original 12 is "Ophiuchus". Ophiuchus is one of the largest constellations in the sky and this wedge into the standard signs of the zodiac is interesting.
If our lives depend on the true location of the sun in one of the constellations, we should get this information updated!
I know that many of us read our horoscope for fun and some of us are true believers. Here are some things to ask yourself:
- Which sign of the zodiac do you now use knowing this?
- Why are the initial conditions more important than all subsequent conditions for one's personality and traits?
- Why is the moment of birth chosen as the significant moment rather than the moment of conception?
- Why aren't other initial conditions such as one's mother's health, the delivery place conditions, forceps, bright lights, dim room, back seat of a car, etc., more important than whether Mars is ascending, descending, culminating, or fulminating?
- Why isn't the planet Earth—the closest large object to us in our solar system--considered a major influence on who we are and what we become?
- There were some really major planets discovered after the invention of astrology, namely Uranus and Neptune... how do these fall into play?
- Other galaxies exert significant gravitational influence on our own. Is this taken into account in astrology? If so, how are the hundreds of billions of variables taken into account? (we can hardly get a handle on these things with advanced celestial mechanics)
Here's an interesting activity. Get any copy of the daily horoscope for any day of your choosing. Make a copy. Have someone cut out the horoscopes and separate them from the zodiac reference so that you don't know which belongs to which. Mix them up and see which applies best to you. Check it against the original list. Do it for several days. How good are the predictions?
Copyright 2007 by Cindi Jones, Author of Squirrel Cage
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I plead with God for many years for answers. And finally I stopped, for my answer had been there all along. The problem was mine to resolve.
Will I ever have a real answer? In my case it no longer matters. I know that I've done everything that I can to provide for my family and take care of them. I've done my best to rebuild our relationships. I still grieve at times and suppose that I always will. Sometimes I hate this situation.
BUT. I do have a new life. I have a husband who loves me more than "they" do. For he loves me unconditionally. I have friends who care deeply for me. That which I've gained has tremendous value. Those who could not grow beyond this thing are still stuck at the crossroads and will not let the past become history. They may never get over it. And for that I am very sorry. For the rest of my family, our relationships have grown ever stronger over the years.
So, while I'm feeling down right now... while I am still wondering why.... the answer still remains the same. These are my problems. I am still working on them. I am still growing. And, I still miss my family.
You know it's funny. If we were crippled in an accident, they'd not have a problem with it. If we were born with some other physical defect, they'd fully accept us and dote over us our whole life. They can't see or understand this.
So why does it have to tear us apart? Only because we let it. And sadly, it is a "WE" thing. Both parties must work on it. Why does God let it happen? Perhaps he let it happen as a biological mistake. Perhaps he doesn't care. Perhaps there is no god. It doesn't matter. It's all part of the rich tapestry of life.
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Monday, April 09, 2007
I've always admired the British. They are students of language. At least that's the impression I get when watching their news reports or see one of their citizens interviewed on television. Their prime minister can also speak in real sentences…something that escapes our esteemed leader these days (President Bush).
Perhaps it is their perfect accent. My first impression is that of intelligence. Those who express themselves with eloquence demand my admiration.
So I'm delighted when I see that sales of my book have skyrocketed in
I wonder why that is? What is it about my story that garners greater interest in the
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Many of us have been following the trials and tribulations of Steve Stanton, the city manager of Largo, Florida. Steve's legal representative has prepared a response to the city council:
Most of the response is two included articles titled "Workplace Gender Transition Guidelines" and "Transition Issues in the Workplace" both by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. These are both excellent articles and I highly recommend that all here read them thoroughly.
The preceding letter by Karen Doering of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Stantons legal council, presents a strong case for Stanton's highly regarded performance during his tenure as city manager. She also discusses briefly how Stanton was "outed" by the media before the proper presentation could be made to his employer. This is followed by a brief on the standards of care and a capsulized history of treatments. She summarizes by stating that "Mr. Stanton respectfully asks that the Commission reconsiders its preliminary decision and permit him to remain in office."
I like the way this story is unfolding. Stanton is pleading his case with calm resolution. However, the best resolution I see is a settlement in Stanton's favor. I think that it would be a very difficult thing for him to return to his job in such an electrically charged situation. BUT…. if he does and pulls this off…. he/she will be a shining example for all to see.
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A theory isn't a theory unless there are supporting facts. Until there are supporting facts, it's just a guess or postulation. For example, it is just a theory that the ball will fall to the ground if you let go of it. A theory is the best explanation given the facts that we can measure. If there is nothing that can be measured and tested, then it can't be a theory. This is called rational thought. Conclusions are based on tests that can be repeated.
Faith by its very definition "a belief in things not seen" is not rational. Now don't kill me for saying this, but it is not an explanation for things based on repeatable tests. Therefore, it does not follow the classic definition of rational thought. Our faith is based on many things, but it is not rational. It is how we feel. This does not mean that I deny that faith exists. I firmly believe that it does. I also believe that faith is an untapped power within us that we do not understand. But my belief is only that... a belief... a postulation. For I have no empirical evidence to support that belief.
The belief of those who stand judging is not a belief at all. It is, simply and purely, a hateful bigotry. You need no faith to be a bigot. You need no proof or reason. Someone is different than you and you find some way to exclude that person. It's really swell when you can base your stupidity on something else that your friends and family can agree with. This is how bigotry creeps its way into religion.
I've studied Christ extensively. Most of what is written of him is suspect for it was written decades after he died. Nevertheless, I find no bigotry or hatred in his actions or his life from these writings. He never condemned. He always opened his arms to the downtrodden and afflicted. He had immeasurable love and acceptance.
We do live in a time of tribulation. From the religious perspective, we can endure, we can be faithful. From the scientific perspective, we can research, we can look for explanations. Yet, these things are not enough to make things right. We have a duty, a responsibility, from both perspectives to unite and make the world a better place. Religion and rational thought can coexist with respect for personal rights and freedoms. That's where we need to look. That's where we need to go.
Copyright 2007 by Cindi Jones
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Monday, March 12, 2007
When I considered suicide it was to "show them" or to "make them feel guilty or sorry" for me. It wasn't selfishness that motivated my thoughts. It was an ending to punish those who knew me. I finally realized that sentiment had no logic. It had no resolution in MY favor.
When you are in the depths of depression, you can not think clearly. Rationalization is pointless. Thoughtful consideration of the facts does not work. Your bias is overwhelming.
I'm sure that there are many reasons people consider for suicide. In the depths of self doubt, who knows what you can dream up.
But since you are down there, in your hole, thinking, positioning yourself, and wondering, consider that you might be at the bottom. It may be that any small thing can improve your life. Know that it is possible for things to get better. Know that your depression is an illness that you can learn to deal with. Reason that. You can logically tell yourself that you have this illness of depression and you can get better. That logic can defeat depression.
Transsexualism doesn't create the depression. But it does seem that depression and the T walk hand in hand. Transsexualism brings its own challenges to the party. It is the fruitlessness of life as we see it that prompts many of us to build a new ladder and climb out of the hole we are in. We call it transition.
The logic escapes us. The reality of improvement helps us feel the results of a cause and effect relationship. It is these results that motivates us and moves us forward.
Suicide is a reaction to the external forces we face and live with. It is a reaction to those around us. It is not an act we do for ourselves. So, yes, we are selfish. Moving beyond suicide and its grip is selfish. Pushing positive influences into our lives makes US better. Fulfilling our self realization is a selfish act which moves us beyond the feelings of inadequacy and doubt.
Life is worth living my friend. It is beautiful. I look out my window as I type this and see the velvet fluorescent green of fresh grass covering the hills. The cattle are tending to their calves and birds are singing. It is a moment to cherish. It is a moment of life.
Find the source of your anguish and deal with it. Get medical help if you need. But you must cease the endless thought process of logic where suicide is concerned. It leads nowhere and unfortunately has dire consequences.
Pick yourself up. Enjoy this moment for what it is. And know that you can overcome the obstacles and enjoy life.
Copyright 2007 by Cindi Jones
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Saturday, March 10, 2007
I am tenacious, stubborn, logical, and yes, at times even egotistical. I can honestly tell you that I am not a victim. I am a winner. I am successful. I am proud. And there's the rub for THEM. I should be living my life in guilt and sadness for what I have done. In their view of cause and effect, success comes with obedience to their "laws". I've broken their "laws" and I'm still successful. They can see that I'm still an honest and loving person which creates an overwhelming dichotomy that can't be resolved. They see that I am not the sinful devil their culture tells them I must be. They can't sort it out. It's a puzzle that can not be put together. So, they will lash out. I understand this.
No, I am not a victim. But they are victims. I could never tell them that. They are the ones living their life in sadness and guilt. They are the ones that can't get past a road block in life. They are the ones that depend on God to make things right through endless prayer and reading of the scriptures. They are the ones who pull in the "victim blanket" to cover themselves. And then they wonder why God offers no answer, no hope, and no resolution. I'm sorry kids, but you have the power to solve some of life's problems (actually, most all of them) on your own. God's answer to your prayers may be to ignore you. To get that star on your forehead, you've got to do it yourself.
CHIN UP! YEA!
Copyright 2007 by Cindi Jones
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Sunday, March 04, 2007
Yet, the atheists that I do know are the finest Christians I've ever met! Go figure.
They are kinder, gentler, more understanding, more accepting, more GENEROUS to worthy causes... you name it, they are just nicer and more decent people than many Christians I've met in my lifetime.
Yes, religious zealots need an evil to fight. They need a battle to rally the troops. They need their master to lead them in difficult times. They need someone to beat up. Pretty sad huh?
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Thursday, March 01, 2007
I've lived a lot of life since then. I'm grateful for every single day. I've learned to live again. I live my life to the fullest. I've seen life from "both sides." If I died today, I could honestly say that I've done everything that needed to be done, I've never left my loved ones without telling I love them, I have no major regrets.
Yes, there have been many problems, pain, obstacles, and family issues along the way. But I have refused to let these things interfere with my life and the happiness of my loved ones who share it with me.
I've had many successes and those are easily remembered. Financially, I've done better than I ever dreamed possible as a woman. I am very lucky indeed.
I feel honored to "know" my friends here. You have been wonderful. You have helped me in so many ways that you'll never know. I've learned so much from you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Here's to another year!
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007
80 to 90 percent of the real news reported in all venues (from the internet to television) is a retelling of news gathered by the news papers. Yet newspapers in every city are on the verge of financial bankruptcy (I don't know about this particular point...). The point is that if there is real news being reported by real reporters, it is coming from the newspapers. Yet the younger generation is retreating from reported news in droves, turning to blogs and other internet sources who report with well known bias. Again, these sources are selling entertainment to turn a profit.
The most popular news program is not a news program at all. It is the "Daily Show" with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, a cable television program. A test given to measure political awareness given to a group of young people underscored this fact. Those scoring the highest on the test claimed their only news source was this particular program. I admit that I watch and enjoy Jon Stewart. But this is entertainment!
The other most popular "news" programs by far are not those that do commentary and not news. Shows like The Oreilly Factor tend to pull the most viewers. These feature commentators who present their opinion on the news and not the news itself. Stories are presented from either the left or right wing perspective. They are spiteful, mean, and flagrantly paint a biased opinion to inflame their viewers to anger towards an imaginary opposition.
The bottom line in the presentation was that news, for the most part, is very hard to find these days. The American appetite is not for news. The public does not want to think and decide for themselves to form an opinion on unbiased reporting. They will not read. They prefer to have it served to them coated with their right or left wing slant. The current news is divisive, empty of content, and only serves to dumb down its consumers.
What a tragedy that our country, once the bastion for freedom of the press, has abandoned fair and unbiased reporting in favor of entertainment. No wonder we are turning into a bunch of heathens.
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Friday, February 23, 2007
Yes, I knew that this time might come. I knew that someday you would open your arms and invite me in, or that you would learn more of my past and exclude me from your life.
You have felt abandoned as you have grown up into a beautiful young woman. Now that you have a child you wondered why I left your mother so many years ago. And after reading my life story, you decided to end our relationship. It breaks my heart. It crushes the breath from my lungs. It dries my tears with a hot desert wind so that I can cry no more.
My little girl .. I know that your mother has never said anything bad about me. But there have been many things unsaid. In your world, there could be no discussion of people like me. For it is a sin unto God. Not only were you missing your father, you were left with an empty explanation as to why he was not with you as you grew up. The discussion never took place. It could never take place. I fault no one for this. It was inevitable.
You need not make a logical argument, to discover the facts and assemble them into a reason as an explanation to me. All you need do is quote directly from the text I wrote which you have read: "Over the next ten years, I would learn to betray every person that I ever loved. I would lie to them. I would steal their confidence. I would steal pieces of their precious lives. I would lead them on. I, singularly, would be the source of anguish, embarrassment, and desperation for a full generation of my family." Of course, the generation I speak of includes my parents, my children, and now, their children.
Yes, I have had happy times in my life. I value this as a blessing. Unfortunately, much of my happiness has been at your expense and the family you love and cherish. They have loved me and I them. This I can not deny. I can assure you that I am quite miserable now. Your revelation has consumed me.
Please know that I never abandoned you. Yes, there has been a great physical distance that has separated us. This was a necessary thing for my survival many years ago. This has not, however diminished my longing to know you, to hold you, to have an open discussion, and to love you openly as my daughter. I had many financial difficulties over the years, but your support and well being were always at the top of my priority list. There were many times when that priority was difficult to manage. It was my choice eat or support you and your brother. I tell you this not so that you may feel guilty but so that you may know that I did not abandon you.
No, you will not receive this letter today, tomorrow, or even next year. You may never read this letter. I have decided that to send it may only give rise to more conflict that what I have written will transmit a different message when you read it. I would hope that someday you will read it.
I love you, my daughter, with every fiber of my being. I will always love you. Nothing can or will ever change that. I will always be here for you, I will welcome you with open arms should you ever change your mind.
With great sadness,
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007
There is much in this world and this life that we can't understand. We have our science, our religious faith, and our cherished traditions to help us cope with the problems that come our way. Yet, sometimes these things are not enough to help us understand, comprehend, believe, and forgive when the most unexpected appears on our front door step.
Let's suppose that you have been told that your child has an incurable cancer, defective kidneys, or any congenital defect. You might be told that your child is accused of being a predator of children, a rapist, or a serial killer. Be honest with yourself; think. How would you react to each of these situations?
Would the compassion and love you have for your child be devoured by any of these revelations? Would you attend to your child in the hospital as she receives needed blood transfusions? Would you visit your child in jail while she awaits trial? Or would the cherished love you have developed over decades be discarded as you leave your child to face these challenges on her own?
In Old Testament times, the children of God feared leprosy. In fact, they actively shunned those who contracted this ugly disease:
Numbers 5:2 Command the children of
They had good cause to be fearful of leprosy, for it was truly a disabling and disfiguring disease. For this reason, they were put out of the camp, shut off, and left to fend for themselves in poverty. It was thought that this condition was brought on by sin and unrighteousness. Yet, Jesus was unafraid of the lepers. He faced them many times and brought them unto him for his blessings. We now know that leprosy is a disease and not castigation from God. Our knowledge has let us see through the ignorance of past generations to see that it is a disease of the flesh and not one of the spirit or soul. We know with assurance it is not something born of sin.
Christ's compassion went beyond those things that men did not understand. He loved all men and women. In fact, he once told that love of God and of fellow men were the greatest of the commandments. In Mathew, Chapter 22, he said "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." If we were to do nothing else, the exercise of pure love of God and our fellow man would be the greatest accomplishment in our lives. All of the laws come secondary to these two great commandments of love.
Your child has told you that she is a transsexual. Yes, she is a modern day leper of sorts. It is a condition that is little understood because of its rarity and unwillingness of the scientific community to investigate. Neither is the topic properly addressed in our religious history. It's not because there never were people with what we call gender dysphoria. There have always individuals with GID.
No, it is not sexually motivated. The desire to have sex does not relate to how a transsexual views the world and his/her place in it. In fact, for many transsexuals, sex is not a primary factor in considering their transition.
So, now you know that there is something terribly wrong with your child. It is something you dare not talk about with your friends. It is something you can not address with your church leaders. You feel betrayed, hurt, and ashamed.
Pretend you are the leper for a moment.
Could you be the leper? Could you suffer the ridicule, the emotional stress, the longing of having lost your family? Could you stand up and proclaim; "I AM A LEPER!"? Could you learn to deal with it, even though all of society believes leprosy is caused by sin?
Now, step back into your own shoes. Did you love your child before this revelation? Do you still love your child? Has your child physically harmed anyone? Is your child suffering? Can you muster the powerful love of your faith or just that of a parent to overcome any personal differences you may have?
Can you just tell your child "I love you?"
When posed with such difficult life decisions, I always think to myself: "What would Christ do?" Now, I'm not a Christian. But I admire the man from
Christ's ultimate message was that of love. I'm hoping that you can manage to overcome the minor hurdles that separate you from your child. Love is ultimately more important. You may not understand. You may not agree. But, you can love.
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Friday, February 02, 2007
Please let me know how you like it.
Friday, January 05, 2007
No, this isn't really a poem about a lodgepoll pine. It is a poem written for us. We've been dealt a hard hand and it is up to us to redo god's handiwork. Just like the tree, we change ourselves in order to live. Just like that tree, we are often viewed as unsuitable examples of humanity. But, like the tree, we have developed character and we have survived.
Life and nature are wonderful teachers. The worth of a person is often evaluated by their appearance. Often times the struggle of their life is the most meaningful standard.
This is the meaning I have crafted behind these few words in this poem. I hope this explanation is helpful in understanding my "contorted" mind
Chin up (stick up your needles!)
The contorted trunk of the pine tree bends.
Unnatural, ugly, and twisted, it wends
green spines upward to capture sun’s light.
Long gone are the forces that created its plight,
the untold struggle to find
a way to survive after struck down in its prime.
Along the ground it lay
and there it would have stayed
if not for its sheer will to live.
No, this tree will not give
wood straight and true.
Cockeyed and bent it has no use
to satisfy someone’s fancy
of what a tree should be.
Copyright 2007 Cindi Jones