Celebrating Completely Natural Phenomena

Here I go, ladies and gentleman, shamelessly showcasing another early blast from the past: an article I wrote as a co-op student for the Campbell River Mirror, spring 2007.

I remember catching some harmless hell for this interview, after hanging out with David Mielke in his Campbell River home, which overlooked the ocean (if I’m remembering correctly). We chatted each other’s ears off for three hours. He taught me about steel cut oats.

Regardless… I was reminded, upon returning to “the office,” that interviews aren’t supposed to last longer than twenty minutes. (Hilarious when you think about it.) I didn’t see a problem with my behaviour, though, as long as I made deadline—which, if I remember correctly, at the Mirror I always did.

“I’m good with deadlines,” I told my favourite editor yet years later.

“I know you are,” she responded without missing a beat.

But back to one of my earliest profiles, Mielke and I really hit it off. Or so I thought. Up until re-reading the article recently, I agonized all these years over upsetting him over what I thought was an editorial error. After returning eleven years later (although there was an editorial error introduced), I’m thinking now that my candid exposé may have been why a relative (who worked at the Mirror in another department), offered Mielke a sneak peak of the article a day before it went to print. He said he thought I “did a great job with a complicated subject,” and pointed out the factual error introduced not by me, but by the editorial team.

Mielke never responded to my apology email. I was crushed. I felt like trash for pain I unintentionally inflicted. Remember I’m saturated with 4 Sagittarius’s in my natal chart, so playing with fire (along with being everybody’s friend), doesn’t elude me. Capricorn sets rules for us to follow now to avoid trouble as much as possible.

Though in my defence, I remember interviewing and profiling the town clown, sitting in her basement on bar stools—she (probably an Aquarius)—entertaining me to no end. Toys, colours, costumes, and crafts everywhere. I remember her divulging personal information about her life that, if my editor caught wind of, he would have wanted me to print. So, I kept her personal details to myself.

I think it’s clear in the following article that Mielke’s mom came around. In some ways, his parents were supportive from the beginning. But the psychoanalysis and the personal details not found here are his business to share. The following article, however, was printed.

Otherwise, for a 24-year-old co-op student (and compared to my very first article ever published in print two years earlier), I knocked Mielke’s profile out of the park. Profiling cool people is my strength. Even today, eleven years later—and in light of pride month and conversion therapy—the message and story couldn’t be more relevant and timely. Thanks David Mielke!

 

Frank Talk
By Jill Lang

David Mielke grew up in a doll house, not a closet.

Mielke knew he was gay in the sexual sense of the word when he hit puberty, but family members and peers perceived him to be “gay” from a young age.

“I was kind of effeminate as a little kid,” says Mielke. “I’d cry over sad things, I liked to play dress-up, and I liked to write little plays and put them on.”

In 1968, Mielke’s kindergarten teacher had strict ideas about gender roles for her young students. She expected little girls to play in the elaborate, life-size doll house, while little boys were supposed to build roads outside in the fields for their tricycles.

Since Mielke was always getting caught in the doll house, his kindergarten teacher suggested his parents take him to Vancouver for steroid and hormone treatments.

“Fortunately my dad was a dentist and my mom was an RN, so they had some education and just told her to stuff it,” Mielke says.

Even though he remained in school, being banned from the doll house didn’t stop him from drawing pictures of flowers or choosing Daisy Duck to decorate his locker.

“I got the message very strongly that there was something wrong with me and it was bad to be the way I was,” he says. “In retrospect, people would interpret that as being gay, so they would call me fag before they knew what that meant.”

Over time, the verbal and emotional abuse led Mielke to hide his “femme boy” qualities. He systematically hacked away important virtues like creativity, so by the time he reached 15, he had sunk into a suicidal depression.

His parents split only added to this dissociation from life and like many teenagers, he began to abuse drugs and alcohol.

“I felt overwhelmed by the responsibility of dealing with [my mother], so what finally happened one day was she called me a femme,” says Mielke. “It was such a violation. Something in me just kind of broke and I thought ‘I’m on my own in this life.’”

Unable to rely on his parents or trust adults, Mielke convinced his then-girlfriend to run away with him up north to McKenzie, B.C. The pair were shortly discovered by RCMP and his girlfriend flew home with her father. Mielke’s mother emancipated him, confirming his worst fear that she didn’t care.

Fifteen years old with a grade nine education, Mielke went to work as a night janitor and rented an apartment. A couple more brushes with the law forced him to move to the mainland.

He found a decent job in Vancouver at the International Plaza Hotel and stopped taking drugs. He spent his evenings taking acting classes and enrolled in the BTSD equivalent program at Capilano College.

“I started seeing plays and seeking out things that were authentic to me,” says Mielke. “I stopped trying to have a girlfriend, but I still wasn’t out.

“I would just make excuses, so there was still an element of self-destruction there.”

A shop-lifting habit Mielke picked up in McKenzie caught up to him at the Park Royal shopping centre, where he was busted for stealing towels and bed linens.

The West Vancouver police department assigned Mielke to a sympathetic probation officer who allowed him to work off his 200 community service hours in a theatre company.

Absolved from stealing and consuming alcohol and drugs, Mielke bought a second-hand girl’s bike with a basket on the front and cycled to Hollywood.

“My intention had been that I was going to go to Hollywood and make a life there,” he says. “By the time I got there I decided to go back to Campbell River, get my grade 12, and try to make amends with my mom.”

Back in the River City, Mielke’s grandmother drove him to Southgate where he enrolled in the school’s musical theatre program. It turned out that his favourite teacher from elementary school, Marie Rackham, created the new program.

Mielke moved into Rackham’s home where she mentored him and taught him to play piano. Mielke discovered a classical operatic singing voice within himself and developed the interests and abilities he held as a child, which boosted his self-esteem.

He starred in several high school musicals and won all his categories in various B.C. music festivals, including most promising performer at CMYC in Courtenay. He even made honour roll.

“The next thing I knew I was being groomed to be this professional performer,” says Mielke. “Publicly I was feeling better about myself, but still harbouring that core of self-loathing for my big secret.”

Eventually, however, Rackham caught Mielke with another male and from that point onward, Mielke had somebody with whom he could confide.

Upon graduation, Mielke moved to Hollywood to pursue a traditional career in acting, but he maintained a relationship with Rackham. He voraciously read books, explored spirituality, and embraced a life in the doll house.

“There’s a tendency in the gay world that coming out in itself is the big act and now you’re free and you don’t have anymore problems,” Mielke says. “But that’s not it at all.

“Coming out is just the very beginning of the journey of figuring out, what does it really mean to be gay beyond the most superficial aspect of it? How does a gay person give back to the collective, in the sense that heterosexuals serve nature by procreating and raising the next generation physically.”

As a gay person, Mielke felt that biologically, nature didn’t intend him to procreate or he’d be attracted to women. He thought it more imaginative that gay people serve a different purpose in the world.

He started reading literature about Indigenous cultures, who he says, found inclusive ways of incorporating each member’s “unique gifts” into the community—whatever best served the whole.

“They felt that because a consistent percentage of their population seemed to be gay, it was what nature intended,” says Mielke. “So they just assumed there was a positive reason for it.”

Because the gay people were free of the time constraints of raising a family, they were expected to float around and fill in where help was needed, according to Mielke.

In fact, they often took on Shaman roles because they had time to learn about herbs and different healing methods. These “floaters” were often called twin spirits, burdache or nagels.

“In all Indigenous cultures you’ll find different variations on this which blew me away,” Mielke says. “This was hugely helpful for me as a gay person to start learning about that because [these cultures] weren’t arrogant enough to assume nature or their Creator made mistakes.”

Around the time AIDS exploded in North America, Mielke took in El Salvadorian refugees and worked with teen runaways on a volunteer basis.

Deemed by the press as the “gay disease,” many of Mielke’s acting peers contracted the deadly virus and died within a year. He was fortunately spared.

“I didn’t get it because I was lucky,” Mielke says. “But I still felt like I had to give something back.”

Mielke started writing and performing original shows for hospices, nursing homes and hospitals based on the idea of giving a performance as a gift. He was soon asked to perform at birthday parties, which snowballed into charity events, Black Tie galas and regular acting jobs.

“I found a way to make a living without having to wait tables,” Mielke says. Although he continued to write and perform voluntary shows.

In 1991, he formed Rainbow Man Productions—a company that produced his one-man stage shows. He didn’t associate the company with gayness, even though the rainbow was appropriated by gay people. Instead, he thought of it as being all the colours of the human race.

“You can’t have a rainbow if you take the red out,” he says. “As a teenager I’d been reduced to red. The quest to get all my colours back has been my journey focus.”

In 1997, Mielke sold his company and moved back to Campbell River, where he and Rackham founded Splashes from the River Inc. Before Rackham died of cancer last year, the pair wrote and produced a musical called Rediscovering the River, and a series of grammar and punctuation video courses.

Mielke is now busy marketing the videos, so he’s not sure what his future holds. For the moment, he plans to stick around Campbell River.

“I find it quite lovely to live here,” he says. “I don’t feel like this is a scary or dangerous place to be anymore.”

Even though things have come a long way since his youth, Mielke says young kids are still feeling harassed. Heartened about the first inaugural Campbell River Walk Against Homophobia on May 17, Mielke feels sad that these walks are necessary at all.

“Walking against homophobia is not just about supporting the freedom of gay people,” he says. “It’s about supporting the freedom of all people to wriggle out of their suffocatingly tight blue or pink straightjackets, so the full spectrum of their original colours can breathe and live fully into the light.”

Mielke was in Europe during the First Annual Campbell River Walk Away from Homophobia May 17, but his mother and younger brother participated in the event.

“The Walk Against Homophobia [was] a pathway for all of us to a more hope-coloured future,” he wrote in a letter to the Mirror last month. “Gay people don’t have a copyright on the rainbow.”

But a gay man is certainly entitled to play in a doll house if he wants to.

*Please note that the above article originally appeared in the Campbell River Mirror on June 22, 2007. I have exercised editorial liberty over the content published in this post on this blog, based on words submitted by me to the newspaper and the words that were published in print in 2007.

Aquarian Age Yogalosophy 101

“You’re used to feeling dissatisfaction and you’re willing to do it, which is just about as dumb as putting your hand on [a] hot stove.” – Esther Hicks

I’m starting to think that the old boys yoga club is the root of all modern-day spiritual bypassing. Why do people want you to be less of yourself? To make them feel more comfortable, about… ?

Sensitivity is meant to be a strength, not a weakness.

Did you know that women were excluded from the old boys yoga club for at least a thousand years?

There’s a myth floating around the yoga world that you cannot simultaneously awaken consciousness whilst waltzing the path of pleasure and satisfaction. That is untrue. Freedom isn’t a one or the other ultimatum.

Contrary to misunderstood and therefore mistranslated Yoga Sutras, the path of awakening consciousness IS satisfying and pleasurable. Is it immature to want to ask—who’s the bitch now?

The only guru you will ever have is the one within. Please note that “guru” and “teacher” are not synonymous. “Guru” is the Sanskrit word for Jupiter.

Deprivation may be a viable self-induced, imaginary pharmaceutical for some people, but I can tell you unequivocally that deprivation isn’t the answer to managing multiple disabilities.

Disabilities largely require dialogue and labelling only because we must exist within a framework of an enterprising society gone wrong. Capitalism is the end result of misinformed men calling all the shots. A properly enterprising society, however, would result from enlightened men doing most of the work (yes, let’s define that term), and enlightened women calling most of the shots—operative word, “most,” like “majority.”

Yes, let’s have a satisfying conversation about deprivation with respect to addictions and substance abuse issues. Stage is your, old boys club. {Insert religion here.}

Oh wait, was I not supposed to draw that parallel?

I was baptized and raised Roman Catholic for the first 13 years of my life, for those who missed the previous announcement. They kicked me out of catechism for asking too many questions, while I completed both my first communion (taking the unremarkable bread of life) and probably many reconciliations—where you sit in a booth confessing your sins, and thereby absolving your asshole self of undesirable karma. The Roman Catholic Church raped, pillaged and murdered Indigenous people in the territory currently referred to as Canada. No. I am not proud of my heritage.

And I’m not talking about my relationship with Jesus anymore, because other than flowering an archetype, I don’t even know who that was. But to those asshole fundamentalist Christians—the ones who sponsor conversion camps (I’m looking at you, Alberta), and rape, pillage and murder Indigenous people: killing people is killing people, regardless of who roamed the land first.

I think it’s okay to call people who kill people assholes, though if you are one of the chosen ones, you will feel endless compassion for the assholes of the world over. This is okay. This is your mission. The balance of the world rests on your shoulders.

No wonder, though, I’ve never suffered repercussions for cussing, Jesus Fucking Christ!

If you judge and disown people for engaging in discussions that make you uncomfortable based on your inability to understand and handle universal Truth, then your religion isn’t enlightening you.

“Brand” and “delivery” are meant, with precision, to fool you. Mission accomplished? Or, problem solved?

I don’t have to be religious to live cooperatively among religious people. I think most religious people on the planet are adopting the same “live and let live” joie de vivre.

Fundamentalist religion is the deranged Scorpio—the culprit—somehow masterful at manipulating you into thinking everything about you is wrong. Unless, of course, you give it all your money (Scorpio is other people’s money), and renounce individuality, with its endless encore of inclinations from the Divine.

Self-realization, by the way, is not a destination, but a science and a journey. Why are more so-called yogis not reading and integrating Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi?

We could call the story Lost in Translation, where desire isn’t exactly the problem. Instead we must understand the many facets of desire. Resisting and not lining up with desire is the so-called problem. Desire is inevitable. The universe operates in pulsations, which is what Vinyasa Yoga teaches us. Without desire, there would be no universe, no pulse, no life, no expansion, and no eternity. Desire and Eternity interlock. Contraction is to yin what expansion is to yang. The pulse coincides with contraction; that is, the moment a desire is born before it launches electrically out into the universe. Magnetism draws the manifested desire back to the source of the pulse. Consider for a moment that feelings are manifestations.

Aquarian Age Yogalosophy 101:

1) Desire alone is not the cause of all suffering. Attaching to a particular thing or outcome, and resisting the realization of—as well as not recognizing—the manifested desire, are more accurately the causes of all suffering.

2) You can know, based on visions, yes, but more importantly your feelings, what you want without being attached to a specific outcome. As such, unless you are harming yourself, others (including animals and plants), or the planet, you can trust all desires rooted in love.

3) In fulfilling desires, sustainability in terms of maintenance is key. Humans are expected to be good stewards of our bodies, our resources, and our earth kingdom. Think ritual, variance, pleasure, and satisfaction.

4) Contemplate the quantum notion, ‘Field of Pipe Dreams.’ Quantumplate.

5) Renounce toxic nouns (that is, people/places/things). Make the simple pleasures of life last longer. Appreciate the simple pleasures of life. Savour the simple pleasures of life. Milk your high-flying feelings for all they are worth. Adopt life-affirming, satisfying pleasure practices (including yoga) to strengthen both the immune system and luminous energy field.

6) Expand your mind. Nurture your interests.

7) Laugh often.

8) Lust with devotion and without attachment. Imagine a beautiful life for yourself.

Happy full moon in Aquarius…

Quantum Adventures of an Armchair Activist

“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” – George Bernard Shaw

The number one conundrum the majority of humans share—particularly in the developed world—is taxes. In Canada, an unsustainable taxation system coupled with government deregulation, or, more accurately, government misregulation, has created a harrowing and deadly housing crisis. Somebody could write a book about the Canadian taxation system called Stretched to Death. So, because I specialize in prioritization and sustainability, taxation is the first thorn from my perspective that humanity must address. It’s time we stop bitching about unfair taxation systems, because that has only elicited more taxes, and start implementing more sustainable models.

“We have a corporate entity posing as a government in Ottawa,” Genevieve A. Briggs of Windsor, Ontario, wrote in a blog post entitled “Canada is a Corporation under UK Queen,” dated December 2, 2006. Interestingly no factual evidence of Canada once being traded on the New York Stock Exchange readily exists; however, it appears as though the Corporation of Canada has been dissolved.

As a solution-oriented citizen, I propose the following taxation system, that could be implemented immediately. Please note, I consider profit and income synonymous whether you punch a clock, run your own business, own a corporation, or sell property. I would also include capital gains as well as public and private dividends under the below taxation margins. In time, percentages may be adjusted downwards, not upwards. The necessity for some services will dwindle, while we’ll see a rise in preventative rather than curative care. Eventually working for government won’t be a lucrative, capitalistic venture, but instead a career path—or dharma—public servants can be proud of.

Viable Alternate Taxation System:

$0-$24,999.99 – Not taxed.

$25,000-$99,999.99 – Taxed @ 5%

$100,000-$999,999.99 – Taxed @ 10%

$1,000,000-$99,999,999.99 – Taxed @ 15%

$100,000,000-$999,999,999.99 – Taxed @ 20%

$1 Billion+ – Taxed @ 25%

$1 Trillion+ – Taxed @ 50%

Goods & Services – Taxed @ 5%

Citizens who earn less than $25,000 per annum will pay taxes on goods and services only, and that is enough. The more you make, the more you pay in taxes, but you obviously retain comparatively more income. If it’s not listed, it’s not taxed.

I can’t speak for Indigenous peoples, but from the literature I’ve read, Indigenous peoples want the Indian Act dismantled and abolished, and the rumoured $35 billion burning interest in trust understandably handed over to them. I find it interesting that white people kick and scream about a corrupt taxation system designed by other greedy, power-hungry white people, yet kick and scream at the idea of Indigenous people moving into power and ultimately making life easier for us all. The moves outlined above would not put out white people.

Standing up for Indigenous rights is standing up for human rights. If Indigenous people turn around and do to white people what white people do to them, then the cycle of hate continues. How someone else behaves is their karma. How you behave is yours.

We don’t need to reduce essential services; we need to reduce the bureaucracy. Taxpayers will have access not only to budgets, but also to sum totals of tax dollars collected annually. The priority will be taking care of taxpayers, with our money, first. This would include services such as: universal healthcare (including medical, dental, optical, mental, paramedical, etc., as well as alternative healthcare coverage); education—we would cover elementary, primary and secondary first, then eventually expand to cover professional and all levels of post-secondary; universal childcare; housing (for example, subsidized housing rates adjusted to 25% of monthly income)—luxury supply would be based on demand not greed; basic retirement pensions, which would cover basic living costs, including food and shelter; social and hardship assistance; full-spectrum maternity; arts and culture; automobile, life, and liability insurance—we will collapse the insurance industry at large and place all healthcare costs under universal healthcare; and then, of course, administration and programming. Paramedical services would include: physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and acupuncture. Any licensing and registration fees would be allotted to a compartmentalized resource-replacement fund. Social Insurance Numbers would be used to help people, not fence them in to an unwitting state of corruption.

A government run by the people for the people will regulate the costs of the possessions insurance industry (for example, annual premiums of no more than $100 for content insurance), internet and telecommunications industry, the energy sector, in-house petroleum prices, as well as the banking system. The refuse, recycling and composting industries will be heavily subsidized, along with the maintenance and cleanup of oceans, beaches, public spaces and parks, as well as yoga, fitness, and eventually the spa industry. Remember we are moving into a preventative culture, rather than a curative culture. We will learn that it is more expensive to invest in the backend of health, and we will transition to investing in the front end of health. Doctors in Europe have been prescribing spa vacations for years. These are the European trends I would like to see trickling into Canada.

Alternative healthcare coverage will include Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), qualified Ayurvedic practitioners, and naturopathic doctors working in conjunction with western medical doctors. Although I respect herbology and would like to see the pharmaceutical industry producing medical-grade, anti-inflammatory vitamins, minerals and supplements (remember universal healthcare coverage), I am not a fan of the homeopathic profession and am for the sugar-pill component of that industry vanishing. Homeopathy, from my experience, is a manipulative practice. Don’t dilute my medicine and use my history against me; just give me the healing herbs.

Because the market isn’t going to adjust itself without human involvement, we will manually adjust all except for luxury rental rates as follows:

$400 – Bachelor Units
$600 – 1-Bedroom Units
$700 – 1-Bedroom plus Den Units
$800 – 2-Bedroom Units
$1,000 – 3-Bedroom Units

Luxury rentals will include: in suite laundry, master bedroom/walk-in closet/ensuite bath, underground parking, dishwasher, stone countertops, hardwood and tiled flooring, and balconies.

Speaking of balconies, apartment complexes and condominiums in general will from now on be legally obligated to properly insulate as well as build all new buildings with balconies. Coin-operated laundry cannot exceed $2 per load, and machines must meet heavy-duty industrial standards.

Properties with or without homes will be taxed according to profits, not annually, but one time only at the point of sale—unless, for the time being, you are a rich foreign investor, in which case you will be taxed 50% annually of the annual appraised value of your residential home and property. Congratulations, appraisers, you have not lost your jobs.

Internet providers can no longer offer anything other than the highest speeds of internet services available, and charge no more than $40 per month for high-speed internet. I don’t personally use landlines or cable, but banishing rate rape in general would be sustainable. If you are a student, retired, or on social assistance, your monthly rate for internet shall not exceed $20. Equally, cell phone and energy rates will mirror internet rates: $40 per month all-inclusive, or $20 monthly all-inclusive if you are a student, senior on a basic pension, or recipient of social assistance.

Corporations and business will pay taxes only on profits over and above business expenses (i.e. employees and operating costs). Organic agriculture will be subsidized and regulated with tax dollars. Cannabis profiteers will be taxed in accordance with the taxation system established above. Psychedelic substances will be decriminalized. The Canada Pension Plan will no longer operate sovereignly but be funded by a percentage of incoming taxes from profits, income, goods and services. No money will be lost, only transferred.

I don’t understand how people don’t question this notion of “crown corporation,” and from my understanding, EI is a tank. A percentage of your taxes will be allotted to EI in the same fashion that a percentage of your taxes will be allotted to CPP.

I would imagine to transition out of colonialism, we will retain the present model of governance to a degree, but we will shed the bureaucracy, as well as certain management, political and executive positions. A government run by the people for the people would require a strong human resources team throughout the nation, junior and senior positions, managers and executive assistants as necessary, and all manner of administrative and specialty positions. People in government who loathe their jobs and the hours they work wouldn’t be lured by prestige and power, or the security of benefits and pensions, because our tax dollars would actually take care of us when we need to be taken care of regardless of economic standing.

Yoga and fitness will be treated as nonoptional like brushing our teeth. Yoga studios will be heavily subsidized to start (and where necessary). When the taxation system shifts and the costs of living dramatically lower, yoga teachers and fitness professionals will be able to comfortably live off current wages. Most of us carry extracurricular earning potential anyhow. Yoga teacher trainings won’t have to crop up on every street corner like Starbucks either when teachers and studios are being subsidized and appropriately taxed.

That’s about all we can cover for a phase 1 conversation. Phase 2 will cover: law enforcement; military; the legal and judiciary systems; Indigenous sovereignty and relations; the banking system in depth; food, air, wildlife and water conservation; cannabis and pharmaceutical regulation; charitable and altruistic endeavors; as well as sustainable energy systems. In phase 3, we’ll discuss science, free energy, plant medicine, mysticism, and the value of meaningful work opportunities. We must not forget, however, that systems will shift as civilizations evolve.

In the meantime… to caring about future generations and beyond!

Serving the People Yoga

“Money doesn’t change you; money magnifies who you are.” – Tony Robbins

I frequent the beaches around Victoria during the summers, and one summer I kept spotting a gentleman (who used to attend the occasional yoga class of mine), on the pebbled beach near where Dallas Road and Cook Street meet, walking his dog. Eventually one day he stopped and sat down on my Mexican blanket to visit with me.

“Can you talk about astrology with people from Saskatchewan?” he asked, rhetorically, after I inquired about his birth date and we discovered that we were both born in Saskatchewan.

“No,” I responded.

When I reflect back upon my life, 2011—despite its heartaches and hardships—has been my best year on planet Earth yet. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate current and growing levels of clarity; but in 2011, I was healthy. I can say now, that even though I was learning how to love and honour my body then, I took my good health for granted. I didn’t have a legitimate perspective of the opposite.

If I only knew in my early twenties when I struggled with oscillating body weights that at least I could lose the excess, though I think I experienced glimpses of immaculate perspective then, too. I knew at age 24 that I couldn’t work for newspapers with their insistence on sensationalism and framing, and I knew by age 26 (no matter how difficult or unlucrative) that I had to do what I loved for a living. I didn’t understand why so many people on income assistance seemingly lost their minds, but I knew my sanity depended upon meaningful work. I didn’t know then, though, that my affinity for astrology could be anything more than a pony trick, or that writing and teaching yoga weren’t considered real jobs.

At the dawn of 2012, I found myself on Main Street in Vancouver ringing in the New Year with friends. I wasn’t drinking heavily but smoking predominantly weed, so I had my wits about me. At the time I thought my husband would be either a Cancer or a Scorpio. The two men after me in the bar that night? A Cancer and a Scorpio. Long story short, I ended up dating the Scorpio for less than a month, so I obviously remember his name. The Cancer? I remember his birth date, but not his name.

I don’t remember who approached who at the London on December 31, 2011. He may have been buying me beers, but the Cancer refused to divulge his exact birthday, or even Sun sign, when I probed.

“Guess,” he taunted, unaware of what he was walking himself into.

“You need to give me three questions,” I pressed.

“One,” he snapped with the conviction of a weak yet aggressive man.

We settled on three. I won.

I can only logically deduce the questions at this point, but I remember asking only two of them.

I have admittedly dropped a lot of jaws in my life, so I wasn’t surprised when his jaw dropped to the bar after I guessed his exact birth date. June 25. He wanted more, but the Scorpio won because he wasn’t engaged to be married. The Cancer tried to convince me to date him under his fiancé’s nose, so that he could have a chance to assess his options. He even chased me and my plume of friends out of the bar and down Main Street, only to find me walking next to the Scorpio.

Or what about the time in, or on the way to, the elevators? I had been visiting with a guy born on the 15th of a month, talking about a woman he was interested in born on the 15th of the polar opposite month. Astrology piqued his interest, but he mostly thought it was horseshit. So, we finished our business on the heated, harbour-front patio of the Steamship in Victoria, and at the elevator on the way to the restrooms stood a man. I poked the man mildly, then asked (after I can’t remember if it was a glass or two of Prosecco), are you a Cancer? The man stood back. All three of us boarded the elevator. Not only was he a Cancer, but he was my polar opposite. The two men’s hair blew back. The nonbeliever’s jaw hit the floor. Like I said, it wasn’t the first time.

Several years earlier in 2008, I had a friend tell me I wasn’t pretty enough for a guy I had met at a climbing gym who was born on Earth Day. I’m thinking in hindsight that having sex with him may have been an immature act of rebellion… Regardless, both times I slept with him, he told me he would sleep over but snuck out in the middle of the night instead.

And then in 2010, a relative convinced me to try dating online. I experimented with four different profiles. With the first profile, I didn’t post a profile picture. I remember some guy in his early twenties (I was 27 at the time), haranguing me to see a pic. When I finally PM’d him a picture, he blocked me—I’m thinking, because, he didn’t think I was pretty enough for him.

Then I can’t remember if it was the second or third profile where the guy born on Earth Day—his brother (whom I had met briefly in 2008), PM’d me and asked me out on a date. Okay, maybe I browsed his profile first and he swallowed the bait. Either way, we carried on for a bit before he asked me out on a live date. After exchanging information, I couldn’t hold up the edifice of the lie. You’re (that guy’s) brother? I asked, incredulously.

We hung out once, at Spinnaker’s, and it obviously amounted to nothing (I drew the line at making out with brothers in junior high school), but he did tell me that every prospective woman he had met had already had sex with his brother.

I realize now that women who lock down husbands plan for it their entire lives.

Now, in 2018, I just counted 9 bodily conditions that impinge upon my physical health and require attention daily—ranging in severity from pesky to permanent—thus (and understandably) taxing me psycho-emotionally.

Out of necessity, I’ve learned to pay attention to what comes easy: yoga, astrology, quantum thinking—the latter of which reminds me to affirm improving health. To distract myself, I get lost in my work and focus upon my personal legacy.

Legacy, in my opinion, paramount. I admittedly have a penchant for mischief, but it was Wayne Dyer who strongly advised against dying with our music still in us. He left a tenured position at St. John’s University in New York City to pursue a writing career and apparently invented the author tour. If I can heed Maya Angelou’s advice and live until I’m 88, then that gives me approximately 53 years to deliver. Unfortunately the federal government isn’t offering me a one billion dollar bailout in the event I don’t.

As it stands, the collective legacy western civilization is leaving on planet Earth looks something like this: Many of the common people of the time who worked in societally acceptable roles—government, military, petroleum, law enforcement, pharmaceuticals, medicine, law, etc.—weren’t able to acknowledge Nikola Tesla (all these years later…), or the great Indigenous genocides of North America that are still happening today. Apparently, the Indian Act was as invisible as Nikola Tesla. “We’re not willing to give up our lifestyles or our toys, and I mean come on guys; we have families to feed!” they cried. Yet these same people didn’t seem to care that their ancestors ripped family and lifestyle out from underneath the Indigenous peoples—first on the land—who actually cared about future generations. Consequences? “What are those?” it didn’t occur to them to ask. That information was invisible, like the Indian Act and Tesla.

Go us. We could rewrite the story, but cleaning house is key to unlocking the gates of appreciation. Denial only causes further division. I’m looking forward to the day we can all agree on, and subsequently correct, corrupt taxation.

On the one hand, the system is designed to help people in need; while on the other hand, the people who forget the point of altruism forget that their tax dollars also pay for obscenely expensive war, unnecessary bureaucracy, and deceitful, ineffective politicians. Shall we compare head to dollar figures? Many corporations (not necessarily the groundlings who work for the corporations), evade their taxes—legally. Why haven’t the groundlings’ tax dollars been used to pay for advances in education, health care, affordable housing, retirement, and sustainable technology for the last twenty years? People are homeless and hungry. I lived in Calgary in 2001 when gas prices were 46 cents. Industry “boomed” and no one complained about job loss then. Why does no one question the elusive concepts of market value and inflation now? Has it not occurred to anybody that social assistance would be a lot less necessary if basic living costs were a lot more affordable?

Little to no foresight has been exercised in the last twenty years, marijuana won’t be out of prohibition confinement anytime soon, and Team Earth is being asked to take Big Oil’s word for it that Big Brother is covering everyone’s future asses. Yet, we seem to be pioneering conflicting futures.

Anyone who makes life more expensive for people, and consequently more difficult, is a psychopath, and current political systems are normalizing psychopathic behaviour. Gas wars? Really? Vampires. There’s obviously no congenial way to stand up for yourself when you’re being crushed by dead horses with money.

Ego, according to Anita Moorjani (who wrote a book called Dying to Be Me), is the part of us that speaks up for ourselves. Ego can be vampiric or evolutionary. Humans can be manipulative and play dirty, or we can subdue and transform undesirable realities. The game is mental, though both our thoughts and actions bind us.

These people, and in many cases, vampires, are fighting for their incomes, not their jobs (with the exception of some engineers who love what they do for a living)—and the only way they’ll ever truly understand social assistance is if they legitimately qualify for it themselves. People think it requires strength to do what they loathe for a living? I’ve been told by insurance companies, social workers, and all manner of corporate and blue-collar blowhards that what I do for a living isn’t real work. That conversation is barking up the wrong tree.

You give up a lot more than your lifestyle on basic social assistance, and you must qualify for disability to receive it. Unless you’re resourceful on disability assistance, you’re often forced to choose between medical or paramedical attention and nutrition, which is merely one disparity. You’re not likely to be nourished on basic welfare. People who love slinging the “tax burden” insults couldn’t, and wouldn’t want to, imagine the deficit.

Disability would be a vacation only if you could relinquish your lifestyle and your toys and didn’t actually need the support. In which case, you would be an actor and an asshole. Otherwise, if you legitimately required the help of social assistance, you would likely want to be compensated for all the time you’d spend attending meetings where you’re told that you don’t qualify for supports that could help you reach financial independence. Working in the petroleum industry isn’t a viable or reasonable option for everybody.

“The best help is that which eliminates the need for help,” Deepak Chopra said during the 2017 Hay House World Summit. Hay House is the largest self-empowerment publishing company in the world. Louise Hay, a high school dropout and former model, founded the publishing house at age 60.

Interestingly yoga encourages people to use supports when we need them and leave them when we don’t. Yoga also urges us to clean up our karma.

We could likely unanimously agree that I’m neither nor meant to be a model during this incarnation, which is maybe why I’m blessed with the fortitude of a writer and thinker (although Louise Hay was blessed with both). Nonetheless, the idea of cause and effect makes sense to me. Apparently, it’s a universal law, and I’m thinking it’s somehow tied up in this notion of karma (or, bondage). Perhaps it’s not unfathomable to think that we tote our unresolved ignorances around with us from lifetime to lifetime—like telling people that what they do for a living isn’t real work. Then it would be up to a higher order to qualify each individual’s path, but none of us knows what that higher order looks like. We do certainly think, however, that our systems and structures are original. Few of us ask, who and what do we emulate?

Consider for a moment the movie Sausage Party, starring Edward Norton and Seth Rogan: “A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence.” It’s a terribly relevant movie. I don’t mean to spoil the ending, but… everybody wants to experience some degree of hedonism, whether we’re willing to admit it or not.

Thanks to that guy born on Earth Day, though, I do what I love for a living. He called me jaded while making out with me on the pebbled beach near where Dallas Road and Cook Street meet, for hating seagulls (or rather, shit hawks). Then he came to my home and slept with me, but he was right. I was jaded. He and his friends all did what they loved for a living, and I didn’t. None of them know it, but they inspired me. Within a month of seeing him the last time, I signed up for my first yoga teacher training. And now, whether those who hump the backside of capitalism with their constricted thinking acknowledge it or not, I specialize in astrology and serve the people yoga for a living.

Yoga – Science of the Mind

“Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real. If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.” – Niels Bohr

Yogic sages from India reverently declare that Patanjali, who is said to have written the Yoga Sutras, founded modern yoga. These sutras, or threads of knowledge, have come to be called The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and over eleven hundred translations can be found tucked away in homes, libraries and bookstores encircling the globe.

I’ve read Sri Swami Satchidananda’s translation and commentary cover to cover, to give you an idea of my scholarly authority over the subject matter.

Patanjali, in my opinion, did what any other writer and thinker would do and wrote a book on a subject he felt passionate about. He likely knew of his purpose or dharma, and possessed the gift of prophecy and vision. I wouldn’t be surprised if he could see into the future of the looming Piscean Age and the forthcoming holographic insert of Jesus Christ Superstar dying on a cross. I imagine spirit inspired him to intervene with lofty yet practical idealism.

If we’re arguing over semantics, I’ll agree that Patanjali is the Father of Modern Yoga, but I have reason to believe that yoga (along with sacred and ritual dance) date as far as back or farther than Atlantis. India undoubtedly established and then disseminated yoga to the rest of the world, but I also suspect that the yogic teachings were given to us by our ancestors in other star systems—like the Pleiades—considering yoga has strong roots in Africa as well. Indigenous cultures spanning Earth report relationships with the various star systems, including the seven sisters of the Pleiades.

Yoga teaches us that we shape our realities with our minds. How many times have we heard so-called New Ageists quip, “you create your own reality”? Seth of Jane Roberts, Abraham of Esther Hicks, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay… Even ancient Hermeticism points out that The All, or Creation, is a mind.

First published in 1908, The Kybalion is a classic esoteric text that teaches people how to put Hermetic principles into action. The term “Hermetic” is derived from the Greek god Hermes, known for writing and Divine magic, as well as his associations with Thoth and Merlin. The Kybalion states that, “True Hermetic Transmutation is a Mental Art,” and, “The All is Mind; The Universe is Mental.”

We can’t see thoughts, yet we know we think. Many of us who haven’t been graced with mystical experiences, however, dismiss the notion because we’ve found neither our thoughts nor what Wayne Dyer called the commander in the command center. Furthermore, we haven’t come to terms with death.

Vidya Vonne opens the introduction of Satchidananda’s translation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras with the following statement:

When the word Yoga is mentioned, most people immediately think of some physical practices for stretching and stress reduction. This is one aspect of the Yogic science, but actually only a very small part and relatively recent in development. The physical Yoga, or Hatha Yoga, was primarily designed to facilitate the real practice of Yoga—namely, the understanding and complete mastery over the mind. So the actual meaning of Yoga is science of the mind. … Traditionally the word Yoga by itself refers to Raja Yoga, the mental science.

Master the mind, master reality.

Abraham (received by Esther Hicks) is of the greatest Raja Yoga teachers of our time. Abraham teaches us that feeling good, thus being in vibrational alignment with our Source (or inner being), is more important than working hard. Abraham contends that we don’t create through action, but rather vibration, which calls action from us. Within their seminal works, The Teachings of Abraham, Jerry and Esther Hicks insist that we get what we think about, whether we want it or not. The relationship between our physical selves and nonphysical Intelligence is our own guidance system, or what yogis would call the true emotional body. Blockage in the manomayakosha—psycho-emotional body—manifests initially as emotional distress, and then eventually (if unattended to) escalates into physical or mental illness.

Abraham (through Esther) asserts that we can tell how we’re affecting future events, including our health, by how we’re feeling about them right now.

“Monitoring thoughts can be tedious and tiring,” the Hicks write in The Vortex: Where the Law of Attraction Assembles All Cooperative Relationships, “so the best approach to deliberately change the direction of your thought is to reinforce your desire to feel good.”

In his book, The Power of Intention, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer offers the following affirmation to reprogram the subconscious mind in moments of suffering: I want to feel good.

Louise Hay said, “Every thought you think and every word you speak is an affirmation.”

The only way to deactivate a regressive thought or vibration, is to activate another. Remember the yogis call regressive forces asuras, or demons.

Of all the Pleiadian teachings and teachers out there, I pay attention to only a few teachers at the moment—most notably Barbara Marciniak. Marciniak has been channeling the Pleiadians for nearly as long as Esther Hicks has been receiving Abraham (since the eighties). For whatever reason, these teachings resonate with me.

In her book Bringers of the Dawn, Marciniak writes, “In our teachings we always emphasize the importance of oxygenation, because oxygen feeds the coding and awakens the junk DNA in your body (which certainly isn’t junk at all).” Ever hear a yoga teacher reminding you to breathe?

Through Marciniak, the Pleiadians emphasize that the universe is the result of thought, and that understanding, manipulating and working with thought is the nature of our purpose here. The Pleiadians caution that although the thinking portion of ourselves is central to our experience in this world, our thinking center must be connected to our feeling center—what the yogis would call the heart. The heart chakra is our vital link between our visible selves and our invisible selves.

The Pleiadians define light as “the promoting, dispensing, and sharing of information,” while darkness controls and withholds information. Most schools of yogic thought would agree that there are only two primary emotions: love or fear. Love vibrates within an abundance of information, whereas fear vibrates out of a lack of information. We move beyond fear when we are informed. If it’s true that we feed darkness with fear, then it would make sense that we feed lightness with love. Caroline Myss’s teachings beg the question—are you thinking and acting in league with Darkness, or are you thinking and acting in league with Light?

“The big secret that has been kept from the human species,” Marciniak writes in chapter ten of Bringers of the Dawn, “is that thought creates experience, and thought creates reality. All reality is created by thought.”

Your experiences are a direct reflection of your thoughts.

Dr. Wayne W. Dyer wrote several books on the matter, two of particular note: You’ll See It When You Believe It, and, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life. Louise Hay wrote a book called Heal Your Body: The Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Ways to Overcome Them. This book could effectively complement yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda: Science of Life. Ayurveda, a comprehensive healing and balancing system designed to sync you with the cycles of nature and life, is governed by two guiding principles. (1) The mind and body are inextricably one system, and (2) emotions drive our physiology.

In chapter 5 of his book, The Biology of Belief, Dr. Bruce Lipton writes,

When we change the way we perceive the world, that is, when we “change our beliefs,” we change the blood’s neurochemical composition, which then initiates a complementary change in the body’s cells. … When yogis demonstrated that they could consciously override autonomic controls, such as the regulation of body temperature, blood pressure, and pH, they provided evidence of the conscious mind’s ability to influence the body’s innate intelligence.

Dr. Lipton is a renowned stem cell biologist and pioneer in bridging science and spirituality. He started out his career as an atheist until he discovered in the 1960s that the nucleus of the cell is not the brain, but the gonads.

Gregg Braden, a geologist also bridging science and spirituality, offers the following analogy to understand chromosomes: Think of the cells in the body as the library. Within the library (cells), you’ll find books (chromosomes). Within the books (chromosomes), you find chapters (DNA). Within the chapters (DNA), you find paragraphs of information (genes). You read paragraphs of information, correct? DNA composes genes. DNA is more or less responsible for cellular replication, but the environment of the cell that interacts with the membrane is responsible for shaping gene expression. In other words, your cells are affected by how you feel.

Based on his research, Lipton holds that each cell in our bodies is its own point of consciousness interacting with the invisible realm, in much the same way that human consciousness or awareness interacts with the invisible realm (or, quantum field). As an aside, genetics are responsible for approximately one percent of all disease on the planet, according to Lipton.

Interestingly I’ve heard Abraham-Hicks say that beliefs are thoughts we keep thinking, and now science is proving that our beliefs shape our lives. Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer insisted for decades that we can change our thoughts, which would infer that we can change our beliefs, and thus reshape our lives.

For purposes of simplicity, I correspond the quantum field with dark matter. We can’t see it (or, science hasn’t discovered it yet), but mathematically we know it’s there. Abraham-Hicks talks about a Vortex of Creation that precedes all physical manifestation. I equate Abraham’s Vortex to the quantum field.

In 1952, the great Indian Yogi sage, Paramahansa Yogananda, left the world with his seminal and spectacular life story, Autobiography of a Yogi. George Harrison of the Beatles kept stacks of this book in his home to gift to his guests. Yogananda taught Kriya Yoga (meditation) throughout the West, promoted spiritual happiness, and founded the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles.

When Yogananda’s guru Sri Yukteswar died, he returned (like Jesus), except he didn’t kick a big rock out of the way. He simply appeared and apologized to Yogananda for being a stern master. At one point, Yogananda (a Capricorn) described the process of whittling away at the ego like uprooting diseased teeth. Capricorn tends to be arrogant and cocky—that is, not humble. Sri Yukteswar, a rigid Taurus, ran a tight hermitage. Caroline Myss might say he played hardball. Yogananda thanked Sri Yukteswar for being a formidable teacher, but Sri Yukteswar explained that (from his perch in the astral realm), being hard on one another is regressive.

Self-realization, after all, requires perspective.

During the mystical encounter, Sri Yukteswar expounded upon the three planes of existence: (1) causal realm of ideas; (2) subtle, astral realm of thought and emotion; and, (3) physical realm of planets, stars and galaxies. Sri Yukteswar likened the quantifiable universe to a basket, and the astral universe to the hot air balloon above. The astral universe, he said, hundreds of times larger. Something tells me Sri Yukteswar Giri had a fine sense of humor.

Of Yogananda’s written works, I’ve only read Autobiography of a Yogi. He didn’t record in this particular book, though, any conversation about what the hot air balloon floats around in. I’m guessing the causal realm of ideas? The Pleiadians do discuss twelve spinning universes, so I wonder if there are neighboring balloons…

At the very least, I’m a journalist synthesizing and presenting information. The more I learn, the less I realize I know. With electrons in mind, there must be union between what Deepak Chopra calls local and nonlocal experiences. Aldous Huxley wrote a book called The Doors of Perception, inspired by a phrase in William Blake’s poem, “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.” Jim Morrison borrowed “The Doors.”

Yoga is a legendary mind-body-spirit discipline. If biology and physics study the physical universe, while spirituality studies the metaphysical universe and quantum mechanics bonds the known with the unknown, then it makes sense in my mind that yoga (through its study of the mind) addresses the Doors—the convergence between the Great Mystery and what the Great Mystery reveals.

Winter Solstice: Prelude to the Coveted Birthday Season

“Winter Solstice, probably the best known and certainly the most appropriated of all the old pagan Holy Days, is celebrated as a time of rest and quiet. … Midwinter Solstice festivals … are cultural winter therapies that … rekindle the human spirit.” – Kim Duckett

“Summer is just around the corner,” my late Grandpa Bob would proclaim at the turn of each winter season.

In the northern hemisphere (where I live), the days shrink, while night expands. At the far North Pole, darkness saturates the landscape for months, save for the compensatory nature of the aurora borealis. Fortunately, winter solstice heralds the dawn of days growing longer. Sun worshippers rejoice! Astrology deniers, take note.

I understand why people resist prophetic interpretations of astrology (I do, too), but we can’t escape from astrology entirely. The winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, for example, marks not only the beginning of winter, but also the day the Sun enters cardinal earth sign Capricorn—the zodiac’s first winter sign. The tropical zodiac is oriented to the seasons and originated in the constellations of the ecliptic. The precession of the equinoxes has since been discovered, which explains why the tropical zodiac as we follow it today no longer lines up with the constellations. Astrology may understandably lose enthusiasts as a result.

Nevertheless, each tropical zodiac year begins in March when the Sun plunges into the cardinal fires of Aries, marking the Spring Equinox or the northern hemisphere’s entrance into spring. The Summer Solstice—International Yoga Day globally, or Aboriginal Day nationally in Canada—marks the Sun’s entrance into the cardinal water sign of Cancer. Lastly, the Fall Equinox transitions summer to winter, and marks the Sun’s entrance into the cardinal air element known as Libra.

To recap, the cardinal signs include: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. Cancer and Capricorn form the summer-winter solstice axis, pole or polarity, while Aries and Libra form the spring-fall equinox pole. The cardinal signs usher in seasons. Along with cardinal signs, the tropical zodiac also hosts fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) and mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces). For the winter solstice, however, we focus upon Capricorn—the proverbial night and shining rock star of the zodiac.

To start, I find it interesting that Capricorn opens and closes each Gregorian calendar year. Next, nobody knows for sure when Jesus was born, but for all intents and purposes (as Kris Kristofferson so adeptly pointed out), Jesus was a Capricorn. I don’t personally have a problem with Jesus, but I’m over the baby in a manger broken record. Son of God can go, too. Regardless of religious dogma, Capricorn claims fame to Jesus. Jesus was a misfit. The yogis love Jesus. Win.

Chiefly I love Christmas for the lights. Trees wrapped in lights warms my spirit. Decorative lights rock my world. There’s also something about generosity and pleasant surprises.

For the last five years I’ve had two or so weeks off during the holiday season. I enjoy this trend. I could spend Christmas on a beach if I wanted to. In the spirit of holiday cheer, we decorate our homes, businesses and trees, stuff stockings, and exchange gifts. We stuff our faces with turkey dinner, festive treats, and collections of Christmas chocolates. Mint Ovation After Eight for moi, si vouz play.

Then on New Year’s Eve, it’s not uncommon to watch fireworks—that is, lights. We purchase stilettos and sparkling sequined dresses, and ring in the New Year with champagne on ice and passionate kisses.

Undeniably a new year inspires new intentions. This last year I intended to reach new heights of discipline, which I only recommend if you can handle the universe holding you to the pronouncement. Capricorn can become cocky in this “you create your own reality” business, and consequently, forget that honesty about trends walks a fine line with definitive declarations. Careful what you wish for. This next year I am intending to reach new heights of peace, harmony and ease.

With me in mind, the end of birthday season is all about me. My birthday often wraps up birthday season, although I was born with the Sun at 28 degrees Capricorn. Each zodiac month breaks down into 1-degree increments from 00 to 29 degrees. Each degree coincides with a birthdate. I share a birthday with the iconic likes of Janis Joplin, Edgar Allen Poe, and Dolly Parton (to name a few), as well as the actress, Katey Sagal, who played Peg Bundy on Married with Children.

For the coldest, darkest month of the year, Capricorn irrefutably leaves a legacy of lights. Since I’m born on what usually ends up being the final day of Capricorn, I like to think that I’m the light at the end of the legacy. Capricorn closes out the year, and I close out Capricorn.

Backtracking to the winter solstice and centuries ago when people followed, not zodiac signs, but planets… The ring’d taskmaster Saturn governs the domain of Capricorn. For the last three or so years, Saturn has been transiting the mutable fire sign of freedom-loving Sagittarius, traditionally ruled by the gas giant Jupiter. Jupiter is known for expansion, while Saturn (ruling the physical reality) is known for limitation. Although Capricorn can party like a rock star (think Elvis, Janis Joplin, David Bowie), Capricorn is also known as the workaholic of the zodiac.

Shamanic astrology interacts with the planets as sentient beings, and teaches us to develop relationships with the celestial bodies accompanying Earth in our relatively small solar system. Saturnalia is an ancient Roman festival that honours the Roman god of plenty and peace (Saturn, ruler of time), while in contemporary times, we could simply celebrate the planet Saturn. Nonetheless, the festival opens the winter solstice each year, paving the way for the Sun’s entrance into Saturn’s home cloak of Capricorn. In 2017 (in a curious twist of astronomical fate), Saturn dove rings first into the goat-mermaid’s pie in the sky during Saturnalia, mere days before the Sun. Only time can weave the story of how this planetary transit stirs us individually, socially and collectively.

With respect to yoga, Jupiter is known in Sanskrit as guru—the wise sage within. Light transmits information. The siddhis—or information—occur to us when we feel relaxed or inspired, and thus receptive. The physical practice of yoga helps us to feel more balanced and receptive.

Each different zodiac sign governs different parts of the physical body. Capricorn rules the teeth, knees and bones. Bones, like stone, are said to house or store information. Examine the idiom, “I know it in my bones,” or, “I feel it in my bones.” The Sanskrit word samskara indicates emotional scarring (or resistance) in the tissues, which blocks access to information that could plausibly be stored in the bones. Ever notice random memories surfacing during a yoga practice?

Yoga is an intelligent, effective, versatile technology. Consider the breath. How often do you hear your yoga teacher encouraging you to breathe? Why is the breath important? What is it about the breath that sustains us? On planet Earth, we cannot live without our breath. Breathing is an autonomic response, meaning we breathe automatically. Along with soaking up light through our skin and eyes, it is said that we take in information through the breath. Inspire. In yoga, we breathe in as deeply as possible to oxygenate (or inform) our cells. Trillions of cells compose the human body. Obviously these cells must communicate, be informed, and exchange information.

Along with informing the cells, Prana—life force energy harnessed from breath—nourishes the pineal gland, which then interacts with the endocrine system. We’re either in growth or survival, depending predominantly on the thoughts in our minds. The mind is a soul. Psychology originally masked astrology (study of the soul) within academia, but textbooks don’t share this information. Consider for a moment why inhaling essential oils can be such a pleasurable experience. From a cosmic perspective (for those who appreciate comfort and information), we breathe for the pleasure of breathing.

How about thinking for the pleasure of thought? Oh wait. We’re running ahead of ourselves here. That’s Aquarius, which brings me to be the last best thing about birthday season. On the tropical zodiacal wheel, Capricorn cozies up next to my favourite constellation: Aquarius. Aquarius rhymes with hilarious.

Known for a “dry” sense of humour, Capricorns are like fine wine in that we ripen with age. I joke that Aquarius can talk my panties off in five seconds. At the very least, Capricorn can’t help but break the bonds of resting bitch face to laugh in the company of brilliant expression. Jilliant, when I’m being bashful.

And that, my friends, is what winter solstice and subsequently birthday season mean to me. Next stop? Summer.

Notes from My Twitterverse

“Tweeter of the Amused.” – Jillian J. Lang

I told this dude I wouldn’t have sex with him, and now he’s sitting next to me without pants. Or boxers. He’s a nudist, he says. This isn’t about you, Jill. He’s over me. That only took approximately five minutes from Time of Rejection (TOR). He’s already farting in front of me.

Vancouver: Where all the white people look the same.

On his 30th birthday, she sat across from him and arrogantly asked, “So. Now that you’re 30, do you have any plans or goals, or have you even thought about it?” He stuttered; I almost punched the bitch.

So, I could have been honest with the chick about what I think of her business sense, but instead I acted like a mental lunatic. I came by it honestly, but I think my blatant opinion insulted her anyways. I was just being honest about why working for free isn’t sustainable.

The scariest thing about living in the moment is nothing.

Who doesn’t like hanging out under a blankey? I like hanging out under a blankey so much, I’m hanging out under two.

Walking down Cook Street, eating a cold smoked sausage out of a brown paper bag.

At the market earlier (totally in the clouds), and I’m walking up to the bananas like a fairy, softly exclaiming, “Bananas! Bananas!” This old man, approaching the bananas, after hearing me softly exclaims, “Bananas! Bananas!”

My 13-year-old nephew had to explain “wheeling” to my 27-year-old brother.

Taking Kettle Salt & Pepper ripple chips to a bocce tournament, and I just had an old man boarding the bus tell me I have good taste in chips.

Google Images unanimously agrees that Charlie Sheen is the poster child of “winning.”

Vancouver is legs and boots.

If scientists studied My Pet Monster’s nose, I wonder how many kisses they would find…

Today after cooking eggs, the pan was relatively easy to clean, with only a hardened yolk in the exact shape of a sperm.

You know the universe loves you when Super Garth meets the guy you gave a foot job to in grade 9. He and his wife recognized me by my laugh.

Instead of monitoring parking, maybe commissionaires could monitor littering.

Apparently collections agents don’t work on the day that Jesus died on the Cross.

“You have too many questions. We’ve gone over the 5 minutes. I’ll get someone to call you back, probably not today.”

In the spirit of Joan Rivers, another one bites the dust.

I once attended a pool party, hosted by lesbians, where gay dudes were yelling “HUMAN SHIELD” during water fights.

I posted a picture of David Beckham’s ass on Facebook, and even straight men are flirting with it.

Ladies & Gentlemen, I just returned toilet paper because it was chapping my ass.

I had a dream that I was trying to buy a white, chocolate banana bun from Whole Foods, but they wanted two weeks for it, so I told them off.

Woke up, looked at the sky and saw a dick plunging the clouds. “That’s a dick,” I said, and crawled back into bed.

Strung out, silver-hair’d man walks by me and says, “You just need a little extra padding and you’ll be alright.” Keeps walking.

Governments and terrorists, peas and carrots.

Without people who breed, there would be no people who fail to breed.

Immaculée Ilibagiza. Know her. She’ll give you perspective.

Yoga is my playpen.

What the world needs now is a hug, a big hug.

I just asked the universe if it’s possible to commit suicide in the Vortex, and then spilled an entire jar of freshly poured water.

Humans own land; aliens own planets.

I’m giving my Capricorn friend a birthday card with a bulge.

Angels of Marijuana. Angels for everything.

I wonder if my cells know that they work in a body named Jill…

The writer just told the doodler not to punctuate the double exclamation with a smiley face.

A tall, good-looking said “hi” to me tonight. I ignored him. I’ll do better next time.

News is blaring on a television behind me at an Indian food joint, and all I can think is: it’s fabricated hurricane season!

Vigilante Jill

Words by Henry Skey (written c. January 19, 2012)

The actors huddled in a semi-circle, stomping their feet and cursing the weather. Nobody told them it was going to be this cold. The producers mentioned that they would be needed for the “party in the summer” shot, filmed in February of course, but to dress warmly. What they didn’t mention is that they would start filming three weeks early, and that a blizzard would hit the region with the force of a drunken linebacker. Jill stared at the sky, trying to think positive.

“Oh good, more snow. I’m so pleased that I can’t feel my toes. This was a good idea. This was a good decision. This was a..ah…argggg FUCK THIS SHIT!

“ALEXEI!!!” Jill screamed towards the costume tent.

A small, ratty looking man burst out of the tent, looking around for the source of the commotion. As he saw Jill and the actors beckoning him, he sighed. It was always the actors causing commotion. He lightly jogged towards the group, making a point not to look at them until he was right in front of them. He paused, looked Jill in the eye, with an exaggerated smile.

“Yes?”

“Alexei, can you please ask wardrobe for some coats while we wait? It has to be 10 below now and it’s getting colder.”

Alexei, knowing this point of contention would come up, expanded his grin and prepared to make a statement.

“Before you speak, Alexei, just remember this; I know who has been stealing the director’s favorite whiskey every night. I also know that you’re here illegally and that you’re using your cousin’s passport and identity to work here, even though he’s dead. And I also know that if you don’t go get us some fucking coats, all of us are either going to walk out on the movie, or die here on the gravel. Understand?” Jill was unwavering, nor was she joking.

The other actors, while stunned, agreed with every word she said and stood cross armed with her, staring at Alexei. The rat was trying to come up with a solution, but he couldn’t. He mumbled something. Jill’s eyes widened and she leaned forward, “I’m sorry? Didn’t catch that.”

“I SAID I’ll go see if I can find some spare blankets.”

Jill, content, nodded. Cici whispered in her ear, “girl, that was amazing.”

“I know. How long do you think before they figure out we’re not the actors?”

To connect with Henry and learn more about his work, please visit dollerz.com.