A column by Bles Carmona
For the week of April 15-21, 2015
GIVING THE EARTH A WIDE BERTH ON EARTH DAY
Gangway, gangway! Here comes the star – or should I say planet? – of the show: Mother Earth! Hurray! Happy Earth Day on April 22! Other cities are even celebrating Earth for an entire week, so good luck and have fun with that! There’s also Earth Hour, which was first celebrated on March 28, 2009 from 8:30-9:30 pm local time.
What are some things we can do in honor of Earth Day? Well, if you visit Earth Day Network (earthday.org/takeaction), you can sign the climate petition by telling officials to phase out carbon, you can support environmental education, and you may reduce your energy consumption at home. There could be many more Earth-friendly acts we can do on a sustained basis. For instance, I’ve told you about my Mom’s water recycling here at home, in which she uses the water from dish- and clothes-washing for watering the plants in our front and back yards. Earthday.org is urging people to help them reach 2 billion “acts of green,” like pledging to eat less meat, to buy local produce, to start composting, and to stop using disposable plastic, among others. If you run out of creative ideas on how to help Mother Earth along, do your Goodsearch and just type in “Earth Day 2015.”
According to my Jim Maynard’s Astrologer’s Datebook 2015, there will be an April Lyrids shower on April 22. The April Lyrids are a meteor shower lasting from April 16 to April 26 each year, with its peak typically happening around April 22. The radiant of the meteor shower is located in the constellation Lyra, near this constellation’s brightest star, Vega. The Lyrids have been observed for the past 2600 years, which means, if we’re now on the Chinese Lunar Year of the Goat/Ram 4713, that for more than half the length of human existence here on earth, records of the Lyrids sightings have been preserved. How wonderful for us that our Earth is uniquely situated in the heavens so that we can view such precious sights like meteor showers and comets! I’ll also take this opportunity to mention that for so many years, up until the 16th century, the majority of astronomers believed in the geocentric or earth-centered model of the cosmos. It fit in with the observations of the Greeks and it made scriptural sense for the earth to be at the center. However, with Copernicus’ heliocentric or sun-centered model combined with Kepler’s elliptical orbits and Galileo’s telescope observations, the geocentric model slowly lost adherents.
Nevertheless, among us astrologers, our symbolic cosmology is still geocentric. Why? First of all, astrology is a language of symbolic meanings. It makes sense to us to adapt the movement of the planets to the one who is at the center of the chart: our client, the person standing on top of the earth. Second, in the calculations we use to construct a natal chart, our system of placing the planets in their respective parts of the chart (based on the person’s date/time/city of birth) is still accurate. Third, using this natal chart, we astrologers are able to correctly describe the person’s nature and what cycles and transitions he/she may be going through nowadays or in the near future. Fourth, in mundane astrology, if you ever want to research that subject, you’ll find that even countries and cities, based on their date of founding or incorporation, have unique characteristics as well. It’s well worth exploring, but I’m more of a natal chart astrologer myself, exploring psychological issues with an individual client, sometimes with the help of Tarot, angel oracle, and fairy oracle cards. Make sure to shoot me an email if you feel that I could help you that way, OK?
Now, since we’re celebrating Earth Day: Do any of you still remember the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer (a guy, actually)?
By Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Source: Poetry (August 1913).
There is such a diversity among the trees of the earth! Let me just mention some of them. Among the many ornamental trees, there’s the “arbol del fuego” or flame tree (Delonix regia) with its blood-red flowers blooming in the Philippines in April-May. I remember hushed tales from my childhood about mountain natives beheading lowlanders so that they can present the heads as gifts to their lady love. I’ve seen cherry blossom trees in bloom in Tokyo a long time ago, and yet the image of those flowers from light-to-deep pink were so singular in beauty. At least we have the same such tree in our backyard. Another ornamental tree is the maple with its palette of leaf colors from orange to mauve. One recent discovery in our household is the kumquat tree. Apparently, our neighbor has such a tree in their front yard, and Ate Salome told my Mom that a brew of kumquat leaves is very effective in lowering blood sugar readings. One can also eat the fruit including the skin. Disclaimer: Please consult your medical professional before making any changes to your overall health regimen.
I merely touched on trees, which is just one component of the incredible biodiversity of Mother Earth. Throw in the geocentric model talk, and the Lyrids meteor shower, and Earth Day activities you could do. In all of these, I’m working on restating what I first heard when the great folk singer Joey Ayala sang these lines about the earth and the environment more than 20 years ago: “Ang lahat ng bagay ay magkaugnay/ Magkaugnay ang lahat.” (All things are connected.) Give Mother Earth her due! Celebrate her day! This earth is the only home we have in our lifetime.
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