Saturn and Endings … for my ‘Papa’

My dad died about 3 weeks ago. He had been ill for some years, after surviving tongue-cancer in 2005, he was diagnosed with COPD. But he was unable to quit smoking. And so, on a warm evening in July, a beautiful sunset glowing outside his hospital window, he closed his eyes forever while his 2nd wife Nina and I were holding his hands.

When I arrived, the man lying in that ‘intensive care’ bedroom only barely resembled the one I had visited (in the same room) just 2 days ago. Who was curious to see my new tattoo and insisted that I showed it to the (also tattoed) nurse that entered. Who sang ‘I can’t get no …’ when I said, that I had tickets for the Stones in autumn and told me, that he saw them at the famous Berlin Waldbühne gig back in the 60s…

But now he was already far away, laying motionless, looking right through me and Nina was still trying to pull him back with words. She said ‘you promised me 20 years – it hasn’t been 20 years yet’. I understood that my part was to help him to ‘let go’. So I told him, that I was there and that my sister, my mum and whonot (I said all the names aloud) knew that I was with him at this moment and that they all were thinking of him right now, and that he shouldn’t make it too hard for him and just let go. And then he went. So silent that we only realized that he was gone, when the doctor took my hand and said he was sorry, but that at least he’d died painless and without suffocating (which had been his greatest fear during the last 2 years) and with two of his closest family members at his side.

When I went home, I made a horoscope for his deathdate and had a sudden realization about that Saturn transit currently opposite my natal Moon. You only have these transits every 28 years and the last time, Saturn was in that exact position, my grandfather had died. Saturn makes rules and regulations and can also stand for ultimate endings. So, his opposition to my Moon seems to be some sort of marker for the end of a soul-connection. In my father’s chart, transiting Saturn was exactly conjunct his natal Chiron – his ‘wound’ and sore spot, while transiting Neptune was exactly opposite his natal Saturn – ‘dream’ opposing ‘reality’. So that also means that my dad’s Chiron was opposite my Moon – my last words to him might explain our relationship ‘You didn’t made it easy for us, but I was always proud of you. I love you.’. He was a difficult man, an artist, a painter, sex’n’drugs’n’rock’n’roll but he always said that the best things he’d ‘done’ in his life were my sister and me.

Last time, Saturn was opposite my Moon, one man left and then a new one entered my live. So let’s see if history’s repeating.

‘I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain, coming down a sunny day?’

STARGAZING THINGS FROM DINGS

You and Me and Karma makes Three … part 2

And it’s a wrap. Well at least a temporary one around my right wrist. 😉

This is the follow up to my post from early march “upps … or: You and Me and Karma makes Three

tattoo3

I visited the charming “Rabenschwarz” (meaning raven-black) Tattoo Parlour today and it took only about 10 minutes and that was that. Now Neptune & Saturn will battle infinitely on my arm.

I really like how it turned out 🙂

tattoo2

As the date was given by Calina, the tattoist, I just didn’t wanted to check the event chart beforehand. When I drew it up as I got home today, I couldn’t help laughing, as it is quite befitting this whole Karma-Tattoo-Thing. This whole chart is very very powerful.

tattoo_chart

The most significant thing about it is probably the mutable T-square between Saturn in adventurous Sagittarius on cusp of the 3rd house (communication), Neptune in dreamy Pisces in the 5th house (romance) and Jupiter in 11th house (hopes & wishes) in communicative Virgo. In short: reality and dreams are very well connected today 🙂
They are connected to the nodal axis as well, with the North Node on cusp of the 12th house. Which is all about Karma. Exploring one’s inner self, connecting the pieces of the puzzle.
My own natal nodal axis is at this moment in time exactly conjunct Jupiter/Neptune btw … reversed however with Neptune on my natal North Node in my 7th house of relationships.

As Mercury’s still retrograde, words don’t come easy, so I’ll leave it with this. Fellow astrologers please feel free to comment, there’s a lot in it. 🙂

STARGAZING THINGS FROM DINGS

upps … or: You and Me and Karma makes Three

Sometimes it seems a whole lotta karma can be set in motion with the slightest of triggers. In my case this was a very short word. Well technically not even a real word. Just ‘upps’ (german for ‘whoops’).

It took me some time to figure out the astrological triggers. Rather unsurprisingly all four of the ‘usual suspects’ were involved – namely Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Now, this is something that shakes you to the core and turns your world upside down. I had a long talk with N.Y. based astrologer Dawn Bodrogi about this and she said “everything is in motion and changing, it’s funny that you’re sounding completely calm about it”. In a way I really am. In a way I’m not. But I’m trying to make the most of it. The road to enlightenment and / or personal evolution isn’t straight. There is no ‘finish line’ in sight. Maybe it’s behind the next corner. Maybe not. But if I don’t keep moving on, I’ll never know.

While musing about my chart I was doodling planetary symbols and had – out of the blue – the idea to get a very special tattoo befitting this whole situation. I’ve been fascinated with tattoos since my dad got one, when I was about 12. I made it a rule, that every idea that got into my head had to last at least for half a year. With my erratic Gemini moon – so far – none of them did. But since the fascination for astrology is as old as the one for tattoos for me, this seems to be a solid enough basis 😉

The idea I finally came up with consists of the symbols for Neptune, Infinity and Saturn. As it’s an infinite task to successfully combine one’s dreams with reality. One or the other will always get in the way or have the upper hand – at least for a while. And then the dance begins anew.

When I made the final sketch – which I’m about to discuss with a local tattoo artist in mid april – I suddenly realized, that the little, not even real word ‘upps’ somehow made its way in the drawing as well. Karma is some cunning bitch.

karma-tattoo

STARGAZING THINGS FROM DINGS

12th Night.

It’s december 25 and I’m preparing an interesting ritual for the 12 following nights. Those twelve nights from today until january 6 – the shakespearian 12th night – are called “Rauhnächte” in Germany, which actually refers to the word “Rauch” meaning “smoke”. In “the old days” people used to burn essences to clean the house of evil spirits in those nights and prepare for the next year. Each of those twelve days and nights represents a month of the year to come.

My mother gave me a book about those and other traditions some years ago, but it was only last year that I read the part about the ‘thirteen wishes’ and gave it a try. Here’s is a link for German readers to this part of the book.

12thnight

So here’s what I’ll be doing now:

I’ve prepared 13 little pieces of paper. Now I’ll be meditating about things that would make 2016 just perfect for me and then write one of those wishes on each of the little snippets. Then fold them so that I can’t read the wishes anymore and they all look the same and place them in a little box.

Today, when it got dark, I’ll draw the first wish (don’t open it!) but take it outside and burn the paper in a small fireproof bowl. Afterwards I’ll throw the ashes under the Linden Tree in the garden and finally I’ll thank the four elements for their assistance in this ritual. This will be my procedure for the following days. On the evening of january 6 the thirteenth wish will be left. This is the only one, which I will open and read. The fulfillment of all the other wishes will (hopefully) be taken care of by the universe, but it will be my own task to make those last one come true during the new year.

I had the most bizarre, lifechanging and wonderful 2015 – so obviously I’m going to do this again and I’m inviting you to do the same.

What will make 2016 perfect for you? Start writing.
🙂

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Berlin … Remembrance of Things Past

When I saw Olen Steinhauer’s tweet with a pic from a Berlin café a couple of days ago, something in me snapped.

It’s been about 15 years now, since I’ve last visited “the capital” but there were times in the 30 years before, when I was there almost every month. As much as I love my “gingerbread” hometown of Nuremberg, in my heart “Ich bin ein Berliner”. So this blog today will be a little walk on “Memory Lane” and contain some memorable films and music related to Berlin …

transitstrecke
Passing this iconic tower meant that you had only about one more hour to drive before reaching Berlin. My most memorable adventure on the “Transitstrecke” was, when the old car we were driving, broke with burning motor, while we were stuck in a traffic jam, still on the eastern side. A truck driver rushed to our aid with an extinguisher, but then we were stranded. This was in the 80s, so no cell-phones and wandering around on eastern territory was out of the question, if you wanted to stay alive and not be mistaken for a fugitive. But it seemed that all in all it was our lucky day, because after a while a diplomat’s car stopped and towed us across the border at Drewitz *phew*. This was the smoothest crossing ever 😉

For those not so familiar with Berlin’s situation back then, some historical information. West Berlin really was an island in the German Democratic Republic (= the soviet zone). You could fly there, drive there by car straight on the “Transitstrecke” or go by train. You got stamps in your passport when entering (and leaving) the GDR and you could only stop at assignated points, because you weren’t to contact locals while transiting. The trains would stop for hours in the middle of the night, at a non-public station near the border and then they were thoroughly searched inside and outside (with dogs) to prevent East Germans from fleeing.


David Bowie’s very emotional trip on “Memory Lane” through Berlin with lots of old footage.

I’ve travelled really a lot of times between Nuremberg and Berlin – and my passport was full to the brim with those ridiculous stamps:

passport-stamps

So, my father is from Berlin and also my mother’s father. As a kid I went there regularly to visit my grandparents in West Berlin and delighted in driving around in the yellow double-deck busses. When I got older, I read the biography of “Christiane F.” a young heroin addict who had to prostitute herself. That made me see “Bahnhof Zoo” in a slightly different light …

schweineimweltall
These are my Berlin grandparents and my great-grandmother (the kid is one of my uncles) in the mid 50s, roughly 5 years before the wall was built. Now everyone would guess, that they gathered proudly around their “Volkswagen” to have that pic taken. LOL … very wrong! This is the so called Berlin humour: they actually never had a car, but I’ve inherited my granddad’s grin 😉

My mother’s sister (my godaunt) moved to Berlin in the beginning of the 80s and when we visited her in Berlin-Kreuzberg for a week in 1984 I really fell consciously in love with the city. When I got 16, I was allowed to visit my aunt together with my best friend(s) and we spent some interesting rather “nocturnal” weeks – as Berlin had no “closing time” like the rest of Germany. I particularly liked the “Bhagwan” disco “FarOut” on Kurfürstendamm next to “Schaubühne” – unlike other discos I knew, this one was not dark, sticky and labyrinth-ish, but just one really big room with a high ceiling, warm lighting and bars in every corner and they played great music too 😉


This is still my (inofficial) hymn to Berlin – from early 80s new german wave band “Ideal”. When this – their first – record came out, my father listened to it literally non-stop during a full 14-day-family-holiday in Bavaria – you’d think, we’d freaked, but I still love every song 😉

Other unforgettable experiences included driving through Berlin in the early morning hours, with someone we just met and who turned out to be a) obviously pretty wasted because he was b) ignoring EVERY red light he came by while going at c) about 70 km/h … yeah well … when you’re 17 it’s really all a bit YOLO 😉

Also when you’re 17 and in Berlin, sleep is clearly overrated … so once we went on a daytrip (trip as in TRIP … as this was still more surreal as just driving on the “Transitstrecke” and not only because we had a hangover!) to East Berlin. We crossed the border at Friedrichstraße and had to walk over a mirrored floor there – so if we had skirts on they could have checked, if we were smuggling whatever under them … please?!. Then we each had to change 50 german Mark (about 25 Euro now) in (ahem, worthless) GDR cash. We’d set up a date with east German relatives of my friend, who met us outside. They had a full sightseeing schedule prepared: visiting the Brandenburg Gate to finally see the Quadriga’s horses heads and not only their butts like from the western side, walked “Unter den Linden” past the Berlin Dome to “Palast der Republik” and then they invited us for lunch at the restaurant on top of the East Berlin TV tower. When we entered we were seated (although almost no seats were taken) and were told that we had one hour to order and eat. This would be the time that the restaurant (who was slowly spinning) would take to make a full turn, so you could watch over the roofs of Berlin in every direction. Yeah well, almost every … because when you were able to look in the direction of the western part of the city, the hour was almost up and exactly THEN your meal arrived. I realised that our “seating” hadn’t been random, but calculated – you really had to watch your plate, eat up and then leave during that last quarter hour – no looks at the “fiends in the West” allowed. In review, this was the most ridiculous experience I’ve had in my whole life so far.

When they walked us back, they motioned us to follow them behind the pillars of “Neue Wache” and gave us german Mark in exchange for the east cash we’d been forced to change earlier (wherever they’ve got the west cash, as this was obviously forbidden!). They were a bit panic-ish and constantly looking over their shoulders (but telling us not to). You really felt like in some sort of bad spy-movie…


“The lives of others” won an Oscar and is really worth seeing – it shows exactly why my friend’s relatives felt uneasy in their own country – just everyone could be an informant and working for the “Stasi” (state security, well more to secure that everyone was staying WITHIN this state).


This is an excerpt from Billy Wilder’s hilarious movie “One Two Three” shot in Berlin in 1961 just before the wall was built. The film was a total flop when it came out, because after the wall was built, obviously no one found it funny anymore. But it really is and you can see (as well as in Wilder’s “A foreign Affair’ with Marlene Dietrich) a lot of Berlin and how much was still destroyed and in ruins.

After the fall of the wall in 1989 I was mainly in Berlin for business reasons (setting up software-systems and training staff at arthouse-cinemas and indie-distributors) or to attend the Berlinale filmfestival. Northern parts of Germany are really not famous for their food, but Berlin was an exception: apart from “Currywurst” and the first “Döner Kebap” who was invented in 1972 not in Turkey, but in Berlin (in a small snackbar between “Zoo station” and famous cinema “Zoopalast”), you could get pretty amazing Falafel, all sorts of really good asian food and my favorite restaurant always was “Cafe Einstein” in Kurfürstenstraße – I’m sure that they still serve the best “Wiener Schnitzel” outside of Vienna.

So finally a last movie-tip:


“Lola rennt” (Run Lola Run) one of the first movies – and also a pretty amazing one – from a re-united “new” Berlin.

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My entry for #CannibalCouture …

I had so much energy left today that I finally realised my Alana-Mason-cosplay for @Tattle_Crime ‘s #CannibalCouture contest.

cannibalcouture2

Tiny Hannibal – try to spot him – gives Alana a really bad dream here: she’s suddenly sporting Mason’s haircut (and somehow gained 30 pounds *lol*) and has to feed Will’s dogs from her cheek 😉

I tried to hide the remote for the camera in my knife hand while hoping that the piece of Prosciutto di Parma would stick to my cheek until I was finished.

*tadaa* very funny experience … and the dogs liked it too 😉

Edit august 16: this is the perfect opportunity to introduce the four-legged family members – from left:
Yuri, male Sloughi, 10 years, with me from puppyhood
Ali, female (neutered) Galgo-Greyhound-cross, 7 years, rescue from Spain, with me for 3 years now
Casimiro, male Italian Greyhound (american type), 3 years, with me from puppyhood
Siddhartha, male Italian Greyhound (european type), 9 years, adopted when he was a half year old, because he lost his former home

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grandmothers & trauma …

I’ve just watched the second “Hannibal” episode with Francis Dolarhyde where we see a short flashback with young Francis at his grandmothers table. Checking my WordPress reader I also saw a new post from “The Book of Esther” who is reporting from her holiday in Czech Republic here.

Which leaves me with mixed feelings…

It’s only a 2,5 hour drive from Nuremberg to Prague. I once even overheard an American at Nuremberg airport, while obviously answering the question on his cell phone where he was at the moment with “in a small town in southern Germany near Prague”. I think actually the majority of Nuremberg’s citizens have been to Prague at least once or even go there regularly for a weekend trip.

I haven’t.

Maybe this has to do with my Bohemian grandmother, who had to leave her house and all her belongings in Czechia and flee with her mother and my baby-aunt (her husband hadn’t survived Hitler’s Stalingrad siege) during WWII.

I’ve often tried to imagine the horror she must have felt – from the few stories she told over and over when I was a kid. How would one feel getting a note of one’s husband’s death, with a newborn baby, that will now never see his father? Also her mother – my great grandmother (who I only got to know as a sweet round little old lady) was many times illegally crossing the border at night, WALKING from Eger to Nuremberg (this is a 1,5 hour DRIVE now) to maintain contact with relatives during wartime – and my gran always dreaded that something might happen to her too …

When the war was over – from the moment it became possible again, my grandmother regularly went back on day trips, to gaze at the house in which she grew up, lost in memories. The one time, I accompanied her, witnessing how she invaded the privacy of the people now living there like: walking past the picket fence back and forth, craning her neck, pointing with her finger, commenting on building alterations that had been made – made me feel really uncomfortable. Of course I felt for her – she clearly never got over these traumatic events: there she had seen her father happy for the last time, before he’d returned broken, from years in a russian prison (I can tell you that in reality this looks nothing like “Lucas North”). By the garden gate she’d received her first kiss from the husband who then went to fight for Hitler’s mad war and never returned. Somehow all of this always tainted my interest for visiting the Czech republic – despite loving the wonderful Czech children movies from the 70s 😉

So, this daytrip with my then 70 year old gran, about 25 years ago, really has remained my only visit there. Something deep within still makes me NOT want to cross that border again. Funny enough – my great grandmother NEVER went back there as long as she lived. So – in a way – todays musings fit perfectly with the Dolarhyde story: trauma our ancestors leave us with.

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