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So About That Big Earthquake In The Next Few Days…

posted by Matthew Currie

Will a rare planetary alignment generate an enormous earthquake on Earth on or about May 28th of this year at around 2300 hours UT?

There are two answers to that: a short one and a long one.

The short answer is: No. No, it almost certainly won’t. Now get back to work.

The long answer is: No. No it almost certainly wont. Now get back to work, but first here’s why you shouldn’t worry about it…

To start with: a little background. I have had an interest in astrology since childhood. But even before that I was fascinated with astronomy. I like to think that I can hold a fairly intelligent conversation on either subject. I can discuss the gravitational interactions of co-orbital bodies or the chemical composition of asteroids at least as well as the next guy — provided of course “the next guy” isn’t actually a professional astronomer. But I generally know my barycenter from my Lagrange Points, thank you very much.

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You may have noticed a few of your friends on Facebook in the last few days have been worked up into a lather over an upcoming “planetary alignment” that will allegedly set the stage for a whopping big earthquake in a few days. As with many science-y sounding panics, this started with a YouTube video of dubious factual content which has since gotten repeated and recycled and distorted even further until it reaches the point where it makes its faulty way into popular consciousness. Remember when the rogue planet Nibiru came and turned the Earth 90 degrees on its axis and wiped us all out? Yeah, neither do I.

Here is the YouTube video that started this big flap in the first place. If you want to play along at home, watch the video and read my notes and I will tell you what it gets wrong.

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1:15 – Even the so-called “realistic view” used in this software grotesquely overplays the size of the planets and thus the relative distances between them. Remember that time Mars was nearly as big in the night sky as the Full Moon? Yeah, neither do I.

2:10 – Predicting things like “a major earthquake will happen within a few days of…” is kind of a sucker bet because “major earthquakes” happen all the time. I’ll return to this in a bit.

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2:20 – The Mars-Mercury-Moon alignment. First of all, the alignment in question is entirely a matter of perspective. Set the right view angle on your software and you can draw a straight line between anything and anything else in the Solar System. That, and this particular alignment has happened literally thousands of times in the last few centuries alone without tripping off any major earthquakes. There are scientists who study these things you know, and they have considered the effects of planetary gravitation causing earthquakes, and they haven’t found any links. Did you know that? It’s true!

2:35 – This alignment “disturbed the Earth-Moon equilibrium.” Remember that gigantic high tide that day, or the Moon not being exactly where it was predicted to be down to a fraction of an inch? Yeah, neither do I.

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I’m not going to do notes on the rest of the video because the whole thing is, frankly, a tribute to the power of choosing the right perspective, drawing lines between points that are not actually connected, and saying “that’s interesting.” At this point, my Inner Science Geek was responding like this… and this is a video you should watch:

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The whole thing about “planetary alignments” does sound a bit like astrology, at least on the surface of it. Although I have seen some serious research using astrology to predict major earthquakes, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t really understand it. I’m no expert. One thing I do know though is that anyone who claims to be a psychic ( or a “YouTube personality”) who tells you that “there will be a major earthquake within X number of days of…” is playing really very easy odds. There are in fact several million earthquakes in the world each year. Most of them are not detected because they’re very small or hit remote areas where no one is paying attention. The US Geological Service in the United States alone detects about 20,000 earthquake the year. That’s about 50 each day.

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As for major earthquakes? Let’s say that Magnitude 5 or bigger constitutes “major.” In 2012, earth experienced over 1,500 such quakes. If we limit ourselves to the really big ones – that is, magnitude 6 or larger – there were still over a hundred of those in 2012. There were slightly over 200 in 2011, and 174 in 2010. There are 365 days in the year. Do the math and tell me how psychic you have to be to say “There will be a major earthquake around…”

So if you’re bored try this sometime: wait until 2 or 3 in the morning and call all your friends and tell them that you had a psychic flash that there will be a major earthquake somewhere in the next few days. Sit back and set your Google News Alert for earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater. Your friends will be calling you Nostradamus in no time flat – unless of course they do some research and understand a bit of simple math.

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(And by the way: any skeptics out there reading this? Feel free to enjoy the delicious irony of an astrologer explaining planetary gravitational effects to the easily panicked. We astrologers may not be as dumb as you had hoped.)

Remember that Eclipse in August 1999 that Nostradamus said would be the end of the world? Remember Y2K? Remember the devastation caused by the planetary alignment of 05/05/ 2000? Yeah neither do I. The tail end of the 20th century was the Golden Age for apocalypses that failed to deliver.

And that “Four Blood Moons” thing so many were all worried (and that I wrote about here) last year? Yeah, so far — no end of the world. My apologies. Your ticket will not be refunded.

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You’ll notice that I said at the beginning of the blog entry that there would almost certainly not be a major earthquake on March 28, which is what the current story making the rounds on Facebook would have you believe. I will admit that statistically it could happen, especially if I keep it vague about defining “major earthquake.”

Next time something like this comes up, remember a lesson many of us should have learned between 1998 and 2001: when in doubt, always bet against the end of the world. At worst you will only ever be wrong once.

In conclusion: Science!

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Questions about your birth chart, or astrology in general? Want to know more about my big discount on readings for new clients? Want a free month of my NEW Subscription Service? Write me for details!

CLICK HERE to join the Oh My Stars Facebook Fan Page, and get exclusive content, an additional discount on a reading, more material on blog entries, AND ANOTHER free e-book!

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Astrology And The Beautiful Mind Of John Nash

posted by Matthew Currie

John Nash astrology chart accidentLast time, I looked at how John Nash’s most famous contribution to mathematics could help you deal with this week’s astrological transits. This time, I’d like to look more at the man himself. Born June 13 1928, 7:00 AM, Bluefield West Virgina, John was about as famous as mathematicians get. This is in large part due to the movie A Beautiful Mind, which chronicled (in fictionalized form) his struggle with schizophrenia. So let’s have a look at what made John unique.

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First of all, Nash’s intelligence. We generally agree in Western Astrology that intelligence is largely a matter of Mercury and the Third House. Nash’s Third House (by Whole Signs) is Virgo, which is ruled by Mercury, and his Mercury is prominently placed in the First House, conjunct Pluto. Thus “piercing intellectual insights.”

(Here’s where those who use Placidus Houses and I part company. They’ll look at that Mercury/Pluto above the horizon and say “well, that’s the Twelfth House, so there’s the mental illness.” More on that in a bit).

Vedic Astrology places a certain emphasis on the role the Moon plays in consciousness that Western astrology tends to overlook, and as the Ascendant ruler, John’s Moon takes on added importance. John Nash’s Moon is in Aries, in the Tenth House, conjunct Mars. This means The Moon is conjunct the ruler of the Tenth (Mars) which is also in the Tenth, so that shows us that he would make a career using his brain.

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As for John Nash’s schizophrenia? That’s tougher to spot, but perhaps not entirely for astrological reasons.

I took a couple of years of Psych in college, and one of the first things we learned is that mental illness is largely a matter of cultural definition. It seems that astrology is much better at predicting what a person will do or how they act or even what they look like than it is at predicting what’s actually going on inside a person’s mind. I can look at a birth chart and come up with general indicators of intelligence, but not tell how sane a person is by our standards. For example, were Mr. and Mrs. Einstein to bring me their baby boy’s birth chart, I would be able to look and quickly say he was a humanitarian, that he would travel, and that he wouldn’t be the world’s sharpest dresser. And yes I could tell he would be fairly intelligent. But I couldn’t tell you that he would be universally hailed as one of history’s greatest geniuses.

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If a dozen clones of John Nash were born at the exact same place and time as he was, and you distributed those clones throughout various world cultures, all of them would be very smart guys. He would probably be a mathematician or scientist of some sort in many cultures. But some cultures would have locked him up, some would have made him a shaman, and some might have killed him for being demon possessed. Again: astrological there are some indicators of “mental imbalance”… but overall astrology has a much tougher time spotting serious mental illness than you might think.

Whether this is a limitation of astrology or a limitation of the culture we are in and its definitions of what “mental health” is, I leave to you.

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One of the things that was really remarkable about John Nash is that he was able to overcome his mental illness largely through application of his intelligence. In his own words:

“After my return to the dream-like delusional hypotheses in the later 60s I became a person of delusionally influenced thinking but of relatively moderate behavior and thus tended to avoid hospitalization and the direct attention of psychiatrists… I began to intellectually reject some of the delusionally influenced lines of thinking which had been characteristic of my orientation. This began, most recognizably, with the rejection of politically oriented thinking as essentially a hopeless waste of intellectual effort.”

Think about THAT next time you’re arguing about politics with someone on Facebook.

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As for the circumstances of John Nash and the death of him and his wife in a taxi accident in New Jersey, as I have written here previously… like it or not, yes astrology can provide definite indicators of risk. The calculations are long and difficult, but genuine indicators of periods of risk can be seen in the birth chart and in the transits. But as with so many things in life, there are no guarantees.

Gosh, you’d almost think there was some sort of Higher Power involved with these things, wouldn’t you?

Despite that, when it comes to the death of John Nash and his wife it is the most painfully simplistic of astrological explanations that stands out to me here. Mercury was retrograde. When Mercury is retrograde there often problems with short trips. John Nash and his wife didn’t have their seatbelts on.

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That’s right: a man whose beautiful mind came up with concepts the changed the world didn’t think to put his seatbelt on when in the backseat of a cab, the way you normally would when driving a car. I don’t know what it is about taxis, but so many of us – myself included – tend to forget to buckle up when getting into a cab. And Mercury retrograde never helps with these things.

So let’s be safe out there okay?

Want a free e-book? Sure you do! Click HERE!

Questions about your birth chart, or astrology in general? Want to know more about my big discount on readings for new clients? Want a free month of my NEW Subscription Service? Write me for details!

CLICK HERE to join the Oh My Stars Facebook Fan Page, and get exclusive content, an additional discount on a reading, more material on blog entries, AND ANOTHER free e-book!

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Astrology (And John Nash) Save Your Week

posted by Matthew Currie

beliefnet astrology matthew currie john nashThis week’s transits require a little extra caution, even though the trickiest of them is exact on Monday when most people aren’t operating their heavy machinery at work because of Memorial Day.

(A word of explanation to my non-American readers: the United States has four military-themed occasions on its calendar. Memorial Day, when they commemorate those who have died in war. Then there’s Veteran’s Day, when they salute the ones who survived. There’s also Armed Forces Day, when they give a nod to those who may or may not get killed yet… and finally Election Day, when Americans chose the person who will start their next war. But I digress.)

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What makes this week so deserving of extra care and attention is Mars in Gemini square Neptune in Pisces. Mars represents your drives, your urge to get things done, and that impulse to go a little faster. It’s already a bit on the scattered side in Gemini, but since Gemini is ruled by Mercury… which is retrograde right now… that Mars energy is a little more likely to go astray than usual. Furthermore, since both Mercury and Mars are in a Mercury-ruled Sign, you could say that Mercury (your thoughts) will win the struggle between “what you think you can get away with” and “what you can really accomplish.”

And oh yeah… as if THAT weren’t bad enough, then there’s the square from Neptune.

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Mathematician John Nash and his wife died Saturday in a taxi crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. He was 86 years old. He is best remembered as the subject of the Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind, starring Russell Crowe. Despite Nash’s contributions to human understanding of how the world works, he is probably best known for having overcome schizophrenia.

John Nash’s birth chart and the astrology of his death are fascinating stuff,  and I will be going into detail about that in my next blog entry, but in the meantime I’d like to share with you his most famous contribution to mathematics — The Nash Equilibrium. Like so many things in life, it actually seems pretty straightforward and simple but it took a genius to discover it and describe it properly. Although it’s primarily applied to economics and that branch of math called Game Theory, it covers a lot of life’s situations. It can even help you understand how to handle the weirdness that comes with this week’s Mars Neptune square.

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First, watch this video. Hey, the thing won an Oscar… you can give it three minutes if your time, especially since it could really help you this week.

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Now here’s how this applies to you and the Mars-Neptune square.

Mars is drive and ambition. In Gemini (like it is now) and ruled by a retrograde Mercury, its efforts are often scattered. But when that Mars is in a difficult square aspect to Neptune, further complications can set in. Neptune loves a good illusion, and the square to Mars can muddy the waters as to what you really want or need from life. It can scatter your efforts or point them in the wrong direction completely. It can convince you that a friend is an enemy or that a little arsenic is just what your salad dressing needs.

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So under those circumstances how do you know how to take what Buddhists call “right action”?

Simple. Don’t be greedy. Don’t push your luck. Use common sense. Don’t let your impulses do the thinking for you, and pay attention to the details. This, as it turns out, may be what killed John Nash and his wife on Saturday — an underestimation of risk.

If you use your head, you can come out ahead in the next few days. But be warned: not everyone around you will have read this blog entry and be as wise as you, so just to be safe you should probably post, tweet, pin, and email this blog entry as widely as you possibly can.

Hey — it’s because I care, all right?

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Next time: the beautiful birth chart and unfortunate astrology behind the life and death of John Nash.

Want a free e-book? Sure you do! Click HERE!

Questions about your birth chart, or astrology in general? Want to know more about my big discount on readings for new clients? Want a free month of my NEW Subscription Service? Write me for details!

CLICK HERE to join the Oh My Stars Facebook Fan Page, and get exclusive content, an additional discount on a reading, more material on blog entries, AND ANOTHER free e-book!

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#Bad #Internet #Astrology #Is #Annoying #Me

posted by Matthew Currie

We are truly fortunate to live in an age where so much information is freely available on the Internet. When I was a kid growing up in the Seventies, we didn’t have the Internet to look information up with, but I lived in a small city which supported a university, and they had a feature called “dial an expert,” and whenever I came up with a question that I couldn’t find the answer to on my own, I used to call them up all the time and try to find a professor who could answer my questions.

Are dogs color blind?
Why can parrots learn to have a conversation but not do math?
Why do we have two lungs instead of one big one?
Why do earthworms have 5 hearts and we only have one?

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These are all samples of actual questions I called the University with as a child. There were questions involving lots of other subject matters, but for whatever reason it was the Biology Department that got the least sick of me.

Today we have the Internet and unparalleled access to information… and much of it is terrible.

Here are a couple of ways to tell if the web site you’re getting your astrology from is terrible.

SERVE SOME KEYWORD SALAD

Those of you who run a website or write for the Internet or have done research into how to draw attention to your website will undoubtedly have uncovered a concept called “SEO,”  which is short for “search engine optimization.” In essence, what this means is that whatever you write for the Internet is supposed to be heavily spiced with usage of common words that will draw people using Google looking for your service or product.

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At first this concept seems perfectly reasonable: if you are selling aircraft engine bushings, why not use the phrase “aircraft engine bushings” on your website a lot so Google will make it easier for customers to find you?

In practice however this tends to serve as the enemy of clear and enjoyable writing. Let me show you an example of that, which is probably typical of something you’ve come across before.

Gemini Capricorn compatibility

Are you a Gemini interested in a Capricorn? Are you a Capricorn interested in a Gemini? Are you a Gemini woman attracted to a Capricorn man? Are you a Gemini man attracted to a Capricorn corn woman? Are you a Gemini or a Capricorn man or woman who would like to attract the seduce or date or have sex with or fall in love with or have a relationship with or share an apartment with a Gemini or Capricorn man or woman? Are Gemini and Capricorn compatible? Does Gemini like Capricorn? Does Capricorn like Gemini?

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The answer is a definite maybe! Click here to purchase a generic computer generated report that will give you all the uncanny profound mystical astrological astrology astrologer details! Warm up that credit card!

INFOGRAPHICS DON’T LIE (BUT THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THEM DO)

Equally click-bait-worthy (and equally offensive to a well rounded knowledge of astrology) are those sites which specialized in posting infographics that tragically minimize or outright misrepresent the complexities of astrology. You have undoubtedly seen these things posted on a friend’s Facebook Wall somewhere — or in a moment of weakness re-posted one yourself that insisted you were inherently more honest, sexy, lovable, and/or trustworthy than the average Sign… of if you just broke up with an (X) after dating a (Y) and they both cheated on you, and you found an infographic that insisted that (X) and (Y) are both inherently terrible people.

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I refuse to give any of these sites more publicity than they deserve, so I made an example on my own. Here it is:

beliefnet astrology matthew currie

Go ahead, click on it, download it, share it, pin it, tweet it, and roll it up and smoke it. I need the publicity!

Speaking as someone who writes on the Internet as part of my living, I am aware of these various techniques for getting more clicks. Sadly, many of the websites that are also aware of these techniques really don’t appear to give even the tiniest of hoots about whether or not they’re conveying actual information. Once you’ve generously donated your click and your eyeball time, they’re done with astrology.

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I do care about those things. So by all means: if you’ve been clicking around looking for general information on astrology, bookmark this place and feel free to come back. You might not get the 25 words or less answer you were looking for, but you might end up getting something even better: the truth about how astrology really works and how it can actually make your life a genuinely better place.

As for all those extra SEO-induced clicks I could be getting? I’ll just have to learn to live without them.

So if you have any questions for me, Please feel free to write me and ask. However, be warned: if you are a Gemini man and/or woman wanting to know if a Capricorn man/ woman will be attracted to you, love you, or seduce you… I’m going to need more information than that. Also: all the good you may actually need a reading rather than just a quick and snappy answer. Life is like that sometimes.

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Want a free e-book? Sure you do! Click HERE!

Questions about your birth chart, or astrology in general? Want to know more about my big discount on readings for new clients? Want a free month of my NEW Subscription Service? Write me for details!

CLICK HERE to join the Oh My Stars Facebook Fan Page, and get exclusive content, an additional discount on a reading, more material on blog entries, AND ANOTHER free e-book!

Previous Posts

So About That Big Earthquake In The Next Few Days...
Will a rare planetary alignment generate an enormous earthquake on Earth on or about May 28th of this year at around 2300 hours UT? There are two answers to that: a short one and a long one. The short answer is: No. No, it almost certainly ...

posted 1:58:58am May. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Astrology And The Beautiful Mind Of John Nash
Last time, I looked at how John Nash's most famous contribution to mathematics could help you deal with this week's astrological transits. This time, I'd like to look more at the man himself. Born June 13 1928, 7:00 AM, Bluefield West Virgina, ...

posted 1:41:40am May. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Astrology (And John Nash) Save Your Week
This week's transits require a little extra caution, even though the trickiest of them is exact on Monday when most people aren't operating their heavy machinery at work because of Memorial Day. (A word of explanation to my non-American ...

posted 12:04:59am May. 25, 2015 | read full post »

#Bad #Internet #Astrology #Is #Annoying #Me
We are truly fortunate to live in an age where so much information is freely available on the Internet. When I was a kid growing up in the Seventies, we didn't have the Internet to look information up with, but I lived in a small city which ...

posted 12:26:52am May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Mars in Gemini: Are You Listening?
Last time, I discussed in fine detail the workings of Mars in Gemini without really getting anywhere at all with it. That's because that's how Mars in Gemini often works. However, if you can learn to work with the (sometimes frantic) mental ...

posted 1:16:50am May. 17, 2015 | read full post »

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