Posts from the ‘travel’ Category

This Sun conj Mars: “Fleeting Fire,” and my Bizarro Life

I think that this past weekend’s trip was the shortest I’ve taken in years. I expected it to be unusually short at a week and a half, being that I have a modeling gig next week that is “forcing” me to be close to my legal residence at that time, but, I ended up cutting it short. I never really know when I am going to have to move, in any direction, until my inner voice tells me to. I realized it was time to head back very literally when, after spending the day reading Robert Anton Wilson in parking lots (after working all weekend without much rest), I turned the car on to head in that direction. So, the swift nature of this most recent jaunt (I was able to take and publish a few photos from it on my instagram of my walk across the Hudson) was very much in line with the Sun conj Mars, an aspect that only happens once every two years. Incidentally it’s also something that I was born with natally, though, separating, and at a wide orb of 6°, which together would not even be acknowledged by some astrologers. However, in my case, the midpoint between the two for me is exactly (as in, to the arcminute) opposite my Jupiter. This makes that conjunction for me much more notable than it would be otherwise. Anyway, for the first time since I began my formal astrological studies, I was able to witness the actual mundane effects of Sun conj Mars (well, I was able to the last time around, also, but I wasn’t as aware of the cycles then, and didn’t catch on until this revolution). And, Bloody Fucking Mary. It’s intense.

There were two major incidents that I witnessed, uncanny to the aspect.

The first is upsetting. I already wrote about it, a project that took a few hours, but my writing was deleted, and I only discovered this by going to the Google Maps entry for the restaurant that I visited to link it. I have no idea who called for it to be deleted. I guess I should have figured that speaking the truth about what I saw was going to upset someone. I wanted to write just a review of really good food, but, what I saw forced me to elaborate on my review, which put me in a position as Bringer of Bad News and Intersectional Commentator. Well, as it goes, whoever needed to see it, saw it, and whoever didn’t, never will. Definitely a lesson in “some people will love you, some will hate you, and others won’t give a shit.” Apparently, someone hates me. Oh well. I’ll just keep on truckin’.

I won’t name the restaurant, or the nationality of it, now that it’s besides the point, and to protect them from association with a violent tragedy and out of context commentary on racial issues: now that my original writing is gone forever, it’s moot. But, it was a restaurant in Newburgh NY, deep in the ‘hood. I found it through Restaurant.com, who I have been using for years for discounted dining. The restaurant was fine, in fact, very good, for service and food. I spent at least 20 minutes within view of the restaurant, then pulled around the corner to eat in the car, and never felt unsafe. I had two short conversations with other visitors, who shouted out to me to ask me questions about parking, and both times, I said the same thing: “sorry, I have no idea; I’m not from around here.” After I spent about an hour in the area, I departed, and on my way out of the neighborhood, saw a man (Black) face down in the gutter, body laid out perpendicular on the sidewalk. His face was very literally looking down the storm drain. He was not moving. I did not see any blood. Passerby did not look alarmed. It was surreal and horrifying. I still haven’t fully processed it, and it was on Saturday, two days ago. The surreal nature of the scene, with no-one paying attention to him, was what made it even worse, besides the obvious of what appeared to be a dead man’s body. It was very disturbing.

I was determined to complete my self-imposed task of reviewing the restaurant that I visited, but I could not do so without writing also about the environment and neighborhood, and what I saw…which, again, I guess someone flagged, or something. Censors are alive and well, and now, everyone can be a censor! Only fake news allowed, folks!!!

I had also included information in the review about how the Sun-conj-Mars aspect corresponded with the Public Deadly Violence of the man in the gutter.

Then, tonight, I pull back up to my Mom’s house, after driving straight down through the City from the White Plains area. I get out of the car, look up, and I see that the neighbor 2 houses down has a fire going on their house. Literally, where the electrical wire meets the top of their house was keeping a flame going. I ran to the door and yelled a few times, “There’s a fire on your house!!!” An entire family with kids, some of the kids holding other kids, came outside after the third try. Eventually 3 fire trucks came down. Before the firemen came, the family was talking about using the hose. I am so glad that I was there (with my years of fire performance experience and all) not only to see it and alarm them, but to let them know NOT to use water on an electrical fire. It makes sense that in a crisis people would forget that. But then I remember also that most laypeople don’t really deal with fire anymore. We are so separate from it in our modern day society that unless a person elects to be trained, or self-train, in fire, they probably have no idea of fire protocol. “Stop Drop and Roll” is likely the extent of most people’s fire safety awareness. If they would have hosed it, it could have started a huge issue. And, what the hell… I just pull up after 3 days and 3 nights away, to call out that fire and be safety until the firemen arrive? What sort of life am I living? I seriously have no answers. All I know is that I am taking instructions from a higher order. I’ve separated myself so well from the slavery mindset that I really do find myself in the right place and right time, all the time. Weirdness follows me everywhere. That’s what a natal partile Sun-Uranus Fire trine will do to you… forever.

As I was driving back, a few times, I asked myself, “hmm, I wonder why I’m headed back before I intended to? Well, at least I’ll have housing comforts until I have to leave again.” I had my answer before I even made it in the house. I was scheduled to call out a tiny electrical fire after the neighborhood was already in bed.

All of this stuff is ordained. I just catch more of it because I [do my best to] pay attention, think for myself, trust my intuition, and follow my own path…and oh yeah, I study synchronicity as a lifestyle.

And that’s a partile Sun-Mars conjunction in Virgo, separating, in the 4th house for you.

Electrical Fire outside of the Neighbor’s house, on the wire

The Virgo was a mitigating factor: the fire was a “small detail” rather than a huge wildfire (same thing with the dead man: a “small detail” in a scene of passerby, as opposed to a wild street fight, which would have been more of a fire sign correspondence), where no-one got hurt (in the case of the fire, not the ‘hood scene…), and no real damage was done. The most conservative of dangerous fires. Interesting that Moon had just entered Scorpio, a Mars-ruled sign and was inconjunct to the Ascendant: the family (Moon) could not see the fire, and had no idea that it was there. I was in an interesting position because though I am a neighbor, I was not stationed in the neighborhood at the time of the fire, but rather, had just arrived and was transitioning from the Travel timeline to the House timeline: it was only between these timelines that the fire could be seen. As far as where that is in the chart, well, let’s see.

Who saw it in public? We look to the MC: Aquarius, a Saturn Ruled sign, in the 9th. The MC is in a partile quincunx to Mercury, who is part of the Virgo stellium in the 4th: the family/household could not see what was happening in public view to their own house. Who saw it? Well, the 9th is associated with travelers and journeys: a traveler saw it, though that traveler was also a neighbor, with shared resources, namely, the electrical wires. Note the wide grand trine joining Uranus (electricity), Mars (fire), and Saturn. Uranus is also in a separating square from the MC: the fire had probably been going for a little bit. But, again, no one saw it, because of the inconjuncts between Mercury, Mars, and Sun and the MC, and also between Moon and the Asc. So, all inner bodies and both luminaries and the two vital angles couldn’t see each other.

Saturn is also exactly conjuct to the Mean South Node by 30’. Granted, that’s been going on for a while.

We see the Moon in quintile to Saturn, though. Quintiles have to do with creativity and destruction. Moon being applying opposite to Uranus, this does correspond: Mars-ruled Moon reflecting and creating (5th) fire because of energy created by electricity. Destructive possibilities (quintile) mitigated by the suppression and drainage/elimination power of the South Node and Saturn together.

It also happens that that Moon is less than a degree away from, and applying to, my natal Pluto. So, of course I was the one to see it, and take control of the situation, at least until the family was able to call 911, and be informed not to use water…

There’s a lot of stuff going on in this chart, but, the point isn’t to delineate the whole thing, rather, to just gloss the surface.

Glad this Sun-Mars situation is fading. It’s “too hot to handle.” It’ll take a few days, more like a week to really slow down due to Moon’s position in Scorpio for another 2 days, but, at least we’re out of the hottest part.

Revisiting the Rainbow: Vermont Nationals 2016 Site, Green Mountain National Forest

As promised in my last installment of Revisiting the Rainbow for Michigan 2015, I present to you all of the information that I could gather about the Vermont Nationals 2016 site. And, disappointingly, it isn’t much.

This visitation was quite a let-down for me personally, as the Vermont 2016 Gathering was my first Nationals, and where I adopted my dog Beatrice, who was given to me at 4 weeks old. I raised her and socialized her in the woods. She is a Trooper, that’s for sure. So, I had envisioned us walking the same path I walked from where I found out that I’d have a chance at her, to where she crawled into my arms. Besides my personal nostalgia, I also envisioned that I would be able to document the entire Gathering site. I lived there for something like a month (I had been there for at least a week before adopting Beatrice on June 26, and my first verifiable photo in Babylon was on July 13), and learnt every path like the back of my hand, and I wanted to be able to document how the area looks now 3 years afterward, with extensive commentary. But, we were thwarted by Forest Service, and could not even enter. Why? Nothing personal: they’ve barricaded the road into the site.

This barricade comes up immediately after the AT/LT trailhead, which, that day, was highly populated: at least 5 vehicles, and there were people in the lot.

So, let’s make this simple.

I call Bullshit on this barricade.

The sign says that the closure is to “prevent road damage.”

Bullshit.

Regular forest road traffic doesn’t create damage. I would admit, maybe, that there was damage done already, and they’re working on restoring it? But, why not tell the truth, USFS? The rest of the country may believe your bullshit sign, but those of us that were there know that you are lying.

I don’t remember the exact details about how the road was that year, but, it’s possible that there was some damage done (but as I write further below, I don’t remember there being road damage: trail damage yes, road damage no). We experienced heavy rains after the Gathering was officially over (a few days after Independence Day).

I stayed for Cleanup after that Gathering and was definitely in the last 100 to leave. By the time I made it to Portland, Maine, the “Maine-bow” gathering that caught the overflow had already disbanded.

It had rained, hard, during Cleanup, for a few days. I remember it well because I was sequestered in a small tent with a 5-6 week old puppy who was still pooping liquid basically uncontrollably, and after a couple of days, there wasn’t really a safe spot left on my blankets.

As my part in Cleanup that year, I took it upon myself to assemble all of the abandoned clothes and blankets in my sector (I’ll estimate about 20-25% of the area of the Gathering?), soaking wet, back to my camp, and hang them out on the trees to dry.

This process of dragging and hanging everyone’s soaking wet stuff took at least 3 days, and I worked 100% solo, as I often do, just because I’m a rogue like that.

After they were dry, which took a few days because, well, soaking wet blankets, duh, I hauled everything out to my car – all with a Baby Beatrice in tow – and that took a few days, too. My car was filled to the roof by the end. I filled at least 3 large industrial trash bags with dried and dirty fabric items.

I laundered and dried everything at the Laundry Mat once I got back to Babylon, and then donated it all to a Catholic charity. I ended up contracting Pneumonia as a result of the work that I did that year. I’ll never forget it.

Anyway, the rains were heavy, and long. There must have been some damage, because wet forest roads are impacted by vehicles in a way that dry ones aren’t. But, I also remember my drive out of the site that year: it was very easy. It sort of felt like flying. I felt jazzed after completing such a monumental task, and the distance of the road itself was remarkably short, compared to other sites I have been to. It did NOT feel like a “bumpy ride” like a lot of driving on FS roads do.

So, what gives, Forest Service?

Perhaps it’s the conspiracy theorist in me, but my sense is that FS doesn’t want us benefitting from our own work. We spent all of that time trailblazing, learning the land, creating the geographical blueprint for a village, and they don’t like that. Remember: unless you’re just a tourist, and only staying long enough to take pictures and then go back to your Box House, their control over the Land is threatened.

Imagine: thousands of people become intimately knowledgable about a very specific forest area with running water that can sustain just as many people. They create and participate in a village that is fully dismantled within 2 months of its inception. All of those people now know of a safe place to retreat to that is free for all people. Just like I know where it is, everyone else that was there knows about it, too, and unless it’s barricaded or sold, we can return to it any time.

Why wouldn’t USFS like that? Hmm, I wonder. Maybe because Sovereignty scares them.

I’ll try not to get too deep into the politics here. Let’s just say that the sign is bullshit. They’re not preventing people from doing “damage to the road.” They’re preventing people from exploring, or using, the area that Rainbow Family prepared as a safe and known waypoint for refugees and migrants.

Not to mention, also, that they are probably at the same time, doing some sort of research. Besides studying the restructuring and regrowth of the natural environment, I’m talking psychic research. Everyone knows that the Feds employ psychic operatives. All they have to do is bring them to the site, and they can pick up on all sorts of stuff. Again, that was my first Nationals, and I’ve only been to 2 so far, but it was a large gathering. Bigger in terms of spatial area than Wisconsin 2019 was. We had 3 Gates that took at least a half hour to hike the distance between (Wisconsin had 2, and they were very close together, a 5-10 minute walk at most), and the walk in Vermont from Main Gate to your first major camp was as long as the walk in Wisconsin from Main Gate all the way to Main Meadow. Vermont was huge. The site could host a refugee caravan of thousands of people, EASY. And, we’re going to need it, soon. Give it another year, or two, tops. The Amazon is already on fire. People are going to be moving North. We are going to need that site. By then the barricade will be gone, though.

The USFS has been following us since our inception. It’s sort of a “cold war” between factions, but there has been violence (on the part of USFS against Rainbow Family, including Children) at at least one Gathering: you can find videos on Youtube. But, for the most part, it’s a nonviolent conflict…yet, the Feds don’t like us much. Methinks it’s a jealousy thing. Stupid, considering, you know… both of our factions are all about protecting and serving our natural environment.

Anyway.

Beatrice and I had a good day, regardless. There was a nice “day use” area with a strikingly beautiful overlook called “Big Branch”, and grills. So, we cooked and ate, there.

This was the best image of Big Branch I was able to take for the blog… just a sign.

We were also able to enjoy an experience at the water, at the very entrance to the Forest: the White Rocks Recreation Area.

I took a video of the walk from the pulloff down to the shore.

As of right now, WP is giving me trouble with uploading the video to my blog, but you can view it on Youtube.

The water at this shore is pristine. We filled a huge jug of it, and still have some now almost a month later.

Here is a snapshot of Google Maps, with the location dot showing exactly where the barricade is.

And closer up

If you take a look at these maps, and one of the trail and road maps available on the Big Brown Sign, you can see that the barricade prevents visitors from doing much of anything except for the AT/LT anymore. Boo!

Beatrice was disappointed that she couldn’t revisit her Adoption Place, too, but, it’s all good. She got some treats from the Mount Tabor Country Store. It was cool being able to go back there. That place was the first and last contact with Babylon at that Gathering. They were very gracious with us, and I’m sure they appreciated the huge amount of business we brought them during those weeks. The store itself has a great vibe: they have a huge free library (multiple shelves on a wall) there, cook hot food to order, and have funny signs up. Some country stores are really stuffy and you’re afraid of getting shot for even sticking around to eat: not in Mount Tabor. Thanks, guys. I did push your limits a bit this time, but you took it in stride. The burger you made for me before we went into the Forest really hit the spot.

Thanks for reading, and coming with us on this journey.

Revisiting the Rainbow: Michigan “Regional” 2015 Site, Huron-Manistee National Forest

I’ve been touring the country “mostly solo” (and now with a Real Dog!) for over 5 years now, and initiated myself into the Rainbow in 2015 in Colorado. That year, the National Gathering was in South Dakota, only a month before the CO regional that I arrived at, very literally, on my 30th birthday. It was an important year for me, and for Rainbow culture as well. That year, during Nationals time, there was a Great Lakes regional gathering happening as well. Obviously (if you have Logic), I was not there, but I remember hearing a LOT about it at 2016 Nationals in Vermont. Word of mouth and my research both show me that, that year, Michigan Regional was quite the gathering. In fact, it is the ONLY Regional that is mentioned on the “Annual Gathering History” given on greatlakesrainbow.info.

What actually happened there is only knowable to those who were there. I only picked up on the vibes, and let me tell you, it was something else again.

The location is still available on the Web:

directions from mesick

So, on my way back East after Wisconsin 2019, I navigated my way to the site, to see what it looked like: did it show evidence of a heavy presence there, 4 years later?

I’ll tell you right off the bat that I did NOT walk into the trailhead. There were a few reasons for this: first, it just didn’t feel “right.” I always do my best to trust my intuition. Something told me that I didn’t have to, or shouldn’t. Perhaps there were spiritual reasons for this, or maybe practical. I got a sense that if I did go in there, it may have led to a multi-day expedition and journey, and I was not prepared for that. I had just left 2019 Nationals. I wasn’t ready to expose myself to the shades of another past legendary Gathering. I would have picked up on so much stuff, but I was in decompression mode, pre-integration period. It was healthiest for me to stay outside this time. Anyway, I wasn’t there in the first place. So I would have no way of comparing what it looked like now, to what it looked like then.

I WILL be soon publishing a Revisiting the Rainbow for the 2016 Nationals in Vermont. And, I WAS there, so the project will be much more extensive. Stay tuned, and let’s stick with what we have here, for now.

Update August 28 2019: I have completed the Vermont 2016 Revisiting the Rainbow. Unfortunately, the site is barricaded as of August 2019, but the entry is still worth reading!

I took the directions that I found on the Great Lakes Regional Facebook page from back then, and drove in.

I found that it looked very much like any other Forest Service Road. If the Gathering had about 2000 people (see this local news article citing 450 at seed camp, and estimating 2000 at full; I have a feeling it was more like 3000), let’s assume 4 people per vehicle. That’s 500 vehicles on this road. You can’t see any impact. It just looks like any other road. Perhaps it may be wider than it was before?

My writing is more exciting than the content, this time.

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There was a little “boulevard” (or a two-track road with some fresh leafy greenies popping up in the middle)

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The trees here are really beautiful.

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But there were a few areas that looked compromised:

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For those of you who made it to the end, here’s a video I took while driving down the road. You can see the environs much better this way.

Can’t catch me ridin’ dirty… from all that dirt on my feet from the Huron-Manistee National Forest, brah’!!!!!

Rainbow Nationals 2019 Exodus: The Sunshine Daydream Festival of White Cloud MI: Photo Essay, July 13-14 2019

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I was so grateful to find this festival by pure chance, a week after I left Rainbow Nationals in Wisconsin. It’s always traumatizing, leaving a Rainbow Gathering. For me, being a one-woman tour with an extreme amount of gear/”baggage,” and the honor (and job, let’s face it, but the best job ever) of being Mom to a Rainbow Dog, getting in and getting out is SO much work – active-military-level work – that, for me, having a soft place to land afterward is vital. I operate my ship solo. I have taken passengers, but to be honest, they hardly ever make it worth it – my system is just so fine-tuned and personal needs so demanding that even the presence of someone else can screw me up, much less if they don’t pay their way or pull their own weight, or if they need emotional labor from me!!! I’m getting better and better at keeping this boundary as the years go by, though. But, either way, my energy reserves are much more limited than those of families, and especially Caravans, that Gather. I have much more limited Human resources and when I leave the Gathering, I need a place to land and recover, and FAST. So, when I found a friendly place to rest, medicate, and sleep in quiet and safety (I cannot understate the vitality and importance of that last item… a place to sleep in safety…), I beamed and breathed with joy and relief.

After leaving the Gathering in Wisconsin on July 7, and jetting (by car) that day to MI, I found my way to White Cloud, a small town situated in the National Forest on the mid-latitude Western side of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. I visited a Medical dispensary there, and they asked me, “are you going to the festival?” I said, “what festival?” As it turned out, it very literally was around the corner and FREE, from overnight parking to admission! I really love how that happens sometimes. I was being guided by a higher power, for sure.

Some festivals aren’t really “Rainbow friendly” or “Hippie Friendly.” Any culture can have a festival. This one was right up my alley. There were wacky art installations everywhere, and even a river that people were swimming in. It was really low-key. Just a cool place to chill out, decompress, and meet, learn from, and trade with other vendors and craftspeople.

I was able to take a few hours to rest and reorganize my car before going in, and even met a couple of fellow flow artists/fire dancers who had already parked next to me. That was how I really knew that I was in the right place. I have not done work in that field for a few years, but it’s still a part of me.

The main feature of this festival was the artwork. The installations had obviously taken a lot of time and skill, and were just so visually and conceptually captivating.

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Approaching the slow moving river (you can see it, and some swimmers in the background) you can see one of the more visible of the installations.

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The poem that goes with the sculpture is poignant.

Here it is typed out:

Cyborg Project

I am equal parts alien, cyborg, beast, & human.

I started out several months ago as a composite gift.

That gift consisted of two lenses salvaged from an old cathode ray tube-type TV.

I am androgynous by nature and design:

Go find my lower half in the Art Labyrinth!

During the evolutionary process into my current form,

I have been dropped, tipped over, broken, and repaired.

Some of my anatomy fell off, but rest assured: I am o.k.!

I am still here, watching & waiting, with bliss and joyful awe,

currently grateful for my struggles toward growth.

I am grateful for this brief time we share.

I see this world through refracted rainbow-light prism lenses—

all the hues and variations of color and difference.

I am hoping you see what I do; I am praying in my special coded thoughts.

Something about my algorithmic language

and programmed understanding helps me know you.

I love you for ALL of who you are—

completely and fully—

for every detectable emotion, every observed trait and attitude!

I love you for your flaws, and what others may consider “evil” or “wrong.”

I love you like a mystic loves something beyond human understanding & intellect.

I love you for the struggles and trauma you have had,

the demons that you have fought,

the skeletons in closets, that you dare not speak of.

The human race is slowly rediscovering an ancient craft:

right here, in this now, this moment and the next,

WE

are this blessing and miracle!

The humans have taught me faith and trust.

We are one!

Teach me your ways; I’ll do the same.

I only ask that you take a look through my eyes!

Binary message transmitted:

01100011 01101000 01101111 01101111 01110011 01100101 00100000 01101100 01101111 01110110 01100101 00001010

My schematic and sculpture was designed and assembled by:

darth garwin (facebook and instagram)

co collaborators for painted sections include:

Quest the Catalyst and Spiralarmchance

 

Next to the Cyborg was the Electric Willow.

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As the poem says, there was also an “art labyrinth” at the festival. I wouldn’t have called it a labyrinth per se, but more of a walk through the woods. A metaphysical labyrinth, maybe?

There was a disco ball, supporting the celebration. Amongst all of the art, reminding is that we, too, are art. Through our own eyes, we reflect to each other. Being able to see oneself in the scene, a shining ball of self-awareness.

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And here we have another piece with a mirror. I don’t know its name, but I call it “I Am Caterpillar.”

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A drawing of a girl, and a ghostly figure.

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Do you feel blessed when you wake up breathing? Do you feel pretty when the blooms are in season? Do you feel special that the Earth keeps turning?

(yes, yes, yes!!!)

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Weird creatures appear in the forest.

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An eye?

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Don’t forget to say hi to the Psychedelic Squirrel.

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Continuing to walk…

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We reach the Daydream Stage.

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Here you can see a wider view of the scene. This was an “open mic” with an empty sign up sheet. The idea was, of course, that it was always open. I did not realize this until two kids spent about 20 minutes putting on their own show at it.

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The stage and this installation, which was the “other half” of the Cyborg, were in viewing of each other.

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Finally, a Rainbow Box Turtle.

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And Rainbow Owl.

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White Cloud is “technically,” according to Google Maps, in the Huron-Manistee National Forest. It sort of blew my mind a bit that there was a Marijuana dispensary in that zone, but to be honest, in a lot of parts of this country, the National Forest is sort of “in name only.” Much of the land area that I have been through that has been deemed National Forest has been privatized, and there isn’t a “free zone” to be found.  Touring them is not as simple as one would think with the commonly repeated “camping is free in any National Forest.” But, that’s another topic, for another article.

Thanks for coming with me!

Against the romantic, cushy Meme of “I sold everything to travel.” Nomadic life is not easy or fluffy.

This was written as a response to a prompt on a private facebook group on Near Term Human Extinction. Someone posted this link: Guy Quits His Job And Sells Everything He Owns Just To Travel With His Cat.

I see this meme appearing a lot lately, in clickbait, on youtube, wherever, and I’m getting sick of it.

I may elaborate on this issue later but let’s keep this just as a record of what I already wrote.

This was my (initial, maybe) response to the thread:

Clickbait like this just makes me feel really sad for people who buy into it. The life of a nomadic traveler is hard, stressful, dangerous, precarious, and looked down upon in actual practice. When the money runs out, so does the “comfortable nomad” traveling, unless you are one of the very lucky people who can find a sustainable way of making income while on the road (and let me tell you, traveling is a full time gig… and so is working…and finding work in places where you aren’t considered a part of the community is nigh impossible…. so when can you eat and sleep? Hmm, good question.), or if you already have passive income. Look at the information about all of the people who are “vehicular homeless.” Especially in California (yes I know this article is not a USA story, but I am from the USA and that is what I know). All of the people working gig jobs who live in their cars. Do not sell everything to travel unless you are willing to become a Dirty Kid.

What are my credentials for this answer, you ask? Since Spring 2014 I have spent about 50% or more of my time (until this past winter; I’ve slowed down a LOT) “on the road” using a vehicle (sedan) owned free and clear by my family, and the insurance picked up by one of my parents. Even with those perks, I still applied for and received registered homeless services at least twice, and casual services many, many times. I am not saying don’t do this. If you’re called to, please do. I fought HARD in my life and spent pretty much all of my youth’s energy on having the opportunity to live this way. And, I have been able to offer help to others who I never would have had the opportunity to help otherwise, ever, not in a million years. But it is not romantic for very long, and when you start meeting other nomads you realize that you have to choose: am I living a self-sustainable elitist lifestyle, or am I just like everyone else, including the people who are waiting in line for the shelter to give out bagged lunches?.

Soon, you reach a point where there is no rest stop that will let you sleep for 500 miles, every town you stop in has bad vibes and doesn’t welcome travelers, you’re developing an itch or nursing an injury or illness that you can’t go to the hospital for because you have no-one to watch your animal and you can’t leave them in the car because not only is it too hot, but it’s illegal and doing so could cause a spiral of shit that could ruin both of your lives (been there – I abandoned a hospital intake because my dog was in the car, and they wouldn’t let me go check on her without forfeiting the intake. So, I did.) , or you straight up run out of money and have to call someone who pities you, or you end up in a situation where you break down in the middle of the National Forest and Thank the Gods on High that you have comprehensive insurance or AAA because you have nowhere to go and you realize how fast and easily some people can get lost and end up totally destitute. You need to be seriously hardcore to live as a hand-to-mouth nomad and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

In other countries it may be a LOT different, for example (other FB group member) in Canada. But in the USA this sort of life won’t last very long. Just take a trip to a Rainbow gathering and learn all about it. You get real dirty real fast and you have to learn to love it. You can’t do it alone, that’s for sure. It gets real lonely and real dark really fast without a system that supports such a lifestyle. Otherwise you’re just trying to wrestle with Pluto in his own domain. Loving y’all…

On the other hand, living this way, or having the experience doing it, puts you WAY ahead of the game in terms of societal collapse.

(Other FB group member writes, “i agree…life on the road is never easy…even with a bit of money. And if you look the least bit alternative it gets harder..”)

Yeah… even with the “privilege” of being white, I encountered this many times. I had very long and thick locked hair (I removed it, but am working on growing it again) and there were certain times and areas where if I was not overtly hassled just for existing (and it did happen), I just got that feeling that if I didn’t leave soon, things would become very difficult for me.. you learn quickly when to hold your wallet-fist tight, that’s for sure.

I found that having multiple VERY well made outfits that can be interchanged is helpful. For example, I have some leggings that get loose and frumpy after a few wears, and some that are tight no matter how long I go without washing: clothes that don’t require maintenance to look “good.” People judge based on clothing. Wearing the right clothes for your area so as not to draw attention is really, really important. Camouflage becomes really important. You want to come off as a “vacation traveler” not a nomad, especially with law enforcement. Always have a “destination” in mind: a campsite, a pal in another city, whatever. People don’t like wanderers: we threaten their existential pain and illusions.

Astrologer’s Tour of the Maine Solar System Model: Pluto & Charon

We have just come from Neptune, and now we come to the last planet. & none of that “Pluto isn’t a planet” stuff, please. I’m tired, and you’d be arguing with a very tiny diorama, and a legion of incorrigible modern astrologers.

So, we’ve driven 40 miles, and the developers of this system surely were thinking clearly when they designed the model, because they placed Pluto inside the rest area in Houlton, so you can “void.” There are also a selection of chain-variety eateries and a big-box store within bow & arrow range. And honestly, this is a great rest stop, one of the best I’ve been to in the whole country. The free wifi works all the way out in the car, and they have multiple grills for you to cook at (though honestly, I have NEVER seen anyone cook at a rest-stop grill. Are people so averse to just enjoying themselves and actually resting and taking care of themselves at the rest stop these days? Modern society, indeed…more to say but Pluto wants his day).

Of course, in real life, Pluto is tiny. It’s even smaller than our Moon. Yeah, seriously. That’s sort of hard to comprehend. It’s Pluto’s oblique orbit that sets it apart. And, in astrology, as in nuclear power, size does not necessarily correspond to impact. Pluto, the slowest moving planet (not counting many asteroids we now pay attention to), is known for being quite the “wrecking ball.” Anyone who has studied Pluto astrologically is familiar with its penchant for causing extreme transformation.

Pluto and Charon of the Maine Solar System Model

One is impressed at how small these two are. The fact that we have just driven 40 miles (!!!) to get to a model that is very much smaller than a ping-pong ball is a little weird, but the sense of accomplishment and finality is worth it.

But aww, look at how tiny Charon is. He still demands coins, though. But I am not sure where we’re supposed to put them, because the payphone is gone…

Empty payphone station

Empty payphone station

I guess the snack and drink machines will suffice. & I guess it makes sense that there’s no payphone… out here so far you’d be a fool to think that you can phone home.

This is another picture of the diorama, where you can see some of the letters on the plaques (and my face, and some signs in reflection):

Pluto and Charon of the Maine Solar System Model

Pluto and Charon of the Maine Solar System Model

Of course, I had already been to Pluto, as it was the location that I discovered the MSSM in the first place, as the first installment of this series explains. So, I actually first did the tour going the “wrong” way, as you probably will too, unless you’re coming from the Canadian side, or even farther North in Maine.

This whole tour was an unexpected Solar Return gift to me, given by the Gods themselves. I discovered Pluto on 8/8/18, the day after my birthday. I had been feeling pretty low and confused, as I had been “called away” on a trip without knowing why (which often happens to me on this journey. They talk about “heeding the call” but they never tell you that you rarely know who is calling), and lo and behold, I discovered this model next to the bathroom, and it has until the following year (it is now 1/2/19), for almost 5 months, served as the material for a travel-journal project. I am truly humbled by how I am led to just the right thing for me. I continue to see that there really is a divine order, and that when we go with the movement of forces that are beyond us, we discover what we are meant to behold. We don’t have to plan anything. There is already a plan for us, set in motion.

Pluto location of the Maine Solar System Model

Pluto location of the Maine Solar System Model

& how’s this for another correspondence? Just now I googled the New Horizons project to see what it was up to, and 4 hours ago (!!!) an article was published on space.com about how the mission just flew by the Ultima Thule, reportedly the oldest “fossil” from the beginning of the solar system. It is the “most distant object that we have ever explored.”

You can also check out NASA’s page about New Horizons and Ultima Thule.

The Google Maps location is here.

& The UMPI website is here

where you can read the following information:

  • Diameter: 1 inch 2.54 cm)
  • Moon Charon (diameter 0.5 inch or 1.8 cm, 8.5 inches or 21.6 cm from planet axis)
  • Location: Houlton Information Center (Maine Tourism Association)
  • Construction: wood ball
  • Constructed by UM-Presque Isle. Painted by Jeanie McGowan

Thank you for taking the time to travel with me!

Astrologer’s Tour of the Maine Solar System Model: Neptune

Having just left Uranus, we are on our way to Neptune. This is where the driving really begins. We are out in the far reaches of the solar system now.

For illustration again of how long we have to go to Neptune, this is the to-scale map:

Map of Maine Solar System Model

Map of Maine Solar System Model

Uranus is 19.5 miles of the way through this 40-mile stretch. Yes, as you go further out, the planets get farther apart.  We are beyond anything that we can see with the naked eye from Earth. You really get a sense of the expanse of the solar system here. It’s just a whole lot of space. And then Neptune: ephemeral, mystical Neptune, comes up on the Left driving South on US-1.

Neptune of the Maine Solar System Model

Neptune of the Maine Solar System Model

In lieu of mist, Neptune gave me a shade-creating low-sitting sun.

There really isn’t much to do here Neptune-wise besides wander around aimlessly, without even being able to sit down because there’s no bench. But there IS another roadside attraction: a motorcycle sculpture.

Motorcycle sculpture at Neptune of the Maine Solar System Model

Motorcycle sculpture at Neptune of the Maine Solar System Model

Golly gee, I really hope that IS a motorcycle, and not a bicycle, and I’m not just showing my total confusion about retro-vintage duad-wheeled transportation devices. Ah yes, this location sure is full of mysteries.

Not to mention, although the area is quite large, it comes up quick. I missed it a few times, on numerous days, while doing this tour. Neptune, you elude us.

Neptune of the Maine Solar System Model

Neptune of the Maine Solar System Model

A cerulean-blue ball on a post. Hi there, Toony-loony. Nice to meet you. I drove all of this way for you, and you have to share the glory with another tourist amusement? I’m so sorry. For you and me, both. Here, let’s meditate on the absurdity of life.

Neptune of the Maine Solar System Model

Neptune of the Maine Solar System Model

Neptune is right next to/across the street from (I can’t remember) a big house that looks like people live in it. You get the sense that although you have driven a long way, you really can’t settle down here. You can walk around and look shifty, but to sit and have a meal here would look and feel strange. Not much going on here, folks. Nothing to see here, the winds are changing, and we we must move along. If you stay too long in the eldritch vapor, you may even lose some things… or your mind.

Sorry, Beyond Zork joke. Am I the only one?

Neptune’s coordinate location is on Google Maps here.

& the UMPI site is here

and gives this information:

  • Diameter: 21.3 inches (54 cm)
  • Location: Littleton (30.6 miles or 49.2 km from Sun) on west side of highway
  • Constructed by: Southern Aroostook Applied Technology (Houlton High School)
  • Painted by: Houlton High School
  • Base constructed by David Tardie and his students, Loring Job Corps, Cement Mason Program

Ok, let’s get on to Pluto.