The Plague

There is something to be said about horror movies. No matter how terrible the times or how horrendous reality seems to be at the moment, slasher flicks always seem to draw a crowd. In fact, many of my friends lean into a Netflix binge of Criminal Minds or Hannibal during a hard break up or difficult time in their life. These days, a horror film reads pretty close to reality — if not a bit peachier.

Following that train of thought, why not then, in the midst of a global pandemic, read about a plague? Cue to Albert Camus’ The Plague.

The Plague

The Plague by Albert Camus takes place in the French colonized town of Oran, Algeria. Racial, social, and medical injustices abound in the 308-page book which uses a devastating pandemic to delve into even deeper issues: capitalism and corruption, gross injustices, and a false sense of superiority. Split into five sections, the novel details the insidious spread of plague (in a town that steadfastly ignores its progression) and the subsequent disintegration of a sane society. Sounds eerily familiar, does it not? Well, at least COVID-19 isn’t harbored in the bodies of, and I kid you not, blood-spewing rats…at least not yet. Though…there was that one squirrel in Colorado with the Bubonic Plague (he really couldn’t read the room).

‘If things go on as they are going,’ Rieux remarked, ‘the whole town will be a madhouse.’Albert Camus, The Plague

Continue reading “The Plague”

Did you Feed the Good Wolf or the Bad?

Rev barbara the Salem Love Psychic in front of her shop Angelica of the Angels

Welcome to another Coronavirus Astrology Report from the Salem Love Psychic, Rev. Barbara.

This Jupiter-Pluto conjunction came into orb (close enough to connect energetically) on 1/29/20 and will remain in orb through 1/7/21. Their first conjunction was on 4/4. The second is 6/30, and they’ll conjoin once more on 11/12. Quite an interesting Coronavirus astrology report we had in front of us…

So What have you been doing since the first conjunction? We all had gotten to a cliff and we all had found our own Genie in the bottle. What Power did you uncork?  You had since April 4th…

The Summing Up…

What did we all wish for? How many of us were true to our hearts? How many of us will be Selfish in our desire? How many of us learned about our own selves to know what would be beneficial for us to wish for? How many of us wished for what we believe is best for us and in turn caused great harm instead? Did we wish for what is good for the all, our own benefit, or what we think would be good for the greater collective, but let fear taint it and did great harm?

We are again at a time of great power to change the world, and it is still in our hands! How do we handle it? How do we move forward in the new economy as we open up from the Coronavirus? In this time of Business reopening, do we relook at the work-life balance or jump back in with two feet into our nation’s obsession with work? Do new communities grow out of this time and old friends renew their friendships? Will our record employment continue, or will businesses take this time to cut wages and hours? How many of us will find this time to let go of outdated employment and find our true calling? How many of us will take any job out of fear?

All of these questions come back to the two wolves; which one will you feed! This time more than any other we have the two hungry mouths; do we feed the Good Wolf or the Bad Wolf? How well can you move past your own fears and desires?

We have been finding ourselves faced with the Great Nothingness from The Neverending Story. There is a great opportunity to let go of Desire that results in the removal of Fear that you will not get it. This is the most basic example of the fear and desire paradigm. If you remove the desire to live that may be the forefront in your mind; you also remove the fear that you will not. Normally this may be a good thing to come into the existence, the act of just being, but this time calls for decisiveness! So will you want vanilla or chocolate ice cream? The Genie is out of the bottle, so choose! Its Time to Name the Emperess!

So let us look into the details of this conjuncture again in our Coronavirus Astrology Report.

Let’s start with the Good Points:

  • The tools for success will present themselves
  • Resources for Gigantic Changes are at Hand
  • The Strength for Success is Accessible
  • Great Teachings at our Disposal
  • Immense Drive for New Learning
  • The knowledge that Great Power can Harm or Benefit All
  • Right Makes Right over Might Makes Right
  • Regeneration and Transformation are Present
  • Great Time to Rid Yourself of Old Wood
  • There is Gret Intensity for Change
  • Its Time to Delve into the Subconsciousness for Success
  • The Precipice for Change is at Hand
  • There is Intense Idealism
  • There is a Large Faith that the Universe can Change
  • Unity through Philanthropy and Community
  • Positive Transformation will Become Contagious
  • There is a Unifying of Large Communities
  • Plus the Truth will Wins Out

The Flipside:

  • Extreme Greed
  • False Pretences of God Like Feelings
  • Vain Glory
  • Political Drama
  • Nietzche Superman Complex
  • Great Abuses of Power
  • Hitler Complexes
  • I am the Law Feelings
  • The Elite March Forward
  • Plutocracy
  • Obsessive Righteousness, Fanaticism, and Overkill
  • Misplaced Moral Righteousness
  • False Religion
  • Totalitarianism at the Excuse for the Better Good
  • Amazing Waste of Shared Resources

Now the Saturn-Pluto Conjunction will continue on for the next year and:

  • Create Extreme Discipline, Strength, and Endurance
  • Generate Self-Control
  • Deliver Great Fortitude for Discomfort
  • Provide a Profound Sense of Responsibility
  • Present Challenges to Change the World
  • Will Call People to Let Go of Popular Success for Personal Success
  • Will Grant the Power to Continue when All Resolve has Failed
  • Create Great Anxiety and Fear
  • Deliver Negative Forces
  • Create a Great Tide of Change
  • Generate Profound Times with Great Consequences
  • Brings the New Order to the World
  • Calles for Great Display of Personal and Group Will
  • Needs Unbending Faith
  • World and Personal Transformation is Being Created by the Conjuncture

So great cosmic changes are still being presented to us. Like in The Matrix Humanity was given the opportunity to wake up, hold on to a dream of Paradise, or a dream of a consistent level of pain; we are presented with the same choice as a collective. Which way will we go? You had time to think about it, which way are you leaning?

That was another Coronavirus Astrology Report.

As always…

WITH THE LOVE OF ANGELS
Rev. Barbara Szafranski
The Salem Love Psychic

 

Get her latest book:
Burnt Toast and Oranges


What was your Corona Virus Experience?

Corona virus

Well, things might start to open up soon. Are you going back to the old world? Well, in the larger picture, there might not be an old world, but I mean personally, what will your world look like? Now, this is a pie in the sky question. Blue sky thinking. What would your word look like after the coronavirus?

Do you go back to the same job? The same job, but with a few changes? Possibly a new job? This is pie in the sky thinking, don’t focus on the negative. What would you want to be doing?

Then ask yourself, will this job leave you time for things you remembered you loved to do. Did you reconnect to these hobbies during this time to stay home and reflect? You mean you did no reflection and just watched Netflix in the same sweatpants for three months, with no top? Well, some of you gals did this too, now admit it…How are you going into this new world? Will this job leave you time for friends and family? Will it give you time to yourself? Are those things important to you? What is important to you? Hopefully, you asked yourself these things. You didn’t??? OK, you did. You had me worried there…

What did you crave? What was taken from you? The walks in the park? Dancing at night clubs? Seeing the opposite sex? What did you miss the most during this pandemic? Will you hold it tighter to you now that you saw it could be taken from you?

Did you enjoy working from home? What were the advantages? What were the problems? It seemed most of America liked the personal experience of seeing inside of people’s homes on TV and such. Especially with Rate my Room an such.

Did you miss the rush hour commute? I remember an ad for Headhunters touting the morning commute being the walk in your slippers from the bedroom, to the kitchen, to the study. Did you experience that? How was it?

Imagine a world where we dropped emissions, less roadkill, and saved all those hours of driving! If a majority of us could telecommute we would move away from hub cities and give up our dependence on river and ocean towns and spread out. If high-income workers were evenly spread out throughout the nation, we could have the economy for the amenities we used to find in only larger cities. Imagine if we went back to Vaudeville or supported the local arts for real. Remove the all or nothing mentality from creative jobs and allow a creative sort to earn the same money as a plumber or a baker? Why should a creative sort not own a house from his occupation and not his side gig? Let us give up on national stars and support those in your town. Distribution of high-income wage earners will help this.  What about restaurants and coffee shops? The same. We could have local musicians, poets, authors, actors, lions tigers, and bears; oh my!

The time you saved commuting could give you time to see a play, hear a concert, or read a book.

 

Internet disparity in communities. Disperse the wealth and those high-income wage earners would call to fix the problems with connectivity.

How do we disperse the wealth? By not forcing people into choices early in their careers to move to our overpopulated centers where they force the cost of housing up due to lack of demand. What I have noticed living in an old city, families that stay in the same location for generations lift each other up. Isn’t that great, if we distribute the wealth a father does not have to stand at a train station, airport, or bus station and see his child go away for the next 20 years and only visit on holidays.

Disperse the wealth. Wealthy educated people do not get harassed by the police as much. Have you noticed as you get older, police do not bother you as much? That is because they believe as you get older you know your rights more and are not as likely to get pushed around. Plus people with wealth have lawyers. Disperse the wealth. How do you eliminate a police force that is stripping a community of its rights?

  1. Sue the chief. The officer is protected from immunity by deals with unions and your town. The chief is not.
  2. Sue the city and the mayor. Now the mayor puts pressure on the chief and chief puts pressure on the officer. Officer gets the shit details.
  3. As a group of people, bring litigation against the police department. If there are too many suits against the police department their insurance company will drop them. Then sue again till the next company drops them. Then repeat till they are forced to create a new police department. By then the officer will get fired with the rest of them. He will not have any friends left afterward.

If you disperse the wealth, you will have help doing this. For wealth is not only the possession of personal property, it is intelligence.  Imagine if every little town did not have a brain drain; politicians might be held accountable. For all politics start locally and move up. Imagine how creative our town parks could be without the brain drain. Cities become amazing because they drain the brain from the rural areas of the country. People also move to the country to quaint towns with beautiful downtowns, parks, vistas, and amenities. Most of the time these locations are close to the major cities, which drive their prices up. Imagine these towns hours from cities with lower home prices? Disperse the wealth. Intelligence and talent should be able to stay within the towns they grew up in. Why are we all forced to move away and give up the life we built for 18 years, we should be able to prosper where we live. That is not too intelligent to do otherwise…

Disperse the wealth. Also, reduce the taxes on local small business owners. Tax the billionaires. When we stay local, it is our buddies and gals we grew up with who did well who could help the rest of us, but now we hit these people with paperwork and taxes which force them to pay people a non-liveable wage. Our friends are the key to a strong middle class. This will disperse the wealth.

Now if we change our way of living, we will disperse the wealth. What is disperse the wealth?

It is sharing our conversations, laughs, friendships, knowledge, love, time, and family in activities that bring us joy. Work sucks, but labor is fine. We all should be able to labor in our own callings and by decentralizing a workplace mentality and moving away from overburdened locations we will create the time and place to disperse the wealth.

So in this new world, pie in the sky; what would you be looking for? If you did not think about this question before, what are you thinking now? What would your world look like and how would you share it? How will you labor to make that world possible? Tell us below in the comments.

Stuck in Whiting Without Fresh Fish

Yep, this SARS 2 virus has docked our fishing fleets leaving me without any fresh Salmon or Yellow Fin…and I am stuck in Whiting. Well, haddock and pollock I can tolerate, but raw salmon or tuna…Yum! One last comment on fish, this virus seems fishy with more people dying of the Flu and Flu Like Illnesses, but that is not the concern of this article.

The purpose is that I gave up a town I had lived in for 30 years where at one time I just had to head out my door and within minutes I could find a conversation. A half-hour walk took an hour due to all the conversations you found along the way. Walk into a bar and at least 50 people knew your name, but times have been different.

I blame it on the movies. Originally I thought it was quite interesting to see all the films that used the North Shore of Boston as locations. Watching the grips and carpenters setting up for shots…then I realized that the area has befallen the same fate as London.

Think of all the movies over the years filmed in London from Sherlock Holmes to Harry Potter; London I think is the second most expensive city in the world. Well from The Russian’s Are Coming, The Russian’s are Coming to Hubie Halloween the North Shore has befallen the same fate. It cost more to Live here than in New York City. We just can’t afford to live here anymore.

That and the corporations and universities attract a whole bunch of people, without having enough homes in the area to accommodate them all.

So what does that add up to? Me going 4 years with only talking to people 3 days out of the week. Pretty bad when you know 5,000 friends…

When I  bump into one of them and I ask how they have been the usual answer is that they have been working. Which is a horrible answer. It doesn’t even answer my original question. The right answer would be…lonely.

Google’s Ngram Viewer shows that the word “loneliness” appeared infrequently in books until the early 19th century, when it steadily increased in relative frequency to the late 1960s, shooting way up until the early 1980s, then declining roughly to levels that prevailed between the 1930s and 1960s.  AARP, Harris Poll, UCLA Loneliness Scale, United States Joint Economic Commission, and Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy stated in an article that “[l]oneliness is a growing health epidemic. We live in the most technologically connected age in the history of civilization, yet rates of loneliness have doubled since the 1980s.”

So maybe the SARS 2 epidemic will cure the loneliness epidemic? 

I had a teacher who lived in New York City and taught in Whiting NJ; he never went to the Statue of Liberty. He said it was going to always be there and there was no hurry to see it. The good thing with friends is that they are always within one phone call or a mile away. Most people figure that their friends will always be there; well I have been gone from Salem now for 4 months and most of my friends think I will always be around.

So the blessing of this Lockdown? The lesson that your friends will not always be there. We have a national mandate not to visit your friends. We are forced into isolation. You can be arrested now if you choose to visit a friend, but why would you want to visit a friend? You have not wanted to for years now; well at a frequency that really just doesn’t add up to much. So how could this lesson turn into a blessing? It might create a desire for something that is denied to you…

For many years we have been like the frog in a pot where the temperature has been slowly raised; if left there long enough you will boil.

Which leads me into another parable:

Once upon a time, there was a nonconforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winter. However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly started southward. In a short time, ice began to form on his wings and he fell to earth in a barnyard, almost frozen. A cow passed by and crapped on the little sparrow. The sparrow thought it was the end. But then the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings. Warm and happy, able to breathe, he started to sing. Just then a large cat came by and hearing the chirping, investigated the sounds. The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping sparrow and promptly ate him.

So the lesson is that everyone who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy and everyone who gets you out of shit is not necessarily your friend. So if you’re warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut.

I have no idea why I mentioned that parable.

Oh yeah, the virus has just thrown you into a boiling pot of hot water. It has turned the water REAL UP! Do you wait for the fox to lift you UP?

No, you jump OUT!

Get OUT and visit someone.  Be Careful, but get OUT! Eight feet is better than miles of coaxial or 3G waves. Go see a FRIEND! Especially since they are trying to tell us we are all going to be dead in a few months…I have lost at least one friend during this Lockdown, of Lung Cancer. She proved that she will not always be there; which leads to a loss for all of us.

There have been studies that those people who have a natural tendency to have peak experiences will have even more when they are around others with the same tendency. The opposite can happen as well. Those people who tend to have more peak experiences when around depressed people will have more sad events than they could of had with a different population.

I will not say the people we associate with around the water cooler are not good people, but the nature of work is you are there to work which puts limits upon how deep a friendship can develop. Some of us are lucky enough to meet someone at the water cooler and develop a good friend, but they must be invited into our homes and break bread with us on a regular-bases to break that barrier that work instills.

So at the water cooler is a bunch of guilt-ridden people who are overtaxed and are not refreshed by the joy that seeing a good friend can create within your soul! As Bob Seeger had said within one of his songs; Seeing an old friend is good for the soul!

Aquaintances can act as MREs , but eventually we all need a good steak!  Or salad for you vegans. Steak or salad, we all need our friendships we have developed over many years. Friendship is the salary we have received for years of labor. Just remember women go into labor to give us all the blessings of life. They do not work at it. There is a difference. We work to keep acquaintances; we labor to develop friends.

So remember your mother labored for 9 months to give you life, so you better not work it away and disregard their efforts!

I wish for many of you not to befall the fate of my friend. Three boys grew up on farms next to each other and went through Kindergarten to High School as best friends. Two of them became the third’s best man at his wedding. Then…

Life.

They moved away from each other and worked for 30 years. Now when their joints are stiff and their hair gone, they labor to get together twice a year to go fishing. First problem: why did they wait 30 years to go fishing? The second: why only twice? That man who got married; his father worked two jobs and said he would enjoy himself in retirement, got sick and did not enjoy his time in the later years of his life.

So our lives were frozen in our loneliness and the virus…it has just shit on us. So can COVID-19 be a good thing? Yes!

In a strange way, the Avian Flu ended WWI.

The Lockdown gives us time to reconnect to hobbies or develop them in the first place. It has us spending more time with family. Many children are going to look back at this time as a great memory. They are going to remember the summer vacation that their parents shared with them. They are going to remember all of the fishing trips, the hikes in woods, the balls tossed, the stories told, and smiles shared. At the excuse of our children, we might reconnect with all those hobbies that feed our soul! At the excuse of our children.

So remember if we ignore our friends, family, our hobbies…ourselves; our children will grow up and do the same.  How did this happen? Remember that Ngram? As we became an industrial civilization and moved away from the labor of the farm we moved to the work of the factory without our childhood friends and family we labored to develop. So from the dawn of the 19th century till the early 80s loneliness strived in our society taught from parent to child.

The Wizard of Oz.

So you might think that reference came out of leftfield.

There was a man within his teaching of the meaning of the book described the Tinman as the factory worker who left his heart back on the farm.

So what happened in the 80s?

Google’s Ngram Viewer shows that the word “loneliness” appeared infrequently in books until the early 19th century, when it steadily increased in relative frequency to the late 1960s, shooting way up until the early 1980s. So what happened in the 80s to slow this trend? Downsizing. The Tinman went home.

Look at pictures of yourself or your parents from the 80s. We looked horrible. We all looked older then than we do today 40 years later. I have seen this fact in hundreds of people’s photos of then and the person who stood in front of me recently. The downsizing led people to reevaluate. It might of led some to return home and reconnect. It slowed down our economy and…our lives.

As we shut down the economy, many younger people in our population will return to their families and see those friends they labored for. The shut down also has forced many to work from home. Imagine if we could get a large bunch of us to telecommute:

  1. It would possibly get rid of the rush hour.
  2. Many could lose the hour commute daily.
  3. The environment would improve.
  4. The removal of our dependency on oil might end some wars and our soldiers can come home.
  5. We would have less roadkill.
  6. The burden on harbor cities would be diminished reducing housing costs throughout the country.
  7. Homelessness could drop.
  8. With housing costs dropping people will have more time to gather with each other.
  9. The amenities we move to large cities for can be developed even in the most rural areas for the economy to support them will be at hand. The difference? We would actually have time to use those amenities.
  10. Our dependence on acquaintances would drop for the need of real friendships. The isolation of working at home will lead many to get out of the house and socialize after dinner.
  11. The possibility of those people who tend to have more peak experiences can teach others how to have them.

Now another lesson I have gathered from The Wizard of Oz is that Dorothy was at a precarious point in her life, like many fairytale adolescents… her life is on the razor’s edge influenced by memories of her mother expressed by the polar opposites of the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch.  Your children will also find themselves on the edge of a cliff wondering what to do. What have you taught them to help their leap of faith into their adulthood? Will their memories of you be split between the good witch and the Wicked witch. This forced shut down is letting them see the good witch and you will have fond memories of this time for years to come.

So will we pass on the virus of loneliness for the next generation? How long can this pandemic spread?

I have friends from Senegal who have fond memories of times before the 80s. In their neighborhoods, they were still traditional with traditional communities.  They lived in traditional homes that didn’t change within the last hundred years. Their children roamed the town. Then at dinner time; they never looked for their children. They knew somewhere in the village they were being fed and it would be a great insult on their friends to call their children home. In the 80s they got European homes and European traditions. They said things changed, they had become modern.

So the people in Senegal are still traditional fishermen, but their lives got fishy too. The industrial world has spread the pandemic to the Traditional World.

You turn on the news now and all you hear is how they want to cure the SARS 2 pandemic, but I say how do we end the loneliness pandemic that has been growing unchecked for 220 years? Can one virus kill another?

So many things can happen at this time. Do we feed the Good Wolf or the bad Wolf? The bad wolf  would be that we come out with low employment, lower wages, the primaries suffer and the wrong candidate arises, we can have a dictator, Habeas Corpus does not get restored, the virus was timed by the Russians (who dropped the cost of the oil, created the Brexit issue and Trump through Cambridge Analytica, Britain’s break from Europe 2 weeks prior to the pandemic, created the precipice Europe sits on through Trump’s Trade War that the Pandemic just pushed them over), house foreclosures, failure of small businesses, and an ever-increasing debt which splits us further from friends and family as we are forced to work longer and harder pushing us further into the loneliness pandemic which will kill more than COVID-19 can ever kill in the next couple outbreaks.

So I ask, are you the frog that kept his friends and family within the pot or do you all jump out now that the virus has set the pot to a boil?

As a nation, do we feed the Good Wolf and end the pandemic forever!

If so, my travels might end sooner than later and I might just go back home to my friends. If not I will be finding new ones, I hope.

So I hope you will learn this last lesson from the movies, most of Netflix is filled with B-rate movies. So get out of the house and have your own real adventure with your community of friends and family! Increase those peak experiences!