Recently, someone on Facebook, I think it was, mentioned that the current issue of Scientific American had a cover story on the neuroscience of meditation. I figured this would be a great resource for Rob, who teaches meditation, so I looked for the issue at Walgreens, then at our local Barnes & Noble, but couldn’t find it. This afternoon, I had to be in a town south of us for a hair appointment and stopped by the B&N there. And found the issue.
The article on meditation is terrific and delves into the actual brain changes that come about as a result of meditation. It makes the case for why everyone should meditate daily- an altered volume of tissue in some areas of the brain, beneficial psychological effects, a faster reaction to stimuli and becoming less prone to various forms of stress. And that’s just for starters.
I was delighted to find several other articles that were informative. The first was on rooftop solar panels, which are proliferating in Arizona and California, and should be abundant in Florida. But the power companies are balking because they stand to lose a lot of customers – and, therefore, revenue – if these panels become the norm.
Then there was an article called Pluto and Beyond. This one caught my attention because I’m working on a book now for Page Street Publishing called Unlocking the Secret to Scorpio. Pluto is the planet that rules Scorpio. While I didn’t expect Scientific American to delve into the astrological aspects of Pluto, I thought there might be something in the article I could use in the book. Sure enough, there is.
A little background first.
Every astrological sign is ruled by a planet and some signs, like Scorpio, also have a co-ruler. These rulers are associated with mythological gods and goddesses whose lives and personalities match the tone and texture of a particular sign. Before the discovery of Pluto in 1930, Mars was assigned as Scorpio’s planetary ruler.
To the ancient Greeks, he was Ares, a savage god who was little more than a thirsty SOB. In the Illiad, Zeus says it as he sees it, that he finds Ares, his son, completely odious because his primary enjoyments are nothing but “strife, war, and battle.” On Olympus, Ares was disliked for his blind violence and brutality. He was all about aggression, physicality, survival.
The ancient Romans looked upon Mars more kindly. They called him by the name we know him and he was first and foremost the god of agriculture, the protector of cattle and the preserver of corn. As the husband of Rhea Silvia, a vestal virgin, he fathered Romulus and Remus, who were suckled by a wolf.
The connection between Mars and sex probably came because of Ares’s affair with the goddess Aphrodite. At the time, she was married to a cripple, Hephaestus, and compared to him, Ares was a dashing suitor, handsome, utterly fearless, all the things the Olympians looked for in a mate. Ares, naturally, too advantage of the situation. Their lustful encounters were eventually discovered by all the other gods when Hephaestus ensnared the adulterous couple in an invisible net.
These ancient mythological gods had strange and dramatic lives, fraught with all the sexual and emotional tension of soap operas, and Mars/Ares certainly had his share. He was assigned as the ruler of Scorpio until the discovery of Pluto in 1930 by a young astronomer named Clyde Tombaugh.
Tombaugh and his fellow astronomers were certain he had discovered the long suspected ninth planet in the solar system, the mysterious Planet X. In classical mythology, Pluto governed the underworld – or Hades as it was known when referring to an actual place. For the Greeks, Pluto was seen as more benefic than the ruler of hell; he was the god who reigned over the afterlife. Like all these mythological gods, his life was tumultuous and he is probably best known as the dude who abducted Persephone and took her to the underworld. Hardly a stunning endorsement of his character. That said, though, he apparently turned into a loving husband for Persephone.
Pluto’s underworld and afterlife connections fit well with Scorpio’s ability to delve into the unseen, the unknown, the mysterious, and also fits Scorpio’s natural home, the eighth house in a horoscope, which governs death, the afterlife, reincarnation, and the occult. So, eventually, Pluto became the modern ruler of Scorpio.
Then, in 2006, Pluto was demoted as a planet and astrologers were thrown into something of a quandary. Did that mean Pluto no longer counted in astrological configurations?
The Scientific American article explained why Pluto had been demoted. It isn’t as dense as originally calculated and by 1992, astronomers began discovering objects that rivaled Pluto in size – around 1500 to date – but which add up to only a tenth of the mass of Earth. All of these objects are in the Kuiper belt – a band of billions of icy asteroids beyond Neptune described as “nearly pristine examples of the solar system’s ingredients.” Astronomers have been studying this belt ever since.
In 2005, Michael E. Brown, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology, discovered a Pluto-size Kuiper belt object – Erin – and this discovery led to Pluto’s demotion the following year from planet to “dwarf planet.” Pluto is the largest object in the belt and in July 2015, NASA’s New Horizon probe will end its nine-year journey with a close flyby of Pluto and its five known moons.
Ironically, when New Horizon was launched, Pluto was still a planet.
One goal of the flyby, says SA, will be to “seek signs of a subsurface ocean… The idea that life could exist inside Pluto it utterly speculative – but because liquid water is considered a necessary ingredient for biology as we know it, its discovery would at least make such speculation legitimate.”
So, I’m not sure if this is a synchronicity since someone had told me about the meditation article that prompted me to buy the magazine. But the fact that I found information relevant to the book I’m writing, info I could actually use, may be serendipity or a form of the library angel. I’ll have to ask psychiatrist Bernard Beitman what he thinks, from a medical/scientific standpoint.
Bernard said it was a form of the library angel synchro. But because of the information available on the internet, he is now calling it an information angel.