Tuesday, January 5, 2021

DIFFERENT THIS YEAR

 RHYS BOWEN:  Every New Year’s Day I have a ritual: I have a pretty notebook with pictures of English cottages in it. I began it in 2000 and every year since I have written an overview of the year just past and my plans, hopes and dreams for the year to come.  And each year I assess those plans to see which ones came to fruition and which didn’t. It is the first thing I do after my morning tea on New Year’s Day.

I took out the notebook on Friday morning and thumbed through the pages. Some years more successful than others. Some so busy that I wonder how I survived. Some plans that worked, some that didn’t. But each year full of travel, conventions, family milestones. 


Then I read my plans for 2020:  Back to Arizona for the spring. Launch of Above the Bay of Angels (my Queen Victoria novel). Left Coast Crime in San Diego (also hoping to watch my granddaughter compete in waterpolo tournament against Cal and UCLA).  Then Cruise in the Caribbean in April. Meghan’s graduation in June then off to Europe. Meet up with friends in the Cotswolds, maybe take the ferry to Jersey, a week in Normandy and of course time in Cornwall with the family. Book tour in August for the new Georgie novel. Write next big stand-alone, The Venice Sketchbook, and then next Georgie.

I stared at that page and felt that I might cry any moment. A whole year of my life that didn’t happen. Of course I’m grateful that my family is still alive and healthy. I’m grateful that I have two homes in beautiful surroundings in which to hunker down and take walks in nature. And of course I’m grateful I had plenty of time to finish both my novels. But life on hold for a whole year!

So now I’m thinking of everyone else and all their plans and dreams that didn’t happen. My granddaughter Meghan didn’t get a prom, nor the elaborate promposal that goes with it these days. She didn’t get to ride in a limo and feel like a princess. And she didn’t get a graduation, apart from driving through the school campus and having her diploma handed to her. No senior trip to Disneyland. No senior pranks or senior cut day. No graduation parties. And her first semester of college turned into a nightmare when the football players brought Covid into her dorm (the athletes building) and one by one everyone got it, including Meghan. So her first month of college was spent in quarantine, then in isolation feeling sick.

These were small disappointments in the big scheme of things. I’m thinking of the weddings that were postponed, the grandparents who haven’t been allowed to see their new grandchild, the parents struggling to home school their children, the jobs lost, the businesses closed down. And the families mourning the loss of a beloved mother, father, uncle. But now it’s a new year. 2021 and I’m going to be optimistic about the future. 

My son tells me that we are entering the Age of Aquarius. Seven planets lined up in Aquarius in February. 

The Age Of Aquarius
 
This will be felt heavily in February 2021, during which a whopping seven planets
( the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn, plus asteroid Pallas)
will all be clustered together in the sign of Aquarius,
 creating what's known as a stellium in astrology.
 
The New Moon in Aquarius on February 11, 2021 is not a total solar eclipse like it was on February 4, 1962, but it does take place within a large stellium in Aquarius,
 
This intense influx of Aquarius' fixed air sign energy in February will shift our focus to humanitarian issues, technological advancements, and unconventional innovations.
 

And these themes will guide the framework of our society throughout all of 2021 and the years ahead.The last time that happened it signaled the birth of the Renaissance in 1600. I am told it means the end of the age of patriarchy and the start of the age of the divine feminine. An age of spirituality, tranquility, invention, creation. Sounds good to me. We can throw all those old white guys out of Congress for a start!

Okay, divine feminines, are we ready to assume our rightful place?

59 comments:

  1. Life on hold for a year . . . what a perfect description for 2020.
    I don’t know much about astrology, but I’m definitely ready for a change . . . .

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  2. The Age of Aquarius? Hmmm, I am also not much of a believer about astrology. But I am all in for a new period of enlightenment, and a movement towards a kinder, gentler world full of creativity and innovation!

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    1. Hear, hear! I fall on the "it's fun" spectrum when it comes to astrology, but anything that can focus our attention and energy on "humanitarian issues, technological advancements, and unconventional innovations," sounds marvelous to me!

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  3. I am ready for a change! And I hope the Age of Aquarius exerts a subtle pressure on all those who don't realize they need it to move back to humanitarian, kind ways of living. Tranquility would be good, too. So would unconventional innovations. Thank you, Rhys, for bringing this to our attention. And I'm so sorry about Meghan and glad she survived the virus.

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  4. Rhys, I feel for you about Meghan. The Boy also missed all those end-of-high-school events: prom, graduation, baccalaureate Mass, hanging their ties on the statue in the school quad. And while his college did get them on campus and did their best, it wasn't the same. They broke for remote learning two days early; when they return, no students are allowed to be in the stands for the basketball games. But as you said, we're all healthy. In his homily for New Year's Day (the Solemnity of Mary in the Catholic church), the priest said we are all "designated survivors" of 2020, so what do we plan to do with it?

    Which plays into the Age of Aquarius (anybody else got the song running through their head now?). I'm all for change, so bring it!

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    1. It's running thru mine for sure.

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    2. Liz, I was talking about this with Youngest as I drove her back to her university apartment. She said, and I agree, that this pandemic has been especially hard on her age cohort, because you simply can't replicate the experiences of high school and college years. We adults can take that trip to the Bahamas next year, and go to Malice the year after that, but there's only one senior year of high school, or freshman year of college. They really have had experiences stolen from them.

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    3. Yeah, earworm, for sure. Thanks, Rhys!

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    4. I was singing as I read this. Harmony and understanding. Bring it on!

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  5. I'm ready, that is for sure. Bring it on!

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  6. Rhys, no wonder you've been so upset all year. You and your loved ones had so much planned that needed to be set aside. I do hope that your granddaughter is completely recovered.

    There is a Yiddish expression, "From your mouth to G-d's ears." Let it be so.

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  7. Every day I think: This can't get any worse. And the it does.

    Harmony and understanding
    Sympathy and trust abounding
    No more falsehoods or derisions

    Sounds good.

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    1. Sympathy and trust abounds. Don’t we need that now???

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  8. My astrological sign is Aquarius and I'm ready for changes that can improve the worl.
    I love how you wrote it Rhys : " divine féminines...ready to assume our rightful place ".

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  9. Where's the Fifth Dimension when you need them?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILSr9BbhoJQ

    Peace will guide the planets
    And love will fill the stars.

    I sure hope so.

    It occurs to me that everything happens for a reason. Maybe we are meant to have experienced such cataclysmic events so we will be better prepared to make enormous changes. The collective outrage, mourning, and deep fear of more loss may motivate us all to strive for a better world for everyone. Maybe mask wearing as a way to protect one another is just the first step of a worldwide effort to protect each other in larger ways.

    Either way, the divine feminine is way, way overdue.

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    1. The next clip after the one I linked above is the story of the song. I'd forgotten it came from the Broadway musical "Hair".

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fXtPh8kBd4

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    2. I just read that women handle crises better than men

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  10. I'm definitely ready for a change. A good one. And now the Age of Aquarius is spinning in my head.

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  11. Age of Aquarius! I'm in, with places to go and Millennial kids to visit. And now the song is in my head. I did my version of your yearly notebook on New Year's Day: cancelled trips and family holiday reunions. No summer opera season, no plays and concerts.

    2021, bring it on!

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  12. I am singing too!

    Mystic crystal revelations
    And the minds true inspiration!
    Aquarius!

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  13. Thanks for the earworm, folks! That one is going to be hard to shake.

    Our world is certainly ripe for an upswing in spirituality, tranquility, invention and creation. May it be so!

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  14. I won't assault your ears by singing, but we are certainly ready for a realignment by who or whatever is in charge of same.

    Right now I'm calling my bank to ask for a recount. I'm sure there should be $11,779 more in my checking account -- same for my savings and money market accounts. And my social security check is $983.25 short this month. I'm calling the White House on that one and telling the Covidiot to "find" it. And recording the call. For WAPO.

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    1. Hahahaha! I hope it works for you, Ann.

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    2. Ann, you made me snort my tea!!!

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    3. Exactly! Did you see Alex Segura on Twitter? He was asking for 11,780 more book sales.

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    4. Ann, I just tortured myself by reading the transcript of the phone call. "Covidiot" is the perfect name! Thank you! I will laugh for the rest of the day and sing 'harmony and understanding'!

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  15. Thank you for this, Rhys! I am sorry for all you (and all of us) missed last year but I love knowing that we are entering the Age of Aquarius!
    Now I am singing and laughing.

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  16. Songs and change, and songs of change. I'm in!

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  17. I don't bemoan what I didn't get to do last year, because it would probably have been work myself into the ground, and that's not really worth the opportunity to meet the guys in the Canadian Brass. Instead, I got a year of peace, healing, and discovery, so I'm not going to kick. We all got the year we got, and that's all we're ever going to get in any year--some stuff we planned for, some stuff we didn't, and the hope that the balance tilts toward the good, fun, and loving, rather than the crap.

    But I love your little notebook, Rhys! What a priceless overview of your life and times. I moved into my 2021 planner on New Year's Day, looking at all those cheerful little "What is your theme for the year ahead?" questions and thought, "Uh . . . that we have no way of knowing???" It will be an adventure.

    There's a line from the end of "The Personal History of David Copperfield" that I've written into my little notebook: "Don't worry. You'll make it through. And you'll have quite the ride on the way."

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    1. That’s so true, Gigi. We might have suffered from working too hard. Hank said yesterday that not having to rush was a blessing

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  18. Well now I’m picturing hippies dancing and singing. And that era was a difficult one, not one I’d want to see repeated!
    This past year certainly was one in limbo. Somehow husband, son, and granddaughter all managed to forge ahead in fulfilling their wishes. I’m the one who is still stuck in a rut. Covid shot #1 happens Friday. Once I get the second one, look out! I am going to flatten that rut.

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  19. I'm feeling more hopeful when I read the comments and don't see a single pushback on your idea of getting the old white men out of Congress! After the last few years, the whole "women are too emotional for politics" argument has been soundly refuted. I'm optimistic because I work in a middle school with our future leaders. Maybe the change Sam Cooke sang about really is gonna come this time.

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  20. Rhys, my mom's birthday was February 11th, so I am especially loving this. And I love your journal! The English cottage! I have the same planner as Gigi, and have not even opened mine, so you've inspired me. It's about time for the age of the divine feminine.

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    1. SO true. xoxoo (Have you seen Randy Rainbow's "Kamala"? To the tune of Camelot?) Tears were running down my cheeks...

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    2. Love Randy Rainbow, and the Kamala one was so good.

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    3. Yes! And you HAVE to see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCIDRLCROWE

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  21. Oh, and thanks for the earworm. What fun!

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  22. Oh what a joyful vision your son has offered Rhys, many, grateful thanks to you both. I do feel for your granddaughter, my grandson Aidan was also a senior and missed all fun. But my daughter gave him a surprise 18th birthday party on the front lawn, with 4 of his closest friends keeping their SD. We of course, couldn't celebrate with him but the photos are wonderful, and he would not have enjoyed a surprise as much in normal times. So I count that a great blessing for my daughter. But back to the topic in hand. I took my sister for her 18th birthday to see Hair, in London, 1967/68. My father was furious with me but too far away to have much effect. Somewhere I may still have my Hair LP. What a great show and such danceable music. I have a bit of a belief/disbelief feeling about how folk read the stars but I do believe that the heavens do affect us. Think of the tides for example, "There are more things in Heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of", fits this bill I think.

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    1. I am so glad Dominic is helping, Celia. He also does distance healing. I’m not sure how it works but I really does so if you are interested, email me

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  23. Oh, my goodness, for the past few months I've been thinking about calling on everyone I know to start calling God "she" instead of "he" in order to change the whole zeitgeist and bring in the feminine spirit. Your son is tapped into cosmic connections for sure!

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    1. Several years ago I about gave my mother-in-law a heart attack by saying that in our culture, at least, a mother's love is a much more apt image of God's love than a father's. I mean, we have many cultural images of fathers denouncing their offspring: "I have no son!" On the other hand, we have the image of the beleaguered, weary old woman taking the bus to visit her son in prison, hating what he did but still seeing the beauty in him as worthy of her love. I know which one describes the God I worship!

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    2. He’s also a wonderful healer, Donis!

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  24. I'm ready! In fact, I've been ready for 53 years. LOL!

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  25. Rhys, wonderful post. Yes, plans can change. I already planned to go to Left Coast Crime in San Diego months before there was any hint of the COVID-10. The day I flew to San Diego, I saw your FB post that you had to cancel. So did Gigi. Several authors had to cancel going. I also was looking forward to seeing a dear friend whom I had not seen for a while. We met for dinner to celebrate our birthdays the day I was in San Diego. I flew home the next day about an hour before the conference was cancelled!

    I was a nervous wreck flying home! At LCC, I did see a few people wearing masks. It did not occur to me to wear a mask! I did wash my hands as often as possible.

    The minute I got home, I threw everything into the laundry wash and took a hot shower with lots of soap!

    I planned to go to Malice Domestic this year. And I planned to go to Chicago for a close relative's memorial (she died in February 2020) The memorial was postponed until whenever the pandemic is over!

    I planned to see my audiologist to get my %^%*# cochlear implant speech processors fixed. I am aware that some people here are able to see their audiologist. AS far as I know, that is for HEARING AIDS, not cochlear implants. My audiologist is at the hospital where her office is. That hospital, like other hospitals all over California is overwhelmed because of the rising COVID 19 cases!

    I keep on telling myself "We will get though this!"

    During self imposed quarantine, I have been reading a lot and slowing down. Sleeping in. Eating, Writing my book blog. Working on my novel in progress with Ellie Alexander's writing class on FB. Learning how to FaceTime and Zoom.

    On a happier note, I am gradually getting better every day.

    Diana

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