appetite for instruction


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Michael Andrew “Duff” McKagan

One of the first things I did was go to the grocery store to buy food. It was a novel idea at the time, for I hadn’t really shopped for food in about 10 years. Now here I was, 30 years old, and probably doing the first good grocery shopping in my life. I was an adult with a credit card, a checkbook, and an ATM card. I could buy whatever I wanted in the store, but I had no idea where to start. I thought that everyone was staring at me. It had been so long that I had been anywhere sober that I didn’t know how to act or how to deal.

It was like being on LSD. The lights in the store were blaringly bright to me and the music seemed to be playing hidden messages. I bought some milk and barbecue sauce and cigarettes, and that is all. My shirt was drenched in sweat and I was having a full-blown panic attack. As I drove my car home, I stiffly steered my machine out of the way of three accidents as I rode the brakes the whole way. I could smell my brake pads when I got home.

~Duff McKagan, on his sobriety from “It’s so Easy and other lies” (click here)
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Duff McKagan rose to fame as bassist for Guns ‘N’ Roses in 1987, when the band released Appetite for Destruction.  
It is is the highest selling debut album of all time in the US, with more than 28 million copies sold worldwide.

Next year’s class of inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be headlined by Guns N’ Roses, the only group on the ballot to be inducted in their first year of eligibility.  Click here for Cleveland R&RHoF

I’ve been reading Duff McKagan’s autobiography and obviously GN’R partied, but I had no idea how far it had gone for Duff personally.  He is brutally honest, candid and wryly funny in his accounts of his life as bassist of GN’R.

On May 10, 1994, Duff’s pancreas burst and he was told by his doctor if he had one more drink he would die.  He spent two weeks in the hospital recovering and taking small steps in the early stages of detox.  He credits his sobriety in large part to guilt over seeing his mother suffering from worry while he was in critical care.

He describes his recovery from addiction through a love of mountain biking, and his voracious appetite for reading.  He began to write columns for Seattle Weekly, and later many other publications.  For Seattle Weekly McKagan archives, click here.

While in recovery Duff read GN’R financial documents and found he couldn’t understand them.  He decided to enroll in financial accounting courses (got an A in his first class) and discovered his love of academics.  He earned a 4.0 and was on the President’s list, quite an achievement from the earlier addictions he describes in his book.  When he saw a need for musicians to be educated about their financial holdings and business deals, it lead him to start his own wealth management firm, Meridian Rock, to educate musicians and give them the power to make good business decisions on their own behalf.

Duff is a 9 life path, meaning he is in a lifetime of completion.  Nine is the culminated knowledge of all the numbers before it, and is a number of utopian ideals.  Nines are spiritual and often have a lifetime of overcoming difficulties.  They learn how to succeed themselves, in order to teach the world how to do the same.  (I’m a nine too.)
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This is a solar chart, I don’t have the correct birth time, so keep in mind the planets in signs remain the same, houses may change.  

First off, I was struck by how Duff has several difficult fixed (ingrained over several lifetimes) squares (inner conflict, obstacles)  involving the Sun (ego, spirit) and Moon (feelings, fluctuation) – they are the luminaries, the conscious (Sun), and unconscious (Moon).
Hopes (Sun) and Dreams (Moon) forming an obstacle to one another.

Moon and Neptune in Scorpio are quiet, secretive and perceptive, if they do not find stimulation, (speaking from my personal experience here; and Duff speaks of facing it in the ring)  they can turn the Scorpio stinger on themselves to feel something, anything.

Moon (habits, instincts) conjunct Neptune can mean addiction in its low vibration, or spiritual healing at its highest vibration.  This conjunction is intuitive, and feels the cosmos coming in.  It is a conjunction that can bring mystical emotions, heightened perceptions, illusions, daydreams and imagination into the waking life 24/7.

Note also the asteroid Dionysus 3671 is opposite Sun and Mars and square Neptune.  Dionysus is symbolic not only of wine and merriment, but also of the sharp pruning of the vine in order for it to bear the best fruit.   Sun (life, spirit), Mars (the blade) and Saturn (pruning) conjunction in Aquarius has indeed led to the bearing of Duff’s best life / fruit.

Coupled with a hedonistic Sun / Mars conjunction in square ( inner tension ) to the often delusional energies of Neptune, that’s one heck of an obstacle.  Sun conjunct Mars is raw power, tempered by Saturn (the tester, restriction, karma) the need to restrict and rein in the wild tendencies inherent to the nature of Aquarius.  That trio of planets in Aquarius, is in itself a hurdle.

Here’s his ace in the hole : Mercury trine Uranus.  Mercury is thinking; Uranus intuition and innovation.  Mercury in good aspect to Uranus is the sign of genius, a quick study.   The mental faculties are very sharp and capable of radical trail-blazing ideas.  Through his love of learning (Mercury is study and is sextile {opportunity} Venus, love) he transformed his life (Sun) his habits, (Moon conjunct Neptune) and his creativity, his love and spiritual health (Venus exalted in Pisces) all by taking the opportunity (sextiles) to learn and stimulate his intellect.

He also took the opportunity (sextile) to keep actively busy through sports (Mars), higher education (Jupiter), and he continually pushes his endurance (Aries) physically in order to improve his self-esteem (Sun).

Duff’s North Node of Destiny is in Cancer, the sign of nurturing.  Once he got himself on his feet, he will push ahead helping others too.  Now Duff is strong in heart, mind, body, and spirit and has a loving family.   He is, by building (Saturn rules building, the earth and rocks)  Meridian Rock  (perfect name- I love it !) reaching out to help his fellow musicians learn how to handle their finances so they can take care of themselves too.
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Very quickly I want to say a few words about the day Duff was admitted into the hospital with a burst pancreas.  Moon rules the pancreas, and conjunct Neptune in the natal, it can indicate a weakness.  If circumstances in the life and transits activate it, trouble may arise.  Duff speaks in his book of alcoholism and drug use spiraling out of control, and that will further weaken the body.
Transiting Sun 19 Taurus (life-force) was opposite (call for compromise) Moon 19 / Neptune 17 conjunction (addiction) in Scorpio (the house of death and rebirth).  Transiting Moon was also nearing opposition at 11 Taurus.  Transiting Neptune was conjunct natal Mercury (which is trine Uranus in the natal – that’s a wake up call !)   Transiting Pluto and North Node of Destiny were conjunct in Scorpio as well – a call for transformation, rebirth, and rising to meet your destiny.
Ohm mani padme hum

Duff’s band, Loaded released their 3rd studio album, The Taking, earlier this year, see the video below for an acoustic version of Flatline.


namaste~
gneissmoonastrology.net

Sworn to protect

I spoke of the solar Hobbit eclipse, but I did not speak of the men of Middle Earth, one of which is Aragorn, a fine King, a man of quality.

Sun Quintile Uranus

Viggo is a free spirit, a traveler, a multi-talented renaissance man, but most of all, Viggo is a kind man.

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Viggo has Sun, North Node of Destiny and Venus conjunct in Libra – let’s face it, he’s handsome, but that’s not all.  He is kind and fair and went to bat for his fellow actors in LoTR – seeking fair pay for work on the trilogy.  A man of quiet power and strength, he has Mercury, Jupiter and Neptune all conjunct in Scorpio.

Click here for a fabulous interview in NY Times In Style Magazine.

I also recommend following Perceval Press, so click here to read.


Lay hahn-nohn ah thole-ehll
namaste~
gneissmoonastrology.net

quite clearly

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
~ Sir Arthur C. Clarke

Grand Master Science – Fiction author, Sir Arthur C. Clark was born to be a visionary in the public eye, he was a Sagittarius, with Sun conjunct North Node of destiny.

He was a futurist with Venus and Uranus in Aquarius  – Venus trine Jupiter in Gemini.  He had a knack for creative ideas, was fond of exploring, (he was an avid scuba diver) and he was an optimistic idea man with a mind bursting with possibilities.

In 1945, his paper the “Extra-terrestrial Relays” he set out the principles of satellite communication with satellites in geostationary orbits  – a speculation realized 25 years later. During the evolution of his discovery, he worked with scientists and engineers in the USA in the development of spacecraft and launch systems, and addressed the United Nations during their deliberations on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
Today, the geostationary orbit at 36,000 kilometers  above the equator is named The Clarke Orbit by the International Astronomical Union.

He had Saturn conjunct Neptune in Leo, lending a studied, reasoned approach to his creative writing of the cosmos.  He was fully aware the science fiction he wrote could very well one day become science fact.  Saturn and Neptune in opposition to Venus and Uranus indicates his balance between the mystical properties of fiction built from fact and blended into the future.


Mars in Virgo trine a Moon Mercury conjunction in Capricorn.    He was all about diligent methodical and accurate communication, obviously.  It was his idea to have satellites ‘hop’ signals across space aka satellite relays.
In World War II he served in the Royal Air Force as a radar specialist, working in early warning systems.

Pluto in Cancer opposite Mercury and Moon in Capricorn, he expressed ‘home’ in his novels as far from his doorstep as he could get, and led all his readers to envision new horizons as well.
He was building the future through science – fiction writing.

namaste~
gneissmoonastrology.net

Hypersensitive Adaptation

“My belief is in the blood and flesh as being wiser than the intellect. The body-unconscious is where life bubbles up in us. It is how we know that we are alive, alive to the depths of our souls and in touch somewhere with the vivid reaches of the cosmos.”  – D. H. Lawrence

Spoken like a Virgo with Scorpio rising, Pluto (chart ruler) conjunct Neptune.  D.H. Lawrence has Virgo Sun conjunct Jupiter, Uranus, North Node in the 11th house (natural house of Aquarius).  He was visionary; a very creative thinker, writer.

I find it so interesting that by following my heart, I have perfectly played my astrological hand, walked my astrological map- including the pitfalls, without consciously doing so.  What I love about learning astrology is it has explained so much about my habits and tendencies.  Astrology has given me the tools to be pro-active in charting my own course to physical and spiritual healing.  I am hoping through reading this site, I can help you do the same.

My friend Rhonda introduced me to Craniosacral Biodynamics, and having Moon opposite Neptune in the 11th, and Sun conjunct Uranus, I find this fascinating.
Body fluids are ruled by Aquarius and Uranus
movement of the body fluid is ruled by Moon and Neptune. 

The intention of craniosacral work is to encourage the cellular breath to move freely, without restriction, thereby allowing the life-giving oxygen, ions, and vital fluid to flow thoughout the body.


The cellular breath, or The Breath of Life produces a series of subtle rhythms (rhythms are Moon and Neptune ruled) that may be palpated in the body and which make up an integrated physiological system. At least three subtle rhythms have been identified in this “primary respiratory system”, each having a different rate and producing rhythms within rhythms.

These three “tides” are referred to asthe cranial rhythmic impulse; a more superficial rhythm expressed at an average rate of 8-12 cycles per minute, the mid-tide; a tidal rhythm that carries ordering forces into the body expressed at a slower rate of approximately 2.5 cycles per minute and the long tide; a deep and slow rhythmic impulse expressed about once every 100 seconds. The long tide is considered to be the first stirring of life and motion as the Breath of Life emerges from a deeper ground of stillness at the center of our being.

This same ‘breath of life’ takes place on a larger scale in the oceans of the Earth via thermohaline circulation.  It is like a giant ocean deep water conveyor belt transporting enormous volumes of cold, salty water from the North Atlantic to the Northern Pacific, and bringing warmer, fresher water in return.

Salt water oceans make up 71% of the Earth’s surface, the human body is more than 60 percent water. Blood is 92 percent water, the brain and muscles are 75 percent water, and bones are about 22 percent water.

Scientific studies cannot prove the rhythms of the Moon influence water in the human body, or that the Moon has an influence on humans at all, for that matter; but they cannot prove astrology either, and I know it works.  I know astrology works because I have seen it working in the charts of myself, my family, and those people I admire.

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Look for any aspects to Mercury, Gemini, or Jupiter to indicate the quality of your breathing.  Look to aspects to Uranus, Aquarius, Moon and Neptune to indicate the rhythmic movement of blood, or water in your body.

I have Neptune both opposite Moon, and square Leo meaning in my chart I may have to watch for heart trouble, as Leo rules the heart, and Neptune bodily fluids.  I have also learned to be attuned to emotional balance as my Moon is in the 4th house (natural house of Cancer- rules the stomach) and can cause vague (Neptune rules the hidden) stress induced illness.  I have Saturn (restriction) in the 3rd house (natural house of Gemini). 

Mercury, Gemini and Jupiter rule breathing in the astrological chart.

I spent many years smoking on and off, and haven’t smoked now in several years.  My Saturn placement is a red flag for lung issues, so good thing I quit.  (not that I recommend smoking for any placement, I don’t)

The first step to health is prevention.
Like the Bene Gesserit from Dune, I know humans can bend the life force towards health and well-being through concentration and will.

In the Bene Gesserit tradition, Sisters received many years of training in prana/bindu body control. They were capable of entering a trace-state, altering metabolism and slowing heart rates to neutralise toxic chemicals in the body on a molecular level.  Bene Gesserit are trained in “the minutiae of observation”, noticing details that the common person would miss in the people and environment around them. When combined with their analytical abilities, this “hyperawareness” makes the Bene Gesserit capable of divining secrets and arriving at conclusions that are invisible to everyone else.

It’s no surprise I love Dune and reading of the Bene Gesserit, as I have a Virgo stellium and giant Neptuner, both leading me to be conscious of physical and spiritual health.
The first step to balance is awareness.
May the road to health rise up to meet you…

Namaste~