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A Vampire in Highgate Cemetery?

Did you know that there was a Great Vampire Panic of 1970 in London? Neither did I. Apparently Vampire panics are not unusual. Here is one from Highgate Cemetery in London:

Highgate is one of the great Victorian cemeteries, crammed with examples of incredible funerary architecture. It is home to the remains of everyone from philosopher Karl Marx to science fiction author Douglas Adams.

However in the late 1960s it also became the home of a "King Vampire of the Undead", at least in the pages of the British Press and the minds of English teenagers. Through the perfect storm of teenage high jinks, yellow journalism, and local dueling occultists, the cemetery became home to a vampire panic that would result in corpses being disinterred, staked through the heart, beheaded, and set on fire.


Horoscope for the Month of December 2015 and Week of November 30, 2015

Brad pitt 2Jingle your bells this December as a sleigh of planets traverse merry Sagittarius that “trine” shocking Uranus. Ho ho ho. Hey, who are you calling a ho?

(Brad Pitt has Sun in Sagittarius)

Never miss your horoscope again -- free sign up here. Here is my favorite book on astrology and a "must" for anyone interested in learning more: Secrets from a Stargazer's Notebook: Making Astrology Work for You and here's a guide to the best books available this month. This column is (c) 2015 THE STARRY EYE, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Madam Lichtenstein is the author of the best selling astrology book “HerScopes ” now in its 8th printing and available as an eBook.

 

ARIES (MARCH 21 - APRIL 20)
Prepare to be pushed into the center of the holiday party this season as your innate charisma brightens even the most festive of festivities. Your influence will take on global proportions. Become a worldwide celebrity or at least a shining local star, Aries. Then you can amaze great personal power and shape the world opinion to your own will. Heh heh.

TAURUS (APRIL 21 - MAY 21)
Mysterious admirers manage to make your holiday season much more jolly. Feisty and sexy Taureans not only have rollicking times, they can also fall head over hooves for someone totally different or unexpected. The heart wants what the heart wants, I suppose. But take things slowly until the planets move on. You can then see things as they really are. Yikes!!!

GEMINI (MAY 22 - JUNE 21)
Sometimes all you need is a good friend. That time might be now, Gemini, as the holiday fun times heat up. But just hanging with the usual crowd may not be enough for you. Spend quality time in certain one to one relationships and also spread your wings into new social groups. Expand your pond into an ocean and then dive in and take a swim around.

CANCER (JUNE 22 - JULY 23)
Expect some surprises in your career as holiday parties take unusual twists and turns. Cancers sure know how to have fun but should temper their enthusiasm around the big bosses. You don’t want to ruin your chances for promotion and greater power, do you? So avoid diving head first into the company eggnog and announcing who is naughty or nice in the office.

LEO (JULY 24 - AUGUST 23)
Leos get out of their usual routine now with a series of unusual and possibly surprising series of events. This can mean getting an invitation to the A list party of the season or meeting outrageous and creative holiday pranksters. Whatever the fates have in store for you, make the most of it. That might mean dressing as Santa. Don’t forget the Christmas balls.

VIRGO (AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 23)
Will you fall head over heels for some naughty elf this now? Possibly. And you will enjoy every minute of it. Even staid and careful Virgos have their share of surprises as the gift boxes they open have more than they expected. Plan some home based activities and see who drops by. Eight tiny reindeer can deliver plenty of droppings by the way.....

LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 24 - OCTOBER 23)
Snuggle by the yule log fire with your special someone this time of year, Libra. Relationships take on added importance. This is the time to shower your affections on you-know-who. If you are trying you find a soulmate, try some unusual or unexpected places to hunt. I will bet that they are waiting for you at some local hot spot. Go and get a little hot yourself.

SCORPIO (OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 22)
Exercise and anything health related will seem more important to you know. How will you be able to balance good eating with all of these holiday treats? Scorpios will have to figure out what they most value this December. Is money important? If so, stick to a holiday budget and get creative. Good things will come in small packages. Was it bought on sale?.

SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 22)
December brings not only relentless fun and celebration, it will also place you in the epicenter of all of the attention. So prepare for your close-up with a fresh face, get involved in a range of holiday events and see who you can meet, greet and sweep off their feet. You become influential yourself, Sagittarius. Today the party circuit, tomorrow the world body.

CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 23 - JANUARY 20)
Deck your halls with boughs of holly and hang the tinsel. This is the time to focus on your home to make it everything you want it to be. But hold off on any massive renovations or changes, Capricorn. There might be some surprises along the way that can delay or change your plans. You want Santa to have the right address, don’t you?

AQUARIUS (JANUARY 21 - FEBRUARY 19)
Aquarians speak from the heart this December and can say something unexpected, shocking or too brutally honest by mistake. But don’t sweat it. Anything you do or say now will eventually reinforce friendships and make other relationships even stronger and warmer. You might want to back up your words with a lovely holiday gift just to be sure.

PISCES (FEBRUARY 20 - MARCH 20)
Pisces may overspend on holiday gifts and celebrations this year but what a way to go .. or so you think. Keep an eye on your bottom line and try to stick to a manageable budget. You know how to improve any party and will even catch the eye of those in power who can help you move ahead in your professional goals. Now THAT is a great Christmas gift!

 

 


Lucky Numbers for the Week of November 27, 2015

Lottery ads tell us you only need a dollar and a dream. But it is also helpful to have a list of lucky numbers to help spur the good fortune ... or fortunes. So with that in mind, here are some lucky numbers that can be used in any helpful way. I gazed into a pool of water, Nostradamus-like, and contemplated the cosmos. Then I mixed the tarot cards and allowed the spirits to guide me to the cards that represent the lucky numbers for this week. Nothing is guaranteed but who knows ....?

I choose eight numbers because 8 is the number of wealth.

Here are the lucky numbers for the week of November 27 - December 3, 2015:

9, 12, 22, 27, 36, 56, 64, 77

There are many ways to delve into your own consciousness to find luck and intuition. Try reading Dream Power/Improve Your Luck (Super Strength Series) and see if your dreams give you any clues and premonitions. Here's a guide to the best books available this month


LoveScope for the Week of November 25, 2015

LovescopesIf you can imagine it, you can be it now. So let your imagination soar and share your great ideas with others. Don’t be quiet. Now is the time to talk... no, shout.

ARIES (MARCH 21 - APRIL 20)
Make your personal opinions and great ideas count by finding ways of spreading them globally. Maybe you can do it via the internet and social media and maybe you need to travel and talk in person. No matter what, go, do and say, Aries.

TAURUS (APRIL 21 - MAY 21)
Taureans can be smooth talkers when they put their minds to it. And now, you are very motivated to sugar your words and ramp up your personal charisma. Who will you seduce? There may be too many people to count. Oh, you charmer, you.

GEMINI (MAY 22 - JUNE 21)
If there are things left unsaid in a certain relationship, you may be tempted to say them now. At least you have had time to think about how you want to craft your message. Geminis can be diplomatic when they put their minds to it. Put your mind to it.

CANCER (JUNE 22 - JULY 23)
Be sure that any directions you give on your job are understood clearly with solid deadlines. Cancers will avoid a lot of delays and mistakes by giving careful and clear communication. All the better to have a much longer coffee break or lunch!

LEO (JULY 24 - AUGUST 23)
Plan the biggest, baddest basheroo you can this week, Leo. You are full of fun and mischief and will turn any dull event into the party of the year. Be very creative. The experiences you create today will have them talking for months - all through 2016!

VIRGO (AUGUST 24 - SEPTEMBER 23)
Open up the lines of communication with family members, Virgo. There are things that need to be said but you may not have known how to say them diplomatically. Now you do. It will make your life happier and less stressful in the long run.

LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 24 - OCTOBER 23)
Creating a new community of friends and contacts is usually difficult but not for you and not right now. Expand your circle with local outreach and participation in a community effort this week, Libra. Who knows where it can all lead?

SCORPIO (OCTOBER 24 - NOVEMBER 22)
You are thinking about your money but will these thoughts translate into action? You want to splurge now and the bigger the purchase the better. Try to begin to budget and save a little something for a rainy day. No it is not raining now, Scorpio.

SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 22)
This is the time to grab the spotlight and find the right platform to get your personal message across to as many people as possible. Sagittarians love to entertain the crowds. Now, not only can you entertain, you can change hearts and minds. Power!

CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 23 - JANUARY 20)
Your love life is full of intrigue, secrets and power as you find ways to express your emotions secretively and seductively. Capricorns are now in a perfect position to get what they from who they want. Hmm... is that position prone?

AQUARIUS (JANUARY 21 - FEBRUARY 19)
Join a new group or organization and see if they can expose you to new ideas. Get out of your own head, Aquarius and entertain some different theories. You might be in a mental rut. It is time to dig yourself out and see more of the sunshine.

PISCES (FEBRUARY 20 - MARCH 20)
Use your expertise and compelling arguments to parlay a raise or promotion at work. You have worked too hard for too long not to reap the benefits, Pisces. Turn up your charisma and see which bigwig you can charm. World domination tomorrow!

 
Never miss your horoscope again -- free sign up here. Here is my favorite book on astrology and a "must" for anyone interested in learning more: Secrets from a Stargazer's Notebook: Making Astrology Work for You and here's a guide to the best books available this month. This column is (c) 2016 THE STARRY EYE, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Madam Lichtenstein is the author of the best selling astrology book “HerScopes ” now in its 8th printing and available as an eBook 

 


Is New Technology Helping to Bring in the New Age?

PsychicI am not sure if having access to everything new age on the internet is helping or hurting our efforts. There are some gems to be found that give true enlightenment but there is also a lot that is false, poorly offered or misleading. So I found this article that talks about this situation. 

Read the full article here

Here is an excerpt of a very dense article:

Close your eyes, and envision a glowing crystal suspended in infinite space. Now breathe in slowly, counting backwards from 10. Energy pulses along the interstices of the crystal. Exhale, and imagine a second crystal, precisely like the first – then a dozen, a hundred, 100,000 crystals multiplying into an infinite void. And 100,000 dream catchers. And semiprecious stones inscribed with chakras. And ‘Coexist’ bumper stickers, Alex Grey posters, Tibetan prayer flags, wellness magnets, and ionising Himalayan salt lamps.

Now open your eyes and imagine how much they all cost.

It’s easy to scoff at the totemic kitsch of the New Age movement. But it’s impossible to deny its importance, both as an economic force and as a cultural template, a way of approaching the world. The New Age is a powerful mixture of mass-market mysticism and idealistic yearning. It’s also, arguably, our era’s most popular ex novo spiritual movement, winning adherents with a blend of ancient wisdom traditions, post-Enlightenment mysticism and contemporary globalisation that is as nebulous as it is heady.

Even scholars who have spent years studying the New Age movement disagree about what precisely it is. I would argue that if there is one thread that binds together the various New Age movements, it is that they represent a resurgence of magical beliefs in a modern world supposedly stripped of them.

 

A solemn Englishman wearing a faux silver circlet, a green cape and a white knight’s doublet beats out a martial rhythm on bongo drums. He stands in a circle alongside a dreadlocked youth with a guitar and an older woman leaning on a wooden staff. At the center of the circle, a regal, snowy-haired environmental activist and former biker named Arthur Uther Pendragon anoints a kneeling man wearing face paint. The members of the circle welcome the newest druid of 2014.

It’s the summer solstice at Stonehenge, one of the epicentres of the Neo-Druid movement. The robed crowds that gravitate to Stonehenge on important dates in the lunar calendar see themselves as upholding ancient, pre-Christian rites. Despite a falling out with the leaders of the Druid Council, Arthur Pendragon remains one of the movement’s most charismatic leaders. (Not long ago, he anointed Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols as a bard of his breakaway order, the Loyal Arthurian Warband.)

In Pendragon’s earlier life, he was a working-class lad called John Timothy Rothwell from Yorkshire. After stints in the British Army and as the leader of an outlaw biker gang known as the Gravediggers, he experienced a spiritual awakening in the early 1980s and changed his name by deed poll in 1986. Pendragon began to regard himself as the reincarnation of King Arthur, even going so far as to buy the sword used as a prop in the film Excalibur (1981). A self-declared ‘English eccentric’, he and his former colleagues in the Druid Council proudly lay claim to a tradition of pagan practice that stretches back five millennia.

 

Folklorists and anthropologists have long sought to reconstruct pre‑modern magical practices – Gaelic charms, prayers to mother goddesses, bacchanalian rites – that resonate on an emotional and spiritual level, even if many of their details remain contested. Perhaps the value of these claims to unbroken tradition lies not in their factual accuracy, but in their ability to instill a sense of empathy with the deep past.

 

As the historian Paul Kléber Monod has pointed out in his book Solomon’s Secret Arts (2013), the Enlightenment was obsessed with the occult. From Isaac Newton (whom the British economist John Maynard Keynes called ‘not the first of the age of reason’ but ‘the last of the magicians’) to the secret societies of the Rosicrucians, the Freemasons and the Bavarian Illuminati, we find a culture simultaneously obsessed with attaining a perfect mastery over nature and the universal patterns pervading all spiritual traditions. Monod told me that he believes there is a ‘direct link’ between these occult movements of the late Enlightenment and the New Age movements of the present day.

But tracing that link takes us into shadowy territory: the vast metropolis of Victorian London, a hub of empires that pulled a variety of spiritual seekers into its fog-shrouded orbit. The figures involved in the creation of a more formalised New Age movement – people such as Aleister Crowley, Madame Blavatsky and George Gurdjieff – rarely saw eye to eye. But one thing they had in common was a mystical conviction that the world on the cusp of the 20th century was about to undergo an epochal change. They were right.

The members of the Theosophical Society that Blavatsky co-founded in New York in 1875 regarded their work as another manifestation of the march of scientific and technological progress, but they also believed they were tapping into supernatural realms of experience. ‘There is a hidden side to life,’ wrote Annie Besant and C W Leadbeater, both members of the Society, in their book Thought-Forms (1901). ‘Each act and word and thought has its consequence in the unseen world which is always so near to us, and that usually these unseen results are of infinitely greater importance than those which are visible to all upon the physical plane.’ Although they were writing here of invisible auras produced by music or emotional states, the authors could just as easily have meant Sigmund Freud’s notion of the subconscious, or a young PhD student named Albert Einstein’s work investigating the invisible medium of the ‘luminiferous aether’.

Science and technology went hand in hand with the dawning of the New Age. It’s no coincidence that beliefs about alternate worlds and invisible forces coalesced at the same time that telegraph cables and radio waves began to encircle the globe. Late Victorian London was the centre of this global technological network, but it was also the home to an emerging group of bohemians who tapped into these new technologies even as they reacted against them.

 

Is the New Age a mere cultural fad, a set of aesthetic signifiers and intellectual fashions that will fade as a societal force? Certainly, one breed of New Age aficionado seems destined to age out of 21st-century society. These are the types that the English novelist Edward St Aubyn assembled for his satire On the Edge (1998), which narrates the adventures of 12 spiritual seekers on the road to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, with a blend of bemused horror and empathy. The hapless protagonists – Crystal, Krater, Stash, Jean-Paul, and the rest – are undoubtedly modelled in part on St Aubyn’s mother Lorna, an Anglo-American heiress who retreated from family tragedy by converting her French château into a New Age institute. But if the crystals-and-auras guise of the New Age has begun to take on a distinctly vintage character, this does not tell the whole story.

Take Silicon Valley in California, which began with the skinny-tie IBM engineer aesthetics of the 1950s but began to acquire its contemporary contours thanks to the LSD-inflected eclecticism of the 1970s. From Stewart Brand and the Whole Earth Catalog to the holistic take on computing promulgated by an India-roaming psychedelic enthusiast named Steve Jobs, elements of the New Age counterculture have been encoded in the DNA of Silicon Valley almost from the beginning.

 

Already in 1941, when T S Eliot versified in Four Quartets about Londoners who try ‘To communicate with Mars, converse with spirits/ To report the behaviour of the sea monster/ Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry… fiddle with pentagrams/ Or barbituric acids’, the line was blurring. The esoteric fringes of modern science were becoming entanged with ancient traditions such as astrology and the Tarot. For Eliot, a former dabbler in Blavatsky’s Theosophism who by this time associated true religious profundity with the Catholic tradition, these magical practices were all manifestations of a superficial spirituality, the ‘usual/ Pastimes and drugs, and features of the press’.

Eliot was on to something in that final phrase. Technologies of mass communication allowed the various beliefs that coalesced under the New Age banner to establish themselves as popular alternatives to traditional religion. With such metrics of allegiance to organised religion as churchgoing and tithing in decline, New Age eclecticism (amplified by radio, newspapers and eventually the internet) emerged as a kind of modern magic. Weber might have been right that the rise of modernity required the death of the enchanted world. But in that sleep of death, what dreams may come?