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October 2017
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December 2017


Mercury retrograde2Astrologer Felissa Rose has a great analysis of the next (and last for 2017) retrograde Mercury.

As written in the title Mercury will be retrograde from 2:28 am EST Sunday, December 3 until 8:46 pm EST Friday, December 22.  The planet Mercury is retrograde three times every year.  Sometimes it overlaps from one year to the next, beginning in December and ending in January.  This happened in 2017 when Mercury went retrograde in December 2016 and left the retrograde in January 2017.  During 2018 Mercury is retrograde from March 22 to April 15, July 25 or 26, depending upon where you’re located, to August 18 or 19 and November 16 to December 6.

On December 3 Mercury goes retrograde at 29 degrees 17 minutes of Sagittarius at 2:28 am EST  and at   at 8:46 pm EST on  December 22 it turns direct at 13 degrees of Sagittarius.  The entire time Mercury will be moving through Sagittarius, sign of exploration, philosophy and long distance travel, whether it be physically or in one’s thinking and outlook. 

There’s likely to be the usual Mercury retrograde hassles and delays, mechanical, technological, diagnostic, and communications.   It will take extra patience and time to get one’s point across as well to understand what is actually being talked about.  Decisions and resolutions take more time and are often delayed or changed until Mercury is no longer retrograde.  So, go over things carefully, think deeply and be sure before committing yourself.  That’s good to do at all times but even more essential while Mercury is retrograde.   Often people discover when Mercury is no longer retrograde what was in the fine print of whatever they signed.  Mercury retrograde is a great time to think things out in preparation for taking action when the retrograde is over.

It’s the holiday season and people will be taking advantage of retail promotions purchasing gifts for others and things for themselves.   If what you’re buying is mechanical or technological make sure that it can be returned and replaced.   There is often something not quite right with objects of that nature that are acquired while Mercury is retrograde.   If you feel that you have no choice check out the company’s policy of what can be replaced and how long one has to do it.   Whatever you do it would be a good idea not to buy a watch or clock while Mercury is retrograde.   Have heard numerous stories from people who have done this and never could get them to work properly. 

Delay non-essential dental or medical treatment and/or surgery.   It could be right but more frequently the diagnosis is likely to be off as opposed to when Mercury is not retrograde, as people lose focus with both their sense of observation and judgement being somewhat lessened.   If you need treatment be particularly careful.   Know of one woman who had an accident and needed a cast on her leg during a Mercury retrograde period.   Turned out she was allergic to the bandages on the cast, which was very uncomfortable and had to be replaced.

With Mercury moving through the sign of travel and distance, give yourself extra time when traveling for there’s likely to be more delays with planes, cars, buses and trains.  Things seem to break down more with parts needing to be replaced.  So, as well as giving yourself extra time  try not to do things at the last minute.

The holidays are based on spiritual and religious celebrations for Christians and Jews.  Whether one has a religious or spiritual way of looking at life both in the cosmos and on our planet, it’s a wonderful time to reflect and practice what one believes.  When Mercury is retrograde people are more introspective. By focusing on your inner as well as your outer world, one can be more at peace at a time when people are more caring and considerate.  So be kind, treat both yourself and others well , for as the great Paramhansa Yoganada said, “Love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls, families and nations.”

Yoga and Meditation Improve Brain Function and Energy Levels

YogaPracticing brief sessions of Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation can significantly improve brain function and energy levels, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.

The study found that practicing just 25 minutes of Hatha Yoga or mindfulness meditation per day can boost the brain’s executive functions, cognitive abilities linked to goal-directed behavior and the ability to control knee-jerk emotional responses, habitual thinking patterns and actions.

“Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation both focus the brain’s conscious processing power on a limited number of targets like breathing and posing, and also reduce processing of nonessential information,” said Peter Hall, associate professor in the School of Public Health & Health Systems. "These two functions might have some positive carryover effect in the near- term following the session, such that people are able to focus more easily on what they choose to attend to in everyday life.”

Thirty-one study participants completed 25 minutes of Hatha yoga, 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation, and 25 minutes of quiet reading (a control task) in randomized order. Following both the yoga and meditation activities, participants performed significantly better on executive function tasks compared to the reading task.

“This finding suggests that there may be something special about meditation— as opposed to the physical posing— that carries a lot of the cognitive benefits of yoga,” said Kimberley Luu, lead author on the paper.

The study also found that mindfulness meditation and Hatha yoga were both effective for improving energy levels, but Hatha yoga had significantly more powerful effects than meditation alone.

“There are a number of theories about why physical exercises like yoga improve energy levels and cognitive test performance,” said Luu. “These include the release of endorphins, increased blood flow to the brain, and reduced focus on ruminative thoughts. Though ultimately, it is still an open question.”

Hatha yoga is one of the most common styles of yoga practiced in Western countries.

It involves physical postures and breathing exercises combined with meditation. Mindfulness mediation involves observing thoughts, emotions and body sensations with openness and acceptance.

“Although the meditative aspect might be even more important than the physical posing for improving executive functions, there are additional benefits to Hatha yoga including improvements in flexibility and strength,” said Hall.  “These benefits may make Hatha yoga superior to meditation alone, in terms of overall health benefits.”

The study is published in the August 2017 issue Mindfulness.

About the University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo is Canada’s top innovation university. With more than 36,000 students we are home to the world's largest co-operative education system of its kind. Our unmatched entrepreneurial culture, combined with an intensive focus on research, powers one of the top innovation hubs in the world. Find out more at uwaterloo.ca.

Horoscope for the Week of November 27, 2017

Tina turnerPrepare for a burst of crazy Sagittarian energy as the Sun, Venus Mercury and Saturn all take a dip in that sign. We may feel unfettered, free and even a bit mouthy. Say it as you see it but be prepared for the fallout.

(Tina Turner has Venus 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) 2017 MADAM LICHTENSTEIN, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Madam Lichtenstein is the author of the best selling astrology book “HerScopes ” now in its 10th printing and available as an eBook

You may feel especially expansive now. If so, find ways to reach out to far flung friends, distant relatives and interesting, exotic folks. You never know where life will lead you now, Aries, so be prepared for anything filled with all of the possibilities. Expand your mind with classes or travel and plot your eventual world takeover. Heh. heh.

Taureans are usually very sexy but now you have enough personal oil to bottle and sell it. Make good use of this seductive time to strengthen certain relationships or seek now ones. You also need to find ways to keep your energies high. Rest, relaxation and a good diet will help to recharge you from all of those active late nights. Keep melting the winter snow!

Find that special someone with whom to share your new year’s celebration. Geminis who are currently in a relationship can find new and festive ways to make it even better. Those who are on the prowl will discover new hot spots to find their soulmate. When in doubt, attend as many holiday parties as you can. You never know who will be standing under the mistletoe.

Office antics may take up more of your attention now, Cancer. But that is not a bad thing. In fact you will not only get a few things off your desk, you may strike up an acquaintance with a co-worker who you initially overlooked. This person could figure prominently in your life in a surprising way through the holiday season. Oh, ho, ho, ho.

Your social life could become a rapidly increasing swirl now, Leo, Everyone wants you at their event to spice things up. Not a bad thing... But that means you will have to prioritize all of the wonderful and tantalizing invitations you receive, seemingly all at once! Can you gracefully dance at more than two parties with only one tush? I doubt it but you can certainly try!

If you decide to spruce up your nest, the timing could be perfect to do it with extra flair and less expense. You are able to get a few helping hands to paint and move some of the furniture around. But all domestic work and no play makes Virgo a little stressed. Remember to reward all of your helpers with some festive diversions. How about “hide the holdiay gifts”?

Craft your personal message carefully now, Libra. You can be very diplomatic and eloquent and can use this time to convince others to follow you and support your dreams. So far so good. But there is a chance you can get too free with your unfiltered thoughts. Some things you say could let a well kept secret out. But maybe that is the impact you want to have?

Scorpios should be extra careful with their budgets now as the urge to spend on holiday trinkets and guests becomes too powerful to resist. Parties beckon and the fun is there to be enjoyed to the fullest. Whoo hoo! Is there a way to enjoy all of the festivities without spending a fortune? Maybe someone can float you until the next payday...

You are in the center of all of the attention now, Sagittarius. How does it feel to have every one of your moves amplified and examined? Sometimes fun and sometimes annoying. So be aware of your public face and take action slowly and carefully. You can make a big move with the help of some very influential people. Press the flesh. Then relax!

With so much going on behind the scenes, Capricorns can be forgiven for being a little distracted. But anything brewing in the background will ultimately be great for you in 2018. Ply your contacts, get the gist of the conversations and make your best moves while you are in the know. You rise to the highest heights. Say hello to the tree tops while you are up there.

Aquarians become the honey to the friendly bees now. Your social life ramps up and becomes a beehive of activity. Plan your schedule with an eye towards getting into the right groups. You need to focus on your personal plans for the future so you need to place yourself in the right circles. But keep yourself open to hanging out with a few squares too.

What is it that you need to achieve now, Pisces? You have been diligently working on your career path and will be making some impressive inroads in the next few weeks. Keep focused on the prize but also take time out to celebrate. Who knows which senior executive will be hanging out at the office holiday party? You can make your mark. But not with a spilled drink!

(c) 2017 THE STARRY EYE, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only.
Lichtenstein’s blog www.thestarryeye.typepad.comcovers everything new age. Her astrology book HerScopes; A Guide To Astrology For Lesbians is the best in sun sign astrology.

Lucky Numbers for the Week of November 24, 2017

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 24-30, 2017:

10, 19, 23, 33, 37, 47, 54, 75

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

When Jewish Palm Readers Rubbed Elbows With Pushcart Peddlers


If you peel back the layers of wallpaper in any older New York City apartment, you’re bound to find something intriguing—even if it’s only more ugly wallpaper. A decade ago, though, renovations at 97 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side led to something more mysterious—an advertisement for a “palmist and mind reader,” Professor Dora Meltzer. Charging 15 cents–and up!–(about $4 today), “Professor” Meltzer could not only guess your name and age, but also give you advice.

Who would need the “Professor’s” guidance? Everyone, really. Someone with old-world clout who had been in the U.S. a few years was an obvious go-to for newly-arrive immigrants. But fortune-tellers also served the powerful: Abraham Hochman, who specialized in finding missing husbands, also gave Timothy Sullivan, a Tammany Hall operative, some good advice at the racetrack. (Hochman later sold haggadahs with advertisements for his services.)

The practice of fortune telling is strictly forbidden by Jewish law, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t extremely popular among Jews everywhere, even as they left the “old world” behind.

Full link here.

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