Thursday, May 29, 2014

What about the weather? - look up at the stars

There's a very long association between astrology and weather forecasting. Pre-Christian astrologers noted the connection between planetary movements and the cultivation of plants, especially the different effects of the Sun at different times of the day. From the earliest times until the mid-18th century innumerable astrologers specialised in this, and almanacs - particularly in America - devoted many pages to predicting the weather for the year ahead. The aphorisms of Jerome Cardan were respected for at least two centuries - viz., 'When about the beginning of winter Saturn shall dispose of [i.e., have more influence than] the Moon, expect unusual cold with a cloudy season and rain.' One of the earliest English astrological meteorologists was Robert of York, a friar who published in 1235 a word on weather prediction, with rules for predicting rain, frost, hail, snow, thunder, wind and tides. William Merlee, a fellow of Merton College, Oxford, who died c.1347, kept detailed records of weather for seven years and published a discourse which discussed the signs of good or bad weather and interpreted them, using  not only his own observations but those of farmers, seamen and others. A contemporary on the continent, Ennor of Wurzburg, published a very similar work. Many astrologers also attempted to explain such occurrences as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions by movements and connections of the planets - notably Leonard Digges, who in 1555 published A Prognostication of right good effect, fructfully augmented containging playne, briefe, pleasant, chsen rules to iudge the weather for ever . . .' There are few modern pratitioners of astrological meteorology.

-          from Parkers’ Encyclopaedia of Astrology (Watkins, ISBN 978-1-905857-71-5
-          and read Julia’s forecasts for your day at

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We've had somelovely unusual exhibitions. . .

Hi Guys and Gals - AS one would hope from a big thriving  city there's a always a lot going on, and at the moment we are a bit overwhelmed.   We've the magic light festival, the art biennale, the writers' conference; but D and I have been really enthralled in the last few days for a special fair and a more than stunning exhibition.   The fair was an antiques fair but with a difference, it was entirely   dedicated to things art deco.  We had stunning extremely chic and indeed comfortable looking furniture, loads of vintage clothes, masses of gorgeous clocks, ornaments - usually of lithe boys and girls showing their strength - and also a good collection of electric table lamps. Pottery came off well with Clarisse Cliff ( Derek hates that!)  and many others, the whole collection - was so colourful.   I thought back to the seventies when it would have been shock horror  and a total thumbs down.   Our other outing was part of Derek's birthday celebrations.   If you happen to live somewhere where the lovely TV series called Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries were screened, you'll be so envious.   We here, and recently in Melbourne, have been thrilled with an exhibition of the most glorious costumes from the shows.  If you've not seen any of them,  they are around on DVD's, they're great fun and oozing with style.   The glamorous lady detective never appears in the same dress twice and what a collection of dead accurate late twenties early thirties costumes they are!  One whole room was devoted to her hats.   Some of the dresses were made of fabric from the period  and there was even a collection of evening bags.   That's it for now  -  enjoy my forecasts -  the scene is fairly lively at the moment so go, go, go!   cheers Julia

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What Mr Lilly thinks of Gemini

Qualities of the Sign Gemini   It’s an aerial, hot, moyst, sanguine, Diurnal, common or double-bodied humain Signe; the diurnall house of Mercury; of the aery  triplicity, Westerne, Masculine.
Diseases   He signifies all Diseases or infimities in the Armes, Shoulders, Hands, corrupted Blood, Windinesse in the Veins, distempered Fancies.
Places Gemini Signifieth   Wainscot Houses, Plaistering and Wals of Houses, the Hals, or where Play is used, Hils and Mountaines, Barnes, Storehouses for Corne, Coffers, Chests, High Places.
Shape and Description   An upright, tall, straight Body either in Man or Woman, the Complexion Sanguine, not cleer, but obscure and dark, long arms, but many times the Hands and Feet short and very fleshy; a dark Haire, almost black; a strong, active Body, a good piercing hazel Eye, and wanton, and of perfect sight, of excellent understanding, and judicious in worldly affaires.
Kingdoms, Countries and Cities subject to Gemini   Lombardy, Brabant, Flanders, the West and Southwest of England, Armenia. London, Louvaine, Bruges., Norrimburg, Carduba, Hasford, Mentz, Bamberg, Cesena.
William Lilly, Christian Astrology (1647

-          from Parkers’ Encyclopaedia of Astrology (Watkins, ISBN 978-1-905857-71-5
-          and read Julia’s forecasts for your day at

Monday, May 26, 2014

I appeal to the chair!

Goodness, what a waste of time and energy committee meetings are when there isn't a good chairman! One yesterday went on, and on, and on - 45 minutes in we were still on item two on the agenda, and everyone was talking at once; I'm afraid I thumbed the table. The chairman is an extremely hard worker, and a great guy, but insists that 'everyone should have their say . . .' Well, yes; but not again and again and again. I had to leave after two hours and the agenda was still tottering . . . Mind you, there can be problems in the other direction. When I was first chairman of the UK Society of Authors, yonks ago, there were great complains from committee members who had come down from Edinburgh for the meeting, and it only lasted forty minutes. They wanted a good six hours chatter. Oh, well, somewhere in the middle, then, I guess . . .

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Do you grow Ginger plants"

 Hi Julia here, and for us it's well into Sunday morning.   We don't have a garden as such - just a nice patio but like all good gardeners, tidying up jobs and what even seem to get done on Sunday mornings.   Today we've had a blitz on our ginger plants!   It all started about five or six yeas ago when visiting our Garden Centre.   There it was a weary, wan-looking plant looking as if it was on its last roots!   I felt sorry for it and while I have a golden rule not to buy anything tired in Garden Centres, I broke my rule and we planted it in the one long bed that stretches the whole  length of our patio.   It soon cheered up and started making a nice exotic green background to our  sandstone wall.   It went on thriving and getting bigger and without encouragement spread quite a lot, but it didn't bother me.   Then just as I was getting a bit bored with it suddenly with enormous surprise all the ends of the long sprays of leaves burst forth into the most beautiful  blossom   I had no idea this was going to happen - remember I'm a Brit, and while I know exactly what to do and expect from loads of European plants (Don't forget to dead-head the roses if you want more roses!)  I'm quite the  novice when it comes to the semi-tropical ones I now take care of, and I do get nice surprises.   However   the old saying you have to be cruel to be kind sprung to mind as we started getting busy cutting back thick, thick quite woody stems with heavy leaves all about six or eight feet high!  Now the slighter shorter, greener ones are doing their stuff and I'll be looking out come Southern Hemisphere Spring (September, October and from then on) when those glorious blossoms burst forth again.   But be warned they do tend to take over! Bye for now - have a nice Sunday, and why not go over to and read your daily forecast !  (PS I hope all you Geminis are having fun)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

At last my name should appear. . .

Hi gals and guys - Julia here!   We wanted to have a joint blog so that you could see when Derek writes a piece and when Ido.   Up to now that's not been possible, but this blog is an experiment and myname ougt to be listed in the column.   I'm just not sure until I  see it with my own eyes.   We'vve had our Roger the Computer magician round to sort it out.    The question is is it there?   Am I doing the right thing or will we have to get Roger the Computer back again   fingers crossed -'til the next time. . .Julia

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hot, cold, dry, damp?

I really don't understand this humidity lark. Some morning, walking the dogs here in Sydney at 7.30 a.m., the air seems to heavy and damp (however bright the sun an blue the sky) that the dogs want to lie down in the middle of their walk; when I get back, I find the humidity measure very high. This morning however the walk was delightful, the air seemed light and cool - yet when I got back and checked the humidity it measured 95%.    What, I ask, is going on?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Be prepared all you Geminis!

Hi Everybody - Julia here!   Just to say that the Sun moves into Gemini tomorrow, and it's time you Geminis should be beginning to consider how you can make the most of the coming four weeks.  It's good to do something special or particularly interesting at this time, and if it becomes a challenging project so much the better - you'll have given it a good kick start. For the rest of us - well, don't be surprised if you fall into a flirty mood, or if you suddenly find yourselves doing two or three things  at once! It'll be just a bit of the Gemini Sun egging you on. Above all make an effort to have a bit more fun than usual - and if you've a Gemini friend he or she will like that!   Friendly fun and lively pre-Gemini greetings - Julia!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The harmony of the spheres

The astronomer Kepler believed that there was, or certainly should be, an association between the planets and musical harmony, and the phrase 'harmony of the spheres' has an ancient parentage, originating with Pythagoras in the 6th century BC. His fascination with the relationship between the musical note produced by a plucked string and its length was basically mathematical, and it followed that the musical notes produced by the planets, humming in a particular frequency as they moved through space, must relate to their speed and orbit. A number of composer interested in astrology have produced works based on the planets, the most famous being that written by Gustav Holst.

-          from Parkers’ Encyclopaedia of Astrology (Watkins, ISBN 978-1-905857-71-5
-          and read Julia’s forecasts for your day at

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Julia and Derek enjoyed Saturday afternoon!

Hi guys and gals - Julia here!   See that picture of the rather odd nude couple on a Vespa in Derek's blog: we both think it's splendid but what I found really amusing was that the sculptors are representing masculine and feminine in the portrayal of their delighftul figures. What we learned from the gallery owner was the couple - who have a large output of a great many designs in various sizes  (the couple at tea, taking photographs of each other and so on) have been able to give up their respective day jobs, and are in a position to concentrate on their sculpture.   I think this is wonderful, and particularly in this day and age.   What almost brought tears to our eyes was when we saw the couple on the Vespa it reminded us of our honeymoon, taken in France on a Vespa, and in those days on the Continent, girls were allowed to ride side-saddle - not so when we got back to the UK - we were chased by several police cars!!!   I wonder if this couple who use incidents in their lives to inspire their sculptures, and ourselves have something very personal in common! Bye for now Julia.

  Don't forget to look up my daily astrological forecasts

Nude vespa riders!

Bronze spotted at Double Bay today - Irresistible!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Pope's astrologer

Well, not the present Pope - unless he's keeping it extremely quiet. But many popes have had a strong interest in astrology, seen no reason to suppoose it is the world of the devil, and used it in various ways. Sixtus IV was himself a noted astrologer, while Pius II accepted it at least to the extent that he imprisoned a man for predicting his death (the astrologer, as it turned out, was correct). Paul III was particularly enthusiastic and his court became a positive university for astologers, headed by Luca Gaurico, who would specifiy the precise moment when important works (such as the laying of the foundtion stone of a new church) should be undertaken. Alexander IV commissioned the artist Pinturicchio to paint mythological astrological scenes in his private rooms in the Vatican, including a portrait of hermes. Adrian IV, the only English Pope, Julius II and Leo X were also either enthusiasts for the subject or at the very least encouraged astrologers to make predictions relevant to themselves and their times. The Catholic Encycopaedia has a long article on astrology, which makes excuses for the popes' interest.

-          from Parkers’ Encyclopaedia of Astrology (Watkins, ISBN 978-1-905857-71-5
-          and read Julia’s forecasts for your day at