Video: Painting without eyes

Man born without eyes is able to use light, color, and perspective to create paintings, using only touch. MRI taken as he paints, shows that visual areas of his brain “light up” as he creates his pictures. (9 min. 50 sec.)

Painting without eyes

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ASTROLOGY: Mercury is retrograde!

Sign of Virgo


Why would any intelligent person–especially one with a scientific background–believe in astrology? Because it’s fun. And because when it tells me something that I have to admit is right, it is fascinating. Astrology is a mix of science and art. The science consists of mathematical calculations to determine the exact positions of the sun, moon, and planets, and often a few more optional heavenly bodies, at an exact sidereal time (if possible) in relation to the latitude, longitude, and horizon of a person’s birthplace. Then the angles formed by these bodies and points to each other are calculated. The art consists of interpretation of these placements and their relationships to each other.

I studied astrology intensely for a few years about four decades ago. I cast horoscopes for everyone I knew or met, and for important events. It helped me to understand some people better, I thought, and helped to account for the intense attractions I felt for a few people, as well as why I had problems with them. I still have a current Ephemeris.

When I discovered that Venus, by progression, went retrograde in my chart when I was in my 40th year, and did not turn direct again until my 80th year, I was saddened. I thought it meant I was doomed to a failed and unhappy love life. And it does appear that it was not my destiny to find enduring happiness with one person for life. But I have had some relationships that I will never forget, and some that transformed into something better.

I was meant to live the most productive years of my life alone, and once I got used to it, I liked it. Still do!

 Anyway, getting back to retrograde Mercury, the planet appeared to stop and start going backward in relation to Earth on May 27, when it was in 21º of Gemini. It will continue its “retrograde” motion until June 20 when it “stops” in 13º of Gemini and starts forward or “direct” motion again. Traditionally this warns against making important decisions, signing contracts, or completing transactions if they can be postponed. It also gives a chance to study pending deals that have gotten “hung up” or delayed by red tape so that corrections can be made or decisions can be reversed if it seems wise.

 Retrograde Mercury has been blamed for troubles with communications, scheduling and keeping appointments, mail delivery, and traffic congestion. Anything having to do with cell phones and messages might also be affected. Certain things can be misplaced, too. If a person was born in the Sign of Gemini or Virgo, Mercury retrograde can be especially potent.

Let me tell you about my experience! Three separate problems fell into place within days of each other, as Mercury was slowing.

1) Non-receipt by mail of a supposedly delivered birthday present I had sent to my daughter (who is a Gemini native.)

2) I lost an uncashed check.

3) There was a charge on my doctor’s bill that I did not owe.

The first one required tracking the delivery record of the package and suggesting that it may have been delivered when she was not at home, and taken back to the Post Office.

The second problem cost me considerable time searching through my purse, car, and even the check images from last Sunday’s collection at my church (in case I dropped it in the plate by mistake), and calling the person who wrote the check to see if I had left it there (I had not.) 😦

The charge on the doctor’s bill was resolved immediately when I called, receipts and copious documentation in hand, and was told that insurance had paid the amount… today!

My daughter got her package. And yesterday I picked up a Post-it note stuck to a piece of note paper with a website address on it, under my coffee cup on the computer desk…and folded in the notepaper was the check I had put in my pocket with the note! 🙂

Oh, and I also opened a bag in a stack of stuff that I wanted to rearrange, and found the orange Poof foam ball that I misplaced months ago–again, today!

How, we might ask, did that happen?

Uh…Jupiter trine natal Neptune in Virgo; Uranus opposing Neptune; Aquarius Moon opposing my natal Moon, which opposed natal Jupiter in Aquarius; and Saturn transiting Virgo, opposing Venus, maybe??? 😉 LOL! Round and round we go!

Was I a Stage Actress in a Past Life?

Theatre Masks

I have never forgotten that particular moment in my freshman year of college when I auditioned for the part of the mother in G.B. Shaw’s “Arms and the Man.” We were reading a speech in which the character passionately describes the Bulgarian Army’s victory over the Serbs. Everyone had taken a turn with the first run-through, and I was not happy with my first reading. My voice had been too soft, and I knew it sounded as though I were indeed reading the lines and not delivering them.

Now the director ordered a second try, since we were more familiar with the character and the plot of the play. Determined to do at least as well as I thought I could in interpreting those lines, I read the speech to myself once, closed my eyes, and simply withdrew into myself for a moment. When it was my time to read, I could not believe the power with which that speech filled the room! Gestures, emotion, and perfect recall (at the time) of the lines! “Pour-r-ring over the hillside…and sca-a-attering the [something] [something] like chaffff!” I emoted.

When I finished, no one said a word, apparently as dumbfounded as I was. The audition did go on, and the director told us that we would be notified about whom he had chosen for each part. The next day, a girl, an upperclassman who had also read for the part, approached me. She was afraid that I would get the part, she told me, and she wanted it badly, since she was about to graduate, and she had never had the lead in a play. “Would you please let me have that part?” she asked. I really did not need to be in the play. I only wanted to work on it, doing makeup perhaps, so that I could stay in the Dramatic Fraternity, !QS. So I told her she could have it, since I had time to be in other plays. And I’d had my personal victory.

She got to play the mother in “Arms and the Man”, an important supporting role, if not the heroine, and she did well, probably better than I would have done in the long run. But I have wondered ever since then, where did that one terrific performance come from?


In the 1970s and ‘80s I worked for the US Postal Service sorting and boxing mail, sometimes driving a city delivery route, and occasionally serving customers at the window. Although I liked handling and delivering the mail, I was never good enough, or fast enough to suit my supervisor. I wished whole-heartedly that I could earn my living doing something that required the talents that I had, rather than finding those talents to be useless as the machine-like worker that the USPS wanted. But I had no other skills, so I felt stuck between longing for what I could not have, and fearing that I might be fired for not meeting productivity standards.

On a particularly depressing morning I was working the incoming letters at my sorting case when I picked up a handful of mail, and my attention was caught by one rubber band among a few others lying in the corner of my tray. While others lay there in the usual oblong or coiled shapes, this one was shaped like a heart. No one else in the office would have noticed this, or thought anything more of it if he had noticed it. But to me, this was a message, sent to let me know that I was loved and that I was not alone with my misery.

I did eventually get to leave the Postal Service, and go back to school for the degree I needed to start a new career. The way was never smooth or without struggle, but from time to time, when I seemed to need reminding, the shape of a heart would appear in some form that seemed to leap out at me. I would find a heart-shaped stone or leaf among others that were randomly-shaped. I would see one or more of them in the grain of a wood cabinet or paneled wall. Sometimes it would be simply drawn on the sidewalk. Each time I would feel the love, believing it to be a message from the spirit wanting to comfort and encourage me.

So, all of these occurrences could easily be explained, though it is very difficult to make a standard Post Office rubber band land and stay in a heart shape (I know because I tried.) Still there could not be construed any intentional handiwork here, human or otherwise. The one occurrence that cannot be explained as mere chance to me was so bizarre that I had to photograph it as proof.

I was sitting in front of my computer at home, eating a bowl of Cheerios with bananas. As I often did, I left a little milk in the bottom of the bowl and set it on the floor for my cat. A minute or two later, I looked down and saw in the bowl a perfect heart where the cat had licked up what it wanted of the milk, surrounded by the remaining milk, and the cat was quietly creeping away to take a nap. I tried to recreate this one and have never been able to do it.


I expect to see more hearts as I need them. They are my special reminder that the loving spirit of my Creator is within me and will never leave me alone.

Healing Oneself by Forgiving

When I was 47 I developed a lump in the left breast. It seemed to occur suddenly, in a matter of days, which, I was told, was not characteristic of cancer. Nevertheless, I worried. Whatever it was, it should not be there. Maybe it would go away. I waited, telling no one. But I didn’t wait too long. A close friend noticed that I seemed “down” about something, and so I told him about the lump and we agreed that I should see my doctor and find out what it was.

Ultrasound showed that it was a fluid-filled cyst, which, the doctor said, might go away by itself in time. But he wanted to aspirate some fluid to see if there were abnormal cells present. This he did, and found in the sample a small amount of blood and a few abnormal cells–no more than he would expect to find in an otherwise healthy person. He said there was no need to remove it unless it was uncomfortable. The cyst did heal slowly , but left some scar tissue which could be felt, and a couple of years later, when I was having another procedure, the doctor also removed what was left of the cyst.

However, a few months after the needle aspiration, the right breast developed a hard lump, just as suddenly, and it was 3 to 4 times larger. This time I was confident that it was a cyst, but I did have an ultrasound done. The main question in my mind was, “Why is this happening?” I wondered what I was doing wrong, and how I could stop doing it. I read the usual things about too much of this or that in the diet and tried to make some changes. But then I heard about the Forgiveness Meditation for healing, and I committed myself to regular sessions every day, understanding that it might take weeks to start getting results.

Every day I stood in my bedroom, and starting with the top of my head, I named every part of my body and stated, “My [body part] forgives every person, thing, or situation that has ever hurt me, whether I remember it or not. I also forgive myself for any and everything I have ever done to hurt another or myself.” This brought a flood of warmth and relief over me. I did not have to think about or relive any moments that I wish had not happened, only know in my heart that I forgave and was forgiven for all of it.

I did this for 2 weeks before I could feel that the large cyst had begun to shrink. At that point, it was about half its original size. After a month of meditating, the cyst was gone. Later mammograms did not even show that it had ever been there. I called my doctor’s office and told the nurse that the cyst was gone, and she expressed great surprise. “What did you do?” she asked. I told her that I had used meditation. She said that she had heard of people doing that, but had never heard of it working before.

At one point, it did come to me why these cysts were occurring (it was a displaced emotional need), and once I realized it––and understood, I knew that it would never happen again. And it has not.

Positive Energy Protection

Can the focussed visualization of positive energy protect the entire coastline of a continent from the devastation of a vicious hurricane? Thousands of people not only believe that it can, but know that it did. I live in Texas and have belonged to a Unity church for more than 20 years. We believe in the power of positive energy.

Several years ago, a dangerous hurricane was headed straight for the southern part of the US east coast. Its projected path would bring it across the southern states, and possibly into eastern Texas, before turning north again.  A small group of us in Unity and similar New Thought churches began to visualize positive energy forming a shield over the entire east coast and pushing the hurricane away. Day after day, the storm continued along its projected path, and as it approached, more people joined in the visualization. We began to hear news reports of thousands of people all along the coastline sending positive energy in focussed, coordinated effort. And the hurricane began to slow down. Just offshore, it almost stopped, began to wobble in its course, and finally made a 90° turn and moved north parallel to the coastline. It wobbled again over the ocean for days. When it made landfall, it had weakened to the force of a severe thunderstorm.