Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Brummies, Bombs, Blitz and a Winter Storm

A pattern is emerging in my year of moonwalks. A cruel, targeted pattern. A pattern that mocks me month by month. It involves clouds. Lots of clouds. And snow - heavy, blizzardy, swirly, face-freezing icy snow. Oh and did I mention the thick, smoky, factory-like cloud? But I'm writing a travel book. And this is where travel writing beats mere (add several pinches of salt here) astronomy. Travel research takes place even when Winter Storms - such rarities deserve capitals - are forecast.

My one voter on this month's poll (you know who you are...) has asked for more travel stories on the blog. I've been saving these for the book, but I guess one here and there won't harm sales. Unless I pick the best few and the rest of the book's rubbish. Then this will harm me a lot. Like icy snow in the face.

Birmingham/West Bromwich. February 2009. Snow Moon. Bomber's Moon.

I arrived in Digbeth, just south east of Birmingham city centre, mid-afternoon Sunday. The weather behaved and allowed safe passage north on the motorways. This was one of my first trips with TomTom - my dad's satnav. Dad asked the boys (his sons, not gangsters - we're not like that; even with Mum's East End connections) for a satnav for Christmas. We, of course, consented on the condition that the man started to travel a bit more. It seemed pointless using it to navigate the three minutes to the town centre...walking. So Dad's eyes lit when he unwrapped TT and in his trademark, underplayed way he thanked us (a handshake and a kiss to each cheek...I joke; really we're not).

The satnav now lives in his wardrobe.

So I purloined it for my three days of research and spent the next two and a half hours arguing with young TomTom. For miles and miles and miles he wouldn't shut up. He seemed determined that I keep right. With only the hard shoulder to my left, I agreed. But he wouldn't stop. Keep right. Keep right. After 200 yards...'Keep right?' Take the next exit. You...

Sunday evening I strolled into town and saw a giant bull. The Bull Ring, to be more exact. Not an actual bull. This is one of Birmingham's enormous malls. It looks like a giant Pinpressions board with a monstrous slug on the other side (guess it's supposed to be a bull). The Ring re-opened in September 2003 after huge redevelopment. However, the first mention of Le Bulringe dates back to c. 1550, when a Mr John Cooper was given a licence for bull baiting near St Martin's Church; similar to bear baiting, the bulls would be tied up and dogs would be encouraged to bite, tear and shred the poor animals in the name of entertainment (and because people thought the meat would become tender this way).

The only remnants of bull baiting in today's Bull Ring is in the displaying of sale items in the numerous clothing shops, and watching the cheapo shoppers biting, tearing and shredding to get their claws/paws on them. Far more entertaining. They tell me this barbaric practice will cease after the Credit Crunch Era c. 2009.

The heavens opened as I stepped outside. Gusts of wind hurled snow at me. I experienced shivering in places I never knew could shiver. Full-moon Eve moon sightings? Nil. Not a chance. I couldn't even see my feet by this stage. I stomped through an inch of snow. Soon an inch and a half. Within an hour two inches. I passed all the chain shops 'new' Birmingham has to offer. A moment of huge self-doubt bounded into my head, Why this weather now, here, with me in the middle of it? Surely the Winter Storm couldn't be real. 'Winter Storm' had only be coined yesterday, as far as I knew. Its precise meaning was 'really very bad snow in a very disruptive, rude and strictly non-British way'. I felt affronted and sulked.

I peered through pub windows at crackling fireplaces, chinking glasses and general merriment. It was all very Victorian - with often-derelict factories at the heart of British industries only minutes away. But like Scrooge, I didn't join in - I needed to experience the cold. I trudged on. New Street Station looked grim in darkness and sludge. Even Adult World had shut up for the night.

I slid back up Bradford Street to the warm Moseley Arms and retired for the evening. Just before sleep took me from the disappointment of my moonless night (my 98% waxing gibbous), I planned the next couple of days. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery was a must. And the library. And then a walk along the canals towards Great Bridge: my raison d'being here. February, after all, isn't just the Snow Moon; for me, for Discovering Britain by Full-Moon, and for those who sprinted to Anderson shelters - if they were lucky enough to possess such a thing - as the growling bombers followed the canals to the city centre and shed their load with ghastly, devastating effect, this was The Bomber's Moon.

2,000 tons of bombs. That's 5,129 high-explosives scattered across the city. 6,692 injured. 2,241 dead. One city.

Monday/full-moon day took me from blocky, Pinpressiony new Birmingham to elegant, classical, Industrial Revolution, Victorian Brummagem/Burmegum/Beringham (and may I suggest 'Bullringham'). I followed the canals - lit like silver but by snow and ice rather than moonlight. I chanced upon the Pen Museum and Colin - a man as passionate about pen nibs as you're likely to meet. I nearly broke my neck before changing my mind and not navigating my way home, late evening, by snow. And I did lots more and spoke to many lovely people (Brummy=very friendly) and read books and made contacts. I looked into the Lunar Society, the semi-lunar pen and walked a very enjoyable crescent of waterways.

And I paid my respect to those 2,241 who died over 65 years ago under skies glowing red with flames.

Blitzkrieg means 'lightning war'. Winter Storm means a drop of snow.

Tonight, of course, the waning gibbous is sparkling like a search light up there. The picture that appears in the slideshow to your right shows the nearly-full-moon (10/02/09).

1 comment:

Count Gramalkin Western Sidereal Zodiac Astrology said...

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"Sidereal Horoscopes"
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By
Count Gramalkin
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Zodiacal Western Sidereal Astrologer
San Francisco School of Sidereal Astrology
Spiritual Evolution Self Realization Truth Seeker
1 877 322 7238 - http://www.gramalkin.com - Gramalkin@Gramalkin.Com
Attention Pattern Manipulates Mystic Law Creating Experience Attentions on God or Not
Reprogram Attention to Perpetual Meditation and Create Miracles in Your Life
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"Ancient Astrology Mistake Fools Millions"
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Cyril Fagan Rediscovers Fixed Sidereal Astrology Astronomy Zodiac
The Cardinal Sin of Mankind is Mistaking the Apparent for Real
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The Astrology most often associated Western Civilization is INCORRECT and MISLEADING. The fundamental problem stems from Classical Greek and Moorish Astrologers who translated the Zodiac they inherited from the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians incorrectly. Nothing has been right since. However, in 1949 the modern day father of astrology the great Astrologer and Astronomer Cyril Fagan of Dublin, Ireland, (1896-1970) discovered the mistake. Modern Zodiacal Western Sidereal Astrology was born.
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Before any understanding or education of astrology can take place one must first understand and agree on what the Zodiac is. Galaxies make up universes; universes make up Cosmic Spheres. Our cosmic sphere is the matter of which our sun is the center. Rather than being like a molecule with particles whirling about every which way all the planets orbit the sun in the same zodiacal ecliptic path of celestial longitude and that path is the zodiac. The Zodiac is the baseline of the three dimensional model of our cosmic sphere.
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The PATH the planets are orbiting through around the Sun is the Zodiac ecliptic and the path or orbit itself is not moving. For all practical purposes the path is sitting still and the planets are moving through the zodiac path around the Sun. The stars and space are in a fixed position and the planets are orbiting through the stars and space around the Sun. This is physical reality and Zodiacal Western Sidereal Astrology. When you look at the night sky what you see is Zodiacal Western Sidereal Astrology as Sidereal astrology reckons celestial longitude from the fixed star positions and Zodiacal Sidereal astrology reckons horoscopes in celestial longitude. The 12-constellation system validity with fixed star Spica at 29 Virgo 6'5" epoch 1977 is shown by properly done Ingress horoscopes.
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The horizon, equator, seasons and seasonal rotation affect only earth the Zodiac affects the entire Cosmic Sphere, SIDEREAL ASTROLOGY. Sidereal means measured by a star, physical reality. Rather than being a philosophical matter of opinion this is plain old-fashioned Physical Astronomical Reality. Regardless of how one attempts to rationalize any misconception of this matter the Sun will still Rise in the East in the morning because the Earth is Rotating on its axis and Revolving about the Sun in its Fixed Sidereal Zodiacal Ecliptical Orbit.
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Once upon a day, far in the future away.
Heirs born on a space station will say.
I'm in such a great mood today.
Earth is transiting mine sign.
Earth summer fall winter spring or what.
Will matter not.
Zodiacal longitude, will read my mood.
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Now we can get it right. To get correct astrological information one must use the astronomical astrological zodiac rediscovered by Cyril Fagan. Using the fixed star Fiducial Point Spicka as 29 degrees of Virgo 6 minutes 5 seconds. Astrology is once again back in alignment with the physical reality of Astronomy.
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Using this technique the symbology again fits the delineation. The predictions are now correct. The timing of events is accurate SIDEREAL ASTROLOGY. ”Count Gramalkin™©1970 StarManPress.Com V1-31.9”
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The majority of the Predictive Technique is symbolized on the cyclic charts, including the solar and lunar returns. The return of the transiting (or current) sun and moon to the same Zodiacal longitude they occupied at the time of ones birth snaps a picture of the coming yearly and monthly cycle.
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Utilizing the (fixed) SIDEREAL ZODIAC, the cyclic charts show the ebb and flow of daily life with amazing accuracy, clarity and consistency. The secondary progressed planets and primary angles rather than being years off show long-term cycles and some current events ON TIME. Given accurate birth data the timing most events to within about Five Seconds is routine.
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So now we KNOW that if you think you're a Taurus you're probably not - there is an 80% chance you are an Arian. Think you’re a Piscean you’re not - 80% chance you’re an Aquarian.
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The true dates of the constellations or signs go approximately from the fifteenth to the fifteenth of the month starting Aries at April fifteenth to May fifteenth and so on right on around the Zodiac.
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The actual dates may vary by a day or so for a certain sign in certain years due to the leap year phenomenon. The Zodiac is constant however the calendar wobbles.
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Herewith are the approximate dates of the "Zodiacal Sidereal Constellations or Signs" - Epoch 1950
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Aries = April 15th; Taurus = May 15th; Gemini = June 15th; Cancer = July 16th; Leo = Aug 17th; Virgo = Sept 17th; Libra = Oct 17th; Scorpio = Nov 16th; Sagittarius = Dec 16th; Capricorn = Jan 15th; Aquarius = Feb 14th; Pisces = March 15th.
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Count Gramalkin is the direct inheritor of Cyril Fagan's insights, knowledge and research, his foremost practicing direct heir out of the "San Francisco School of Sidereal Astrology" directed by Fagan's Chosen Heir the Reverend Professor John Mazurek where Count Gramalkin was privileged to study and carry Fagan's and Mazurek's techniques in trust to provide them to the public. Accurate and reliable astrological horoscope charts with readings, tarot readings, lectures, tutoring and publication to thereby help improve ones life condition and spiritual evolution. There is some natural curiosity about how The Reverend Professor John Mazurek (1919-2oo3) the San Francisco School and I came to be heirs of the modern day father of astrology Cyril Fagan (1896-1970) legacy linage when Cyril said it was so we took his word for it.
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Ancient Astrology Mistake Fools Millions by Count Gramalkin.Com Zodiacal Western Sidereal Astrologer Tarot Reading v1 31 9