When I first came to Venice, I met a palm reader on the famous, Ocean Front Walk, whose name was “Mad George.” He was a colorful character, full of stories about his own life, as well as about life in Venice. I very much enjoyed his style of reading palms, as well as what he shared with me about my own hands. So, when I asked him for recommendations on palmistry books, he suggested I read Elizabeth Daniels Squire.
Squire was a journalist, nationally syndicated columnist, and award-winning mystery writer. She published two palmistry books: “The Fortune In Your Hand,” and “Palmistry Made Practical”. It is this latter book that I have chosen to briefly review.
First published in 1976, “Palmistry Made Practical is an overall, good study of many aspects of palmistry. Like many palmistry books, Squire begins by sharing some of palmistry’s rich history such as how the Indian tradition sees the study of hands and feet as the most important part of Anga Vidya; how in 4th century B.C. Greece, hand reading was well-known; and how a variety of famous people, such as Aristotle, had their palms read. According to Squire, the writer, Balzac, thought hand reading was the key to unraveling the intricacies of the human heart!
In this 249 page book, Squire covers everything from shape, to mounts, to lines, to markings, and more. There are little nuggets, too, that I enjoyed. For instance, she states that “In general, the shape of your hand indicates your approach to life while your mounts show the kind of energy you have and how you use it.”
Having read this book twice, I’m with Mad George! “Palmistry Made Practical” is a book for both beginners and intermediate students of palmistry. It is also enjoyable to read! I definitely recommend Squire for your own, metaphysical library.
In Sandra Shulman’s book, “The Nightmare, the World of Terrifying Dreams”, I came across Carl Jung’s earliest dream memory. At the age of 3 or 4, Jung dreamed of “entering a large, underground chamber of stone. Enthroned on a platform was a huge, upright object made of flesh, with a single eye at its head, gazing upwards. Although this fleshy pillar did not stir, the child was frozen with horror, sensing that at any moment it must creep from the golden throne towards him. Then he heard his mother’s voice somewhere outside and above, calling . . . That is the man-eater!” (pg. 106)
Oddly enough, I also recall a vivid dream from when I was around 4 years old. Although it is somewhat different to Jung’s, it also contained a single eye, as well as felt like a mythic world. In my dream, I was sitting before our black and white TV, which was turned off. Suddenly, a single eye appeared on the black screen. Frightened, I decided to run outside. Immediately, I found myself running in a field of wheat, moving in the wind. The sun was bright; but still, I felt the eye following me wherever I went.
Years later, I discovered that my astrological birth chart contains the mythic struggle of Demeter and Pluto, a struggle that has in some ways, played out in my life. That dream reminds me of this myth.
It is fascinating to me now to discover a link to Carl Jung, particularly as I am delving deeper into synchronicity. To sync with him suggests I am following the right path for myself.
In my own experiences, I find that synchroncity plays out in two interconnected but distinct ways. According to Jung, synchronicity can reveal if a person is truly growing in the individuation process or about to break apart. I find it can also literally show one the best path to take. Here is just one example from my own life.
When I was an active member of the Order of Eastern Star, I had a chance to move up the chain of leadership quickly. I was also going through some serious health issues. Although I knew I could handle the leadership role, I was concerned whether or not it was the right thing to do, considering my health. The year I was entertaining these thoughts, the emblem was the sunflower. One morning, I looked outside to find sunflowers appearing under a tree in front of our apartment. They had never grown there before; nor did they grow back later. It was then I knew it was the right decision for me to take on the leadership position. And so, I did. It turned out to be a wonderful experience for me.
Here is my latest forecast published on the Mystic Journey Bookstore blog today.
Hi, all! The Mystic Journey Bookstore, where me and Michael work at times, has started offering a weekly forecast on their website. Each week, one of the store’s readers will share his or her forecast. I am the first featured reader. Here is my general forecast for this coming week, starting Monday April 6th through Sunday, April 12th:
By Krista Schwimmer
Ever since Michael & I moved to Los Angeles, we have felt a bond to Hollywood Boulevard. We like the feel of the Boulevard itself — the mix of old, historic buildings & the bustle of strangeness that is kin to Venice Boardwalk. It is also a nice escape for us, an easy day vacation, as we hardly know anyone in that area. In Venice, however, just a walk along the Boardwalk means we most likely will see someone we know. And now and then, it is nice to ramble amongst strangers.
On Thursday, January 8th, we made our escape. First, however, we stopped at MOCA in West Hollywood. There, we went to see “Songs for the Witch Woman,” the first museum exhibit of Marjorie Cameron’s work.
Through the brochure written by Yael Lipshutz, guest curator of the exhibit, I learned much about this fascinating woman. Cameron was an influential artist & occult practitioner in Los Angeles during the mid-1940’s. She was also Jack Parson’s “scarlet woman”, or so he believed when he met her not long after performing the magical operation he called “the Babalon Working.” They soon married; but their life together was cut short when Jack Parsons accidentally dropped a vial of mercury fulminate in his garage, killing himself in the explosion. (Some, however, his death was not accidental — either a suicide or a murder.)
I found Cameron’s work at times sexually evocative, surrealistic, & abstract. I particularly enjoyed one of a bird head walking, & one called, “Fossil of a Raven”. Although I liked her concept for “Pluto through the 12th House,” I do wish she had done more with her very abstract, lined drawings of this event.
After the exhibit, we stopped at our favorite, West Hollywood restaurant, the Fresh Corn Grill. Michael has type 2 diabetes. At this point, he can control his blood sugar through diet & exercise. So, eating out can be challenging. The Fresh Corn Grill has lots of healthy proteins & side vegetables that he can eat without a problem — all very tasty, I might add! We also enjoy both their home brewed tea infused with mint & their fresh lemonades.
After lunch, we walked the 4 miles over to Hollywood Boulevard. We are always a bit baffled why more people do not walk in Los Angeles, considering the great weather & the interesting terrain. By walking, we discover new places, interesting events, & intriguing omens.
On this particularly day, we passed a theater showing, “The Penis Chronicles”. Is this some kind of male response, I wondered, to the “Vagina Monologue?”
There were also quite a few sidewalk messages. Perhaps because I am a poet, the world talks to me through sidewalks. Or, at least I think it does! There were four messages that struck me. The first two were animals: fox and wolf. Fox is one of my animal totems, connecting me to the Above. Fox is an animal of wit, shape shifting, & sexuality. Because of the shape shifting nature of fox, I really appreciate it when fox comes in so directly!
Wolf, noticed by Michael, has a hunting relationship with raven, our business totem. Both fox & wolf are monogamous animals, with wolf being also very family oriented. Wolves send scouts into new territory, reflecting to us a need to do that for our own business. Interestingly enough, this year we plan on starting readings in that vicinity. Our friend, Heather, has repeatedly offered her home to us so that we can reconnect with some of our old, West Hollywood clients. Was the universe reminding us to start doing that soon? After all, both fox & wolf are part of the canine family. Our friend, Heather, rescues & takes care of many dogs.
The next two messages were quite sweet, like kisses & hugs from the world herself. One was, “UR Beautiful,”; another was simply our names shortened: “Kris N Mike.” The only person in my family that ever called me “Kris” was my deceased mom. There was another time I felt a dead relative talk to me through a sidewalk in Hollywood — but that’s another story, for another day.
As usual, while we walked, a raven flew over us. Almost every time we “escape to Hollywood” for a day, a raven greets us. I am not sure how it works, but it seems like if you make friends with the corvid family, a member of this spectacular group finds you, wherever you are. Sometimes, a single raven will greet you; sometimes a whole murder of crows. Michael & I feel completely accepted by these birds, as well as protected by them.
We reached Hollywood Boulevard with plenty of time for Michael to help our friend, Dennis, fix his guitar. I visited with Dennis for a bit — then did my usual roaming about, seeing what was happening on the Boulevard.
There were the usual costumed characters, ranging from Sponge Bob to two variations of Johnny Depp. No fights, however, broke amongst them that afternoon. Elvis Presley’s star had flowers on them; and people were bustling around at the Chinese Theater preparing for the premiere of “Black Hat.”
Close to the end of our visit to Hollywood, I once more saw either crows or ravens playing high in the sky. They seemed relaxed, gliding as they soared above the tall building where I watched below.
As night approached & the lights for the premiere were lit, Michael & I left the boulevard, choosing once again to walk back to the Fresh Corn Grill for a delicious, chicken caesar salad.
There, in a moment of poetry, after we ordered, the server gave us the number 40 for our food order — the exact same one we had earlier that day.
“What do you think that means?” Michael asked.
“Four — that’s your life path number. And in the Thoth tarot deck, 4 is the Emperor & 0, the Fool,” I replied. Or, maybe it was simply a nice way to end another pleasurable escape to Hollywood Boulevard!
For my third bird, in my series, “Bird Totems of Venice,” I chose the cormorant. A fascinating fellow! Here is the link to the article in the December issue of the Free Venice Beachhead:
Here is the link to the November bird totem article in the Free Venice Beachhead:
I have been writing a series on bird totems for the local, underground paper, the Free Venice Beachhead. Here is the link to the first one, the Snowy Egret
Recently, I found out that one of the original, Bodhi Tree Readers died. Her name is Linda Hart Michaels. She died of emphysema on February 27, 2014. According to her friend, Anna, her last two days were peaceful.
I met Linda when I first approached Phil Thompson to let me and my husband, Michael, work as tarot readers at the Bodhi Tree Bookstore. It was November, 1997. We had recently arrived from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Linda told me she had been asking them to add psychic readers for years — but no luck. The two owners were still not budging when I also asked. Why they changed their minds less than a year later is another story, for another day. Today, I simply want to share a story about Linda.
One day, not long after we started up the Bodhi Tree Readings, I went to ask Linda a question. I noticed a beautiful angel card deck on her table. Now, most people who know me, know that I am not easily impressed by angel decks, largely because of their poorly conceived artwork. I had never seen this particular deck, so I asked her what it was. She told me it was called, “Angel Blessings” created by Kimberly Marooney. She then told me that she did not exactly read with them. Rather, she turned over one card and placed it on her table for each reading. She did this because she found the image comforted people. I liked that idea, for some reason. I also could see how the images could be comforting. Each one is an actual reproduction of a fine art masterpiece.
So, in memorium, today I decided to take out my own copy and pull a card for Linda. Above is the card I pulled: “Sandalphon” with the keyword”Power.” According to Marooney, Sandalphon “oversees the many powers given to the Seraphin including strength, abundance, beauty, and joy of living.” The power, however, this great Seraphin is connected with is the power of emotions. Sandalphon helps to identify ones fears and imbalances and take actions to work through them. Marooney says that by expressing ones true feelings and releasing emotional scars, ones power flows through.
I believe when we die that the journey continues. Linda, may your spirit path be one of joy, magic and illumination. Thank you for sharing in an important crossroads in my life. I will remember your laughter, your beautiful hair, and your gentle soul. Blessed be.
by Krista Schwimmer
When I was 18 years old, I had my first astrology reading ever. It was a natal chart reading with the now famous, Steven Forrest. The reading cost $35, was over one and a half hours long, and came with a hand drawn chart. To this day, it was one of the best natal readings I have ever had — both for its accuracy and its enjoyment. Although it did not lead me to becoming an astrologer, it inspired me to continue to examine my own natal chart, instinctively doing it when I feel compelled.
Recently, my instincts have drawn me to the asteroids. So, I bought the book, “Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology, and Astrology of the Re-Emerging Feminine,” by Demetra George & Douglas Bloch. I thought this would be a good place to begin my examination.
I first came across Demetra George in the 90’s, when I picked up her book, “Finding Our Way Through the Dark.” This book explores the concept of the dark goddess, an archetype that I have been following for some time through her emanations as the Morrigan, Lilith, and Hecate. It was in this book by George that I discovered that the phase of the moon that I was born under, the balsamic moon, has a deep influence on my life. Being a woman with 3 planets in the sign of Cancer, this was an important discovery for me.
Now there are some of you out there that may argue that asteroids do not really mean much in an astrology chart. For me, I view the chart as a kind of mandala where I can view the more cosmic lessons of my life in a synchronistic way. If I am drawn to a planet or asteroid, invariably it has meaning for me. This is how I live my life on a daily basis. So, in a sense, it is possible that the asteroids have no relevance for some of you. For me, however, this book arrived at the perfect time, helping me to look more deeply into both weaknesses and strengths in my feminine being.
“Asteroid Goddesses” takes a look largely at four main asteroids: Ceres, Pallas Athene, Vesta, and Juno. For each one, George and Bloch explore the mythology, astrology, psychology, and metaphysical implications. The book also briefly touches on 6 minor asteroid pairs: Psyche/Eros; Lilith/Toro; Sappho/Amor; Pandora/Icarus; Diana/Hildago; and Urania/Chiron. The book includes the ephemerides of all these asteroids for the dates 1930 to 2050.
There are many things that I like about this book. I enjoy how the authors weave the mythology of each goddess with its astrological implications. I enjoy how they use the charts of well-known men and women to illustrate their points. I think the book is well-written, as well as laid out in a manner that allows one to either quickly look something up, or slowly read through the entire text.
I like, too, how George and Bloch tie the asteroids to the other planets. In Chapter 12, for instance, they write that “The asteroids, in occupying primarily the space between Mars and Jupiter, forge a link between the lower and higher octave planets.”
For me, one of the most important contributions of their book is that it shows a more multidimensional view of the feminine. The authors claim that “before the use of the asteroids, the only significators of the feminine in traditional chart interpretation were the Moon and Venus.” The asteroids change that. I agree. Each of the four asteroids represent a principle: Ceres, the principle of unconditional love; Pallas Athene, the principle of creative intelligence; Vesta, the principle of focus and commitment; and Juno, the principle of relatedness.
Placing these asteroids in my own, natal chart, I have already found some new discoveries that resonant with me. Juno, at the height of my chart, in the sign of Sagittarius, correctly indicates that I not only need mental stimulation in my career, but also from my partner. My husband and I started our tarot business even before we were married!
In my own search to understand the feminine, I believe I have found a valuable tool. Thanks to both Demetra George and Douglas Bloch, I look forward to learning more from these asteroid bodies in my quest for self-awareness.