The current issue of The Mutable Dilemma is late due to the move to Dodona. On September 11, 1991, four vehicles made the trek down from Los Angeles with my brother James Pottenger’s household furnishings. I led off in my son Bill’s pickup truck. A friend, Eli Montagu, followed in my Escort. Bill followed Eli in the biggest rental truck which was available without a special license, and James was to come after waiting to give the keys to the new owners of the L.A. place. All vehicles were loaded to the hilt. My son, Mark, and a church member, Betty, had helped in the loading.
Somewhere past the halfway point, I noticed that the Escort and the big truck were no longer in view behind me. I debated waiting for them, but decided to keep going. I arrived in the lane leading to our entrance to find it totally blocked by a large rental truck. The former occupants of Dodona had planned to be out of the place at 4 A.M. to make a long, hot drive to Arizona with their household furnishings. Clearly, they had not made it on time. A trailer being pulled behind the rental truck had gotten stuck in a gully as they had tried to pull it onto the lane from the private driveway. Three men were sweating out the job of getting a very heavy trailer, intended to carry an automobile, out of the gully and onto the lane behind the truck. They said they had been struggling with it for over two hours. The lane was blocked by the rental truck, but they described another access lane a little farther on the highway, so I backed up to an open area and waited for Eli and Bill who arrived not long after me. When we checked the alternate access lane, it proved too narrow and steep for the rental truck, but Eli and I negotiated it and arrived at the entrance to the Dodona driveway which was still blocked by the trailer. Finally, the trailer was pulled onto the lane and the previous owners took off. Bill was able to get our rental truck in and James arrived in his car. My son Rique was already at Dodona to help unload, having arrived before the truck and trailer blocked the road.
My initial arrival time was 4:30 P.M. I actually drove into Dodona at 5:05 P.M.; the first time I entered it after it was legally ours. Of course, I set up horoscopes for both times. From the beginning, the whole process of acquiring Dodona was marked by Saturn. It was on the IC in its own sign Capricorn when we signed the original offer for the place, opposite the Moon in its own sign Cancer on the MC. I anticipated an emphasis on patience and hard work and possibly a reduced price for the place being sold, all of which occurred. But when you are realistic and willing to work, Saturn builds for the long haul, and we plan on that. One of the offers to buy the L.A. place was made with Saturn on the Descendant but we rejected it as too low. We accepted an offer (still low but one we could live with) on July 2 and the long paper shuffle (clearing escrow on both L.A. and Dodona) took us into September when the move occurred. Now, as we enter October, Dodona is still in process of a major overhaul including rewiring everything to replace shoddy amateur electrical work, putting in new screens, installing a heating and air conditioning unit in the main house and a satellite dish to compensate for our position in a small valley surrounded by hills, paneling a storage room for files and building book shelves in it for James, cleaning and painting another storage room for me, getting rid of piles of junk, taking out two large, dead oak trees, a third stump, and cutting off dead branches from another, clearing tall grass and weeds, redoing and automating the drip system so I can plant more fruit trees, roofing a patio, adding a screened porch to the mobile home and fixing its windows so they can be opened and shut, etc. etc. I had to go back to L.A. on the 12th for client appointments, but I returned to Dodona September 19 to stay until I go to New Zealand October 9 with Maritha, so I am participating in and enjoying seeing much of the preceding face lifting.
During this whole period, Saturn is stationed on my MC and octile James’ MC. I’m sure it is also aspecting the charts of Bill and Eli who are here working on several of the preceding projects. Some of the work (electricity, removing dead trees and junk, and installing the air conditioning and the satellite), has required hired professionals, but we’re doing what we can ourselves. After all this preliminary description, what about the charts for my two arrival times? When I drove up and found the road blocked, Saturn was exactly on the Ascendant. When I finally had access to Dodona and entered, the asteroid Dodona was exactly on the IC, signifying the land and property built on it. During the last minutes as the entrance was finally cleared, the Ascendant was crossing heliocentric Herrick (my middle name) and geocentric Gaea (the earth). Geocentric Herrick was exactly sextile the MC, trine the IC. Zipporah (Herrick Pottenger) Dobyns came to Mother Earth at Dodona. How does the universe manage that? Does anyone still believe in chance?
The asteroid James was square Vesta and James did a lot of hard work unpacking boxes and organizing possessions in the initial days since the rest of us left after unloading the four vehicles. The asteroid James was also sextile-trine the lunar nodes and Juno and applying to a conjunction with Pluto and a sextile to the Sun. P Pluto, ruling the MC from the 9th house, will stay sextile the Sun for as long as we are likely to be around, an appropriate aspect for a spiritual retreat to be a western mystery school with a major focus on astrology. Eli and I came back the 19th and Bill joined us a few days later, so the four musketeers are currently at it and the place is looking great. I’ve been to the nursery at Jamul and they have the fruit trees I want, but that will have to wait until I get back from New Zealand.
We’re planning an open house party on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, starting at noon, and if any of our readers are close enough, please come! If anyone is interested in a small seminar on November 29 through December 1, 1991, that is available on the holiday weekend. We have a building fund to eventually build a yurt as a guest house and retire the mobile home, and seminar fees will be added to donations for that goal. In the meantime, the mobile home can sleep three to five people with its two small bedrooms, a couch in the living room that makes a double bed, and a screened porch which is not yet built. There is also a travel trailer which offers a small home for one person with every convenience except a toilet, and we have three tents for people who like camping, one big enough for four people.
My hope is that I can host small seminars for three to five people lasting three to five days. I would like to receive $500 per day for everything—room, food and instruction. If five friends engaged a period of three or four or five days, it would cost them $100 per day each—less than one would pay for just a room in many hotels. A smaller number of students would mean more cost for each one but also more individual attention. The group could choose the topics to be covered in the astrology instruction—almost anything in the field except horary since I have not worked enough with that to feel confident of the techniques. I have always suspected that psychic ability played a role in it. If any of our readers is interested in planning their own seminar, please write (anytime) to me in L.A. or to 2036 Honey Springs Road, Jamul, CA 91935. Or you can phone after the middle of November to 619 468-9338.
Our first guest teacher will be Rob Hand in January 1992. Dodona is cooperating with ACS and the San Diego Astrological Society to bring Rob to San Diego. He will be lecturing for SDAS on Friday night, conducting workshops for ACS at their headquarters on Saturday and Sunday, and coming to Dodona for the rest of the week. Due to our limited space, we can only accommodate a few students, and the cost has not yet been figured, but if anyone is interested in participating, please write and we will put you on a list for notification when topics and cost are determined. I will be present and we might get Maritha in on some of it. If there is any interest in a seminar on writing astrological computer programs, my sons Mark and Rique are two of the top experts in the world. I would like to have some seminars for psychotherapists or other professional counselors. The setting and the format will be informal with sunny, blue skies by day and stars by night. Other than the two dead oaks we removed, there are many healthy trees along the stream which runs through Dodona, and if the winter rains come, we might even have water in the stream. It’s beautiful, rolling country with some hills almost high enough to be called mountains. Mexico is less than an hour away. San Diego has a good airport and we can arrange to meet planes for the 30 mile trip to Dodona. We’re so close to cities for any shopping needs yet so remote in a little Shangri La valley that seems a million miles away from the smog, crime, and traffic gridlock of L.A. Come see us when you can!