El Niño came and is still hanging on. Though the Los Angeles house and the retreat center here east of San Diego were never in any danger, the rains forced some expensive repairs. In L.A., the plumbing line from the house to the sewer had to be replaced at a cost of over $6,000, while at Dodona, a huge oak tree fell on the water pipe from the pump to the storage tank, breaking the pipe in three places. After three days without water, the tree was cut up and the line repaired for another $1000 plus. Our church has never had a policy of asking for public donations, but if any of our readers are moved to offer a tax-deductible donation, we would be grateful.
The rains have saved considerable time as well as the electricity to run the pump since we have not needed to water the orchard, and the countryside is green and gorgeous. I have been traveling as usual, including Hawaii in January, a Caribbean cruise to see the total eclipse in February, and lectures in Houston, San Diego, and Laguna Beach in March. April brings the Council Grove Conference in KS, UAC is in Atlanta, GA in May, and immediately after UAC, I will be attending a non-astrological conference in Charlottesville, VA. The latter is sponsored by an organization in northern CA which investigates borderline areas including UFOs, psychic research, spiritual healing, etc. After it, I will be staying a few days longer in Charlottesville to lecture and do charts, and then going to Roanoke, VA to do the same with one of our ministers—Barbara Taylor, who is now Barbara Haugen. If anyone in VA is interested in getting more information, write or e-mail me for phone numbers to contact. For those with e-mail, Barbara can be reached at Chiron107@aol.com.
Maritha was on the cruise with me, as well as one of our subscribers who was met originally through the Internet. It was fun with lectures by astronomers, an expert photographer, a weather forecaster, etc. A crew from BBC in England made a video of the eclipse and the shipboard activities which featured Patrick Moore, the English TV host of a long-running program on astronomy. Unfortunately, Moore is very hostile toward astrology, attacking it more than once as a baseless superstition. Another of the lecturers was much more gracious, and I had a chance to chat with him several times. Anthony Aveni is a professor of astronomy and anthropology who was a leader in founding the new discipline called archaeoastronomy which studies the astronomical/astrological beliefs of ancient and primitive cultures. I already had one of his books and bought two more in which he talked about the “death” of astrology. I showed him the huge book which Mark edited and ISAR published on research methods for modern astrologers and gave Aveni a copy of my latest Book of Saturn to demonstrate that astrology was not dead. He was impressed by Mark’s book and said that he would read mine when he had time.
I hope that all of our scattered reader-friends are doing well.