Kepler habitable

Monday, January 30, 2012

Astrology, digital media, and 'doomsday'Phil Booth

On the eve of his first 'Astrology 101' webinar, famed Canadian astrologer, Phil Booth, shares with me his insights into the 2012 phenomenon, Barack Obama's birth chart, and why Don Cherry had better behave this spring.

Astrologer Phil Booth

Astrologer Phil Booth

Photograph by: Handout,

The Internet and the ‘2012’ phenomenon have conjointly caused a bit of a stir here on Earth – Google them and you'll find stories of cataclysms and the end of time. After hearing of the imminent 'end' a year ago, I lay awake at night agonizing over my lack of spacecraft and unsinkable ships I could use to survive the prophesied mass floods. Heck, I didn't even have a bike to escape with. What I did have was a hefty group of skeptical friends to calm me down by voicing their oppositions. But what if they were wrong? I turned to something I have sought affirmation from many times before: my horoscope.

Before you think I'm illogical, you should know that horoscopes are an extremely, if not the MOST popular incentive for readers on a daily basis – both online and in print. Horoscopes can be fluffed up with goofy predictions of luck and love for entertainment's sake but they're also a principal derivative of a much larger subject field, namely astrology.

Phil Booth, former resident astrologer of BBC Radio South and ‘The Toronto Star,’ and the stargazer behind, sat down with me to explain why astrology applies to our modern world, and how digital media can help with that.

What's the difference between a psychic and an astrologer? I feel they're often confused for one another.

That's something that always causes me grief and anxiety because astrology is such a deep subject. It's scientific because you're looking at certain planetary configurations that existed at a particular time, like an earthquake, and utilizing it to predict future occurrences. Psychics can connect with spirits, like they did in ancient times. When you read Homer and 'The Iliad,' Odysseus ended up in Hades where the dead reside and he was talking to them. That's a whole other story.

But you're not a psychic.

I'm not a psychic, but I am intuitive. Intuition is when you get a feeling that a thought you're having, or something you're saying, is coming from somewhere else. A statue of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh often has an eagle enveloping his crown. The eagle represents the notion that his intuition is coming from somewhere else — in ancient times they communicated everything in symbolic form. It sounds a bit strange, but sometimes you have to make a certain leap of faith to understand that there are connections in our human experience that link up with our other planetary alignments.

Other civilizations knew that too, right?

Of course! The Mayans weren’t just studying astronomy; they were investing their minds in astrology too. They were interested in knowing the meaning of light, and what the purpose of life is. Today, we’ve sort of lost our sense of purpose. Why do we exist? What are we doing here, and where is it all going? The ancients had deeper meaning than we do – we’ve gotten so cerebral that we’ve lost connection with instinct.

In ancient times, they used astrology in a very spiritual sense, in a metaphysical sense, to understand the meaning of life and where we’re going. That’s why I study astrology as well. When I look at what the planets are doing now, I’m really working on where humanity is going, where civilization is going.

Are the planets doing something differently these days? Because it seems to be that Earth is suffering more floods, tornadoes and earthquakes than it used to.

Some people don’t like to think so, but I do. I was debating this topic over dinner with a friend who claims that natural disasters are occurring at the same rate they always have. I disagree – there’s already been a tornado and two earthquakes today, and I can see their cause in the planets. I see a link-up between three major planets: Uranus is on one end of the sky, Saturn is on the other, and Pluto is sitting in the centre above them to form the shape of an upside-down ‘T’. That’s a strong configuration and may be to blame. Also, the galactic centre is currently very active at 26 or 27 degrees Sagittarius. It might sound strange to someone in the sciences, though not the young guys – they’re a little more open to belief.

What about the San Andreas Fault along the coasts of British Columbia south to California – aren’t its shift and subsequent earthquake long overdue, and when do you see them happening?

I have friends and family in both locations and, if I knew the date of “The Big One” with absolute certainty, I would make an announcement. Because I’m not absolutely certain, there’s no point in scaring everybody. Let’s just say this: if I were asked to go to Vancouver for business, I would go. If I was there and I sensed something in the planets, I hope I would have the intuition to hop in a helicopter and get out!

Prior to the internet and your daily horoscopes on, would people come see you frequently in-person?

I didn’t actually start studying astrology until 1994. I was playing tennis with my girlfriend at 4:30 p.m. on July 14th – the same day that the Shoemaker-Levy comet was breaking into little pieces – and snapped my Achilles tendon. It happened at the precise moment astronomers announced a piece of the Shoemaker-Levy comet had struck Jupiter. I remember being acutely aware of this coincidence. Since I had a long year of recovery ahead of me, I decided to spend my time learning everything there was to know about astrology.

I studied in London, England and over the course of a few years, my career moved quite quickly. I was on the BBC and had been invited to make predictions on a few reality shows, including ‘Big Brother,’ but I had come back to Canada by that time.

The Internet was still a fledgling thing, but I bought my first computer and software system in 1996. Before then, I saw fewer clients because I had to draw everything by hand and it would take forever.

What do you mean by ‘drawing everything’?

It’s what we call a chart wheel, which illustrates the planetary alignments according to when you’re born, where you’re born, your name, sex, everything.

When I was on ‘The Hour’ with George Stroumboulopoulos, he asked me to do a prediction for Don Cherry in the year ahead. I didn’t have the exact time Don was born but I reckoned he may see a little trouble in May or June for calling guys “pukes” last spring. I recommended Ron MacLean keep a close eye on him this spring.

I can be a little more precise with Barack Obama’s chart because American birth certificates have time of birth printed directly onto them. The President is a Leo and home is very important to him. Obama’s rising sign is Aquarius so he’s very friendly with mass appeal, and he’s a disciplinarian. He has a sharp angle in his chart, though, which indicates unsettled qualities to that person’s origin. With Obama, that may reference his abandonment by his father.

You’re hosting a free webinar this Friday, January 27th at 7pm EST. What can people expect by tuning in?

I’ll be teaching an introduction to astrology. What I’d really like to do is spread the general knowledge on the subject to educate people, and show how man used to connect with nature and their intuition. Most people think of newspaper horoscopes when they think of astrology, and I’d like to show them the discipline itself runs much deeper than that.

Do you have one key message or thought to carry with us throughout 2012?

This year is a major turning point, and we’re really going to know it by the time this year is over. The most important thing is to focus on everything you love in life – family, friends – and put grievances aside. Don’t indulge in anger if something’s really bothering you, sort it out. Just focus on all the beautiful, wonderful things in life. I realize it sounds gushy, but this approach will help you sort through all the year’s changes.

You can register for Phil Booth’s first free webinar on January 27th, 2012 7:00 p.m. EST at To book a private reading in person or online, email

Read more:

Italy's North still trembles, shaken with a magnitude of 5.4 | The Universal News

It ‘a magnitude 5.4 and occurred about 60 km depth, according to preliminary estimates from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) recorded the earthquake in the province of Parma, in the Cornwall and Berceto. ‘ll earthquake occurred in an area where earthquakes are very deep, up to 70 km, occurred in the past. Experts say an earthquake INGV so deep is easily felt in a wide area.

It ‘was distinctly felt throughout northern Italy.

SOME OFFICES IN MILAN EVACUATION – Evacuated some offices in Milan, where it is automatically tripped the security plan developed by the firms after the earthquake. Firefighters are not evacuations of schools still open in the afternoon (especially pre-schools), but do not exclude that institutions have decided on their own. In the province in Garbagnate Milanese is a nursery school was evacuated for cracks in a wall. Many calls to the fire department for information on the magnitude of the quake.

Liguria: PLENTY OF FEAR, BUT NO DAMAGE REPORTED – So afraid, in Liguria, where shortly after 15:50 was felt a violent shock of an earthquake. Hundreds of phone calls to firefighters and policemen of citizens alarmed. At present, however, are not reported damage to persons or property.

CIVIL PROTECTION ER, NO DAMAGE REPORT – “No damage reported, on the basis of the first tests we did with the fire department and local authorities.” The engineer said Demetrio Egidi, Head of Civil Protection of Emilia Romagna. The epicenter of the quake with a magnitude of 5.4 – reiterated Egidi – was recognized in Cornwall, Monchio Berceto and the Courts, in Parma. “The great depth of the quake, 60.8 km, has meant that it was spread over a wide area, softening the force of the earthquake,” said the head of the regional civil protection.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow over the Sahara Desert

Extraordinary! This is an exceptional event that occurred Tuesday, January 18, 2012.

The Sahara, largest desert in the world, an area where temperatures sometimes approaching 50 degrees Celsius in the shade, has undergone significant snowfall in the region of Bechar, in west-central Algeria, near the Moroccan border. . Surreal scenes of palm trees that face the winds similar to those of Siberia or Eastern-like landscape of ski resorts.
A rare phenomenon but which turns out to be great news for residents, as explained in the website EMarrakech.. Indeed, the white coat who has invested the dunes will be beneficial to groundwater necessary for the culture of the oasis.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Is 2012 REALLY The "DOOMSDAY" Year? Mayan Calendars, Prophecy and the Bible (REDUX) - YouTube

Is 2012 REALLY The "DOOMSDAY" Year? Mayan Calendars, Prophecy and the Bible (REDUX) - YouTube: ""

'via Blog this'

2012 Pictures: 6 Maya Apocalypse Myths Debunked

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Deadly floods rupture dam in Brazilian town - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state has placed emergency teams on maximum alert as heavy rains that have displaced 35,000 residents were forecast to continue, reviving fears of mudslides and flooding that killed about 900 people early last year.

Residents scrambled to gather their belongings and flee in the Tres Vendas district of Campos de Goytacazes in the north of the state, after a small dam ruptured, sending water rushing through the streets.

Meanwhile, local media reported eight people had died by Thursday after floods in neighbouring Minas Gerais state, with 87 towns there declared a states of emergency.

A pensioner was also reported to have been killed while trying to save personal belongings in one flooded town in northeastern Rio de Janeiro.

Emergency workers said more than 1,000 families from Tres Vendas had been evacuated to shelters.

"We're trying to put up stone barriers to prevent the water advancing but it's difficult," Rosinha Garotinho, prefect of Campos and a former state governor, said.

Flooding killed 900 people and destroyed more than 31,000 homes in Brazil in early 2011

She said there was no immediate risk of flooding in other districts of Campos.

Rio governor Sergio Cabral said the maximum alert, which requires emergency teams to intensify preparations, was focused on vulnerable towns in the north and northeast of the state as well as the Serrana region 97km north of the capital.

A year ago, heavy rain caused mudslides in the Serrana region that killed around 900 people, many of whom were asleep when rivers of mud buried them in their homes.

Photographs of the ruptured dam in Tres Vendas showed muddy water rushing through a gap in the dam about the width of three cars.

"Now, about 40 per cent of the streets [of Tres Vendas] are engulfed in water and we expect it will reach them all," said Major Edison Pessanha of the Civil Defence authority, according to a local government website.

Campos de Goytacazes, located about 280km north of Rio de Janeiro, is adjacent to the offshore Campos Basin from where about 80 per cent of Brazil's oil is pumped.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Doomsday Predictions: How Will the World End Next Year? - International Business Times

If doomsday soothsayers are to be believed, the world has less than a year to exist because everything's going to end on December 21, 2012.

There are many theories floating around the Internet about how the world will end next year. The most popular being the Mayan prediction from 1,300 years ago. According to the Mayan Long Count Calendar, December 21, 2012 will mark the end of a b'ak'tun, a 144,000-day cycle. The b'ak'tun that will end on December 21 is the 13th cycle, a number that started all the apocalypse predictions. The truth is that the Mayan never predicted any cataclysms. The end of the Long Count calendar was just a measure of time for the ancient Mayan. It was Franciscan missionaries who actually attached the end of the world myth to the end of the 13th b'ak'tun.

Another doomsday scenario for 2012 is that a supervolcano will erupt to kill off all life on the planet. Supervolcanoes are capable of spewing out thousands of times more magma and ash than regular volcanoes. A supervolcano eruption could wipe out millions of people and blot out the sun with ash. The largest supervolcano explosion happened 74,000 years ago in Sumatra. The explosion of Mount Toba released 700 cubic miles of magma and a thick layer of ash that covered all of South Asia. There are a dozen supervolcanoes today, most of them lying at the bottom of the sea but researchers agree that chances of a super-eruption happening next year are miniscule. Geologists think there is a super-eruption every 700,000 years or so and there is no sign that a super-eruption is going to happen anytime soon.

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Most popular doomsday scenarios involve astronomical phenomenon. The theories are getting so prevalent that NASAhas been spending a lot of time debunking them and assuring the public that a rogue planet, a black hole and a supernova isn't going to smash our planet into smithereens. One theory has a mysterious Planet X or Nibiru crashing into Earth in 2012. That's one theory that was easily disproven because Nibiru doesn't exist. NASA would have seen that planet years ago. Likewise there is absolutely no chance that a cosmic alignment between the Earth, the Sun, the Milky Way's black hole and the dark cosmic dust will send the Earth into the black hole. The galactic center is 165 quadrillion miles from the Milky Way's black hole much too far for Earth to travel.

As for a supernova exploding next December? Not a chance. Francis Reddy of NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center said on Friday that there is no threatening star close enough to hurt Earth.

"Astronomers estimate that, on average, about one or two supernovae explode each century in our galaxy," says Reddy. "But for Earth's ozone layer to experience damage from a supernova, the blast must occur less than 50 light-years away."

One doomsday theory that's somehow rooted in science involves our solar system's Sun. Doomsday theorists are saying that a massive solar flare will burn Earth next year.

While it's true that the Sun will experience more solar flares in 2012 to 2013 it doesn't necessarily mean that the Apocalypse is upon us. The Sun naturally goes through 11-year cycles of activity and non-activity. The upcoming maximum peak is expected to occur in 2013 but it doesn't mean that solar storms will mean the end of all life on Earth. Humans should be concerned about solar storms because they can disrupt electronics on the planet but industries can prepare for them and government agencies can predict these storms' coming.

Another doomsday theory is the magnetic pole reversal theory. Believers think that the Earth's magnetic field will switch next year to destroy life on the planet by dropping the magnetic-field barrier and exposing life to dangerous radiation from space. According to NASA the planet has survived magnetic field reversals before without a scratch. The flips happen every 200,000 to 300,000 years and they occur over hundreds of thousands of years not in one year.

In the end doomsday scenarios are just theories. 2012 will come and go and end-of-the-world believers will have to think up new ways the world can end in 2013