August 15, 2010 2:14:00 AM
"When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars."
Many of us remember these lyrics from the late 1960s. The war in Vietnam was at its most violent point. Families were shattered by conflicting views on causes and patriotism. While the battles raged in Southeast Asia, at home, cities were exploding with anger and anarchy. We wanted so much to believe in the power of the planets. We wanted a real peace.
So, who could wait for "The Age of Aquarius" to begin? And, when does (or did) it begin? As it turns out, no one really knows. Astrologers put its start anywhere from 1844 to 1948. This means that the age of "harmony and understanding" began long before the start of the Vietnam War, perhaps even before both World Wars, The Civil War, and many, many others. So much for peace and love.
This week planets aligned, again. (Evidently, this is a common occurrence.) Venus, Saturn, Mars and the crescent moon all aligned in the western sky, with a fireworks finale of the Perseid Meteor Shower.
It''s hard not to feel that something of great significance is taking place when the night sky glistens with flashes and sparks. After all, the Three Wise Men followed only one star, and look what they discovered. These days, mystery and omens are a bit harder to come by. I suppose we will be forced to create our own "golden living dreams of visions."
Max''s Dog Days Concert Saturday night was a very good portent for our Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society. Five acts joined talents to raise funds for a new shelter. Dogs, and their owners, enjoyed a concert under the stars (and with the stars) for this noble cause.
Many Columbians are excited by the new Zaxby''s Restaurant being built on Highway 45, near Kroger and Dunkin'' Donuts. This is a promising omen for everyone -- except chickens.
Autumn in Columbus holds the potential of so many wonderful events. The Tennessee Williams Tribute, Fall Tour of Homes, and The Decorative Arts Forum, all bode well for a season of beauty and theatrical arts. I wonder if calling something the "Fall Tour" will guarantee cooler temperatures? Now, that''s a question for the soothsayers.
Last year, my friend, John, a retired science teacher, commented on the crush of acorns carpeting my porch and walkway. "We will have a very cold winter," he told me. "Nature is making lots of food for the squirrels." He was right, of course. Last winter was tough. And, as far as I know, the squirrels did not starve. John has a better record than the meteorologists.
That, I suppose, brings me back to the whole point of this column. Who can really predict the future? Do the signs mean anything at all? For the readers of crystal balls, and tarot cards, and bones, the accuracy is in the interpretation. It''s sort of like reading another language. Sometimes you get it right. Sometimes it''s just gibberish.
For now, I''ll study the sky over Mississippi for my "mind''s true liberation," and, I hope, find my own personal peace, love and psychic alignment.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.
4. A Microhistory of Religious Conflict BOOK REVIEWS