sustainable works

anonymous asked:

do you have any advice for a comrade who might be having emotional troubles but still wants to do organizing? in this case would putting oneself first, over the masses, be acceptable?

The main thing i’ll say is that these two aspects—your own health vs. political work—are not actually opposed or mutually exclusive, or at least they shouldn’t be.

On one hand if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you can’t effectively contribute to political work. I know from experience that it’s possible to dedicate yourself really heavily to political tasks and have this dominate your life to such an extent that you burn out. If you work really hard at the expense of your own health and burn out like that, in the long run you are actually limiting your ability to do continued political work. So addressing your own health is important. The short of it is: better to do a reasonable amount of work sustainably over a long time than to do a ton of work in a very short period and jeopardize your ability to do work at all down the road.

On the other hand, participating in political work is a means to improve one’s health in many ways. I can guarantee that doing something you think is meaningful will improve your mental health, while remaining isolated from communities which can make you feel welcome and to which you feel you are making a positive contribution certainly cannot help. Speaking as someone who has experienced severe depression and anxiety for most of my life, i can say that participating in politics has been a huge benefit for me and, while it certainly hasn’t (and really can’t) “cure” my depression, it has provided me with a sense of place and it motivates me to keep going on when things are really tough. Belonging to something and feeling like what you’re doing is important is, well, very important. Additionally, through political activity it’s possible to build robust support systems which will most likely exceed what you could do through “self care.”

I’m not saying it’s trivial to just “go out there and do political work.” In the first place, it is in large part the responsibility of communist orgs to structure themselves in a way in which people with health problems of various sorts, including mental health problems (and really, there are a lot of people who struggle with these things in communist orgs; is that really surprising?), feel that they can indeed meaningfully contribute and that they’re welcome, while also feeling comfortable expressing the things they struggle and need help with. Even though there are a lot of people with these sorts of health struggles in communist organizing, somehow the structure of a lot of communist orgs doesn’t really accommodate them a lot of the time, and that’s something that needs to change. 

Also, on your end, i know that when one is struggling emotionally, it can seem really daunting to do much of anything. But taking “baby steps” really works. Break down your political goals into very small tasks, and if you fail them, break them down even further. I remember when i was at one of my lowest points, my goals were things like “take a shower.” That’s fine, as long as you have some sort of idea of where you want to go and how these small steps tie into that larger goal. You will make progress and eventually you will get to where you’re going, even if it’s slow.

This is pretty scattered but i hope it kind of helps. The general point is that minding your own health and doing political work can and should be mutually reinforcing aspects of your life and in my view it doesn’t make sense to treat things as a matter of choosing one or the other.

Tornado Recovery Underway at Michoud Assembly Facility

Teams at our Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans worked overnight and are continuing Wednesday with assessment and recovery efforts following a tornado strike at the facility Tuesday at 11:25 a.m. CST. All 3,500 employees at the facility have been accounted for, with five sustaining minor injuries.

Teams worked through the night on temporary repairs to secure the perimeter fencing and provide access for the essential personnel through the main gate. Approximately 40 to 50 percent of the buildings at Michoud have some kind of damage; about five buildings have some form of severe damage.

Approximately 200 parked cars were damaged, and there was damage to roads and other areas near Michoud.

“The entire NASA family pulls together during good times and bad, and the teams at the Michoud Assembly Facility are working diligently to recover from the severe weather that swept through New Orleans Tuesday and damaged the facility,” said acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot. “We are thankful for the safety of all the NASA employees and workers of onsite tenant organizations, and we are inspired by the resilience of Michoud as we continue to assess the facility’s status.”

Teams will reassess the condition of the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC), as the initial examination revealed some electrical damage to its substation. The VAC is used to weld all major pieces of hardware for the core stage of the Space Launch System. The most recently welded part was removed from the facility last week.

The team has prioritized completing the assessment at the site’s main manufacturing building for the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft flight hardware so power can be restored in phases and temporary protection put in place to shield hardware from any further inclement weather.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Thoughts from London 22/03/17

It is with a sad heart that I note my home, the beautiful and multicultural city of London has fallen under terrorist attack again, at the home of our democracy. Four people are dead, over 20 injured. Many with catastrophic injures. One of the deceased is the attacker, another is a police officer.

My doctor, nurse and paramedic colleagues at Tommies’ are both under lockdown and treating the casualties, number unknown. They are from all walks of life and ethnicities, and embody the best of Brutush spirit. My thoughts are with them as they fight to save lives. Friends, may your jearts and minds sustain you through your work today.

The chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctor Committee, Jeeves Wijesuriya, was at parliament giving a speech, and was able to assist at the frontline. I know that a lot of passers by from all walks of life helped.

My friends in the civil service are under lockdown. My friends in the Met police are waiting to hear if the police officer fatally injured is a personal friend. This attack touches us all.

We are shocked. But we stand together; London is a diverse city united by friendships spanning many faiths and cultures. We have been under attack before, and we may be again. But if we look after each other, and refuse to be ruled by hate, we will emerge again.

I know the coming days will be tough, particularity for the victims and their families. But also for the immigrant communities, and I fear, especially for the Muslim communities, if it turns out to have been Islamic extremism. Right now, we know nothing about the motivations. But I fear the anger that may be directed at innocent Muslims, and our Muslim friends deserve our full support during this time. As a Londoner I stand with you; you are one of us and we will stand together against this.

We cannot fight hate by hating innocent people. We have to stick together.

harry potter au part 2 aka flirty duelling boyfriends

Jack had laughed out loud when the sign had appeared. Boys and girls are not permitted to be within eight inches of each other. Davey had laughed too, a little nervously, even when Jack had reached under his cloak and squeezed his ass. The decrees were funny because they were ridiculous, but they still signalled something disturbing. Like, yeah it was funny that she was only policing the straight kids, but she shouldn’t be trying to police anyone at all.

He spoke quietly to Jack on their way out of a Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson.

‘It feels like they’re trying to keep us weak and unprepared.’ He unconsciously found Jack’s hand and squeezed it tight as they walked. ‘We all know that something bad is about to happen and they’re not even letting us feel safe.’

‘You sure it’s not just grandma being old fashioned?’

‘She’s from the ministry. It can’t be a coincidence.’

‘Maybe they’re just underestimating us.’

‘I hope so.’

Keep reading

our wounds will scar.

Awee I went to pick up shampoo and visit the salon I used to work at and everyone was so sweet and excited to see me!! They even gave me the discount still! And one of the regulars was there and complimented me plus Alison asked me to come back again 😭 I was telling her how I’m slowly working on my g2 and will come more often once I have it then she got so excited and was like you can work some shifts! Maybe every other Saturday or if Jen wants a day off and went on and on about it and how she’ll call me ahah it was so cute 🙈💞

Falling in love was simple; one had only to yield. Digesting another person, however, and sustaining love, was bloody work, and not a soft job.
Grassroots campaign shuts down far right art gallery!

The Shut Down LD50 campaign can happily disclose that the landlord of the LD50 Gallery has asked the tenants, Lucia Diego and Alexander Moss, to vacate the premises. The gallery sign has been taken down from the building at 2–4 Tottenham Road, Dalston, London, and there is no indication that any future events will be taking place in the space. As of April there will no longer be a racist cultural centre operating in Hackney.

Shutting down the gallery is the result of sustained campaign work by many political and community groups, Hackney residents, cultural workers and journalists. We thank everyone involved for their dedication. At the same time we have to recognise that this is only a first step. More needs to be done both to prevent LD50 and its organisers from restarting their project elsewhere, and more generally to ensure that our communities and cultural institutions are kept free of the influence of the far right.

We urge people inside and outside of the art world to refuse to work with Lucia Diego and Alexander Moss. They have actively supported the development of a fascist culture in London. The speakers they hosted often promote mass violence against oppressed peoples and political opponents. The LD50 representatives have done next to nothing to disassociate themselves from such views. There is every reason to believe that they will attempt to resume their public promotion of racist ideas if given the opportunity. Not giving fascism a platform or a voice is an effective non-violent means of stopping them.

It is also important to learn lessons from our activity up until now. As a loose affiliation of friends and associates the Shut Down LD50 Campaign worked collectively alongside established community groups. We have worked mostly anonymously in order to protect ourselves. This was especially necessary after Lucia Diego published the personal details of opponents for potential use by the online far- and alt-right (including open advocates of political murder). When we oppose fascists we need to protect ourselves from their tactics of intimidation.

We must continue to think about how to oppose racism and fascism more broadly. Whilst some of the events at LD50 were openly fascist, it is clear that the space also took inspiration from the more everyday forms of political authoritarianism that have proliferated during the last few years, including Trump. Shutting down fascists in the long term requires that we transform the culture in which they can begin to gain popular and institutional support (and the art world is not the neutral space it often believes itself to be). We need to be able to ask larger questions, such as how to oppose Britain’s own violent border regime.

One way is by working in and alongside the many groups who helped to support our campaign. All of these different organisations are doing exceptional work in the fight against racism, fascism and oppression. Their struggles are becoming increasingly necessary, and we encourage you to get involved with them. To that end, we include a list of groups who have supported us below.

Shut Down LD50

56a Infoshop, Anti-University, Artists For Palestine UK, Arts Against Cuts, Autonomous Centre Edinburgh, BARAC / Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, Base, BDZ Group / Boycott Zabludowicz, Black Lives Matter UK, Boycott Workfare, Cleaners and Allied International Workers Union, Cops Off Campus, Digs / Hackney Private Renters, Disabled People Against the Cuts, DIY Space for London, Goldsmiths UCU (University and College Union), Independent Workers Union of Great Britain,  Jewish Socialists’ Group, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, London Anti-Fascists, MayDay Rooms Staff Collective, Movement for Justice, Mute Magazine, Novara Media, PCS Union Culture Sector Group, Plan C London, Radical Housing Network, Roots Culture Identity Art Collective, Scottish Radical Library, Sisters Uncut North London, South London Solidarity Federation.

6 Books on Art and Food
A Shelfie from Alexandria Sivak, Senior Communications Specialist at the Getty Trust

Hi! My name is Alexandria Sivak, and I’m a senior communications specialist at the Getty. In addition to art history, my greatest passion is cooking, and I am always looking for ways in which the two intersect. Here are some of my favorite books that do just that.

1. The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals edited by Marcia Reed. (Getty Publications, 2015).

This book shows how food was used to created elaborate, edible works of art throughout history. I’m a huge fan of the Great British Bake-Off, and I think the challenges on that show reflect how we still strive to make food beautiful for celebrations.

 2. Bitters : A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons (Ten Speed Press, 2011).

I am always looking for books on the history of food, and the history of bitters is particularly fascinating. They were once believed to have medicinal properties, and are now seeing a resurgence in fancy cocktails. I just recently began drinking Fernet, which is a cousin of bitters, and equally um…bitter.

3. The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black (Getty Publications, 2012). 

One of my first assignments when I began working at the Getty was to write a post for the Getty Iris about a Gothic desserts cooking class. I remember thinking that medieval cooking was anything but ‘dark’—if you were wealthy, you were using exotic Silk Road ingredients in your sweets—like rosewater and saffron.  

4. The Modern Art Cookbook by Mary Ann Caws (Reaktion Books, 2013).

I find myself wondering what artists are munching on when they work—like, what was Picasso eating while painting Guernica? What sustained Rivera while he worked on those murals? This book answers some of those questions and has a ton of great recipes too!

5. Pizza: Seasonal Recipes from Rome’s Legendary Pizzarium by Gabriele Bonci (Rizzoli, 2013). 

When I recently visit the Vatican, I stopped by nearby Bonci, one of most well-known pizzarias in Italy. There’s something fantastic about walking through St. Peter’s with a belly full of pizza. I picked up this book while I was there—it gives away some of Bonci’s best recipes!

6. The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food from the Lost WPA Files by Mark Kurlansky (Riverhead Books, 2010).

During the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) tried to keep writers active by hiring them to write guidebooks for all 50 states. The “America Eats” project was an offshoot of that—it attempted to compile regional recipes from across the U.S. The project was abandoned, but Kurlansky has compiled all the unedited essays in this book, along with some rare photographs.

What’s stopping communism from becoming a dystopia like mad max?

when the people control the means of production … one person wont control the means of production … or in this case water… because the people will own the water, not individuals or corporations, the people will make sure all have access to goods, its also a socialization thing, we have to remind others that we can trust each other and have faith in each other and work towards sustainability and bettering the world for all.

capitalism has been really good at creating propaganda that you can’t trust other people. You can trust other people, most people care about others, people aren’t all these demons society makes us all out to be. most people care about others, they just believe that others do not care about them, or would not do the same for them

capitalism incentivizes distrust of other people. It’s good for the market to screw over other people and get the best deal at anothers expense. Communism wont function like this.

In communism we want all to be able to do what they can/like/are able to so we can make our planet the best it can be for all. Which is a goal of our species I believe, as we are social creatures, that’s why we’re so successful.

Again, we just need to give people more reason to have faith in each other, this heavily involves eliminating other forms of oppression to eliminate class dividers, so the classes can rise up against those with power over us that seek our demise.

And in communism, it is incentivized to stop people from fucking over others, it’s a completely different system. Communism flourishes when all are cared for and working at their full potential on what they love to do. Capitalism flourishes when humanity is enslaved to a fuckin corporate overlord, constantly not trusting each other making sure each is getting as much as they can at anothers expense because thats how they’ve been taught.

youtube

Well, I finally found the time to work on my shot for @gemanimate 2. The original shot had some pretty dramatic dialogue but visually I felt it was a little flat so I rejigged it a little to be a bit more “cinematic”. 

While I was working on this today I got given 2 weeks notice by the studio that employs me, after almost 3 years of service to them and spending thousands of my own dollars to be able to leave Canada and come back to continue working for them on a new VISA. Sounds like its because they cant find enough work to sustain my role (I cant legally work on Canadian productions on my VISA due to how the tax credits system works) Getting this animation done feels pretty bitter sweet. If anyone is looking for commissions etc I am opening myself up to try to save the money in the next few months I need in order to ship myself and all my equipment back to Australia. <3

3

Belatedly doing a little happy post, so that I will have produced something even if my writing mojo has currently… fucked completely off. (For real, if you see it, plz let me know where, because I would like to club it over the head and drag it back to my cave.)

So, here are a few pictures I took at the Tucson edition of the March for Science, yesterday. Because of prohibitive costs for barricades, insurance, etc., it was actually a rally rather than a march, but still, about 2500 people turned out to El Presidio in artistically decorated lab coats and homemade t-shirts, holding hand-drawn signs, little kids running around, dogs everywhere. It was 95 degrees in the middle of the day (that’s 35 C, for you non-Yankees), and people were still cheerily chatting and taking pictures of each other, going from booth to booth and learning about sustainable gardening, pledging to vote, meeting like-minded people. There were a few people out there primarily for the hate (not a few references to the Combover in Chief were present), but for the most part, people were just… nice. Maybe not the biggest event ever, but a nice one. Plus, a lady from the Sonoran Desert Museum gave me a free packet of seeds to plant to help sustain bees and butterflies. :)

anonymous asked:

I'm sorry for the lightweight question, but this keeps coming up in my mind: the material I've read here establishes how life necessities and society-wide division of labor should be changed for the betterment of all, and I know that's most important, but how would current "luxury items" exist in that better society? Like, how would it be determined who would get the latest Playstation console, or be able to support several large pets, or have a large shoe collection, etc?

luxury items would no longer exist. luxury is only defined at the expense of the exploited. and with enough technological advancements and moves for sustainability … people could have pretty large shoe collections if they really wanted to … they could even learn how to make shoes, and due to having access to the means of production they could… produce their own shoes lmao all people would have more access to goods. 

of course the key word is sustainability, so many items will have to disappear entirely, such as oil, but even the richest of the future will not be able to afford that which does not exist so like we’re going to have to phase those out anyway, even for the multibillionaires … because it straight up isn’t sustainable and wont exist forever anyway.

Once we start making everything sustainable there wont really be a question of how to allocate things. and with greater access to education, and the elimination of GPAs hindering academic growth, more people will be able to work on solving these problems, opening up new goods and services to all of the world. 

We would finally be able to allocate more resources to working towards sustainability, as that would become the goal of the world, instead of amassing as much wealth as possible [which is pretty opposite to sustainability, as its more profitable to be unsustainable, as more scarcity = more cost associated with it generally] for instance we would have more incentive to make things last for as long as possible, rather than make things break down easily so others will continue to buy it creating more wealth for the producer but causing waste etc.

Again, it all comes down to our work on sustainability, which must be solved even today, so like eliminating unsustainable goods only makes people work harder towards creating sustainable goods all can partake in if they so please.

AUXILIARY FUNCTIONS APPRECIATION

I am forever thankful for many of the manifestations of auxiliary functions! Despite not being as ‘developed’ or ‘mature’ as dominant ones, they tend to be the ones that save the day for me. Whether it is so that someone can pull themselves out of the infamous loop between dominant and tertiary functions acting overwhelmingly unbalanced or for helping someone out of other suffocating and drowning situations. It’s said that we turn to the auxiliary function to assist ourselves and others in times of trouble (as the name suggests) and, while not limited to functions in this position, this is very much true in some cases and you can see it in a distinctive manner.

So here’s what I appreciate about all the auxiliary functions when they are acting in healthy integration and moderation.

Auxiliary Se in ISPs
You’re the easy and quick to install reality-check patch. Along with getting us back to our senses, you equip us with “It is what it is” kits that allow us to face things as they are so that we can then better decide what can be done about them or if something even must be done about them instead of just letting them be and/or letting them go. You can be a daredevil, but also the epitome of chill and taking it as it comes.

Auxiliary Si in ESJs
Somebody has to be the responsible one while everybody else is acting crazy, and that’s usually you. You make sure to have all you need to proceed properly and with caution, ensuring the best you can that all relevant details have been taken care of to sustain what is being worked toward. This might make you undesirably uptight and restrictive to many, but often it shows in the results that it was worth it.

Auxiliary Ne in INPs
When everything seems dull and all done and over with, you’re the one to turn to for fresh and alternative ways to look at things and to reveal more of all that’s astonishing (or simply humorous). Or you just distract us with ‘pointless’ pursuits that are a ‘waste of time’ but ultimately broaden our understanding and keep us from being ignorant and in the dark.

Auxiliary Ni in ENJs
Personally, I feel so validated by you when, while being a more worldly person, you acknowledge the ‘otherworldly.’ How you connect the dots and pick up patterns from all your experiences is quite educational and gives a sense of divine order and purpose. You can step up and see above the mess and that in itself is enough to make matters more manageable. Also, being far-sighted means you can see beyond and break out of fruitless cycles.

Auxiliary Te in ITJs
“That doesn’t even make sense!” You look for effective solutions and are baffled by nonsense - especially when it only serves to be counterproductive. When you take the time, you can simplify and instruct in a manner that is easily grasped and to the point. What seems to you as obvious and appropriate to mention, often turns out to be a brutal truth or an address of the elephant in the room. And we’d be doomed without this at least every once in a while.

Auxiliary Ti in ETPs
When you’re not justifying or excusing unnecessarily disrespectful and unorthodox ideas or behaviors, you’re helping explain why and how novel ways of seeing and doing things make much more sense than established or previous ones. You often have much to go off from to debate and make valid points while being simultaneously entertaining and interesting. Learning with you is an exciting journey.

Auxiliary Fe in IFJs
You’re the reader and interpreter of broken families (figuratively or literally speaking) and would make it your mission to remedy them. When you can justly stand and strive for yourself and for others, rather than allowing yourself to be superficial or malleable, you are able to give each and all what they need for their appropriate nourishment (whether that includes union or separation) and nurture them into more humane individuals or groups. You take people’s concerns into account when others wouldn’t.

Auxiliary Fi in EFPs
Indulge, indulge, indulge. This can be too much to some (like me), but can make you a good - or even a great - host for certain occasions (if not only an extravagant one). You’d also say and fully stand behind, “Why wait for others to make you happy when you can make yourself happy!” You celebrate people for who they are, believing “It’d be boring if we were all the same.” And often this means you’ll gladly cheer for everyone’s best qualities and personal fulfillment.

Transiting Sun enters Pisces

February 18 - March 20, 2017

“The best way to view the transits of the Sun is to think of them as a big, celestial searchlight. It plays a hyperintense beam of self-awareness over us, cutting through the overlapping webs of planetary trigger points spread throughout the chart. Whatever part of the mind it hits is temporarily centralized in the ego, occupying our attention and centralizing its needs. With solar transits, ego plays its hand, for better or worse.” – The Changing Sky, Steven Forrest

Through the filter of Pisces, the solar searchlight is a little hazy and out of focus. With little effort, our imaginations run wild, creating this or that scenario which may or may not have anything to do with reality.

I really like this representation of the constellation Pisces:


You can see easily that the two fish, though tied together by their tails, are headed in different directions - not opposites. One fish remains more or less aligned on the “path” made by the Zodiac, while the other is trying to leap free of the whole thing. That’s our first clue about any Pisces transit: there are things you can see easily, on the surface; and there are things you’ll discover only when you look beyond that surface.

Pisceans are notorious for their tendency to drift through life; a better way to channel that wafting energy is to put a little more conscious awareness into going with the flow. We’re very sensitive to all the different currents and undercurrents - and sometimes that’s too much to cope with, too overwhelming. Another less happy Piscean trait is escapism, be it via pharmaceuticals, the idiot box, or your poison of choice.

With practice and with faith, though, we can eventually become experts at navigation. We can anticipate not only problems, but possibilities. It isn’t yet time to act on these problems and possibilities - that’s Aries’ department - so use this month to prepare for that burst of energy next March.

Celebrities with Sun in Pisces
Albert Einstein, Rihanna, Alan Rickman, Steve Jobs, Elizabeth Taylor, Adam Levine, George Harrison, Brian Jones, Drew Barrymore, Edgar Cayce, Daniel Craig, Nicolaus Copernicus, Oscar Isaac, Frederic Chopin, Johnny Cash, Kesha, Michelangelo, George Washington, Emily Blunt, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Isabelle Huppert, Erykah Badu, Nina Simone, Queen Latifah, Galileo Gallilei, Bobby Fischer

NB: for the time period February 20-25, the Sun/Pisces will be annoying the Cardinal Grand Cross. Please see this blog post for more information.

Tuesday, February 21, North Node/Virgo opposite Sun/Pisces, South Node/Pisces conjunct Sun/Pisces, 3:28

If the North Node symbolizes our path for growth, then the Sun conjunct the South Node is literally the furthest away from the path that is possible. As it’s the first major aspect the Sun makes, it sets the tone for the entire Sun-through-Pisces. Rather than giving up just as we’re getting started, we need to keep our ultimate North Node goals in mind (becoming more effective and sustainable) and commit to working toward them.

Planets/Points affected lie between 2:28 and 4:28 of the signs Taurus, Gemini*, Cancer, Virgo*, Scorpio, Sagittarius*, Capricorn, and Pisces.

Wednesday, February 23, Ceres/Taurus sextile Sun/Pisces, 5:50
Thursday, February 24, Juno/Capricorn sextile Sun/Pisces, 6:19

Quite down-to-earth, practical, and indeed a natural reaction to the previous aspect. We find it very easy to establish basic domestic routines which are healthy and emotionally supportive. Keeping life as simple and realistic as we can manage will have a tremendously stabilizing influence - sorely needed.

Planets/Points affected lie between 4:50 and 7:19 of the yin signs Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces.

Wednesday, March 1, Neptune/Pisces conjunct Sun/Pisces, 11:42

This can be confusing, delusionary, inspirational, otherworldly, impressionable, and psychic - all at once. It will be almost impossible to avoid, or evade, the overall Pisces vibe of the day; if you have anything important within range, and especially in the mutable signs, you may not like this. Or be particularly susceptible to it. Or both. Basically, it’s a great day to be a space cadet!

Planets/Points affected lie between 10:42 and 12:42 of the signs Taurus, Gemini*, Cancer, Virgo*, Scorpio, Sagittarius*, Capricorn, and Pisces.

Monday, March 6, Mercury/Pisces conjunct Sun/Pisces, 16:37

This is the “superior conjunction” of the Sun and Mercury. The little planet is at its top apparent speed, and is on the other side of the Sun from the Earth - in other words, it’s a “Full Mercury” time. We struggle to keep our minds as objective as possible, while reflecting (“Full Mercury”) on what has happened to us. In Pisces this could be difficult because of the innate Piscean being diffusive, nebulous, and vacillating. It may be time to let the right brain take over the mental processing, today.

Planets/Points affected lie between 15:37 and 17:37 of the signs Taurus, Gemini*, Cancer, Virgo*, Scorpio, Sagittarius*, Capricorn, and Pisces.

Thursday, March 9, Pluto/Capricorn sextile Sun/Pisces, 18:57

Pluto loves to plot, and Capricorn gives it an appreciation of structure and of the long-term. This sextile will bring opportunities to reach your “effective sustainability” goals, or whatever goals you have in mind. There’s real staying power. What the Sun in Pisces brings is a certain flexibility and fluidity - if/when we encounter roadblocks, we’re able to sail right around/through them.

Planets/Points affected lie between 17:57 and 19:56 of the yin signs Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces.

Friday, March 10, Vesta/Cancer trine Sun/Pisces, 20:09

This can be a very beautiful aspect of self-integration and self-identification. In water signs, however - well, remember that water has no shape of its own, but rather takes the shape of its container. We may be coming up with an “identity” that allows us to function in the world, with our real selves camouflaged, or sunk into deeper waters. We may be more concerned with “tribal” identity (Cancer) as a way to cope with the larger world (Pisces).

Planets/Points affected lie between 19:09 and 21:09 of the yin signs Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces.

Tuesday, March 14, Pallas/Pisces conjunct Sun/Pisces, 24:41;
Chiron/Pisces conjunct Sun/Pisces, 24:42

This is an impressive triple conjunction. The two mentioned above are exact within 11 minutes of each other, and the third one (Pallas conjunct Chiron) occurs less than half an hour later. In “The Mountain Astrologer,” Leah Whitehorse comments that this “spotlights (Sun) bridge-building (Chiron) and negotiation (Pallas) to transcend our differences and help us adapt to change. Healing becomes a creative process of self-illumination.” I would like to substitute “immanence” for “transcendence,” as you well know - it isn’t just healing (Chiron), but a genius idea (Pallas), to find everything we have in common with one another.

Planets/Points affected lie between 23:41and 25:42 of the signs Taurus, Gemini*, Cancer, Virgo*, Scorpio, Sagittarius*, Capricorn, and Pisces; and between 8:41 and 10:42 of the fixed signs Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius.

Friday, March 17, Saturn/Sagittarius square Sun/Pisces, 27:29

Here is the day that the idealistic plans you’ve made are challenged by “reality.” It’s a test of faith, primarily, but also of our flexibility and our compassion. Can we live up to our own hype? How do we work with/around “unreasonable” authority? There’s a chance that we meet the enemy at last, and he is us - how do we respond to that realization? It’s impractical to ignore reality, but it’s stupid to let reality excuse us from showing imagination and mercy.

Planets/Points affected lie between 26:29 and 28:29 of the mutable signs Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces; and between 11:29 and 13:29 of the fixed signs Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius.

anonymous asked:

would you recommend going for a PhD?

This is a big question, a tough one, and one that I can only answer based on my own experiences by encouraging anyone who is considering a PhD to ask themselves a series of smaller questions. These would include:

  • What do you want to do with your PhD? Teach? Research? Write? Work inside the academy, or outside? 
  • Depending on the answers to the previous question - how viable are careers in your field doing the thing you want to do? Increasingly, at least in the US, universities rely upon exploited contract labor (grad students and adjuncts) rather than tenure-track professors due to how much cheaper that labor is, so if your field doesn’t seem to have a lot of sustainable career paths open, you’ll want to at the very least have a backup plan or two. 
  • Do you love reading? Because that’s the thing grad school has been all about, in my experience. I’ve learned how to read a lot of very dense and complex material very quickly with an optimized level of comprehension, and I’ve learned through that reading how to write my own things that other scholars would want to read. In a humanities/social science program with a 3-course semester load, I’d say you should expect to read roughly 400 pages per week, plus any writing assignments responding to those readings your professors ask for. This does not include reading in preparation for seminar papers, which can add a whole heck of a lot more on your plate.
  • What motivates you? If it’s money, even in the long run, I cannot recommend a PhD program unless you’re going to be like, an economist or something. Lots of my colleagues are motivated by a love of learning and a genuine, persistent curiosity about their object of study. Lots of them are also motivated by a fervent belief that better scholarship can lead to better culture and politics, and that by doing what we do as both writers and teachers, we can change the world for the better. More than anything I’m in the latter camp, though I obviously have to be deeply intrigued by my research topic to sustain my work. 
  • What and who else do you need to consider in taking on the lifestyle of a PhD student? If you make any money at all through a teaching or research gig, you won’t be making much. You will work nearly all the time. You might end up moving across the country for jobs several times, sometimes to places that have nothing more than their local college/university. You will probably be cranky a decent amount of the time. You’ll need to travel for conferences and the like. If you have a partner or dependents or cannot/will not live in certain places or under circumstances, you should be up front with yourself and all invested parties in those things. If you have health - physical, mental, etc - needs to consider, these things shouldn’t be a barrier to your pursuit of academic degrees, but 1) sometimes will be on an institutional level because the academy is ableist as fuck and 2) are things to be thinking about before choosing a place to move to or a program of study. 
  • What will the financial situation be? I’m lucky enough to be in a program where I receive a full tuition remission and a teaching stipend - though I do only get paid my regular wage 9 months out of the year and still live below the poverty line, my livelihood is not in immediate danger should I not secure funding for the next semester. Usually tuition remissions are tied to paid positions, so if you’re not getting a stipend, you’re often also paying thousands of dollars to attend the University. Don’t do this for a PhD. I literally cannot think of a situation in which it would be worth it to pay 5-7 years of tuition for this degree. Any program worth its salt will pay you to be there.
  • What program will you attend, and who will you seek to work with there? I only applied to programs that I would’ve been thrilled to attend - which meant I only applied to three. Lots of people apply to closer to/over 10 programs, including ‘safety schools’ they believe they’re more likely to get into. For me, it was always more about getting to do the kind of work I want with the kind of mentors I was looking for than it was about getting a PhD at any cost. I chose a program where several faculty members would influence my work in ways that excite me (which turned out to be for the best, as my advisor left for another university in the middle of my program), so the entire intellectual community of my program is one that’s exciting and helpful for me and my work. If you have a way of getting this information, I also suggest you try to find out what kind of advisor your desired mentor is - I know that there are some scholars in my field who I would not have had a good time working with just because of personalities, and my happiness is something that’s important to me even as I slog through the work!
  • Are you okay feeling like you’ve put things on hold, in even just a small way, for 5-7 years? My colleagues and I are all committed to having as full lives as possible, with families and wide circles of friends and hobbies and other things we’re committed to, but all of that takes a lot of work. And even with those things, depending on what stage of life you’re at, there might be things that you find need to wait until you’re done or almost done - buying a house, having a baby, etc. etc.
  • Related to the last one: Where are you in life generally? I was just barely 22 when I started my program, only 3 months out of my undergraduate degree, where I’d lived in a house with a cook and a cleaning crew and, despite working very hard at my schoolwork and jobs, had not done a lot of the ‘grown up’ day-to-day life maintenance stuff myself. My first year in my program was so difficult because I was juggling learning how to be an adult with learning how to be a graduate student and learning how to be a teacher and learning the actual material of my courses. It was a lot, and I also gave up my young-20′s party girl lifestyle to move to a college town where I was closer in age to my students, but couldn’t go out without feeling anxious that I would run into one of them. In the end, this is what I needed - I grew up, and I figured out my mental health (in time), and I committed myself to the kind of politics and pedagogy and lifestyle that I had come to my program in search of - but this would’ve been a bad move for tons of other people. If you’re just finishing up undergrad, unless there is a particularly compelling reason to go straight through to the PhD (in my case I like to believe there was, though I’m not entirely certain how much of that is a rationalization I’ve built up for myself after the fact), I would not recommend starting a PhD right away. My friends and colleagues who took even just a year off seem to have had an infinitely easier time coming back and feeling good about the decision and being able to juggle it all.
  • And if you do decide to start a PhD, here’s what I think is one of the most important things to know - you probably will, and probably should, have at least one period of time where you question whether or not this is the right thing for you. I’d be concerned if a friend who had committed themself to the amount of work a PhD program throws on you never once had a moment of ‘dear jesus mary and joesph is this what i want to be doing for the rest of my life’ (because while it ends, in a certain sense, when you graduate, the life of an academic proceeds in similar ways for quite a long time from my understanding). I had two big moments like this in my life - and admittedly, one of them was on Election Night 2016 when the results became apparent, so that’s less related to my desire to do academic work and more related to what I thought the world needed from me moving forward. They were both important moments. You need to let yourself have them. And if the answer to the question “do I want to keep doing this” (not “am I cut out for this?” though, that’s a different question entirely that I ask myself most days) is a resounding ‘no,’ or even a whispered ‘no,’  you should take it seriously and figure out what it means to leave graduate school. Especially for PhD students, it’s hard to see leaving the academy as anything but giving up or a failure, but it’s literally not. The academy, by and large, is a horrible place. PhD programs, by and large, are peddling knowledge that will do little good to a lot of people and offers hardly any future job security in a lot of fields. Yes, it can be right for some folks depending on their wants/needs, but it doesn’t have to be right for everyone, and you can realize that at any time. 

SO YES, THIS IS A VERY LONG SET OF QUESTIONS AND THOUGHTS but that’s because taking on a PhD is a very big choice and commitment, at least for the time that you’re working on it. And the academy is exclusive and ableist and racist and sexist and homophobic and cissexist and classist as hell, and so especially for those of use who are women and lgbtq and have mental illnesses and/or disabilities and for those who are not white or citizens or American (presuming you’re considering the American academy, which is all I can really speak to despite the feeling that it’s no better in many other places), we need to think long and hard about whether putting ourselves in the position of being further exploited, further burdened, further beaten down is worth the end goal. I’m certainly hoping that it will be for me - I love the work I do, I love to teach, and I love the smart and compassionate colleagues I’m lucky enough to call friends. But it’s a big commitment, and so I hope you all take the time to think it through! I’m always happy to talk through it with you, so drop a line if you need!