Jul 15 • 55M

Astrologers, Baptists, and biscuits

What do they have in common?*

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Anthropological considerations of the cosmos.
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Clouds in exoplanet giant gas planet, WASP 96-b’s atmosphere, orbiting a star 1,150 light-years away. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO

Vol. 2 episode 11

Greetings,

What do Baptists and astrologers have in common? You will have to listen to this episode to find out. Oh, how the plot here at Off the Charts! thickens.

Oh, okay, I’ll tell you. It’s story. A good Baptist preacher and a good astrologer, or the kind Elisabeth and I like anyway, know how to tell a good story. There is a plot line, a setting, a cast of characters, a conflict that must be overcome in order to grow and be at peace…and you can identify with the whole shebang. You can derive meaning from it. You can see how it instructs the way you matter to the world, in whatever way small or large.

Now, am I endorsing the Baptists? Not necessarily. But neither am I knocking them. There is nuance here, and for that, you will need to listen to this episode, since, naturally, I tell you a story of my summer among the Southern Baptists that helps flesh out my meaning.

Story is the gateway and substation for how we can approach what is real and enduring in our world. For me, this is Nature. For some, such as the Baptists, it’s God, but if you follow that line of thinking, God made nature, so, if you’re really going to listen to the Gospel, you will have to encounter and reckon with your relationship to Nature.

And if you’re not ecclesiastically inclined, well, as Elisabeth (who counts several atheists among her clientele) points out, the recent photos from the Webb telescope, reaching back 4.6 billion years and perhaps reaching forward just as many years in time should stop us cold in our tracks if we think our dramas are without precedent.

The Webb space telescope shows a section, as in a speck, of the distant universe, in detail. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO

Here in this photo, contained in one little pinprick of starlight in the darkness, are thousands and thousands of galaxies, maybe more! Each fleck of light contains multitudes.

As Elisabeth asks, how is it possible we are the only sentient beings with that many possibilities of reality creation? How can we seriously think our little boundaried lives full of up and down hierarchies and either/or thinking are a match for the mighty swell of endlessly shapeshifting light? With every photo, the blasphemy of a linear paradigm becomes more evident.

Regardless of how you seek meaning and mattering in life, whether through a gospel, a clinical study, a critical analysis, a canon of some kind of literature, or like me, through Nature…story is the gateway, and with our technology showing us how endless and beautiful our possibilities are, the more important it becomes to choose which stories we want to help establish some way of being intimate with the world, lest we become lost in its infinity. Similarly, if we chose to temporarily allow ourselves to be lost in our universal infinity, we need a story to tether us to our lives, to help us find our way back.

If there is a straight line, it merely intersects a circle. Where in the universe is anything proscribed by a right angle, a parallel line? Straight lines connect us to the stars, but only when we draw them, superimposing geometry onto the cycles within cycles that loop through and around us across the universe. Whether they be plot lines or lines of thought, we choose to draw lines to proscribe and describe what is too vast for us to comprehend without aid. But too often, we become fooled into thinking the lines are what are real. Yet, they are impermanent, not the truth, and entirely manmade.

Our minds and our hearts are where we hear the echo of infinity.

They are both the vehicles and the vortices for traveling the myriad possibilities all around us. The more we learn about the universe’s past and future, the more we will be called upon to understand the import of the now. How can we do that if we do not allow ourselves to see beyond and through the lines?

And astrology is one of multiple ways we can do that, as we make plain in this episode.


Also in this episode…

We discuss how the New York Times, per usual, when reporting something pretty damned amazing, miss the point entirely. But you won’t miss the point, and it will really excite you — whaddya know!? The world is made up of cycles within cycles! And so are we! Who knew? You did because you are a fan of Off the Charts!

Also, a well-known, highly respected journalist, Amanda Ripley cries foul on the media and admits she doesn’t even consume news herself. Hmm. We have thoughts about this.

Plus, the usual planets in review. This time we talk about Mars in Taurus and why it feels like such a slog. Maybe you’ve noticed. We tell you how and why. Boris Johnson, Joe Biden, and maybe you, too, can expect to feel a little burn next week.

Also, who is the current poster child for this transit? None other than outgoing and disgraced UK Prime Minister BoJo whose chart also gives us an opportunity to explain a few other astrological terms you might find interesting. What might any of this say about the UK itself?

We also wonder, were you impacted by the recent eclipses? How would you know? What does it even mean to be eclipsed? And what do they have to do with this damned covid that just won’t stop dogging our heels in this country?

Ask Us Anything!

Our next episode will feature your questions. If you have wanted us to cover something or wondered why we think what we think, now’s your chance to ask! Please leave your comments and questions for us by responding in the comments section of this post. Or, by clicking here:

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You can also visit Elisabeth’s website and fill out her contact form or tweet at her!


Wednesday is church supper night. Credit: Whitney Fishburn.

I am still here in Tennessee, where the Baptists do not mess around when it’s supper time. We’re talking fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and oh, I can barely stand it — cheesy biscuits. And, cakes. Lots of them. My mother helped herself to mine before dinner. (The gravy was way better than it looks.)


Goodies for paid subscribers only

If you want more silly bits from Elisabeth and me, like proof of my obsession with Southern baked goods, or Elisabeth’s penchant for bursting into song, please consider becoming a paid subscriber. I want to thank those of you who have committed your material resources to us in the past couple of weeks — I am now shopping for a new mic and better editing software!!

“Can you hear me?” Pepper recommends this mic. Credit: Elisabeth Grace.

Thank you!

For you, we are sending you a special email of outtakes, including a conversation Elisabeth and I had about Jack Welch, the late CEO of GE, about whom a new book has just been released, The Man Who Broke Capitalism by David Gelles. Why now? His chart tells why.

Also included, what do the Amish know…? Elisabeth can’t remember.

Be on the lookout for that in the next week. We will send it just when you need a little jolt of fun. :)

And if you’ve not subscribed yet, why not? Let us know what we might be able to do that would make it worth your while.

Until then, we are so grateful to you all for your continued fandom and support. Don’t forget to leave a comment even if you don’t have a question. And, please “like” us if you do indeed like us, because we are starting to get more attention and that can only help us get better.

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Until next time, look up!

Whitney (and Elisabeth, too)

*The answer is me! I am an astrologer who has been spending time eating biscuits at Baptist church suppers. But there are other overlaps, too, of course.


Below are charts and links mentioned in this episode.

The Quest by Circadian Medicine to Make the Most of Our Body Clocks - The New York Times

Opinion | What news designed for 21st century humans might look like - The Washington Post

Why Media Billionaires Gather in Sun Valley - New York Magazine