Over 10K Youtube music plays – thank you

Thank you to everyone who has visited my Youtube music channel.

I’ve gradually been putting up a selection of my better material through the years, including the five videos from the last two albums, Whose Dream Are You Living? (2017) and Interconnected (2018).

https://www.youtube.com/user/TimBurness1/videos

Many thanks again to everyone who has supported and continues to support my music in any way, it means a huge amount.

My main music website is at timburness.com

Cheers! TB

Experiments and Experience with Astrology by Stephen Arroyo

An ideal companion to Arroyo’s previous books

This new collection of Stephen Arroyo writings (Experiments and Experience with Astrology: Reflections on Method and Meaning) was released in paperback form at the end of 2019, a small-but-perfectly-formed volume and an ideal companion to his previous books. Those familiar with Arroyo’s work will recognize familiar themes but there are various snippets of new information and fresh perspectives too.

The first chapter is a detailed interview with Arroyo, previously published in a Serbian astrological magazine and The Mountain Astrologer. Arroyo answers a range of questions and describes how he initially came across astrology through studying psychologist Carl Jung, then going on to study and build on the work of astrologers such as Dane Rudhyar and Charles Carter. Elsewhere in this book, Arroyo explores familiar themes of clarity, simplicity and viewing the chart from a holistic perspective. “Polish that lens… because astrology is a way of seeing… that’s why it depends so much on the individual practitioner and his or her personality and level of consciousness.” (p. 46)

Going against current trends for cramming the birth chart full of “extras”, the author cautions against using too many factors in chart interpretation. He suggests that rather than running the risk of confusing clients by adding more and more detail, astrologers can help people understand their lives and themselves more clearly by fully exploring the fundamentals of the birth chart. Arroyo keeps a focus on the basics, including an interpretive technique using subtones.

Whilst fully embracing astrology’s healing power and the huge potential for contributing to and interacting with both psychology and science, Stephen Arroyo also stresses the need for humility on the part of astrologers and astrology as a whole. As usual, he is pointing the way forward.

The film Us and the astrological Pluto

The film Us and the astrological Pluto

Some time back, I wrote a review of the film Arrival, a superior science-fiction Hollywood blockbuster. At the time, I was surprised that no-one (apparently absolutely no-one!) noticed that the whole plot was rather obviously based on the language of astrology and the meaning it might have for humanity. Well, blow me down and swipe me sideways with an old ephemeris, the same kind of thing has happened again.

Early last year, I toddled down to my local cinema to watch a film that was getting enthusiastic and interesting reviews. To say I was blown away by Us would be an understatement. Director and producer Jordan Peele’s blockbuster horror movie is not only a brilliantly made and clever story, it is also packed full of references to the astrological archetype of Pluto. And as before, no-one seems to have noticed, including astrologers who have written about Us on the internet.

There are many twists and turns, some of the details of which can easily be missed on first, second or even third viewing. The story starts in 1986, with a young girl on holiday with her parents in Santa Cruz, California. She wanders off by herself on the beach and stumbles across a funhouse. “Find yourself”, it reads outside. In she goes to a hall of mirrors, where something happens that ensures the girl will never be the same again.

Fast forward to the present – an idyllic happy family scenario, so idyllic that you know almost immediately that things are going to go horribly wrong. The now grown-up girl and main character Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) has a sense of foreboding as she, her husband (Winston Duke) and two children (Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex) head for a holiday near the same beach in Santa Cruz. A few events and co-incidences give hints of the darkness to come.

Things really take off with the appearance of another family bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Wilsons. They stand menacingly at the bottom of the driveway to the house where the Wilsons are staying, with unknown intentions. The Wilson family are soon violently confronted by these bitter, dark and twisted versions of themselves – their shadow selves. Just to make the subject clear for any astrologers watching the film, the two children of the doppelganger family are named Umbrae (shadow) and Pluto.

Adelaide’s double, Red, explains that the scarred and disfigured shadow family are from an underground world (sounding Plutonian enough yet?) who share a soul with their counterparts. While Adelaide and her family were loved and happy above ground, the shadow family experienced only darkness and suffering in a subterranean alternative reality. “I was tested by God” says Red, “We are Americans”.

Lupita Nyong’o

The film Us is multi-layered and about many things. Under the guise of a “horror movie”, the film is a deep exploration of class, privilege and what it means to be human in American society today. Black power is a key focus. There is a great tragicomic moment when another shadow family are killing to the accompaniment of Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys, which after a computer’s misinterpretation of a cry for help, turns into a song by black rappers N.W.A.

The film’s world premiere was on 8th March 2019, the follow-up to Jordan Peele’s also huge Get Out (2017). Given that the story of Us is highly influenced by Pluto and its many meanings and manifestations, it’s interesting to observe a couple of astrological correlations. The explosive, dark and profoundly transformative Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn was close (within a 3 to 4 degree orb) at the time of the film’s release. This continued to be the case for the following few months, as Us made its considerable impact on cinema audiences. The film has played a role in the collective shift of consciousness that we are all experiencing under Saturn-Pluto.

Visionary director Jordan Peele, Sun in Pisces

Secondly, Piscean visionary director Jordan Peele (born 21st February 1979, time unknown) has a very close natal Venus in Capricorn square Pluto in Libra. Transiting Saturn at 18 degrees Capricorn formed an exact conjunction to his Venus with a square to natal Pluto when Us came out in March 2019. What better way to work out the extreme tension of such a close natal square? With Venus in Capricorn, Peele has done well financially too – the film grossed $255.1 million worldwide from a budget of $20 million.

Bring on the next astrological Hollywood blockbuster!

The above article was originally published in the January/February 2020 issue of the Astrological Journal magazine https://www.facebook.com/AstrologicalJournal Thank you to editor Victor Olliver. This is the bimonthly publication of the Astrological Association http://www.astrologicalassociation.com dedicated to educating the public on astrology since 1958.

Consultations and readings available at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk

The Signs by Carolyne Faulkner

Deservedly bestselling introduction to astrology

From the punchy introduction onwards, The Signs by Carolyne Faulkner (2017) is a deservedly bestselling introductory text on western natal astrology. As the author breezes through the signs, the planets and the houses, her style is accessible, upbeat and comprehensively thorough. The Signs is an energizing and empowering book that does full justice to the basics of the chart.

As with all the best writers of more serious astrology, it’s clear that the author has had a great deal of first-hand experience of working with clients. Throughout the book, there are brief examples and observations from people’s lives, keeping everything fresh and relevant. There are also good practical suggestions for anyone starting out e.g. “Write stuff down, I am a firm believer that when we write stuff down we remember it more readily.”

Carolyne Faulkner makes enthusiastic claims for her “Dynamic Astrology”. Although her style is inspiring, positive and transformational, the “pioneering new self-improvement method” seems to be much the same as the approach taken by the majority of modern practising astrologers. “Nobody’s future is written in the stars, it’s ours to create.” “Forget how you were in the past, the future is in your hands.”

There are many original, sometimes quirky touches in the interpretations. Unusually and disappointingly though, there are no references or recommended further reading at the end. The spirit of the author and The Signs is summed up in the final words: “Thank you to the universe! May all beings be happy and free from suffering!”

Deaths, incompetence and lies – the multimillion pound housing associations destroying lives

UK’s housing associations made record operating profits of £3.5 billion in 2017

Change must happen, this is madness.

Housing organizations with charity status are badly damaging thousands of people’s lives.

Some great work is still being done by large UK housing associations but they are now too big and too greedy to function properly. They are accountable to no-one, the regulators are a joke and have been for years. In one way or another, many thousands (most likely tens or hundreds of thousands of people) are being shat on.

This is a crisis and the government is doing nothing. 

Post-Grenfell, the government published a social housing Green Paper in August 2018, which suggested many moves in the right direction. So far, almost none of this has been translated into action.

The mainstream media are not reporting it.

Apart from a few articles here and there (others below), the mainstream media continues to ignore how bad things now are with large housing associations and their outsourced companies, even after the Grenfell Tower social housing tragedy. The big housebuilding HAs have become property developers with a lot of old and crumbling anti-social housing on the side.

New Landlords From Hell, Dispatches Channel 4, March 2019

Link to programme https://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/on-demand/69156-001

Sanctuary Group, £198 million operating profit and in the region of £3 billion assets

Many social housing campaigners thought that a breakthrough moment may finally have come with the shocking evidence against Sanctuary Housing (one of the biggest and worst) presented on Dispatches, Channel 4, 22nd March 2019. Please see for yourself how bad things have got or search for easily found video clips. Sanctuary Housing Group continue to describe themselves as “One of the UK’s leading providers of housing, care and commercial services…” Leading providers? 

Immediately after the programme, Sanctuary Chief Executive Craig Moule’s responded to the allegation that Sanctuary appeared to have played a part in both the death of a pensioner and the development of a severe respiratory condition in a baby. “When anyone calls our values into question, it hurts.” Values!? This is about people’s lives.

Sanctuary Chief Executive Craig Moule, in denial and on over £350,000 per year

Without any reference to people’s considerable suffering (cases in Cambridgeshire, Nottinghamshire, Cornwall and Aberdeen), Moule then went on to laughably attempt to discredit the programme makers. “It struck us how little the programme makers knew about how housing associations work. It also struck us that they seemed to misunderstand our purpose.” Yet he made no effort to explain what he means by this, let alone present any evidence to support his view. Unfortunately, many folk in the Sanctuary Housing Independent Complaints Group – Countrywide (2300+ members) can immediately recognize this style of communication from Sanctuary Housing. Clueless, dishonest and completely lacking in compassion. Come on Craig and Sanctuary, what’s wrong with you? Do you actually want to appear inhuman!?

Astonishingly, the Regulator of Social Housing found ‘no breaches of standards’ by Sanctuary (Inside Housing, 26.6.19). The shameless denial, corruption and establishment cover-up is breathtaking. 

Patricia Gavighan, died after 11-day boiler repair wait

Pensioner dies in freezing home

A ‘stressed, angry and cold’ pensioner died of a heart attack following an 11-day wait for her boiler to be repaired, an inquest has heard. Patricia Gavaghan, 80, died at her home, which was maintained by Morgan Sindall, in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, on 22 December 2017. She asked a call handler at the firm if she was “meant to sit in her coat” and wait, the court was told. At the time there was an amber weather warning due to a prolonged cold spell. The hearing at Huntingdon Law Courts was told Mrs Gavaghan lived alone in Sycamore Road, in a bungalow owned by Clarion Housing and maintained by Morgan Sindall. Her family claimed the boiler system was more than 15 years old and engineers struggled to get parts to make repairs.” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-49743535

There is a growing independent facebook complaints group for Clarion tenants (1700+ members) Clarion Tenants Support Group

5-year old girl dies in broken lift

Alexys Brown, died in a broken lift

“Two companies have been fined a total of £1.5m following the death of a five-year-old girl in a disability lift. Alexys Brown died in hospital after putting her head through a broken screen in the lift at her home in Weymouth on 13 August 2015. Synergy Housing (a subsidiary of Aster Group), her family’s landlord, was fined £1m and lift company Orona Ltd was fined £533,000. Both firms pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations by failing to maintain the lift properly. At the end of the two-day hearing at Bournemouth Crown Court, Judge Stephen Climie described Alexys as “beautiful” and “priceless” and said no words of the court could ever compensate her family for their loss.” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-46874763

Undiscovered dead bodies in sheltered accommodation

“Two dead bodies are claimed to have lain undiscovered in a retirement scheme for months, sparking complaints about “callous” cuts to care support. Neighbours have urged Suffolk County Council to reinstate funding for wardens and sheltered accommodation following the tragedies at Mussidan Place in Woodbridge, which is owned by Flagship Housing. The latest body was found on August 8 after a neighbour noticed the man’s kitchen was infested with flies. Residents believe he had lain there since June, when they first complained about a bad smell. They said they were shocked by the death – but it was not the first to go unnoticed. Another body was found in February. Neighbours said the dead man’s relative told them it had been there since November last year. They said the bodies would have been found sooner if not for budget cuts stripping away wardens who used to check up on residents.https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/flagship-housing-residents-in-woodbridge-criticise-sheltered-housing-cuts-after-two-deaths-1-6226463

Ceilings collapse in housing association properties around the country, warnings ignored

L&Q tenant’s ceiling collapsed on the morning of his daughter’s birthday – six weeks after first raising the issue and warning this would happen

Record surplus for 2017-18 of £348 million

All over England, this is increasingly common amongst the corporate profit-driven housing associations. This month with L&Q, for example https://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/housing-complaints-goodmayes-london-quadrant-1-6326741 Inside Housing also reported on this, although they chose not to show the collapsed ceiling but instead, a lovely shiny picture of L&Q offices.

Places For People, £184.5 million operating profit 2017-18

Ceilings fall in with Places For People in Bristol

In May 2018, after having called out the Places For People maintenance team more than thirty times in four years, the ceiling caved in on a support worker and her family in Bristol.

Elderly residents left for 7 months with no ceiling in Ely housing block run by Sanctuary Housing

Elderly residents left with no ceiling for seven months

I’ve previously blogged about Sanctuary tenants having ceilings collapse in on them and this continues. Early this year, the Ely Standard in Cambridge reported:- Ceiling that came crashing down in Ely sheltered housing block for the elderly still hasn’t been repaired SEVEN months on.

Charlie Bissett, whose 92-year-old mother-in-law lives there: “This is completely unacceptable for elderly residents and they are all worried about it. The fire alarm has been going off constantly too – which is quite dangerous for safety purposes because they don’t know when to leave for a fire or not.”

But if so many large housing associations really are this bad, we’d all know about it by now, wouldn’t we? How about the Peabody Trust, a well-respected name in the world of charitable housing groups, originally founded in the 1860s?

Here’s a few reviews on Trustpilot “Peabody is a joke of a company.” “One star is way too much to rate this” “Shameful. Dreadful to deal with, just a constant loop of them lying that they will take action and come back to you… Do not deal with this company if you can avoid it.” “Unresponsive and disorganized housing association.” “Dreadful customer service and no accountability.” “Hopeless.

“A picture of what our kitchen wall has looked like for about a year.”

The complaints are much the same from all tenants across the whole sector. Mould and rat-infested properties, bad or non-existent repairs and maintenance, staff who don’t listen, fire alarms not working, destruction of tenants’ property, charges for services not done, inappropriate eviction threats, breaking of data protection laws, general incompetence, lies, lies and more lies

Hyde Housing More of the same in their 2200+ open residents group – Hyde Housing Independent Resident Group

Notting Hill Genesis. Riverside. Catalyst.

They’re all at it, across the whole sector and across the whole country.

Neither government nor media are seriously bothered about these companies shitting on people who are often vulnerable or elderly or disadvantaged in some way – not forgetting the many housing association tenants and their families who, relatively speaking, are none of these. Well done to a couple of MPs who’ve spoken out in Parliament but where are the rest of you? A very large number of you know all about this.

Change must happen. Regulate them – maybe break the big ones up? Even more radically, a bit more general honesty and kindness by groups like Sanctuary would be a good start.

If you are in a position to do so in any way, please spread the word, cheers.

Textbook case

Stuff we can do – ecological and climate crisis

Consume less in general!

Reduce your intake of animal products or go vegetarian/vegan

Walk to the shops instead of driving, use public transport

Hang your washing out to dry instead of using a tumble dryer

Say no to single-use plastic. Buy reusable bags, water bottles and cups

Reduce or avoid air travel

Recycle but first reduce, and then re-use

Change your utility to a renewable energy company

Buy local, support your local organic farmers

Take your money out of banks that invest in fossil fuels and weapons, there are many ethical banks

Invest in regenerative and sustainable projects, preferably local

Use your VOTE to elect politicians who believe in climate science, take these issues seriously, and put them at the top of their political agenda!