Well there goes another Mercury Retrograde. We only have to wait out the period of everything righting itself again after being retrograded-over for the past 3 weeks and we’re good to go forward again.

This retro period was interesting. A database needed moving from a non-local server at work, and this was planned before the retrograde period.

Planned, but not implemented.

Of course I’m not about to give advice based on Astrology to the IT Department at work. I’d rather just sit back and watch the fun.

I probably don’t have to say that almost everything which could go wrong with this planned database move did in fact go wrong. We’re looking at an actual implementation in a bit over ten days, now.

Gemini, computers, Mercury going backwards – well, it’s not rocket science.

And don’t talk to me about the City of Joburg and their better-late-than-never billing process. Grr….

For myself, having Gemini as my eighth-House, I found myself drawn to death statistics, especially at work, where I have access to the raw data and the skill set to make something out of them.

So I’ve been playing with rates of death relative to admission by month, age and cause – very interesting indeed.

Here in South Africa – and applying in this case only to a subset of nation-wide hospitals but nevertheless probably fairly representative – we see a definite, pronounced peak in the deaths in August. Every damned year. And a matching minimum in the death-per-admission rate  six months earlier, in February. Imbolc and Lammas, for Pagans in the Southern hemisphere. Or, the end of Winter and the end of Summer.

I went looking for more global statistics, and what I’ve found so far is that in the developed countries of the Northern Hemisphere, the situation is reversed.

Human behaviour, including health and death, is indeed amenable to mathematical algorithms, I’m both relieved and afraid to say. On a mass scale, that is – it’s not taking anything away from the individual, but when you look at humanity as a whole, it is possible to model our behaviour as if we were one organism. Or so I strongly believe.

Makes you wonder who exactly is working from these algorithms. Actuaries, for one, and that’s the field I have been working in since April last year. It feeds my near-terminal curiosity quite nicely.

Something I shouldn’t have been surprised about was the crude rate of mortality by country, which I bumped into when I was trawling the Web for statistics. In South Africa, we have the very highest rate in the entire world – it’s over 17 per 1,000 population, quite shocking.

I am aware that we have, and have had, a very bad problem with HIV/AIDS in this country – is this the entire reason for this grisly stat?

And how does it affect us as a people? Are we more glib concerning loss of human life simply because we see so much of it? Does this help explain our equally callous attitude to the poorest amongst us – the scrabbling for bling and material wealth which occupies so much of our tiny little head-spaces? Could be. For without having seen through the illusion of this stage upon which we act out our lives, it might appear to be the best option, to go for the accumulation of stuff and fuck the rest.

Sigh. Even though this seems like a depressing way to spend my time, I am not even a little bit down. Grouchy and snappy sometimes, but not depressed.

There’s so much more to be seen and understood, always waiting around the next corner. Every day gives me something to smile about, even while I’m yelling at our collective stupidity.


2 responses to “Forward

  1. We don’t need Mercury in apparent backwards motion here to create chaos — we are the architects ourselves! Our summer of renovation/moving madness continues. I’d change my name to “Mads” but I don’t want to be mistaken for being Hannibal Lector (thank you Mads Mickelson) when I’m already told I resemble the White Witch of Narnia, lol!


  2. I would be honoured to be told I look like the Witch of Narnia!
    But you’re right of course – we create our own chaos.
    I’ve just finished admitting to an old friend who also commented on this (over on G+) that, after all these decades, I’ve finally bought into the mysteries of Astrology. Even if it makes me seem like the delusional middle-aged woman I undoubtedly am, from certain viewpoints. 🙂
    T in J


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