Tag Archives: fantasy

Full Moon in Pisces

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“Sirens by the Sea” by Victor Karlovich Shtemberg (1863-1921)

Sun at 19 Virgo. Full moon in Pisces today (Friday) at 9:33pm Pacific.
Mercury enters Libra just after midnight tonight.
Mars at 16 Virgo, and Venus enters Libra at 6:43am Pacific tomorrow morning.
Jupiter at 16 Sagittarius
Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto retrograding.

Happy Birthday to all the Virgos! Tonight’s lovely Harvest Moon is for you. It will be in the sign of Pisces, which represents inspiration, psychic sensitivity, compassion, mysticism, and connecting with the divine. We’re doing some soul searching this weekend. Be open to messages you receive from the universe today, and through the Monday. They could come through your own thoughts or insights, something someone says, or a synchronistic event. Today’s Full Moon in Pisces brings actualization to that personal area of our chart. Meditate and reflect.

Virgo and Pisces are both signs of purity; but Virgo focuses on the body and healthy habits, while Pisces brings a purification of the Soul.

The danger of Pisces is engaging in escapism to avoid facing reality. If you are able keep your feet on the ground, Pisces brings huge spiritual strength. Try not to overindulge in food, drink, sex, shopping, alcohol, TV or drugs this weekend. Instead, be open to what the Universe wants to show you about your current path. Take a break from worrying and personalizing everything and see that you are part of something bigger. The ruler of Pisces is Neptune, and this planet brings connection to all the different planes of existence; the feeling that we are all ONE.

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Miyazaki’s Shinto spirits

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Excellent article on one of my favorite filmmakers.

The Gods and Spirits (and Totoros) of Miyazaki’s Fantasy Worlds

“There’s a moment in Hayao Miyazaki’s film My Neighbor Totoro that’s stuck with me since I first watched it a decade ago. Satsuki Kusakabe is searching for her missing sister, Mei. Looking for help, she sprints towards the huge camphor tree where the magical creature Totoro lives. She pauses for a moment at the entrance to a Shinto shrine that houses Totoro’s tree, as if considering praying there for Totoro’s help. But then she runs back to her house and finds her way to Totoro’s abode through the tunnel of bushes where Mei first encountered him. Totoro summons the Catbus, which whisks Satsuki away to where Mei is sitting, beside a lonely country road lined with small statues of Jizo, the patron bodhisattva of children.

It’s Satsuki’s hesitation in front of the shrine’s entrance that sticks with me, and what it says about the nature of spirits and religion in the film. We don’t really think of the movies of Hayao Miyazaki as religious or even spiritual, despite their abundant magic, but some of his most famous works are full of Shinto and Buddhist iconography—like those Jizo statues, or the sacred Shimenawa ropes shown tied around Totoro’s tree and marking off the river god’s bath in Spirited Away. Miyazaki is no evangelist: the gods and spirits in his movies don’t follow or abide by the rituals of religion. But the relationship between humans and gods remains paramount.”

Miyazaki’s gods and spirits aren’t explicitly based on any recognizable Japanese “kami” (a word that designates a range of supernatural beings, from the sun goddess Amaterasu to the minor spirits of sacred rocks and trees). In fact, whether Totoro is a Shinto spirit or not is a mystery. He lives in a sacred tree on the grounds of a Shinto shrine. The girls’ father even takes them there to thank Totoro for watching over Mei early in the film. But Satsuki calls Totoro an “obake,” a word usually translated as “ghost” or “monster.” Miyazaki himself has insisted that Totoro is a woodland creature who eats acorns. Is he a Shinto spirit? A monster? An animal? A figment of the girls’ imaginations? The film—delightfully—not only doesn’t answer the question, it doesn’t particularly care to even ask it.”

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“… Miyazaki’s films don’t invite us to any particular faith or even belief in the supernatural, but they do invite us to see the unexpected, and to respect the spirits of trees and woods, rivers and seas. Like Totoro and Gran Mamare, their true nature and reasoning are beyond our comprehension. Call them kami, or gods, or spirits, or woodland creatures, or Mother Nature, or the environment. They are there if we know where to look, and their gifts for us are ready if we know how to ask. We have only to approach them as a child would—like Satsuki, Mei, Chihiro, and Sosuke—with open eyes and open hearts.”