Archive for August, 2017


On August 21st, there will be a US Continental Solar Eclipse. The next one for the US will be in 2024 so listen up for the details!

First, the basics.

What is a Solar Eclipse?
A solar eclipse is when the Sun is blocked by the moon, creating an umbra that covers part of the earth. This time, the USA is being covered.

How to view the Solar Eclipse?
There are special glasses to view the eclipse that are available at astronomy clubs, science centers and NASA (which is where I got mine via Artscape). Can’t get yourself a pair? That’s fine. Here are ways you can still watch the eclipse without frying your eyes (note – you can look at the total eclipse with bare eyes, just not when the sun is present):

Cardboard box viewer
Materials:
– Cereal box
– Small sheet of aluminum foil
– Pin
– Tape

1. Cut out the narrow side of the box about 5”, this is the part you will be looking through.
2. Next to this eye slot, attach a strip of aluminum foil on the narrow edge of the box and tape it down.
3. Poke hole in middle of aluminum foil and there you go. You should be able to test with a flashlight by shining it through the pin hole.
4. When looking at the eclipse, have your back towards the sun so the light can stream in via the pinhole and you can watch what is projected on the other end of the box.

Envelope & mirror
Materials:
– Envelope
– Mirror
– Pencil or pen
– Sheet of paper
– Tape

1. Tape a white sheet of paper to a wall
2. Take a pencil or pen and poke a ragged hole in the middle of the envelope.
3. Put the mirror in the envelope, the reflective part showing in the hole.
4. When looking at the eclipse, face towards the sun and use the envelope/mirror to reflect the sun onto the white sheet of paper to watch the eclipse

Hands
Materials:
– Your hands

1. Act as if you’re doing Jay-Z’s hova hand symbol but make the hole in the center smaller, about the size of a ping pong ball.
2. Face your hands towards the ground until you can see the hole cast in the center of your hands clearly.
3. Have back towards sun during eclipse and use this method to look at the shadow being cast at the ground. As the sun passes through the eclipse, you should see a crescent.

Tree
Materials:
– A tall tree

1. Stand under a tree where the sunlight passes through the leaves, leaving shadows on the ground.
2. Look at the shadows turn crescent and into darkness

A good site to look at for times, places and other viewing methods if you can’t get any glasses is NASA’s Eclipse 2017 site. There is also Time and Date, to see exact Eclipse info, including percentage of totality and time based on where you are in the US.

It’s been a while since I have done anything natal chart. So I’m just going to open orders – commissions? – for natal chart readings. It takes a while to do natal charts (I’m talking almost a month for a basic overview, which is 15 pages) so I’m just doing two slots.

For those who are not in the know, natal charts are these:

This is a Natal Chart

They’re also called “birth charts”. They basically are the ground blueprint of you and your life. They’re the reason astrologers say, “You’re much more than your sun sign” when approached by people who say, “I’m a [sign] but I so do not [stereotypical thing sign does], this is entirely inaccurate! I must bother you incessantly now!” A natal chart is a snapshot of the skies when you were born. They tell what kind of person you are and even a good chunk of the whys, too.

To clarify, while planet alignments and such can affect people and events (not to the level tech-stupid people whinge about, however. Not everything is Mercury’s fault), the stars in a natal chart are just a reflection of a person, not what made the person act the way they did. The moon doesn’t make you act like a douchebag, you do.

Natal charts by themselves can be hard to read, which is why it takes even me some stretch of time to do them. It’s a lot more than saying “Your Venus is in Capricorn and in the sixth house. You love…stock trading?” There are books to review, aspects to crunch the math on and, of course, cusps and ruling out potential errors. Then to compile all that in an easy to read guide that actually benefits the person reading it.

It is also possible to use natal charts to help steer life, such as noticing personal pitfalls (such as having a latent tendency to be a passive aggressive doormat but always trying to take on more than you can handle), possible issues (not being a good communicator, always mixing up what you say with what you mean), or potential positives (being good at helping others but mainly for social reasons). They’re a blueprint, in other words.

Now, natal charts are not really good for folks who just want 15 pages of wonderful things said about them. People have flaws. Everyone has flaws, even those who think they have none. And the way I do natal charts is to benefit and help the person reading it, not gas them up with nonsense. That’s what horoscopes are for.

Natal Chart Price:
Basic overview (15 pgs, 3-4 weeks to process) – $25 USD

Available slots:
1.Empty
2.Empty

To sign up for a natal chart, please fill out the form below and I’ll be in contact to send an invoice. The slot is first come, first served for buyers only. This means if you’re the first person to submit a form and get an invoice, it still does not solidify your slot until you pay it. No exceptions. You can cancel your natal chart order up to two weeks after payment. If an order is canceled, then a slot will be announced again until both slots are filled up and charts in progress.

Menstruation and Misinformation

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I have noticed recently a wave of “guys telling women how to menstruate”. Basically, it’s a bunch of Hoteps (Black folks – usually guys – who are fake woke and real self-hateful) trying to tell Black women that, somehow, having a period is A) an eurocentric construct B) not natural and C) can be dispersed with removing “eurocentric” foods from diet. All three are incredibly wrong and actually quite harmful. That and I always wear this face when reading:

This is the closest capture to “accurate” I can provide

For example, one hotep vlogger named Yada pointed out how their daughter just got her first period and how it made him upset. Yes, periods are a bummer. They hurt, they make you sleepy, they make you irritable, nothing fun about it. But that’s part of having a uterus. However, they can be managed with Midol, Always pads, rest and access to competent women health laws.

Unfortunately, this is not how the Hotep responded to their daughter starting a period. He suggested cramps bark, which at first I balked but does relieve cramps. However, it is not declared safe for pregnant women to use. My rule of thumb about meds, especially natural meds: if it can not be used for pregnant women, it shouldn’t be used for children, which includes his daughter, who is around early middle school age. The reason why pregnant women shouldn’t use it: it could affect the child. Reason why breastfeeding women shouldn’t use it: it could affect the child. The dude was basically half right: yes, cramps bark can help alleviate cramps but for a young age, it could have adverse affects, especially if dosage is not monitored (and he’s probably not a whiz with that, given his lack o’ any medical knowledge). If anything, rose hip tea could be better. Not to mention, the initial reason why I thought cramp bark was inaccurate: black haw (Vibernum prunifolium) is also called “cramp bark”, but does not do the thing. This confusion could lead to complications. Rose hip tea is relatively safer, especially for young girls.

All in all, it would have been fine and dandy if the dude just looked up some teas and pads for his daughter to have but newp, he had to go waaaaaaaaay beyond that. And into the stream of thought that is pretty harmful to women. And, of course, it’s part of a pretty worldwide idea that treats periods like mysterious sicknesses…usually thought up by guys who seriously could use a briefing in basic anatomy and physiology that isn’t bathroom jokes or smut. The general, usually male-created, consensus about periods is that they’re unclean, unnatural and burdensome. I mean there’s the old internet joke of “I don’t trust anything that bleeds for 3 days and doesn’t die”. It derives from serious misunderstanding and actively pursued ignorance about a pretty normal function in women bodies. And I say “Actively pursued ignorance” because you can google “how do periods work” and the first thing that will pop up is this really thorough article from womenshealth.gov (still accurate despite having a moron in the White House). There’s even a menstrual cycle video on youtube from the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom as the second link. The third comes from pad brand, Always, who answer 10 common period questions. (I greatly suggest their Infinity Overnights line, so nice). Usually I’m skeevy about companies giving out medical info – because it basically becomes “Have problem? Solution: Our product, no matter what” – but Always’ page is very informative and geared to young girls.

This is simply googling “How do periods work”, no medical jargon or academic phrasing. Any dude looking up period info would have stumbled upon these sites. This includes Hoteps, members of Congress and any dude with a Reddit account.

If case anyone is still trying to understand or, worse, consistently going “menstruation is a curse from the White man and these sites primarily cater to White people so, of course, it’s still doesn’t apply to Black women”, let me break it down for you further. Let’s use the point I originally pointed out above:

A) periods are an eurocentric construct (False)
Yada, who seems to be leading the pack on “things I don’t get about women bodies: Black culture edition”, talks about “european doctrine” which primarily affects White women. Now, before I continue, I would like to say that he is talking in a video. And in this video, he’s wearing what I believe is a Gucci signature belt, which is a European brand (and a pricey one at that, at least $300 for a belt). For someone who is very anti-Eurocentrism, it doesn’t bleed over into how he spends. He could have gone with a regular belt buckle but I guess he wanted to jazz it up with name brand, particularly Italian. The least the dude could have done was go with Oscar de la Renta, who is Dominican. The very least. At most, look up Black-made fashion apparel and buy stuff there.

Moving away from fashion and back to what he’s saying, Yada is a very apt name person because frankly, all he does is “yadda yadda yadda”. He talks a lot but doesn’t really say anything. He states that our ancestors were “not running around, bleeding all over the place”. He’s partially right: the first anything resembling menstrual care was in Africa by using cloth and fibers and used similar to a tampon, if my memory serves me right. So our ancestors weren’t running around, bleeding on everything. Even though, guys then also thought the menstruating was full of teh evilllllllz (a part of that is thanks to Western imperialism). Because guys are pretty willfully ignorant about women’s health. Same reason why in the US, people have to march and petition to have contraception covered by healthcare but viagra, which is a cosmetic drug (not meant to cure any actual, life threatening or altering ailment), is covered just fine.

Yada’s belief for why Black women ancestors did not bleed is because they “ate natural foods”. I really want to see the science on this. Yes, food and diet can alter your period. Certain foods, like tofu, can make it come sooner. Some can make it come later. Drinking lots of water can alleviate cramps. Drinking lots of soda can make them worse. A very poor and hyper restricted diet can make periods not come at all (because the body is having a hard time sustaining itself well). Ditto with intense athleticism, because the body is getting so lean – under 18% body fat – it can’t sustain a period. You can be the most Vegan vegan person to ever vegan and still have a period. Because it’s natural. It’s natural for the female body to get periods, regardless of race. Regardless, whether the uterus belongs to a Black woman, a Native woman or an Asian woman, it’s gonna work the same, more or less. Natural foods can’t rid of periods, at all. Having a period is not a result of “not clean eating” because periods are not dirty or a result of being a dirty, unkempt person. And trust, this Yada person is trying to make the connection “natural eating = clean eating”. It’s good to have a healthy diet, filled with lots of natural foods like fruits, nuts and vegetables but you’re going to have a period, no matter what.

Ok, this dingbat also brings up that he’s a vegetarian (not Vegan, still eats eggs and cheese, just not animals themselves). Good for him. I almost expected him to say “I’m a vegetarian and I don’t have periods!” Which would have been chuckle worthy…up to the point I would remind myself that there are other guys who are still this level of stupid, and several of them are elected to office. Then it’s frightening. Long story short, periods exist because of biology, not because White men want to oppress others. Menstruation is not a human-created construct, like race, money and gender. It’s a nature-created construct for procreation, meaning it’s going to exist, regardless what one believes, like sunshine, gravitational pull and electricity.

B) Periods are not natural (False)
They suck to have but periods are natural to have. They’re the basics of procreation, especially for mammals. Did you know that animals like elephant shrews and some bats menstruate the same way human women do? Other mammal species perform “covert menstruation”, meaning that menstruation is still occuring it but it’s not visible or as clear. The BBC has a long, science laden article about this. It’s a good read. However, the kit and kaboodle of the article is that menstruating is happening because pregnancy isn’t. If you’re pregnant, you’re not menstruating and vice versa.

C) periods can be dispersed with removing “eurocentric” foods from diet (false)
As mentioned prior, diet can effect periods but it’s healthy for the body to have a period, not the absence of one and there’s no baby nor birth control. You could have an all Zimbabwe diet, an all Korean diet, an all Australian diet, and you’re still gonna have a period. Because that’s how the female body works. A balanced diet would help regulate your flow and lessen cramps, which is always nice but still means you’re going to have a period.

This subject of how Hoteps are pretty much affecting people has been discussed on Oxygen and even BET. It’s really agitating because in these modern times where there is access to information and knowledge, still, it is being ignored. Men simply aren’t good at talking about women health for the simple fact that they tend to center themselves somehow and still manage to ignore the perspective of women. Women are already minimized so this is more of that. Of all the Hotep nonsense I have seen, I am harder pressed to find women who believe the same. Now, they do exist, but they definitely don’t exist in the numbers that these guys do. Most, if not all, of these guys can’t even name women’s genitalia properly. (Hint: not everything is ‘vagina’.)  If anything, these dudes probably would probably sound like the “journalist’s guide to guns” macro from years ago.

This, but with the word “vagina”

There’s enough hounding the literal lives and experiences of folks who get periods. It would be nice to hear less nonsense. Because none of this is necessary and all it does is breed more self-animosity and internalized misogyny that any young girl would have about their body.

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