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by Robert Wilkinson

This distributive, inspired, and freeing “Christfest” Full Moon opening the world to a new form of Wisdom Teaching occurs at 7:19 am PDT, 3:19 pm BST May 29, and falls at the 9th degree of Gemini and Sagittarius. It is the third of the “Three High Moons” of the Northern Hemispheric Spring. As with all Full Moons, use the light you’ve been seeing and expressing since the New Moon, and give it form and focus through understanding the available power, and renew your life!

The importance of the Christ Fest Full Moon is explained in greater detail in the article Spiritual Astrology – the Three High Moons of the Northern Hemisphere Spring. Briefly, the Life Force of Earth re-emerges at the Full Moon of Aries-Libra, and this Life Force is expressed as a form of “Buddha Wisdom” of some compassionate form that helps us all to end suffering. This Wisdom is then shaped into a form of expression by the World Teacher at this Full Moon of Gemini-Sagittarius, and expressed the “world teaching” for the next year.

As with all Full Moons, use the Light of the New Moon themes, and give them form and focus to see how to anchor those themes in expression. This is the Light of Mind expressed in widespread forms of Truth and vision that opens a wisdom adventure in each of us.

Since the Christfest distributes the “Buddha Wisdom” of the last Full Moon in some compassionate form helping us all to end suffering, it would seem the next two weeks can help us glimpse wider truths and future. We have seen a form of worth or value, we’ve seen what had to be renounced or buried, and since the New Moon, have an awakened mind. This Full Moon will put these in a wider perspective, with great truths to be externalized over the rest of this year.

Today’s Full Moon post will be an overview of the Lunation and some of its primary qualities. In parts 2 and 3 we’ll cover the Sabian Symbols, aspects, distributions, and patterns.

An Overview

This “World Teacher” Full Moon brings forth Wisdom expressing something eternal about the relationship of mind to Life. This chart is both expansive and sobering, with the primary lesson involving taking careful aim at our target, and letting our arrows fly! Many will learn an “unnatural skill” required for life in society, and deepen in their connections with others. The Wesak introduced us to a new wisdom, as well as began a process of eliminating all that is obsolete or useless in our lives.

This is an exceptionally spiritual Full Moon, and many things will “come out of gestation” and lead us to major realizations. Some will have to accept relationships for spiritual purposes, while others will have to reject relationships, again for spiritual purposes. This is a spiritual “separation of the wheat from the chaff,” with the entire world at a “fork in the road of destiny” due to Jupiter again septile Saturn.

The Grand Water Trine will allow us all to understand the flow of favorable tides, leading us to a great “Mystery” of our own Self-revelation. This can prove very favorable in the realm of relationships, where much can be known through the astral (emotional) mechanism, bypassing the mental mechanism. Those who are involved in a larger service will experience forms of collective rebirth.

As Uranus is still semisquare Neptune, anchoring the off-again, on-again friction Rhombus Diamond configuration, we’ll have to continue to deal with this “cutting, grinding, and polishing” quality each time the Moon moves through the middle of the mutable signs and the end of the cardinal and beginning of the fixed signs. The complete Diamond happened several times last year when planets transited mid-Virgo and late Libra at the same time, and will happen again this September when all four points will be occupied by 4 planets making two oppositions, two semisquares, and two sesquisquares to other planets in the diamond.

Get used to this agitation in the general atmosphere, since we have had planets conjunct Uranus while semisquaring Neptune in April and May, culminating in mid-May when Mars entered Aquarius and semisquared Neptune and squared Uranus. This generated major friction!. The difference is that the semisquares are internal friction, whereas sesquisquares are external friction.

We are now in phase two of Jupiter septile Saturn, marking a second point of decisions about which Jupiter and Saturn energies will be carried into the twilight of their long wave cycle. We had the first septile in late October 2017 with Jupiter at 3 Scorpio and Saturn at 24, both very important points. That "fork in the road of destiny" involved a more expansive connection with life. This second septile features Jupiter in the Scene of Faith on the actional level, so consider this a time of choosing how you want to express your Faith, whether in yourself, a circumstance, or Life in general.

This is the second in the sequence during a period in time when the Jupiter-Saturn cycle which began with their May 2000 conjunction at 23 Taurus is beginning to disintegrate. Consider this the next big turning point of choice and change for humanity, with the third and final “fork in the road of destiny” to come at their last septile exactly when Jupiter goes stationary direct at 14 Scorpio and Saturn’s at 5 Capricorn.

Still, the seeds of what will commence at the Great Mutation of 2020 are beginning to take shape. 2020 features Saturn conjunct Pluto at 23 Capricorn, followed by Jupiter’s two conjunctions with Pluto at 25 Capricorn that Spring and Summer, culminating in the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at 1 Aquarius in December. I’ll write more about that very important period in coming months.

We’ve now moved into a time period of shifting Jones pattern. The patterns change mainly due to the position of the Moon, and at this Full Moon, we’re back in a combination of a “Splay” pattern and a “Locomotive,” with the Splay indicated by the Water trines and the open 1/3 indicating the Locomotive effect. I’ll explain more later in this article.

With Saturn in Capricorn and Mars in Aquarius, we continue a stable pattern of dispositors. I’ll discuss the ruling dispositors in another article. The bigger shift is that at this time, Mercury in Taurus again leads the Sun, showing that our ability to enjoy our Soul life will fulfill and confirm “the worth of our Light” awakened at the past New Moon.

Is the Grand Irrationality A Factor in this Full Moon?

The Grand Irrationality, along with the other outer planet non-rational configurations that happen off and on throughout the year, indicate that we’ve been living in an era of very heavy decisions determining the future destiny of humanity since 1993. To refresh you, the Grand Irrationality is a long wave configuration set into motion every time a planet makes a conjunction, septile, biseptile, or triseptile to Neptune and Pluto. Septile series aspects show us points in time when our future destiny is precipitated by critical choices made in the present.

In this Full Moon, it’s not active. However, it will be triggered again June 9-21, when transiting Mercury and then the Sun make triseptiles to Pluto and biseptiles to Neptune. It’ll be triggered again when Venus moves through the Leo zone at the end of June and beginning of July. It would seem that the entire last half of June is another “fork in the road of destiny” for people and nations, based in where this falls in the chart. That two week period will be the next action beat in the cycle, which at this time of the year is very weak, as Neptune and Pluto are now 55+ degrees apart. To note, Mars won’t trigger this configuration until it septiles Pluto in early December 2018.

At this time, the current seven “hot zone” spans that trigger the Grand Irrationality are approximately 16-20 Leo, 7-11 Libra, 28 Scorpio-2 Sag, 21-25 Capricorn, 13-17 Pisces, 4-8 Taurus, and 25-29 Gemini.

We’re now slowly moving out of the configuration, and we’ve already hit a point in time when Neptune and Pluto are beginning to form a long term sextile, as they were for most of the last half of the 20th century. At this time, the Grand Irrationality gains strength as we move through Autumn and into Winter, and will again lessen in strength in the late Winter into the Spring and Summer. (Right now they’re 55d 24m apart, and by the Solstice will be 56 degrees apart, closer to a sextile than a septile.)

As I’ve explained in other articles, that means that in the Autumn and Winter (in the Northern Hemisphere) they operate as a simultaneous “pulse,” since they’re both aspected near the same time. But in the Spring and Summer we experience it as a rolling influence, with first Pluto aspected, and then Neptune at some time after that, depending on which planet is doing the aspect to these planets.

Because this configuration involves Neptune and Pluto, the outermost spiritual planets, they show a long wave evolutionary crisis for the entire human race. Since 1993, at one point or another, everyone on Earth has experienced a nonstop energy of having to choose, at the bottom of our beings, the path to evolution or devolution, progress or regress, love or fear, joy or control. It’s why things have been so weird, irrational, and hard-edged.

Planetary Distribution

In this Full Moon, the span occupied by the inner planets (in this chart Mercury at 30 Taurus through Venus at 12 Cancer spans 42+ degrees. This span will be most active in our charts. Add Uranus on the front end and the span involves 4 planets within 71+ degrees, so the areas between early Taurus and mid-Cancer will be very active these next two weeks. We hit maximum compression in March, with all planets between Jupiter at 24 Scorpio and Uranus at 27 Aries, making a very powerful triseptile between the bookends which I’ll discuss in the section on aspects.

At this time we have the 10 traditional planets occupying 8 signs, in an uneven widespread distribution. Currently, the outer planet occupied span begins with Jupiter in Scorpio, then moves through Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, Neptune in Pisces, and Uranus in Taurus, with the inner planets now occupying Aquarius, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer with the Moon inside the outer planet span at 9 Sagittarius.

Because of the sign occupancy, as I mentioned it’s a combination of a “Splay” and “Locomotive” Jones pattern, anchored by the Water trines. As both are in evidence, I’ll give you what Jones said about both.

So What is a “Splay Pattern” and how does it work?

Due to the way the planets are irregularly spread out among the signs, this type of spread which features all the planets in odd angles to each other with differing distributions among the signs, creates a “Splay” Jones Pattern. As Marc Jones put it, “the arrangement is neither even nor symmetrical,” revealing “strong and sharp aggregations of the planets at irregular points.”

Dr. Jones states “This suggests highly individual or purposeful emphases in the life, where the temperament juts out into experiences according to its own very special tastes.” This pattern “makes its own anchorage in existence,” and has a quality of “rugged resistance to pigeonholing, either in the near conventional compartments of nature, or in the idea-pockets of associates.”

He goes on to state this pattern gives a “persistent emphasis on individuality,” and the “spokelike emphases of the planetary groupings” are random, but have a “tripod” footing and approach to life circumstances. He says this pattern “reveals a very intensive personality who cannot be limited to any single steady point of application.” This temperament is “particular and impersonal in its interests,” rather than “universal-impersonal” or “particular-personal.”

This implies that affairs will be diversely spread out, some will not mesh well with others, and there will be a “hub and spoke" quality to what happens these next 4 weeks. This spread shows a wide diversity of things going on that promotes individuality.

The "Locomotive Pattern" and how it works

This type of spread, with all the planets occupying 2/3 of the signs with an empty third, creates an imbalance that leads to power if we can find the compensatory “weight” to make things move forward smoothly rather than rock side to side creating friction. Target what is needed, and provide compensatory energies accordingly.

As Marc Jones put it, “this type of horoscope reveals a balance of this sort in the life. A third part of things… consisting of a free span in experience, is set against a two-thirds part, embracing a related but limited span in experience…. The basis of the dynamic is found in the native’s resulting strong sense of a lack or a need, of a problem to be solved, a task to be achieved in the social and intellectual world around him.”

Dr. Jones states “The temperament reveals a self-driving individuality, an executive eccentricity that is not … unbalance but rather is power. It exhibits a dynamic and exceptionally practical capacity which is neither the broad universality of the Splash pattern, nor the special obsession with some particularly narrowed aspect of experience characteristic of the Bundle people.

He goes on to state “The Locomotive classification is … moved more by external factors in the environment than by aspects of its own character. The point of application for the powers of the self is shown … by the “leading planet,” or the one of the two in the empty trine which forms its aspect clockwise in the zodiac, irrespective of any distinction as “applying” or “separating.”

Jupiter is the leading planet in the Locomotive, and Venus the closing planet. This shows that feelings lead and feelings close all significant experiences at this time. Still, with the Grand Water trine in play, understanding and adapting to the flow should be one of the more obvious things to do, and many will have extraordinary relationship experiences. Expand the vision to lead your experience, and end with compassion and a “search for the Mystery” or revelation.

Is the Sun Following the Moon, or the Moon Following the Sun?

The late July 2017 New Moon in Leo was the final Lunation since June 2016 where the Full Moon Sun fell in the same sign as the Sun of the previous New Moon. That pattern happened between June 2016 and August 2017 and before then, between September 2013 and September 2014.

This is tenth Full Moon since the period between October 2014 and May 2016 where we again are in a “reversed pattern” of the Sun of the Full Moon occupying the sign after the New Moon Sun. So we’re now in “the other” New Moon/Full Moon sign expression.

We finished the period of the “natural” order of Lunation Suns at the August 2017 Solar Eclipse in late Leo and began the new sequence, since that New Moon Sun was in Leo, but the subsequent Full Moon Sun was in Virgo. Since the New Moon offers us seeds in the first half of the month’s lunar cycle, and fulfillment in the second half, we now are in a sequence with the “Seed Light” of Taurus coming to a Full Moon illumination through the current Sun in Gemini and Moon in Sagittarius.

Because the New Moon preceding the Full Moon always represents the seed forms that are brought to surface at and after the Full Moon, this begins the fulfillment of the theme of the recent New Moon at 25 Taurus. You can learn more about that New Moon in Taurus by going to The New Moon at 25 Taurus Pt. 1 – What’s Happening in May-June 2018, and The May 2018 New Moon at 25 Taurus Pt. 2 – Signs, Sabian Symbols, and What it All Means.

Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend

Because Saturn is now in its home sign of Capricorn for the first time since 1991, it is the final dispositor of all planets transiting Capricorn and Aquarius from now through 2023. It was the ruler of the last two eclipses, making it an important factor for the next few years, and it will continue to play a different and powerful part in world affairs between March and November 2018 because Mars will be transiting those signs during that time. That makes Saturn a major force to be reckoned with in 2018!

Add the fact that it’s doing a very interesting dance with Uranus all of 2018, and now that they are back in a trine between May and October involving Capricorn and Taurus, we’ve begun the next chapter in us learning how to blend past and future together and craft our future destiny. After the 2017 Fire trines between these planets stabilizing Electric Fire and distributive “Fire by Friction,” this will provide practical grounding to our efforts.

This will help us organize and simplify our Saturn-Uranus “dance of individualization” in our charts. You can learn more about cooperating with Saturn and Uranus to create your future destiny by taking a look at the material in my book “Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend.” Saturn helps us give form and structure to our quest for Self-realization, and in Capricorn, will help bring an “organized personal structure” to the Uranian energies infused with concentrated doses of spiritual energy that is making our spiritual life come alive.

Our inner Saturn gives us the power to take command of our lives and destiny. Saturn shows us how to become spiritual adults and fulfill our purpose for being alive on Earth. By knowing our Saturnian strengths, we can overcome fear and any sense of victimization or powerlessness.

It was written for both astrologers and non-astrologers. Even those with little or no understanding of astrology will benefit from understanding why you had to make certain choices at crucial times that shaped your life in profound ways.

Each time you read any section of this book you will find new insights about your power to steer your personal evolution. You will understand how to throw off all the attitudes and memories which have held you back from finding and living the life and purpose. Through your journey of self-discovery, you can find ways to live your life on your own terms, and fulfill your purpose for being alive as an Eternal having human experiences!

If you’ve haven’t already gotten your copy, you can go to the Createspace page and this should be all you need to order your copy. It’s also available on Amazon and as an ebook on Kindle, so if that’s more to your liking, go for it! I’ve been told people who live outside the US can get their copy much faster by going through Amazon. If you would, whether you’ve gotten the ebook or the paperback, please write a review on the Amazon site, since the more reviews, the more of a boost they give it.

On A Final Note

See you in the near future with parts two and three on this “Christ Fest” Full Moon where we begin another year’s adventure in hearing and cooperating with the World Teacher as that Being distributes the new forms of detachment, dispassion, discrimination, compassion, and our ability to generate positivity and “good will” in our world we’ve been learning since the Wesak Festival last month. This beckons us to a greater dedication and greater consecration to humanity at large, leaving behind old personal considerations that no longer fit in our lives.

This Full Moon will bring us countless realizations, and help us learn and teach others skills that we need to move forward in life. There are so many spiritual aspects in play these next two weeks, I find these lines from the great Lucille Clifton to be appropriate: “but the light insists on itself in the world; a voice from the nondead past started talking, she closed her ears and it spelled out in her hand, "you might as well answer the door, my child, the truth is furiously knocking."

This will be an exceptionally spiritually active Christ Fest Full Moon distributing the active global Wisdom teaching already in motion. It's a highly specialized and favorable Lunation due to the numerous aspects in play, with relatively little friction and a LOT of harmony. We’ll explore these in part 3 of this series. In the meantime, be joyous, see the humor and don’t sweat the occasional annoying grind, since every sacrifice works to our spiritual expansion!

I’ll see you soon when we’ll discuss Sabian Symbols, aspects, and other important chart factors.

© Copyright 2018 Robert Wilkinson

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by Robert Wilkinson

Tonight we dance at the birthday celebration of a true American original, the amazing Bob Dylan.

The work of Bob Dylan (May 24, 1941) is vast, awesome, majestic, and compelling. We haven't known an American poet who embodied such electricity since Woody Guthrie, and before him, Walt Whitman. Robert Zimmerman, aka “Bob Dylan,” was one of my most potent influences as a teen in 60s Amerika, as well as when I wrote a few hundred songs between 1980-1984. Some of his offerings still have the power to blow the illusion to the far side of Pluto.

He has influenced popular music in countless ways, and gone through quite a few personality changes, as would befit his Gemini nature. His songs are among the most covered in music:

"Blowin' In The Wind," "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall," "Like A Rolling Stone," "Desolation Row," "Forever Young," "The Times They Are A-Changing," "Love Minus Zero No Limit," "Chimes of Freedom," "Don't Think Twice," "Mister Tambourine Man," "I Shall Be Released," "Gates of Eden," "Just Like A Woman," "All Along The Watchtower," "Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again," "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," "It's All Right Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)," "Ballad of A Thin Man," "The Mighty Quinn," "She Belongs To Me," "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," "Knocking on Heaven's Door," "Gotta Serve Somebody," "Things Have Changed," and a few hundred more, some of which will take your breath away.

A sample of his story telling from one of the best:

"They're selling postcards of the hanging They're painting the passports brown, The beauty parlor is filled with sailors The circus is in town, Here comes the blind commissioner They've got him in a trance, One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker The other is in his pants, And the riot squad they're restless They need somewhere to go, As Lady and I look out tonight From Desolation Row.."

Various chapters of his life have been covered in several films. "Don't Look Back" is an unbelievable piece of work if you've never seen it, the first of its kind, and while the young prince was somewhat obnoxious, it's understandable when you consider that the world was looking to a poet for answers to its nuclear brinkmanship and wars started by manipulative war criminals. Even the Beatles were in awe of his music. He took the world by the scruff of its neck and made it sit up and pay attention, since in his immortal words, "You know something's happening here but you don't know what it is, do you, Mister Jones?" Full song lyrics at the end of this article.

Many of Bob Dylan's performances have been yanked from you tube, so what I offer today is a bit of a hodgepodge. Still, enjoy America's bard!

We’ll begin with one of my favorites! For your enjoyment, a performance from what looks to be the 80s of “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again”

Back to the beginning! It’s Folk Alley time, since that’s where he came from before he went electric. More electric numbers resume down a ways.

Here’s an early gem. It’s an audio-only live show from 1962 with all his early folk best! It begins with “the Ballad of Emmett Till” and never looks back! Bob Dylan at the Finjan Club - 1962

One of Bob’s earliest television performances! From 1963, live, young, and inspiring, here’s the Master singing the iconic “Blowin’ In The Wind”

Here’s a great 10 minute video clip of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez at the 1963 March on Washington! Yes, it’s THAT gathering that featured the Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving us his “I Have A Dream” speech. For your enjoyment, the “opening act” that day, Bob and Joan giving us “The Hour that the Ship Comes In,” “Only A Pawn in their Game,” and “Keep Your Eyes On the Prize”

Last year, I had a few clips from his 1963 performances from Carnegie Hall and Brandeis University, as well as a very early live clip of him doing “Man of Constant Sorrows” but they disappeared. But I do want to offer something from that ultimate folk era dream, so where possible I found something from that era.

I found some video clips from his folk sets at Newport again!

From 1963, “North Country Blues”

Also from 1963, his audio-only duet with Joan Baez at Newport giving us his scathing indictment of imperialists! “With God On Our Side”

From his epic 1964 performance when he was still the folk icon, “Mr. Tambourine Man”

Here are audio only clips from his Town Hall performance in 1963!

“Ramblin’ Down the Road”

“A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall”

“Walls of Red Wing”

“Boots of Spanish Leather”

“All Over You”

“Who Killed Davy Moore”

“Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right”

“With God On Our Side”

“Shoes of Italian Leather.”

“Seventeen Curses”

John Birch Paranoid Blues

Live on the CBC in 1964, a great clip of “Talkin’ World War III Blues”

From a 1964 BBC television show, Bob doing the incredible, irreverent, and very satirical “With God On Our Side”

This also looks like a Newport performance, or footage from his 1965 tour of the UK. For your enjoyment, “It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding”

This is a score! It’s the first song of his first electric set at Newport in 1965, where he committed folk heresy by strapping on a Strat with Mike Bloomfield giving us some blistering leads! The end of the folk god and the emergence of the folk-rock god! “Maggie’s Farm”

We also have the last song of this 1965 Newport performance by Bob with Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, and members of the Band of “Like A Rolling Stone” that blew minds and pissed off a whole lot of folk purists. I just found it again! "Like A Rolling Stone" - the "Heretical Electric Performance" 1965

We have his historic 1965 SF press conference!

Bob Dylan’s 1965 Press Conference in SF – pt. 1

Bob Dylan’s 1965 Press Conference in SF – pt. 2

Bob Dylan’s 1965 Press Conference in SF – pt. 3

Bob Dylan’s 1965 Press Conference in SF – pt. 4

Bob Dylan’s 1965 Press Conference in SF – pt. 5

Bob Dylan’s 1965 Press Conference in SF – pt. 6

An hour and 24 audio-only concert live at the Hollywood Bowl! Bob Dylan Live at the Hollywood Bowl 1965

Last year, I had the full 91 minute pioneering cinema verite’ done by the legendary D.A. Pennebaker, “Don’t Look Back,” which documents Dylan’s mid-60s UK tour, complete with some great performances! This year the complete work is no longer anywhere on the web. To make matters worse, last year I found parts 2, 3, and 4 to the movie. This year part 3 disappeared, leaving only parts 2 and 4.

Anyway, here’s the iconic clip from that movie of Bob in the alley dropping cue cards with the lyrics to “Subterranean Homesick Blues”

Also from the movie, here’s the very strange Bob Dylan London press conference. and The Time Magazine Interview

This is said to be part 1 of 3, so it’s not synched with the clips below.

"Don't Look Back" Pt. 1

This is from a different sequence of the same movie.

"Don't Look Back" Pt. 2

"Don't Look Back" Pt. 4

I still can’t find part 3.

Here’s 30 minutes of video titled Don’t Look Back – Complete Rare Performances

When you can, check out the whole movie, since it’s amazing! There's also a lot more at BobDylan.com so by all means have a look around.

From September 1965, his legendary 84 minutes performance at the Hollywood Bowl! The second set is electric, featuring Robbie Robertson, Al Kooper, Harvey Brooks, and Levon Helm! Bob Dylan and the Hawks at the Hollywood Bowl.

From December 1965, Bob Dylan and the Hawks, aka “the Band,” perform two shows in northern California, totaling 5 hours! Bob Dylan and the Band in SF - 1965

Last year I had it, this year it’s gone. The 1966 documentary done by D.A. Pennebaker of Dylan’s UK tour with the Hawks has again disappeared. Better luck next year. Still, I found this 33 minutes from that film! Bob Dylan and the Band on Tour - 1966

More performances!

First, a couple of great audio-only clips from his 1966 tour in Oz!

“Visions of Johanna”

“Positively 4th Street”

Here’s an entire 96 minute show from Sydney! Bob Dylan in Australia - 1966

Last year I had his 1966 Royal Albert Hall tracks, but this year they’ve disappeared. However, I found this gem from the same transitional era, a 1 hour 42 audio-only clip from his Paris appearance in 1966!

Bob Dylan Live in Paris - 1966

From that European tour, a 1 hour 39 concert in Sheffield in 1966! Bob Dylan Live in Sheffield - 1966

I found it again! From the Johnny Cash television show in 1969, Bob and Johnny doing a beautiful live performance duet of “Girl From the North Country,” and also from that show, “I Threw It All Away”

Here’s a “live in the studio” session of Johnny and Bob doing Bob’s “One Too Many Mornings”

Here are two live performances from who knows when.

“Masters of War”

“the Man in the Long Black Coat”

56 minutes of pure gold, beginning with “Ghost Riders in the Sky!” Bob Dylan and George Harrison – In the Studio 1970

Here are a couple of Bob and George Harrison at the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh!

First, here they are doing “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train to Cry”

Here’s the audio-only track of “Just Like A Woman”

Here’s a great duet of them live doing their rehearsal of “If Not For You”

From the 1976 Rolling Thunder Revue tour (I saw it in Austin!), a live clip of Zimmie doing “The Times They are A-changing”

From January 1978 in Los Angeles, here’s a video of the Bard delivering the iconic “Like A Rolling Stone”

A great collaboration from 1980. Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia Let's Keep It Between Us 1980

Live at Farm Aid 1985, introduced by Jack Nicholson, here's Bob Dylan joined by Ron Wood and Keith Richards doing "Blowin' In The Wind." At the same concert with Saint Willie and Tom Petty, here’s a short set of Bob doing a rocking version of ”I’ll Remember You,” “Trust Yourself,” and “Maggie’s Farm,” followed by “That Lucky Old Sun,” and we’ll end with “Shake”

From Farm Aid 1986, Bob live performing “Across the Borderline” and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”

Live in 1986 on television, Bob live performing “I Shall Be Released” and “Blowing In The Wind”

From an unknown show, Bob Dylan with Ron Wood live performing “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”

The Byrds are joined by Bob Dylan on February 24, 1990 at the Roy Orbison Tribute to Benefit the Homeless, at the Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles, doing "Mister Tambourine Man."

Speaking of the Byrds, here’s another iconic tune from the Bard! For your enjoyment, a live performance of a waltz in Glasgow in 1995 of the tune the world knows as “My Back Pages”

Here's the original studio version by the Byrds of "My Back Pages"

For awesome, this is it! Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Roger McGuinn coming together live for ABC tv giving a singularly exquisite performance of “My Back Pages”

The music video of Bob performing one of his best from the 70s, "Tangled Up In Blue."

Also from Blood On the Tracks, an outtake acoustic version of a little known gem called "Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts." (Last year I had the original electric album version, but it’s disappeared.)

A last one from that amazing album, though I can’t find the electric version and did find the interesting acoustic version that was apparently withdrawn from circulation at the time! His scathing indictment of someone. "Idiot Wind."

Live from New Orleans in 1976, a live audio-only version of “Idiot Wind”

Bob performing "Knocking On Heaven's Door"

From his 50th birthday, a live performance of “You Gotta Serve Somebody"

Here's the music video for "Things Have Changed."

Here's a video performance of "Not Dark Yet"

Here's a video of Bob performing "Sweetheart Like You"

Bob in a music video of images from various times in his life performing "Thunder on the Mountain."

This is Dylan at his rawest live! From Atlanta in 1978, “taking us to church” in his autobiographical confessional from “Street Legal,” the awesome “Changing of the Guards”

I found this clip, with Patti Smith groovin' smooth in her offering of the song. So tough, so tender.... "Changing of the Guards."

Here's the post I did with lyrics for "Forever Young" and "Love Minus Zero No Limit," two of my favorite Bob Dylan love songs. Rather than his usual stream of consciousness story telling, these are some very beautiful songs with beautiful imagery and messages. For your enjoyment, Bob live with the Band in an amazing live performance from “The Last Waltz” of “Forever Young” RIP Levon. A bunch of us still miss you.

The second version of this amazing song from Planet Waves is a little jauntier and up tempo than the better known version, but it’s disappeared this year. So instead, I found this great live version of “Forever Young”

Here’s a great audio only 1965 performance in England of “Love Minus Zero No Limit.” Last year I had a great 1996 video from the House of Blues in Atlanta of this song, but it disappeared. This may or may not be it, but it’s still a beautiful live performance of “Love Minus Zero No Limit”

Taken from No Direction Home, live in 1966 in England, a haunting performance of the legendary “Ballad of a Thin Man”

In a special nod to 1965's "Highway 61 Revisited," from Letterman’s 10th anniversary, Bob live on the show cranking out "Like A Rolling Stone," said to be the number one song of all time that broke countless musical barriers.

Live on Letterman in 1984, Bob giving us a great performance of “Jokerman”

Here’s Bob on Letterman in 1993 giving us a live performance of “Forever Young”

From 1996 in Iowa, a great live 1996 video of “Absolutely Sweet Marie”

Here’s an audio only live performance of “Absolutely Sweet Marie”

From England in 2002, a live video performance of “Absolutely Sweet Marie”

From 1974, an entire 1 hour 46 minute live audio only performance of Bob Dylan and the Band at their best! This is an awesome set list!!

Bob Dylan & the Band, January 1974 at Landover,MD

Here’s an interesting audio only clip of Bob and George Harrison doing “Gates of Eden”

Back to live video performances! Here Dylan is joined by Bruce Springsteen in a great performance of "Forever Young"

Here Bob plays the White House in a great waltz arrangement of the classic "The Times They Are A-Changin’”

Here’s another classic find from 1975, with Neil Young and Bob in an audio-only clips of “Helpless” and “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”

Here’s the audio-only album from 1994! Bob Dylan – MTV Unplugged 1994

From the MTV Unplugged sessions, audio only versions of an iconic great one followed by a video of another much newer great one!

“Desolation Row”


I found it again! Here’s a great live video from the 1992 Bobfest at Madison Square Garden of the great George Harrison cranking out a very danceable version of Bob’s “Absolutely Sweet Marie,” which we’ll follow with the rocking studio version by one of my favorite groups of all time, the legendary Flamin’ Groovies! “Absolutely Sweet Marie”

In a rare bootleg from the Palomino Club in North Hollywood in 1987, we find Nelson and Lucky Wilbury with John Fogerty, Jessie Ed Davis, and Taj Mahal in an unrehearsed set doing a bunch of amazing tunes!

Part 1 (15 minutes)

Part 2 (13 minutes)

Here’s the entire 2 hour show, kicked off by Taj! Taj Mahal and the Graffiti Band with George Harrison, Bob Dylan and John Fogerty at The Palomino Club 1987

From Lucky’s time recording with the other Traveling Wilburys, even though there were no separate songwriting credits, we are told these are his contributions to that effort. Since they never toured or performed live, these are all audio-only studio tracks.

“Dirty World”


“Tweeter and the Monkeyman”

“Like A Ship”

From an unknown show with Tom Petty, here’s an audio-only live performance of a tune from his very first album, made famous a few years later by the Animals! “House of the Rising Sun”

Live in England in 2007, “House of the Rising Sun”

Here’s his contribution to the Sun Records tribute, one of my favorite rockabilly tunes originally done by Warren Smith and never released, but it rocks! “Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache”

Live in London in 2003, Dylan rocking out on “The Mighty Quinn”

From Top of the Pops in 1968, Manfred Mann’s hit version of “The Mighty Quinn”

From 1990, the Grateful Dead with Jerry singing lead giving us their boogie version of

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by Robert Wilkinson

Today is the birthday of two amazing musicians, so we’ll celebrate their lives and music in our early show! Levon Helm was a unique musical talent, and gave us some very danceable music, while our other birthday magical musician was the great jazz master Miles Davis!

First, the singing drummer! Levon Helm (May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012) was originally from Arkansas, and once he was recruited by rockabilly great Ronnie Hawkins, the legend began. I’ll give you a few pieces of his bio from AMG:

Levon Helm wore many musical hats throughout his long career, including multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, singer, impresario, studio owner, studio engineer, and producer. He grew up working on a farm in Arkansas; his first instrument was guitar, which he began playing at age eight, but after seeing the F.S. Walcott Rabbits Foot Minstrels, he decided to switch to drums.... Accompanied by his sister Linda on washtub bass, he played various fairs and civic club shows until forming his first group, the Jungle Bush Beaters, while in high school.

After seeing an Elvis Presley concert, Helm became keenly interested in rock & roll and musicians like Bo Diddley. Eventually, he moved to Memphis, where he began sitting in with Conway Twitty. Later, he was discovered by a fellow Arkansan, rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins, who asked the 17-year-old Helm to join the Hawks, his backing band. The group soon relocated to Toronto…

In the early '60s in Toronto, Helm and Hawkins recruited the rest of the members of the group that would become the Band, adding guitarist Robbie Robertson, pianist Richard Manuel, organist Garth Hudson, and bassist Rick Danko to the lineup. After numerous road trips with Hawkins, the group grew tired of the singer's abrasive manner, and they re-formed as Levon & the Hawks... Shortly after, they changed their name back to the Hawks. In the mid-'60s, Bob Dylan decided to electrify his sound and wanted the Hawks to be his backing band. After putting up with too many boos at Dylan's newly electrified shows in 1965, Helm decided he'd had enough, and went back to Arkansas, thinking he would leave the music business behind him forever.

But Helm returned to action in mid-1967, when the Hawks (since renamed simply the Band) began working on Music from Big Pink, the first in a string of classic records that made them one of rock's most legendary acts.

Today I found a LOT of great performances featuring Levon and his Bandmates from the earliest performances right up to 2010. Without further ado, here’s the magnificent Levon Helm!

First, here’s some very early film footage of Levon on the drums with the Hawks backing Ronnie Hawkins in 1959 doing "I Need Your Loving"

From the studio, Ronnie and the Hawks doing "I Feel Good and "Bo Diddley."

Now we go to some live shows!

The Band live at Woodstock! “The Weight” and “Tears of Rage”

Here’s the audio-only 48 minute set! The Band Live at Woodstock

Here's classic footage from the Ed Sullivan Show in 1969! It's the Band live performing "Up On Cripple Creek"

From what looks to be a “live in the home studio” video, this is from 1969 and a classic offering of "Up on Cripple Creek"

We now go to some footage of an event few have heard of, but it made history! From one of the video posts, "Festival Express is a rousing record of a little-known, but monumental, moment in rock n' roll history, starring such music legends as Janis Joplin, The Band, and the Grateful Dead. Set in 1970, Festival Express was a multi-band, multi-day extravaganza that captured the spirit and imagination of a generation and a nation. What made it unique was that it was portable; for five days, the bands and performers lived, slept, rehearsed and did countless unmentionable things aboard a customized train that traveled from Toronto, to Calgary, to Winnipeg, with each stop culminating in a mega-concert. The entire experience, both off-stage and on, was filmed but the extensive footage remained locked away -- until now. A momentous achievement in rock film archeology, Festival Express combines this long-lost material with contemporary interviews nearly 35 years after it was first filmed."

Last year I found the entire movie in 9 separate parts. They’ve now all disappeared from the internet. But I did find this link, which will take you to 9 clips of the movie, leading with the trailer explaining what this extraordinary musical movable feast was all about! For your enjoyment, a very rare moment in music history!

“The Festival Express”

Here are some specific performances by the Band!

“The Weight”

“I Shall Be Released”

Last year I had the “Rockin’ Chair” festival performance, but it disappeared. Here’s one from the same era! “Rockin’ Chair”

Last year I had their performance of this Little Richard classic, but also disappeared. Instead, from October 1971 in France, the Band live cranking out “Slippin’ and Slidin’”

Last year I their performance of our next tune, but it also disappeared. Instead, I found an audio-only version from Boston in 1971 of “Lovin’ You Is Sweeter Than Ever”

I found 19 minutes of pure gold from “The Band” live in Pittsburgh 1970! Here's a four song set of "Time to Kill," "The Weight," "This Wheel's on Fire," and "Up on Cripple Creek"

A bit of introduction to this remarkable man via the Band’s first album. Here’s what the world first heard in 1968. This kind of music had never been done before, and opened the door to a thousand variations done by the proverbial “10,000 pickers” since then. "Music from Big Pink" – the entire album in single song clips in its original sequence.

Last year I had an interesting series of interviews with the members of the Band demonstrating called “The Making of ‘Up On Cripple Creek’” but this year it’s disappeared. Better luck next year.

As most know, the Band had a long association with Bob Dylan off and on for many years and albums. They backed him in the 1966 and 1974 tours, and were musicians on "the Basement Tapes," "Self Portrait," "Planet Waves," and "Before the Flood."

Here’s Bob backed by the Band in an audio-only live performance at Carnegie Hall in 1968 doing Woody Guthries’s "I Ain’t Got No Home"

Last year almost all the performance footage of the Band and Bob Dylan at the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival disappeared, including “Quinn the Eskimo” and “Highway 61 Revisited.” I still had “I Threw It all Away” but it too has disappeared.

This is the only live video left! The Band performs “The Weight”

“We Can Talk”

“Long Black Veil”

“To Kingdom Come”

“Ain’t No More Cane”

“Don’t You Tell Henry”

“Chest Fever”

“I Shall Be Released”

“The Weight”

“Lovin’ You Is Sweeter Than Ever

From 1970 in Pittsburgh, 17 minutes of the Band on video performing

“Time to Kill,” “The Weight,” “This Wheel's on Fire,” and “Up on Cripple Creek”

Classic audio-only footage of Bob Dylan backed by the Band in 1971! From New Year’s Eve 1971 at the Academy of Music, “Like a Rolling Stone”

2 years ago I had all the clips from what is said to be 2012’s best music video documentary! It tells the story of Bob Dylan, the Band, and their legendary collaboration in the 60s and 70s. However, this year 3 parts have disappeared, and they are nowhere to be found.

“Bob Dylan and the Band - Down in the Flood Part 2”

“Bob Dylan and the Band - Down in the Flood Part 3”

“Bob Dylan and the Band - Down in the Flood Part 5”

“Bob Dylan and the Band - Down in the Flood Part 6”

“Bob Dylan and the Band - Down in the Flood Part 7”

From The Last Waltz, here’s a great live performance by Bob Dylan and the Band of “Forever Young” and “Baby Let Me Follow You Down.”

From the same gig, a live performance of the Band backing Ronnie Hawkins doing "Who Do You Love." We’ll finish this Last Waltz with “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

Here’s an audio-only hour and 46 minutes in 1974 of a live performance of Bob Dylan and the Band in Maryland

From July 1976 in Asbury Park New Jersey, an hour and 20 of The Band Live at Casino Arena 1976

The Band (without Robbie) opened for Grateful Dead on New Year’s Eve 1983. Here’s 78 minutes of joy! The Band at San Francisco Civic Auditorium

I found it again! Here’s a great 1987 clip in Asbury Park, NJ with Levon and Bruce Springsteen giving us 13 minutes of "Up On Cripple Creek" and "Lucille"

Here's a show recorded at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles on December 3, 1989, during the first tour of the All-Starr Band. This show featured Ringo backed by Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Billy Preston, Dr. John, Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren and Clarence Clemons. This is a major ensemble! For your enjoyment, "The Weight," “The Shape I’m In,” and “Up on Cripple Creek.”

From 1994, a short segment on the 1990s-era Band from the music TV series "The Road". Concert material shot at the Peoria, IL 8-5-94 show & an unknown show that same period in Rockford, IL.

The Band on The Road

Last year I had 3 parts of a great documentary titled THE BAND - The Authorized Video Biography but this year they’ve all disappeared. So instead, I found you this!

The Legendary Tales: Bob Dylan and the Band – the Basement Tapes

Here’s another brief bit from another 1995 bio. The Band – 1995 documentary pt. 4

From January 1995, Levon, Rick Danko, and Garth Hudson on Letterman with Paul and the house band joining in on a great version of "The Weight"

Here’s a great live performance on video featuring Levon, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, and Richard Manuel grinding out “Willie and the Hand Jive”

From 1996, a live performance of Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, and Levon Helm doing "Evangeline"

Now for some newer stuff!

This one will get you dancing! It’s a full hour and change of The Levon Helm Band at the Newport Festival 2008

Here are 5 from the 2009 PBS Special "Levon Helm Ramble At The Ryman."


“Anna Lee”

“The Weight”

“The Shape I’m In”

From the 2010 Edmonton Folk Festival, the Levon Helm Band doing a great live performance of "The Shape I’m In"

Here's a great 21 minute short film inspired by and featuring music from Levon Helm's Grammy Award winning 2007 album "Dirt Farmer."

"Only Halfway Home"

Back to the studio!

From the 1978 album "Levon Helm"

"God Bless ‘Em All"

"Take Me To The River"

Here’s a great 1 hour 7 minute live show! From 1983 in Oregon, Levon Helm and Rick Danko – The Living Room Tapes

As the you tube site explains about the pieces I’m about to give you, “Electric Dirt" is the second album in the last two years from American musical treasure Levon Helm. Its predecessor, "Dirt Farmer," his first solo LP in a quarter century, followed Levon's near-miraculous recovery from throat cancer, and as such represented a new lease on life for the legendary artist...

The accolades poured in after the release of "Dirt Farmer" in the fall of 2007. 'This album is nothing less than a return to form by one of the most soulful vocalists in rock history,' raved the San Francisco Chronicle, reflecting the universal sentiment. Levon was named Artist of the Year by the Americana Music Association, and the album was awarded the 2008 Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Recording. Meanwhile, Rolling Stone hailed Helm's "Midnight Ramble," which takes place monthly at Levon Helm Studios—a.k.a. The Barn—in his longtime home of Woodstock, N.Y., as 2008's Best Jam Session.”

From “Dirt Farmer”

"Poor Old Dirt Farmer"

"Wide River To Cross"


For your enjoyment, some live footage and interviews of

“The Making of Electric Dirt”

We’ll close this tribute with a few tracks off of his 2009 album, “Electric Dirt.” I figured it would be a great send off, since it’s some of his most joyous music, having survived a bout with throat cancer and he sings it straight!

Here’s Levon live on Letterman performing “Tennessee Jed”

Here’s the studio version of "Tennessee Jed"

"I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free"

“Golden Bird”

“King Fish”

We close this birthday celebration of Levon Helm with a song he wrote that seems a fitting epitaph to his life. For your consideration of the Spirit of a man made real through music, some pretty amazing lyrics set to joyous music:

"When I Go Away"

Happy Birthday and RIP Levon. You led an amazing life and gave us some amazing music. Thanks for everything. "Don't want no sorrow, For this old orphan boy, I don't want no crying, Only tears of joy..."


A big Happy Birthday also goes out to jazz legend Miles Davis (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991). Due to time constraints, I can't really do justice to this all-time great musician who has blown a lot of minds for many decades. I'll try to compose something longer next year. For now, here are five albums in their entirety, followed by some really great live concert footage of Miles with some of the best of all time!

“Round About Midnight” (1957)

"Kind of Blue" (1959)

“Sketches of Spain” (1960)

"Bitches' Brew" (1970)

"Live-Evil" (1971)

Last year I had a 40 minute audio-only clip recorded in multiple sessions between 1957 and 1963 of hard bop but it’s disappeared.

From 1960, an entire 1 hour 11 show! Miles Davis and John Coltrane in Stockholm

Now for some concerts!

First, a great 10+ minute live video clip from 1959 of Miles Davis and John Coltrane giving us “So What”

From that same year, Miles and Gil Evans in a 14 minute live video of “Miles Ahead”

I found it again! Here’s the entire one hour 1964 film clip of Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams! Miles Davis Quintet Live at Teatro dell'Arte in Milan, Italy 1964

From that tour I did find this great 12 minute video from Milan with Miles performing “MY Funny Valentine”

From 1967, The Miles Davis Quintet - Around The Midnight

From Nov 1967, an hour and 5 of The Miles Davis Quintet Live in Germany

Here’s an hour and 10 of Miles Davis Live in Copenhagen 1969

From 1969 here's a great 45 minute video of Miles Davis Live at Antibes, France

Also from 1969, a full hour of Miles, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette giving us some far out jazz! Miles Davis Quintet "Salle Pleyel Paris 1969 'Second Concert"

From Tanglewood in 1970, 45 minutes of pure gold! Miles Davis at Tanglewood

From the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, Miles live giving us “Call It Anything” and two audio-only tracks, “Spanish Key” and “Bitches Brew”

From 1971, a great 41 minute video of "Miles Davis live in Turin, Italy"

Also from 1971, Miles Davis Live in Stadthalle Dietikon, Switzerland

From 1971 in Oslo, Norway, Miles giving us “What I Say” and “Yesternow”

From 1971, and hour and 11 of Miles and Keith Jarrett! Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett – The Berlin Concert

Here’s a full hour of Miles Davis Live in Vienna 1973

Also from 1973, a full hour of Miles Davis Live in Tokyo 1973

Last year I had a great 1986 PBS “Great Performances” show titled "Miles Ahead" - The Music of Miles Davis, but this year it’s disappeared.

From 1985, a full one hour show! Miles Davis Live in Montreal 1985

And for our closer, from 1984, an hour and 40 concert! Miles Davis Live at Montreux 1984

For our encore, a great documentary!

"Kind Of Blue" - Miles Davis Documentary pt. 1

"Kind Of Blue" - Miles Davis Documentary pt. 2

"Kind Of Blue" - Miles Davis Documentary pt. 3

© Copyright 2018 Robert Wilkinson

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by Robert Wilkinson

These two wrote a lot of major hits, so today we moove and groove to early rock and roll and classic country. Good golly Miz Molly, Long Tall Sally's on the loose and Ready Teddy is looking to Rip it Up!

Robert Alexander "Bumps" Blackwell (May 23, 1918 – March 9, 1985) was an iconic early rock and roll songwriter, arranger, and producer. We read in Wikipedia that he gave the world Little Richard, and helped launch Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Lloyd Price, Herb Alpert, Larry Williams, and Sly and the Family Stone.

Today we’ll focus on his Little Richard work, since he co-wrote some of the biggest! We’ll begin with his production of Little Richard’s first big one, the "sound of the birth of rock and roll!"

From the 1956 Alan Freed movie "Don't Knock the Rock," Little Richard’s cranking out "Tutti Frutti." (It was standard to lip synch in those days, but it still gives a sense of what was happening!) Here's a clip of the Master in full makeup and great form live in 1995 doing a powerful pounding performance of "Tutti Frutti." This one seriously rocks, and rocks hard!

Also from "Don't Knock the Rock," a tune Bumps co-wrote! "Long Tall Sally." Here's the original studio version, complete with wailing sax! "Long Tall Sally." And for your enjoyment, here's an incredible Beatle live tv performance of "Long Tall Sally," sung "with gusto" by Paul McCartney.

Check this one out! An utterly fantastic music video featuring John Goodman and "the King," Little Richard performing his signature hit co-written by Bumps, "Good Golly Miss Molly."

From the 1964 UK Granada TV show "'Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" (later retitled "Don't knock the rock" - no relation to the Alan Freed movies!), here's are five b/w live performances!! First, after a rave up opening by the house band, we find Little Richard performing another Bumps tune, "Rip It Up."

Here’s a great performance of "Lucille" and "Good Golly Miss Molly."

I found a 27 minute live show in France in 1966 where he's at his wild man best! Little Richard in France Live in 1966 (“Lucille,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” “Rip It Up,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Tutti Frutti,” “Jenny Jenny,” “Send Me Some Lovin’,” “Ready Teddy,” “She’s Got It,” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”)

Here are a couple of single clips from that 1966 show in Paris, Little Richard wailing on "Jenny Jenny," followed by a great performance where he winds up shirtless doing a rave up version of the Bumps tune "Ready Teddy"

From the movie Let the Good Times Roll, an 18 minute gem of kinetic Sag energy ablaze! ”Lucille,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” and “Rip It Up.”

We’ll close this brief tribute with 4 classic clips from the legendary 1969 Toronto Peace Festival! We begin with LR cranking out a pounding “Lucille” followed by “Good Golly Miss Molly,” keep the heat up with “Keep A Knockin’” and close with “Rip It Up.” (Last year I had “Tutti Frutti,” “Jenny Jenny,” and “Long Tall Sally,” but this year they’ve disappeared.)

For the encore, an entire 41 minute clip of the best performances in that festival by Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Bill Haley! LR does “Rip It Up,” “Tutti Frutti,” and “Jenny Jenny,” making up for the single clips of those songs that disappeared this year. For your enjoyment, Little Richard and friends live at the 1969 Toronto Peace Festival


We now celebrate the life and music of "Tom T." Hall (May 25, 1936). He is one of the greatest country talents ever to hit the stage. From wiki, he’s a “songwriter, singer, instrumentalist, novelist, and short-story writer. He has written 11 No. 1 hit songs, with 26 more that reached the Top 10, including the No. 1 international pop crossover smash "Harper Valley PTA" and the hit "I Love", which reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. He became known to fans as "The Storyteller," thanks to his storytelling skills in his songwriting.”

We’ll begin with one of my favorites, “Pamela Brown”

Here’s the extraordinary performance of this tune by Leo Kottke on ACL! “Pamela Brown”

Here was his breakthrough! “Harper Valley PTA” Of course, this was the version that went to the top on both the pop and country charts! Here’s Jeannie C Riley belting out her classic hit “Harper Valley PTA”

This went to #1 in 1969! A funny take on "A Week in a Country Jail"

Here’s a great video the leads with an interview about his childhood hero! This went to #1 in 1971! "The Year Clayton Delaney Died"

Here’s the original studio version of the song that went to #1 in 1972, "(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine" And from the old man in 2011, a great live performance of "(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine"

This kid’s tune went to #1 on the country charts in 1975. "I Care"

Here’s an early hit for Manfred Mann that Tom T took to #1 Country in 1976! “Fox On The Run”

From 1979, "Greed Kills More People Than Whiskey"

A 1986 live tv performance of his #1 hit from 1974, "Country Is"

A great video of an obviously loaded Tom T performing his 1975 #4 hit, "I Like Beer"

#1 in late 1975 and early 1976! "Faster Horses (the Cowboy and the Poet)"

This one went to #1 in 1973! "I Love"

This has to be the strangest country tune ever written! “America the Ugly”

We’ll close with a great tune, perfect for the occasion! “I Hope It Rains at my Funeral”

© Copyright 2018 Robert Wilkinson

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by Robert Wilkinson

Today we celebrate the birthday of Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the earliest and greatest of American Sages. He was a philosopher who created the Transcendentalist movement which gave young America intellectual and metaphysical credibility and direction. The practical spirituality that Emerson and others wrote about and lived in the early 19th century offered seed ideas that prepared America for the Ageless Wisdom introduced by H.P. Blavatsky a few decades later.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet. Known as “The Sage from Concord," he was one of the most enlightened Americans ever to grace our nation, a wise man and Initiate of the highest order. His wisdom is profound, practical, and still very relevant in our irrational world.

In "Ralph Waldo Emerson - Enlightened American," I offered that one principle of Transcendentalism is that all of us are able to commune directly with the source of Divine Inspiration, since all of us are parts of a larger Unity of Soul-Spirit. As it was put by W.H. Channing, “Amidst materialists, zealots, and skeptics, the Transcendentalist believed in perpetual inspiration, the miraculous power of will, and a birthright to universal good."

From Emerson's "The Over-Soul," courtesy of "The Sage from Concord."

"Thus revering the soul, and learning, as the ancient said, that 'its beauty is immense,' man will come to see that the world is the perennial miracle which the soul worketh, and be less astonished at particular wonders; he will learn that there is no profane history; that all history is sacred; that the universe is represented in an atom, in a moment of time. He will weave no longer a spotted life of shreds and patches, but he will live with a divine unity. He will cease from what is base and frivolous in his life and be content with all places and with any service he can render. He will calmly front the morrow in the negligency of that trust which carried God with it and so hath already the whole future in the bottom of the heart."

As I noted in that article, there is definitely something to be said for living in the here and now, observing the impermanence of what we perceive with our five senses and our minds. Everything in this world is always in flux, except the love and light we are, whether we or anyone else notices it nor not.

Since we are Eternals having human experiences in the physical, emotional, and mental realms, it's good to be flexible, detach from taking the changes personally, and be as positive as possible in cultivating genuine goodwill in the midst of the ignorance, dullness, and violence of our times. "All history is sacred." It's all in your point of view. And anything is possible if you just find the right point of view.

Here’s another great quote from Emerson:

Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances -- it was somebody's name, or he happened to be there at the time, or it was so then, and another day would have been otherwise. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

That got me to thinking, and I found even more gems of his wisdom. For your consideration:

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.

A man's growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.

A good indignation brings out all one's powers.

A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.

A man is a method, a progressive arrangement; a selecting principle, gathering his like to him; wherever he goes.

A man is usually more careful of his money than he is of his principles.

For even more quotes from this remarkable American Original, please check out Ralph Waldo Emerson's Enlightened Transcendentalism. In that article I gave quite a few quotes from his essay on "Self Reliance." Also from the post, I offered you that one of Emerson's most famous quotes is often attributed to Einstein, showing that the father of quantum physics was also a fan of the Sage of Concord. From Emerson,

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds... With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today

Two more of my faves from that article include:

Discontent is the want of self-reliance; it is infirmity of will. Regret calamities if you can thereby help the sufferer; if not, attend your own work and already the evil begins to be repaired.

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.

Please check out the above link to read more philosophical gems from this remarkable man for the Ages. His life and works are a tribute to practical spirituality.

© Copyright 2018 Robert Wilkinson

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by Robert Wilkinson

Today we’ll review the essentials in astrology as a prelude to a more thorough examination of the septile series aspects and how they work in part 2.

As I gave you 2 weeks ago in the Basics of Astrology, there are really only four factors, or primary “building blocks” involved in the craft. There are planets, signs, houses, and aspects. While we’re all familiar with the planets, signs, and houses, today we’ll take a new look to set the foundation for exploring the aspects in the next part. (I last gave you this material 4 years ago, and have rewritten and updated it to make it more readable.)

The Planets and Signs

The planets are our "lights" symbolizing the different parts of our personality makeup, and each of the 7 Sacred Planets has a duality of function. These are the planetary lights. To list a few, the Sun is our Light/Life, our power plant, the source of illumination and our integrity. The Moon is our personality package and how we experience life “up close and personal.” Mercury is how we coordinate various life affairs, Venus is the types of people, food, and music we like, Mars what spurs us forward or aggravates us, and Jupiter our expansive principle, how we view opportunity and a greater life adventure.

All the planets occupy a sign. There are 12 signs, and every chart has all 12 somewhere positioned on the wheel. The 12 signs are the filters through which the planetary lights shine, whether in healthy or dysfunctional ways.

To offer three examples of how a planet works through a sign, a Sun in Aries is illuminated by Aries experiences and people, and illuminates others via Aries ways of being, whereas a Sun in Virgo is illuminated and illuminates others through Virgo experiences and people.

Venus is what we like, both in art, people, and life. Venus in Taurus likes Taurus types of art and people, whereas a Venus in Sagittarius likes Sag types of art and people. Someone with Venus in Gemini will like vastly different things than a Venus in Capricorn. To note only one difference, it could be said that the former is a love of learning, whereas the latter is a love of personal accomplishment.

Saturn is what we fear, our “Ring Pass Not,” the lessons we must learn whether we want to or not, and our bottom line regarding boundaries and responsibility. So Saturn in Virgo finds its limit through Virgo experiences, while Saturn in Aquarius finds its limit through Aquarian experiences. Saturn in Taurus has its “bottom line” regarding Taurus things, whereas Saturn in Pisces has its “Ring Pass Not” in the realm of Pisces experiences, people, and activities. (The link takes you to pt. 3 of the series, with links to pts. 1 & 2 at the bottom of that article. After you’re done here, have fun exploring “The Ring Pass Not.”)

There’s also an entire chapter devoted to “The Ring Pass Not,” and how it relates to both Karma and Dharma in my book, Saturn: Spiritual Master, Spiritual Friend. If you haven’t already gotten your copy, please go to the Createspace page and order yours today! It’s guaranteed to help you understand all you could want to know about Saturn, and your power to take command of your lives!

The Houses

The third building block in the art and science of Astrology are the houses. The houses represent the various areas of life. They are our “window on our world” of things, and the sign on the house cusp (the edge leading into that life area) shows our orientation to those life areas. Therefore each house has a sign quality, and sometimes two if a sign is “intercepted” in a house. This is determined by the time and place of birth, and shows our bias in that department of life.

The first house, or Ascendant, indicates our self-image, and our body. The second house is our values and wealth, the third house our siblings and environment, our seventh house our partnerships, the eleventh house our friends and ambitions, and so on. We all have all twelve houses, though each of us has our unique approach to those life areas due to planet(s) and signs involved in any given house.

If you want to know the difference in the Sun sign vs the Rising sign, please take a new look at the two part series “In An Astrology chart, Which is More Important – The Sun sign or the Rising Sign?” The two articles in this series offers a look at the important parts each of these plays in our lives.

The Aspects

The fourth essential building block in the art and science of Astrology are the aspects. These show the angular relationships between the planets and various points in the chart. An aspect shows us the relationship between the departments of our inner self as well as our outer life, and indicate when the timing on critical choices will occur. Through the aspects we can find out when we will be challenged, when things will proceed harmoniously, when things will specialize or hit a fork in the road or finally come to fruition.

Each aspect series results from division of the circle by the numbers 1 through 12. 1 results in the conjunction, 2 in the opposition, 3 the trine, 4 the square, 5 the quintile, 6 the sextile, 7 the septile, 8 the semisquare, 9 the novile, 10 the decile (or semi-quintile), 11 the elftile, and 12 the semi-sextile.

There are harmonics of these, of course. For example, in the specializing series represented by the Decile and Quintile, there is also the Tredecile (108 degrees) and the Biquintile (144 degrees). All four of the aspects in this series show unique specializations, whether partly developed gifts or unique qualities (decile), fully developed gifts or unique qualities (quintile), interactive complementary gifts or unique qualities (tredecile), or interactive fully developed gifts or unique qualities (biquintile).

I know that some books credit the quintiles with qualities other than what I've just offered. Though there is general acceptance of the better known angles (dating from Ptolemy), there is some confusion about the more obscure aspects, such as the quintile, septile, and novile series aspects. I've just given you what I believe are some qualities of the quintiles, since 5 represents specialization, expansion, and "quintessence."

I wrote more extensively about the septile series and novile series in my long out of print 1978 book “Astrology and the Spiritual Path.” (This shouldn’t be confused with another work released years later by different authors. Their work had literally nothing to do with the spiritual path, and the title was a mistranslation from the German.) If you want to know more about these “spiritual aspects,” please check out the articles The Spiritual Aspect Series – The Novile, Septile, and Elftile Harmonic Aspects and Their Glyphs. For more specifics on the Septile series aspects, here’s Essential Factors In Astrology Pt. 2 - Astrological Aspects, the Septile Series, Destiny, and Fate.

In those articles I elaborate on the meaning and applications of the septile, biseptile, and triseptile, as well as the novile, binovile, trinovile, and quadranovile. I also assigned glyphs to all of them, based on what I saw as the symbols operating in each instance. The webinar I did on this subject will be a book, hopefully done in 2019, on all the aspects and how they work.

In part two in this series, I’ll offer you some things about the septile series aspects, since I use them a lot, both in my chart readings as well as in my interpretations of various events I write about here. When you’re done here, you should have a greater understanding of how the septile, biseptile, and triseptile work.

See you soon for the septile series express!

© Copyright 2018 Robert Wilkinson

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by Robert Wilkinson

Today would have been the 159th birthday of the one who created the detective novel, giving birth to one of the best known fictional characters of all time. He was also a famous investigator of spiritual phenomenon.

From Wikipedia,

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish-born writer best known for his detective fiction featuring the character Sherlock Holmes. Originally a physician, in 1887 he published A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels about Holmes and Dr. Watson. In addition, Doyle wrote over fifty short stories featuring the famous detective. The Sherlock Holmes stories are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction.

Doyle was a prolific writer; his non-Sherlockian works include fantasy and science fiction stories about Professor Challenger and humorous stories about the Napoleonic soldier Brigadier Gerard, as well as plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels….

Doyle had a longstanding interest in mystical subjects…. in Southsea in 1887, influenced by a member of the Portsmouth Literary and Philosophical Society … he began a series of psychic investigations. These included attending around 20 seances, experiments in telepathy and sittings with mediums. Writing to Spiritualist journal Light, that year, he declared himself to be a Spiritualist and spoke of one particular psychic event that had convinced him.

He was a founding member of the Hampshire Society for Psychical Research in 1889 and joined the London-based Society for Psychical Research in 1893…. During 1916, at the height of World War I, a change came over Conan Doyle's beliefs prompted by the apparent psychic abilities of his children's nanny, Lily Loder Symonds. This, combined with the deaths he saw around him, made him rationalise that Spiritualism was a "New Revelation" sent by God to bring solace to the bereaved. The New Revelation was the title of his first Spiritualist work, published two years later. In the intervening years, he wrote to Light magazine about his faith and lectured frequently on the truth of Spiritualism.

War-related deaths close to him certainly strengthened his long-held belief in life after death and spirit communication, though it is wrong to claim that the death of his son, Kingsley, turned him to Spiritualism, as is often stated. Doyle came out as a Spiritualist to the public in 1916, a full two years before his son's death….

Doyle found solace supporting spiritualism and its attempts to find proof of existence beyond the grave. In particular, according to some, he favoured Christian Spiritualism and encouraged the Spiritualists' National Union to accept an eighth precept – that of following the teachings and example of Jesus of Nazareth. He was a member of the renowned supernatural organisation The Ghost Club…. Doyle believed that many cases of diagnosed mental illness were the result of spirit possession….

Many of the spiritualists’ claims were debunked over the years, and while Doyle stayed faithful to his beliefs in paranormal powers and occurrences, he also spent years in useless public fights with skeptics of spiritualism. Still, he’s known for one great big thing – he created Sherlock Holmes, the greatest “consulting detective” of all time, loved by millions around the world to this day.

Which reminds me: I once did a talk to a Sherlockian group in Austin many years ago, where I delineated the chart of the Master Detective, as his birthday is given in various parts of the canon. A great good time was had by all! If I can find the transcript which was published way back when in a newsletter format, I’ll do a rewrite and publish it here for your enjoyment.

Yes, even fictional characters have birth charts! And given the longevity of this particular character, I have no doubt that his legacy took significant turns during the transits since he first was introduced on the world stage. I’d even bet the publication of A Study in Scarlett corresponded to a significant transit in Sherlock’s chart!

So here’s to a Master Wordsmith and spiritual investigator. Even if he got some things wrong about the invisible world (don't we all, from time to time?), he still gave the world a fantastic legacy loved to this day.

© Copyright 2018 Robert Wilkinson

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