...and getting smaller

Dear Friend and Reader:

WE HAVE a lot to offer you in Small World Stories. There are extended-length Sun-sign horoscopes that are based on, or deeply informed by, the small worlds -- the newly discovered minor planets. The planets themselves are looked at closely in 16 articles, each of which comes with extensive research notes for those who are interested. We have articles by several different writers offering theories as to how these planets are used, and what they might mean to astrology. Several really interesting feature articles are presented as well.

Finally, original, personal stories by 24 different Planet Waves readers are offered, demonstrating what a small world it really is. To those who contributed or tried out for the position of editor -- thank you.

I want to tell you where my vision for this project goes beyond what currently exists, and put the call out for your involvement and participation, while the subject is fresh in our minds. In particular, that is the fact that our world, the Earth, is the original small world, a tiny place furnished with a minute amount of air and fresh water, and a lot of people (and cows) to consume that fresh air and water. And people to consume those cows. And more people and cows being born every minute, consuming stuff and excreting carbon.

In this annual edition, we need coverage of air and water. One article that I was hoping to commission but am still looking for the perfect author for is a piece on how excreted drugs such as Prozac are going from people's bladders into the fresh water supply in many places. On a related topic, we need an article on hormone mayhem -- PCBs, pesticides, dioxins, phthlates, heavy metals and lawn products that are getting into our bodies and tricking us into thinking they're hormones.

We need a close look at the oil situation and the state of alternative energy. I have a thick file on the latest developments in solar and geothermal that I plan to develop into a strong article during the next month or two. I had also envisioned a piece about how the Internet is making the world a smaller, more intimate place in some ways and a more remote, distant and inhumane one in others. We who inhabit the Internet need to think about where we are, and what we need to do as what some people call netizens -- citizens of the Net; perhaps the first authentic mass international constituency.

I would like to explain to people how the concept of a multinational corporation is making the world frighteningly small. At the same time, I am pretty sure many would be interested in the latest news from the intentional communities of the world, places where people get together to live, share and cooperate.

So I would, as this project's editor, call upon anyone with information, gumption and a dictionary to step forward and offer their contribution. You need to use your education; you paid dearly for it, for a reason. We all need to share what we know, and what we are learning; we need to inform our neighbors; we need to remember that we are here, with just one another, on our small world.

As you've read by now, the Planet Waves monthly horoscope is moving inside Small World Stories, so we will be updating this website regularly. Please look for those articles here -- but if you look twice and don't see one you want to read, please contribute.

That being said, I think we do a respectable job covering the newly discovered planets, and making that information accessible to you and to the professional astrology community. Many professional astrologers act as if the minor planets are not even there, instead of seizing our amazing moment. This, while the scientific community persists with restless drive and devotion. What I love about the minor planet astronomers is that they are true scientists. There is, at this point, no freakin' way that (for example) the pharmaceutical industry could give a toss about what they are doing. The oil companies might care in a hundred years; this is science sans profit motive. Just like we dream of. These astronomers do the work for its own sake.

I recently received an email newsletter from Mike Brown, the co-discoverer of Eris. Planet Waves writer Kirsti Melto and I have a running joke about how, based on his awareness of symbolism and mythology, Mike is an astrologer but he doesn't know it yet. Maybe we need to get rid of the terms astrologer and astronomer and just call the lot of us astrophiles. Anyway, here is what he had to say, and I offer this to the ethos of astrology.
When I started scanning the skies almost a decade ago looking for large objects in the outer solar system, I certainly didn't know what specifically was going to be out there, but I knew that there was a not bad chance that we would find something bigger than Pluto eventually (though I will admit that at one point midway through the decade I contemplated declaring the search over, thinking we had found all there was to find of interest. One of my students eventually talked me out of it.)
Good thing, too.

Welcome to the 10th annual edition of Planet Waves.

5:48 pm, Jan. 9, 2008
Kingston, New York
The United States of America
on Turtle Island