Transformational Ecstasy: Neptunian Bliss Embodied by Jessye Norman’s Performance of Wagner’s “Liebestod”

“Ertrinken. Versinken.   Unbewusst. Hochste Lust!””To drown.  To sink Unconscious.  O Greatest Bliss!”Final words of both the character of Isolde and the climactic ending of Richard Wagner’s Neptunian masterpiece, “Tristan und Isoolde” One would be extremely hard pressed to find an individualized artwork or item deemed a masterpiece that fulfills a  large number of artistic and […]

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Brad Kronen Proudly Presents his book “The Discovery of Neptune & Its Ensuing Romantic Age”

In this unique and informative book, renowned astrologer Brad Kronen reveals that the 1846 discovery of the planet Neptune and its subsequent influence on one of the greatest periods of human creativity otherwise known as The Romantic Age are events that cannot be considered as random or chance happenings. Kronen shows these two seminal occurrences […]

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Edith Stein: Seeker of Truth in a World devoid of Light, Part II

The Pontiff of the Catholic Church who canonized Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross was a man who lived in the vicinity during the time when St. Teresa’s martyrdom took place, the Polish Pope, John Paul II. His homily given on the day Edith Stein was made a saint sums up this extraordinary woman’s life quite fittingly:

“A woman in search of the truth has become a saint and martyr through the silent workings of divine grace…With her whole being she sought the truth, of which she wrote: “No spiritual work comes into the world without great suffering. It always challenges the whole person”. For a long time Edith Stein was a seeker. Her mind never tired of searching and her heart always yearned for hope. She traveled the arduous path of philosophy with passionate enthusiasm. Eventually she was rewarded: she seized the truth. Or better: she was seized by it. She discovered that Truth had a name: Jesus Christ.”

May each of us, no matter our creed, follow Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross’s example by giving our best to seek and hopefully find our own version of divine Truth.

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Edith Stein: Seeker of Truth in a World devoid of Light, Part I

I have always been fascinated by authoritative figures within the realm of organized religion who come from backgrounds that are anything but religious or where they begin life following a faith with a foundation that seems almost diametrically opposed from the one they come to eventually embrace. Thus is the case with a Jewish woman born as Edith Stein who would eventually become the Catholic saint named Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

Within Catholicism’s School of Saints, Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross is truly unique. Although reaching the highest level of Catholic spirituality, as a canonized saint Edith’s identity is still closely intertwined with her religion of birth given the fact Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross’ life ended in Auschwitz, the most notorious of Nazi extermination centers established during the Second World War which were built with the intent of annihilating the Jewish people as a whole.

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Remembering Joe Green: The Life & Art of Giuseppe Verdi, Part VIII

During the Second World War at the Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt better known as Terezin, Verdi’s Requiem was performed an astounding 16 times. A Romanian conductor and composer named Rafael Schachter both organized and conducted the singers and instrumentalists from start to finish. Having only his one copy of the score which he carried with him everywhere, Schachter secretly arranged rehearsals with his fellow inmates until they were at a performance level to present Verdi’s masterpiece to the public. When asked why he dared to perform a Catholic Requiem among predominantly Jewish prisoners, Schachter replied:

“We must respond to the worst of mankind with the best of mankind.”

Through his life and art, it can be said that Giuseppe Verdi has assisted in bringing mankind significantly closer to a Divine Source.

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Remembering Joe Green: The Life & Art of Giuseppe Verdi, Part VII

Even the Maestro, himself, was star struck when it came to artistic greatness. In fact, Giuseppe Verdi was so thoroughly well versed in this one man’s artistry, it’s not a stretch to say the Father of Italian Opera could very well have been one of his biggest fans.

This hyper-fandom is evidenced by the Maestro not only having read each and every one of this man’s numerous works, he did so repeatedly. This famed personality was so revered by the composer, a special term of endearment was reserved for him whenever Verdi used the word “Pappa”. Giuseppe Verdi held this man’s genius in such high regard, the Maestro took four of his complete works and set them each to music.

I can only be referring to that 17th century British actor whom many consider to be the greatest writer of the English language and whose plays are as timely today as when they were when originally written some 500 years ago – the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare.

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Remembering Joe Green: The Life & Art of Giuseppe Verdi, Part V

The diabolically dramatic entrance aria sung by the witch Ulrica in Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera” holds a momentous place in the History of Classical Music, since that was the vocal piece sung by the first African American to grace the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. The vocally astounding contralto, Marian Anderson made operatic history when she sang the role of Ulrica during her one and only operatic performance in front of a live audience on January 7th, 1955.

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Remembering Joe Green: The Life & Art of Giuseppe Verdi, Part IV

Remembering Joe Green: The Life & Art of Giuseppe Verdi, Part IV The ABC’s of opera became not so basic when casts of 100’s and live elephants were added to an opera house’s ever rising production costs to put on Verdi’s “Aida”. The Triumphal March from Verdi’s opera “Aida” For our next musical extravaganza honoring Giuseppe Verdi, […]

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Remembering Joe Green: The Life & Art of Giuseppe Verdi, Part III

Remembering Joe Green: The Life & Art of Giuseppe Verdi, Part III Poster of the premiere performance of Verdi’s “Nabucco” on March 9th, 1842   “Va Pensiero” from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Nabucco   The next installment honoring Giuseppe Verdi is one of his most beloved pieces for full 4 part chorus, “Va, Pensiero”, in English, “Fly, Thought on […]

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Remembering Joe Green: The Life & Art of Giuseppe Verdi, Part II

The most well loved tenor aria of all time is from Verdi’s masterpiece “Rigoletto”. It’s the anthem song of the chauvinistic pig who (keeping things polite) is a tad too preoccupied with loving (followed by immediately leaving) the ladies and is sung by the character considered to be the Lord King Chauvinist of both Pig and Player alike, the Duke of Mantua.

Before the opera even made it to the stage, Verdi knew he had a major hit on his hands, if only for Act III’s opening aria, “La Donna e Mobile”. When Rigoletto made its debut in Venice, rehearsals were held in the tightest of secrecy for fear of the Duke’s aria being pirated. No matter. It’s been said the next day after the opera’s Venetian premiere, every gondolier could be heard throughout the city crooning the Duke’s ditty from the canals.

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Remembering Joe Green: The Life & Art of Giuseppe Verdi – Part I

Joe Green.

That’s how I first became familiar with the great composer, Giuseppe Verdi. I was in 2nd grade and my father was taking me on my first stroll through that vast, expansive world that is Classical Music. Knowing at the age of 8 I wasn’t quite ready to fully absorb or pronounce anything remotely resembling Italian, my father would animatedly say to me, “Giuseppe Verdi is another way of saying Joe Green.” He then proceeded to play me that popular Verdi hit used to sell anything from life insurance to car wax, The Anvil Chorus from “Il Trovatore” from Dad’s “Voice of Firestone” record collection. After becoming familiar with the tune, whenever the chorus of renegade gypsies broke into song in synch with their metallic hammers, my father would turn to me and say “Who wrote it?”

Joe Green. He wrote that and a whole lot more.

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Rhapsody in Royal and Pastel Blue: The Complementary Combination of George & Ira Gershwin

In astrology, the elements of Air and Fire are considered complementary to each other. The complementary ease of creative output that occurred whenever the Air sign composer partnered up with his Fire signed lyricist of a brother resulted in a song book that is distinctly American and a class unto itself.

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Libra – The Radically Extremist Sign of Peace, Truth, and Justice

The graciously mild mannered sign known for its knack of avoiding any/all forms of confrontation equally possesses the potential to confront the powers that be with an in-your-face aggressiveness that would make even The Donald run for cover. The sign that usually needs a full change of seasons before deciding upon anything remotely definitive can become radically decisive at will should they believe the concepts of Peace or Justice to be at stake.

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Libran Love – The Lie behind True Romance and the Truth behind Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones

For the Venus-ruled, Love cannot exist without the presence of Romance but did you know the phrase “True Romance” is actually just another little white lie? Saying the phrase “True Love” to emphasize a purity of amorous feeling is acceptable and apropos but the fictitious nature of Romance’s origins technically makes the phrase “True Romance” a contradiction of terms.

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Brad Kronen’s Welcome to the Zodiac Series – Libra

“Perhaps the basic thing which contributes to charm is the ability to forget oneself and be engrossed in other people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, Libra

“I’m the only man in the world with a marriage license made out “To whom it may concern.” – Mickey Rooney, 8 times married and 8 times divorced Libran

“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That or a kick-ass red lipstick.” – Gwyneth Paltrow, Libra

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Bonnie & Clyde: America’s First Tabloid Couple

The first celebrity criminals of the modern era were also this country’s first tabloid couple, given the two were romantically linked together. Not surprisingly, the law breaking lovers whom most of Depression Era America secretly rooted for were two people that were astrologically made for each other, since Aries Clyde Barrow and Libra Bonnie Parker were born beneath each other’s polar opposite sign.

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The Romantic Age – When Neptune served as Mankind’s Muse

The volley of debate behind Neptune’s rightful discoverer is reduced to lesser significance when realizing not long after humanity discovered its existence, Neptune transited through its own sign of Pisces. From 1847 to 1861 the Watery Planet’s energies were at their strongest potency over the residents of Earth. A period of heightened creativity began where masterpieces were made within every creative art form known to Man otherwise known as The Romantic Age.

A similar influence of the Watery Planet’s energies is currently taking place now within the 21st century.  This same cosmic current will be a major force of creative and cultural influence as Neptune transits through its own sign from now until 2025.

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Elie Wiesel – Modern Day Zacharias & Messenger to Humanity, Part II

Luke 1:10-13 – “And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias, for thy prayer is heard.”

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Elie Wiesel – Modern Day Zacharias & Messenger To Humanity, Part I

Luke 1: 5-9 – “There was in the days of Herod, the King of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.”

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The Discovery of Neptune – A mini-Drama of Hazy Misperception & Heated Debate

September 23rd, 1846.

Despite Mankind’s working knowledge of the Universe being expanded upon with the observational discovery of the planet Neptune that day, the heavenly body’s rightful discoverer remains a source of heated debate up until the very present.

Not long after its discovery , the Watery Planet’s creative influences would fully manifest themselves on Earth. Seven months following its existence being made known to humanity, Neptune transited its ruling sign of Pisces and a period of heightened creativity began where masterpieces were made within every creative art form known to Man otherwise known as The Romantic Age.

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Born Beneath a Self Combusting Sun: Arnold, Bill, Martha, and Monica

With words like “Sun”, “Star”, and “Shine”often used to describe the Solar ruled personality, everything is lit up, out in the open, and on display for all to see. But nothing in the Universe can be that strongly one dimensional all the time nor can anything be so powerfully placed in the positive spectrum without there being some kind of opposing balance or without burning out altogether.

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Locking Goat Horns – Boxing and The Greatest Capricorn Fighters of the 20th Century

Locking Goat Horns – Boxing and The Greatest Capricorn Fighters of the 20th Century by: Brad Kronen The Three Fighting Goat Boys – Joe Frazier (left), born January 12th, George Foreman (center), born January 10th, and Muhammad Ali (right), born  January 17th. Street Fighting versus the Art of Boxing The former deals primarily with Luck.  […]

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O Brave! and Beautiful? New World! Celebrities Born With Uranus in Taurus – Part II: Male Celebrities

The listing of both male and female celebrities born with the planet Uranus placed in the sign of Taurus spans across many areas of life and is comprised of different facets of talent and fame, but one trait is certain among all of them : while working at their craft to be some of the best in their chosen field, they all are beautiful in their own right.

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