I thought I would share some stats about who has visited the O.div blog (under the “cut”). Unsurprizingly, the lion’s share of the blog’s visitors come from nations where English is an official language, but I was surprized to see some S.Asian countries ranking so highly on the list. A major chunk of international visitors have probably clicked into the site via image searches, or other ways that have nothing to do with the content of this blog. Still, it’s kind of neat to see.

For everyone who has dropped by and has bothered to read my ridiculously long posts, thank you. It is truly a privilege to be able to experience the here and now, and then to share my funny dispatches with my friends and with you, whoever you may be, from my little corner of reality.

When I was a teenager, my primary goal was to have a progressive day, a day in which I would brush against the boundaries of what I could handle, or be plunged into the thick of it. Day after day, I would pray to be brought to my knees, to be rent to pieces. In this way, I hoped to alleviate myself of my fears, my ignorance, my arrogance, my self deceptions. As an adult, I eventually found gentler, subtler methods to pursue my teenaged dreams. But a progressive day can still make my lips curl back into a grin, baring my teeth to the whole world.

For all my visitors, know that out there, other people are wishing for your happiness and peace, even if they don’t know you. But reality calls, and to answer it is not easy. We will all suffer, we will all fail and we will all die. Happiness and peace alone cannot make your existence complete, cannot teach you what it is to be a human. So please permit me to wish you a new year with some truly progressive days.





Last month, I had a chance to see L.Gen. Roméo Dallaire speak at a fundraiser for his foundation. They screened the film, Shake Hands with the Devil, a documentary (not to be confused with the 2007 drama) about his visit to Rwanda a decade after the genocide. I highly recommend watching this film as L.Gen. Dallaire shares his insights and observations as well as his process in coming to terms with the genocide. (The film also briefly features James Orbinski, whose documentary, Triage, also follows a different man’s path to rebuilding meaning after bearing witness to one of the greatest human atrocities in modern history.)

I have long struggled with the question of why, in extreme situations, some people retain their humanity and make ethical decisions at great personal cost, while the majority do not. I have worried this issue over and over in my mind over the years, turning it over, seeking greater understanding. I was never satisfied with the pat answer “because it was the right thing to do.” Clearly, in situations that are so unambiguous, when human lives are at stake, there is a right thing to do, but that “rightness” is not nearly enough to motivate the majority of people to make the right choices which is why our world looks exactly the way it does today. I asked L.Gen. Dallaire about this during the Q&A. I asked him if he had observed any patterns or factors he’s observed in people who do make the ethical choices.



After following the blogs of Carol Horton and Roseanne Harvey for quite some time, I was pleased to learn that they were collaborating as editors on an anthology of essays dealing with contemporary yoga in N. America. Both think body electric and it’s all yoga baby grapple with the tensions we find in N. American yoga and I was looking forward to reading 21st Century Yoga, which I hoped would give writers the room to delve deeper into the nuances and complexities that shorter blog posts cannot accomodate.

No matter what your stance is regarding contemporary yogic debates, all of the essays will likely help spark new ideas in your mind about yoga, especially if you are already thinking about issues that have crop up frequently on the blogs of Horton and Harvey. The essays are also written in a very accessible manner; I read the whole book in one sitting!


I’ve returned from a sojourn in the gorgeous city of Prague. Prague is my kind of city, a place that has no patience for fakery and yet, indulges in heights of fantasy and the fantastic; that exudes the harsh pragmatism that all northern cities seem to have, yet also spits in the face of minimalism. Incidentally, it is also where the legendary magicians, John Dee and Edward Kelly, practiced for some years.


Sometimes, people will express traits that are the very opposite of the traits that their natal charts would indicate. The best example of this I can think of is that some of the filthiest people I have ever known had strong Virgo placements. Now by filthy, I don’t mean messy or sloppy or merely dirty. I mean, they were filthy. Which is exactly the opposite of the nit picky, hyper organized, OCD clean personality stereotype we often ascribe to the sign.

I’ll never forget one couple, both Virgo suns. They would throw boozy, smoky parties which was nice, but they didn’t seem to understand the concept of cleaning up afterward. There was always crap all over the carpeted floor. They seemed to lack some kind of basic clutter/waste management infrastructure. Instead of a garbage receptacle, they just formed a garbage pile against the fridge that grew incrementally every time I visited. Instead of shelves, they just piled various items like books and clothes against the wall and then against each other. Although they had few possessions, their place always seemed crammed to the gills. And they truly loved living in this den of squalor. There was a kind of underlying anti-authoritarian, breaking all rules kind of defiance to it all, at least on the part of the man.

Jung wrote about this concept called enantiodromia wherein a psychic system, when pushed to one extreme pole, will begin to express its opposite polarity.


This post is an update to an earlier post where I tracked my sartorial sensibilities through my prog moon’s signs here.

  • Mood: Androgynous, exhibitionistic and completely unapproachable
  • Palette: Neutrals and metallics
  • Cuts and textiles: Strong, sleek, tailored lines, asymmetry, unexpected pairings, silk
  • Shoe of choice: Boots of all kinds
  • Comfort outfit: Hair slicked back, architectural statement jacket (military or moto), starched oxford shirt with the collar buttoned, skinnies, driving gloves, knee high boots (over skinnies)
  • Other details: Chains, uniforms, period pieces, fedoras, blazers, no skin bared

Recently, in discussions in my sangha and online with yoga practitioners, the question of the benefits of a diluted practice in the West has arisen again. Concerns were raised over the castration of yoga and zen that twists these transformative practices that were meant to foster the development of a profoundly felt ethical comportment toward the world into mere stress management. And the same retort is trotted out time and time again: it’s better than nothing, it’s a start.


I finally got around to watching Alejandro Jodorowsky‘s The Holy Mountain. It is a visually rich film replete with occult symbolism that rewards viewers who have studied western occult systems. Many of the reviews I have read have basically described The Holy Mountain as a feature length eye fuck, but really, it is quite a straightforward film that should feel very familiar to students of tarot, meditation, etc. It is a highly stylized  fool’s journey in which the ultimate goal is a genuine zen-like connection with reality. I will warn you that despite the film’s surreal beauty, the imagery can be violent and there is a fair amount of violence directed toward animals. Otherwise, the film is well worth watching.

What was most interesting to me was how The Holy Mountain represents two contrasting spiritual paths. The Western magical tradition relies heavily upon a multilayered network of corresponding intrasystemic symbols that Israel Regardie has described as a mnemonic system that trains the imaginative faculties, heightens the vision of the soul that peers directly into the divine astral in order to transcend the normal plane of consciousness. Grossly speaking, the Eastern traditions of zen and yoga take the opposite approach by stripping away attachments and by stilling the imaginary faculties of the mind.


Sharon Tancredi

The natural home for Sagittarius is often said to be outdoors. They say Sag is a nature loving sign for the centaur is a wild, athletic creature who loves to roam uncharted, open spaces. I have three planets in the sign and some of my fondest memories involve packing provisions for the day and simply exploring our great Canadian landscape in complete solitude. However, I am at heart, very much a city girl. And I do believe that the city is also the natural home for Sagittarius as much as the untamed wilderness.

We often like to think of the city as a modern entity and certainly, cities were completely transformed by the industrial revolution. But this is a superficial way of understanding the city. Great cities have existed long before the modern period and indeed, many of them still exist today: London, Tokyo, etc. In fact, cities have existed as far back as ancient times, and as such, the logic of their organization is not rooted in the great tenants of modernity. As Jane Jacobs, honorary flaneuse, has demonstrated, the application of modern logic to city planning has in fact, been consistently disastrous for the health of a city and its inhabitants.


Awhile ago, Roseanne posted about MyKula Annex’s new Brown Girl and Queer yoga classes and asked her readers if they felt this was “un-yogic”. This post struck me because I found the idea very different from classes that might become specialized for sound physiological reasons such as pre or post natal yoga. And while I am glad to see active members of the yoga community in Toronto tackling issues of inclusion, the idea of having Brown Girl and Queer yoga made me take pause. I don’t think that the commodification/commercialization/westernization/appropriation of yoga can be separated from the fact that its consumers are largely white, middle class women. Nor do I believe that one issue can be adequately addressed without the other. If segregated yoga classes for non-white, non-straight students is desirable to non-specified classes, let’s ask why. (more…)