ATMann's Spirited Blog
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Link to ATMann's March Solar Eclipse and Spring Equinox Astrological Newsletter
HERE This is the March Solar Eclipse and Spring Equinox newsletter, just published today. Please leave feedback if you are interested and also please subscribe to the newsletter. There is a link at the bottom of the newsletter. Thanks and welcome back, ATMann
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
A user of my Astro Reincarnation Report for tarot.com asked recently:
"It isn't often that I purchase reports and charts; but because I have been trying to understand what might be past life issues affecting the present, I purchased your Reincarnation Astrology Report at Tarot.com, and I must say--I am impressed.
Chapters in history in which I am the least interested were a zero in my chart; on the other hand--I have always been most interested in the Victorian/Turn of the Century era (eg., Modern Art makes me very happy). So you can imagine how surprised I was to see in my report that from February 1797 through April 1892, I have six significant dates, the latter being the last significant date in my chart. My question is: Does this indicate that I had many short lifetimes between 1797 and 1892?"
My answer is:
"When a number of planets are conjunct it might be that they are short lifetimes, although it could be something Steiner in particular writes about, that simultaneous lifetimes can overlap. He even mentions it in the context of “soul mates” or groups that incarnate together through history. See “We Are One Another: A Record of Group Reincarnation” by Arthur Guirdham. Oprah’s has a similar issue with Venus (usually feminine) and the Sun (usually father figure) conjunct, which brings their archetypes together in her life too as well as in history when it might have been an idealist man loving a radical young during the American Civil War."
Friday, June 26, 2009
Some Sustainable Musings (of my former architectural career)
I worked as an architect/designer for some large and well-known firms in NYC (Gruzen & Partners and Davis Brody & Associates) and Rome (The Architects’ Collaborative TAC), and worked on some large and complex projects, on most of which I was the head designer. I won an interoffice competition at Gruzen to design for a limited competition for the US Pavilion at the 1967 Expo at Montreal. The program was strange as they stated that it had to be able to display anything from a microscopic computer chip to a Titan rocket 150 feet tall. I created a transparent/translucent cube of steel tension elements (that predated the Pompidou Center in Paris) with various kinds of glass and fiberglass infill panels, an open courtyard in the center where larger objects could be displayed, and a unique crowd control device where people would feed into channels sloping underground, into huge elevators with multi-media displays on all four walls, up to the top of the building and then they would circulate in spiral patterns down and out. It was a great success and won the jurors’ vote but subsequently failed as the head of our firm was caught trying to “buy” one of the judges before the fact.
After working in Rome for TAC and working on the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (which I didn’t design and is a bit 60s-ish), I came back and worked for Davis Brody on the South Street Seaport master plan and a proposal for a sixty-floor tower to be called the Atlas Building. Being young and questing and not liking contemporary International Style buildings much at the time, I wanted to completely review how skyscrapers were thought through, especially environmentally. One major idea I worked with was to utilize the elevator shafts as ventilation ducts (I think that there were something like 40 elevators in four banks, and they took up a huge amount of the space), so that they would in effect utilize convection currents to cool and building in summer by pumping the warm/hot air from below up and out, and in winter would use geothermal heat from the bedrock of Manhattan to warm the ambient temperature. Needless to say, this idea was dismissed as being way too elaborate.
The second and even better idea involved the skin/façade of a skyscraper. While at work on the Atlas building, a salesman came who represented a company that made the very thin and strong skins for the lunar landing modules and space vehicles for NASA. They were a special fiberglass a few millimeters thick that were amazingly strong, tensile and, in their natural state, translucent to the point of being almost transparent. His pitch was that they could be any color, any texture, however I wanted them to be their natural translucent way. I imagined the HVAC ducting snaking up behind the skin of the building, painted various colors, so that the building itself would look like a prism, refracting the light of the New York skyline. Then I suddenly thought that this three-foot deep HVAC/curtain wall could itself act as a duct, taking the heat from the sun and allowing it to rise up, even possibly running small turbines within the skin to generate electricity (a bit like solar panels wedded to convection device). I think now that the combination would be profound, like a solar panel within a thin passive solar receptacle that would contain the heat. It could even have commercial applications and as I look around the internet, it seems like no one else is thinking this way.
Anyway, these are my musings. I would love the chance one day to get research funded to take these ideas further as I think that they could be paradigm-changers.
Monday, June 08, 2009
I just got back from a week in SF, lecturing astrologers and local fauna there on a number of occasions, doing readings, getting into penetration with them, hiking up to and around Phoenix Lake on the Northern slope of Mt Tamalapais with an LA friend, striding into the mountains and loving it, and then my all day workshop on AstroLocalityFengShui, which was quite a hit and got 23+ people for the day of exploring my recent ideas and finding them challenging and of interest.
I came across the above article as someone I know wanted to see it again, but I thought you might be interested in my background in this area. In those days I was voracious, being able to learn and connect with many of the great therapists and healers in London and England in those days. Ronny Laing and his wife Jutta were friends, Tom Myers, Chris Connelly, Diana Whitmore, Ean Begg, David Tansley, Rt Hon Rosemary Russell and others. I knew a profound North London crowd who were at the cutting edge of psychotherapy, midwifery and healing techniques. I was John DaMonte’s astrologer and friend, and he designated me to work on relieving him from a crew of particularly voracious woman patients of his from North London who were merciless in imposing on his generosity. I knew (and of course he knew) that this was literally killing him and he asked me to fend some of them off, which I proceeded to do. John was called at all hours by his patients (who thought they were friends) and it took its toll on him. I warned him and he suddenly disappeared from my life because of his sudden and unexpected death in 1975.
When I first met John, some close friends had been to him and found his perception quite profound and amazing. I therefore made an appointment and went to see him, despite the fact that I was not sick at all and hadn't been for decades. We talked, I explained why I was there, and John laughed. He went into his back room and came back after some minutes with a white powder in a small envelope folded in a peculiar way. He explained that this was my "simillimum," the sum total of all the illnesses in my life to that date and its function was to clear out the effects of drugs that had pushed symptoms back into my body. He asked if I had had lots of penicillin as a child and I had, for years, been given it for persistent earaches while swimming in the summers. When I took the remedy under my tongue, he told me that the symptoms of all my earlier, childhood illnesses would appear, go through their cycles in a brief way and then dissapate. I didn't really believe him, but nevertheless of the next week I experienced a wild range of symptoms that seemed as real as can be. My face and body flushed like chickenpox, my ears felt like they were infected, and my occasional bladder infections arose and even discharged, which was a little too real. He told me that if I doubted him, I could go and take a test at a North London hospital. I did and the results were negative -- I was clear. It was an amazing experience and I attribute my subsequent good health from then since to this treatment.
When I first asked him to teach me about how to use the pendulum in 1973, he laughed and told me to go away and figure it out in a few days, which is exactly what I did. Fortunately on the mantelpiece of my houseboat on the Thames was an empty Guerlain perfume bottle that had a perfectly conical top made from glass. The day that John told me to find a pendulum in my environment, I noticed this bottle in a different way than before. I attached it to a woven threat of strands of pure white, undyed silk, that connected the perfum top and brilliant omni-directional pendulum to some also white and pure ivory beads. And I did create my own way of working with the pendulum and made many machines to manifest the process. It was an amazing time knowing David Tansley, Rt. Hon. Rosemary Russell (who I adored), and John DaMonte, who were also all close friends. She was very grand and wise, having done everything including turning John onto lsd in Kensington Gardens when she was in her 70s and he in his 50s. They were a rare and brilliant group of searchers and friends, who I will always adore.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Sacred Symbolic Architecture: Time, Orientation and Meditation
A workshop with A T Mann for Architecture, Culture and Spirituality Seminar
Sacred sites are often places where an original creation occurred and as a result such places have myths that describe their generation. Sacred mountains were originally where the gods and goddesses came down to earth from heaven, just as they are also ways in which we ascend. The sacred mountains of every culture therefore evoke original creation, and continued to as they morphed from mountain to mound, to pyramid, to stupa, to cathedral to skyscraper. (This visual genesis represented with images.)
Many ancient sacred sites utilizes symbolism that arises directly from two associated factors: orientation and time. Some sites and monuments are oriented either to the NS axis (Great Pyramid, Buddhist stupas, Forbidden City, Chinese sacred sites ), to the EW axis (Chartres to the solstice and other cathedrals), to the SE/NW (Newgrange in Ireland, megalithic mounds and standing stones) or in the case of Islamic mosques, toward Mecca, whichever direction that lies. Other monuments are oriented toward the rising and setting of particular celestial bodies such as the moon, the sun or certain constellations or even stars (like Sirius) in the sky. The city gates of many early Italian cities were oriented to the twelve zodiac points. What we often do not realize is that these orientations grew out of a relationship with time.
In the case of cathedrals, there is the interesting fact that each one is dedicated to a particular saint and therefore associated with that saint’s day in the year. Although all cathedrals and churches are oriented with their naves roughly EW, they are rarely exactly oriented that way and yet the technology available would have allowed this orientation to be determined. What is clear is that the orientation of the rising or setting sun on these saint’s days determined the orientation of the cathedral. (We will explore how this works with a visual demonstration.)
How is it that although the Abrahamic religious— Judaism, Christianity and Islam — specifically rejected the ideas of astrology at some stage of their growth, they were clearly integral to their initial structure of belief and symbolism? Indeed certain basic principles remain at the core of their sacred architecture? We must be missing something here. That the connection has been lost can be demonstrated by certain cathedrals designed and built in the last century that completely discarded these ideas about siting, which is almost certainly a mistake.
Geomancy is the art of orientation based on astronomical (and energetic) factors and integrates in Chinese history with their theories of the five elements. Thus buildings such as the Forbidden City as well as the layout of the city of Beijing not only align with the cardinal axes, but incorporate circles and squares as identifiers of this sacred geometry, utilize elemental qualities from the orientation and even resonate with chakra energy centers and internal organs. My current study and practice of Qigong incorporates exercises at specific times of the year to enable the transition from one calendrical element to the next.
In terms of the form of sacred geometry, such sites, cities and buildings often feature a square integrated with a circle, sometimes even “squaring the circle.” This combination reflects the integration of earth with heaven, below and above, the microcosm and the macrocosm. A series of mandalas that I painted in 1975 show the predominance of these shapes in sacred forms from many different cultures. Tibetan Buddhist mandalas are simultaneously meditation diagrams, cosmoses, iconographic maps of deities, architecture in both plan and elevation. In a north Indian monastery at Sherab Ling high in the Himalayas two years ago I was fortunate to see craftsmen creating three dimensional mandalas of tutelary deities for His Eminence Tai Situ Rinpoche. I realized that while a practicing architect in New York in the 1960s that when I designed large public buildings I carried an image of the building in my mind and that this process reflects deity meditation in Tibetan Buddhist spiritual practice.
We will explore the circle and square in a number of mandalas that show how this archetypal geometry is integral to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the Great Pyramid, the Memory Theater created by Palladio, megalithic stone circles and others.
While these generalities are fascinating, it is much more powerful to work with techniques that embody the specifics of sacred geometry for an individual, a couple, an organization or virtually any entity that has a foundation date. These techniques allow for an integration of the personal within the archetypal in profound ways. By combining an astrological Local Space chart with the eightfold Bua Gua of traditional feng shui it becomes possible to orient buildings, rooms and even pieces of furniture in such a way that it resonates with the user.
Ending with a guided meditation to explore personal visions of the future of sacred architecture.
NOTE: For more info see atmann.net
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
For years, starting just after I worked for Davis Brody & Associates in New York, then ghosted houses for Robert Stern with a friend of mine in NYC, I got involved with Eastern mysticism via inner journeying and various other arcane substances around at the time. I quit working, journeyed to the East overland from Europe, lived in Morocco and India, and began teaching myself astrology and painting mandalas as a way of centering. The mandalas were of course very ‘architectural’ and highly structured and they rapidly got more and more complex. The early ones were calendars showing multiple calendar systems (Western civil, Catholic, Hebrew, Islamic, Mayan, Aztec, Chinese, Indian, I Ching, Chinese astrology and others) and how they interacted. Each mandala was a year shown around the outer ring and also within the seven rings that fit perfectly inside. Also the whole calendar rotated at the equinoxes and solstices — each change of season and you rotated it clockwise on the wall. Eventually I became founder/partner of a publishing house in London and we made calendar books throughout the 70s (for Simon & Schuster, Doubleday and English publishers), featuring my mandalas, drawings and very complex hand-drawn calendars with great detail.
To me they were a way of tapping into the yearly cycle and exploring correspondences of planets and signs to colors, plants, flowers, shapes, geometries and other symbol systems. My astrological books are quite renowned for the complexity of the imagery, especially one called “The Round Art: The Astrology of Time and Space” (1979), which is named for another interest of mine; the historical memory systems embedded in our perception of reality. The Greeks and Romans created it the art of memory and used buildings as memory ‘places’ in what they called the ‘square art,’ and they used the 5° ‘faces’ of the zodiac with constellation images for the ‘round art.’ (See Frances Yates, “The Art of Memory”) So I proposed and wrote about astrology as a form of memory art embedded in architecture and astrology as twin ‘sciences and arts’ as witnessed by the Masonic dynamic and mystery of the grand architect Hiram Abiff. My friend Roger Dean, who did art and album covers (and weird architecture) for the rock group YES, then commissioned me to write and illustrate my book, 300 pages, all color, with my design layout, illustrations and it was a grand project that got me going.
Anyway I began making the great calendar mandalas and only years later discovered that the sixteenth century mystic Giordano Bruno made similar images of seven circles within a larger one and advocated memory systems (see Frances Yates’ ‘Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition’) and was shocked as he was one of my creative and intellectual heroes. The mandalas probably took a few weeks to do and are quite large (20” x 28”). I am currently in the process of making giclée prints of them that are faithful to the originals. I also used liquid water colors that have faded beautifully over the years as they were quite vivid when I first painted them in the 70s.
They are mandalas, meditative diagrams, cosmologies and architecture, temples of the imagination devoted to the old gods and goddesses, and I have always wanted to design a building that embodied these ideas, but that hasn’t happened yet….. it would probably resonate with the geometry and proportions of the chakras.
Anyway I ramble on but enjoy the opportunities of our conversation, Tad
Monday, March 09, 2009
Late night thoughts: The internet encodes "event" loops, or simply records of clicks, scanned words and images, sounds and shifting sites and analyzes them. When the pattern is stored and reproduced, it replicates an encoded behavior pattern and its associated actions. With clear (and rare) insight, one can sometimes catch a glimmer of these electronic dances of information -- as I just did. The rate and amplitude and relative speed of any specific information can shift in an almost predictable pattern, bringing one's consciousness back to the immediate present and yet carrying past information with it. But maybe some are right thinking that there is a "creator."