On November 14, 2022, Charles III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will celebrate his 74th birthday, the first as King. Having served the longest apprenticeship in British royal history, Charles had been heir apparent for seventy years before his mother passed away in early September and the Prince of Wales finally came into his inheritance. It had been a long road. Once the world’s most eligible bachelor, Charles became half of the fairytale wedding of the 20th century, followed by scandal and divorce, and a second, controversial marriage with the love of his life. While kicking his heels for three-quarters of a century, Charles established The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund, founded in 1979, which awards money to grant applicants in six categories: heritage and conservation, education, health and wellbeing, social inclusion, environment, and countryside. He is also a noted proponent of efforts to combat climate change and species extinction.
Going into the Midterm Elections on 8 November 2022, it was anyone’s guess what would happen. With a Lunar Eclipse that day which also directly incorporated both Mercury (the vote) and Uranus (shocks and surprises) pretty much any outcome was possible. With a Red Wave predicted to topple Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, inflation at record levels, gas prices rising again, and a president with low approval ratings, the Common Wisdom argued for a Republican resurgence. Historically, the Party which holds the White House tends to lose seats in the House of Representatives during its first Midterm, on average 28. Republicans had only to wrest five seats to gain control of the House, and just one to gain control of the Senate, which seemed like a walk in the park, given precedent.
It’s November, and Nature is retreating from her active stance, but even as she presses pause on another season of fruitfulness, there is color and beauty everywhere you turn. The bounty of the harvest is still visible in every roadside farmstand, with bevvies of pumpkins, gourds and squashes in every imaginable hue, from classic oranges and yellows to reds, pinks, greens, whites, greys, even black. Solid, spotted, banded, freckled or striped; warted, grooved, bumpy or smooth, there’s something for every taste, and all still appropriate as seasonal décor, inside or out, through the looming Thanksgiving holiday.
While Uranus exactly conjunct the Moon for the Lunar Eclipse on Election Day warns us to expect the unexpected, loss of control of the US House of Representatives does seem likely. Redistricting alone, in the wake of the 2020 census, should grant the Republicans ten more seats, more than enough to change the balance of power in the lower chamber and wrest the Speaker’s gavel from Nancy Pelosi, even if all current Dem incumbents not caught up in that redistricting shift keep their seats.
So it’s in the Senate where the real drama will unfold. Currently split 50/50, Democrats maintain control (assuming they are all acting together, not always the case with consensus refuseniks like Manchin and Sinema in their ranks) due to VP Kamala Harris’ ability to break any ties in the administration’s favor. Earlier this year, the likelihood of Dems holding their fragile majority, perhaps even picking up a seat or two, seemed fairly high. But recent polling suggests Republicans are closing the gap, threatening Dem incumbents in some states, perhaps failing to pick up seats from retiring GOP senators in others. I’ve chosen three contests to profile, the winners of which will likely determine who ultimately controls the US Senate: Pennsylvania, Ohio and Georgia.
Such a tragedy will of course never occur, but the recent feature film of that name might be reflecting my personal reality. Halloween, at least to the extent that I’ve been celebrating it, might well be a thing of the past after this year. The mammoth undertaking of resetting the house and garden for Spooky Season is becoming more difficult every time, and took almost three weeks on this latest round. It’s an “undertaking” I’m not sure I can continue, so in case this year should be the last where I take things to the max, I decided to create a photo record of my efforts on behalf of the ghoulies, ghosties, and things that go bump in the night. Come join me on this “tour de fright.”
In a recent AAA post, I honored the 25th anniversary of the premiere of perhaps my favorite TV series of all time, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and opined at the article’s close about how much I missed seeing the show. Well, the syndication gods have smiled upon me, and just months later, “Buffy” retuned from the celluloid undead to brighten the screen via Comet TV. As faithful readers of this site will remember, October usually brings at least one horror-or-Halloween-related article, but after five years, I was running out of ideas. There didn’t seem the ghost of a chance that I’d find a suitable topic, and then my replay of “Buffy” paid off in a snippet I could sink my teeth into: birth data from the tombstone of a major character.