About Joyce Hopewell

Writer, reader, dancer, singer, teacher, nature lover, astrologer, Senior Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations (aka grandmother).

A COVID Christmas message

The risk of catching Covid-19 from another family member is high, as much as you love them, so please read and take heed of this important message.

Robby Robin's Journey

This is an unusual Christmas post, but then again this is Christmas in a year like no other. This season is a time that’s meant to bring joy, and this year we have to be especially creative in finding ways to do so while keeping everyone safe. I wish everyone a happy holiday; this COVID world is at least offering us the time to look for joy in the small things, if we only choose to take it. Let’s take advantage of that.

I think this blog post from fellow blogger Kavitha at Sunshiny SA Site is important to reblog in its entirety. It is a strong reminder of why the restrictions in place in so many of our regions are there for a reason. The story it shares has been replicated far too many times: in Canada, South Africa, the United States, the UK, EU countries, and everywhere around…

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Goodbye WordPress

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If you look at my previous post you’ll see that I’d decided a while ago that I’d had enough of tussling with WordPress’s new Block editor whenever I wanted to write a blog post. Not only was it driving me nuts, it was making me feel gut-wrenchingly stressed as I couldn’t just sit down and write without going through all these infernal blocks. This is just not for me and not good for me either.

I’d interacted with the so-called “Happiness Engineers” at WordPress, who did their best (according to their brief) but in no way was anyone going to budge and give me back the original Classic editor I originally signed up with and could manage.

So I decided to move back to Blogger, where I’d started off as a total novice blogger in 2006 when, with my professional astrological hat on, I set up, developed and maintained and regularly wrote this blog until 2017. Deciding it was time to have a rest I left the blog and its contents as a resource site for anyone interested in astrological psychology, joined WordPress and began writing about a variety of topics that interested me. I have written the occasional post with my astrological hat on, and it’s attracted comments and readers. So thank you if you were one of them!

I’ve come full circle as I’ve gone back to Blogger where I started, and oh my goodness it’s just about 100% easier to put a blog post together and add photos. For me, it’s stress-free. No blocks!

Blogger has changed over the years and is now easier to use than when I started with it, but it’s retained its user-friendly ambience and doesn’t require a lot of techie knowledge, experience or expertise. Admittedly, it doesn’t have all the visual pzazz of WordPress, but it’s offered me a clean, clear, easy and simple template I can work with.

So please come over and visit me. I’ve left all the original content – which consists of numerous astrological-psychological interpretations of a wide variety of artists, singers, politicians, sportsmen and women, celebrities, scientists, historic figures and events, and much more.

My “new/old” blog is called

Joyce Hopewell Astrological Psychology

just as it was back in 2006 when I started it, but I shall be writing from a broader base which will include explorations into personal/spiritual growth and self-awareness, and there may be the odd rant from time to time too. If you were good enough to follow me here on WordPress, I’ve taken some of you along with me and have put you on my reading list so I can keep up with what you’re writing about. And I’ll pop back into WordPress from time to time too, to feed the nosy parker in me!

I’ve limped through getting this post together and it wasn’t an enjoyable experience, but, as Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another one opens” – and I’m off!

 

Dear WordPress….

And so, WordPress, it’s farewell. I’ve held off writing this post as I’ve been busy publicising the new co-authored book I’ve been writing and that’s taken priority.

But now it’s time to have my say (which I’ve done before, here and here) about your new Block Editor, which is set as default with no chance of returning the original Classic Editor which was so easy to use. So straightforward. So deviod of confusing techie buttons and blocks and bits to fiddle around with.

So de-motivating too if, like me, you want to write without having to second guess how the hell to get your ideas down without needing to plod through a load of new symbols to find what you want.

And such a killer for any creativity, not to mention making everything much more stressful – for me at any rate.

I wrote to you about the Block Editor and had some interactions with a few of your “Happiness Engineers” (what a job title to live up to!). To be fair, they all responded and did their best, according to their brief, and offered help, even a video. Unfortunately, all the help offered was routes I’d already sussed out for myself and found them unsuitable as they were – here we go again – confusing, stress-making and for me, made blogging a chore rather than a pleasure.

So full marks to the Happiness Engineers for being helpful, but no marks for making me feel happy or doing as I’d requested, which was to reinstate the Classic Editor for me as default.

The Happiness Engineers – four of them in all – asked how they could help and I wrote (mindful that several other bloggers I know, techies amongst them, were having difficulties & disliked the new editor):

You can help by properly restoring the Classic Editor rather than making it an option using the main Blocks Editor, which you have foisted on users. I don’t like Blocks, I’ve tried it and it’s taking me at least twice as long to write posts while I try to figure it out. Even switching to the Classic Editor option, it’s nowhere near as easy. It’s taking up a lot more time now to write a blog post and I’m feeling very demotivated. It’s taken the spontaneity out of my creativity and basically I loathe it. Please restore the Classic Editor as it was. A lot of other users have expressed dismay at this change. I am seriously considering whether I wish to continue with WordPress. I’ve read your help sections for the questions below and it sounds as if you’ve decided you’re determinedly on this new track with Blocks, so maybe I’m wasting my time giving you this feedback.

The response was:

I wish we could set the Classic editor on the WordPress.com dashboard as your default editor, but it has been retired so it is not possible. Yes, it might have a learning curve, and while I do understand that it might take some time – I promise that it will be worth the effort.
I understand that you don’t like the new editor style of editing with blocks so I wanted to offer two other options:

These were options I’d already tried so it was starting to be very Groundhog Day-like. I replied:

I appreciate your encouragement and your offers of help, but I really don’t want to travel through this learning curve and I certainly don’t agree with you that it will be worth the effort of learning something which excites me about as much as a dirty wet dishcloth. And wastes my time as I struggle to make sense of it. Be aware that not all bloggers as techie-minded, and even those that are this way inclined are pretty irritated by the new, all-pervasive Block editor.

So there you have it, an edited account of the saga. But with the same end result, and with my decision to head off and away from WordPress and on to pastures new, which I’ll be posting about when I can face tangling with the blocks again.

This may not be a very creative post, but it’s one I needed to write and get off my chest. Oh yes – and I’ve written it all in LibreOffice Writer so I can (hopefully!) paste it straight in. Let’s see….

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Why “Piercing the Eggshell”?

Some may wonder why the title of the new biography of Bruno & Louise Huber is Piercing the Eggshell. This post – written by my husband and co-author of the book – gives a brief explanation.

As outlined in the book, astrological psychology is very much based on the view of the human psyche adopted by Roberto Assagioli’s psychosynthesis – encapsulated in his ‘Egg’ model. The psychological ego lies within the dotted egg, in its conscious and unconscious guises. The transpersonal (spiritual or higher) self lies at the top and just outside the egg itself. The boundary of the egg is dotted, to illustrate the permeable nature of this relationship, i.e. that this higher self can be connected with.

It is easy to see that the stronger the ego becomes, the more materialistic the person becomes, the less she is open to the higher self, the less permeable is the shell of the egg. In the extreme case the habitual ego is effectively encased within a hard shell. The possibility of higher connection has all but disappeared. It is not difficult to identify individuals in the world where this is apparently the case. Their name is legion.

For most of us the shell is permeable, but the layer of habit is quite strong. Some effort and perseverance is required to connect to our higher faculties. This is where astrological psychology can help.

In the book Astrological Psychosynthesis, Bruno Huber extended the Egg Model into his own Amphora model, a version of which is shown on the cover of Piercing the Eggshell, incorporating the Egg on which it is based.

The Amphora relates the Egg to astrology, and shows a way upward towards our spiritual nature. The ego lies, as before, within the Egg, reflected by the ego planets [Sun, Moon, Saturn] supported by the tool planets [Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter]. The Egg has been opened out at the top, showing Uranus as the planet which helps ‘break through’ the shell of the ego, Neptune as the universal love at the ‘neck’ of the Amphora, through which we must pass before the transformation with Pluto.

So that’s it – an astrological path to growth of the individual ego towards becoming a better version of themselves. The gift of Bruno & Louise Huber.

And that’s why the title is Piercing the Eggshell.