Berlin and a Solar Revolution
I approached the Universe of Astrology in my early teens, acquiring my first book of Astrology at the age of 13 and finishing the exploration of the pseudo-science of Astrology in my early 20s, when I ended up with a massive library of books about planetary interpretations, aspects, transits, primary directions and, of course.... Solar Revolutions. During my career as an Astrologer I interpreted around 40 to 50 Astral Charts, and got a diploma from "El Instituto de Ciencias Parasicologicas Hispano-Americano", in Barcelona, where I presented by post an Astral Chart that I had interpreted. Later on through the years, after I lost interest and touch with the world of Astrology, I probably have interpreted a further 30 to 40 Astral Charts, most of them related to friends or people who 'randomly' crossed my life ('randomly' as if by chance, when in reality we all know everything happens for a reason). Nowadays, I barely believe in Astrology but had to admit I check my transits every now and then because they always seem to be so accurate, interesting and intriguing. I have noticed that for some people it really does nothing, but for others it clearly defines the events of their lives, in particular the move of the slow planets starting from Pluto, Neptune and ending in Uranus. I use AstroTheme to check for planetary transits, you can do it yourself using this link: https://www.astrotheme.com/transits_ephemerides_chart.php
What does the city of Berlin has got to do with any of this, you may ask? Why Berlin and a Solar Revolution? Well, for my incoming "special" birthday of 2021 I had a look at my Solar Revolution, just like I had done in other birthdays, but this time around I did not like the position that my Sun will acquire on my birthday, had I celebrated in London, so I decided to do something about it
Update: Given the length of it, I have moved the explanation for "What a Solar Revolution is" into this other article of mine: https://www.nazaudy.com/index.php/cisco/19-western-astrology/113-sun-in-the-houses-during-solar-return If you are interested in Astrology, and are curious to know why I chose to spend my birthday in Berlin, had a read of it if you like
When I checked my Solar Revolution for the year 2021, it showed that my birthday would actually be 27th November at 08:48 am, because at that time the Sun will be in 5:19 of Sagittarius, of course, the same grade and minute that it was when I was born. Had I had my birthday in London, for the year of 2021-2022 my Sun would have been in the 12th house, which any Astrologer could tell you is not a very exciting position, it may lead to isolation, introspection and a year of solitude and self-analysis
I wanted something more challenging for the year 2021-2022, so I decided to do something about it, something that I've heard some Astrologers do every now and then but which I had never done before… until now: to tweak your Solar Revolution by travelling either East or West in order to change the position of the planets. After looking at my possibilities and factors like days of holidays remaining, COVID restrictions, time of travel, etc, I decided to physically be in Berlin for when the Sun returns at 5:19 of Sagittarius, meaning that it will in the 11th house of my Solar Revolution Astral Chart, a much open to the outside world position that forecasts a year focusing in projects, realisations, achievements, connections and friendships, much more interesting (at this point in my life) than the year of self-analysis and solitude forecasted in the 12th house, had I stayed in London for my birthday. I have already done lot of that. However, the issue would be that, with this new position of Sun in 11th, Uranus moves closer the IC and made an oppositional aspect to the Medium Coeli (MC or Midheaven) which means unexpected changes in destiny and specially in the home, but hey, I was willing to take the risk, and this is how I decided to venture and visit Berlin (Moscow was also considered!) for a few days in late November 2021, and welcome the pass of the Sun for 5 degrees 19 minutes of Sagittarius with a glass of mulled wine haha (joking on that one, in fact I was meditating at the exact time of the passing, 8:48 in the morning UK time)
So yeah, call me nuts, but this is how I came to visit Berlin
"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail", I've known that sentence by heart since I was like one-year old. I love organising and any Astrologer can tell you that that is very common in people born under the influence of Sagittarius, specially on my case where I have 5 planets in that sign. I originally was hoping to do the trip London to Berlin by train, kind of cool and romantic, but the minimum length of the journey would have been 9 hours each way, and the price was even more expensive than flying, so I'm sorry that Greta Thuberg will not be happy. I admire her, but I'm not sure how they want people to reduce their CO2 emissions at the time of travelling by air when other alternative transports are so dramatically expensive. So, I have to go by plane
Using Expedia, I booked myself a flight from British Airways, leaving from London City Airport (hoho, my first visit to that airport) and landing in Berlin Brandenburg airport nearly 2 hours after. I realised later on, while on the plane, that that very same route was the one the RAF fighters would probably have taken when bombing Berlin back in the 1940s. Now, with the COVID pandemic still around, flying is slightly difference, so I had to do these things:
- Lucky me I'm fully vaccinated, and I had to prove that while in Germany all the time, even to have a coffee at Nero's for example. Download the NHS app and send to you email a copy of the NHS COVID PASS, that will be in PDF format, and it will give you a QR code that expires in 30 days, so basically get the pass within 30 days of your travel.
- Visit EasyJet Hub to find out the entry requirements for Germany: https://www.easyjet.com/en/covid-19-travel-hub/country-specific-restrictions-and-entry-requirements Another good link to check the entry requirements is the British Airways one: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/incident/coronavirus/covid19-tests These two inks and simple and effective, because if you have to refer to the Government guidelines, which is in this other link, you'll find all the info extremely confusing and frustrating https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/germany/entry-requirements it looks like they are doing it on purpose!
- Complete a new UK Passenger Locator Form at least 48 hours before the flight
- To be able to enter Germany, complete a Pre-departure Digital Registration here: https://einreiseanmeldung.de/#/ Again, you can only do this 48 hours before departure
- Book a COVID test for Day 2, so you can test upon arrival. I used a company called "Rapid Test" https://officialrapidtests.com/products/day-2-antigen-test
- Ahead of the return fly, download the VeryFLY app that BA uses to check your boarding pass and COVID vaccination status
Gosh, for a moment I thought I was preparing myself to bomb Berlin too with so many paperwork at hand! haha
Berlin transport: To use the tube and train in Berlin, from the Zone C where the Airport is to the Zone A where my hotel was, I booked a "Berlin Welcome Card" from civitalis, my dearest friend Marta told me about it, really worth it! https://www.civitatis.com/en/berlin/berlin-welcome-card/ I selected the 4 days zones ABC card, for a cost of £45
After so much worrying, the flight to Berlin was actually very smooth. Loved London City Airport, the smallest airport I've ever seen but well equipped and serviced. BA did not ask me anything about COVID! Just my usual boarding pass, and once in Germany, the official briefly looked at my documents in points 1 and 4, they asked me to show him a proof of my return ticket! haha I guess they are more worried about illegal immigrants getting in than for foreigners bringing the virus with them
From the airport, I took the train RB14 all the way to Alexander Platz, from where I walked the 20' plus to my hotel. Using www.booking.com I stayed for the whole length of my visit to Berlin at Park Plaza Wallstreet Mitte Hotel, the room was spacious indeed and the location was super, 3' walk from a tube station, but I do not recommend this hotel for the following:
- As always when I book hotels for myself, I never make the reservation with breakfast included, but at the time of check-in I do ask for the breakfast for the next morning, and pay for it. That way I test the breakfast for one morning only, and if I like it I do repeat but if I don't.....I only had breakfast in this hotel once. The price was 14 euros and the buffet was nothing to write home about. What worries me is that I asked for an omelette (unfortunately they did not have spinach, so I had the omelette only with mushrooms) and later on, when I checked the invoice for my staying, I saw I was charge and extra 3 euros on top of the 14 for the breakfast item (2)..... I was never given or saw any menu with prices for breakfast, did they charge me for that omelette? If so, that's outrageous
- But the reason, really, that I would not recommend this hotel was that on my last morning somebody knocked and then opened my door at 8am.... hello? The person must belong to the hotel, to be able to open the door of my room. He noticed (was a male voice) that the room was still occupied, apologised and closed the door, but that freaked me out completely! I was awake, with the lights off as I just had finished my morning meditation. An hour later, when I was working on my laptop and having a coffee (thanks God I was already showered and dressed), the same familiar voice knocked the door and entered after I said "Come in!". It was maintenance of the hotel, changing one of the mirror in the bathroom... who cares? That's a total lack of attention, they should do this sort of work when the guests are not in. I had been 3 days in that room and there was nothing wrong with that mirror, with the exception that every time I looked at it I saw my face on it. Maybe that was the issue
Anyway, let's jump to some pictures! On my first day I was so excited to be in Berlin that walked the town centre quite a lot. I felt hungry and wanted to taste some famous German meat, and it was really, really cold in the street! So I went to this restaurant called Alt-Berliner Gasthaus Julchen Hoppe, located close to the Cathedral and ordered a Schweinefiletgeschnetzeltes mit Champignonrahm und hausgemachten Spätzle (yeah, yeah, I know.... sounds delicious ah?), it was a Sliced pork fillet with mushroom cream and homemade spaetzle and I really loved it, the meat was extraordinary, but I will not recommend this restaurant for two reasons:
- The waitress did not allow me to charge my mobile in the spare power sockets in the restaurant: Nein, nein
- But the reason, really, that I would not recommend this restaurant, is that the bill was 21.10 euros. I gave to the waitress a note of 50 and she gave me back 25 euros only, saying that the rest (the 3,9 euros remaining) were tips, bye... What? This doesn't happen in London! At first I thought this probably was a "German-thing", for the 'fräulein' to take their own tips, but that only happened to be in this particular restaurant out of the two that I visited while in Berlin. So yeah, very rude of this place for helping themselves with the tips, that is ALWAYS the customer's decision
Anyway part two, on my way to the Cathedral I saw the entrance was 9 euros. I was happy that thanks to my Berlin Welcome Card I was entitled to a 2 euros discount, yah! So I jumped the queue full of pride and ego, and laughed at those losers behind me who were about to pay 9 euros for the entrance, only to find out at the end that for the discount to be applicable you have to pay in cash....and I had no change. Nobody had change. So at the end I ended up paying a single note of 10 euros for the entrance, silly me ah? There goes my ego!
Without any doubt the best thing I did while in Berlin was the thing I did not do while I was in Berlin, but what I did before I arrived to Berlin: to prepare for it and book a place for the "Discover Berlin Walking Tour", that just for under 20 euros took me around the city from 10:30 in the morning to nearly 3pm, absolutely brilliant! I really recommend it https://www.expedia.co.uk/things-to-do/discover-berlin-half-day-walking-tour.a1122725.activity-details We were a group of about 20 people and our guide, Tobi, born in East Germany, showed us not only the landmarks of Berlin but also the history behind the city as seen by someone who lived behind the Iron Curtain; Tobi was only 15 years-old when the Berlin wall fell "by mistake", as he later on explained to us. Was it a coincidence that Tobi was my guide?...precisely that name...the name I'm using for one of the characters of a book I'm writing, and which I actually took with me for my trip to Berlin...hmmm.... a signal?
Here are some of the things I learnt from Tobi about Berlin:
- US pumped lots of money into Germany after WW2, as Germany was the frontier with URSS, but just so you know, the countries were US have invested more money ever are Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq (and of course Israel) and they have not 'flourished' as Germany has done
- Berlin means "swamp", the city is actually built on an island and is not as old as we think. It was first constructed in the Middle Ages
- During WW2, the Berlin Cathedral dome was gone, and it has a hole all the way to the basement due to bombs dropped by RAF an the allies
- "As Germans, we need to know where we are", Tobi kept saying all the time
- 85% of Berlin was utterly a pile of rubble after WW2
- In East Berlin they are very few churches, as the Communist were atheist and did not funded their reconstructions after WW2
- Checkpoint Charlie was just one of the many checkpoints in the wall, there used to be Checkpoint Alfa, Checkpoint Bravo, etc
- Tobin lived in East Germany 15 years, they only have oranges during Christmas, and in fact the smell of oranges remind him of Christmas!
- There was no freedom of speech in East Germany, yes, but the salary of men and women was the same for the same jobs
- When the Wall "fell", West Germany was paying one hundred Deutsch Mark to whoever East German crossed to their side, so may people fled East Germany, hence the country collapsed
- The Wall "fell" because an East Germany official, in public live news, was saying as part of a Communist Propaganda that now they will relax the controls over the border, and when asked by the media when that will happen, he didn't know what to answer (his superiors had not told him when that will happen) so he said "immediately". People watching the news thought that they were allowed to cross freely now, so they flooded the Wall and rightly destroyed it. Soldiers were stunned and overwhelmed, and just let them pass through
These are the pics that I took during the very valuable tour:
In the bright morning of my last full day in Berlin, I woke up with a song of the Spanish singer Nino Bravo in my head.....of course! Was it destiny? Akashic Records? I still got clear on my mind listening to that song of Nino Bravo that was hammering my head when I was 19 years old, "almost 20 years-old", as the lyrics of the song say. I was listening to it turning my car (an old Seat 127) into the entrance to my mum's house, and yes, was feeling truly free. Only years, if not decades after, with the invention of the Internet, and doing some random research, I discovered that Nino Bravo was inspired in his song by the death of Peter Fechter, an East German born under the Communist regime, who was just under 20 years old when he decided one day that he wanted to cross to the other side.....he was the fist person shot to death out of the nearly 200 people that died trying to cross the Berlin Wall. In this video, there is a dramatic theatrical representation of what happened to Peter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYZmfpAA0Zo He indeed died bleeding himself out at the foot of a nonsense wall made of concrete
Peter Fechter memorial and I...sad moment. "...He only wanted Freedom" is written in German in the column
There are many things I did not see while in Berlin, the Berlin Wall Memorial, the Pergamon, visit the inside walls of the Humboldt University where big chaps like Einstein (E=mc2), Planck (discovered quantum energy), Alfred Wegener (discovered the technomic plates) or even Karl Marx (founder of the communism philosophy) studied or worked in there, or the Dali Museum for example..... ah!! I so much regret that one, it was popping up on my way all the time while I was there! Dali Museum here, Dali Museum there, but just didn't have the time, I was in Berlin for only 3 days. One thing I did not miss thou were the Christmas markets :) I love them, and I dove like a fish on a pool into the entrance of anyone that I saw, Alexander Platz and Potsdamer Platz were good ones, but by far the best and most memorable one was at the Gendarmenmarkt square. I had to queue for about 40' to get into the Christmas Market in there (like in all public 'indoor' places in Germany, they were checking that you had been vaccinated, cured.. or died from COVID) and paid the symbolic price of only 1 euro for the entrance, it was all really worth it, and I stayed a long time in there drinking mulled wine (4 euros per shot + 3 euros deposit for the glass), "marone" (roasted chestnuts or 'castañas asadas' and we call them in Spain), and a fine dish of pork and potatoes that for 7 euros was delightfully scrumptious and a massive ally against the bittering cold!
I've always admired the German country and of course its people. How did they do it? They fought the First World War against all of Europe... okay, they lost it but then again they started another terrible Second World War, just a couple of decades after, against the whole planet this time! How did they financially, mentally and emotionally recovered? What is the secret in their language that gives them such character disposition? Thanks God they lost WW2 too, but hey-ho.... look now, Germany is the biggest economy power in Europe! Hard to believe it, when this country has fought on its own two world wars in the last 100 or so years. My home country, for example, had a civil war 80 years ago or so and they still haven't truly recovered from it
At the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market there was a stage, and all evening comedians, musicians and dancers were acting. I just happen to join the crowd when the dancers were performing, and looking at them I realised the magic of the Germans, the only land that defeated the almighty Roman Empire 2,000 years ago: the power that they have of re-inventing themselves, they are not stuck into any canon or stereotype. They love their country, but don't have any sick attachment to it that jeopardise their behaviour.These young dancers were able to perform with absolutely delicate and beauty their traditional dancing as well and modern dancing with the same enthusiasm and dedication, and the most important thing of all, the public admired their talent whichever the dancing was they were performing. I tell you, if in any town in Spain, for example, you see Spanish dancers performing their typical dance of the region (flamenco, sardanas, sevillanas, muñeiras, aurresku, etc), I can assure you that you will never see two minutes after in the stage the same dancers performing a 'modern' dance like these German girls did at the Christmas market in their town...and I only paid 1 euro to see it, meaning to me that these dancers must have been sort of 'amateurs' in spite of their outstanding choreographic skills. The versatility and use of imagination of the German people is what has taken this country from the depth of the horrors capable of a human mind to the startling success that no other country in the continent has achieved. I praised them dearly
| Apologies for my loud cheer ups! Bravo! Bravo!
And that was my trip done! The next morning was just a lingering process from coffee shop to coffee shop, slowly approaching the airport where I took my flight back in later afternoon. Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland! Until next time....
The first thing that shocked me about Berlin was the very few people that were on the streets and the great amount of smokers that there are! Way more than in London. When I walk the streets of London I don't have to cover my mouth all the time to prevent somebody's smoke to get into my lungs, but unfortunately in Berlin I often had to. The golden age of Berlin was in the late 1920s, when it had 4.5 million inhabitants, the epoch of the cabarets scenes (currently, Berlin only has 3.5 million people living in it), and just like you I also have heard that in Germany there are no speed limit in the motorways and that prostitution is perfectly legal. Yet, neither I saw any car tremendously over-speeding in Berlin, or any working-girls posing in the corner of streets advertising their intimate services
All was pretty normal. I did notice however, when I visited the Neues Museum, which by the way I'm not sure if I'd recommend it or not: the Museum hosts lots of artefacts from the Bronze Age and beyond which are very interesting, but the main reason I paid the 12 euros entrance was to see the original Nefertiti bust, a sculpture over 3,000 years old that so perfectly depicts the female facial features that plastic surgeons in the US use it as a model in their operations, as the bust has the Golden Ratio number (1.618) built all over it. Nefertiti, the name means "the beauty has arrived", was the wife of the Pharaoh Akenaton, father of Tutankamon. I did see her bust, but they only allow you to take pictures of it from like 15 meters apart....buf! Anyway, when I was in that Museum I did notice that one of the security ladies in there had tight, black leather trousers on....okay. Then, on a coffee shop I also saw in the queue another lady with tight, black leather trousers on....a German thing? The girl serving the coffee also was wearing them. Crossing the street, the woman in front on me also had them. Stopped at a street light, the woman next to me it just so happens to wear them too! What is going on? Why so many women with tight, black leather trousers? I am not a saint, but am I crazy, all of the sudden noticing this?
The last night at my hotel, I googled that place I've read while doing my research about the 'attractions' in Berlin, the famous Kit Kat Club in which you can order a lemonade at the bar and find that the couple next to you are having sex, it is apparently allowed inside the premises and performed openly. I was shocked to find out that that club was just 6' walk away from me! Oh gosh, have I actually booked my hotel in the red-light district of Berlin without realising it? My God! Shall I visit the Kit Kat Club? I continued reading about the club, and was petrified to find out that it was a fetish club, in which you have to wear some sort of black leather to go into it... suddenly, all those ladies that I'd seen in the last couple of days wearing tight, black leathers trousers popped into my head all at once! My lower spine thunder-bolted with terror, and a cold, thick and intense sweat covered my forehead, and I had to stop the reading to breath oxygen, opening the window to welcome a refreshing yet intense cold of a cloudless evening in Berlin. Were those ladies that I've seen all over the place with tight, black leather trousers regulars of the Kit Kat Club, and perhaps wearing kinky, evil, leather suits underneath their jumpers, with whips in their purses and a cat mask, ready to punish me at my slightest distraction? Oh dear, I had been in such a danger all this time without realising it! haha Unfortunately, the club opened at 10 o'clock at night, and by that time I'm already in bed, such a shame! lol ! I guess I'm an old chap now, so I watched another episode of Cálico Electrónico and went to sleep
How would I know if my decision to have my birthday in Berlin will actually have any effect in the forthcoming of the next year? Will the Sun in the my 11th house make a difference to my existence? I guess I am now influence by the "bias effect", and whichever happens I will believe that it was the right decision. I shall update this article in a year's time and put on it my reflections as to whether it was worth to tweak my Solar Revolution or not. What I can tell you now, however, is that it was indeed worth it to visit Berlin in spite of the cold. Short but sweet
- Fly from London to Berlin = £233.69
- Hotel room, breakfast included = £309.46
- Anti-gen test for day 2 = £21.99
- Berlin Welcome Card = £45
- Changed some euros at Covent Garden FX Exchange, the sold me at 1.16, one of the best rates around, at end I spend just under 150 euros in Berlin, around £128.25. The supermarket Edeka that I had close to my hotel was a lifesaver!
- So all in all = £738.39
Before you Make Birthday plans, consult this Astro Chart https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/what-is-a-solar-return-chart-heres-why-you-should-be-calculating-yours
Where to stay in Berlin https://www.youcouldtravel.com/travel-blog/where-to-stay-in-berlin
When books were burned in Germany https://www.dw.com/en/when-books-were-burned-in-germany/a-43725960
8 things you didn't know about the battle at Teutoburg Forest https://www.wearethemighty.com/mighty-history/battle-at-teutoburg-forest/