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2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

Parties are popular in Brazil for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The World Cup is an international soccer tournament organised by FIFA. This tournament will be held in the African continent for the first time ever and South África will be the host nation. The tournament takes place every four years. The previous tournament was held in Germany in 2006, and the next tournament will held in Brazil in 2014.

The Brazilian people have started preparing for the celebration of the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa. Each home is decorated with Brazilian flags and with Brazilian’s yellow and green colours. People buy “vuvuzelas” and yellow tee shirts. Children and adults also collect stickers to complete a FIFA World Cup Stickers Album. Employers, public and private schools and universities, liberate their employees and students to watch Brazil's matches. Families gather in front of the television screen.

In June there are the celebrations of three popular Saints in Brazil: St. Anthony, on June 13th, St.John, on 24th, and St.Peter, on the 29th. Because they always happen in June, this period is called “Festas Juninas” (Feasts of June) in Portuguese. The feasts have some typical characteristics: music, food, dances, decorations, games and costumes. In the big cities it’s common for the June parties to be organised by schools, clubs, associations, churches and companies.

With the celebrations occurring in June, they will share the same time with the World Cup. In Rio Grande do Sul people eat popcorn and “pinhão” (pine nuts) during the match. To drink, there is “quentão”( the name means “very hot”), a drink prepared with boiled red wine, sugar, clove, cinnamon and ginger. The children have juices.

Brazil is sure to win because soccer here is a national passion, principally in the World Cup. The 2010 victory will place Brazil as owners of the sixth World Cup title.

Christmas in Australia, by Ian Tampling

There are three types of land mass on this planet; countries, islands and continents. Australia is all three. Naturally it has all types of weather from snow on the southern mountains to heat waves in the deserts.

There’s no snow and ice at Christmas, instead we have summer weather and the temperature can reach 40 degrees Centigrade without blinking an eye.

Many families still have a traditional European hot Christmas dinner of roast meat and vegetables with apple sauce or gravy but with high temperatures in the kitchen, many Australian women are handing the cooking over to the man of the house and the out-door barbecue is brought into play. But it is not just beef steaks, lamb chops and pork sausages that are sizzled on the hot plate; you will also find prawns, whole fish and other seafood taking its place as the Australian Christmas dinner.

The traditional drink to wash it down is beer for the men or wine for the ladies. The kids are still stuck with soft drink and lemonade.

The barbecue meats and fish are served smorgasbord style with salads and side dishes of finger food. Following the lunch-time feast, many find they are too stuffed with food to move so a shady place is found under a tree, bush or even under the veranda with the dogs. (Dogs always know where the coolest spot can be found).

Once recovered from the gorging, which can take a couple of hours, the family sits around drinking cold drinks in the shade or inside under the new air conditioner. Gifts are handed out by the nominated Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus. If the father is too tired from his barbecue cooking, others are delegated to assist him and every one has a good time tearing paper from gifts and smiling at the presents inside. Not everyone gets what they would have liked as a gift but everything is accepted in the spirit in which it was given.

Whilst the adults continue drinking and laughing at the anecdotes that abound once the alcohol starts taking affect, the children continue running around in the heat, chasing each other amidst laughing and screaming and having a good time with friends and cousins they haven’t seen for a while. Finally, the evening meal is prepared. This can be another barbecue or it can be cold meats and salads cooked the day before by the ladies and brought out from the kitchen together with sweets which take the form of cream sponges, cheese cakes, small cup cakes, jellies, trifles and other sweet delights. Side dishes such as salads, nuts and dried fruits are served all day usually on a table opposite the barbecue area.

Darkness falls around 8 P.M. but that does not stop the children chasing around nor the adults drinking and laughing until it is time for some to return home or to prepare for bed if they are staying at the house on hastily prepared spare beds, or crowded into a double bed (This is the children of course, not the adults).

Altogether, Christmas in Australia is completely different from the European style celebrated around the fire in snow covered homes and scenery, but I would not change it for anything because Christ was not born in the snow, He was born in God’s country and what closer could you get to it than Australia with its mountains, beaches, forests and wide deserts?

Ian Tampling 23 Dec 2009-12-23

Mercedes Sosa, La Negra

Mercedes Sosa BBC News: Latin artist Mercedes Sosa dies

Dubbed the 'voice of Latin America' Sosa fought against military rule Argentine folk singer and activist Mercedes Sosa has died aged 74 after suffering kidney problems.

Sosa's popularity in Latin America spanned four decades, but she fell foul of the Argentine junta in the 1970s.

Her latest album has been nominated for three Latin Grammy awards, which are due to be announced in November.

Dubbed "the voice of the silent majority", Sosa was credited with championing the poor and fighting for political change.

Along with her first husband, Manuel Oscar Matus, she became a founding member of the mid-60s Nueva Cancion movement.

At a 1979 concert in the Argentine city of La Plata, Sosa was searched and arrested on stage along with all those attending the concert.

She was subsequently banned from recording, and left the country to live in Paris and Madrid. She returned to her homeland in 1982 just before the collapse of military rule.

A Unicef goodwill ambassador, Sosa produced 40 albums over her long career and collaborated with musicians including Luciano Pavarotti, Sting, Shakira and Joan Baez.

Source: BBC News

Let’s visit Brazil by Monica’s Gang

Mônica, Copyright Maurício de Souza Mônica’s publications are written and drawn by the brazilian cartoonist Maurício de Souza.

7 year old Mônica was nominated as the youngest UNICEF National Ambassador in Brazil at a ceremony in São Paulo, Brazil. Mônica is a beloved cartoon character who has been capturing the hearts and imagination of children in Brazil and over 50 countries with her friends, known as Mônica’s Gang. Created in March 1963, two generations of Brazilians have grown up reading about Mônica’s adventures as a 7 year old girl, and they now share her stories with their own children. (...)

UNICEF How popular is Mônica and her gang? So far, their comics have sold over 1 billion copies, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and are read in over 50 countries as diverse as Japan, Spain, Korea and Indonesia. In Brazil, Monica’s Gang publications represent 70% of the children’s market and her website gets over 30 million page-views per month.

Kent Page, UNICEF Brazil

Let’s visit Brazil by Monica’s Gang Furthermore Mônica proudly represents our country. The Embassy of Brazil in London recommends a journey through the regions of Brazil - an interactive journey through the regions of Brazil with Monica's gang, by Mauricio de Sousa.

Finally, Maurício de Souza gave an interview to Portal MultiRio in which, among other things, he comments the international success of Monica’s Gang:

Portal MultiRio:

One of the big themes covered at the 4th World Summit on Media for Children and Adolescents last year in Rio de Janeiro was how media products are distributed and circulated. In terms of quality media for children and teenagers, Latin America is not just a major consumer market, but also a leading producer. Attaining the national and international market is one of the great obstacles facing independent producers. Monica’s Gang is a success story at home and abroad. How have you opened up the avenues? Is there any formula for success?

South Region Mauricio de Souza:

There aren’t exactly formulas for success. If there were, they’d be on sale at a fine price all over the place. What there are is plans, work, ideals that can be made realities. The work we have been doing for more than 40 years has sown the seeds. It’s an architecture that we have built up piece by piece, sometimes with great difficulty. None of it is easy – never has been and never will be. But we have the strength of faith, self-confidence and the certainty that the principles that govern our work are sound. That way we can move ahead, sometimes more slowly that we would like, with our plans to reach other countries, other peoples.

Portal MultiRio

Watch the video below to find out more:

20th of August, an important Masonic date in Brazil

D. Pedro I, Museu Imperial de Petrópolis In 1822 the Lodge Comércio e Artes in Rio de Janeiro initiated D. Pedro I, who was then raised to Master Mason.

The independence of Brazil from Portugal was requested to Prince Don Pedro, future Don Pedro I and officialy decided in a masonic session on 20th August 1822. This date is dedicated to the Brazilian Mason.

Field Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca, initiated in the Lodge "Rocha Negra" in São Gabriel, State of Rio Grande do Sul, proclaimed the Republic in Brazil on 15th November 1889.

The Mansory in Pelotas/RS - Brazil

Xico Stockinger

Xico Stockinger, Copyright Garagem de Arte Xico Stockinger died aged 89. His work will certainly remain an icon specially in Brazil.

Francisco Alexandre Stockinger (Traun, Austria, 1919 - Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, 2009).

Sculptor, engraver, draughtsman, caricaturist, wood engraver, lecturer. Came to Brazil in 1921. Settled in São Paulo in 1929, where he took a drawing course with Anita Malfatti at Mackenzie College. In 1937, he moved to Rio de Janeiro and began his ''Sobrevivente'' (Survivor)- iron and wood - 145 cm. - col. Francisco Stockinger, Copyright Garagem de Arte studies at the Liceu de Artes e Ofícios in 1946. He met Bruno Giorgi, frequenting the artist's studio at the former hospice of Praia Vermelha between 1947 and 1950. He also associated with Oswaldo Goeldi, Marcelo Grassmann and Maria Leontina. He executed caricatures and political sketches for newspapers. In 1954, he moved to Porto Alegre, to work as a layout artist for the newspaper A Hora. During this period, he began to execute woodcuts. In 1956, the year he was naturalised as a Brazilian citizen, he was elected chairman of the Associação Rio-Grandense de Artes Plásticas Francisco Lisboa, a position which he held in 1957 and in 1978. He was the founder and first director of the Atelier Livre da Prefeitura de Porto Alegre, in 1961, and the director of the Museu de Arte do Rio Grande do Sul Ado Malagoli - Margs, as well as of the Arts Division of the Department of Culture of the State Secretariat Of Education and Culture, in 1967. Together with Vasco Prado, he gave a live model sculpture class at the Margs in 1985. In 1994, he received the title of honorary citizen of Porto Alegre, and in 1997, the Ministry of Culture Prize in the area of the visual arts.

Source: Itaú Cultural

Caipora

Copyright Fundação Padre Anchieta The Tupi-Guarani mythology describes the caipora as a creature who lives inside the forest. Caipora’s feet are turned backwards in order to deceive trackers.

According to the Encyclopedia Mythica the Caipora is "a small Indian covered by fur, who owns the hunt and appreciates smoke and cachaça (Brazilian drink) or a small preasant that appears in a wood-pig". (Micha F. Lindemans).

Patricia Gaspar plays Caipora in the brazilian children's novel Castelo Rá Tim Bum. There is a song by Pena Branca and Xavantinho called Caipora. Check out Rá Tim Bum's website by clicking here then just click on "Caipora" in the list at the bottom of the screen. The lyrics follow:

Caipora

Dentro da mata

ela mora, adora

a mata para morá

prá ver a caipora basta assobiá

E quando ela aparece

parece que é

prá ficar

quando menos se espera vai embora

E se adivinhá

o que ela perguntá

ela deixa saudade em qualquer lugar

Caipora

não vai embora

Caipora

viola chora

ó Caipora

sempre tem uma estória prá se contar

Ama a fauna e a flora

as cochoeiras, os matagá

e se a viola chora ela quer cantá

E quando a gente implora

sente saudade pr'ela voltá

ela aparece agora

basta assobiá.

The Twelve Days of Christmas (12 Days of Christmas)

On the first day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

A partridge in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the third day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

Four calling birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

Five golden rings,

Four calling birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

Six geese a-laying,

Five golden rings,

Four calling birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five golden rings,

Four calling birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

Eight maids a-milking,

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five golden rings,

Four calling birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

Nine ladies dancing,

Eight maids a-milking,

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five golden rings,

Four calling birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

Ten lords a-leaping,

Nine ladies dancing,

Eight maids a-milking,

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five golden rings,

Four calling birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

Eleven pipers piping,

Ten lords a-leaping,

Nine ladies dancing,

Eight maids a-milking,

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five golden rings,

Four calling birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

Twelve drummers drumming,

Eleven pipers piping,

Ten lords a-leaping,

Nine ladies dancing,

Eight maids a-milking,

Seven swans a-swimming,

Six geese a-laying,

Five golden rings,

Four calling birds,

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree!

A special kind of space: the healing garden

The healing power of nature is scientifically proven.

Trees, plants and flowers work on a person’s body, remove impurities, improve immune functioning, reduce the stress, help better pain control management and improve physical and emotional well being.

Healing gardens have been received enthusiastically by researchers and practicing health professionals for the use of patients, staff and visitors in hospitals, nursing homes and hospices.

Such gardens play a therapeutic role and provide health benefits to specific needs for different patient populations. Individuals who are exposed to a healing garden enjoy the restorative power of nature and thus feel better.

There are many advantages to a hospital investing in a garden, which in relation to the total cost of building and equipping a new facility represents a very small amount. A healing garden is both a process and a place. It is a concept at the meeting point of medicine and design.

Some of the problems involved in the provision and retention of such gardens stem from the fact that the medical profession thinks in terms of the internal process of healing but barely recognises the potential impact of the physical environment; while designers are familiar with manipulating the elements of place, but sometimes overlook how these impact mood and behaviour. Clearly, continuing dialog and joint research between these professionals is called for.

According to Clare Cooper Marcus, healing is not synonymous with cure, but a healing garden can have many properties described as therapeutic, restorative and rehabilitative:

* Facilitate stress reduction which helps the body reach a more balanced state

* Help a patient summon up their own inner healing resources

* Help a patient come to terms with an incurable medical condition

* Provide a setting where staff can conduct physical therapy, horticultural therapy, etc.with patients

* Provide staff with a needed retreat from the stress of work

* Provide a relaxed setting for patient-visitor interaction away from the hospitalinterior.

Paper Healing Gardens in Hospitals, Clare Cooper Marcus, 2005

For more information you can consult a Therapeutic Landscapes Database.

In Brazil, the “Day of the Enamoured” was on June 12 !

Dia dos Namorados – “Day of the Enamoured” – is firmly established as a special date in Brazil.

It is celebrated on June 12, the day before the day of Saint Anthony - the patron saint of marriage.

The Brazilian Day of the Enamoured in June 2008 boosted sales of heart-shaped chocolate boxes, perfumes, cards, red roses and cosmetics.

As every year, couples expressed their love for each other by exchanging gifts and spending romantic time together.

World Environment Day: from Algeria to Brazil

In 1972 was established the World Environment Day by the United Nations General Assembly.

The main celebrations of World Environment Day 2008 are held in New Zealand. The slogan is: Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy.

The World Environment Day 2006 was held in Algeria and the theme was Deserts and Desertification.

In Brazil, the north-eastern portion is the driest and poorest part of the country. It is a semi-arid region which is periodically devastated by severe droughts.

Considering the desertification problem, which leads to massive migration and poverty, ways of stopping deserts from spreading are discussed in the context of the PAN-Brazil, a National Program to Combat Desertification, following the guidelines of the UN Convention to combat desertification (UNCCD).

In 2006, the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) introduced key facts about deserts and desertification, as follows:

The consequences of desertification include:

• diminished food production, reduced soil productivity and a decrease in the land’s natural resilience;

• increased downstream flooding, reduced water quality, sedimentation in rivers and lakes, and the siltation of reservoirs and navigation channels;

• aggravated health problems due to wind-blown dust, including eye infections, respiratory illnesses, allergies, and mental stress;

• loss of livelihoods forcing affected people to migrate. Drylands remain impoverished because:

• poor people living in drylands, especially women, seldom have a strong political voice and often lack essential services, such as health care, agricultural extension and education; women are also regularly discriminated against under land ownership regulations;

• dryland dwellers often lack agricultural necessities, such as tools, fertilizers, water, pesticides and seeds, they have inadequate access to markets and their products seldom fetch reasonable prices due to low quality;

• local communities often fail to benefit from other local resources, such as mined minerals, or wildlife and other tourist attractions;

• access to water and rights over this resource are often inadequate, and water resources are often poorly managed, leading to overuse and salinization;

• land is often overcultivated and overgrazed, leading to declining productivity;

• dryland communities are especially vulnerable to drought; they often depend on livestock or subsistence crops and lack reserves of food, money, insurance or other forms of social safety nets to cope with difficult years.

Fighting poverty in drylands requires that all these problems are addressed simultaneously.

The UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment notes that it is easier to prevent desertification than to reverse it.

Population pressure and bad land management practices are the cause of degradation.

Better management of crops, more careful irrigation and strategies to provide non-farming jobs for people living in drylands could help to address the problem.

So on this World Environment Day, let us reflect on the desertification consequences, with focus on the importance of preventing it instead of reversing its process. Let us preserve life in north-east Brazil with help of the experiences of Algeria and other desert countries.

Africa Day in Brazil

Every year, the African Union (AU), formed in 2002 from the Organisation for African Unity (OAU), celebrates Africa Day.

This year, people in Brazil joined in the celebrations all over the country on 25th May.

The streets were full of people singing to celebrate the contribution African people make to our country.

Nevertheless, we cannot forget that some of the social difficulties experienced by Afro­-Brazilians today are: low level of education, low wages and material poverty.

Unfortunately, the fact that most of the Afro-Brazilians have not the opportunity of attending school or learning a profession, according to the Brazilian Institute for Statistics and Geography – IBGE, is certainly a result of past (when nothing had been done to integrate their former ancestors, the African slaves) and of the straitened circumstances of the country.

We hope this situation will change in the near future. Let us be determined to contribute through our work to fraternity and peace world-wide.

The ruins of São Miguel das Missões in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Brazil

The cultural diversity in Brazil is the result of a historical and social reality, with rich influence of diverse peoples from Africa, Europe and the native indigenous peoples, among others, through the appreciation of their identities.

Though the full diversity of regional culture, brazilian people finds its harmony in their deep sense of national identity.

Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis in Rio Grande do Sul

The Guarani are one of the indigenous peoples of South America.

The Jesuits founded missions in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay which led to an extraordinary cultural development followed by a period of decadence after the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1768.

The impressive ruins of São Miguel in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost State of Brazil which capital is Porto Alegre, are preserved by the UNESCO as Mankind’s Cultural Heritage since 1983.

The ruins of San Ignacio Mini, Nuestra Señora de Loreto and Santa Maria Mayor, in Argentina, are also preserved by the UNESCO as Mankind’s Cultural Heritage.

Indian societies in Brazil

The following article was published on the website Consulate General of Brazil in São Francisco, USA:

There are approximately 200 Indian societies living in Brazil; 200 cultures with distinct languages, religions and social organizations. This represents one of the greatest cultural treasures of the world, attracting hundreds of specialists, mainly linguists and anthropologists.

This treasure, however, is under constant threat mainly due to conflicts over land and the advance of non-indians on Indian territories. The Federal Constitution declares the inalienable right of the Indians to possess the land which they occupy, but, due to the vast spread of Brazilian territory and the shortage of resources, the government agency in charge of defending and guaranteeing the interests and the rights of the Indians, FUNAI (Fundacao Nacional do Indio - National Indian Foundation) has a difficult time enforcing the law, guaranteeing adequate health care and education, and implementing the projects for productive activities.

The material culture of the Indian people expresses to the other sectors of society, their vision of the universe and, almost always, carries out a utilitarian function in the daily routine of the tribal community. But this vision has been influenced by a variety of pressures to which the Brazilian indians are submitted, for their land is coveted by the local non-indians due to its rich flora, fauna and undersoil.

The lack of resources, together with the influence of the non-indigenous populations has had repercussions on the cultural production of the Brazilian indians. Excluded from this tendency are those indian tribes who still live in isolation, with no contact with the so-called civilized world, estimated by FUNAI to be about 60 communities in the Amazon.

The influence of the non-indians of the region on the indian people can be perceived in their artifacts. During the last few years, agents from FUNAI have verified a lower quality in the artifacts they produce. This process coincides with the advance of non-indians on their territory, which has provoked environmental changes and deprived the indians of the raw materials necessary for the production of their art. Besides this, the low investment in the areas of education, health and productive activities, has caused the indigenous societies to be susceptible to regional influences and dependent on benefits from the State.

The need to survive in adverse conditions has caused the Pataxo Ha-Ha- Hae, who live in the south of the state of Bahia, to extensively produce their artifacts but without their traditional quality. Surrounded by farmers and still fighting for the right to possess the land immemoriably occupied by them, their physical space has been destroyed and their local flora reduced. The Pataxo artifacts do not, by far, represent their material culture. Today, they produce works with the intent of collecting resources that will permit them to consume products and goods produced by non-indians.

Previously, the Pataxo artifacts were rich in feathers typical of the birds of the region which revealed aspects of their mystic culture. The feathers used today are of common birds, dyed with strong colors, which are far from portraying the true Pataxo culture. They also chose to produce combs and other wooden objects, which have good commercial acceptance The Fulnio indians, from the state of Pernambuco, also face a similar situation. Experts in the art of weaving, the Fulnio have a very hard time finding raw materials for the production of baskets, mats and other pieces. Thus, the Fulnio also work with wood, making bowls, combs and other objects with purely commercial intent.

The pressure from "civilization", however, has not changed their religious behavior nor influenced the social organization of the group. The Fulnio are concerned about preserving their language, continuing with their rituals and teaching the youngsters their traditions.

The Guarani-Kaiowa, from Mato Grosso do Sul, are another example of a people strongly influenced by contact with the national society. Each year the suicide rate within this group grows. During the last few years, FUNAI has invested heavily to recover the territory traditionally occupied by the Guarani-Kaiowas and dominated illegally by the producers of soybeans and ranchers, so as to guarantee the physical and cultural survival of this group, which in the past, spread over the midwestern to southern part of the country.

The gradual loss of geographic space of the village (tekoha) has jeopardized the social organization of the Guarani-Kaiowa, strongly linked to the mystic concepts. The space of the village is related to that which is sacred and its privation causes a loss of reference to the activities of the group. It is not only the loss of the Tekoha that has altered the cultural aspects of these indians.

The process of destruction of the cultural values of the Guarani-Kaiowas was due, in great part, to the presence of various protestant sects which penetrated the group with the intent of giving them assistance. The influence of these religious missions, which imposed strange concepts such as the concept of sin, created great conflicts.

Without their mystic reference, intrinsic to the land they should occupy, and contaminated by other religious understandings, many indians considered and still consider suicide an alternative to end their internal conflicts. When they do not resort to this drastic solution, they turn to the consumption of alcohol which leads to their degradation in the same manner. Some, however, seek the alternative of finding employment on the farms located on their traditional land. This decision, in itself, represents a total withdrawal from the cultural standards of the Guarani-Kaiowa.

The indians are underpaid. However, it is the only way many Guarani-Kaiowa find to stay alive in the hope that some day they may be able to live in the tekoha again.

The indigenous populations in the south, such as the Guarani, Kaingang and Xokleng do not have a relevant production of cultural material expressed through any particular artifacts, be they ceramic, featherwork or other objects. This can be verified by the fact that the Department of Indian Art (ARTINDIA) of FUNAI receives no artifacts produced by these people who live spread out over the states of Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.

Although they preserve their language and habits, these groups engage in serious conflicts over the possession of land due to the high demographic density registered in that region. This fight over physical space plus the extensive contact with the white population has caused the indians to practically abandon their artistic production. Many of these groups have incorporated predominant elements of behavior from the national society and dedicated themselves to agriculture and stock raising.

Program of Cultural Action

FUNAI believes that the indian culture will only survive, with all its richness, through integrated work involving the areas of health, education, environment and productive activities. Only when educated, will the indians understand the negative effects environmental destruction has over their cultural manifestations, the group's health and social organization.

The same understanding goes for the areas of health and productive activities. A sick indian will be incapable of producing and if he lacks material goods to supply his basic needs, he will also be incapable of preserving his traditions. Experts from FUNAI are elaborating a program, to be implemented as of 1995, which is divided into two large projects: 1) INDIAN MEMORY and 2) PRESENTATION OF INDIAN CULTURE TO SOCIETY.

The project INDIAN MEMORY has various objectives, but mainly that of registering cultural values, with special consideration to its protection and presentation to the various sectors of society. For this, FUNAI intends to develop activities, together with the indigenous societies, to guarantee technical and scientific support so that they may once again produce objects and artifacts that represent each group's specialty, obeying traditional techniques and criteria.

The project INDIAN MEMORY also intends to form collections of various material cultures of the Brazilian tribal groups. This undertaking for the preservation and restoration of indigenous cultural values that FUNAI intends to intensify in 1995, has been tried in various tribes that live in the mid-west.

The bi-lingual education in the indian communities has influenced the social organization of the tribes. Many of the young people left their villages and distanced themselves from the cultural traditions to seek formal educations in the urban centers. This migration was forced, in part, by the fact that the indians felt the need to have their own people capable of understanding the language and behavioral codes of the white people and thus be able to fight for their own interests. Today, the elders, previously sacred figures within the social organization of these groups, complain about the young people who rebel and often refuse to follow their guidance.

Consulate General of Brazil in São Francisco, USA

Suzana Marc (Maria Suzana Marc Amoretti)

Published on the website Astrodienst

Maria Suzana Marc Amoretti

Suzana Marc was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Her full name is Maria Suzana Marc Amoretti.

Suzana lived in France for five years, where she prepared and earned her Doctorate degree. Her passion for languages and literature has led her to write several articles, including her doctoral thesis in 1995, Le mode d'emploi ergonomique: Discours d'instruction, her Master's dissertation in Comparative Literature, L'image de l'étranger au tournant du siècle and her DEA, Écriture et Carnaval. Suzana is a professional translator since 1980. She has translated a number of articles and manuals, including a book of cognitive science.

Biarnesa Subsequently, her interest in translation manifested in her contribution at BIARNESA Translations ( www.biarnesa.com ).

In parallel to her activities as a translator, Suzana Marc is a researcher, being one of the world’s leading researchers in categorization process and conceptual maps. In 2002 Suzana founded the LEAD SEMIÓTICA to research Semiotics and Cognitive Sciences to apply it to Distance Learning Courses ( www.leadsemiotica.net ).

LEAD Semiótica This research aims to discover the rules, the symbolic representations and the cognitive general principles underlying the computer scenarios of learning, being engaged in the study of cultural semiotics, traditional knowledges and covering the subfields of linguistics as well as interfaces with philosophy, speech science and technology, computer science and artificial intelligence, visual perception, categorization process and cognition.

Besides, Suzana has great interest in Astrology and she wishes to contribute to the diffusion of important advances in astrology through her translations.

Computer Astrology with Artificial Intelligence - Interview with Dr. Alois Treindl (Astrodienst)

Interview published on the website Astrodienst

Translation into brazilian portuguese by Maria Suzana Marc Amoretti

Alois Treindl

The interview was conducted in July 1987, a few months after the first release of the Psychological Horoscope Analysis. While some information given by Alois Treindl refers to this time in the 80s, most of what he said is still valid and interesting background information.

Question: Since March 1987, Astrodienst Zürich has been offering its own development of horoscope analyses. What was the reason for this development?

Alois Treindl: The aim of astrology is to make statements on a person's personality and problematic issues in life by means of the birth chart. There are two ways to attain this: either one studies astrology oneself or one turns to a person who is knowledgeable in this area. Until recently, Astrodienst was offering its services mainly to people involved in astrology themselves. There are many who study astrology as a pastime but also many who work with astrology, e.g. astrologers and psychologists, doctors and natural healers for whom astrology serves as an additional diagnostic means. Apart from these, however, there is a larger group of people interested in what astrology can tell them. So far, we couldn't do much for these people apart from sending them to an astrological consultation or to seminars. In order to be able to offer something to them, we developed - in co-operation with a worldwide leading astrologer - the Psychological Horoscope Analysis by Astro*Intelligence.

Question: Why did Astrodienst only now develop such a project? The need for this service must have existed much longer.

A.T.: Some firms have been offering so-called computer horoscopes for some time, i.e. computer-made astrological interpretations. The methods and computer technologies they employ lead to results which in our eyes are rather unsatisfactory. Astrological consultations should be held with the same sense of responsibility as for instance medical diagnoses or psychological consultations with a marriage counsellor. An astrologer shouldn't come up with off-the-cuff statements. Before counselling people, a serious astrologer will generally have interested him- or herself in astrology and, hopefully also psychology, for years, but will also have dealt with the question of what counselling actually means. Astrologers also need a fair amount of life experience. When setting up a computer programme to make astrological statements on an individual, one has to ensure that the programme possesses as many abilities of a human counsellor as possible. Until recently, this was impossible for technical reasons. In the last few years however, methods of information technology have been developed which aim at imitating an expert's ability with a computer. This area is generally circumscribed as 'Artificial Intelligence', although a better name would be 'knowledge based systems', 'knowledge processing' or 'expert systems'. The problem is to teach a computer knowledge in a certain field so that it can fulfill an expert's function. Once achieved, the computer can then offer solutions to specific problems. Our task therefore was to make astrological interpretations with the computer by using this new technology.

Question: What is the difference between Astrodienst's new horoscope analysis and other available computer interpretations?

A.T.: I wouldn't want to run the other services down, but I think one can say that, qualitatively speaking, we are much more advanced.

Question: Are the other services based on a cookbook principle?

A.T.: The term 'cook book principle' doesn't quite convey the difference, because in the end we, too, work with text components, meaning that the final printout contains ready-made parts of text. More important, however, is the inner context of these components and how they are evaluated within the programme to make up a complete reading. One could say that, so far, cook book recipes were being used: take a certain text for Mars in Scorpio, a certain text for Mars in the Second House, a certain text for Sun in Pisces, a certain text for Sun in the Sixth House, take a text for the aspect between Sun and Mars and then string these parts of text together. No human astrologer would ever work like this, but this is exactly what computer horoscopes hitherto did. Our programme, on the other hand, has a complex mechanism to solve problems. It contains expert methods to solve problems, and our computer is capable of applying these abilities. If the comparison weren't so dangerous, I would rather compare it with a medical or a psychological diagnosis. In these areas one cannot work with a straightforward linear-additive method, i.e. a method which looks isolatedly at individual factors and then strings them together. It needs an expert to recognize connections and patterns. 'Artificial Intelligence' allows the computer to 'see' images, to recognize structures and to find analogies throughout the whole chart. The programme works with psychological models which it has saved. In that regard, the programme's method can be compared to the method of a human expert. It is rather a synthetic than an analytical method.

Question: So the programme more or less simulates an astrologer's procedure?

A.T.: When an astrologer looks at a horoscope, it means more to him than a mere compilation of various planetary constellations. Although s/he knows the individual factors that make up the horoscope, s/he also sees references and topical issues. S/he recognizes opposites and similar factors which are prominent in various constellations. Therefore s/he can relate factors to one another which at first glance don't seem to be connected. This distinguishes an expert from a layman simply using a fixed concept.

Question: How can a computer do this? Doesn't it function by being told, if this is the case, do that, and if that is the case, do this?

A.T.: This is exactly what became possible with the programming techniques of expert systems or Artificial Intelligence. One feeds the computer descriptions of such topical issues. In the computer jargon they are called 'frames'.

Question: What do these descriptions aim at?

A.T.: First of all, I have to clarify my view of the human soul or psyche. It is based on the perspective of Jungian psychology. We do not just have a single Ego, a conscious will, surrounded by an environment, but each of us contains a whole lot of forces, of facets. They are like a whole group of inner figures representing different roles and personalities, just like figures in a drama. Each person has something similar to his or her own individual drama of life. These figures differ somewhat in every person. Their co-operation and their conflicts represent the inner conflict of a human being which often reveals itself in his or her life. These inner figures combine to make up me and my character. Some of these figures are conscious. For instance, I am well aware of my rational side that thinks analytically, because I need it for my job, for programming. I live out my social side with friends. My 'joie de vivre' side is revealed when I cook a meal and invite friends round for dinner. Through these conscious figures I act within my life. But there are also figures I am not aware of. They are hidden and emerge only in certain situations such as crises, and I cannot determine when they surface. For instance, I might react aggressively to a certain irritation without this being part of my normal personality. That means there is something within me which can also be aggressive and destructive. These various figures and their individual weighting become visible in a horoscope. The inner figures correspond to certain constellations and patterns in the horoscope. This is the basis on which astrology functions. When looking at a horoscope, one recognizes certain emphases of planetary constellations, zodiacs, positions of houses etc. An astrologer is able to interpret these constellations and to comment both on the conscious and the unconscious side of a person. When these unconscious figures emerge suddenly, they can create problems in life. But there are also very positive, creative figures amongst them. Often a person isn't even aware of this creative potential. S/he was never really able to develop it because it never got called forth from the unconscious. So one cannot describe these figures as either positive or negative. The knowledge base of our programme contains descriptions of such inner figures and also describes which astrological combinations are related to such figures. The knowledge base of the programme also contains a description of the relation between the individual figures. Some form proper pairs of contrast - for instance, there is an individualist who has no illusions as regards the world and mankind, opposed by the social type. Or there is the conservative, fatherly type opposed by the youthful spirit, representing the typical conflict of irresponsible and overly responsible. Then there is the contrast of the soberly cynic and the romantic type or archetype. So the knowledge base of the programme contains descriptions of those conflicts which may arise through the antagonistic forces in a horoscope. But there are also descriptions of relations between the figures. The romantic type, for instance, is related to the youthful, adventurous figure, and in parts they have similar traits. On the other hand, the individualist and the traditional patriarch get on somehow; at least they don't interfere with one another.

Question: Could one call these inner figures archetypes?

A.T.: Certainly. The archetypes represent the basic figures of the human psyche. They are described particularly in mythology.

Question: So the programme contains an extensive rule engine?

A.T.: I wouldn't call them sets of rules, although rules do play a part. It would be more precise to call them sets of patterns. That is the main thing. When the programme is fed the horoscope of a certain person for analysis, it goes through the whole range of archetypical figures and checks in how far the astrological combinations suggest their actual existence in this particular case. Actually the programme doesn't go through all types but makes choices and excludes certain figures from the outset. But it would be too complicated to discuss in detail how the programme works. The programme checks whether the described patterns exist in the individual and in how far they are appropriate. Generally it finds several such patterns in a horoscope. Then it has to decide which ones of these patterns are most important and how they are to be related. In doing that, the programme pays special attention to the ones that are most strongly opposed. It is an important concept of the psychology of the subconscious that inner oppositions will also become an issue in the external world. Therefore such pairs of opposition are of vital importance for the interpretation. The programme also checks relations. If e.g. three figures with similar traits appear, countered only by one opposite, it is likely that a character trait from the first group will find expression in a person. The shadow, however, is generally suppressed; it is not visible at first sight in the personality of this individual and often remains unconscious even to the person concerned. That means the recognized patterns are balanced against each other. In this way the computer decides on the issues which are most important for the person whose chart is being analyzed. These traits are then described. This is how the Psychological Horoscope Analysis is produced.

Question: How does the programme determine the psychological type depicted in the first part of the horoscope, in chapter II?

A.T.: Chapter II of the analysis deals with what C.G. Jung called the four psychological types. These four types correspond to the four elements fire, water, earth, and air. The intuitive type whose imagination is strongly developed, and the sensual type mainly guided by sensual perceptions, form a pair. The second pair is made up of the rational type, the thinker, and the emotional person whose foremost functions are feeling, sympathy etc. The programme assesses the distribution of planets in the various elements and draws conclusions as to the psychological type. Very often one finds imbalances, meaning that a certain element is represented only weakly or not at all. This is called the undifferentiated function. But another function will be the strongest one. Yet a second function can be just as strong and therefore must be considered as well. Liz Greene calls the psychological type the set within which the psychological drama takes place. This set in which the figures will act largely determines the atmosphere of events. In a sensualist, inner figures living more in fantasy, removed and not earth bound, will have difficulties living out their qualities. If the mental function is emphasized, inner figures more orientated towards emotion will not feel at ease. Therefore it follows from the first part of the analysis which figures will find it easy or difficult to enact themselves, which ones will express themselves openly and which ones are more likely to be pushed into the shadow. This basic determination already reveals very much. The four basic types also correspond to the four humours, the melancholic, the choleric, the sanguine and the phlegmatic, although these old terms are no longer valid for our modern way of thinking.

Question: What is the function of the analysis' main part?

A.T.: As already mentioned, the main part of the analysis, chapter III., determines astrological patterns corresponding to archetypical issues and balances them. The computer then decides which ones are most important and are expressed most strongly. It so say looks for the main conflicts of the inner psychic life. Sometimes the programme even finds two or three main issues.

Question: Can the programme always decide amongst the various issues?

A.T.: That isn't always easy. An astrologer actually facing the client could find a clue as to which figure eventually became predominant in the life of the person concerned by looking at his or her appearance and what they say. In such a case, the programme lists the descriptions of the opposing figures as equally important. It describes both, because we don't know which figure became predominant in the life or the momentary phase of life of the person concerned. But one can describe this pair, thereby offering the reader access to his or her own self-awareness.

Question: What is the difference between a psychological consultation and the lecture of this computer-made analysis?

A.T.: An astrologer coming from a Jungian background will approach his task with similar instruments and a similar method as our programme does. However, he has at his disposal a vital additional source of information: the client facing him. He can ask the clients questions, and this is a great advantage over the computer programme. If he finds that several issues in the horoscope are of more or less equal importance, he generally - merely by asking the clients questions - can determine which one they chose for themselves, with which of the two sides they identify most. This the computer programme cannot do. But basically it occurs only rarely that issues are of equal weight. Normally, one issue prevails. The astrologer can also focus much more intently on the things the client approaches him with. The client wants to know something that he doesn't know about yet. That's why he approaches the astrologer. Therefore the astrologer can limit himself to these aspects. Inevitably, the computer text contains much more information. It doesn't know where the client stands, what s/he knows and what else s/he would like to know. There are people who are not very aware of themselves. They know only very little about their own psyches. Other people know quite a lot already; perhaps they underwent several crises and found themselves in psychologically difficult situations. In a personal consultation, the focus is much stronger. That is why our text is so detailed; in a normal book, it would take up 40 to 50 pages, and one needs several hours to read it thoroughly.

Question: Can this computer text replace an astrological consultation?

A.T.: One must consider what actually takes place in an astrological consultation. It is not a situation in which mere knowledge is transmitted. Two people sit in the same room. The sympathy with which the astrologer considers the problems laid out to him by the client is of importance. A care machine cannot replace a nurse, and likewise, a human, sympathetic astrologer cannot be replaced by a computer.

Question: You mean, the astrologer has also a therapeutic function which the computer cannot fulfill?

A.T.: The astrologer is a fellow being, a sympathetic person whose task is helping others. Not every astrologer sees himself as a therapist, and not every client visiting an astrologer regards himself as consulting a therapist. The astrologer is a sensitive, counselling fellow being, a helper. This human function cannot be fulfilled by the computer, a machine. On the other hand books, e.g. psychological books on marriage crises etc. written by sympathetic authors can help us. Such books convey many human qualities, because behind them there is a sympathetic author writing from his own life experience, his expert knowledge and his experience in dealing with such problems. A book of this kind not only conveys knowledge but also enables the reader to find himself emotionally in it, to find himself in other people's problems described in the book. Reading a book can initiate important emotional processes. The same considerations apply to the Psychological Horoscope Analysis. It is not just cold paper printed by a cold computer. The author introduces her emotional intelligence, her sympathetic abilities into the text which is then printed out by the computer. After all, the texts weren't written by the computer itself. They were created by an extremely experienced psychotherapist and astrologer who wrote a number of psychologically astrological books that are internationally known. Through her text, many human qualities are conveyed in the analysis. As opposed to a book, however, these texts were selected specifically for the reader. When reading a book, you find certain paragraphs which touch you especially, which resound in you. In a psychological volume of some 500 pages, this will be only very few pages. This is where the Psychological Horoscope Analysis differs. As the texts were selected specifically for the reader by means of the above-mentioned process, he will find practically only such pieces of text which mean something to him and which tell him something personally. In this sense, the Psychological Horoscope Analysis was not made by a computer. Rather, we inserted parts of an astrologer's abilities into a computer model. Statements and texts written by an experienced astrologer were stored in the computer and are reproduced individually.

Question: So the author of the texts and of the astrological knowledge is a key figure in the realization of the Psychological Horoscope Analysis?

A.T.: The realization of a project such as the Psychological Horoscope Analysis requires two things: on the one hand the expert with the specific knowledge, responsible for the text, and on the other hand the information specialist, the so-called knowledge engineer. His job is to structure the knowledge of the expert and to give it a shape which the computer can understand. Only in this process between expert and computer specialist can an expert system come into existence. Both sides are necessary.

Question: Who is Liz Greene?

A.T.: Liz Greene is an internationally leading astrologer and astrological author. She is one of the main figures in modern psychological astrology and modern psychology of the subconscious. Dr. Greene is a psychologist and a trained Jungian psychoanalyst in London. She works both as a psychoanalyst and an astrologer. Her astrological activities include consultations and the writing of astrological books, but she also holds seminars in astrology on a regular basis and heads a school for psychological astrology. Her books have been translated into some ten languages. Apart from books on astrology, she also wrote two historical novels and children's books. With her ability to write and her widely developed psychological background she became the one person to unite astrology and Jungian psychology. Not that they ever were divided: C.G. Jung had always been interested in astrology and did horoscopes for many of his patients. His daughter then had to actually draw them. Ms Gret Baumann-Jung, incidentally, is one of the leading Zürich astrologers. But only Liz Greene made this area accessible to the larger, psychologically interested public. This is also due to her fluent style of writing; her books are very lively and make for fascinating reading. Her aim has always been to transport astrology back into psychology. In former times, astrology was an all-encompassing system of thought. It was connected with all other sciences, representing so say the earliest psychology. In former times there was no specific branch of science that dealt with the human psyche. Freud's modern analytical psychology developed for the greatest part quite rationally. It stems from a different source. It was formed by a rational, nearly mechanistic image of man. In C.G. Jung's psychology, the deeper, submerged sides of the psyche were expressed and came to the surface quite legitimately. Liz Greene sees her task in tracing these submerged areas by astrological means, thereby making astrology accessible and acceptable for modern psychology. She has a solid base in both areas and is therefore able to bring them together.

Question: Can these analyses also be misused? Could they even be harmful for certain people?

A.T.: Paracelsus already said that every medicine is also poisonous. It all depends on the dose. The same applies to astrological material. The analysis presents a large amount of psychological material. The text itself contains no astrology as far as planets, houses or zodiacs are concerned. The text deals with psychological issues and problems. Psychological material can indeed be harmful. It happens to every young person interesting him- or herself in psychology: you buy a book on inferiority complexes, you read it and are aghast to find that you suffer from the self-same complexes. One goes through a phase in which one finds within oneself all those dark sides described in a psychology book. Such a book can wreak havoc in somebody who is unstable. But in the hands of somebody seriously interested in the search for himself it can be of great value. In earlier times, many books were proscribed by the church because they were considered to be harmful to the general public and one didn't credit the normal people with the ability to cope with them. That was for instance the case with books on sexuality. Damage and harmfulness are therefore relative terms. Everything dealing with problems and conflicts in life can be useful und helpful, mainly because becoming aware of problems is always a better choice than suppressing them. So we should rather enquire about the usefulness. Nonetheless, if one discloses to a person who is on the brink that s/he also has a father complex, s/he might become deeply depressed. Insofar, every psychological text, even a novel describing a certain problem, can be just as dangerous or as useful. It can induce a crisis. But the question remains whether a crisis in itself is harmful. In itself, it is useful because it denotes a change. The Psychological Horoscope Analysis contains the potential to induce crises. However, there is no difference between this and anything else which functions as an impulse to the psyche. The authors are very much aware of the responsibility in connection with such a product. We do not know for certain who will actually receive the analysis. Mostly it will be people interested in psychology and astrology who want to know more about themselves. We state clearly in the information leaflet that the analysis will deal with the psychological issues of each individual. We don't send the analysis anonymously to somebody who never asked for it. We surmise that everybody ordering an analysis from us is aware of what they are ordering, what is awaiting them. The texts are developed with a great sense of responsibility. They are not intended to tell everybody they are a mass of complexes. The underlying idea is that many things submerged in the individual - treasures buried in the psyche or the unconscious - are worth bringing to the surface. Once they have surfaced, they can heighten a person's creativity and joy of life, for integrating the various submerged parts of a whole personality means raising the quality of life. When a person goes through a process of integration, a richer whole, a more mature personality emerges. These unconscious creative sides are stated expressively in the analysis. Not that the darker sides are glossed over - but every darker side also has a creative aspect. Dealing with aggressiveness for example doesn't make a person evil but makes him or her whole. Nonetheless, as I already said, anything can induce a crisis. This is the reason why we enclose a questionnaire with every analysis, offering people the opportunity to react. We think this is of vital importance. The reader doesn't just get something thrown at him. We are prepared to consider each reader individually, to an extent which depends on each case. We are very much interested in getting feedback from the readers. This also offers them the opportunity to send out an 'SOS' and to turn to us. If we receive such a signal of confusion and bewilderment, we don't leave it at that. We assess the feedback and deal with it accordingly.

Question: The analysis is intended for adults. Can an analysis be made for children?

A.T.: The Psychological Horoscope Analysis deals with the problems of adult life. It is intended as lecture for the person described in the text. The analysis deals very much with the unconscious side of the psyche. Therefore it's not particularly useful to have an analysis done on somebody else. Of course it can be interesting to find out what it reveals about one's boss. But that is not the aim. The analysis was written for the adult who would like to face himself. If the analysis is not to expand into a vacuum, life must have been lived, because otherwise there are no problems of life to be dealt with. To a child of ten, the analysis would mean as little as would a book on marriage counselling. That's the reason for imposing an age limit of 14 years. It is always difficult to draw precise lines. We believe that people reaching maturity should have access to the analysis. If we made the analysis only for people over 20, we would be disregarding all those bright seventeen- or fifteen-year-olds interested in psychology. But we are aware of the fact that setting up age limits is always arbitrary.

Question: What did it take to develop the product as it is now?

A.T.: It required two experts: the specialist who provided the expert knowledge and wrote the texts which eventually were selected. On the other hand it needed a computer specialist, the knowledge engineer, to structure this expert knowledge and transform it into a computer programme. Knowledge processing is a new field. Methods for setting up expert systems can't be bought off the shelf. It is not a widespread computer technology which every programmer knows about. One can't just buy a knowledge processing system instead of a text processing system. Expert systems are an area which is just finding its way from the universities into practice. A user wanting to work with knowledge processing systems has to create a great many software and programming tools himself. S/he could buy extremely specialised computers built only for Artificial Intelligence, but at a price. I have been dealing with the area of Artificial Intelligence for four years now and have acquired knowledge in this field. I learnt the relevant programming languages: at first Lisp, at Zürich University, then the language Prolog at the ETH. We eventually decided to base our project of astrological expert system on the language Prolog. This is a very modern programming language which was created specifically to combine logically rules, statements and logical thinking. Prolog is the language which a few years ago the Japanese decided on for their well-known Fifth Generation Computer Project. This is a combined project of the Japanese computer industry. Their aim is to promote a general breakthrough of Artificial Intelligence. It took roughly four years to create the basic programming techniques and the necessary software tools and to shape the programme. An important step was to re-write the programming language Prolog for the computers at our disposal. We had to develop a special language compiler for our Hewlett-Packard computer. We were in close contact with the ETH Zürich where a Prolog compiler was being developed for the computers at the ETH. I contacted these people and, in co-operation with them, ported and developed the language to adapt it to our computers. This Prolog interpreter became a software parcel for HP computers and is now on sale. It is so say a side product of our actual development. From 1983 to late 1985, we worked on these preliminary tasks: acquiring the technical know-how and creating the software tools. The time from late 1985 to early 1987 was spent on the actual realization of the project: setting up the basic knowledge, the programme and the texts for the production of Psychological Horoscope Analysis.

Question: Are you a computer specialist, an astrologer. or both?

A.T.: In the main part I was of course the computer specialist.

Question: What is your educational background?

A.T.: Originally, I studied physics. After graduating, I took my doctor's degree at the ETH Zürich in experimental solid state physics. That was in 1981. But all along I was strongly interested in computers. For me, physics was often secondary to the problems and the use of computers. But then I also was interested in psychology. There was always a certain tension between the psychological interest in people and the rational, scientific interest in physics and computers. There always were two sides in me that did not fit together. In 1979, I encountered astrology. That was a very intensive experience. Astrology has more or less two sides; it is a mixture of a symbolic psychological associative system which moves within the field of the irrational, of that which cannot be grasped logically and causally. At the same time, astrology relies on the precisely calculated orbit of planets which encompass in their astrological system also the Sun and the Moon; therefore, astrology has a mathematically correct side as well. In astrology, both these sides are necessary. An astrologer needs a precisely calculated chart in order to interpret it psychologically. Perhaps that is why I was fascinated by astrology from the very beginning. I then started to read books on astrology, to attend seminars. I transferred the calculation of horoscopes onto the computers, tools I was very well acquainted with, and from these playful beginnings, Astrodienst developed. That was quite early, in 1980. In those days I did that beside my work in the laboratory at the ETH. In the evenings, I used to develop the programme for drawing planets and their orbits. After taking my doctor's degree in 1981, I worked for Astrodienst Zürich, the astrological calculation service, and made this my main task. This service was very well received. Through mastering the modern, advanced methods of programming, I helped to raise the qualitative standard of astrological calculations, of graphical denotation etc. So I have been dealing with astrology for many years, but mainly with the technical aspects, the calculation of it. I always knew that the mere calculation would not satisfy me. I wanted to bring these worlds closer together. I wanted to join the world of the computer with this irrational psychological side which is so difficult to structure. I constantly educated myself further in information technology and very soon guessed that, by means of the new methods of Artificial Intelligence, one might succeed in tackling the Psychological Horoscope Analysis with computers in a responsible way - not just to paste together certain astrological text units with a cook book but to imitate the model of how an astrologer looks at a horoscope. In the following, I got more and more involved with this new field and I learnt about the methods of Artificial Intelligence, until it was time to start on a concrete project. That was, as already mentioned, in 1985. While working with Liz Greene, implementing her astrological knowledge on the computer, I intensified my involvement with astrological interpretation and learnt much more about astrology. I am not only a technician disinterestedly designing a programme. Not at all. In the process of transferring the knowledge of a leading astrologer to a computer, I developed into being an astrologer. Today, I am both an astrologer and a computer specialist. Recently, I began to do astrological consultations myself. A computer programme is always limited, whereas a personal consultation can impart something important for the person concerned. I learn a lot from my personal clients. But of course, a consultation costs much more than a computer analysis.

Question: Are you happy with the product as it is on offer now?

A.T.: Yes, I am very happy. And I am a very sceptical and self-critical person. I could explain that to you from my horoscope. Sometimes I might even be too self-critical. I hesitate for a long time before I find something good enough to actually offer it. And so, during the development of the programme, I received a lot of feedback from friends and through psychoanalytical work. Before introducing it, the programme was tested intensely. Already then we received a good deal of positive reaction. We didn't write the basic knowledge just like that but tested it time and again. We constantly ran through a great number of people we know very well and checked how well the models worked. We wanted to know whether the programme really found the most important issues within these persons or not. So we've always been involved in a process of learning, and still do so. I am happy, I am even surprised with what we have achieved. Of course we could continue working for another three years and make it even more detailed. But I believe that the current programme is very good and it would be a pity not to make it available for those interested in it. And then one also has to consider the costs: the development is very expensive and we have to appear on the market at one point.

Question: Do you plan to develop the programme further or to add similar analyses?

A.T.: Both. We don't see this programme at all as definite. The methods it entails are very good, they work, and in that sense they will remain. But the contents will become more detailed. Feedback from our clients enables us to find out where the programme grasps the least, where it may still be somewhat uneven, where it doesn't express itself clearly enough or where the presented material is met with incomprehension. Apart from developing the existing programme further there are of course other important issues in astrological counselling, for instance including the quality of time. For that, a birth chart is not enough because it is fixed. Moving through time, we constantly encounter certain phases in which certain issues emerge and are particularly acute. Others we leave behind, and that is how change takes place. In astrology there are several methods to find out which issues are more acute at present or will be in the near future. Introducing the dimension of time into the astrological analysis is an addition we are thinking about. The other issue is relationships, partner relationships. This is one of the main issues in psychological and astrological consultations: crises and conflicts in relationships or the lack of relationships. This is an area where astrology can achieve a lot. Astrology is able not only to look at a person but to juxtapose two people and see how the issue relationship reveals itself in the two individual horoscopes and which interactions exist. This issue is mentioned in the Psychological Horoscope Analysis, but it is not the main question and the analysis does not look at both partners.

Question: Does the Horoscope Analysis also contain predictions?

A.T.: It certainly doesn't contain predictions in the vulgar sense of 'Watch financial matters this month!' We do not deal with astrology on this level at all. However, the basic belief is that one's character is one's fate. That means that whatever exists within me as a conflict will be expressed again and again in my life. Especially things that I have suppressed will confront me from the outside. This is connected with mechanisms of projection etc. There is something like wisdom of fate and of life and it seems to be a lifelong task to face the tasks and conflicts one was given at birth. If I don't look inside myself and face these conflicts, I will encounter them externally. In this sense a description of a character, of something within me, also points towards things that can confront me externally. The more unaware somebody is, the less he has faced himself, the more likely it is that life will confront him quite brutally from the outside. Each description of the issues of an individual's life is therefore in a way also a prediction and at the same time a non-prediction, because by consciously dealing with the conflict one can avoid having to be made aware of this conflict externally. There is a kind of 'dewitchment' which occurs when one faces one's inner conflicts and complexes. Thereby the process of becoming aware turns into a liberation, a redemption from fate. That may sound a bit presumptuous, but it's exactly what psychoanalysis does: introspection redeems one from a fate which otherwise appears externally or internally through one's body. This is the secret of psychosomatics. Therefore one can't separate prediction from the analysis of a character. But predictions in a narrower sense of the word, of what will happen when and how - that we don't do. And one can't do it, exactly because consciously dealing with an issue can invalidate fate and make it unnecessary for something to happen.

Question: I noticed that the analysis contains a lot on the parents, that it even risks making statements on the parents' relationship. How is that possible?

A.T.: Those are actually two questions. One is: How is it possible? And the other: Why do we do that? One has to ask what parents mean psychologically. The parents are not only external people with whom you live as a child, who cook food for you and educate you, but they play a nearly overdimensional role in psychology, especially in the psychology of the subconscious. The parents are a child's very first experience with the male and female aspects. One's mother is the first woman one gets to know. One's father, or the man who fulfills the role of a child's male career, is the archetypical male who encounters the child. In Jungian psychology one talks of Animus and Anima, the inner male and female sides of each individual. In a man, the Animus side may be more on a conscious, the Anima side more on an unconscious level, and vice versa in a woman, although it is not always this obvious. But the parents' figures always relate to these inner sides. They, so to say, play the part of model character for my inner female or male side. That means, my inner female side is connected with what my mother is like. My inner male side is connected with what my father is like. Not necessarily what my father is like externally; he also has an unconscious side. My mother, too, has an unconscious side which might not be fully expressed in her life but which a child, unconsciously, is very much aware of. As the horoscope depicts my main psychic parts, it also depicts Animus and Anima. It depicts my male and female archetypes, which of course have a lot to do with parental figures who were, after all, the first models. Observations in practical astrology have revealed that the parents can be traced in their child's horoscope. Not necessarily their exterior self; in reality, one parent might very well have been absent, but the child's horoscope contains a father figure none the less, regardless whether it is a woman's or a man's horoscope. From a horoscope one can learn a great deal about parental figures and how they were reflected in the child's psyche, and that is of great importance to me. After all, the parents were the first role model of a relationship. The experience I had with my parents moulds my ability to strike up relationships, my ability to handle conflicts. To face one's parents as represented in the horoscope gives one access to a vital level of problems and conflicts within oneself.

Question: Which criteria does the programme employ to make statements on relationships?

A.T.: On the one hand, we employ traditional astrological interpretations such as Seventh House, position of Venus etc., on the other hand, based on a psychological concept, we believe that a person often would like to see his or her unconscious sides reflected in their partners. You could call it projection. The issue of relationships is therefore closely connected to the main part of the analysis which describes the main figures of a character.

Question: Do you strive to fully grasp the person described by the programme?

A.T.: We strive to depict the issues in the life of the described person and thereby to encourage them to face themselves. The more consciously people deal with their problems, the more they elude the description of the programme. On the other hand, it generally is exactly these people who realize that the description addresses the main aspects of their personality. We don't claim to fully grasp a person in our programme. That would be presumptuous and arrogant. Luckily, even a computer can go wrong.

Question: What is the point of this Psychological Horoscope Analysis?

A.T.: We believe that the analysis will help the reader to become more aware of the topical issues in his or her life and thereby to learn to cope with them more consciously. This can be a real help in life. Consciousness means redemption from one's fate.

Interview published on the website Astrodienst

Translation into brazilian portuguese by Maria Suzana Marc Amoretti

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