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Moving to Chesapeake, VA – Complete Guideline

You may want to consider moving to Virginia if you’re looking for a new home. Virginia is not only a great state to live in, but it is also centrally located on the East Coast. There is something for everyone, both history enthusiasts and nature lovers. Apartments for rent in Chesapeake, VA, are the perfect destination for adventurers, with the beaches to the east and mountains to the west. A booming economy, superior education, and a diverse culture define the state.

Find out what you should know BEFORE relocating to Virginia.

Living costs are high

It’s more expensive to live in Virginia. Taxes are high here, as well as the cost of living. The top ten states with the highest income taxes include Virginia. However, the real estate market is so diverse that you can find an affordable house even in rural areas. 

When it comes to affordability, Covington ranked number one. You can make about $83,000 in Richmond if you prefer a metropolitan area. Virginia’s capital is also the cheapest metropolitan area.

Growing Virginia

Virginia has an estimated 8,603,980 people and ranks 12th for population and 13th for growth in the nation over the past few years. A campus for Amazon’s HQ2 is being built in Virginia. Amazon is adding to the state’s growth with a second headquarters in Arlington, VA.

Higher education is great

Many notable institutions in Virginia, like The College of William and Mary, Virginia Tech, and The University of Virginia, are three of the top 40 universities in the country. In-state tuition will be a plus if your children want to attend Virginia schools. Thomas Jefferson founded in 1819 the University of Virginia with the country’s highest graduation rate. Queen Mary II and King William III founded 1693 the College of William and Mary. The other famous George Mason University and James Madison University are also here. Your younger children, who will first attend public school, will also be in good hands. Schools in Fairfax County, Prince William County, Loudoun County, and Virginia Beach are among the best.

An army presence is expected

Virginia currently has 27 active military bases. There are eight Army bases here. The state has active bases for every branch of service. Families of military personnel end up moving to Virginia since the armed forces are the top employer. It is not uncommon for your neighbor to be in the military. During their demonstrations, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels perform impressive flight formations and maneuvers as they are the second-oldest aerobatic team in the world. Attend a show with your family. In Virginia, there is also the FBI Academy, which trains and researches law enforcement.

Busch Gardens is there

A 422-acre amusement park in Williamsburg. Fun for all ages at Busch Gardens. This Water park is the largest in Virginia and is open all year; every thrill seeker can find a ride here. The Griffin roller coaster has a 205-foot drop! On the Verbolten, you can race through the Black Forest. Find out what’s happening this season. Busch Gardens hosts a Food and Wine Festival in the spring with over a hundred international treats. Check out Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream from September through Halloween for terrifying haunts.

Crazy traffic

Virginia traffic is hectic. Particularly in the Washington D.C. area, expect long traffic jams and stressful rush hour. Consider commuting time when choosing where to live if you don’t want to waste time in the car. Consider your drive time if you won’t be taking public transportation.

Virginia beaches

Next time you’re planning a beach vacation, consider the Virginia coastline. The Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay are just a few minutes away from these quiet beach communities. Virginia Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the state. The three-mile boardwalk offers five-star hotels with oceanfront views. 

Live music, fresh local seafood, or surfing competitions await you. For a more relaxed and family-friendly beach, head over to Sandbridge Beach. 

Virginia also has mountains

Five of Virginia’s mountain ranges are over 5,000 feet tall. There is nothing like the natural beauty of Virginia. The beach is there, but the mountains are there too. The Virginia mountains have inspired generations of people. One-fourth of the Appalachian Trail, Shenandoah National Park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway are located here. In addition to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, the Virginia mountains are a hidden gem. This national forest covers 1,664,110 acres. This forest has miles of streams, animals, and endangered plants. Take a scenic drive, hike, bike, paddle, fish, or camp through this mountainous terrain.

The economy is booming

Virginia’s economy is diverse, much like its culture. As ranked 13 by U.S. News & World Report, the state economy is strong. The top industries are healthcare and retail, which rank 24 in growth, 5 in employment, and 14 in a business environment. Shipbuilding, farming, seafood harvesting, and wineries are all booming along the coast and rivers. Recent job growth has been 1.8% compared to 1.4% nationally. Virginia’s economy always seems steady compared to other states and the world. The Washington Post called Virginia “the best state in America” for budget management. You might consider this state for a good job and a strong economy.

The food is good

Virginia has many different flavors and cuisines because of its many regions so you would love the place if you’re a foodie. As a southern state, expect barbeque, country ham, fried chicken, and Brunswick stew. 

Seafood caught along the coast reigns supreme. Trout, oysters, and blue crabs are all on the menu. Enjoy a low country boil at home or a restaurant with fresh seafood. Apple orchards dot the countryside. Make some homemade apple pie and pick some apples with the family.

Among the many restaurants in the state, a few deserve recognition. Here are some foodie favorites with historical significance:

The Ashby Inn and Restaurant

The Market Table Bistro

The Tavern

A four-season experience

The subtropical climate in Virginia. Summers are hot, winters are mild, and rainfall is moderate. Four seasons here. There will often be snowfall in the winter, depending on the area of the state. The summers will be hot and humid, and it snows around 52 inches a year. There will be chilly mornings in the spring and beautiful colors in the fall. Approximately forty-four inches of rainfall in Virginia each year. Pack for all seasons before moving here. Snow shovels are essential.

Top-notch healthcare

Virginia’s healthcare is excellent. So if you get sick, you’re in good hands. The U.S. NWR ranked the University of Virginia Medical Center as Virginia’s best hospital. Inova Fairfax Hospital and Sentara Norfolk General Hospital are nationally recognized and ranked hospitals. In America’s health rankings, Virginia was among three states that improved in public health. Along with improving public health, the state is making buying a home easier.


Big Questions About Big History

Many people heard of something called Big History for the first time through an article in the New York Times Magazine in September, 2014. The article introduced David Christian, the leading figure in developing the concept of Big History, but raised the sensationalist question whether Bill Gates and his bundles of money should tell us how to study history. That angle probably got the article published but the approach failed to show the enthusiastic response that is building around the world for an approach that puts the story of science into a historical narrative.

People are used to seeing FAQ these days when they encounter something new. So let’s look at some Big Questions (my version of FAQ) that people naturally want answered when they become interested in Big History. This is only an introduction and does not pretend to answer all questions. There will be more articles to come that deal with many practical questions arising from the spread of Big History.

What is Big History? Professional historians have usually defined history as beginning with the origin of writing and written records. Such artifacts give the stories of rulers and what they considered important or useful. Sometimes they included interesting human stories.

There are problems with this definition of history. It leaves out everything that came before writing. Archaeology has uncovered artifacts that date the origin of our species thousands of years before writing. Those are important, but have been labeled “pre-history.” Also, written records served a small elite that could read and write so that early records are essentially propaganda indicating what ruling elites wanted future generations to think about them. What might be called “people’s history” was not considered important at that time. Traditional histories have mirrored the biased and propagandistic views found in those early records.

Science has opened up a story going all the way back to the Big Bang approximately 3.8 billion years ago. Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg wrote about The First Three Minutes because science can determine physical interactions that far back in history.

Big History pushes the story back to the very beginning by turning the scientific story into a narrative comparable to ordinary histories. The impact is to turn specialized courses on scientific details into a story that allows everyone to comprehend the important developments from the Big Bang through the origin of stars, planetary systems, galaxies, life on earth, and the development of human cultures.

The history of our species and life on earth are a small percentage of time when compared to the overall span of 13.8 billion years. David Christian and his colleagues have identified eight major thresholds at which major developments occurred as the foci around which the story is developed so that one doesn’t get lost in the overwhelming detail. Each threshold represents a major evolutionary stage in the development of complexity in the universe at large and on our planet in particular.

Why talk about complexity? The overall message of Big History is the development of complexity in the universe. This is important, first, because it appears to violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics which tells us the universe is losing complexity and moving toward disorder – yet Big History tells about the emergence of organization and complexity from ultimate chaos at the Big Bang. Second, the eight thresholds tell of leaps in level of complexity, each of which brings what we would call progress along with increasing fragility and a range of problems that were more complicated than those encountered at earlier thresholds. Third, when we get to human history as part of more recent thresholds, the story highlights issues on a bigger scale than ordinarily seen in histories of nations and individuals which have been the major topics studied by professional history.

How is Big History taught? David Christian is a historian, thus it seems natural to view this subject as another offering in the history curriculum. However, the story told by Big History goes beyond normal histories to focus on information from a number of sciences and social sciences. It also has implications for the study of religions and the dynamics of social change seen in political and other current movements.

The first significant effort to teach Big History at the university level in the United States happened at Dominican University in California through the leadership of Cynthia Stokes Brown whose field was education. They developed an interdisciplinary year-long course as the foundation of a common freshman experience on which the university built a culture of interdisciplinary faculty cooperation. Their story has been told in a recent book and, beginning in 2015, is being shared through a summer institute at which other professionals can gain practical experience from those involved in the Dominican experience.

David Christian and Cynthia Brown were among the pioneers in the development of the International Big History Association (IBHA) which includes scientists, historians, and scholars from a wide range of fields intent on developing research and sharing experience to promote development of Big History internationally.

One of the projects promoted by IBHA is one funded by Bill Gates to make instruction in Big History available over the internet to high schools and students. It is the use of funding from Gates and his personal interest that led to the sensational angle of the New York Times Magazine article.

What difference can Big History make? Research on the impact of teaching Big History has focused on a very big word in education – engagement. Turning the story of the scientific development of the universe into a historical narrative supported by modern graphics and technology has been popular with students of many ages and promotes down-to-earth understanding of science. To mention one example, those interested in mathematics are attracted by efforts to solve problems but that does not tend to be true of students who are not inclined to mathematical thinking. Turning mathematical ideas into historical narrative with practical applications can make those concepts easier to understand for those less drawn to the abstract beauty and elegance of mathematics. The same impact can be expected for difficult ideas of physics, chemistry, and biology.

The Wounded Artist

The only people I would care to be with now are artists and people who have suffered: those who know what beauty is, and those who know what sorrow is: nobody else interests me. – Oscar Wilde (De Profundis )

In the recent past I faced disillusionment as a playwright and creator of therapeutic theater. This experience has been instrumental in understanding the abuse artists are frequently subjected to, the traumatic wounds awakened, and the process of recovery. Essentially when the naivete and idealism of my artist collided with avarice and duplicity, I was challenged to grapple with and move through metabolic stress and bitter cynicism. This process catalyzed critical shifts creatively and emotionally, which consequently infiltrated the therapy sessions I facilitate with a multitude of diverse artists in NYC. Hence, my experience compels me to share about the painful hurdles the artist encounters, and the psychic toll and resultant wounds incurred. Likewise, I also want to identify ways to champion the artist, so that these struggles and wounds can ultimately morph into wisdom, power, and success.

Author of “The Artist’s Way” Julia Cameron, said to create is to surrender and align with a higher will. Cameron expounds that art is a mystical transaction, which unearths within the artist his purest essence. To risk bringing to life ideas of personal beauty and meaning and to bravely share one’s artistic work is to reveal vulnerable aspects of what humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow referred to as the real self.

Yet often we are stymied by our simultaneous quest to actualize ourselves, and the pull towards safety. Our formative experiences influence where we find ourselves on this spectrum of safety and actualization, as do myriad extraneous factors that can discourage the expression of innate creative gifts and obstruct artistic expression. We see this conflict personified in the archetypal reality of the wounded struggling artist.

In NYC artists are often lacking resources to create their work. The cost of real estate, labor and materials, make it exceedingly challenging for artists to thrive. Variable forms of treachery encountered in the dark underbelly of the art world injure the artist’s soul. The rigors of public humiliation, copyright infringement, transitory acclaim, theft of intellectual property, and corporate theft of one’s work where higher ups regularly usurp and take credit for the work of the peon artist are common occurrences. Hence, high-minded goals and creative ambitions are typically dwarfed by these difficult challenges. To survive, working artists may cobble together sundry art related jobs or take on a day job in a completely different sector. Balancing work with familial responsibilities may require relocating and/or giving up on artistic pursuits that require touring or long hours in a studio.

Artistic agency and idealism may need to be subordinated to accommodate those who finance artistic expression. This may take the form of private collectors, angel investors, producers, directors or corporate organizations. Endeavors to exercise entrepreneurial aims may reveal unethical narcissistic motives infiltrating these collaborations. Successfully navigating this complex social and political terrain requires savvy, healthy pride and formidable humility.

However, many artists are not equipped to withstand these challenges. A foundation of healthy narcissism is needed in order to develop the capacity for valuing one’s unique creative gifts and to withstand the onslaught of public scrutiny, duplicity and rejection. If throughout one’s life one is inadequately cared for, rejected and inconsistently supported, it is likely there are narcissistic wounds that hinder one from successfully navigating these difficulties and fully owning and manifesting aspirations. Under these conditions, the injuries incurred by showing or merchandising one’s art can catalyze creative stagnation, blocks, and traumatic enactments rooted in one’s history. Moreover, vulnerable to having revealed personal truths through one’s artistic work, the artist can be swept up by primal needs for admiration and approval. Deep-seated longings to be ‘special’, perhaps to compensate for and master unresolved betrayal and rejection, can set the artist up for a proverbial fall.

Artists who are victims of disordered parents may carry an insidious inescapable shame, which enforces the edict that one’s gifts are a threat, responsible for instigating feelings of resentment, inadequacy and envy. Envied and perceived as a threat the artistic child may be forbidden by the disordered parent to play music, draw, perform, or express his creative gifts in any capacity. Parental prohibitions and shaming of children sends an implicit message about actualizing potentials. Having learned that any indication of happiness, accomplishment or admiration results in contempt and myriad forms of emotional violence, these latent artists may hide in the shadows, having lost sight of their innate endowments or simply too fearful to expose those essential parts of themselves.

Alternatively, unable to tolerate human flaws and thus driven by perfection, the wounded artist may identify with the aggressor and perpetrate the cycle of abuse they endured by deriding and diminishing others. Like their parental abusers they may abide by self-defeating perfectionistic ideals as a defense against perceived inadequacy. While personality disordered parents are notorious for perpetrating continuous sabotage and deprecation, their egomaniacal fixation on status and personae may result in maligning the artistic child for his gifts while concomitantly vicariously exploiting him for narcissistic supply, so as to aggrandize the disordered parent’s stature and self-importance. Henceforth, when these artists have their creative work usurped, repackaged, and exploited with no recognition or accreditation memories of dehumanizing parental abuse are triggered. For the artist who acquires fame, being a narcissistic extension for industry moguls in the guise of caring and admiration and contending with the parasitical demands of a fan base, may replicate the trauma of being objectified and used by narcissistic parents.

Ultimately, in a subconscious effort to master psychological and emotional injuries traumatic patterns will be enacted with those who either embody the traits of one’s parental abusers and/or the scorned victimized child. To break free of these enactments the wounded artist will need to undertake an emotionally and psychologically taxing exploration of a painful history, so as to bring into consciousness destructive patterns and potent projections ignited by comparable dynamics encountered in the art industry. Only then can he mourn his losses and establish a grounded realistic commitment to his efforts to flourish creatively and financially as a professional artist.

Astro-Carto-Graphy – Global Feng Shui – Finding the Best Places For You to Live

Astro*Carto*Graphy is an astrological technique that is similar to feng shui (füng schway). Where feng shui concerns itself with creating harmony in the immediate home environment by removing obstacles, moving furniture and use of color and symbols, Astro*Carto*Graphy concerns itself to which locations on planet Earth are most harmonious for you to live. With this understanding I have been introducing Astro*Carto*Graphy to the feng shui community as Global Feng Shui.

Finding the Best Places to Live
Many of you are familiar with some of the usual ways astrology can be used in self-discovery, understanding relationships and understanding the changes that happen throughout life (transits and progressions). An Astro*Carto*Graphy Map is a map of the world showing exactly where each planet was passing over at the moment of birth. Through my study of Astro*Carto*Graphy, I have found that different locations have different influence making it easier or more difficult to manifest goals and even to resolve personality and health issues.

Whenever someone is considering moving to a new location, the Astro*Carto*Graphy Map helps to determine the best location to move to. More frequently, I use this chart when an individual seems unhappy where they are and there is no other astrological reasons to explain why life has been so tough for so long. In this situation it usually turns out the individual is living on an unfavorable planetary line.

Planetary Lines
The planetary lines that are most favorable are Sun, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and the Moon, The lines that are most difficult are Saturn, Pluto, Mars, Uranus and Neptune. Difficult lines can be used to advantage sometimes and sometimes they aren’t as difficult when combined with a more favorable line.

For example: a Saturn-line may be beneficial for helping some bring structure into their life but once they have their ‘act together’ the best advice is, “leave.” Living on a Saturn-line is much too depressive, burdensome, alienating, lonely and contractive in all areas. Pluto-lines can be even worse. Pluto-lines may begin with a wonderful high, even ecstatic highs, but in short time the crest of the wave gives out and there is a heavy fall. Again the advice is, “leave.” Briefly, Mars is too contentious, competitive and masculinizing in a negative sense. Uranus is too erratic, nerve wracking and unpredictable. Neptune is to wishy-washy and rarely sees manifestation. Both Uranus and Neptune may be more creative, spiritual or romantic when combined with a more favorable planet.

The favorable planets bring creativity, popularity, positive relationships, good sense of well-being, great abundance, and an overall quality of life.

Karma is the Key
So why would anyone choose anything less than the best planetary lines to live on? Karma of course. Lessons in life that need to be worked through. Where we live fits our patterns. For an individual who has been struggling for years living on a difficult planetary line, looking at an Astro*Carto*Graphy Map usually means they are ready to make a conscious choice to live a more harmonious and fulfilling life.

You Take Yourself With You Wherever You Go
Of course it should be understood that changing the feng shui of your home or moving somewhere else on planet earth doesn’t change your core issues – it’s not going to make a short person, tall, or someone with no artistic talent , an artist. However, it should also be understood that by making changes on the physical, you set your intention to change on the spiritual. By moving furniture in your home or changing cities you could remove additional frustrations in resolving these core issues sooner, rather than later. For example: an alcoholic in recovery may find more of an inclination to back-slide in certain locations and more support to grow and change in another.

It would be folly to think that just because you move to or living on your Venus-line that relationships will be easy or that you will finally meet your soul-mate. Indeed, if you still haven’t resolved your core issues of a need to be in control, or a victim-victimizer issues, or whatever issues you have that have made relationships difficult in the past, you will still have them even on your Venus-line. You may even have a relationship that ends in divorce. However, compared to a Mars-line even the divorce will proceed harmoniously and you will at least part as friends. Whereas on a Mars-line, the relationship is more likely to end in bitterness and perhaps with a bitter court room battle.

Cyclo*Carto*Graphy – It’s All About Time
For people who travel from location to location, there is another technique called Cyclo*Carto*Graphy. This is similar to a transit reading of the birth chart as it shows the changing energy. Former President Carter had Mars in Iran but it wasn’t until Pluto went over Iran that this potential aggression exploded in the hostage controversy. Likewise, Pluto was transiting over Dallas at the time Kennedy was assassinated. For the rest of us mere mortals, the implications are the same. If you travel to a place during a poor transit, you are likely to experience some form of difficulty reflective of your core issues and evolutionary needs. I made the mistake once of traveling to an otherwise joyous Venus location, when Saturn was transiting over head, and found myself in a serious accident which put me down for three days. Timing can be important.