Saturday, 26 December 2009

Venus in Capricorn - The Venus/Pluto/Saturn aspect

Have you seen the film Sense and Sensibility based on the Jane Austen novel? One of the major themes of the film was that you have to be sensible in love matters. That fiery romantic passion or deep emotional involvement are all very well, but when there are unsolved practical matters, love can never be. This, I think, is the essence of Venus in Capricorn.
This is a Venus that receives a lot of bad press, because it doesn't exactly fit well with the Danielle Steele or Hollywood ending concept of love. We have been made to believe that only this kind of love can be called TRUE and that the Venus in Capricorn kind feels more like an "arranged marriage" than actual love. Yes, Venus is exalted in Pisces and this "two become one" notion is a part of Venus, but the exalted one, the mask that Venus wears when she wants to put on a good face. But what is Venus really like, when she's all alone at home?
Venus rules Taurus, an earth and pragmatic sign that wants to enjoy the material side of life and since love and sex are parts of that, it wants to enjoy them, too. This is not a sign that harbours any romantic fantasies and doesn't spend its life crying over unrequited love. Taurus believes that in order to be in love, there has to be another person beside you that you can touch and feel and who wants to touch you back. Otherwise, the whole thing is pointless. The feelings that Taurus has for another person are very much valid, but unless these feelings can take shape and form on a material level, it just doesn't bother.
Venus also rules Libra, which may be a more romantic sign than Taurus, but it is also a very Saturn-friendly sign. Since it is an air sign, it wants to communicate the love it feels and that's what it expects from the other person. Because Libra believes that love needs to stand the test of time (Saturn), the two people involved need to be very clear as to what they want, so that a compromise can be reached. Libra may dream of an ideal partner, like every other sign, but its saturnian nature doesn't allow it to dwell in this dream for long.
Which means that, from Venus's point of view, Capricorn is not such a bad sign for her. It is an earth sign and a Saturn-ruled one. The problem with this placement is that, very often, there is too much Saturn. There can be a belief that love has limits, that love is something that you need to work hard for and that feelings are not to be trusted because they will lead you astray. This is sensible, but perhaps TOO sensible, since it doesn't allow any room for the unpredictable, for those few wonderful moments when love sweeps you off your feet. Which, in turn, can lead to a dried-up emotional state, but that's not what Venus wants. Venus wants the materialization of feelings, no matter how hard that seems to be sometimes.
Too much Saturn can also lead to a lack of demonstrable affection. I may have feelings but I do not show them for fear of rejection. If I show you my feelings, then I allow you to invade in my private territory, which, for Saturn, equals death. Better to keep my feelings in check than risk my annihilation. But, alas, this sort of attitude is what drives other people away.
The current Venus transit in Capricorn, with its mutual reception with Saturn in Libra, offers an excellent opportunity to make sensible choices and decisions about love. Are you in a relationship that has ceased to function? Perhaps this is the time to end it. Are you feeling love that unfortunately is not reciprocated? Then perhaps this is the time to stop. Are you involved in a situation that you need to choose between two people? Then choose the one a healthy Venus would choose. Deep down you know who that is.
Venus, however, is also going to conjunct Pluto, so for some of you making the right decision is a matter of life or death. Or for others, a love affair has become so toxic, that it needs to end immediately. But whatever you do, you need to take into account that you are also animals who don't have the luxury to forget about the instinctual part of life. Calculate your move, by all means, but keep in mind what your primitive self wants as well. And if you start a new relationship with Venus/Pluto, don't get stuck in the throes of passion but try to keep your head on your shoulders, because Saturn is waiting in the wings.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

2010 sign predictions Part 2 - The mutable and fixed signs

So, you've finally said goodbye to Saturn. Some of you may have liked it, some of you may not, but what happened, happened. Saturn is going to make a brief return to Virgo, affecting primarily the last three degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), forming therefore another opposition with Uranus, so the ball is in the court of the third decanate. The other major event of the year is Jupiter in Pisces, which will also affect more strongly the third decanate with its three transits.
The first decanate of Gemini and Virgo will only have the Jupiter transit to think about, which will pass pretty quickly. These two signs don't particularly like Jupiter, because Jupiter represents intuitive knowledge, knowledge that comes from within. More often than not it ignores facts and it's not interested in proof. Gemini and Virgo, however, the two Mercury-ruled signs, are interested in external knowledge and pay great attention to detail. Gemini likes to accumulate every tiny bit of information and Virgo likes to extract knowledge from it. So, the jupiterian energy is foreign to them. For some of them, however, their life circumstances for a brief period of time will probably demand a leap of faith. Can they do it? The Virgo first decanate will also receive a trine from Pluto, but unless this transit involves an angular house or their progressions and returns point towards Pluto, then they do not have much to worry about. For Pisces and Sagittarius, however, it's a different story, especially for Pisces. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter and Jupiter will be in the second sign that it rules, Pisces, and even though it's going to form a square to their Sun, this transit will probably be more beneficial than otherwise. For the first decanate of Pisces, this could be a year to remember, especially for those of you born around the 28th of February. This is going to be one of those years with many opportunities offered, helping you to realize what you are here to do. It will all depend on the natal house this conjunction will take place and if it is also strong in the solar return chart. Bear in mind that Jupiter is interested in expansion. Does the life you've built so far allow any room for expansion or have you closed all doors? If it is the latter, you will be disappointed. Don't waste this wonderful transit by simply putting on weight.
For the second decanate it's more or less the same as above, only the beneficial effects for Pisces are a bit toned down. For the third decanate, things are quite different. You may be the lucky ones regarding Jupiter (Pisces mostly), in the sense that it will go over your Sun three times, but at the same time, Uranus and Saturn are still going to be breathing down your neck, particularly those of you born on the last 3-4 days of your respective signs. Saturn, however, will leave Virgo for good in late spring (and this is the time of year you need to be particularly careful about) and after that you will be left with Jupiter and Uranus, from the autumn onwards. Some of you will feel a tremendous burst of energy, especially Pisces, a sign more inclined to inertia. Something new and exciting can come out of this period, especially for Pisces and Sagittarius. Geminis and Virgos will probably feel a bit uneasy despite the excitement, because your well-ordered world will receive enormous pressure. You too, should check out your progressions and returns.

For the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius), as far as transits go, this does not seem to be a memorable year, at least for your Sun. With the exception of the latter half of the third decanate, where Neptune will still exercise a strong influence, the rest of you will not receive any heavy pressure. So, you must check your birth chart and find out if you have any personal planets or the angles in the cardinal or mutable signs, because they are going to be the ones with the leading role this year. Those of you still affected by Neptune and Chiron, try reading my older posts on those planets.
The other thing, besides Neptune, that needs to be mentioned, is Mars in Leo for the first half of the year. The first two decanates have already experienced it and will experience it twice more. The third decanate will be influenced in late May. Again, read my older post on this transit.
Scorpios, however, will also receive a trine from Jupiter. Cancer and Pisces, the other two water signs, will know what to do with Jupiter, but will you? The darkness you like to dwell in is not what I would call Jupiter-friendly. This could be a year where a bit of opening-up will be needed. Are you ready to do that? It doesn't matter if you regret it later. Betrayal, after all, is part of your life story. But some of you will be given a chance to experience ecstasy, albeit briefly. Why waste this opportunity? Those of you who will take that chance will never forget it, despite whatever pain might ensue. Isn't that worth it?

Saturday, 12 December 2009

2010 sign predictions Part 1- the cardinal signs

An accurate astrological prediction needs to be based on the person's natal chart and even then the astrologer must have feedback from the client in order to put the chart into context. Astrological practice doesn't involve the exercise of psychic powers and its' interpretations are the result of mathematics, research and experience. Therefore, whatever predictions you read on the Internet or in magazines based on just your Sun sign must be taken with a grain of salt. They are just guidelines and some very basic things that you need to know. So, what do the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) need to know?
They need to know that this is the year of prominence for the first decanate (those born on the 10 first days) of the cardinal signs. All the big planetary action is going to be in your turf. What we are basically talking about is the Saturn-Pluto square. The Jupiter/Uranus conjunction will very briefly visit the early degrees of your decanate but will soon return to Pisces. So, what does the Saturn/Pluto square mean? Saturn, when it aspects the outer planets, has the ability to capture their somewhat elusive energy and bring it down to earth. Pluto, basically, brings about experiences that make you realize that you live in a very unstable world. That anything you value can be taken away from you at any time, which means that the experiences it is interested in, almost invariably involve great pain and loss. Passionate love affairs that end up in tears? Death of loved ones? Experiences that make you feel threatened in some way and force you to summon up your survival instincts? Whatever the case, it seems that after a Pluto transit or progression you feel that you have irrevocably changed and you can't pretend to be innocent any more or believe in the fairness of life. No more civilization but the survival of the fittest. Does that include all of you? No, of course not. But those of you who have strong Pluto contacts in your natal chart, cardinal signs on the angles, a strong Pluto progression at the same time and a solar return chart that simply screams Pluto, then an experience that falls more or less along the lines of those described above is probably on the menu for this year. Cancerians in particular, beware of any opportunity that seems promising, especially around February. Don't let your guard down, but be cautious and double-check it. Don't get enrapt in Jupiter's glamour, because Saturn and Pluto can't be pushed aside.
The second decanate of the cardinal signs will be mainly concerned with the Saturn transit in Libra, from the autumn onwards. Libras and Capricorns like Saturn, in the sense that they share more or less the same values. So, this is a time for you to pull up your sleeves and get down to business. Saturn is never pleasant, but at least this is a better transit than when Saturn was in Cancer. A marriage or a serious relationship? A better job that will also involve greater responsibility? A move or a change of residence? Family issues? Anyway, this is not a time to be frivolous and carefree, but that's not your nature, so don't worry. For Aries, this is not going to be an easy transit. You will need to learn a new word that does not exist in your vocabulary. Compromise. You will feel at times that you carry the weight of the whole world on your shoulders. Your friends and loved ones are going to be wondering why all the gloom and sadness. Even if nothing of great significance happens, you won't like this transit because it will slow you down. Some of you will feel chained to a rock and unable to start any new endeavours. You will feel OLD, something that you hate more than anything. And the real question is: How responsible are you? How will you react to the pressure? For Cancer, this can prove an interesting year, because your decanate will first receive a Jupiter transit and then the Saturn transit. You absolutely love Jupiter and you absolutely hate Saturn. Which means that you may feel on top of the world in March but lousy in November and December, especially those born on the first 5-6 days of your decanate. You should check your progressions and returns and find out if your year leans more towards Saturn or Jupiter.
The third decanate of the cardinal signs will not experience any heavy transit in 2010. No Saturn and no Pluto. This could be an uneventful year for you, unless your progressions and returns say otherwise. With the exception of Cancer and possibly Capricorn. For the cancerians of the third decanate this could be an excellent year. You are going to have three Jupiter transits over your Sun. Three trines from a very strong Jupiter in Pisces. What more can you ask? Will your emotional hunger be finally satisfied? Temporarily, at least. Don't forget that Saturn is waiting in the wings, though. For the Capricorns of the third decanate, Jupiter is going to form sextiles with their Sun. The sextile is not such a strong aspect as the trine and what's more you don't particularly like Jupiter. You don't trust it, because you don't believe in luck. However, it's not going to harm you. If you also have a Jupiter progression, then this could be a great opportunity for expansion in the areas of the houses affected.
Last but not least, have in mind that the eclipses this year will fall on the Cancer/Capricorn axis, so these two signs will also receive an energy boost, either for good or for ill.

Susan Boyle and Neptune in Aquarius

So, Susan Boyle has done it. She's number one on both sides of the Atlantic. But the question remains: Is she so special? I, too, was touched and moved by her appearance on Britain's got talent, but is that enough? Does that make her a great artist? OK, she can sing. But so can millions of people around the world. She's no Barbra Streisand or Aretha Franklin. So, what's the reason behind her success story?
I think the answer lies with Neptune in Aquarius. Neptune, it seems, determines fashion and trends, depending on the sign it is in. What was the fashion that became prominent during this transit? We live in a reality show era, where meaningless everyday conversation in shows like Big Brother suddenly became interesting. We believe that anybody can do anything. We don't want specialness (Leo), we just want the boy and the girl next door (Aquarius). Or rather, the boy and the girl next door ARE special and this is the time for them to shine. We don't want stereotypes. We don't want to be told that in order to become successful you need to be tall, dark and handsome. In short, we want a Susan Boyle. We want to shout at the top of our voices, so that everybody can hear: If Susan can do it, so can I!
But then the Leos of this world intervened and pointed out the obvious. Her album is full of boring renditions of well-known ballads from an adequate singer at best. If there were no hype surrounding Susan Boyle, how would we have reacted to such an album? We probably wouldn't have bothered at all. So, Leos proclaimed their absolute truth. No, not everybody's special. There are people who excel at something and those are the only ones who should be allowed to shine. That this aquarian mentality simply leads to a lowering of standards. That if we continue in this fashion, people with real talent and the truly gifted ones will never make their mark in this world, because all the mediocrities will have taken up all the space. That everybody may be useful, but very few are special.
How does Susan Boyle's chart fit in this era?

Her MC is in Aquarius, so Neptune has been going over it the past few years. This year, however, she was also experiencing her Jupiter return, which is also in Aquarius. In fact, when she sang in front of the judges in January, the Jupiter return was exact. Her progressed horizontal axis (Ascendant and Descendant) is between natal Jupiter and progressed Jupiter, so Jupiter is strongly activated in her chart. And of course, she personifies the ugly duckling story with her very strong Saturn (traditional ruler of the MC) in square with the severely debilitated Venus. In short, she is the perfect candidate for success in this time and age. But, alas, ages change.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Nodes and fate - Monica Seles case study

Astrologers have always associated the Nodes with fate. Some talk about past lives (South Node) and current incarnation (North Node), others about concentration of energy (NN) and release of energy (SN), for traditional western astrology North Node is good and South Node is bad, for Vedic astrology both Nodes are bad and so on. Even though we can't agree on the exact nature of the Nodes, almost every astrological branch seems to regard the Nodes as very important points in the chart. What I have noticed in many cases, although I cannot call it a rule since extensive research has to be made, is that when the progressed Sun conjuncts either of the Nodes, something "fated" quite often happens.
Monica Seles, one of the tennis legends, had a troubled career. At the height of her power, when she was the undisputed world No 1, she was stabbed at the back, during a match, by a Steffi Graff obsessed fan. Naturally, she went off tennis for more than two years and went she returned, even though on occasion she displayed the skills that had once brought her to the top, she could never recapture her best form. The incident happened on April 30, 1993. This is her natal chart:

We may have an approximate time of birth, but since the ascendant degree is in the middle of Scorpio, it seems that we are safe with a Scorpio Ascendant. Scorpio ascendants will very possibly at some point in their lives go through a transformative life experience, if the rest of the chart supports this. Monica's chart ruler (Mars) is in the 6th house of misfortune and illness, but is strong in its' own sign. It forms, however, a T-square with Uranus and Venus. We may deduce from that that at some point misfortune (6th house) will hit her unexpectedly (Uranus), but she will be able to pull through (Mars in Aries). Her Nodes are in the difficult 2nd/8th house axis. From a modern perspective, we can say that through some experience of loss (8th house), she will have to learn how to sustain her body (2nd house). The 8th house ruler (Mercury) is very possibly conjunct the Ascendant, which means that an 8th house sort of experience will one day manifest in her life. So, what was happening on April 30, 1993?
Her progressed Sun was exactly conjunct the nodal axis, so "fate" was knocking on her door. She was going through a nodal return, so, again, the Nodes were emphasized. The lunar return South node was conjunct the 8th house cusp AND the natal 8th house cusp, since the lunar return Ascendant was the same as natal Ascendant, always a sign that something important will happen. Her solar return Mars (her natal chart ruler) was in Cancer, the sign of its' fall, retrograde and exactly conjunct the solar return Ascendant. Her solar return chart ruler (Moon) was in the 8th house, but, fortunately, close to the 9th house cusp and not in the 8th sign from the Ascendant. She was also going through a Saturn transit on her Moon, the light of sect, conjunct the 4th house cusp, the "end of things" and Pluto was transiting the 1st house and therefore also Mercury, the 8th house ruler. Of course, we all have difficult transits and difficult returns all the time and nothing significant happens. But for Monica, this was the time when her progressed Sun was conjunct the nodal axis. That was the most important thing happening in her chart at that moment. As a result, her life changed dramatically.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Tragic death of astrologer - Fate and free will

A fellow astrologer died recently, someone I knew and worked with, even though we'd had very few personal contacts. Her death was so unexpected and sudden, that the news practically shocked all her acquaintances. She died after having undergone - supposedly- minor surgery, a surgery she chose to have and not for health reasons. After the initial shock, I naturally ran through her charts trying to find some sort of explanation, some sort of indication that this was about to happen. I know that some people prefer not to deal with this sort of questions, but death is a part of life and if astrology deals with all the aspects of life, then perhaps it has something to say about death as well.
I must say beforehand, however, that it has not yet been determined whether the time of death can be safely predicted or not from a natal chart. It is a very difficult matter and it raises all sorts of questions about fate and free will. John Frawley in his forthcoming book on natal astrology says that the natal chart is about the body, but we also have souls. Does that mean that there is a limit to what the natal chart can tell us and that sometimes the soul intervenes and alters the pattern? I'm not sure. The book isn't out yet, so I can't say for certain what he means by that.
But the question still stands. The fact that we seem to be unable to predict a lot of things with any scientifically valid amount of accuracy, is it because the soul steps in or is it because our astrology is still in an infantile stage? And more importantly, why should the soul intervene? If the soul is using the body to experience every possible aspect of life, why would it change anything? The soul doesn't care whether a particular experience is pleasant to the body or not, it just wants to find out what it feels like. If we had unlimited free will, wouldn't our choices be severely restricted? Who would choose to die young, who would choose poverty, who would choose poor health, who would choose the loss of loved ones, who would choose unemployment, who would choose alcoholism, who would choose abuse and so on. The questions are endless. Shouldn't we co-operate with our fate and try to find out exactly what that is? Because only then will we have a chance of actually controlling it and perhaps change something in the process, should we feel the need to do so. So, instead of secretly "rejoicing" when a prediction goes wrong and declare the triumph of free will, I think we must strive to achieve scientific accuracy in our predictions.
Thankfully, horary astrology is much simpler than natal astrology in this regard. It concerns only a limited amount of time and the events it describes have already started taking their course, whether by choice or fate, so we don't have to worry about ethical objections and our personal ideology concerning astrology. Still, how do we use it? Do we actually read a horary chart or do we see only what we want to see? The astrologer I mentioned in the beginning of this post, cast this horary chart before her operation, asking if her doctor is the best possible one. This is the chart:

Of course she had decided to go for the operation regardless of this chart and that raises another question whether we ourselves believe in the validity of astrology. What's the use of erecting charts if we have already decided on our course of action? Anyway, on the face of it, this chart seems to give a positive answer. The doctor (Mercury) is in the 10th house and therefore accidentally strong and about to trine Jupiter, her significator. She did say that she liked the doctor and had confidence in him. So, that was that and she went ahead. That was the answer she wanted and she didn't look any further perhaps. But what is the actual condition of this Mercury? It is under the sun beams, which is not such a severe affliction as being combust, but it is also about to go combust. Which means, that his condition was increasingly worsening. She may have thought that the trine with Jupiter was going to happen first, so she didn't pay any attention to combustion. But this chart also has Mars, the natural ruler of surgery in the 8th house of death. She may have thought that this is not so bad, as Mars has recently left Cancer, the sign of its fall, and so it is not so threatening. But in this chart, Mars' condition actually got worse if we take receptions into account. From Cancer, Mars liked Jupiter (herself) and was ruled by the Moon (her second significator). So Mars had no power over her, but instead she had power over the surgery. From Leo however and still in the 8th house, Mars got stronger and her power was lost. Even more importantly, the Moon was about to enter the sign of its fall (Scorpio), from where it would square Mars. Mars is also the ruler of the 4th house, which signifies the end of matter. So, in this case "end of matter" equals 8th house, the house of death. When would that happen? In approximately 4 time units. It couldn't be hours or days, because the operation would take place at a later date and of course it couldn't be months or years, because the operation was imminent. So, this leaves weeks, as the only logical time unit. She died four weeks exactly after having asked this horary question.
Naturally, it's easy to be wise in retrospect. What would I have said had I seen this horary chart (I found out about this chart after her death) when it was asked? Would I have said "No, don't have the operation, because you are going to die?" No, probably not. This was not a life-threatening operation, more like a run-of-the-mill one. Perhaps I would have simply urged caution, but, not expecting any real danger, I might have interpreted the chart quite differently. And this is another serious problem with our interpretations. How much of what we say is actually based on the chart and how much comes out of our personal views and limitations?

Monday, 16 November 2009

The destructive face of Uranus

I've already mentioned in another entry how important it is to have a healthy Saturn to counterbalance the effects of the outer planets. Saturn may be responsible for a lot of our problems, but it defines who we are at the most basic level and it keeps our different parts glued together. Without Saturn we wouldn't be able to function at an everyday level and we would be prey to every passing "demonic" influence, to use a Christian term. We need to understand that no matter how fond we are of the outer planets, no matter how much we are addicted to the glamour they are surrounded in by modern astrology, they can be exactly that. Demonic.
Why is that? Because the outer planets don't care about who you are, what matters to you, why you have the daily routines that you have. They don't realize how important and necessary your structures are, all you have to do is invite them in and then all hell breaks loose. The outer planets are like small children who just want to play. They don't care about your expensive vase and they don't care about your efforts to keep your house in order. So, in that sense they can be extremely destructive, unless you have someone to watch over them. And that someone is Saturn.
Can Uranus be destructive? Yes. Uranus may be all about new knowledge, new ideas, that light bulb in your head that suddenly hits upon something, that urge for change, for eliminating old and obsolete elements of your environment that stand in the way of progress, but... But it doesn't build. It hates form and establishment and simply wants to bring it down. In a sense, this is very useful, because it is uranian people who always seem to be the bringers of light and it is thanks to them that society has evolved. But you can't put them in charge, because they will wreak havoc. They have no idea how to implement any of that new knowledge that seems to come automatically in their heads. After they have offered their gifts to humanity, they have to be chained to a rock, like Prometheus. They are completely incapable of doing anything practical and useful with all that knowledge they have been blessed with. They just put it out there and it is saturnian people who will take on the task to clean up the mess they have left behind and try to make the best use of the valuable things hidden somewhere inside this mess.
So, what happens when Uranus runs amok? How do heavily uranian people behave sometimes? Like a virus. They don't have their own body, their own form, and search for someone else's body, someone else's form. They infiltrate a foreign body and get down to business. At first, they are welcomed because they offer something new and exciting, the foreign body doesn't perceive them as a threat and they themselves are happy to have found a base from which they can launch their missiles. But pretty soon, they suffocate, they start hating they body which was kind enough to offer them hospitality and realize that they have to leave, otherwise they will die. Why? Because the body has tried to enforce some rules on them. It tried to make them understand that they are incredibly useful, but so are the other cells. All the cells need to work harmoniously if the body is to survive. But Uranus can't understand that, because it has no affection for the other cells and the survival of the body is not its' main concern. It will eventually find another body to infiltrate. So, it doesn't leave peacefully. Instead, it declares war on the body and tries to take it over completely. In that case, you need to have your immune system (Saturn) in perfect working order.
Uranian people need to learn respect. Respect for the existence of rules. They can and should try to change their contents and that is of great value to humanity, but they need to understand the necessity of having rules. Or, at least, suggest a practical and viable model of how to live without rules. Until then, they must learn to control themselves.

Friday, 13 November 2009

The battle continues: Traditional vs modern astrology and Venus in detriment or fall

In modern astrology, concepts like detriment and fall have been left behind. A planet in a sign is simply a planet that functions according to the nature of that sign, so it's not a question of "good" or "bad". In traditional astrology, however, essential dignities are extremely important. If we manage to do away with the old-fashioned interpretations, which, it's true, have little validity in the modern world, we must try to understand why the planets behave better in certain signs than others and phrase our findings in modern terms.
Take Venus, for example. Venus rules Taurus and Libra, it is exalted in Pisces, in detriment in Aries and Scorpio and in fall in Virgo. What does that tell us about love, in general? Remember, we must use astrology to understand life, not impose our own views on astrology. Venus rules Taurus, because being in love feels great and you fall in love because you want to have a great time, you don't want sadness and sorrow. You want to enjoy yourself and relax in the arms of another person. But Scorpio can't do that. Its' purpose in life is not to relax but be on alert. Because for Scorpio, life is all about loss and betrayal and it is this part of life that they have come to experience. Love, however, is something that you want to keep, not lose. Yes, it is the sign of grand passion, but what is grand passion really? First of all, it has a sell-by date. You can't live your whole life in such a state, because living a grand passion means that you can do little else. Your mind is constantly on your significant other, you feel jealousy, possessiveness, suspicion... Everything revolves around another person and you act like possessed. This is not what Venus wants. If you can't enjoy your relationship and relax in the company of your loved one, then why the hell did you get involved in the first place? Granted, love affairs of a Scorpio kind can teach you many things about yourself and others and here is where modern astrology can be extremely helpful, but this is not LOVE. Because when all the passion is spent, you usually can't understand why you picked that particular person. He/she ceases to matter and you realize that you simply used them for your self-improvement.
Venus rules Libra because love means harmony and compromise. Two different people get together and they must find what they have in common and try to co-exist with the things that separate them. Aries, however, is extremely self-centered and I mean that in the best possible sense. Aries and Leo are the two signs of self-consciousness par excellence. When you are on the path for consciousness, you don't have the time nor the willingness to occupy yourself with another person. Yes, you form relationships, but these people have to know their place and never become obstacles and make you deviate from your course. If they do, you just brush them aside. But that's not LOVE. When your own self is your main concern, and quite rightly so, then you can't experience love in its' full glory.
Venus is exalted in Pisces, because love is not only the coming together of two bodies, but also a deep connection between two souls. In order to do this, you have to set aside what differentiates you from the other and realize that at some point we are all connected. Love, in the piscean sense, opens your eyes to the ultimate truth that you are a God and you fell in love with a God. This kind of love is rumoured to be fake. Far from it. You are able to see a person in such a light, that you and only you can see the truth. That he/she is a God. And only in your presence do they show their god-like nature, while other people are oblivious to this. Their faults and weaknesses don't matter, because you are given the chance to go far beyond a superficial level of relating. Unfortunately, this doesn't last very long and that's why Venus is exalted in Pisces and doesn't rule that sign. At some point you have to return to the earthly plane, because there is a lot of work to do here. But Virgo is the sign that can't abandon the earthly plane at all, not even if its' life depended on it. Virgo's purpose is discrimination. Therefore, the faults and weaknesses of others and your own, need to be constantly in mind, because if you ignore them, you don't get the full picture, you will never know the other person completely. Loving like a Pisces can only bring chaos, because you will live in a dream-like world, where you won't know what's true and what isn't.
On the whole, I think that traditional techniques are very useful and can help you grasp astrological concepts more fully. Naturally, every age has its' own language, its' own code and the interpretations of astrologers need to be in tune with the current one. But the essence remains the same.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Mars in Leo and fixed sign predictions

Mars is a hot and dry planet and Leo is a hot and dry sign, which means that Leo is a comfortable place for Mars and a sign where it can easily display its natural qualities. The problem is that Leo is VERY hot and VERY dry. No matter how psychologically-oriented we may be in our astrology and no matter how much we talk about assertiveness and standing up for our rights, we must never forget that in traditional astrology Mars is the lesser malefic and that's the reason why Mars was assigned rulership over the water triplicity - even if only for nocturnal charts, depending on the school of thought you follow. Because Mars in water COOLS down. You don't want Mars running rampant, because where Mars is, trouble soon follows.
Of course, what modern astrology says about Mars is true. And it does mention Mars's fighting spirit and it does call Mars a warrior. But, I think it plays down the ugly face of Mars, however necessary it may be. If Saturn is responsible for building the walls around your body and soul in order to protect you, Mars is the ferocious dog you get in order to keep the predators away. And predators exist. No wonder in astrocartography they say that there have been instances of people getting robbed when they visited a place where their natal Mars becomes angular. The fighting spirit I mentioned earlier gets stoked up because there is someone or something out there coming to get you.
So, when you have a Mars transit, yes, this is a perfect time to fight for your rights, claim what's your own and show your gritted teeth. But you need to have your dog trained so that it's able to recognize who are the true predators and who are the fake ones. You don't want it unleashed, attacking everyone in sight. This dog needs to have a cause, be it your property, your belief system, your integrity, whatever. But a cause nonetheless.
For Leos especially, this is a time for action and fighting. This is a time where you need to make clear where you stand. Which also means that you may have to alienate people. Leos love an audience, but now, I fear, is not a time to expand it, but pick which members of your personal audience meet your criteria. You may gain some new followers, but these followers will join you because you've made your intentions perfectly clear and expressed your views with clarity and honesty. However, you may have to be constantly on alert, because your personal territory may be challenged. This can range from a threat to your property to a threat to your personal philosophy. What do you believe in? Are your ideas worth fighting for? If not, make the necessary changes. Don't bark at everybody who just happens not to share your opinions. But if they just want to pick a fight and have no arguments to support their views, annihilate them.
The other signs that will receive a hard aspect from this Mars are, of course, Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius. Taurus is a sign that doesn't like Mars, since it is ruled by Venus. Taureans love to conserve energy and not spend it. This may be a time of great irritability and they may show a side of them that they are not accustomed to or other people are likely to appreciate. They may feel unable to guard their usual relaxed manner and enjoy life to the full because someone or something prevents them from doing so. Taureans don't like fighting for what they have, because this makes them feel unsafe and insecure. What if they lose the fight? What then? This is NOT a sign that can easily say: "OK, I've lost everything, but I gave a hell of a fight. Time to rebuild what I've lost".
For Scorpios I think this is potentially a helpful transit. Mars is their ruler and it's in mutual reception with their Sun. The dryness, in other terms separateness, of Mars in Leo can help them to distance themselves from their tumultuous emotional life. Scorpio is a water sign, and like all water signs, it wants above all to connect. The connections Scorpios make may be very specific, calculated even, because they are deeply afraid of getting hurt. Which means that they don't give their heart out to the first passer-by that comes along. That's why betrayal comes as a shock to them, because they can't believe how careless they have been. With their ruler in a hot and dry sign for more than eight months, this can be a good time to gain some objectivity and leave the deep and dark waters they generally dwell in and come to the surface to have a look. Scorpio ascendants need to be extremely careful in their work environment. There may be some extreme tension there in the next months, even if they are not directly involved, and if the rest of their chart doesn't excel in tension, this can be a very exhausting time.
For Aquarians, I don't think that this is going to be an easy transit. They may watch their ideals get shattered because they may start to feel that people are deeply individualistic and they care only for their personal, petty little needs. That there is a lot of selfishness around without any interest in the welfare of all. Their partners can start to behave in an uncontrollable manner, demanding that their needs are met. However, from the point of view of psychological astrology, this can be a perfect time for them to realize that society is not an abstract idea, but it is comprised of individuals. That society is as advanced as are the individuals that form it. That a lot of work needs to be done at an individual level, before society can move on.

Monday, 2 November 2009

k.d. lang and Ellen Degeneres

It's k.d. lang's birthday today, so let's have a look at her chart.

What seems interesting at first is that, regarding her homosexuality, she has both Venus and Mars in the signs that they rule. If we are to believe Bernadette Brady, when she was trying to explain in modern terms what rulership, exaltation, detriment and fall mean and said that planets in rulership or exaltation act in a "normal" way, that is in a socially acceptable manner, and planets in detriment or fall in a more "uranian" and outcast way, then k.d. lang's chart apparently contradicts her. We are not living in the Middle Ages anymore and it may be OK to be gay, but, still, we can't honestly say that we've done away with prejudice completely. So, how can we explain this chart?
One possible explanation is that we shouldn't pay any attention to rulerships, detriments and the suchlike and be completely modern about this and say that planets are not weakened or strengthened depending on the sign they reside, but, simply, work differently, according to the nature of that sign.
Traditionally, what can we say? Both Mars and Venus are strong essentially but not accidentally. Mars fares a little better, even though it's in a cadent house, because it aspects the Ascendant and therefore more able to express itself, while Venus doesn't. However, she (Mercury) identifies more with Venus (Mercury conjunct Venus, separating though) than Mars. But both Mercury and Venus, especially Mercury, are square a very strong Saturn in Capricorn, situated in a better house than Venus and Mars. Mercury leaves Venus and will square Saturn next. Venus and Mercury may like Saturn by being in Libra, but Saturn doesn't return their feelings, feeling much closer to Mars. Confusing isn't it?
Let's just say that both the female and the male principles are strong in her chart. We may leave it at that, saying that's why she has this androgynous look, but let's look further. Her 5th house (sex) is ruled by Saturn and Saturn is there. Very strong. But her significator for relationships (Jupiter) is in the house of sex, but in the sign of it's fall. Hmm...
Back to modern. Her Moon (traditionally the light in sect, since her chart is nocturnal) is conjunct Uranus, opposite Chiron and loosely conjunct the Ascendant. Uranus has been accused of bringing homosexual tendencies, but this has not always proven to be the case. However, we cannot deny that Uranus and Chiron bring an element of eccentricity, of a sort of behaviour that stands at the margins of society and a wound inflicted by this marginalization.
My conclusion, combining the two astrological schools, is: Yes, there is an innate need to deviate from the "norm" in some way and this need is evident and must be expressed (Moon/Uranus conjunct the Ascendant). But, since she has Mars, Venus and Saturn very strong essentially, she will deal with this eccentricity in a very "sane" way. She will come to accept it easily, tell the whole world about it and not tear herself to pieces just because she is different.
In contrast, in Ellen Degeneres chart, Saturn is in the 1st house (we don't have an accurate birth time, but she said she has an Sagittarius Ascendant). Which means, that she is probably more shy than k.d. and that she cares more about what other people think. Yes, she did eventually come out and she's dealt that Saturn a heavy blow, but I suspect she had spent years wondering "Why can't I be normal?" and that it's still difficult for her to smile off any nasty comments on her sexuality. She may have done a very brave thing and accepted it, but I fear deep inside, it still hurts sometimes. If you've seen the coming out episode of Ellen, you can see how painful it is for her: "Why can't I say it, why can't I even say the word?"
On a final note: k.d lang's most popular song is "Constant Craving" What else would you expect from a Sun/Neptune person? It's things like that that keep you going in astrology, when all techniques seem to fail and you want to abandon it completely.

Monday, 26 October 2009

New Moon/Full Moon people

The lunations have always been considered important and a lot has been written about the various phases of the Sun/Moon cycle. The two most important phases are undoubtedly the New and Full Moon. In predictions in particular, we view the New Moon as the beginning of something, which comes to its fruition at the time of the Full Moon. At the New Moon, the Moon is very weak and completely overpowered by the Sun. At the Full Moon, the Moon is at the height of its power and glory. So, what does it mean to be born at a time like this?
As I've said in another post, I view the Moon as the behaviour that comes naturally to us, without us having to think about it. It's all about the automatic reactions of the psyche. The Sun on the other hand, is the kind of behaviour that needs to become conscious. We don't own the Sun like we do the Moon. The zodiac sign of our Sun is the kind of energy that we have to master, a sort of action that needs to be expressed consciously. If I have the Moon in Virgo, then I act like a Virgo, because this is the most natural way for me to behave. If I have the Sun in Virgo, the energy of that sign doesn't come naturally to me, but instead I need to develop Virgo qualities, because I realize that this is what I have to do, this is my mission in life. So, with the Sun in Virgo, if I display Virgo characteristics, I KNOW I'm doing it, this was my purpose all along. With the Moon in Virgo, I may be ignorant of the fact that I'm acting like a Virgo, I never question it, and it is usually others who point that out to me.
Basically, being born around the time of a New Moon means that the Moon and the Sun are in the same sign. Yes, there is a difference if the Moon is behind or after the Sun. In fact, in the first case it's not a New Moon at all, but for the purpose of this article, we are going to treat it as if it is. Let's just say that the true New Moon person will have a youthful enthusiasm and will always search for new experiences, whereas the "fake" New Moon person will probably be more passive and have a sort of piscean melancholy. But this doesn't change the fact that in both cases what is inherent and what is external is the same type of energy.
If I'm a New Moon person and provided this New Moon is free from affliction, then I probably am a very focused person. I know what I am here for. No matter how many people tell me I'm wrong, I'm certain that I'm following the right path. There is only one way to go and everything else leaves me cold. The positive side of this is that I'm not feeling torn. There is only one voice in my head and even if I repeatedly fail, I always try again, because I feel I have no choice. I may regret my failed attempts and I may experience extreme sadness, but I don't spend my whole life in self-doubt, not knowing which way to go. The price I have to pay for such self-assuredness is, very often, loneliness.
And that is because consciousness demands isolation. If I have to increase my level of consciousness, I can't think about everyday existence all day and I can't be constantly surrounded by other people. The Moon, the main significator of relationships in a natal chart, has surrendered its power to the Sun. Relationships demand a lot of time and energy and I'm just not willing to do that. Other people are simply a distraction. Of course, I'm human and I share the same basic needs with the rest of my species, but deep inside I know that I'm not suited for this kind of life. I realize, sooner or later, that relationships just hold me back after a while. After I have taken what I can from a single person, I have to move on, because if I stay with the same person for years and years, then there is no evolution or expansion of consciousness but only stagnation. New Moon energy is very Uranian in that respect. And if my New Moon is in Aries or Leo, where the Sun is extremely powerful, I may not want any relationships at all. I'm all I need.
But if I am a Full Moon person, especially if I'm born at night, then the lunar energy will dictate most of my actions. Yes, I too have a Sun, but whatever expansion of my consciousness I can achieve, it will have to come through relationships. Loneliness is my worst fear, because if I'm left alone, I feel like I'm dying. Whatever I have learned, it was because of a relationship, because of my interactions with other people. In some extreme cases, I may not know that I have a Sun at all. If, however, the Sun is strong by sign placement, then I feel torn apart by two very powerful forces that have an equal claim on my life. Whenever I make a choice and follow one of the two paths available for me, I feel miserable, because I know I have sacrificed something very important. The positive side of this is that, if I manage to achieve some sort of balance, then I will lead a much richer life than any New Moon person can. I will appreciate my opposite, because I will realize that it's not an opposite at all but myself in another form.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Capricorn and self-punishment

It never ceases to amaze me how prone Capricorns or strongly saturnian people are to self-flagellation. They have a strong sense of what they should do and they never question it. They seem to be completely focused on their goals and they always get up, no matter how many times they fall. That may be an admirable thing in some cases, but what happens when that particular "thing" they are aiming at, isn't what they are supposed to do with their lives? What happens if they got it wrong? They keep pushing and pushing themselves to achieve something that has absolutely no relation to their inner truth. In short, they spend their whole lives chasing a lie.
Capricorns don't believe that people are meant to be happy. Perhaps that's true, but they are not meant to be constantly unhappy and miserable either. No, say the Capricorns of this world. There is only one truth, only one right behaviour (usually the one of the majority) and we all have to conform to this rule. If it makes us unhappy, so be it. We have to ask ourselves all the time if whatever we want abides to this supreme law. If it doesn't, we have to abandon it, no matter how precious or necessary it is to our well-being. Fine, but what if this ultimate law is completely and utterly wrong? Or rather, what if there is not only ONE law? The possibility of there existing numerous equally valid laws never occurs to Capricorns.
Instead we witness Capricorns deny themselves life's simplest pleasures because they fill them with enormous guilt. Whatever makes them happy is not to be trusted. "If it makes me happy, there must be something wrong with it", they think. They certainly know it's wrong when other people look down on it. The horrible realization that they are not "normal" suddenly dawns on them and they consider themselves aberrations of nature. There is only one way to deal with this: Change or die.
The result of all this is that they end up with such a severe case of depression that they are practically incurable. Imagine living in a continuous state of suppression of your most basic instincts, never giving yourself a pat on the back, never allowing yourself a moment to breathe freely and express your true self, because that would be considered weak and there is a chance of being rejected, of being an outcast.
One more or less safe way for Capricorns to check whether they've got it right or not, is to have a look at their Saturn. If it is dignified and well-placed, then this sort of behaviour may simply be a form of discipline and an adaptation to healthy ideals. But if Saturn is in, say, Aries, Leo or Cancer, then they have to think twice before they embark on a crusade to wipe out all the "disgusting" things of their personality. They need to start questioning the religion they are practicing, and, if necessary, convert to a different one.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Pluto and the natural selection process

In modern astrology we are very fond of Pluto. We use words like profound change and transformation, we marvel at the intense love affairs that Pluto can bring about, we even talk about parts of ourselves that have to die in order for us to move on, but we conveniently keep things at a psychological level, because we are afraid to face one basic plutonian truth. Truth is always painful and the painful truth of Pluto is that it is unbelievably CRUEL.
I've already talked about in another post how Pluto makes you live in fear and suspicion and how it is all about life in the jungle. And the main thing about living in the jungle is that you have to accept one basic principle. The principle of the survival of the fittest. If you can't survive in this world, no matter what the reason, no matter whether it's your fault or not, then you have to die. It's as simple as that. Because if you don't die, then you become a burden for the rest of the humanity and you are personally responsible for slowing down the evolution of our species.
This is a very difficult concept for us to understand, practically impossible. In the Age of Aquarius, perhaps the most humane of signs, we believe that everyone has a right to live, we believe in a welfare state where we must take care of the weak among us and we believe in a society where each and every member should be integrated and accepted. We fear death even when it's supposed to happen. We keep people alive with the help of modern medicine, even when they want to die. Isn't it strange that it's considered humane to kill animals to spare them suffering, but a crime when it comes to people?
But the plutonian truth goes way beyond euthanasia. In the jungle, when you are born, you have to quickly adapt to your new environment. You have to find the strength to walk on your own feet, otherwise you'll be left behind and get devoured by other animals. No one is going to carry you on their backs. Is it unfair? Yes. Is it cruel? Yes. But it is what it is.
Do we follow this principle in our modern societies? No. We carry people on our backs. We believe this is the right thing to do and we don't question it. We believe that everybody should get an education, for example. Does everybody deserve one? I wonder. When you make education compulsory up to a certain level, the sad truth is that you have to lower your standards. You have to keep a certain pace in order for every child to follow, to the detriment of those children who are capable of moving on more quickly. You sacrifice your good students for the benefit of the bad ones. Is that justifiable and humane? Perhaps. Who am I to say? But you have to accept the fact that what you end up with is mediocrity.
Can all dangerous criminals be rehabilitated? Perhaps. Or is there a point, which, if you cross it , there is no going back? I don't know. But what's the purpose of life sentences? If we believe that even the most hideous criminal can turn over a new leaf, then why not reinstate them after a while? Why is it more humane to keep someone locked up for the rest of their lives, than killing them and save them from their misery? Why is death such a bad thing?
And finally, whether we like it or not, there are many among us who are simply parasites. We may accept this term for people who have everything going on for them but refuse to get involved in life, but what about handicapped people? Are they not parasites as well? Yes, I can sense your resentment. I resent myself for writing this. But then I think of their families who have to sacrifice so much just to keep them alive, of all the taxpayer's money spent on asylums, of all the facilities we provide in order for them to be able to function and I think of ancient Spartans who threw their crippled children in Keadas and even though it is historically debatable whether they actually did it or not, from the plutonian point of view, they were justified in doing so. Pluto, unfortunately, is not sentimental and has no time for sensitivity. On the other hand, it's not racist as well. It doesn't care about the colour of your skin, if you are beautiful or ugly and doesn't look down on you because of your handicap. It only asks you some simple questions: "Can you survive? Are you fit enough to stand life's adversities or are you going to be a burden?"
Yes, Pluto's truth is terrible. TERRIBLE. Unthinkable even. I can quite understand why we want to do away with Pluto completely. I myself watch sometimes wildlife documentaries and I think they are such horrendous thrillers that no film can ever come close. But as it happens with every planet, should we choose to ignore it, we have to pay the price.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Saturn in Libra - Sign predictions

I must stress from the beginning that I do not believe that transits is a very reliable predictive method. I see transits primarily as triggers that can bring about an event only if there is supporting testimony from other predictive methods, such as progressions and solar returns. If, for example, I have a progressed Sun/Saturn conjunction and Saturn is angular in the solar return chart, then, a Saturn transit on that same sensitive point can mean that the time is right for me to experience some sort of a saturnian event. A lot of transits pass by harmlessly, even outer planet ones, causing only a change of mood and not earth-shattering events.
With that in mind, what does Saturn in Libra mean? Libra is the sign of Saturn's exaltation, which tells us that Saturn is quite comfortable there. According to traditional sources, a planet in the sign of its exaltation is like an honoured guest. It is not at home, which means it cannot be entirely comfortable, but it finds itself at a place where its needs are met, where it is respected and loved. I suspect that Saturn and Mars, being natural malefics, behave better in the signs of their exaltation. Saturn and Mars in their own signs may be able to show all their wonderful qualities, but at the same time be so powerful that they don't care about the havoc they can wreak. Saturn in Libra, however, will put on its best behaviour.
What does Libra want? Harmony, fairness, justice. These are the three principles that we will all like to see them reign during this Saturn transit. Particularly since Saturn will first square Pluto in Capricorn and we will likely see corrupted people, especially government officials, get what they deserve. On a more personal level, we will be offered a great opportunity to view ourselves realistically, without emotional interferences and weigh our pros and cons in a more detached manner.
Which signs are going to have the hardest time? First of all, the signs that are antithetical to Saturn's nature, Aries, Cancer and Leo. Leos may think that this will be an easy time for them, but I doubt it. Libra is the sign of the Sun's fall. Libra is not a sign of individuality and even though it sextiles Leo, its nature doesn't agree with that of Leo. But since we are talking about a sextile, it will probably be a great opportunity for Leos to incorporate some saturnian aspects into their personality much more easily than if, say, Saturn were in Aquarius. For Aries and Cancer, however, this Saturn is going to be a much greater problem. For those two signs, Saturn represents everything that is bad about life. Aries wants action without limits and Cancer wants love without limits. But as we all know, Saturn is ALL about limits. For Aries, this is a time when they will find it difficult to initiate any action and some of them are going to fall flat on their faces. They will have to start thinking about other people and realize that their behaviour is often extremely self-centered and that they only form relationships when they are sure the other person will never raise an objection. But now Saturn will not let them off so easily. It may present them with responsibilities that they won't be able to shake off and some sort of compromise will be needed. For Cancer, this is another opportunity to grow up. No more crying on other people's shoulders about the unfairness of life, but time to stand on their own feet and become responsible for their own destiny.
The other two signs that are going to receive a hard aspect from Saturn are Libra and Capricorn. These two signs, however, love Saturn and they are not going to have such a hard time, provided that in their lives so far, they have respected and incorporated saturnian values. The sign which is, by far, the most - favoured sign by this transit is Aquarius. Saturn is their traditional ruler, it's going to put on its model behaviour in Libra and it is going to trine their Sun. An excellent opportunity for Aquarians, therefore, to reap what they have sown.
For the six remaining signs, this is not going to be the most important Saturn transit they will ever experience, unless they have cardinal signs on the angles of their natal chart, a lot of planets in cardinal signs or will go through their Saturn return.
To sum up, I have a lot of confidence in this transit and with our faith restored, starting from next year with Jupiter in Pisces, a lot of good can come out of it. Provided that we are prudent and careful.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Manila flood - Astrometeorology

Although I am not an expert in astrometeorology, the basic techniques used are the following: First you cast the season ingress chart, that is the exact moment the Sun enters the signs of Aries (spring), Cancer (summer), Libra (autumn) and Capricorn (winter), which gives you a general overview of the weather of each season. Then, if you want a forecast for a more specific period of time, you cast a chart for every phase of the Moon, that is the New and Full Moons and the charts for every Sun/Moon square, which will give you a forecast for 7 days approximately. However, these are not stand-alone charts and must always be interpreted with the season ingress chart in mind and, of course, the general climate of your area and the season you are in. If the summers of your area are hot and humid, no matter what configuration is there in the charts, you will not predict a snow blizzard and temperatures below zero. What you can say is that this will probably be an unusually cool summer.
I don't want to go into details, because, as is the case with all the other branches of astrology, there are conflicting views. There are some astrologers who use every aspect between all the planets, even semi-sextiles and quintiles, before they make a forecast and there is disagreement regarding which house is the most important one, the 1st or the 4th. My personal preference is the 1st, because in every other branch of astrology this is the most important house and I don't see the reason for changing that in astrometeorology. However, since I haven't tested these techniques extensively, I can't say who is right and who is wrong with any degree of certainty.
This is the Libra ingress chart for Manila:

We immediately see the Saturn/Uranus opposition on the Ascendant/Descendant axis. Uranus, as you might expect, is accused of producing freak weather. That should be enough, but it gets worse. The ruler of the chart, Mercury, natural ruler of wind, is retrograde and conjunct the Saturn/Uranus opposition. We also have a tight Sun/Pluto square, but I think this is much less important, since this is the same for everywhere around the world and what's more, it's not angular. We can predict, therefore, possible extreme weather in Manila at some point in the next three months, or, at least, weather that cannot be described as "normal" for the area and season. If we need to be more specific we can cast the chart for the previous Moon phase, which in this case was a New Moon in Virgo. This is the chart:

Here, the ruler of the chart is the Sun, which is exactly conjunct the Saturn/Uranus opposition and closely conjunct Mercury! So, no doubt about this being a week of danger.

This doesn't mean of course that every day in Manila for the next three months is going to be like that. But, should there be an equally "dangerous" moon phase chart, we should take notice. It doesn't seem very likely, however, as Saturn and Uranus are separating and the influence of their opposition is weakening.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Mika - The boy who knew too much (about fun)

Mika is back with a new album entitled "The boy who knew too much". I think he is one of the most interesting - to say the least - young artists of today. The much-maligned pop music has found a new icon who is not a ready-made X-factor or American Idol finalist, who writes his own songs and has a personal style. What more can anyone ask? Already the accusations have started, that he rips off other artists shamelessly. Which can only mean one thing. That he is a true artist.

Who doesn't rip off others anyway? Everybody has been influenced by somebody else. Actually, that was always the magic of pop. Pop is the place where all the other music genres can meet and come up with songs that everybody wants to sing. And that's what Mika does and he does it beautifully.

What first strikes you about Mika and his music is that he knows very well that pop music, above everything else, is about fun. The astrological element that is connected with a true sense of fun is the element of fire. Some of you may disagree, but, in my opinion, it is only the fire signs that carry this childlike enthusiasm into adulthood. We can therefore expect to see fire in Mika's chart. Oh, dear me, yes.

Sun in Leo, Mars in Leo, Jupiter in Sag, Uranus in Sag, Neptune in Sag and possibly Moon in Sag as well. I say "possibly" because we don't have his birth time and this is a noon chart. Nonetheless, that's still a lot of fire. Mars trines the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction and the Sun trines Neptune. Really impressive, and this may explain how easily he became successful. The Sun and Jupiter are in rulership, Mercury in Virgo, in the sign of its rulership and exaltation and Saturn is in Libra, the sign of its exaltation. People would kill for a chart like this.

Two planets can potentially cause problems for him. The Moon, only if it is in Capricorn, the sign of its detriment (provided he was born after 4 pm approximately) and Venus, which is retrograde and in the sign of its fall. We don't know which houses Venus rules, but if we only consider her as the natural ruler of love matters, his love life may present him with problems. What's more it squares the Jupiter/Uranus conjunction and the square with Uranus is partile, that is, within the same degree. According to Bernadette Brady, a modern interpretation of a planet in detriment or fall would be that this planet has a tendency to act in a way different from the norm, which would be disastrous in the more black and white societies of the past. Nowadays, however, this is not such a tragedy, considering that we have supposedly grown to be more tolerant to all sorts of deviations. Mika is very secretive about his love life and rumour has it he is gay. According to a recent interview, he came out as bisexual. Quoted form wikipedia : "I've never ever labeled myself. But having said that, I've never limited my life, I've never limited who I sleep with. (…) Call me whatever you want. Call me bisexual, if you need a term for me." Leaving the question open ended with, "you should be as free as you want". Who cares, anyway?

We may attribute his sexual behaviour but especially the above statement to the aspects Uranus makes to both Mars and Venus, with Venus being in fall and retrograde. The Sun/Neptune trine is also averse to saturnian labels. However, Saturn, being in Libra, is strong in his chart. We don't know his Ascendant sign, but in the few interviews that I've seen, I've noticed that he is quite reserved, very well-behaved and quite possibly a bit shy, a complete contrast to his stage persona. In a nutshell, he seems to be good-mannered, which indicates Saturn is also functioning well in his chart. Not surprisingly, since it is in Libra. Could it be that his Moon is also in Capricorn? Perhaps.

*Mika's photo was taken from here

Sunday, 13 September 2009

US Open ladies final - contest horary

This is the horary chart that I cast for the US Open Ladies final that takes place today. The opponents are: Kim Clijsters, a former World No 1, who has recently made a very successful comeback, and World No 8, Caroline Wozniacki, in her first Gran Slam final.

Following the John Frawley method, Clijsters gets the first house, since she is the player I support and Wozniacki the 7th. Let's begin.

Planets in the above houses: None.

Essential dignity (although much less important than accidental dignity in this sort of questions): Mars (Clijsters) is in Cancer, the sign of its' fall, but also it's own triplicity. Not good, but could be worse. Venus (Wozniacki) in Leo, peregrine. Not good.

Receptions: This can help us decide who has power over whom. Mars is in no dignities of Venus and Venus is only in the face of Mars. Mars seems to have a very slight advantage over Venus, but nothing as important as to determine the winner.

Accidental dignity: Wow! Venus (Wozniacki) is conjunct the MC! Mars (Clijsters) is in the 9th house. A definite, very clear advantage for Wozniacki!

Aspects: Mars makes no significant aspects, just a trine to the Ascendant. Does this strengthen him? Hardly. He would have fared much better had he been in an angular house. Venus makes an opposition to the triple Jupiter/Chiron/Neptune conjunction in Aquarius. If we decide to use the outer planets, this could be somewhat weakening. If not, the only opposition that counts is the one with Jupiter, who is retrograde, but not completely averse to Venus, since he is in her terms and therefore not much debilitating to her.

Antiscia: Mars' antiscion is in Gemini, trine Jupiter. However, we do not use aspects to antiscia and contrantiscia, only conjunctions. Venus' antiscion is right on the cusp of the 7th house, her house. Another point for Wozniacki.

Conclusion: Even though I didn't think it was likely before casting this chart (Clijsters, after all, ousted Serena Williams in the semis), Wozniacki should win, judging by her significator's placement on the MC. Any testimonies in favour of Clijsters pale in comparison.

Let's see how this turns out.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The trouble with Chiron

One of the most annoying planetary energies is that of Chiron. The annoying part is that astrologers talk about a wound that can't be healed. In a world full of self-help books, where we are told that "Anything is possible" if we just turn a switch in our heads and change our mentalities, the meaning of Chiron seems completely outdated. We don't want to be told that all that psychotherapy, all that astrology, all those metaphysical studies actually amount to nothing. What's more, what is the nature of that wound? Astrologers talk about a collective wound, but since Chiron is supposed to be a mediator between Saturn and Uranus and Saturn is not an outer planet, how does this wound become personal?
I think the term "collective" really means that we are born in a world that it's just the way it is. It may be that, at a deeper level, we are all responsible for everything that's going on in the world, but from a personal viewpoint it's not our fault that evil, misery and sadness exist. Yet, we are thrown into a world where what other people think or do has a profound effect on us. And because of this interaction we become the people we are with all our strengths and weaknesses. Chiron is interested in exactly these weaknesses. And what he's telling us is that these weaknesses never actually go away. We are stuck with them and there is nothing we can do to change that.
What can we do? We can become conscious of them. We can shed light to them (Uranus) and try to keep them in check (Saturn). But they don't disappear. If we are proud and arrogant, we will always be proud and arrogant. We will always be susceptible, that is, to our personal "sins". But if we realize what we are doing (Uranus), then our weaknesses cease to have such an enormous power over us and we can stop them from harming us and other people. But this is an ongoing struggle (Saturn) and we can never claim that we are cured. The moment we become too sure of ourselves, this is the time that they take over our personalities and cause havoc. Our personal demons cannot be vanquished. They can simply be controlled.
This becomes clearer when we think about alcoholics or drug users or smokers even. Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. You may give up drinking completely, but in moments of crisis, when you desperately want something to cheer you up, you will always feel the urge to reach for the closest bottle. You can never become a social drinker or the sort of person who just drinks a glass of wine during meals. That's not your reality. Even if you do manage to become a social drinker, you know instinctively that you always stand in great danger of relapsing, unlike other people. Drink is always going to be your weakness, even if you never have another drink for the rest of your life.
The benefit of all this is knowledge and consciousness. It's infinitely better to know where your weaknesses lie than to remain ignorant of them throughout your life. You learn to avoid whatever threatens your well-being. You learn humility. You learn to forgive yourself and others, because everybody's going through a similar hell. You become a healer, not by waving a magic wand, but by understanding and showing empathy. You can't truly heal them after all, since you can't heal yourself. But you can be there for them and share their pain. Most of the time, that's enough.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Swine flu case - Horary astrology

This is the horary chart I cast about the first serious case of swine flu in Greece. It's the case of a 33-year-old man who contacted the H1N1 virus, it developed into pneumonia and according to the doctors his condition was stable but critical. The question - however morbid - was: Will he die?
Since he is "any other person" he gets the 7th house. The 7th house ruler is the Moon, a cold and moist planet in a hot and dry sign. Yes, he is sick. According to John Frawley, in a medical question the whole chart is about the illness and therefore we don't use the 6th house ruler to signify it. We use the ruler of the person's planet or the planet that our significator is just separating from. In this case, our prime suspect is the Sun. It rules the Moon, it's in the 7th house, it's conjunct the malefic South Node and the Moon is separating from it. The Moon's most recent aspect was the sextile with Mars, who doesn't seem to be the culprit here, although, being a natural malefic, this would explain the patient's condition which had recently taken a turn for the worse. Since the Moon is leaving combustion and increasing in light, the situation looks promising. However, the Moon's next aspect is with the radical 8th house ruler, Mercury. John Frawley says that both the radical and the turned 8th house ruler can kill. Mercury in this chart rules both Saturn, the 1st house ruler ( the patient's doctor - 7th from the 7th) and Venus, the 4th house ruler (the patient's treatment - 10th from the 7th), which means that Mercury (death) has power both over the doctor (Saturn) and the treatment (Venus). As a result, I predicted death.
It turns out I was wrong. He survived and approximately two weeks later he showed definite signs of recovery and he must have left the hospital by now. What went wrong with my judgement? Is the fact that the Moon is gaining strength and leaving combustion enough? Should I not have used the radical 8th house ruler but the turned 8th house ruler, Jupiter? Jupiter is in Aquarius and therefore is ruled by Saturn, the doctor. In this case, the doctor has power over death. Since Frawley says that both can kill, what happens if one ruler gives a positive testimony and the other ruler a negative one? Who wins?
What's also interesting in this chart is that although the Moon is going to oppose Jupiter eventually, which would also be and indication of death, this aspect is prohibited by the sextile to Venus (treatment) which will occur before the opposition to Jupiter. Does this mean that the patient will start to respond to the treatment? Whatever the case, it seems we must forget the Moon's conjunction to Mercury or, at least, it's not enough of a testimony. Unless we consider him to be weak and therefore not able to cause death, because when the Moon conjuncts him, he will still be under the sun beams.
I would very much welcome any thoughts or remarks you might have on this chart.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

The Leo parent - A contradiction in terms?

In modern astrology the 5th house of children may be considered to be the natural house of Leo, but in hellenistic and medieval astrology Leo is one of the barren signs. Even though numerous factors need to be taken into account before you can even suggest sterility, still, Leo is not a fruitful sign by itself. If we don't take this literally, because, as Lilly mentions, even Jupiter in Cancer (albeit retrograde) in the 5th doesn't guarantee children, what can be the meaning of Leo's barrenness, viewed from a modern perspective?
In defense of modern astrology, Leos seem to get on very well with children. Sometimes, it appears as if they draw children like a magnet. They just know instinctively how to treat them. All fire signs share a childlike enthusiasm that children can naturally relate to, but Leos especially tend to create more significant bonds with them. I think this is because the other two fire signs can behave like children, both for good or for ill, but Leos ARE children at heart. And unlike Aries, who very often fails to mentally reach adulthood, Leos can successfully integrate their childlike qualities into their adult personality.
We must also keep in mind that it's not easy being a child. We may reminisce about our happy and carefree days, but it seems that we forget how irritating it is to be brought into a world where you know nothing and are surrounded by tall and grown up people who seem to know everything and have all the answers. And not only that, but grown up people tend to get annoyed by you, bored with you, find it difficult to pay attention to what you say and generally find you a nuisance, no matter how much they love you, because you are not their equal. And then a Leo comes along and everything changes. There is at least one person in this world of hostile adults who actually understands, who actually treats you as if you are someone that matters.
But, alas, this happens only with other people's children. As we all know, there is a huge difference between liking children and actually raising them. Bringing up children involves a lot of hard and dirty work that Leos just aren't willing to do. Being a parent demands, at least for a certain period of time, that you put another person's interests first. Leo, however, being the divine child, doesn't want to share his/her divinity. In a sense, Leo is the archetypal father. The person who will show the world to his child, but not the person who will provide the necessary nurturing. That is, I think, what's really hiding behind Leo's barrenness. Leos like children but don't really want to have them. Especially for a woman, if she has planets in Leo, this may prove difficult, as she may have a natural aversion to motherhood, contrasting, therefore, with the stereotypes of her gender.
Since the sign of Leo comes immediately after Cancer, then at this stage the person must break free from all family chains. Liz Greene says that Apollon, the God connected with the astrological Sun, is also the breaker of family curses. This is more true in Leo, the sign the Sun rules, than in any other sign. We all carry our family sins and curses and, unfortunately, in most cases, we simply pass them on to the next generation. Eventually, however, a child gets born that has the role of the redeemer. The journey of the curse ends here. And sometimes, the only safe way to break a family curse is to not reproduce yourself.
In modern psychological terms, Leo is the sign of self-consciousness par excellence and that is his prime objective in life. So, if I am here so that I can know myself, I must make sure that there are no distractions. I have to completely devote my time to ME and I don't want other people's paths crossing my own. Or, if they cross it, I must gain more self-knowledge from this encounter. Otherwise, it's a waste of time.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Saturn and Uranus in aspect with the Lights - The prize of consciousness

Both these planets are associated with the sign Aquarius, no matter how valid this association is. However, they seem to represent two conflicting energies, as Saturn is constantly trying to silence Uranus and Uranus is constantly trying to overthrow Saturn. So, what happens when they both aspect the Lights and, in particular, when each one aspects a different Light?
If - perhaps simplistically - we view the Moon as the conditions that make us feel at ease and at home, our personal way of relating to other people and our connection to the world of instincts, and the Sun as that voice that keeps calling us from afar and never stops calling us until we decide to follow his path, we can attempt to delineate these aspects. With the Moon in aspect to Uranus, the world of instincts is foreign to you. You just can't understand emotional behaviour. You watch other people crave for simple things like security, tenderness and stability, but you can't relate to that. You feel like an outcast and you prefer hanging around with people who, for some reason, display "abnormal" behaviour. Relationships become difficult because other people soon realize that you do not connect to them like you are "supposed" to, but instead you keep them at a distance. The word "empathy" is not included in your vocabulary. You may be able to offer sound advice to your friends, but when they simply want a shoulder to cry on, they go to someone else. You feel that all this disgusting emotionality and clinginess is what keeps humanity from truly progressing. If, however, you also have the Sun in aspect to Saturn, things can get a lot worse. You may be an outcast, but you hate yourself for it. You don't want to be different, you just want to fit in, even if you are temperamentally unsuited to it. You try to do the done thing, what you think is expected of you, but you do it awkwardly and other people see right through you. Very often you go against your own nature, trying to satisfy social demands. You may dislike the idea of marriage, for example, but you end up getting married nonetheless. You don't like children, but feel you have to have them. This is a very tricky combination and you may spend your whole life trying to find the right balance.
On the other hand, with the Moon in aspect to Saturn, it is very hard for you to step outside the boundaries of normality. You feel that the whole world consists of autocratic parents whose sole purpose in life is to teach you the virtue of discipline. You mistrust eccentricity and believe it's just an excuse for those who refuse to face the hard facts of life. You feel at ease around people who know what they want out of life, you respect authority, you are good-mannered and you can't stand cheeky and impudent people, especially those who have ideas quite above their station. However, if you also have the Sun in aspect to Uranus, every once in a while a little bell rings in your head telling you to break free from all chains. You don't want to listen to it, because you fear what's going to happen if you say goodbye to the solid ground you walk on. Life, however, has a way of messing with us, the moment we least want it to. One day you realize that there is a part of you that is not universally acceptable. It dawns on you that you have more in common with the people you pretend to hate than you originally thought. You realize that even though you sought the friendship of normal people, they actually bore you. But you don't want to go over completely to the other side, because you dread social exclusion. You can't fully embrace the uranian spirit because it clashes with your saturnian predisposition. Tricky, indeed.
Can something be done to solve this dilemma? A modern astrologer would urge you to integrate both these aspects of your personality, but is that truly possible? What you seem to gain from this dichotomy, however, is consciousness. By being unable to completely identify with either of these two warring functions, you cannot lose yourself in the oblivion of ignorance. You cannot pretend to be just one thing and the hell with everything else that doesn't agree with you. But when you sit alone in a dark room at night with no one around to distract you, you hit upon an absolute truth about life: That consciousness and happiness are incompatible.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Jupiter and Saturn transits - Who's the benefic and who's the malefic?

We always dread an upcoming Saturn transit but look forward to a Jupiter one. They are the great benefic and the great malefic, after all. However, in many cases, things don't turn out like they are supposed to. In fact, sometimes it's exactly the other way round. We have a hard time during a Jupiter transit and a good time during a Saturn one. Very often, nothing of any significance happens and things run smoothly or rather, there are no evident changes in our lives. Why is that? Are transits an important predictive tool or aren't they?
John Frawley in one of his books on traditional astrology states that William Lilly devotes only three paragraphs on transits and that's two and a half paragraphs more than he should have. Perhaps this is an exaggeration or an over-simplification. Still, he has a point when he says that the life of an average person doesn't involve one tragedy after another and that most of our days pass by harmlessly. Of course, in Lilly's day, there were no outer planets whose transits are long-lasting and traditonal astrology had to invent other more reliable predictive methods. It seems though, that modern astrology, at least in certain circles, overemphasizes transits and tries to expalin everything that happens in our lives with a particular transit which, of course, is interpreted accordingly. We hear statements like: "Of course you are having a hard time, transiting Chiron forms an exact sesquiquadrate with your Lilith!" I would have to agree with Frawley on this, who says that a transit is simply a trigger. No transit can bring anything that it is not written in your natal chart. Just because Jupiter is transiting your second house, you can't expect tons of money to fall on your lap if such a thing is not promised in your natal chart. Yet, when different factors are added together, a transit can become pretty important. Let's say transiting Pluto is about to oppose your Sun. If that's all he's doing, you need not panic. But if you have a natal Sun/Pluto square and your progressed Ascendant is conjunct natal Pluto, then you should really stand up and take notice.
Having said that, let's go back to Jupiter and Saturn transits. If we want to keep attributing importance to transits, I feel we have to combine modern and traditional astrology. What do Jupiter and Saturn signify in our birth charts? Do they rule "malefic" or "fortunate" houses? Are they dignified? If Jupiter in the nativity is retrograde, in Capricorn and rules the 12th house, then I cannot expect him to bring me any luck. On the other hand, if I have a well-dignified Saturn, I need not fear. Saturn is never pleasant, that's not his nature, but when he is in form, he's extremely just and fair.
Then, we should take into account the sign the two transiting planets happen to be in and how that sign resonates with our chart. If, for example, the signs Virgo or Capricorn dominate in our chart or if Saturn is particularly strong, it is inevitable that we dislike Jupiter. Jupiter doesn't just shower us with gifts, but requires something in return. And that is FAITH. Which is something the two aforementioned signs lack. You have to believe that you deserve good things to happen to you, that life can and should be easy from time to time. I'm afraid that Virgos and Capricorns (I'm not talking about individuals here, but about the energy of these two signs) generally mistrust anything that isn't a direct result of hard effort. They tend to be suspicious of anything that comes easy to them and they are always looking for faults. From Jupiter's point of view however, that's ingratitude. So, why should he bother? The fire signs, on the other hand, appreciate whatever Jupiter offers them. They have a natural enthusiasm, they willingly embrace life and hate difficulties even to the point of laziness. When Jupiter comes along therefore, they are thrilled.
By contrast, if you have many planets in Cancer or in Leo, then in all likelihood you are going to hate Saturn. Even if nothing significant happens during a Saturn transit, it's still safe to say that you are not going to jump up and down with joy. You may read in the astrological predictions for your sign that this is a good time to lose weight, for example. No, it isn't. Some of you may feel so depressed that you rush to the fridge and devour everything in it. Your friend the Capricorn, however, will manage to lose 40 pounds when Saturn conjuncts his Sun.
So, only if we take these factors into account can we make a more or less accurate prediction of how difficult or beneficial a particular transit will be. All our potential is included in our natal chart and transits and progressions will help unfold it. It is each individual chart therefore, that will tell us which planets are friends and which are enemies.