Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Oscar winners Part 2

There is something strange about Sean Penn. Even though he has liberal views and he seems very conscious of being a part of a community, I get the impression that there is a thug hiding underneath. I may be wrong, but behind the progressive façade, I feel like that what he is truly saying is something like "these are my views, my views are correct and to hell with everybody else who thinks otherwise". I believe it has a lot to do with his Sun-Uranus conjunction in Leo.
I've already expressed my views on the subject of outer planets and sign rulerships, however we cannot deny that Uranus has an affinity with Aquarius, even if we don't believe it rules this sign. Which would make Leo an uncomfortable place for Uranus to be. Since Leo is the most individualistic of all signs in the sense that Leos need to find out in what way they are special and how they differ from other people, any collective planet in this sign would feel ill-at-ease, let alone Uranus. As Liz Greene correctly puts it, Uranus is not an individualistic planet, because a planet cannot be individualistic and collective at the same time. Therefore, Leo brings out the bad face of Uranus that the astrology textbooks talk about, the dictatorial one. Uranus in Leo may very well be Prometheus, as Uranus is in every sign, but it's as if he wants to keep the fire to himself and not share it with the rest of humanity. The humaneness of Uranus is stifled in Leo, so these people don't want to change the world so that it becomes a better place to live in for everybody, contrary to what they may consciously and honestly believe, but they want to change the world so that it suits their personal needs.
It would help, therefore, if these people didn't already have an inflated ego, which is probably not Sean Penn's case, with his Sun in Leo trine Jupiter in Saggitarius conjunct the Ascendant. Perhaps, I'm being unfair to him and he may be over the top sometimes only because he has this very intense sense of freedom, with Uranus, Jupiter on the Ascendant and all that fire and so he probably hates restrictions more than the average guy. But he must have experienced restrictions in his life so far, with his sensitive Moon in Cancer widely opposing a very strong Saturn in Capricorn. He has experienced Saturn and now he is trying to lead a Uranian existence, but he may hit the wrong note sometimes. Don't we all?
Anyway, congratulations on his win, because we can't deny an obvious truth, which is that he is a very fine actor and he did a great job in Milk.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Oscar winners Part 1

So Kate Winslet won after all. Everybody was wondering how she got nominated in the leading role category for what is clearly a supporting role, even though it's the major female role in the Reader. The Academy was probably making clear from the start how much they were in her favour. She is an extraordinary actress and a very beautiful woman. Why people insist on commenting on her weight is beyond me. With all those Libran planets on the Ascendant, she knows what true beauty is, despite our efforts to convince her otherwise.
Meryl Streep must content herself with the record for most nominations, but she is surely wondering if she'll ever win again, or what kind of performance she has to produce to make the Academy members vote for her. Pluto opposite her Sun-Uranus conjunction wasn't enough, neither was her Jupiter return. These aspects are, of course, separating and maybe that had something to do with it.
What was a minor surprise was Penelope Cruz's win, although with Kate Winslet out of the picture, there was no clear favourite. In Penelope's case we have exact progressed aspects, though, not having a birth time, we don't know what houses they rule. Her almost exact natal Mercury/Saturn sextile has become an exact conjunction in the progressed chart. Her natal dignified Venus in Pisces, her Sun ruler, has progressed in her own sign, Taurus, thus gaining even more strength. What's more, natal Venus squares the Nodes and the Saturn/Uranus opposition is forming a grand cross with them. So, Venus, her Sun ruler, is particularly active both in the natal and the progressed chart. There is something about those Tom Cruise women, who rise to fame and become successful, after they break up with him (lol).
We should not forget Woody Allen who has proven to be a very competent director, especially with his actors. Penelope Cruz is the last one in the long list of actors and actresses who have won or been nominated for an Academy Award starring in a film of his. Let's hope she doesn't have the same fate as Mira Sorvino.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Outer planets and rulerships

After the discovery of the outer planets there has been some confusion in the astrological community as to whether we should assign them rulerships of certain signs. Modern astrologers quickly assigned Uranus to Aquarius, Neptune to Pisces and Pluto to Scorpio. Traditional astrologers remained faithful to the old system, even to the point of totally ignoring the outer planets in their work. Who's right and who's wrong? I don't have a definite answer, but I think the matter is worth discussing.
First of all, traditional astrologers have a point. There is a certain logic behind sign rulerships. The lights were given the two summer signs when light is abundant, and the rest of the planets were given each one diurnal sign and one nocturnal side on either side, starting from the planet closer to the Sun. So Mercury was given Gemini, the sign before Cancer (ruled by the moon), and Virgo, the sign after Leo (ruled by the Sun) and so forth. If you wish to make changes to this system, you probably have to find some other logic, which should be as tidy as the old one. Uranus does have an affinity with Aquarius, Pluto with Scorpio and Neptune with Pisces, but is it safe to name them rulers of those signs in the sense that we can use them to get information for a house in our chart?
The problem with modern rulerships becomes evident when it comes to exaltations. Many modern astrologers say that Uranus is exalted in Scorpio. Does that make any sense? Scorpio is the sign of primitive instinct, of grand passion and death and has an intense feeling nature which is totally against Uranian principles. The ancient logic behind rulerships and exaltations was that a planet feels at home in the sign that it rules and like an honoured guest in the sign of its ' exaltation, where he is wanted and appreciated. Can we possibly say that Uranus would be welcome in Scorpio? Modern astrologers, who are psychologically oriented, were probably thinking of something completely different when they made this assignment. They were thinking that Scorpio can benefit from Uranian energy, that Scorpios would have a lot to gain if they practised Uranian detachment and learned to view things from a distance. Fine, but that doesn't mean that they'd like it or that they would gladly adopt an attitude 100% contrary to their nature.
What's more, they say that Neptune is exalted in Leo. How is that possible? Leo is the sign of self-expression and self-absorption and quite rightly so. Leos need to find who they are, what makes them special, what particular talents they have. Neptune, the planet of merging and dissolution of the ego, is completely antithetical to Leo's nature. Yes, sure, it would do Leos good to realize that all people are special and originate from the same source, but can we possibly expect them to feel close to Neptune? Cancer, the other sign that was put forward regarding Neptune's exaltation, makes much more sense, since with Neptune Cancerian love will expand to include everything else, but, again, the universality of Neptune won't be much appreciated by Cancerians.
When Chiron was discovered, things got even more complicated. Many astrologers would like to make him ruler of Sagittarius. Which means, that we've already taken Pisces away from Jupiter and now we are going to take Sagittarius as well. So Jupiter would be ruler of nothing. Thank God for the discovery of so many asteroids and centaurs which has obliged modern astrologers to rethink the matter of rulerships.
However, many traditional astrologers have gone to the other extreme, which is, let's play Saturn and stick to the old system and totally ignore the outer planets which have no meaning whatsoever, or, at the very least, what they have to say can be easily deduced from other factors in the chart. How convenient. How can we possibly ignore all those people who have experienced outer planet transits and progressions and lived to tell about it?(ha!) Are all these people stupid or imagining things? The close aspects these planets form with our personal planets are very much active. So it seems that outer planets are here to stay and we must find a way to integrate them.
It seems that we have only two options. Either we do away with the idea of rulerships altogether and really transform our astrological interpretations in light of the recent discoveries and forget all about rulerships, exaltations, essential dignities and so on, or, when it comes to rulerships, we stick to the traditional system and place outer planets in a separate group, which is highly significant, but not of the same subtance as the inner planets.

Sunday, 15 February 2009


What's interesting about Scrubs is that it's like Friends for mostly a male audience. What makes it stand out from the rest is that it has well-drawn characters. They can be quite far-fetched sometimes, but that's natural, since it's supposed to make us laugh. The most hilarious part, I think, is J.D. and his relationship with Dr. Cox.
J.D. is this kind of effeminate man, who is tender, affectionate, likes hugging, romantic comedies, doesn't drink, except for Appletinis, but at the same time completely heterosexual. What's great about it is that he doesn't seem to care that much. Dr Cox represents quite the opposite, this very manly doctor, who has feelings but is afraid to show them, who finds J.D. girly and calls him girls' names, a very Saturnian figure, with a little bit of Pluto on the side. Their scenes together are very funny, especially because J.D. still hopes he and Cox will become true friends one day, despite the verbal batterings he receives on a daily basis.
The show was created by Bill Laurence, so let's have a look at his chart. Two things stand out that have something to do with what we are talking about. Laurence has Saturn in Aries and Mars in Libra. So what he wants most but feels he lacks in (Saturn) is the typical macho male image (Aries) but he seems unable to do much about it since his masculinity (Mars) is imprisoned by a Venus sign (Libra) and so, he is attracted by beauty, diplomacy, dislikes coarse and vulgar behaviour and believes in romantic love. J.D. must be a vehicle for him to exorcise his inner demons. By putting J.D. out there and by making him likeable and unashamed of what he is, he is having a laugh about it which is very healthy.
Anyway, in my opinion it's a wonderful show and I would be very sorry to see it end. I've had such a good time watching it.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Sun sign racism?

I've read recently in the Daily Telegraph and in the Astro Crack blog that an Austrian insurance company published an ad looking for employees belonging only to the sun signs of Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Capricorn and Aquarius because almost all of its best employees belonged to the above mentioned signs. Before looking into the matter of possible racism, let's first examine why these particular signs appealed to the company in question.
First of all, we notice the presence of all the fire signs which is almost hard to believe taking into account the fact that these signs are not famous for their hard work and discipline. Fire signs need to have excitement in their lives as they are easily bored, so I think that what lies behind this preference is that particular line of work. The company was seeking employees for sales and management which is quite appropriate for the fire signs. Management posts help boost the ego of the fire signs and make them feel special. Anything to stand out from the crowd. The sales department can also benefit from fire sign people since their natural exuberance is suited for selling products, because you are much more likely to buy something from someone who promotes it with enthusiasm. Their endless search for "good times" also makes them extremely likeable and fun to be around which is undoubtedly a most useful asset. Finally, they take initiatives and they are in constant search of something new.
The other two signs are both Saturn-ruled signs, which makes sense, in general. Capricorns are usually ambitious and they want to rise to the top and Aquarians know all about team spirit. They do not fear hard work and they don't lack self-confidence. However, all these signs have their flaws as well. The fire signs can be very competitive and also very tiresome in their endless pursuit of new stimuli. Furthermore, respect for authority isn't exactly their strong suit. The Saturn-ruled signs are not usually the life and soul of every party. Even Aquarians who are more sociable and friendly, very often fail to understand the meaning of "fun". So, they would probably be better suited for management as opposed to the fire signs which would be better suited for sales.
The first question that arises is: "Is all this astrologically accurate?" Do certain signs make better workers and employees? How about a Virgo for example, who may be very difficult in a work environment when he/she insists on things being done their own way, but can also produce wonderful results with their admirable capacity to always know right from wrong? Why not the water signs for whom moodiness may very well be their middle name, but can make you feel like you are part of their family? Wouldn't they be more able to attract customers due to their innate ability for warmth and affection? It seems, therefore, that we are all better suited for certain things than others. It all depends on what the thing is.
Moreover, are all Leos the same? What if some of the fire Suns have an opposition to Saturn? What if the Capricorns or Aquarians who apply have Moon and Venus in Pisces? That would change things considerably. It would be preferable, therefore, if the company hired the services of an experienced astrologer and told him/her exactly what they are looking for, should they wish to continue recruiting people belonging to certain Sun signs.
The second and final question would be: "Is this racism?" The Austrian authorities don't think so because we are not talking about discrimination based on age, sex or race. However, some form of discrimination exists, since they exclude certain people from applying based on something that these people have no power over and it cannot be considered as a conscious choice if we leave the metaphysics out of it. But aren't we all racist in some way or another? Don't we all make subjective choices on an everyday basis? So it all boils down to this: Do we have a right to be racist if our racism doesn't break any laws?

Monday, 9 February 2009

Oscar 2009 Part 3 - Doubt

Is it time for Meryl Streep's third Oscar? I sincerely hope so. She already holds the record for the most nominations and I think it's time she got a long overdue third award. Meryl had an amazing year with Mamma Mia! breaking box office records all around the world where she proved that she can sing at least better than Madonna who "stole" Evita from her. And then came Doubt and she was given a chance to show in the same year her enormous versatility. Pluto opposed her natal Sun/Uranus conjunction in Cancer twice last year and she is on the road to becoming THE woman of power in Hollywood by winning for the third time. But...
The bad news is that she IS Meryl Streep and everyone knows she can act this well. If it were another actress in her place who would have managed to achieve such perfection, the Oscar would be guaranteed. But everyone expects her to be perfect, so we are looking for something that would top performances like Sophie, Karen Silkwood, or even Miranda Priestley. Can it be done? Moreover, Kate Winslet is on top of her game this year with two wonderful films, my two personal favourites. The fact that she wasn't nominated for Best Supporting Actress but for Best Actress is probably telling us that to the eyes of the Academy SHE was the one with the leading part in the film. The abundance of planets in Aquarius, especially Jupiter, at the night of the ceremony will be to her advantage, but her chart ruler and ruler of all her Libra planets will be in Aries, the sign of its detriment. Not a very good omen. Finally, Doubt didn't turn out to be such a good film as everyone expected, which might also diminish Meryl's chances. It is based on a play and it shows. But the tremendous power of the acting in the film more than makes up for it.
The "gigantically gifted" - as Meryl Streep called her in her acceptance speech at the Sag Awards - Viola Davis is simply magnificent. She has only one long scene but she makes her presence felt, believe me. She is a Leo and a true one at that. She has made this statement, which I found in wikipedia, which summarizes all what the astrology books say about the sign of Leo. "I'm happy that I went there (Juilliard school). The school does what it says it wants to do, which is to stretch you as an actor, make you break old habits, expand you and make you more versatile. The problem is that it doesn't celebrate the individual. It stifles everything about you that makes you uniquely you." My God! That is a Leo statement, if ever I've heard one!
Philip Seymour Hoffman is very good as always and what's interesting is that at the night of the ceremony Uranus will be making an exact - to the minute - opposition to his natal Uranus. Can Uranus help him surprise us all by beating the apparently unbeatable Heath Ledger?
Last but not least, Amy Adams is also nominated from this wonderful cast, which means that she stood her ground despite the fierce competition. Pluto is close to forming a square to its natal position and possibly her Moon (we don't have a birth time) signalling that this is a time of great emotional change for her.
Good luck to them all!

Doubt trailer

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Oscar 2009 Part 2

Let me start by saying this: I didn't like Milk. I'm sorry, but I didn't. This is not a film, it's a documentary. I know many people and critics disagree with me, but it failed to touch me. This film is all about Uranus in action and unashamedly so. There is practically no story, it's just one election after another, which, after a while, becomes extremely boring. All the personal stuff is waved aside and if it weren't for the tragic ending and the performances of the actors we would have no film at all. It's all about THE CAUSE. Fine, but that's not enough. Gus Van Sant would have benefited from seeing all those Al Pacino films in the 70s, where the cause doesn't overshadow everything else. Which is particularly bad for James Franco who is simply brilliant, but of course isn't nominated because he has no part to play in the first place. This just goes to prove how Uranus cannot be allowed free rein.
Frost/Nixon belongs more or less to the same category. Why should anybody go and see this film instead of renting All the President's Men or Nixon with Anthony Hopkins? This film is only a vehicle for Frank Langella to give one of this year's great performances, I'm afraid. Nothing else. I think both Frost/Nixon and Milk have benefited from the astrological climate of our time. Milk is all about Saturn/Uranus and Frost/Nixon has something to do with Pluto in Capricorn, showing the dark side of politics. I honestly don't think that these two films will stand the test of time nor would we feel any need to see them again.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a curious case indeed. How on earth could this film be directed by David Fincher is beyond me. It's not the kind of film he would normally be interested in directing. This a meticulously crafted film, where everything seems to be in place, but at the same time you get the feeling that you've seen it all before. Very Saturn in Virgo. It seems that Fincher wanted to be taken seriously and decided to make a film that would guarantee him wider acceptance. Perhaps Fincher with four planets in Virgo was under the influence of Saturn, now transiting his sign, when he made this decision. And there is a Uranian element in the film, with Pitt ageing backwards, which is also suitable for Fincher with a Sun/Uranus conjunction.
Slumdog Millionaire is basically a love story, around which everything revolves, I think. But it is also a "from rags to riches" story, combining Saturn and Jupiter. It's about the life hardships of a young Indian boy and his unbelievable stroke of luck, or destiny. Perhaps a Jupiter in Capricorn story, which makes sense since we are talking about a 2008 film. It's quite good, actually.
Finally, I've already stated my opinion on The Reader and I would very much like it if it won. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Oscar 2009 and the Saturn/Uranus opposition

Since astrology is life itself, then what happens in the heavens must be reflected in actual life. Astrologers all over the world have been mesmerized by Pluto's ingress into Capricorn and volumes have been written about it, but we should not forget the Saturn/Uranus opposition, which, in a nutshell, is a clash between the old order and the new one waiting in the wings. This clash is wonderfully portrayed in Revolutionary Road, which, surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, didn't make it in the final five nominated films for Best Picture.
In the film, Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet are a young married couple who are torn between their miserable and normal life and what their souls yearn. Kate Winslet embodies Uranus and she is the one who always pushes Di Caprio and refuses to allow him to compromise, as she follows her inner voice, which forbids her to settle down in a middle-class life. At some point, she even succeeds in waking up Uranus in her more saturnian husband and they both decide to move to Paris where, supposedly, all their dreams would come true. However, hard reality intervened, as it so often does in situations such as this one, and Di Caprio is offered a raise, in a job that he may hate, but it's his chance to succeed in a field that his father had previously failed. The clash is inevitable.
I'm not going to judge this film on its' artistic merits, which there may be a lack of, and perhaps the Academy was right in not nominating it, even though personally I enjoyed it immensely. Nevertheless, I think one of the reasons of this lukewarm reception was that the film also tries to be fair to Saturn and show glimpses of the negative side of Uranus. This may not be politically correct at the moment, since it seems Uranus has the upper hand, taking into account the fact that Pluto in Capricorn will inevitably bring out the toxic side of Saturn, making it much more easier for us to worship at Uranus' altar. What Di Caprio does, actually makes sense. It may be sad, but it's sensible. He is not averse to Uranus in principle, but he has a family to think of and another baby on the way. Furthermore, even though the film sides primarily with Uranus, uranian principles receive a blow when Winslet begins to demonstrate an erratic behaviour, so characteristic of Uranus. One moment she is madly in love with Di Caprio and they have passionate sex in the kitchen (hence the pregnancy) and the next, when he steps back, that same love disappears and hate takes its' place, which makes you wonder whether she was in love with the true Di Caprio or the Di Caprio who would take her to Paris.
The film's catalyst is Michael Shannon, the only one of the cast that got nominated, who plays a male Frances Farmer we could say, that is a Uranian man beaten by Saturn. But not completely. He immediately senses the tension between the couple and his presence constantly reminds Winslet of what happens to people who ignore Uranus. What is striking is that Shannon's progressed Sun is right at the middle of the Saturn/Uranus opposition, so who better than him to portray this dilemma?
The author of the book on which this film is based, is Richard Yates born in 1926 with four planets in Aquarius and Saturn in Scorpio. One can only imagine his suffocation and how personal this book was to him. What's even more interesting is that, though now dead, he is having his Uranus return. Astrological precision and synchronicity sometimes blow you away, no matter how used you become to witnessing them in action.

Read Roger Ebert review

Saturday, 7 February 2009

The Real Astrology Applied

The first John Frawley book that I read was The Real Astrology, published before this one and I didn't like it at all. I was intrigued by the title and I was expecting to read something new by a person who is supposedly highly regarded for his work. Instead, I was terribly disappointed because the book was nothing but a vicious attack on modern psychological astrology and how superior traditional astrology is, how modern astrologers know nothing about the real astrology, how the outer planets have no meaning whatsoever ("We don't see them, they don't see us" as he once said in a seminar) and finally how traditional astrology can be psychologically valid, even more so than modern astrology. I remain to be convinced.
However, in this book, I think, he really shows his skill. He explains his technique and he comes up with a thoroughly enjoyable book, full of humour and wit, based primarily on common sense, which is quite refreshing after having read a lot of books about spiritual astrology and all that. He is a no-nonsense astrologer, quite capable of explaining in an easy-to-follow fashion all the traditional techniques. There is no ambiguity present as there is in so many traditional astrology books, where they give all the options and possibilities but seem unable to make a choice, leaving readers more puzzled than before. His views may not be THE right ones, I'm not in a position to tell, but at least he makes himself understood and you can learn a lot from this book, at least about the basics of traditional astrology.
He is supposedly going to write a book about natal astrology from the traditional viewpoint, which would be really interesting. Until then, get a copy of this book, I strongly recommend it.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

The Reader

I've just seen The Reader which is definitely my favourite film out of the five Oscar nominated films this year. The film raises a moral issue which, I think, is a Saturn/Neptune dilemma. Should we feel compassion for those people who have committed atrocious acts? People who do monstrous things, are they monsters themselves? And I think it all comes down to whether we consider ourselves to be separate entities or connected to the rest of humanity.
In the film, a young boy falls in love with Hanna Schmitz (wonderfully played - as always- by Kate Winslet) who was a female guard in a concentration camp. The boy, of course, doesn't initially know who she really is, they have a brief but intense love affair which scars him for life, and when he eventually finds out the truth, he is torn between his feelings for her and the terrible realization that he fell in love with a war criminal.
Are these two incompatible? If we adopt the Saturnian separatist view, yes they are. This person is the personification of evil and evil people must be destroyed. There are some acts that are simply unforgivable. We must separate ourselves from these people, otherwise we will be contaminated. Our salvation, our own sanity depend on our dissociating from them because only in this way can we guarantee that we side with "good" and help eliminate evil.
However, when Neptune comes in, the picture becomes blurred. We realize that we CAN love evil people and these people CAN become the object of our affections and can even show love themselves. How is this possible? How can one be human and a monster at the same time?According to Neptune, one can.
That's why Neptune is such a difficult planet to live with. You can never be sure about anything. You can never judge anyone. We are all connected to one another and one person's monstrosity is our own. Because if a person who is supposedly leading a good and decent life, is also capable of unspeakable acts under certain circumstances, what does that say about us? Can we ever be completely sure that we would not have done the same, had we been in their place? It's tempting to say yes, but the truth is, no.
Bernhard Schlinck, the author of the book on which this film is based, has a strong Saturn/Neptune square in his birth chart. And even though he has four planets in Cancer and the North Node there, he has a Capricorn Moon. It seems that doing the socially acceptable thing as opposed to living by the irrationality of feeling, is part of his biological make-up. Is there a middle ground? And if so, what is it? I would very much like to know.

See the trailer