Monday, 15 November 2010

Traditional and modern astrology

A fellow astrologer, Felipe Oliveira, posted an article of mine on his very interesting website. Here's the link:

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Venus/Mars conjunction in Scorpio - A time for love? Hardly!

What is love? Astrologically, that is. Love is Venus. Which planet Venus hates the most? Mars. Venus is debilitated in both the Mars signs, as they are opposite the signs she rules. What is Scorpio? A Mars-ruled sign. Problems? Yes.
Let's look at the two Venus-ruled signs to help us understand what love is in astrology. Venus rules Taurus, where the Moon is exalted and she rules Libra, where Saturn is exalted. So, apart from Venus, love also has either a Moon or a Saturn quality. Which basically means that true love is meant to last. Either because the third party eventually becomes like family (the Moon) or because you realize the necessity of compromise, the need for a set of rules and the respect of the other person's boundaries (Saturn). Once you love someone, you love them for life, even when the relationship ends and you have moved on. It's not possible to un-love a person, simply because you've drifted apart. Like a mother never stops loving her child, no matter how incompatible they are.
Mars is about desire, passion, lust. This is fine, very exhilarating and exciting and the adrenaline hits the roof, but love it ain't. Mars wants to procreate, so, by nature, he is violently opposed to the idea of a relationship. He doesn't see the need to go on being with another person once the passion is spent. And it does get spent, no matter how hard we try to keep it alive. Mars is the person who says : "How could I have ever fallen for this person?" After the passion's gone, Mars doesn't feel anything for the other person. In fact, he almost invariably doesn't want to have anything to do with them. A person that is no longer able to inspire passion needs to disappear completely. When Mars is running the show, it is the ego that is running the show. Mars says: "I want that, I have needs and desires and I want you to satisfy them". That's why Mars is the natural ruler of divorce. Under those Mars terms, any relationship is doomed.
Naturally, a healthy relationship does involve passion and we need Mars in a relationship. But we shouldn't allow Mars to dictate our actions when it comes to relationships. If we have to fight a battle, then yes, we should give Mars free rein and leave Venus aside, but in relationships Mars should only have a supporting role. A strong one, one that would get Mars the Academy Award, but supporting nevertheless.
Now, Scorpio, has a problem. It is a Mars-ruled WATER sign. Which means that Scorpios DO want to connect, poor things. But because Mars is running the show, they often mistake passion for love. Scorpios need to fully experience their desire nature with the aim to eventually triumph over it. That doesn't leave much room for love. Nor should they try to experience love, at least in a Taurus or Libra sort of way. That's not what they are here for.
Venus is currently completely overpowered by Mars, with Mars also in Scorpio running the show. So, this Venus likes Mars stuff at the same moment that the martial energy is very strong. Is this a time for love? No. A time for passion? Definitely.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

George Michael imprisoned

I cast a horary chart a couple of weeks ago, when I heard about George's court case. The question was: "Will George Michael go to jail?" This is the chart:

Since George Michael is "any old person" for me, he gets the 7th house. So, he is Mars in his detriment, in the 6th house, the turned 12th. He is guilty (his planet in detriment), but we didn't need horary to tell us that, we knew that already. The 12th house is the house of self-undoing, it is here that we look for habits or behaviours that harm us. Do George's habits harm him? Yes, both the sign and the exaltation ruler of his 12th house (Libra) are there and very strong. He is also there, so he is completely overpowered by them.
But this is a question about jail. Will he go to prison? He is already in the turned 12th, but when I asked the question he was not yet imprisoned. But using the Moon as the flow of events, we see that it first opposed Mars (George) and it is about to oppose the turned 12th house ruler (Venus), translating light from George to prison, thus bringing them together. Which means that yes, he will go to prison.
What seems promising is that first the 12th house ruler (Venus) will enter Scorpio, the sign of its detriment and Mars (George) will soon follow suit, in the sign it rules. So it seems that the shock of this prison sentence may actually prove beneficial for George in the long run, because the chart suggests he will manage to triumph over his long-lasting self-destructive behaviour. Let's hope this will indeed be the case.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Contest horary - Greece vs Spain

I've put off posting this, because I am unsure of the judgement, but finally I said, what the heck, let's do it.
First, the horary chart:

1st house Greece, 7th house Spain. No planets in the aforementioned houses. The Moon may bodily be in the 1st, but it is conjunct the 2nd house cusp and following the 5 degree rule, I consider it a 2nd house planet.
1st house ruler Mercury, 7th house ruler Jupiter. They are both in succedent houses, which are neutral, and they are both retrograde. Not much strength for either of them. Jupiter is in the house of its joy, but not in the same sign as the cusp, making it a very minor testimony.
What REALLY stands out is Mercury's combustion. If it were any other sign (apart from Gemini), then this would be the easiest of judgements. Greece would be destined to lose the game. But here, Mercury is in the sign its rulership and exaltation and, as Frawley puts it, this is kind of like a mutual reception. Yes, combustion is harmful, but Mercury rules the Sun and somehow it manages to cancel out the combustion, or at least its most harmful effects. So, we must look further.
What is the Sun here? The Sun is ruler of the 4th house, "the end of matter", in this case the result. Normally, we wouldn't check this, but in this case I fear we must. What does it mean? The result "loves" Greece and Greece rules it and the aspect is applying, so the result is coming to Greece. I think combustion makes sense here, since Greece is hidden from sight in a way. They haven't shown their full potential and most people, I presume, expect Spain to win, including myself.

What does the event chart say? Since the game with Turkey took place at the same time, the planets haven't moved much since then.

What has changed however, is that Mars is no longer sitting on the cusp, but it is inside the 7th house. Which is very bad for the favourites, in this case Spain presumably. The Moon's role here is interesting. It is the 4th house ruler and normally we would give it to the underdogs, but Frawley advises us to not do that, but keep the Moon as the indicator of the flow of events. We must check the Moon's aspects up to approximately 5 degrees. The Moon's next aspect is a square to Mars, favouring Spain, but its final and DECISIVE aspect is the square to Greece. Unfortunately, this aspect occurs after a little more than 6 degrees. Do we take it into account? I hope so. This could mean that Spain is going to take the lead, but eventually Greece will catch up. The fact that it is beyond the 5 degree limit could mean that we could have some overtime. If that's the case, then Greece should win.

Overall judgement based on the two charts: If I had to make a judgement, although I would have preferred clearer charts, I would pronounce Greece the winner, against all odds, possibly at overtime.

Update: Wrong judgement. Spain won. Now, what was wrong about it? In the event chart, was it the North Node conjunct the 10th cusp, favouring Spain? Maybe, but that Mars placement inside the 7th cusp is a major testimony against Spain winning. That was the reason that I stretched the 5 degree limit for the Moon's aspects, giving the victory to Greece. Perhaps I shouldn't have done so. Or, as Frawley says, it's difficult to make a judgement when the Moon is one of the significators, even though he advises us to keep it as the indicator for the flow of events.
The horary chart? It seems that combustion is destructive even when the combust planet is in its own sign. Or at least, we need more positive testimonies if we are to judge in its favour. And perhaps Jupiter being in the house of its joy isn't so minor a testimony as I thought.

Update 7/3/2016: I no longer use this method and I don't judge charts when there are considerations against judgement present. Here we have the ascendant in early degrees and the combustion of the ascendant ruler.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Contest horary - Greece vs Turkey (FIBA World Championship)

This is a game that takes place tomorrow. I know I usually post these charts after the event, because, let's face it, it's much easier to interpret charts with hindsight, but let's give this a try and see how it goes. First, the horary chart:

Since I support Greece, Greece gets the 1st house and Turkey the 7th. The first thing is to check whether there are planets in these houses. The nodal axis is conjunct these houses, the South Node on Greece and -naturally- the North Node on Turkey. This favours Turkey. Now, what about Pluto on the 7th cusp? Since it is not IN the house, but ON the cusp of the house, it controls that house. Under normal circumstances, we would exclude Pluto and the other outer planets from our reading, but now that sits exactly on the cusp, it must mean something. But what? In event charts, it favours the underdogs, but this is not an event chart, but a horary one. Let's leave it aside for a while and check the rest of the testimonies.
Accidental dignity of the rulers: The Moon (Greece) is in the 11th house and Saturn (Turkey) in the 4th. Saturn is angular and therefore more powerful, but it is not in the same sign as the cusp. If it were, we would stop here and pronounce Turkey as the winner. Still, Turkey seems to have the upper hand.
As far as essential dignity goes, both teams are in the signs of their exaltation. The Moon is also in its own triplicity and Saturn in its own term. Therefore, they are both essentially dignified with a slight advantage for Greece, much more so considering that Saturn is in the face of the Moon (Greece) making the Moon one of Saturn's rulers. But that's a minor testimony.
The Moon also has lots of light and trines the Sun in Virgo, which is in the Moon's triplicity, meaning this is a friendly aspect. Saturn on the other hand is involved in a tight T-square with Pluto and Jupiter. If we take Jupiter as the referee (ruler of the 10th house), then the referee doesn't like Turkey (Jupiter in Saturn's fall), but that doesn't say much especially since it is totally indifferent to Greece.
Shall we take a look at the 4th house (the end of the matter)? Its ruler is Mercury, slightly favouring the Moon (Greece) by being in its triplicity.
So, bearing in mind Turkey's angularity and the position of the nodal axis, Turkey has major testimonies in its favour. The minor testimonies (essential dignity) favour Greece, but is it enough to make Greece the winner? I doubt it. My other reservation is the role of Pluto and how it will play out. So, I decided to cast the event chart in the hope of clarifying things further.
This is the event chart:

This chart favours the favourites (1st house). Its ruler (Mars) sits right on the cusp of the 7th house and therefore controls it. Yes, the opponent is highly dignified, both essentially and accidentally, but the position of Mars overrules any other testimony. What's more, the Part of Fortune is conjunct the North Node which also favours the favourites. Now, we must decide which is the favourite. Before the start of the championships, Greece was placed higher than Turkey regarding the possibility of winning the Championship. But what about this particular game? I've seen bookmaker sites giving Turkey as the favourite and I think rightly so.
So, based on the horary chart and on the assumption that Turkey are the favourites, Turkey should win the game.
Let's see how this turns out.

Update: Turkey won.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Book review - Transits and Solar Returns by Ciro Discepolo

I had not heard of this author prior to purchasing this book, which got some good reviews. As I understand it, he is thought to be one of the best Italian astrologers with years of experience.
Now, about the book. The thing that I liked was that he doesn't mince his words. Good is good and bad is bad. Yes, "bad" very often signifies psychological growth and he mentions that, but this doesn't prevent it from being unpleasant. So, he seems to have a traditional mentality towards astrology. I like that.
The good things however end here. Transits, in my opinion, is by far the most unreliable predictive method. Yet, half of the book is devoted to them in the usual cookbook manner. Mr Discepolo seems to indirectly agree about the unreliability of transits, since in many of his example charts at the end of the book he says something like "by transits alone, no astrologer could have predicted such a horrible year...". However, this didn't stop him from delineating even the Sun transits. Useless.
The most important part of the book is, naturally, not his average interpretation of transits, but what he says about solar returns. He says that if the SR (solar return) ascendant falls in the natal 12th, 1st or 6th houses, you are going to have a terrible year, an "annus horribilis" as he calls it. About the 12th house, he says that although there have been some nasty stuff associated with it, no one has demonized it before him. That's not true. If he were familiar with traditional astrology, he wouldn't be saying things like that. Apparently, he is not.
We can understand why a 12th or a 6th house year can be a problem, but what about the first house? He doesn't offer any explanation. It is so, because experience has shown it is so, that's what he says. But when you come up with a discovery like that, you have to make changes in your astrology. You have to change perhaps your delineation of the first house. Are we to understand that the natal first house is not bad, but the SR 1st house is? If so, why?
What he doesn't say, but other authors have done so, is that when the SR Ascendant is the same as the natal Ascendant, this promises a year to remember. But, whether that's for good or for ill, it depends on the natal chart itself. It's as if this is a year when your natal chart can show its potential. Mr Discepolo, however, seems to treat solar return charts as stand alone charts. He doesn't make any connections between the natal chart and the SR chart, only when it comes to transits.
Now, I've had some 12th and 6th house returns, but I can't recall anything out of the ordinary happening. Ah, he says. Those returns are worse for old people. But when somebody is 80 years old he doesn't need a 6th house return for him to have health problems. These problems come with age.
He goes on by saying that you will also have an "annus horribilis" when there is a stellium of planets in the 12th, 6th and 1st house of the Solar Return chart. So, three more possibilities for a terrible year. But he is not quite finished yet. A terrible year is also promised when Mars is in the 12th, 6th, or 1st house of the SR chart and, of course, when the Sun of the SR Chart is in these houses. Six more possibilities. You can also have a year of bereavement when the Sun is in the 11th house. Why this is so, he doesn't explain. If he had thought about it, he would have realized that the 11th house is the 8th from the 4th. Death (8th) of family members (4th). Now, I'm not saying that you should worry, I'm just trying to give an explanation, because he doesn't feel the need to do so. Furthermore, a 10th house year (SR ascendant falling in the natal 10th house) can also be a problem. Not to mention angular malefic planets (judging from his example charts) in the SR chart. OK, what this boils down to is that half (or perhaps more) of your solar return charts will have one of the above. So, half our life is going to be terrible. It doesn't matter if you have a wonderful birth chart, Mr Discepolo doesn't care. As he points out, bad things happen much more often than good ones.
What he does is find the "index of risk" of the year, based on an algorithm that he doesn't disclose, and warns the client. But what areas of life will be affected? He doesn't know. Anything is possible. It doesn't matter that it's a 6th house year, your health may be fine, but you can get a divorce or get arrested. All it matters is that his index of risk is high, even though (judging again from his examples) sometimes it isn't and people still have horrible years, which of course means that their birth data is incorrect. So, if you are a practicing astrologer, read the first few pages of the book where all the rules are laid out, don't read the rest because no explanations are given and then tell your client that he is going to have a horrible year. Nothing further. If they refuse to pay you, give them a copy of this book.
Wait! He does more than warn his clients. He sends them away from home so that the houses of the SR chart change and cease to be a problem. But where does he send them, I wonder? He has to avoid the natal 6th, 12th and 1st houses, Mars and stelliums in the same SR houses, perhaps avoid the 8th house because it is tricky, avoid the 4th/10th house axis because of angularity, avoid the 11th house because of bereavement. There's not much left, is there?
Moreover, he uses minor aspects, which is also highly debatable. In an example chart he calls the transits sensational (!), but the only transit worth mentioning is the Sun/Uranus conjunction. The rest are semisquares, semi-sextiles, sesquiquadrates etc. He also treats the Placidus house cusps as definitive and he doesn't use the 5o degree rule. In several example charts, the SR ascendant is 1-2 degrees away from the next cusp, but he considers it to be as in the previous house. Maybe he is right, but at such close distance, he should start wondering about the birth time like he does in other cases. But no, since it suits his interpretation, everything is fine.
To sum up, this is a book from an arrogant astrologer, who probably has no idea what he is talking about, but refuses to learn because he believes he knows everything already. A dangerous book.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Contest horary - Nadal vs Murray

This is the chart I cast for the match between World No 1 Nadal and Andy Murray in the Roger's Cup.

I supported Murray, so he gets the 1st house ruler (Saturn) and Nadal the 7th (Moon). First and foremost we consider accidental dignity. None of the two planets is angular. Saturn is in the 8th house and the Moon in the 9th. Not much accidental dignity for either of them. Frawley considers the 8th house weaker than the 9th, even though succedent, which gives Nadal a slight advantage. Since there is no great discrepancy in power, we need to check essential dignity. Murray is by far the strongest of the two, with Saturn being in the sign of its exaltation, triplicity and term! The Moon on the other hand is peregrine and not only that but it exalts Saturn, its opponent, which is not a good sign according to Frawley.
The Moon is also in the via combusta (between 15 Libra and 15 Scorpio), a serious affliction, but it is also closely conjunct Spica (though separating), a fortunate fixed star.
It seems that all that impressive essential dignity was enough to enable Murray to win. He won in straight sets.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

George Michael and his problems with fame

I have followed George Michael's career for many years and I consider him to be a truly gifted artist. However, it has become apparent over the years that for a person who sought out fame so fervently in his early years, he does not handle it very well. Is this contradiction depicted in his birth chart?

He has a Cancer Ascendant, therefore his most personal planet is the Moon which rules it. The Moon is in Leo. So, yes, he feels special. Good thing that he truly is, because Leos very often feel special but have nothing to show for it. The Lights are in mutual reception and the Moon trines Jupiter, his most elevated planet, completely in hayz (a diurnal planet, in a diurnal chart, diurnally placed, in a diurnal sign) and ruler of the MC. Also, the Sun is in a mixed mutual reception with Jupiter. Impressive, isn't it? Jupiter, no doubt, intensifies this Moon's hunger for success and recognition. So, success he wanted and success he got. So what is his problem?

His problem lies with the Moon's most important aspect, the opposition to Saturn in Capricorn. All the planets that promise success have a problem with Saturn. The Moon and the Sun are in the signs of Saturn's detriment. Jupiter, as well, is in the sign of Saturn's fall. However, Saturn is essentially dignified, being in Aquarius and is in a tight, applying aspect to the Moon, the Ascendant ruler, so it is not going to give up easily. By being dignified, Saturn is probably going to behave well, but even Saturn's best behaviour violently opposes the energies of Cancer, Leo and Aries. So, Saturn is going to be a problem.

Most of these problems will have the Moon as their primary target, because of the opposition. The Moon, as the Ascendant ruler, will determine things like external behaviour, physical appearance etc. Was he shy? Yes. Did he find his physical appearance below standard? Yes. Saturn rules the 7th house (relationships, "other people") so, yes, he finds other people annoying, attempting to invade his privacy.

What's interesting is that the Moon is right on the cusp of the 3rd house (everyday movement) if you use the Placidus house system and he has had constant problems with driving. So far, nothing serious has happened, but he should be more careful, because Saturn also rules his 8th house and his luck could eventually run out. Let's hope not. He has already experienced Saturn as an 8th house ruler with the death of his lover, Anselmo Feleppa, back in the early nineties.

His official site is currently being revamped awaiting a big announcement. I'll keep my fingers crossed for a new album. We need more George Michael music in this day and age.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

More Wimbledon horaries

Here are two more horary charts that I cast for Wimbledon matches:

This was about the fourth round match between Federer and Meltzer. As always, I supported Federer, so he gets the 1st house and Meltzer the 7th. In this chart both the players' significators are in angular houses and Meltzer's (Jupiter) is in its own house, the 7th. However, it's in a different sign than that of the cusp, making it less strong. Federer (Mercury) is in the 10th house in the same sign as the MC. What's more, Mercury is cazimi, being within 17' away from the Sun. Traditionally, this is a very powerful position. The ancients believed that if a planet is found so close to the Sun, it is not combust, which is a severe affliction, but instead nothing can harm the planet as it is in the heart of the Sun. There are some astrologers (traditional ones even) that do not differentiate between combust and cazimi and claim that the planet is equally afflicted. In this case however, cazimi proved its strength. Federer was completely untroubled and at no point of the game did Meltzer pose a serious threat.

This is the chart of the quarter-final match between Federer and Berdych, the eventual finalist. Both significators are strong. Federer's on the cusp of the 11th house, a fortunate house and Berdych's in the 10th. By accidental dignity alone, Berdych is a lot stronger being on the MC. But not only that, since Mars (Federer) is in the triplicity, term and face (!!!) of Venus (Berdych), which means that Venus has the upper hand. And so it proved. Berdych won pretty convincingly and Federer had to settle for one set only.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Contest horaries - The strength of accidental dignity

I cast two recent contest horaries trying to find out the outcome of two matches. One was the football match between Greece and Argentina and the other one was the tennis match between R. Haase and Rafael Nadal in Wimbledon. Both matches had already started when I cast the charts.
The football match chart:

Since I supported Greece, Greece gets the first house and Argentina the 7th. In this type of questions, we are not interested in essential dignity, but instead we focus on accidental dignity, because we are looking for the one who has the power to win, not who is the best player or the best team in general. In this chart, from accidental dignity alone, it was fairly certain that Argentina was going to win. Its significator, the Moon, is in the 10th house. It doesn't matter that the Moon is in the sign of its fall, nor that Greece has the North Node on the Ascendant. Its significator, Saturn, is in the 8th house. If Saturn were also angular, then essential dignity and the North Node conjunction would have probably mattered and there would have been hope for Greece. But with such accidental debility, Greece was destined to lose.

The chart for the tennis match:

When I cast this, the two players were one set all and Haase was leading in the 3rd set. I was hoping that Nadal would lose and Haase's performance was fueling that hope. However, the chart was adamant. Nadal would win. He was extremely powerful in his own house. Haase's condition was not that bad, in the same sign as the IC, but by primary motion he was moving away from it. So, Nadal would get stronger and stronger. And so it proved.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

The astrological paradox

Do astrologers believe in free will? They say they do, both modern and traditional ones, to some extent at least. In the western world we are born and bred with this belief that we are capable of turning our lives around, should we wish to do so. Astrologers are no exception. They usually say that a Saturn transit or progression is fate, in the sense that it is an astronomical certainty, but what you do with it is largely up to you.
Yet, what they believe is not what they practice. When something happens in the life of an individual we all look at their charts and try to find an astrological correlation. Why do we do that? I have yet to read or hear from an astrologer that this or that was supposed to happen, but free will intervened and nothing actually did. We all bend over backwards to find anything in a chart that could indicate whatever is going on. We never say "I can't find anything, so this person obviously exercised their free will". But if we believe in free will, shouldn't we say so from time to time?
The hard truth that we are not willing to face is that we DON'T truly believe in free will. Because if we did, we wouldn't care for astrology. We wouldn't study astrology, because if we believed that astrology sometimes has the answers and sometimes it doesn't, then what's the point in studying something so unreliable?
Some astrologers say that if you have a Sun/Saturn conjunction for example, you have the free will to manifest this in several ways, but within the limits of the meaning of this conjunction. You cannot turn this into a Sun/Jupiter one. But is that actually free will? I sincerely doubt it.
Astrology is all about fate and our job is to interpret it. I don't think we should mix free will with astrology, because that would lower our standards. If we can easily discard something as free will, then we will not make astrology better. We would stop searching and testing astrology techniques or inventing new ones. Instead, we should treat everything as fate.
What is free will anyway? Why would you want to change your fate? Who are you to decide what's good for you or what isn't? Can we be trusted to do the right thing? What IS the right thing?
We don't have answers for these questions. So, instead of fighting our fate just to prove that we are capable of gritting our teeth, we should perhaps co-operate with it and align our minds with the energy of our chart, whether we like it or not. And perhaps, when we completely understand it, when we totally embrace what life has to offer us, whether good or bad, then fate may actually begin to loosen its grip.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

About Mercury

Now that Mercury is turning direct, I think it would be a good idea to have a look at this sometimes misunderstood planet. The tendency of a part of modern astrology to treat planets as if they are comfortable in every sign and just functioning differently, has brought some confusion. Besides the fact that Mercury is the planet of communication and of the gathering and exchange of information, the key, I think, to understanding Mercury is to remember that, traditionally, it is considered a cold and dry planet.
Which means that Mercury is not a passionate or an emotional planet. Passion and emotion may be two wonderful things to have, but you'd better keep your Mercury away from them. You could have a strong Sun or Jupiter for passion or a strong Moon or Venus for emotion. But NOT Mercury. Mercury is the planet of reason and it is best placed in air or earth signs. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo and is also exalted in Virgo. The other air and earth signs may not be the absolutely best signs for Mercury, but at least in those signs Mercury is functioning reasonably well. Not so in fire and water signs.
This has nothing to do about being clever. But when you have a fiery Mercury, you get passionate about ideas and theories and you rarely deign to test them. You know they are true, because you feel deep inside that they are true. But that's not enough. Whenever someone questions your beliefs, you become defensive. You don't want to test them, because they mean so much to you, so how could you survive without them, once they are proven wrong? This is very often the case with astrologers as well. We become so convinced that some astrological concepts are perfect that no matter how many times they fail to give the anticipated results, we never question them, because they feel perfect to us, they work for us. But the sad fact is that if a technique fails to provide us with any accuracy, we must throw it away and not find excuses. That's the reason that I've always supported scientific research in astrology and hated phrases like: "I use the equal house system because it works" or " Use the Regiomantanus system in horary and the Placidus system in natal astrology, because they work". What kind of an argument is that, especially when everybody uses it to support their preferred house system?
Mercury in water cannot think clearly and objectively because emotion steps in and clouds the thinking process. A Mercury in Pisces employer, for example, may offer a promotion to someone because they are nice people or fun to hang around with, despite the obvious fact that they lack the necessary skills. Emotion prevents Mercury from exhibiting its true nature. These people may be very intuitive but very often they can't put two and two together and this can be dangerous in situations that demand clarity of thought.
Mercury is in detriment in the two Jupiter-ruled signs, Sagittarius and Pisces. Jupiter represents the kind of knowledge that comes from within, that demands a leap of faith, despite the fact that there is no external proof available. That's why it is considered the planet of religion and philosophy. That is of course extremely valuable, but equally valuable is COMMON SENSE.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Astrologer charts - Liz Greene and John Frawley

Since both charts are included in the Astrodata Bank for everyone to see, they are not private any more, if they ever were. What's more, I'm not interested in character analysis, but I want to focus on their approach towards astrology and how this is depicted in their charts. I also want to state from the beginning that I am a HUGE fan of both, no matter how impossible this may seem to some of you. Liz Greene is considered the leading contemporary psychological astrologer and John Frawley is one of the most famous traditional astrologers that opposes - sometimes violently- psychological astrology. Their approaches may be completely different, but in my opinion they have both done astrology a world of good.

This is Liz Greene's chart:

And John Frawley's:

Both charts have an "A" Rodden rating, because the data source is from memory and not from a birth certificate. Liz Greene's time of birth seems very precise, probably a result of rectification on her part.
How do we approach this? I suggest we start with the natural ruler of astrology. Mercury, for the traditional astrologers and Uranus for the modern ones. Both these rulers present us with problems. Traditional astrologers say that Uranus cannot possibly be the ruler of astrology since it is the planet directly associated with the Enlightenment which marked the death of astrology. On the other hand, in traditional astrology we seem to have a contradiction. Astrology is a 9th house matter (higher knowledge) whose natural ruler (following the order of the planets) is Jupiter. But Jupiter and Mercury are arch-enemies. Based on the signs they rule, they both receive each other in detriment. So, how can a 9th house, Jupiter-associated matter be ruled by Mercury?
Of course one could argue that in order for something to be reborn, it has to die first and that's why Uranus killed astrology, so that it can resurface with a new face. On the other hand, astrology may be a 9th house matter, but we have to use Mercury in order to decode it. For astrology to become accessible, it can't stay forever in Jupiter's realm. God, not only has to be intuitively experienced, but intellectually understood.
Both astrologers have a strong Uranus. Frawley's Uranus is angular, conjunct an exalted Jupiter which also adds a religious tone to his astrology or his personality in general. Indeed, Frawley is deeply religious, a practicing Catholic, and he doesn't see a contradiction in these two. Greene's Uranus is also in the 7th house, but not in the same sign as the descendant. However, it is conjunct the North Node and makes wonderful trines with Mars (her ascendant ruler), an essentially dignified Venus in Libra and Jupiter (a natural benefic, although by far inferior to Frawley's exceptional Jupiter). She also has a close Moon-Uranus opposition while her Sun is applying to form a T-square with Moon and Uranus. I thinks this makes her more Uranian than Frawley, combined with the fact that her Saturn is in a dreadful state (cadent and in detriment), while Frawley is deeply involved with Saturn (his ascendant ruler, conjunct the MC, opposing his Sun). No wonder Greene's book on Uranus is perhaps her best yet. This is also an indication that Greene wanted to "revolutionize" astrology, for better or for worse, whereas Frawley stayed close to tradition.
They also have a strong Mercury, both of them. Frawley has a Mercury in Gemini and Greene a Mercury in Virgo. Again, Greene's Mercury seems to fare a little better than Frawley's. It is in Virgo, the sign of both its rulership and exaltation and in the same sign as the MC. Frawley's Mercury is in a succedent house and in the sixth house from the Ascendant. However, Greene's Mercury is under the Sun beams and moving towards combustion, while Frawley's Mercury is at a safe distance from the Sun.
Besides the Uranus-Saturn element that separates them there are some other very interesting differences. Frawley's 9th house (higher mind) ruler is in the 3rd, while Greene's 3rd house (lower mind) ruler is in the 9th. Which naturally means that they are in the signs of their detriment. On the face of it, this is not a good thing. We don't want a house ruler being in the opposite house it rules, because this may be an indication of distorted judgement. How can we interpret it in this case? We could say that Greene wants to take the lower mind to a higher level, but this is a problem because she regards astrology a lower mind issue that needs to be cleared of its "impurities", namely tradition. She has stated in interviews that she hated being considered a sort of "lunatic" because of her involvement with astrology and wanted to prove to the world that astrology is a serious matter. This could be a problem, because she may have tried to shape astrology into something that would be more easily acceptable by the current zeitgeist, for which fate is anathema. Or we could say that she allows the lower mind (the current zeitgeist or a scientific world-view) "pollute" her astrology. No more talk about good and evil in the traditional sense, just psychological states. On the plus side, she can easily make a profession out of astrology (9th house ruler conjunct the MC) and Saturn, even though in the sign of its detriment, it is in its own terms and face. Not the best Saturn, but the best place for a Saturn in Leo to be.
For Frawley, it is exactly the opposite scenario. He wants to take the higher mind to a lower state. This could be interpreted as aiming to make astrology accessible to the masses. Indeed, he has done a wonderful job at it. His books are probably the most coherent, clear, precise and easily understandable astrology books on the market. However, one could argue that he downgrades the spiritual side of astrology, despite the fact that God gets frequently mentioned in his books, by heavily focusing on prediction and shying away from deep character analysis. Perhaps his eagerly anticipated book on natal astrology will change all that. What seems to be in his favour is that his 3rd and 9th house rulers are in a sextile relationship with each other, whereas Greene's are inconjunct.
Another major difference between the two charts is that Greene's nativity is strongly diurnal, while Frawley's strongly nocturnal. Greene's Sun is at the height of its power, on the MC, but Frawley's Sun is at the lowest part of the heavens. Which means that Greene has a solar personality, more interested in the spiritual side of life (not in the metaphysical sense), while Frawley has a lunar personality, more interested in everyday existence. Another indication that Greene's astrology leans more towards the theoretical, while Frawley's leans more towards the practical. What's more, Frawley's Moon is in a very good condition. Although waning, it is a cold and wet planet in a cold and wet sign and in a wonderful mutual reception with an angular Jupiter. If you use the whole sign house system, it is also in the 3rd house, the house of its joy. Another point in Frawley's favour is that there is a mixed mutual reception between his angular Sun and Venus (his 9th house ruler), so his Venus finds her way to the IC, one of the angles. And of course, how could he avoid traditional astrology with the Sun in Taurus, a conservative sign, opposing Saturn in Scorpio? This is a common aspect among traditional astrologers.
I can't help wondering what kind of book they would have written together, both analyzing the same charts from their own perspective. When hell freezes over, they will both probably answer.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Whitney Houston

What a disastrous comeback. The album was not particularly successful. The appearance on Oprah and the subsequent concert in Central Park hinted at serious vocal problems. And then came the concerts in Australia and the verdict is final. THE VOICE is gone.

But what a voice that was. She was often accused of having an emotionless voice, quite rightly I think. But the tremendous POWER of her voice more than made up for the lack of emotional depth. Whitney was a show-off. When she sang live, she wanted to impress people with her vocal power. "I'm the greatest singer in the world and I'm going to prove it", that's what she was really saying. Her Sun in Leo trine Jupiter could not possibly have let her settle for less.
This Jupiter is her Ascendant ruler and along with the Moon, they are her most personal planets. They are both in Aries in the 2nd house, the house of voice. I know that technically and using the Placidus house system, these are 1st house planets, but there is no doubt in my mind that they must be considered 2nd house planets. Not only are they a long way from the Ascendant, they are also in a different sign and conjunct the 2nd house cusp. So, she identifies (Ascendant ruler) with her voice. Jupiter is also ruler of the MC (profession), which means she can make a living and earn money out of her voice. Is this Jupiter dignified? Yes, it is. It's not the best possible Jupiter (not in the sign of its rulership or exaltation, not angular and also retrograde) but still quite good. First of all, when Jupiter trines the Sun, it is usually retrograde and we should not make such a fuss about it. Jupiter is in its own triplicity, since this is a night chart. It is trine the Sun and in a mixed mutual reception with it (Jupiter in the exaltation of the Sun, Sun in the triplicity of Jupiter), so the Sun is able to lend a helping hand to Jupiter and vice versa. It becomes even more important considering that Jupiter is the Moon's first aspect after birth. What kind of voice would Whitney have? An Aries-like kind of voice. Potent, powerful.
But there is a problem. And the problem is that Mars, the ruler of the second house, is in Libra, the sign of its detriment and possibly the worst sign for Mars. In astrology, there is a long-standing argument over which planet is more important, the one occupying the house or the ruler of the house. It doesn't matter in this case, because it has become evident that both have played an important role in this chart. Yes, the voice is powerful, she can become a singer and be successful, she can earn lots of money but all that stand in great danger and extreme caution should be advised, because of this Mars. Saturn has been transiting this Mars in the last few months and the voice problems have become evident, especially during the concerts in Australia. How sad...
I've read she supposedly said something like: "If God wants me to be ridiculed or scoffed at, so be it". How Sun/Neptune is that?

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Mundane astrology - Case study: Greece

Most mundane astrologers use the country chart to make predictions. But what is true in many cases, it is also true for Greece. We can't be 100% sure which is the right chart, even though most Greek astrologers prefer one particular chart. To avoid this issue, let's use a traditional technique, that of the Aries ingress chart. It is said that only if there are fixed signs on the angles, can this chart be valid for the whole year. It doesn't matter. Can we draw some conclusions, even if for a three-month period?

Of course, we must keep in mind that Bulgaria, for example, has the same ingress chart with only a very slight degree change, so this is a chart that doesn't only concern Greece. Perhaps, all the countries with more or less the same chart should focus on the areas they are most concerned about or this chart should be used in tandem with the national chart.
So, what do we have here? First of all, an angular Saturn, from the 12th house side, but it is conjunct the Ascendant. The fact that it is from the 12th house side, I think this weakens Saturn. Saturn may rejoice in the 12th house, but it is a diurnal planet and here it finds itself in a nocturnal chart, on the nocturnal side of the chart. Saturn is involved in a very difficult T-square with the Sun and Pluto. It is in Libra, however, but retrograde. So, countries with this T-square on the angles (Italy, for example) or countries which have Leo or Capricorn and Aquarius on the Ascendant can expect an eventful spring, if the national charts concur.
Greece has a Libra Ascendant in this ingress chart, which means that the 1st house ruler (the people) is Venus, which is in detriment in Aries. Not a good sign at all. The same detrimented Venus is the ruler of the 8th house as well (national debt). This describes the current situation in Greece perfectly. The Greek government is trying desperately to cut the huge budget deficit and has taken some severe measures, which were not well received by the people. The fact that Venus is in the 7th house shows that both the Greek people and the national debt are at the mercy of other countries, the other European Union members. The government is the 10th house (Cancer) and the Moon is in Taurus, in the sign of its exaltation. Not bad, but it stands in very great danger by being in the 8th house and conjunct Algol, not to mention the South Node on the MC. It is indeed strong in the sense that there is no actual opposition from the majority of the other parliamentary parties, but the measures are extreme and members of the same party have voiced their concern. Pluto in the 4th house indicates that land problems may arise. Loss of property, perhaps, or an increase in vandalism, burglaries etc.
The good news is that there is a great mutual reception between the Sun and Mars, ruling the 7th and the 11th houses, so it is highly likely that Greece is going to get the help it seeks from other countries. Mars is also the ruler of the 2nd house, so, again, money from friends is indicated. What seems to be bad news for the government is the fact that the 6th house (workers, employees) seems to be particularly strong with Jupiter in rulership right on the cusp. The fact that Uranus is also there about to form yet another opposition with Saturn shows that there is going to be a possible uproar. This has not proven to be the case so far, but, on the other hand, the measures have not been implemented yet. We will have to wait and see.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Andrew Koenig dies

Andrew Koenig, the "Growing Pains" star and son of Walter Koenig of Star Trek fame, died after - according to his father - having committed suicide, following severe depression. We do not have a birth time, so I'm going to focus on specific parts of his chart, mainly the Sun/Neptune tight square and all those Virgo planets. This is going to be a more general analysis, not only because we don't have an accurate birth time, but also because a natal chart is only a natal chart, no matter how important. What we are today is a result of all the connections our natal chart has made with the other natal charts over the years. It is still impossible to know the whole truth about a person.
I've always associated the sign of Virgo with depression, much more so than other signs. Virgo is not a fire sign, which means that it doesn't find life exciting. It's not a water sign, so it doesn't seek solace in emotional connections with other people and it's not an air sign, ready and eager to worship at the altar of knowledge. It is an earth sign, but unlike Taurus, it doesn't find meaning in bodily senses and unlike Capricorn, it doesn't aim at conquering the body and its weaknesses.
It's the sign opposite Pisces, which means that it's the sign as far away from God as possible. Virgos are not here to realize how we are all interconnected, but how different we are from each other. And they do exactly that. They tend to be critical and find fault with everything. But when you find fault with everything, you end up being alone. You are not likely to be appreciated, which can be pretty depressing.
So, what a Virgo needs is stamina and endurance and they need to learn how to handle separateness and make something useful out of it. In short, they need a healthy Saturn. Koenig has a very bad Saturn, in Aries and retrograde. Not much help, there. To top it all, Koenig has a very tight Sun/Neptune square, which contradicts the Virgo energy. Here is a man or a part of him, that hates separateness. This aspect can be equally depressing, because it can't survive without some sort of God. Only the belief that there is a God, who moves in mysterious ways, can make life bearable, because otherwise life is a disaster, a huge cosmic joke. But how can Koenig find a God with all that Virgo energy?
At the moment of his death, he was going through some very difficult outer planet transits. The Uranus opposition, which signals the middle-life crisis and the very difficult Neptune transit, forming a T-square with his natal Sun/Neptune. So, not only was he saying goodbye to his youth, but his natural tendency to view life on the earthly plane as utterly meaningless was exacerbated. Of course, this doesn't mean that suicide was his only option, a lot of people are going through similar transits with no such dramatic consequences, but, still, this is not the happiest of times.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Oscar 2010 - Jeff Bridges

This is Jeff Bridges' chart from Astrodata Bank at the website. Jeff Bridges is this year's favourite for the Best Actor in a Leading role Academy Award. It is a very interesting chart, because he has a lot of angular planets, which means planets that are able to act, and express themselves strongly. He has the Sun in Sagittarius and his chart ruler, Mercury, also in Sagittarius, conjunct the I.C. Mercury is also the ruler of his Mid-heaven. What can we make of this Mercury placement, obviously his most important planet?
Mercury is situated at the bottom of the chart, in the 4th house of family and tradition. Since Mercury also rules his M.C., he has to find a profession that will, in some manner or form, follow in the footsteps of his parents, particularly those of his father (4th house). He did exactly that, as he comes from a family of actors. What's more, he made a success of it. He was born on a Full Moon at night, which makes the Moon the light in sect and incredibly strong, since it is at the height of its power. The Moon also trines Jupiter and Neptune, quite fortunate aspects. His success is largely due to this Moon, which is conjunct the MC.
However, Mercury is in detriment and along with the Sun and the Moon, they are all square Saturn, very strong on the Ascendant. Which leads us to believe that something is not quite as it's supposed to be.
Mercury in detriment indicates, as Bernadette Brady puts it, that he may follow the family tradition, but in a somewhat alternative way. The strong Saturn aspects promise duration, but at the same time show some hesitation in accepting his life path. This was indeed the case. He is blessed with good looks, considerable acting skills and actor parents. What would be more natural than becoming an actor himself without giving it a second thought? However, based on his biography, it took him a long time to decide whether he wanted to pursue an acting career or not, but once he did, longevity was guaranteed. He is being considered for the Academy Award, almost forty years after his first nomination for the Last Picture Show. That is a considerable achievement. However, he has never won so far, even though he is well respected and admired by his peers. He did not become a star, possibly out of choice, although he had everything going for him. He is not what you would call a bankable actor. He has made a few well received films, but the majority of the films he starred in were unsuccessful, either financially or artistically. He doesn't like the limelight and prefers to spend his time, when not working, with his family at his ranch. Saturn on the Ascendant wouldn't have it otherwise.
What is impressive in his progressed chart is that he has recently had his progressed Full Moon, an important phase in the life of an individual, a time for reaping rewards for your efforts. We should keep in mind that he was born under a Full Moon, so this phase suits him the most. Moreover, this progressed Full Moon was exactly conjunct progressed Jupiter, ruler of his Sun and Mercury, his chart and MC ruler. An interesting time indeed.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Oscar 2010 and Pluto in Capricorn

What I have noticed in the last couple of years regarding the film industry is that a new film genre is gaining popularity, at least in award ceremonies, if not in ticket sales. That of the film/documentary feature. While this kind of film cannot be called a documentary, it is still quite a long way from the type of film we are used to. The emphasis is on real-life events or events that resemble real-life as much as possible, which means that there is a trend in Hollywood to de-glamourize story-telling and present the story in a more factual sort of way. Last year, we had Frost/Nixon and Milk, two films nominated for the Academy Award, and this year we have The Hurt Locker, District 9 (partly) or even Precious, whose overly dramatic story is presented in a more matter-of-fact way, in an effort to shy away from intense melodrama. Is there an astrological explanation for this?
I believe Pluto in Capricorn has a lot to do with this. All the above films are trying to show the dark side of society and what life is really like if you strip away the melodrama and the happy endings. Even Precious doesn't really have a happy ending, but instead the girl has simply succeeded in coming to terms with her dark reality and moving on. All these films are trying to do is show how sick society really is and what it does to the people who live in it. In Frost/Nixon we witnessed the dark side of politics, in Milk and in District 9 we saw how minorities are treated, in The Hurt Locker we saw what war is like on an everyday basis and in Precious we saw how cruel and abusive families can be.
All this is very well, but I fear that this is not a direction the film industry should go to. What most of these films lack (with the exception of Precious), is a plot, a story with characters that could get you emotionally involved in what you are watching, because films and documentaries are two completely different genres and it is very difficult to blend them successfully. The fact that Saturn is strong in Libra and Neptune is still in Aquarius, another Saturn-ruled sign, doesn't help much either. There's too much Saturn in the heavens. I believe that things will gradually begin to change when Neptune moves into Pisces. At least, I hope so.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Solar arc directions and midpoints

It seems impossible to use all predictive methods while reading a chart, even all the widely used ones. At some point, you have to make a choice. It's not an easy one, because every astrologer swears by the method they use and treats it like gospel. At the same time, however, the most common advice they usually give in their books is "use the one that works for you". The same as house systems. I've never heard more useless advice. All this says is that we haven't tested anything, so we cling to our methods and try to find something in the chart, no matter how trivial, to explain every event in the life of a client.
I'm not placing any blame on other astrologers, since I, too, haven't done any extensive research and I know how boring research can be. Consequently, I've based my choice on whether or not I like the concept behind each method. For this reason alone (which means I can be completely wrong), I've more or less excluded solar arcs and midpoints from my readings.
I don't like solar arcs, because, unlike secondary progressions, they are not "real" charts. They do not exist in the heavens. A secondary progressed chart for your 20th year, for example, is the natal chart of a person born 20 days later. It is real, it is based on the actual movement of all planets at their own particular pace. Which means, that the aspects you have in the natal chart can change in the progressed one, which, in my opinion gives it more subtlety. A square can become a trine or vice versa. Not so in solar arcs, because all planets are moved at the same pace, that of the Sun, so the aspects remain the same. You will never have a progressed New Moon or Full Moon in the solar arc chart, quite important moments in your life, because the distance between the Sun and the Moon always remains the same. I have a look at the solar arc chart, only to check if a progressed planet has reached a natal angle. Nothing more. Of course, one can argue that the solar arc progressed planets form aspects to the natal ones and these may be important. Again, not real ones. It is for the same reason that from the traditional predictive methods, I prefer primary directions to profections or firdaria.
What I find extremely funny about midpoints is that it is a method used by modern astrologers, who hate traditional astrology, even though the concept of midpoints is entirely traditional in its origin. The logic behind it is more or less the same as that of Arabic Parts. You take two planets that, when combined, produce a specific result. What I also find interesting is that the Mars/Saturn midpoint very often equals death. Why so? Haven't we cleared the name of these two planets? Aren't they considered "good" nowadays? So, it seems that the ancients were right after all in calling them "malefics". What is also very funny is that modern astrologers hate to mention death or illness when it comes to the 8th and 6th houses and they use words like transformation and service. But when it comes to midpoints, they have no problem whatsoever in pronouncing death.
What I personally don't like about Arabic Parts and midpoints is that we use the same two planets in every chart and say that they indicate the same thing. Yes, all planets have some natural rulerships (again very traditional in concept), but I don't feel comfortable with that and I prefer to also check the houses they rule. What if Mars is the ruler of my Ascendant and Saturn the ruler of my Midheaven? Why would the midpoint of these two planets in my case indicate death? Furthermore, shouldn't we evaluate the two planets? Is it the same when Mars is in Aries or when it is in Cancer? In Arabic Parts at least, we usually check the condition of the ruler of the Arabic Part, but not so in midpoints.
I must stress again that these are my personal views, which may change in the future. Learning astrology is a lifelong process and we've witnessed many top astrologers take a radical turn in their beliefs. Moreover, since I'm not a specialist in either of the two methods, feel free to comment on what I have written and who knows, I may have a change of heart. I have done so in the past, more than once. I strongly believe that in astrology we must never speak ex cathedra, like the Pope, but instead always keep saying: "I can be wrong".

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The importance of the natal chart

Imagine being a Leo with a Sagittarius ascendant and Jupiter also in Leo. Let's say you are interested in astrology and at the end of 2006 you decide to read various predictions about the following year. You will read the predictions for your sun sign which, naturally, will be great, as Jupiter, the great benefic, will trine your Sun. Suppose you have some basic knowledge of astrology and know that you have to read the prediction for your ascendant sign as well, to get a more accurate picture of the year ahead. Things are even better there. Jupiter will enter Sagittarius, the sign it rules, your ascendant sign, and all in all a great year is promised with lots of opportunities for expansion, happiness etc. However, it turns out that this is the year you are going to die.
I'm not trying to launch an attack on sun sign predictions. A lot of astrologers are doing a wonderful job at it, with predictions that go beyond generalities like "this is a good time for love" or "beware of accidents". However, they should also stress that if you want to get a more or less reliable prediction, you must ask for a natal chart reading and share personal information with the astrologer.
This is the chart I'm talking about. It's the chart of James Alenson who got stabbed at school when he was 15 years old.

Jupiter in this chart is the chart ruler of course, which makes it perhaps the most important planet and it is located in the 8th house. You can make an argument that this is a 9th house Jupiter, because not only does it trine the ascendant, but it's 5 degrees away from the 9th house cusp, so it becomes much less dangerous. It doesn't really matter. You also notice that James has an 8th house Sun, so his mission in life is an 8th house matter. Again, nothing to worry extremely about, as lots of people share this placement and the Sun is strong by sign. You also notice however, that the Moon's last aspect, and still in orb, was an opposition to Jupiter, the Moon being the 8th house ruler and in the 3rd house, the house of school.
James Alenson was killed on the 19th of January, 2007. At the time, his progressed Sun was exactly conjunct his natal Jupiter (himself) and transiting Jupiter in Sagittarius was exactly on his Ascendant. The Saturn/Neptune opposition was also transiting natal Jupiter. This is too much Jupiter and even more so, considering we are talking about the chart ruler. His solar return chart for that year had a Leo ascendant, loosely conjunct natal Jupiter, with the Sun in the 12th house conjunct Saturn and square Jupiter, the SR 8th house ruler. His lunar return for the month of his death had a Cancer ascendant with the Moon in the 8th house, opposite Saturn, the Moon being the natal 8th house ruler and Saturn the LR 8th house ruler. Not a very good month and not a very good year, which of course we wouldn't have known had we relied exclusively on transits.
It's easy to be wise in retrospect, which means that it's very difficult to make an accurate prediction even when you have all the information at your disposal. So, whenever you come across sun sign predictions (mine included), you must keep in mind that they are only basic guidelines which can go horribly wrong, if your natal chart says otherwise.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Jupiter in Pisces - sign predictions

Jupiter is the Great Benefic and all of us are looking forward to its transits and progressions. Naturally Jupiter, like every other planet can behave well, very well or badly even. Its favourite signs are Sagittarius, Pisces and Cancer and the signs in which he feels terribly uncomfortable, are Gemini, Virgo and Capricorn.
Which tells us, first of all, that the jupiterian principle is antithetical to the mercurial one. Mercury represents empirical knowledge, the knowledge that can be tested and is formed through trial and error. Jupiter, on the other hand, represents intuitive knowledge that comes from within. It's the kind of knowledge, for example, like when you read a book and even though it's just a theory of a certain author, suddenly you feel it, you know it's true, you don't care if it's proven or not. Which means that Gemini and Virgo have a problem with that and this may be a bizarre transit for you, regardless of what you might read in predictions elsewhere. Depending on which natal house is affected, you may, for example, fall in love with a person that you would normally find unsuitable or find a job that satisfies you but doesn't offer any assurance or stability. This may be a time for expansion of consciousness, but this expansion in your case is going to come from a source that you are not used to. It can be quite beneficial in the long run, but only if you can succumb, albeit temporarily, to Jupiter's charms.
Leo, Aquarius, Aries and Libra are signs that are inconjunct to Pisces, so your Sun at least, is not affected by this transit. You should check your natal chart and find which planets will be form strong aspects with this Jupiter and which house Jupiter will be transiting this year.
Pisces is by far the sign that will benefit the most from this transit. Jupiter is their ruler and now it's coming home. If your Sun is angular, you also have natal Jupiter in Pisces and you are born around 28/02, then this could be a year to remember in the area(s) affected. The third decanate of Pisces, especially those born on the last days of the sign, will receive three Jupiter transits, but the downside is that you still have Uranus there and Saturn is going to return for a brief amount of time to Virgo, around the same time as your first Jupiter transit. First of all, this means that Jupiter will intensify Uranus and Uranus is not a planet that can easily be discarded. At the time of the Jupiter/Saturn opposition, try to keep your head on your shoulders and don't surrender completely to Jupiter.
What Jupiter usually brings about is hunger. Suddenly, you want to do stuff. Things that were on your mind but you thought you could never accomplish or you simply didn't feel that it was the right time, you can now develop the necessary optimism and courage. All of a sudden, you want more, what you already have is not enough. That's why Jupiter suits the water signs, because they are eternally hungry, literally and metaphorically. Cancer, therefore, is a sign that absolutely loves Jupiter. This is a very good transit for them, especially for the third decanate. The second decanate will have a Saturn transit from the autumn onwards, so keep in mind that your luck may run out at the end of the year, if you are not careful. The first decanate is already going through the Saturn/Pluto square and they would have preferred to have this wonderful Jupiter transit at another time. However, this transit can give them hope that whatever difficulties you are experiencing at the moment will go away eventually.
Scorpio may be a water sign. but find it difficult to open up, as it doesn't trust people that much. Which means that Jupiter will have a lot of work to do in order to make them relax. Should it succeed, this can be a very fruitful year for Scorpios and Scorpio Ascendants.
Sagittarius is a sign ruled by Jupiter, so they always follow the jupiterian principle, no matter what kind of aspect it forms with their Sun, so this transit is not going to be a problem for them. Again, the third decanate needs to be extra careful with the Saturn and Uranus transits. Taurus and Capricorn are going to receive a sextile from Jupiter, which is fine. Taurus, being a Venus-ruled sign is very much motivated by pleasure and Jupiter doesn't have a problem with that. For Capricorns, this could be an even better Jupiter transit than in 2008, when Jupiter was transiting their sign, because Jupiter suffocates in Capricorn and cannot show its true face.

Friday, 8 January 2010

The Sun/Pluto aspect - James Cameron case study

Now that Avatar is breaking all box office records around the world, let's have a look at James Cameron's chart. We don't have a birth time, so I'm not going to do a detailed analysis, but I'll focus on the very tight Sun/Pluto conjunction in Leo instead. I've said a few things about this aspect and Pluto in general in older posts, so let's see if it applies to James Cameron as well.
Some key words for Pluto: Fear of extinction, psychological transformation, survival skills, emotional intensity, death, life's cruelty and loss of innocence, the law of natural selection, paranoia. All these themes are present in Cameron's work. In the two Terminators we had Judgement Day of course and the end of the world unless we do something about it. We witnessed the complete transformation of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) from the sweet, innocent girl of the first film to the female warrior of the second film. She had to develop survival skills due to the cruelty of her life's circumstances. In The Abyss (his best film to date, IMO) we have a benign alien species living at the bottom of the ocean threatening us however with extinction, because of our lack of respect for nature. The Titanic was of course about death, about how arrogance kills and an intense love affair. In the Avatar, his weakest film unfortunately, many of the above themes return. Respect for nature, extinction and we also have death and rebirth from one species to another.
He also seems to be very difficult to work with. Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (The Abyss) vowed never to work with him again and Kate Winslet (Titanic) said more or less the same thing. When you live in fear that everything can be lost at any moment, you can never relax and people around you can't handle your seemingly paranoid behaviour. They just can't keep up with the constant intensity and how Pluto seems to make a life or death situation out of every little problem.