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.


  1. In terms of the actual practise of astrology, delineation-wise, Frawley demonstrates a deft grasp of craft, whereas Greene's efforts always left me questioning her technique and sensing her need to cherry pick and move towards tendentious conclusions. As to their approaches and theoretical positions, well it's a matter of choosing your poison... I applaud your fair-mindedness and even-handedness, but I can't share your capacity for stomaching both simultaneously. Thanks for a thought-provoking piece.

  2. They do seem incompatible, don't they? And indeed they are if you view them both as astrologers. But, I think, Liz Greene is primarily a psychologist and not an astrologer. She simply uses astrological symbols to help her psychology. As a result, she is not interested in astrological technique, not that much anyway. From the John Frawley viewpoint, this makes her chart readings unreliable and perhaps he is right, but when it comes to delineating planetary energies and not natal charts, I'd much rather read a Liz Greene book than a traditional one, which, frankly, I find pretty boring.
    The occasional "sterility" of traditional astrological language is most evident in the delineation of fixed stars. So, what did John Frawley decide to do? He used MYTH to explain their energies, much like Liz Greene and other modern astrologers, whose work is extensively based on myth. So there is some common ground, if you wish to look for it.
    The sad thing is that natal astrology is very difficult and complex and no matter which approach you favour, you are bound to come across charts where these approaches do not provide you with the desired outcome. Bearing that in mind, it doesn't seem wise to throw away a different approach than ours. Beggars can't be choosers.
    Thank you very much for your comment!

  3. Personally I prefer Greene. I am an atheist and a Libertarian, and find many modern astrologers to be forcing their religious and leftist views into their astrological analysis, all while pretending they are "channeling" the TRUTH of the cosmos, rather than simply thier selves.

    I am not interested in pretending to believe in "fate", "destiny", or other forms of shirking personal responsibility (like "past life lessons"). I don't care much at all for "magical thinking" either, which frequently comes with sugar coated astrological analysis. In fact, I didn't care at all for astrology until I read serious texts (such as Greene's) and realized astrology is a language--a form of description--rather than a silly parlor trick of prediction and "fate".

    If Greene seems like a psychologist rather than an astrologer, simply "using" astrology to push her psychology views, perhaps it may be worth reviewing your own saturn placement.

    My own approach to years of astological study has been that of self awareness through objective inventory for the purpose of development of weaker areas, rather than to find excuses for myself or others. Happily I have also learned a great deal about tolerance and understanding of others--something earned and not easily natural for sun, moon, mercury, and venus in Aries (6th house, though...).

    An objective (rather than preening or self flaggelating) look at oneself is a must for character development. Greene, in my opinion, makes astrology a useful tool for development rather than an excuse for refusing to grow up.

  4. So, anonymous, you say you've cultivated tolerance but you don't seem to show any tolerance towards those who "refuse to grow up" and believe in stupid things like religion and fate, is that it? Interesting...

    You seem to be doing exactly what you accuse other astrologers of doing. You've found an astrology that mirrors your belief that there is no fate. Or at least that's your interpretation of Greene's work, because I don't think Greene is so dead against prediction and fate as you seem to be.

    Astrology is beyond Greene and it's beyond Frawley or anyone else for that matter. To my mind, if we need to develop a broader view of the cosmos, it is imperative that we do not impose our personal views on astrology as you seem to do.

  5. Petros, 'Anonymou's point was clear enough: a deep look at character is inevitable in astrology. More, his genuinity is also clear in his double-standard as both an 'atheist' BUT also averse to anything from the 'left' - he has not accused more than those 'channelers' of truth we all love to hate - and they are hateable, although 'reformable', nothing stays the same.... his views were 'personal', sincere and yes, an Aries myself I can understand why he has not reply your harsh, unmerited comment....why are you so angry..your comments on Greene's and Frawley's charts were pity you cannot see the forest from the trees...with Uranus in Aries - pardon my Aries-driven 'personality-cult' !(sic)- the more non-egotistically 'individual' and 'personal' we become, the better....paradoxically, we will learn now that this and this only can get us past the 'orwellian' near-future that the wrong 'globalization' has in store for us....ah, and English is my second-language, so sorry for any 'fight or flight' confusion here....Cheers

  6. Greene's stance is Astrologers, in the main, talk about people so they need to study them first. Common sense really.
    To involve oneself in Astrology in 2012 without having a good grasp of Psychological realities seems a bit like playing a game of football without knowing the rules.
    It's possible that Frawley has spent considerable time with the Psychological Literature. However I do not get this impression from his books.
    Even if his grasp of 'Horoscopy' is more sophisticated what use is this without sufficient knowledge of the matter in hand, namely the human being?