Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day himself and I married in 2004, back in the UK. The civil ceremony was held in an office at the Town Hall of the coastal town where I then lived, and was streamed over the internet. My husband's family members, in the USA, were able to watch the proceedings over breakfast at 8am, in the UK it was 2pm.

I chose and booked a wedding date, but later discovered it was the date of an eclipse! My choices were limited by the need to get my US visa application underway as quickly as possible. I quickly arranged an amended date, bringing the wedding forward to 30 April, which narrowly missed the eclipse. There was no dangerous void of course Moon nor retrograde Mercury, so it was the best I could manage in the circumstances. My clumsy astro-fix seems to have worked - all is well on the western front!

I found this among our archives. A silly, silent and rather blurry video clip we made after the wedding, displaying for posterity the marriage certificate which made us legal.

From Wikipedia's list of events for 30 April in history, I found a few quirky double acts to go with our own:

1483 - Orbital calculations suggest that on this day Pluto moved inside Neptune's orbit until July 23, 1503.

1803 - Louisiana Purchase: The United States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling – overnight – the size of the young nation.

1927 - Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford become the first celebrities to leave their footprints in concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

1945 - Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide after being married for one day.

We'll be hitting the road later this morning, wandering eastward for a brief trip to mark the wedding anniversary. Maybe we'll get as far as Hot Springs, Arkansas, and on around the Ozarks.

Astrology blogging will probably resume at the weekend or early next week, but in the meantime I might scribble a few lines about our travels in a newly constructed blog cobbled together for non-astro thoughts : "THE REST OF IT". Much depends on whether we find motels with internet connection.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rough on Huffington

On Friday evening we watched the season finale of Bill Maher's TV show, "Real Time". At this time of year, waving 'bye 'bye to Bill until summer's end has usually been a cause for regret. This year it's more a cause for relief. Bill, along with most of his carefully selected guests, climbed gleefully onto the Obama bandwagon some time back, jeering at Hillary Clinton and her supporters as it trundles past. One wheel is looking decidedly wobbly these days.

For this season's finale the panel consisted of comedian Garry Shandling (suffering from a damaged knee, pilled-up and waffling); Phil Donahue, a talk show host from years past, the sensible panel member who hardly got a word in edgewise; and lastly but loudly, Arianna Huffington.

I used to be a regular visitor to Arianna's Huffington Post website, before Obamamania infected it and gradually took over. Vitriolic Obama fanatics, writers and commenters, drove more level-headed regulars like me away. I credit Arianna's obvious antipathy towards Hillary Clinton for allowing the infection to spread. The site has become a rabid fan club rather than the purveyor of news from an independent liberal perspective, which it once was.

On Friday night Arianna didn't try to hide her feelings about Senator Clinton. I sensed though that Bill Maher's attitude towards Clinton had softened somewhat. He probably smells change in the air.

Arianna Huffington was born 15 July 1950 in Athens, Greece. According to Astrotheme time of birth was 3pm. Her dominant zodiac sign is Cancer, dominant planet Pluto, ruler of her Scorpio ascendant.

This lady should display clear Cancer and Scorpio traits. Perhaps the reason she finds Hillary Clinton so unacceptable is that they have some traits in common, maybe they are traits she secretly dislikes in herself. Their ascendants, if birthtimes are accurate, are but 3 Scorpio degrees away from each other.

Even more prominent in Arianna's natal chart is Cancer: Sun, Moon & Mercury all within a span of 5 degrees, with Uranus in that sign too. A whopping dollop of the Crab ! Cancer isn't a favourite sign of mine - it's my own rising sign. I find it annoying. My Aquarius and Aries bits don't get along well with Cancer at all.

In Arianna's case, Scorpio and Pluto mesh easily with her Cancerian side. That's a scarey combination in my book! Water water everywhere - as the saying goes - and not a drop to drink. Much too much of a good thing. Cancer and Scorpio mesh a little too well for comfort. There is potential for bringing forth a venomous, hurtful, emotionally charged hybrid.

It's sites such as Huffington Post (there are several others, just as bad and even worse) which offer a breeding ground for dangerous ideas. I noticed, among comments at the site, threats of riots at the Convention in Denver, should Barack Obama not be the Democratic party's nominee. A few bells may be ringing for those who remember the late 1960s. Let's hope that history does not repeat itself. If it does, a certain type of website will have played no small part.

"You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We'd all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well you know
We'd all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be alright

You say you got a real solution
Well you know
We'd all want to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We're all doing what we can
But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be alright

You say you'll change the constitution
Well you know
We'd all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know know it's gonna be alright"

(written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Taureans

Aquarius and Taurus, Sun-sign-wise are not supposed to get on too well. Both are fixed signs, one Air the other Earth. Both have a decidedly stubborn streak, one attached to the material, the other to ideas. Experience has taught me that this lack of compatibility is a more nebulous proposition than some magazines would have us believe. Digging just beneath the astrological surface reveals much more to be considered.

Two of the closest and dearest relationships of my (Sun Aquarius) life were with Sun Taureans: my maternal grandmother, named May for the month of her birth, and Bill, my late partner of many, many years. One was born 19 May, the other 20th both in the last degrees of Taurus. Taurus wasn't the dominant sign in either case. Both had personal planets in the three signs closest to Taurus. May had a cluster in Cancer (my own rising sign) and a couple in Gemini - very compatible with my Aquarius Sun, as well as her husband's, my grandfather's Gemini Sun.

Grandma seated, mother standing.

My own Aquarius Sun's ruler is in Taurus, which probably reflects a slightly earthy tone to my astro makeup, and has helped account for the closeness I felt to these two. Bill also had two planets in Gemini and one in Aries - right on my Aries Moon! Little wonder we lasted so long! And both May and Bill had a wee dash of Scorpio in their charts, as do I.

I tell these brief details just in case someone who might read this is feeling wary of a relationship frowned upon in Sun sign terms. When I first met Bill, in 1970, he once wrote, in a letter to me: "I know you think we're not compatible because of our birthdays, but please don't send me away - give me a chance, wait and see. And I did. And I'm glad.

Yours truly, tanned to a darker shade of pale, on a plane back from the Canary Islands with Bill, circa 1980

Coincidentally (or not)I have another friend of many years whose birthday is on 19 May. Her father's birthday is on the same date as my own, 27 January, but he's much older.

There's another oddity worth a mention here. In Robert Camp's book "Love Cards" which is based on an ancient system involving the playing card deck, astrology and numerology, May 19 and May 20 are represented by King and Queen of Clubs respectively. 27 January, my birthday is also represented by King of Clubs. I've found the "Love Cards" book to be a reliable guide regarding relationships, but haven't the slightest clue as to how or why, given that neither year of birth, place of birth nor time of birth are factors.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Taurus Dominant

We're moving through the zodiac sign of (tropical) Taurus now. I've followed my habit of recent months and consulted Astrotheme's lists of dominant signs and planets in the natal charts of well-known people, in the hope of identifying a typically Taurean pattern.

My computer is functioning "on a wing and a prayer" these days. A shiny new box awaits unpacking, then there'll be the hassle of transferring my "stuff". So, instead of the risky business of compiling a video of photographs, a hand-picked selection of notable names from the lists will suffice this time around.

First, a few keywords to give an overall flavour of Taurus, second sign of the zodiac, and ruled by Venus: amorous, artistic, gentle, loyal, domestic, proud, quick-tempered, self-indulgent, sensual, patient, persistent, steadfast, conservative, retentive stubborn, materialistic.
The individuals named below aren't just people with Taurus as their "star sign"/ Sun sign. Some were born with Sun in Taurus, others could have Taurus rising or Moon in Taurus, or a cluster of planets in this sign. Some of these people also have Venus as dominant planet in their natal charts - a "V" after their name indicates this.

I think this list provides a better representation of real Taureans than do straightforward Sun sign lists.

Venus, ruler of Taurus is planet of the arts. It was therefore no surprise to see a good number of musicians and singers here. Star of early British rock scene, Eric Burdon (The Animals) is top of my list with 62.37% Taurus, and Venus as dominant planet. Irving Berlin, Glen Campbell, Joe Cocker, Les Paul, Bobby Darin(V), Perry Como, Willie Nelson(V), Janet Jackson, Kelly Clarkson are all high on the list of those with Taurus dominating their natal charts.

Actors include Ann-Margaret at 60.68%, Billy Crystal(V), Nick Nolte (a surprise as he has Aquarius Sun - Taurus 44.67%, Aquarius 20.17%), Ryan O'Neal, Glen Ford, Albert Finney, Gary Cooper(V).

From the world of comedy: Graham Chapman (Monty Python), Stephen Colbert, George Carlin.

From politics(ish) - Kofi Annan (former Secreatry General of UN), Nancy Pelosi, Che Guevara, Louis Farrakhan (in the news right now, for those watching progress of Senator Obama's candidacy for predient of the USA).

has only Maritha Pottenger in the top section of the Taurus lists, but Marjorie Orr , Evangeline Adams and Julia Parker appear in the list of those with Venus dominant.

After scooting through dozens of YouTube presentations featuring musical Taureans, I settled on this double-whammy to represent Taurus: Willie Nelson (Taurus & Venus dominant) sings "Blue Skies" written by Irving Berlin (Taurus dominant) with accompanying film of scenic Nevada - also apt because Taurus is Fixed Earth.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Andrew Lloyd-Webber & American Idol

The Rt. Hon. The Lord Lloyd-Webber (aka Andrew Lloyd-Webber)was special guest and mentor on American Idol this week. It was surprising to me that this brilliant and highly acclaimed composer of musical theatre seems to be very uncomfortable, when before a live audience himself. On Wednesday's results show, when he appeared on stage with Ryan Seacrest he was visibly nervous and twitchy, I even began to feel uncomfortable on his behalf!

I was surprised to see that Lord Lloyd-Webber was born on the same day (not year) as my husband. Even their natal Moons, ascendants, Mercury and Venus are in the same signs.

"What went wrong, sweetie? Why aren't you a musical genius and billionaire?"


"Never mind."

Music has always been my husbands first love (not counting me). That's the link.

This discomfort when in the spotlight - where is it to be found in Lord Lloyd-Webber's chart? Born 22 March 1948 in London, UK. According to Astrotheme he was born at 4pm.

Leo is the rising sign. Leo is supposed to love the spotlight. Perhaps the cluster of planets in 12th house is to blame - planetary emphasis on a house thought of as a hidden and secret place, "the backroom".

Natal Sun (self) is in 8th house. So is my own natal Sun, and I don't like the spotlight - not that I've ever been in it! I do dislike the feeling of a group of people looking at me though, but I'm usually able to hide that feeling. The 8th house is related to Pluto and Scorpio. Both have links to secrets, darkness and the occult, so disliking the intense glare of spotlight may somehow be linked to this.

The three 12th house planets, Mars/Saturn/Pluto are all considered to be hard taskmasters, and known as 'malefics' in traditional astrology. These three nasties are square (challenging) to Venus. Venus though is strong, at home in Taurus and conjunct North Node right at midheaven. Midheaven represents the public stage, Venus conjunct North Node almost certainly represents Lloyd-Webber's music (Venus is planet of the arts). The three nasties challenging Venus haven't impeded musical genius, but they might well be helping to cast a shadow on this person's ability to shine on stage, in person. His true genius is wrought behind the scenes.

Anyway, Lord Lloyd-Webber was kindly and helpful to the six remaining contestants, and gracious about their talent. If he winced at what they did to his music he didn't show it - or did he? Perhaps I mis-interpreted the reason for his apparent discomfort!(wink)

Here's David Cook's rendition, on Tuesday's show, of "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera. (More about David HERE). He seems to be leading the Idol pack at the moment. There's a glimpse of Lord Andrew in the video too, but in more composed mode, because he wasn't in front of a large audience at the time.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Politics For The Rest Of Us

Why is it that Barack Obama has the ability to inspire the adulation of around half of all Democrats in the USA, while meeting a virtual brick wall when attempting to appeal to the other half - even with media firmly on his side, and his campaign spending vast amounts of money? This week's primary contest in Pennsylvania provided a good example of this phenomenon playing out.

It could equally be asked, of course, "Why can't Hillary Clinton appeal to a larger proportion of the Obama base?" Both candidates' supporters tend to come from specific groups who appear to be very determined about exactly who, and what, they want.

Barack Obama has wide appeal for some of the youngest voters, many of whom are college students. His base also includes a group described as "the highly educated" -those with college degrees of one sort or another. Not unexpectedly a large proportion of the African American population support Obama, they may or may not slot into the previously mentioned categories. There's another, smaller group I notice among Obama supporters, the wanna-be radicals who seem to have been over-impressed by stories of events in 1968.

Unsurprisingly Hillary Clinton appeals to women, especially older women. Also among her faithful are Hispanics, and that group called "blue collar workers" - which covers a lot of ground and includes many of both sexes who have never worn a blue collar in their lives, most are intelligent, hard-working, skilled and experienced - in a nutshell: "the rest of us".

Obama doesn't appear to have a clue how to appeal to "the rest of us". I didn't grow up in the USA, nor spend my working life here, but I can and do relate to this group. Is there a clue in his natal chart to account for this anomaly, this gap in his appeal ?

If there is an answer to be found in astrology, I need to look mainly at Mercury & Gemini (communication), the Moon (the public), and Aquarius - which relates to humanity in general and humane issues. Although Moon represents "the public" as a body, I think of Aquarius as the sign specifically resonating with ordinary, everyday people, "the rest of us". I could be wrong - but that is my own perception. Aquarius's ruler, Uranus, can indicate rebels and eccentrics, but the sign of Aquarius has connection with all of humanity and humane endeavours.

In Obama's chart Mercury in Leo is in harmonious aspect(sextile) to the Moon reflecting his ability to reach out to the public, but Mercury in Leo is also in opposition to Jupiter in Aquarius, as well as Saturn in late Capricorn. The opposition isn't an easy aspect, it can be balanced with care, but it's certainly not indicative of a natural affinity - it's the opposite in fact. Obama's natal Gemini Moon is in harmonious trine with Jupiter in Aquarius, which could have completed an ideal picture, were it not for that pesky opposition of Mercury. Somehow there's a partial disconnect.

Aquarius lies on the cusp of Obama's third house - the house of communication, a good place for Aquarius to be in a politician's chart. Uranus, ruler of Aquarius, is in Leo, quincunx to Saturn in Capricorn, both at 25 degrees. The quincunx is another scratchy aspect between two signs which don't understand each other well, they have nothing in common - in this case Leo, the kingly one and Aquarius the sign of the ordinary people. The two planets involved here also represent opposites, Uranus and Saturn - new and old, status quo and avant garde.

So Obama's chart blends some harmonious communication aspects with a couple of very scratchy ones which seem to stand in the way of what might otherwise be near to perfection, communication-wise. It's significant (to me) that the two scratchy aspects involve Aquarius and its ruler Uranus. There's an uncomfortable lack of empathy for "the rest of us" here, I feel.

Obama's Mercury was also the subject of an earlier blog - that planet seemingly has a lot to answer for!

The other side of the coin is Hillary Clinton's inability to appeal to that part of the electorate for whom Obama can do no wrong.

Clinton's Mercury in Scorpio trines her Moon in Pisces, like Obama her Moon and Mercury are in harmony, but in Water signs as against Fire and Air in his case. This is a softer, more emotional harmony with a feminine feel to it. But Scorpio Mercury squares Saturn in Leo, and more widely Pluto and Mars. Mercury also lies quincunx Uranus in Gemini. Here's the scratchiness in Hillary Clinton's communication aspects, not quite the same as Obama's, but comparable. A Scorpio/Gemini quincunx - passionate focused determination versus a more easy-going, mentally-driven theoretical approach.

I'm not clear exactly where Hillary's strong appeal to "the rest of us" comes from in her natal chart. Aquarius isn't highlighted by a planet or angle, but if 8.02 am is her correct birth time, Aquarius lies in third house of communication (same as Obama's chart). In Hillary's case, using Placidus houses, Aquarius is intercepted. (Intercepted = a whole sign trapped between two other signs within a single house, two different signs on the house cusps). In Hillary's case Aquarius is trapped between Pisces on one cusp and Capricorn on the other. That interception could be said to symbolically represent the limitations of her appeal - a kind of coralling of the Aquarian facets of her personality, allowing easy access and understanding to women (Pisces), and to the older, more traditional, working class Democrats(Saturn), but bringing a feel of blockage to others.

Whatever method one uses to try to explain these splits in appeal and loyalties, they are almost certain to continue. Attempts by the rival campaigns to effect large-scale cross-overs would probably be doomed to failure.

Conclusion: the outcome remains foggy....for "the rest of us", and for all of us.

(Small illustration at top borrowed from a CD cover of an International Tribute to the BeeGees "Ordinary People Living Ordinary Lives.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Purging my Favourites File, I came upon astrologer Jayj Jacobs' Codswallop Detector. This dates from ten years ago, but remains very apt.

There's plenty of codswallop being written and spoken on the political front here in the USA, and some of the categories below, as well as being relevant to astrology, could equally be applied to the political scene - under an umbrella term - "spin".

After Hillary Clinton's win in PA last night the Obamamedia is busy spinning it down to an irrelevancy, the Clinton camp is overjoyed and confident. I think reality lies somewhere in between, but I can't help feeling buoyed up today!

Anyway, back to the subject in hand - the word codswallop itself may be more obscure in the USA than in Britain. The commonly used American term meaning much the same thing is "bullshit", although I always think codswallop is a little more benign. There's a proper definition and origin of the word codswallop here.

These are my favourites from Jayj's indicators of codswallop which can be found not only in astrology but elsewhere. The author forms "an objective assessment of faults, logical mistakes and spurious reasoning most apparent and seemingly inherent in astrology and astro-logic. By no means are these mental preconceptions limited to astrology or metaphysics; they are pandemic in western culture."

Authoritism: The dual beliefs that if it's in print it is true & that famous people are always right ('authors' are de facto 'famous'). The more famouser the more righter. "If I haven't already read, or heard of them, they are nobody, and know nothing."

Contraryism: The belief that only the generally unaccepted is worthy. Different and antithetical is better. The faith that conventional wisdom, and common sense, are always wrong.

Conspiritorialism: The conviction that the truth is being deliberately withheld from 'us' by 'them'. The fewer people that know it, or believe it, the truer it is. Denial is always evidence for, rather than against. [see related topic: Contraryism]

Nominalnomy: The belief that the name determines the meaning. It's based on the faith that astronomers, (etc.), have a god/goddess/force given infallible ability to name (celestial) objects with appellations appropriate to their mystical/metaphysical significance.

Hypotheosis: The belief that assumptions -- especially a priori ones -- are infallible. If you have even a shred of evidence, you have incontrovertible proof. This is an extreme example of 'Jacobs' Law of Increasing Certainty': "The thrust of every Hypothesis is towards an Absolute."

Venereism: The belief that nice is holy (and the truth is pretty). Therefore 'thou shalt not critique or criticize another' -- especially an astrologer. Manners matter more than meaning, and properly polite is superior to perceptively precise. AKA Venerean Disease.

Lalalalogy: The belief that more lyrical sounding something is, the truer it is. The prettier the poem, the truer the message. It is assuming that the pleasant prevails, and that "The truth rhymes."

Cosmenology: The belief that whatever makes the universe seem pretty, kind, caring, etc., is correct. "Beauty is Truth." [reference Robert Pante, "If you look good, and dress well, you don't need to have a purpose in life."]
Audiblation: The assumption that volume makes right. The louder (and meaner) you say it, the truer it is. Capitalization Convinces.

Spuriousism: The assumption that if you can make it seem to work for you once, it does indeed work -- and must be used by everyone.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Our Planet Home

April 22 each year marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

The chart below is calculated for 12 noon today, Earth Day 2008, in Wichita, Kansas (a city located near the centre of the USA). Planetary positions will be the same anywhere in the world, but angles, house positions/clock times will differ.

There are two Grand Trines in the chart, one in Earth signs and one in Water signs. That seems very appropriate for Earth Day - harmonious blends of earth and water. These are harmonious configurations which seem to be saying that, just for a little while today, Earth Day, "the Universe is unfolding as it should" -words borrowed from "Desiderata". It's a day when groups of people around the globe celebrate and appreciate our beautiful planet.
The Grand Trines are formed by: Sun at 2 Taurus/Saturn at 1 Virgo/Pluto at 1 Capricorn - the Earth GT. Uranus at 21 Pisces/Mars at 21 Cancer and Moon at 28 Scorpio - the Water GT.

Since 1970 not enough has been done to protect this precious planet home of ours. In the past couple of years Al Gore has helped raise awareness of the serious problems which might face Earth's population in years to come due to climate change. Still, governments drag their feet or propose solutions which seem far too timid for the scale of potential problems.

Pluto hasn't yet fully established its Earthy Capricorn transit, but after the retrograde period, this planet of transformation will come firmly into its Earthiness. Whether this might indicate changes and transformations made voluntarily by the people and their governments, or changes forced upon us by events, remains to be seen.

"As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog across the poisoned waters of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say about us: "With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas," or, "They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them." ~U Thant, 3rd Secretary General of the United Nations, in a speech, 1970

This is my own Earth Flag, it flies today and every day.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Much has been written about the year 2012, when the Mayan calendar ends. From what I've read recently, the year 2010 ought to be more of a cause for concern than 2012.

I'm not doom-mongering today, but underlining for myself, and any passing readers, the weightiness of choices made in upcoming elections in the USA. Elections are always important, but this year's could prove to be outstandingly significant, in view of what might occur in the first years of the new presidency. Let's hope passionately that someone of the right calibre is elected!

Astrologer Philip Brown wrote about 2010 in August 2006: "Astrology of the Middle East."
He linked there to the article which had started me thinking about this: a piece by Bill Street, from 2004 "The Astrology of 2010. Personal and Generational Implications".

Mr. Street offered a graphic image of the times in question:

".....occurring in 2010 is a T-Square alignment involving Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto—a rare alignment and a profound symbol connoting societal and socio-economic transformation.
Although the full explication of this alignment has been addressed in the previous two essays, I will borrow an iconographic image from popular culture to help to better understand the meaning behind the planetary symbolism. One of the most popular scenes in the original Star Wars involves the rebel forces caught within a trash compactor. Trying to elude oncoming storm troopers, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and other members of the rebel alliance find themselves trapped within a garbage processing machine. With the walls of the trash compactor closing in on the heroes swiftly, time is of the essence and a creative solution is absolutely imperative. This famous scene captures so many of the potentials and meanings of the 2010 alignment involving Saturn, Pluto, and Uranus: constrictive forces creating crisis; garbage, waste, and unprocessed filth; rebels and revolutionaries; rebirth from the darkness into a new case scenario; and elemental intensity that demands awareness and creative solutions. "

Here's a representation of that T-square on a chart for Washington DC at 12 noon on 2nd August 2010. I've marked the T-square, which falls in three cardinal signs, Aries, Libra and Capricorn, making the configuration potentially stronger. It's made up of an opposition (180*) and two squares (90*). (Click to enlarge)

E. Alan Meece's views on 2010 can be found in his book "Astrology for the New Millennium", published 1996.

"Dodging an Apocalypse: A Titanic T-Square
2010 looks like a year of sudden, cataclysmic changes and drastic forced new beginnings..........This titanic, historic T-square involves the same four planets as the T-square which coincided with the Great Depression. The solar eclipse in July could trigger a major world-wide financial collapse. Pluto in Capricorn suggests not only that many corporations will go bankrupt, but that economic troubles will bring down many governments with dizzying speed as revolutions sweep the globe. But as we mentioned in Chapter 13, in 2010 the lunar cycles in the Progressed Horoscope of Modern Humanity indicate that the common people may be in retreat. This could mean people will be easy prey to xenophobia and fear of "radicals" as in the 1920s, '50s, and '80s. This was just how Hitler eventually rose to power during the previous Great Depression, On the other hand, altruistic compassion will still permeate the period as Neptune in Aquarius helps moderate the fears among the people, and may indicate that "enlightened" authorities will make constructive, revolutionary changes on behalf of the people and the planet.

The crisis of 2010 will result from the various religious conflicts around the world, magnified by serious shortages and famines; and above all, I believe, by ecological disasters................A major war may break out in August 2010. If this happens refugee problems will be even worse. Central Asia is the most likely battle scene, but America's involvement there would be only economic. The worst war clouds will pass as the T-square dissolves...........

There is no doubt in my mind that the years 2010 and 2011 will be the most difficult of any we face in the next half-century. If we survive them in reasonably good shape we will have dodged the worst bullet in our future."

There may well be predictions similar to these by other astrologers. The planetary configuration described doesn't bring forth visions of hearts and flowers. Events could, of course, turn out to be a fairly muted version of the troubles predicted, rather than a full-on wham-bammer. I've noticed something about predicitons, over the years: although the overall flavour might be correct, the scale or perspective often proves to be well-skewed. I'm not faulting astrologers, psychics or seers,they are very brave to hazard any kind of prediction at all. Even identifying the flavour speaks volumes to me. Bearing in mind the potential though, it becomes very clear that the next president of the USA will have plenty to face, even after he/she has dealt with some of the garbage left over from the previous administration. That's something voters would be wise to bear in mind.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Soothing

The video below offers a calming influence to soothe the current Jupiter/Mars opposition and the scratchy atmosphere it brings with it. The atmosphere, Chez Twilight, just got a lot scratchier too. Transiting Jupiter is currently sitting on my natal Mercury so I guess it's not surprising the Mars opposition is taking its toll on my blood pressure! As I was preparing this blog a letter arrived from USCIS with a new interview appointment - 19 June @ 5.30pm, this date is 10 weeks from the original appointment, 11 April, when I attended and was sent away because of staff absences. They appear to have ignored my polite letter sent last Monday. Of course, I'm just a number to them, not a flesh and blood person. Those illegal aliens know a thing or two - when you try to do things correctly this is what you get! I'm trying to remain reasonably aloof from it all, but the real fireworks will begin if this unreasonable delay causes me to miss an opportunity to vote in November. I will NOT let that pass.

Maybe this will help soothe my savage breast. It's little piece of history, dating back to 1993 and the inauguration ceremony of President Bill Clinton. Maya Angelou reads her poem "The Pulse of Morning". Whatever a reader's politics might be, the poem offers wisdom and beautiful thoughts. Glimpses of familiar faces, then younger and brighter, reminds us that time is passing rapidly.

Thanks to TaylorMarsh.com (19 April) for a pointer towards the video.

For those who prefer to read poetry, the full text of the poem is HERE
A tiny sample:

"Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage,
Need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts."

(Small image at top:"Poetry" by Alphonse Mucha - from a set of 4 (Music, Dance, Poetry & Art)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Primary Follies

I check Current Astro Weather about as often as I check our local weathermaps and forecasts in tornado season. It's a useful website. As well as a chart showing the current day's transits there's a rundown on interesting prevailing aspects.

Yesterday I looked at the day's chart and noticed a Grand Trine in Earth between Mercury at 1 Taurus, Saturn at 1 Virgo and Pluto at 1 Capricorn (90 degrees between each). The atmosphere ought to have been full of common sense practicality. That wasn't the case - at least from my perspective in front of a computer monitor. A matter mentioned in the list of aspects accompanying yesterday's chart seemed much more appropriate to the day's goings-on:

"Uranus void in Pisces
Actions are unconventional, radical, or surprising. Not everyone agrees on how things should go, therefore there is discord within groups. Others, who have a specific agenda, persevere to make their point despite fierce opposition. Social conditions are volatile now. The bottom could fall out. It’s a time for experimentation and deviant behaviors. Sudden, unusual, and disruptive conditions occur now that reveal deep inequalities in society and culture."

Not a bad summary of the scene across political blogland and media. There was constant wrangling about how sticky was the undeniable dust thrown up after Tuesday's Democratic TV debate. There were also some videos of Senator Obama at a subsequent rally. He was shown allegedly "giving the finger" to his Democratic rival, Senator Clinton, and flicking lint off his shoulder in the style of rappers (about which I am totally clueless). Were these actions involuntary, subliminal, dog-whistle type messages to the in-crowd, or non-existent idiocies? Nobody but Senator Obama will ever know for sure.

Is it my imagination or is this primary season morphing into "The Schoolyard Follies"?

Try as I might, I cannot imagine a British election season developing in this way. Maybe Brits are just too strait-laced and stiff-upper-lipped for such nonsense. Their politicians do have their moments. George Galloway has been known to land a low blow or two, Winston Churchill often used a snarky turn of phrase, Neil Kinnock, the best Prime Minister Britain never had, could rouse the rabble with a great speech before Obama had even dreamed about doing so. But putting themselves in a position where allegations of crude gestures towards a opponent could be made? I doubt it. British politicians aren't all that's wonderful, but they do exhibit, (most of the time) a well-honed shrewdness, which limits opportunities for blood-thirsty reporters to gather tasty tid-bits and place them before an equally blood-thirsty public. (I did say "most of the time!")

Let's hope for better aspects soon, before The Follies turn into pure farce, or worse, a very dangerous spectacle. What started as fresh and hopeful, a clarion call for change from all sides is turning sour. I keep sensing a sinister undercurrent, which I find disquieting. Maybe it's because I don't fully understand the American political scene yet. I hope that's the reason.

Friday, April 18, 2008

April's Dark Days

There's something about this time of year that feels a little unsettling. I don't know what astrological factor , if any, might be involved because no two years have the same celestial configurations, other than Sun in the last degrees of Aries and first degrees of Taurus.

On 21 April 1996 I and my late partner lost everything we owned, except the few clothes we were wearing, my purse and our car, in a fire which consumed the apartment in which we'd lived for 24 years. On 23rd April 1992 my father died. Less personal tragedies occurred on 19 April 1995, the Oklahoma City bombing when 168 people, including children, died at the hands of home-grown terrorists, then the shootings at Columbine High School, Colorado on 20 April 1999, and just last year April 16 2007 was the date of the Virginia Tech. massacre when 32 people were killed by a gunman, fellow student of those he murdered.

I'm always glad to get over these few cuspy days, and a little deeper into the zodiac sign of Taurus which holds a much happier anniversary for me and himself - we married on 30 April 2004.

And another cheerful note - the humming birds are back! It's always good to welcome them to the feeder again after the winter. (Photos by the husband).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

David Cook - 2008's American Idol ?

American Idol has whittled down its contestants to the last 6 now. My own favourite, Michael John was very unexpectedly voted off last week. We watched the results show from our hotel in Oklahoma City, the evening before my supposed interview at USCIS. I commented, as the audience expressed their shock and disapproval of Michael's elimination, that I hoped this wasn't a bad omen for my interview. As it turned out it was! My interview was postponed.

It seems now that David Cook is quite likely to be the annointed one. The judges favour him consistently, and sure enough, he's good.

Singer song-writer David was born in Houston, Texas on 20 December 1982. Here's a 12noon chart for his birth date. Without an accurate time we can't be sure of the Moon's position or know which sign was rising.

David has a tightly bundled chart, with all planets sitting within less than half the chart's 360* span. This type of configuration is often found in the charts of successful people. I think the reason may be that these folk have more ability to focus directly on a particular aim and ambition than people with more scattered planetary placements, who may be more versatile, but less driven.

David's natal Sun in a late degree of Sagittarius is conjunct Neptune - a very good combination for creativity. I've noticed lots of artists, in all spheres, with Sun conjunct Neptune. Venus and Mercury in Capricorn indicate a down to earth side of his personality, with some business acumen, qualities which would be invaluable if he is to be thrust into the spotlight in the wild world of popular music.

Sun and Jupiter at 28* of neighbouring signs, Sagittarius and Scorpio, are in semi-sextile which is thought to be a mildly helpful aspect, Jupiter is David's Sagittarius Sun's ruler, too, so a tinge of Scorpio depth and passion is added to his happy-go-lucky Sagittarian side.

The Moon's position is in doubt. If David were born before 8pm it would have been in Aquarius, a later birthtime would take natal Moon into Pisces. I can't hazard a guess which is more likely. Mars is in Aquarius too, though, so there's going to be a little of the rebel in his makeup anyway, as well as an inbuilt need to be original, right up to date, and even well ahead of the crowd in his style.

Here he is on the show a couple of weeks ago, singing "Billie Jean"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Throwing Light on the Moon

Grant Lewi, in his book "Astrology for the Millions" gives a very helpful description of how the Moon's position is reflected in the personality. I've always found it difficult to disentangle this from the Sun's reflection, and the ascendant sign. I usually think of these three as a kind of cocktail, stirred, not shaken, with Mercury and Venus as a cherry and an olive on the side. Just as you can't possibly extricate one ingredient from another in a cocktail, nor can I quite differentiate my own ingredients, because to me, they are just.....me! Grant Lewi helps me to peer through the swirling stirred cocktail then sip it and identify a particular ingredient.

Grant Lewi's astrological writing has been described as "the most brilliant ever published". He was one of the USA's leading and most popular astrologers in the mid-20th century. These are his words about the Moon, then, from "Astrology for the Millions" :

(Page 132, para.1)

"While the Sun's position by sign determines what motivates and urges dominate your life as it meets the naked eye, the sign position of the Moon tells the desire of your heart which may or may not be expressed or realized in your life. When you "know what you mean but you can't say it", it is your Moon that knows it, and your Sun that can't say it. "Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears" are the thoughts of your Moon's nature. The wordless ecstasy, the mute sorrw, the secret dream, the esoteric picture of yourself that you can't get across to the world, or which the world doesn't comprehend or value - these are the product of the Moon in your Vitasphere (natal chart). When you are misunderstood, it is your Moon nature expressed imperfectly, through the Sun sign, that you feel is betrayed. When you know what to do, but can't find the right way to do it, it is your Moon that knows and your Sun that refuses to act in harmony. Also, when you "don't know why I said that", it was your Moon expressing despite your Sun..........Things you know without thought - intuitions, hunches, instincts are products of the Moon. Modes of expression that you feel are truly your deepest self belong to the Moon: art, letters, creative work of any kind; sometimes love; sometimes business."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The USA's Charts & Chasms

I'm not a fan of the theory that countries, governments or other inanimate entities can have a birth chart attributed to them. It doesn't fit in with my own ideas of how astrology (or parts of it) might "work". But that aside, the exact moment of the birth of a nation, the United States of America, for example is far more nebulous than the exact birth time of a human being. Even human birth time causes arguments among experts - is it time of first breath, time of emergence of the child's head, or time of conception, even?

In the case of a nation, especially the USA, there are so many points in its very early history which might be used to represent its actual birth, and a potential astrological "imprint" upon the character of the nation as a whole - as if it were a living breathing entity. Could a nation carry the qualities of the exact time of its birth within it, for all time?.......... I don't know.

Noticing ever-sharpening dichotomies within the USA as regards its politics has set me thinking along these lines. I guess similar divisions exist in most democratic countries, but it seems to me that the splits are sharper, more clearly defined and energetically retained here in the US. Even the two sides of the main political division manage to separate themselves by a secondary chasm, rather in the way an amoeba divides, then divides again. The Democrats, one side of the main division, are appearing sharply divided now within themselves, along elitist versus blue-collar lines (shorthand descriptions for ease). The Republicans are split between what is called the neo-con faction and those who follow a rather more liberal brand of conservatism. It seems to me that a particularly strong polarising effect is somehow inbuilt into the nation's character.

I decided that if any of the several natal charts suggested to represent the USA is going to be in any way valid, it must show a sharp opposition somewhere - to represent an inclination to polarise, then polarise again.

At Astrodatabank there's an excellent page HERE showing several different US charts and an explanation of each. There are five (with different rising signs) for the date of Declaration of Independence from Great Britain - 4 July 1776, and one for 2 July 1776, the date when Congress adopted the resolution to declare independence. There's one for the date on which the Constitution, supreme law of the land, was signed (17 December 1787). There's a chart for the date when war was declared on Great Britain, the catalyst for future independence (6 July 1775), and others relating to dates when Articles of Federation were ratified.

The chart which resonates with my own view is known as the Armistead chart, drawn up for 2 July 1776 at 12.04 PM, Philadelphia PA.

Extract from the Astrodatabank link (above)
"Source Notes: Julian Armistead quotes Allan Nevins and Henry Steel Commager, "A Pocket History of the United States." It reads, "Richard Henry Lee moved a resolution of independence ... which Congress adopted on July 2nd and proclaimed on July 4, 1776." .......................(John)Adams wrote that on 7/02/1776, Congress convened its final discussion and reading of the Declaration. At about 11:00 AM the debate closed and a vote was taken. Twelve colonies voted affirmative, while John Dickinson of New York was absent. Congress ordered the document authenticated and printed but it was another month before it was actually signed by the delegates. On August 2, the actual signing took place by some of the delegates. The last delegate, Thomas McKean of Delaware, did not sign until January 1777."

So... the decision on independence was actually made and carried on 2 July 1776, and a chart for that date shows a clear opposition between Moon/Pluto at 25/27 Capricorn and Mercury at 25 Cancer. The Moon represents the public in charts such as this, and I suppose that Mercury must represent thought processes, and communicated ideas. Pluto could be seen to be a dispruptive influence in an opposition which otherwise might find easier balance most of the time. Perhaps here is shown an innate propensity, within the USA's national character, for producing dichotomies.

I don't think the 2 July 1776 chart is the one most commonly used by astrologers. Although I haven't completely convinced myself about the underlying principle, it's an interesting study and something upon which I'm going to keep an eye, to note whether past and future events in any way tie in with planetary placements on the 2 July 1776.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Obama's Mercury

Something which appears to have eluded most supporters of Barack Obama worries me more and more.

That he suffers from an unfortunate recurring syndrome of "foot-in-mouth" is fairly obvious and has not eluded his critics. Apologists across the internet, TV and newspaper articles must continually translate "what Obama really meant", also known to some political bloggers as WORM.

There was the remark about his grandmother in his speech after the Rev. Wright debacle. There was the "typical white person" remark soon after, and in the last few days the syndrome recurred. Obama's description of the good folk of Pennsylvania, given to a group of millionaires in California, whose financial backing he sought, has offended the said good folk of PA - and rightly so in my opinion.

What I believe has eluded most onlookers is the possibility that, should the USA find itself with "President" Obama in January 2009, and if at sometime during his first term he should become involved in public discussions which arise from an international crisis, the recurring "foot-in-mouth" syndrome could represent a real danger. Its recurrence could mean a lot more than causing offense to some of his countrymen. It could be the cause of an international incident of huge proportions. There would be no chance to do a WORM in those circumstances(explain "what Obama really meant".)

What in Obama's natal chart might indicate this unfortunate syndrome in a person highly educated and with occasional flashes of oratorial brilliance on occasions when speeches and responses have been well thought out? The natal chart can be seen at 'Astro Future Trends' HERE.

Mercury is the planet most involved in communication of all kinds. In Obama's chart it lies at 1 Leo opposite Jupiter at 0 Aquarius. Jupiter, planet of exaggeration opposing a somewhat kingly and arrogant Leo Mercury, could reflect a tendency to be a blabbermouth when unprepared - say too much. The Moon at 0 Gemini, trine Jupiter sextile Mercury could also be significant. The Moon represents one's deepest emotions, so is he letting very personal feelings seep through his words when they would be more diplomatically saved in a mental file marked "strictly personal?"

I don't know the astrological answer, but I am certain that this is something to be watched carefully. At root the issue is one of experience and judgement. In a position of less importance this might be seen as something to work through and polish "on the job" - not so for the President of the United States. Not possible at all!

In the interests of balance, and before I'm reminded by a passing reader of Hillary Clinton's mis-speaks and alleged economies with the truth, I'd point out that any of these instances, not already proved to be exactly or nearly as she told them, were matters connected with her own past experience and history. They were not not undiplomatic, tactless remarks about other groups, be they groups divided by race, background, education, religion or "class". A different matter entirely from those matters mentioned in previous paragraphs.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bill Maher's Message to Astrologers

Bill Maher had a message for astrologers on Real Time (HBO), in his "New Rules" segment on Friday, 11 April.

The second "Rule" is the one - any takers?

His chart and some comments from 2005/6 can be viewed at Astrodatabank HERE

Some of those comments are hardly obsequious - Bill may never have read them!

I'm pretty sure that a predisposition towards sexism and misogyny will be hiding in his natal chart somewhere, probably involved with that Grand Cross involving Sun, Moon, Uranus and Neptune.

Bill's recent shows have disappointed me a lot, he seems to have joined the rest of mainstream media and is guilty being obsequious himself - in the direction of Barack Obama, whilst never failing to make overtly sexist remarks about Hillary Clinton. You've let yourself down badly, Bill, and I guess you've lost some fans recently - myself included.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bad News # 1 and # 2

#1: I had an unexpected and unpleasant surprise in store yesterday which has left me deflated, fed up and downright angry! I hadn't looked carefully enough at my natal chart and transits for Friday otherwise this might not have come as such a shock.

I had noticed transiting Jupiter would be exactly conjunct natal Mercury at 21 Capricorn and thought, "What can go wrong ? This has to be a good omen for my citizenship interview!" (See previous post). I should have studied the transits further and noticed that transiting Uranus (planet of the unexpected), my Sun's ruler, at 20 Pisces - sextile Mercury and transiting Jupiter, also transiting Mars (the anger planet)sat exactly on my natal (not re-located), ascendant at 15 Cancer, not a very good omen! Transiting Saturn at 2 Virgo may have something to do with this upset as well. It's opposing natal Jupiter (6 Pisces) and quincunx natal Sun at 6.46 Aquarius. Two inharmonious aspects by
Saturn, a restrictive planet associated with law and government.

I'm not sure how all that astrology ties in, or if it does, but I strongly suspect that it does. In one way I'm glad I didn't notice those aspects, if I had, I'd have thought something even worse might occur!

This is what happened:

We arrived at the USCIS office in Oklahoma City, all geared up for my important citizenship interview scheduled 1.05pm (see Thursday's post), We waited in a room, where the temperature was fit only for chilling meat, for half an hour before, and half an hour after the scheduled time, only to be told that two interviewing officers, of the three available, had had to go home sick that morning and the remaining officer's list was full, she could take no more interviews.

They had telephoned our home earlier with no response. We'd have left early even had we not decided to stay over the previous night, so a morning call after 9am would have made no difference. The journey is around 80 miles, and the weather had been very iffy for a couple of days with floods, tornado watches and violent storms. We did not want to risk missing this appointment for which I'd been waiting since last July.

We saw another applicant, the only other one present, sent away earlier, and because we were not approached at that time, around ten minutes before my appointment, felt that I must be listed with the remaining interviewing officer. It was not until half an hour after my scheduled time that we were given the bad news - by that time we were chilled to the bone, the air copnditioning was running full tilt, yet outside the temperature was only 61*!

Even more deflated was I as we watched two people who arrived long after we did, accompanied by an attorney, ushered in for their interview. Worse, when I asked the bearer of bad tidings, who was very apologetic, when I could expect re-scheduling he said the rest of April and all of May has been scheduled already it will be June or July for me. I had to bite my tongue - very hard. Arguing with DHS officials gets one nowhere, and might well put a black mark on one's application.

I'd already been put to the inconvenience of a second visit and overnight stay for a re-take of fingerprints - probably due to the operative's incompetence the first time around - then there was the 17 week wait I had to even get a receipt for my $400 cheque and acknowledgement of my application. I applied on 26 July 2007.

I am royally p...ed off!! Yeah, I know, worse things happen at sea, but I'm still p...ed!

Thank you to the kind family and friends who left lovely comments on my previous post - I'm sorry not to have happier news to relate.

Material from my blog is being ripped off in more than one place. I haven't worked out what is going on yet, but as well as the wholesale lifting of posts by one blog, without proper linkage back to mine, there are at least three other blogs carrying part of my posts, under fictitious authors' names, but which do actually link back to my blog when one clicks on the fictitious name. Peculiar! There's no indication on any of these rip-off blogs who they belong to, but they are all Wordpress blogs. All but the first mentioned carry Google Ads or some other adverts, so they are collecting money by using the work of other bloggers but not using the bloggers proper identities and using and no work of their own at all. I'm not the only blogger being ripped off.

Clicking on the Technorati logo at the foot of this page then on the "Authority" link on my Technorati rating, will bring up a list of places my material has been used. If anyone else involved knows the best way to tackle this I'd be glad to hear from them.

I'm not sure yet what to do about either Bad News #1 or #2 - but I'm working on it - and fuming!

After doing some research I have reported two of the sites to Google Adsense for violation. This seems the best way to tackle the problem. Will do more in due course if things don't improve.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Tomorrow I'm to be interviewed and tested by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), hoping to emerge eligible for US citizenship. I notice that transiting Jupiter, planet of luck, will be exactly conjunct my natal Mercury (mental abilities & communication) in my re-located 11th house of hopes and wishes - a nice omen. My own careful input will be needed before luck can materialise though - so there'll be no counting of chickens!

If I pass muster at the interview, answer at least 6 of their 10 civics and history questions correctly, prove that I can read and write English (ahem!) and have kept my nose clean whilst living in the United States, I'll be shunted forward in a few weeks/months to an Oath Ceremony where, along with other new citizens I shall put my hand on my heart, swear allegiance to the USA, and become a citizen. Citizenship means, among other things, that I'll be eligible to vote (very important), and hold a US passport.

Here's an odd thing: before the recent furore about Senator Obama's pastor, Rev.Jeremiah Wright and his anti-American rantings from the pulpit, I felt somewhat ambivalent about the wording of the Oath of Allegiance, and the tradition of overt patriotism in the USA. Rev. Jeremiah Wright did me a favour. Although I see many flaws in the way the current administration runs the country, and conducts itself overseas, and realise that the country's past history is far from blameless, peddling hatred and sowing its seeds in young minds has to be the wrong way to address problems. Meaningful change can only occur when people work together, in love for each other and for their country.

When the time comes I shall pledge the required Oath with pride, no more qualms. Thanks, Rev. Wright! As the old proverb goes: "it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good"!

Before this can happen I must pass my tests tomorrow. I'm still practicing repeating the names of the 13 original states using my astro-mnemonic (see here). I hope I don't pop in a planet instead of a state...."Maryland, Massachusetts, Venus, Rhode Island, Neptune, North Carolina......Erm.... Sorry, can I try that again?!"

I'll be back on Saturday, all being well. In the meantime -

Paul Simon's "American Tune"
("We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age's most uncertain hours
and sing an American tune")

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Happy Birthday "Morning Joe"!

Today is the birthday of Joe Scarborough, host of the TV show "Morning Joe". In a previous incarnation he served in the US House of Representatives(1995 to 2001). He's a Republican - but hey, I've featured liberal talk show hosts already. They, by the way, are doing my favourite Democratic candidate no good at all just now. Joe has acquired a taste for Senator Clinton's tough approach, he has been giving a much fairer assessment of recent situations than his left-wing counterparts.

Happy Birthday, Joe - and thank you!

Joe Scarborough was born on 9 April 1963, Atlanta, Georgia. I can't find a time of birth so a 12noon chart will have to suffice.

He has a pretty well-balanced chart, with just a slight predominance of the Fire element. I warm to his three Aries placements, Sun, Mercury and Jupiter (probably because I have Moon and Saturn in Aries myself). At 12 noon his natal Moon would have been in Libra, but if born after 8pm his Moon would have moved into Scorpio. I wonder if he was born late in the day, that could be a clue to his apparent empathy with Senator Clinton.

Joe's natal Aries Sun is sextile Saturn in Aquarius. Saturn and Aquarius is a rather peculiar combination - Saturn was traditionally ruler of Aquarius, before the discovery of Uranus. Saturn now seems to stand for everything opposite to Aquarius's stengths - the old (Saturn) versus the new (Aquarius), status quo versus avant garde, maybe even Republican versus Democrat. Joe's Republican loyalties are not in question, but he does remain open-minded enough to see the value and strengths of a particular Democratic candidate. Perhaps Saturn in Uranus harmonious with his natal Sun is a reflection of this.

For those who wonder why some in the USA feel very strongly that Hillary Clinton is being treated unfairly by much of the media, left-wing media in particular, here's a video which might help to explain it, and show that sexism is alive and well in the USA these days. The video was made by two of Hillary Clinton's supporters, and originated at TaylorMarsh.com:.

And here's birthday boy Joe Scarborough in an interview with Senator Clinton yesterday:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Charlton Heston, Lew Wallace & "Ben Hur"

Charlton Heston died at the weekend. He was born 4 October 1923 (some sources say 1924). I'll not guess which is correct. I've recently read a few less than kind comments about this man. In real life he held some opinions which are opposite to my own, but this really is no time to throw stones. His name, back in the news, brought my favourite movie to mind.

"Ben Hur" originated as a novel by Lew Wallace, a military man born 10 April 1827 in Brookville Indiana. The novel has been adapted as a movie on several occasions, best known of these is the award winning 1959 version starring Charlton Heston. It seems appropriate to me that the tale's author was a Sun Aries. The epic movie's story is very Aries in flavour. It chronicles the adventures, trials and tribulations of Judah Ben Hur a prince of Judea at the time of Roman occupation and Jesus Christ's ministry. The movie concentrates more on the adventures of its hero than on the more religious aspects of the book, but it still tells how Ben Hur's life is mystically touched by that of his contemporary, Jesus.

There is Aries courage and resilience in the character of Judah Ben Hur. There's also a great driving hunger to revenge the wrong done to his family - a heaped spoonful of Scorpio! There's a love story too, secondary to all else. Yet though romance is missing in much of the film, the audience is always aware of an underlying longing, and rightly suspects there may be a happy ending. The love theme appealed to me a lot, so much so that when himself and I tied the knot, the Love Theme from Ben Hur was one of the two pieces of music played at our civil ceremony.

Charlton Heston's towering persona dominates the movie. I can think of no other actor who had persona huge enough to take on that character and carry the plot almost single-handed. It wasn't a case of his acting skills, which were not nearly as huge as the image he was able to portray, nor as well-honed as some of the character actors in the cast. We can't be sure of his birth year, so it's not useful to surmise, but I can't help wondering if Jupiter and/or Pluto are somehow prominent in his chart, perhaps near the ascendant, producing a larger than life, very powerful image, not only as Judah Ben Hur, but in starring roles in other epic movies.

RIP Charlton Heston, and thanks for "Ben Hur".

Monday, April 07, 2008

It's Rotten for Aries

Time for another dose (and I use the term advisedly because it's not easy to swallow) of "You Were Born on a Rotten Day" by Jim Critchfield and Jerry Hopkins, bravely published in 1969, surprisingly reprinted in a further four editions. As I remind myself when posting each monthly section, the book was probably one of the first ever attempts to spoof (or ridicule) astrology columns, its novelty may have accounted for its success. A good spoof works on two levels, it's superficially funny for an audience not well versed in the specific genre, and funny on a deeper level for the in-crowd who are able to pick up all the clever, and usually affectionate, references. This book doesn't really work on either level, but it is a little piece of astrological history. So - these are the authors' demented thoughts on Aries.

"If you are an Aries, you are probably lonely - and with your personality it's no surprise. Although the Aries-born do become attached to others, the others never become attached to the Aries-born. So it's best if you take up single games at an early age, like solitaire and mugging.

Aries men and women are adversely affected by the moon, often baying at it and searching for Grunion on the wrong night. And when people of other signs are making love under the harvest moon, some Aries nut will be out in the middle of the freeway trying to shuck wheat.

Aries people are also quick to grasp any opportunity and anything else that's lying around loose. Fortified with a keen memory and a cheap camera, many excel at blackmail. They also possess magnetic personalities which explains why they are often covered with small bits of tin and rusty nails.

These Ram-born people appreciate being looked up to and often saw the legs off other people's chairs. If this sign rules you, your lucky color is not as good as it used to be, your Lucky Day is Doris, your Lucky Star hasn't made a picture since 1917 and famous people born in this sign are not very famous."

"A Typical Miserable Aries Month" yielded up nothing that could bring the most wan of smiles to this disgruntled reader - the sorry spectacle ends with:

30th "If you think last Tuesday was a drag, wait 'til you see what happens tomorrow!"

I take that as a warning that the Taurus section will not improve any!