Saturday, August 30, 2008

Off The Fence

Bloggers, journalists and all media people have had a bonanza week: the Democratic Convention followed by news of Sarah Palin, Alaska's Governor, the Republican VP choice.

Here's a link to some thoughts on Ms Palin, which passing readers might find of interest. These come from astrologer Marjorie Orr. Her interpretations of the good lady's chart and compatibility with Senator McCain can be found in entry dated
29 August, timed 16.37hrs.
McCain VP - Sarah Palin

I'm saying no more on this subject. I've overdosed on politics this week. I have, at last jumped off the fence, though am still not feeling any real confidence in Obama. I took in the view from both sides and remain unable, in all conscience, to support the Republican ticket - even with a female as VP, this particular female is a Republican female, Hillary Clinton she ain't!

The left is in my blood, in my DNA, and probably somewhere in my astrology. In the end that overcomes all uncertainties and distrusts. I'm home!

"BOTH SIDES NOW" -
Vocal: Judy Collins, song written by Joni Mitchell.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Conventionally Climactic

Barack Obama's acceptance speech in Denver's Invesco Stadium, packed with over 80,000 supporters, a backdrop representing the Lincoln Memorial, had me wondering just how people living in poverty, worried, debts mounting, felt about last night's spectacle. As things are in this country it might have been more thoughtful and sensitive to their plight to keep things simple. But I guess this is "the American way". It's certainly Obama's way, kingly Leo sun proudly to the fore.

We all knew exactly was was going to be said, and repeated, and repeated again - at least those of us who've been paying attention did. I had to keep reminding myself....it's not about Obama, repeat: it's not about Obama. Even if HE thinks it is. To his credit he actually said to the crowd, "It's not about me, it's about you".

It isn't about Obama or Clinton or Biden. It's about those living in abject poverty in what is supposed to be the greatest country in the world. It's about providing health care for all, so that citizens don't have to bankrupt themselves to pay for essential operations and treatment. It's about attempting to slow climate change to make the world a safer place for all its inhabitants. It's about everything the Republicans wouldn't do. It's about every member of Congress, every Senate seat, every Representative. It's about getting rid of Senators like James Inhoffe who thinks global warming is a hoax. That's what it's really about.

While I fully understand and empathise with the many Clinton supporters who insist that they will not vote for Obama, saying that it's "principle before party" or "country before party", they seem to be missing the point about their fellow-citizens in distress. Principles will not put food on the table, and putting what they see as "country first" will not help to save the planet for generations to come.
UPDATE: While McCain's decision to choose a woman, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, as his VP is a plus for women in general, the fact remains she's still a Republican, pro-life, lifelong NRA member, and in the event of McCain winning, falling ill or even dying, she'd have to step in. Never mind Obama's experience, what about hers? Governor of a remote state for a couple of years - is it enough?
In her favor (or perhaps not) she has Sun, Moon, Mercury, Saturn and Mars in Aquarius. While I like Aquarian traits, there can be too much of a good thing, and here you have it!


It was good to see and hear Al Gore again last night. He mainly reiterated the well-worn points about an Obama presidency, but managed to include some important remarks about climate change. I wished he'd said a little more on the issue, it hasn't been given the prominence it deserves during the campaign.

I shall learn to ignore the Obama Leo Sun, and that foggy old Neptune of his, concentrating on his Aquarius ascendant will get me all the way to the ballot box in November.

I hope people are keeping in mind that talented as these people are, they are public servants, not pop stars. American citizens are their masters - or should be. That's something oft forgotten in these self-congratulatory bunfights. Let's hope that the coming astrological atmosphere, Saturn in Virgo soon to be joined in an Earth sign by Pluto as it slips slowly into Capricorn, will bring 'em all down to Earth to face sobering truths.

What I'll find easiest and least irritating to recall from this week's events is Dennis Kucinich's speech - it was only 6 minutes long but he says everything I need to know, with his usual passion, courtesy of a powerful cluster of natal Scorpio planets. So... I'll leave with the one who brung me into this political season what seems now like an age ago - my early first choice, who echoes my last thoughts on this Democratic Convention:
"WAKE UP AMERICA!!"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Conventionally Speaking - for a third time.

We were out for most of the day yesterday, returned to find that Barack Obama had actually been nominated. My last frail hope or dream of an upset is gone, but I am clear now as to what I have to do on 4 November. I have no choice, in spite of many doubts.

We tuned in to Convention coverage last night as John Kerry took the stage. Another worthy statesman, but I found him as uninspiring as I'd found Mark Warner on Tuesday evening. He, like Warner, has Sun in Sagittarius, also Sagittarius rising. He has 4 planets in Gemini which ought to boost communication skills. His natal Mercury, instrumental in communication, lies in Capricorn (like my own). I should have connected, I didn't. I'm beginning to realise that it's mainly in politicians with a good dollop of Scorpio that I find inspiration.

Former President Bill Clinton's speech followed later. Enthusiasm erupted, the Convention came alive. Bill has four planets in Leo, including Sun and Mercury, 4 planets in Libra plus the ascendant, and Moon in Taurus. Not a single Scorpio planet here, yet I've always found him inspirational. It could be the stark contrast of show-bizzy Leo and diplomatic Libra allied to a thoroughly down to Earth Taurus Moon that I find fascinating. He speaks without affectation, never tries to talk down, and in addition there's an indefinable something there. I remember after 9/11, I lived in the UK then, watched events with horror via TV. The one thing which afforded any kind of reassurance at all was the sight of Bill Clinton comforting people in New York. I'll never forget that. He's been unwise, he's been unfaithful - that's between him and his wife, none of my or anybody else's business. He inspired again last night. He praised Obama's choice of Vice President, said much of what I had felt myself about this. The audience loved him. I believe he'll enter history books as "one of the greats".

And so to the man who turned my own mind away from voting either third party or (perish the thought) Republican: Joe Biden. Another man who knows exactly how to speak to the public, inform and inspire without ever talking down. Why the heck he didn't do better in the primaries I'll never understand. I have a lingering suspicion that "the fix has been in" for a long, long time. Obama was earmarked, nothing was allowed to stand in his way. I'll try to keep an open mind if he does become president, I'll hope my own assessment of him has been wrong. Anyway, back to Joe. That inspirational Scorpio had me hooked again. Astrologer Marjorie Orr has some interesting observations (dated 23 August at 20.40hrs) concerning potential for conflict in the charts of Biden and Obama. For me that's a plus. If Obama ever needs reining in, Joe's the fellow to do it! He said all the right things last night, it's the start of the honeymoon period, that was to be expected! Joe's nomination as VP will make the future so much more interesting and reassuring for yours truly.

When I assess my own reaction to all this and compare it with the attitudes apparent in what have been my favourite political blogs for several months, I find I'm badly out of step. Most there still seem determined not to vote for Obama in the General Election. In spite of what's been put forward so far at the Convention, there still isn't total unity in the party. I'm out of step, both with them and with avid Obama fans. I'm not unduly worried. Aquarian Suns are more often found out of step than walking lockstep with anyone or any group. It's in our blood.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Conventionally Speaking....Again

Sitting through a second full evening of Convention fare didn't appeal, so it was back to channel-surfing, dipping in and out of the Democrats' carnival. Early on, I was lucky to catch sight of my first favourite presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich, delivering a brief but rabble-rousing speech. He had the crowd on their feet cheering as he stomped around the stage calling "Wake up America!...Wake up America!" His Scorpio passion well to the fore, driven by Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Venus all in that zodiac sign. Sadly, I'm now convinced that America will not wake up in my lifetime sufficiently to vote in this golden, dedicated and inspired politician to high office. I do think America is trying to wake, albeit slowly. The nation is still drowsy, in a half-dream, unwilling to face cold reality.

After listening briefly to other prominent speakers, Mark Warner, Bob Casey and Deval Patrick, I began to think that America would soon be going back into a deep sleep again. These were obviously worthy statesmen, but.....well... boring. Mark Warner, a former Governor of Virginia, was billed as "keynote speaker" for the night. He has Sun and Mercury in Sagittarius, I'm surprised he came across, to me at least, as lacking that certain spark. Natal Moon in Virgo might have something to do with his serious, scholarly style.

The star of the evening was always going to be Hillary Clinton. Her duty, it has been said, was to convince her obstinate supporters to throw their lot in with Senator Obama, in order to ensure a Democratic victory in November. From what I've read in some of her supporters' blogs recently there's little chance of this ! Hillary received a rapturous welcome - it brought a tear to my eye, in fact. I shall always think, "It should have been her!" But we have to deal with things as they are and not how we would like them to be. Like Dennis Kucinich, Hillary has a hefty dollop of Scorpio in her natal chart. Her passion and insight showed through clearly last night. One question she posed to her supporters impressed me greatly. After reciting some real-life stories, tragedies in the lives of ordinary people she'd met, brought about by 8 years of Conservative rule, she asked: "Were you supporting me, or were you supporting these people, people who need us to elect a Democratic government?" I think most would answer "We were supporting YOU - because in our estimation you were the most likely to get things done for those people". The chance has passed, we now have to play with the hand of cards we've been dealt, let's hope fervently that the Joker isn't among those cards !

Really and truly it's up to Barack Obama to bring around disaffected Clinton supporters. If he's the man so many Americans (and Europeans) think he is, he should be able to do it. The jury's out on that score. Me? I'll keep in mind the people on whose behalf we should really be voting in November - the people who need a Democratic government, irrespective of who happens to be the figure-head. I'll hold my nose as I cast that very necessary vote .

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Conventionally Speaking

As this is my first opportunity to watch a political party's Convention in the USA, I dutifully sat in front of the TV for hours last evening taking in the sights and sounds of The Democrats. I tried to avoid the irritating meanderings of MSNBC's and CNN's commentators and watched most of the proceedings on PBS, or as it's known in Oklahoma, KETA. The commentators and presenters there are less excitable, more down to earth.

Astrologically, how to approach this? It's early in the morning, with only a half a cup of coffee downed, but I'll look at the astrology of three speech-makers I remember best from last night: Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, and Michelle Obama, to see how they shaped up against their charts, particularly against natal Mercury, as this Convention is purely an exercise in communication.

Nancy Pelosi spoke first. She was a disappointment, as she has been throughout the past two years in Congress. She has Sun and Jupiter in Aries, Moon in Scorpio, and 4 planeets in Taurus - that's a pretty powerful combination. To be sure, the lady must have "the smarts" and the drive to have become first female Speaker of the House. That didn't come over, to me, last night. Her speech was uninspiring, pedantic and poorly delivered. She has Mercury in Pisces, perhaps not the most dynamic of Mercury placements. That soft-pedalling Mercury might have served her speech-making to the masses better from Aries or Taurus.

Ted Kennedy was impressive. To be able to stand in front of the Convention and millions watching on TV all over the world, deliver an inspiring speech, after what he has been through recently, can only be described as heroic. I agreed with every word he said, but wondered why he hadn't endorsed Hillary Clinton, so keen is he on reforming health care in the USA. Ted Kennedy has Sun in Pisces, Mercury and Mars in Aquarius, Venus and Uranus in Aries, Moon in Virgo, and Capricorn rising with Saturn in Capricorn, first house. His Aquarius came over strongly, via Mercury and Mars, and spoke to me clearly!

Thirdly, the night's "keynote speaker", Barack Obama's wife, Michelle. Sun and Mercury in Capricorn, Moon in either Pisces or Aquarius (I suspect the latter), Mars and Saturn in Aquarius. I didn't expect to be as impressed as I was. My husband wishes me to add that he was greatly impressed by her too. She has had some bad press throughout the primary season. She was on her very best behaviour last night, of course, so I shall not get too excited! Her delivery was the best of the night, I thought, by far. She held my interest, said all the right things, was expressive, very fluent - a better speaker than her husband, all in all. I began to wish it was she who'd be running in the General Election! Probably I was relating to her Aquarian bits, and her Mercury in Capricorn(same as my own). I found it easy to appreciate her style.

The three speakers I featured have winter/spring zodiac signs prominent, interesting but probably inconsequential.

Overall impression: it's fun, razzamatazz, self congratulatory, back slapping stuff, not to be taken too seriously. What they do can be a very different matter from what they say.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Odd Thoughts: Rulerships, Virgo, Mercury

I don't understand why Mercury doesn't rule all the Air signs (Gemini, Aquarius, Libra), as Air is thought to be the most mental of the 4 astrological elements, Earth, Water, Fire and Air.

In an obtuse version of astrological rulerships, Saturn could rule the Earth signs, Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn. Fire signs(Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) would be ruled by Mars. Water signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces) by Venus. But then, what would Jupiter do? Jupiter would have to rule over-all, in true Jupiterian expansionist fashion. I think it would be acceptable for Sun and Moon not to have rulerships, they are different from the planets. The outer planets, Uranus Neptune and Pluto are too far away to rule anything, they simply make themselves felt in transit.

Planet Mercury, ruler of mental processes, really does have influence over everything in human life. It travels so fast, no time to make its individual transits felt, but it very frequently touches everything in the charts of all of us. Mercury's journey around the Sun takes 88 days, whereas Saturn's takes over 29 years.

Everything we humans do is initiated in the brain, even what seem like emotional responses, though colored by Moon and the Watery element, actually do begin in the mental realm. As I see it we ought to pay more attention to Mercury in the natal chart - equally as much as to Sun, Moon and ascendant.

The Sun has now moved into the zodiac sign Virgo, one of the two signs traditionally ruled by Mercury, the other being Gemini. I think Mercury's rulership of Virgo rather strange. To my mind strict, structure-loving Saturn would seem more compatible with perfection-seeking Virgo, but I'm probably missing something at a deeper level.

Mercury's rulership of Gemini seems obvious - the consummate communicator, teacher, the all-round information collector. As ruler of Virgo, Mercury must be reflected as less abstract, more tangible. Virgo seeks and usually achieves near perfection in just about anything undertaken. Gemini roves around in the world of words and ideas, gathering them together, regurgitating them, sometimes in light-weight haphazard fashion, offering them back to an enthusiasic audience. Virgo is quite capable of doing this too, but with a far greater emphasis on accuracy and presentation, and a serious approach.

There's more on the Virgo/Gemini subject from a book by Carl Payne Tobey in my last year's post Mercury's People.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Planet Sleeves

Those of us who remember the days of LPs (long playing records), before the birth of CDs and DVDs, sometimes mourn the loss of the wonderful creativity often to be found in LP covers. The art on the record sleeve, and the occasionally hilarious purple prose on the reverse, reviewing the record's contents and performers, offered additional value and encouragement to buy. Some LP sleeves have become valuable, rare, and sought after by collectors.

Here are some examples of the art from a few of those old LP sleeves, chosen to represent our planets and luminaries. I hope they'll bring back memories for the few who remember, and serve as an introduction for those who don't.

In no particular order:

MARS



Illustration: Wilson McClean (1976)


VENUS



Design: Abie Sussman; Illustration: Larry Kresek. (1975)


MERCURY




Clearlight Symphony. Illustration: Jean Claude Michel (1975)


SATURN



Design: Dieter Fischer; Illustration: Peter Lorenz. (1975)

JUPITER



Quintessence. In Blissful Company.
Design: Barney Bubbles/J. Moonman; Illustration: Gopala. (1969)


URANUS




Design; Hardie/Hipgnosis. (1976)


NEPTUNE



Design: John Pasche, Gull Graphics; Photo: Phil Jude; Re-touching: T.&S. (1975)


PLUTO



Santana - Santana(3 set).
Design: Heavy Water Light Show/Joan Chase & Mary Ann Mayer. (1971)


SUN



Hapshash & The Coloured Coat.
Design: Hapshash & the Coloured Coat; Photo Ekim Adis. (1967)


MOON



Thelonious Monk - Monk's Blues.
Design: John Berg; Illustration: Paul Davis. (1969)


~~~Small pic, top of post = Jefferson Starship - Dragonfly.
Illustration: Peter Lloyd. (1974).
My own favourite.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's Scorpio Joe!

The guessing game is over. Barack Obama has picked Joe Biden to be his running mate.
Biden as VP is the only choice, other than Hillary Clinton, who might entice me to vote for Obama in November.

I wrote about Joe last year - I liked him then. We haven't heard much from him since he dropped out of the primaries, very early on. My tarot cards didn't lie -see here- the person chosen is someone who suffered defeat in the past - in the primaries, and that 5 swords in "past" position could also relate to the loss of his first wife and child in a car crash, long ago.

Today I'll re-post my blog about Joe Biden, from November 2007:

Joe Biden is growing on me! I'll not be disloyal to Dennis Kucinich, he's still top of my heap, but Joe Biden comes a close second in the current line-up of Democratic presidential candidates. He, like Dennis Kucinich, is usually sidelined in televised debates, in favour of "the front-runners", but when he does get an opportunity to speak he makes it count.

When I first saw Senator Biden on TV, he reminded me a lot of Lord Louis Mountbatten. (Folks in the USA may not be familiar with Lord Louis - he was the uncle of Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip. British Admiral, statesman and the last Viceroy of India. He was assassinated, in 1979, by the IRA who planted a bomb in his boat in the Republic of Ireland.)





Until the last two TV debates featuring the Democratic candidates, I hadn't paid much attention to Joe Biden. HeWhoKnows commented that he always liked him, in spite of an unfortunate tendency which, in years gone by, came over as "shooting his mouth off". I saw a remark the other day which supports HWK's impression. Someone wrote that Biden has a shoehorn hanging from his bottom lip, ready for the next time he puts his foot there. Well, so far, so good, I haven't noticed this tendency in him yet, so perhaps he has mellowed with age.

I wonder if there's any significance in the fact that of the 8 Democratic candidates there are three Sun Scorpios, Biden, Clinton and Richardson, and one (Kucinich) with a Scorpio stellium. That's a high proportion of Scorpio influence! A possible answer to my question may appear in tomorrow's blog entry.

Whoever becomes president (and I hope it will be a Democrat) will certainly need a passionate desire to put things right in the USA, a strong constitution (and Constitution), and a thick skin. You know, I'm not too sure about Scorpio's skin, I suspect it's not as thick as they would have us believe. If one of the Scorpio candidates does become president, I'd guess that he or she will have paid dearly, emotionally, by the end of their term of office. Senator Biden's Sagittarius ascendant, whilst probably enabling his bluntness, may also provide a helpful buffer.



Joe Biden's natal chart indicates that he is very Scorpio: passionate, deep and determined. Born 20 November 1942, Scranton PA, his birth time according to Astrotheme was 8.30 am, giving him a Sagittarius ascendant.

In 1972 Senator Biden lost his first wife and a daughter in a car accident. 1972 was the year of his Saturn return, and most certainly a year when his life history turned a page. In an article HERE, by Renee Schoof we are told:

"In 1972, Biden's wife and baby daughter were killed in a car accident. His two young sons were hospitalized with serious injuries. The accident happened a week before Christmas and six weeks after Biden had been elected one of the youngest U.S. senators ever. One of his sons, Beau Biden, now 38, the attorney general of Delaware and the father of two children himself, recalls that his father said at the time: "Delaware can get another senator, but my boys can't get another dad."
"Those weren't just words," he added. "He lived them".......

Biden has never had a home in Washington. He's always made the commute."


During the week before Christmas 1972, the time of the car accident, Saturn would have reached 16 Gemini (retrograde), 7 degrees from Biden's natal Saturn.

Senator Biden re-married in 1977.

"He has taught law on Saturday mornings at Widener University since 1991. His income is his $165,200 Senate salary and $20,500 from teaching. In a 2005 ranking of the 100 senators for wealth, he was 99th. In other words, unlike most other presidential contenders, he isn't a millionaire."



Biden as Prez would give me confidence in the USA, I think, a feeling of security, the kind of security I used to feel back in the UK. I don't feel the same here - so far. Whatever government was in power in Britain, and I experienced many I didn't agree with, I always felt that they'd do the right thing if push came to shove. I don't think the fact that Senator Biden reminds me of Lord Mountbatten has anything to do with the feeling I get. It's down to the way he answers questions, his attitude and bearing, he seems to have substance - in a nutshell, he appears presidential. Or could this be the old Scorpio magnetism at work?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UPDATE
There's an interesting take on Obama's psychological reasons for chosing Joe Biden as VP, at NO QUARTER this morning.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jeff Bridges & "The Contender"

We watched the movie "The Contender" on TV this week - a stroke of genius by someone at HBO to screen this particular movie at this particular time. The plot-line could not have been more appropriate in 2008, though the film was released in 2000.

It's an engaging and thought-provoking story of US politics at the highest level. A Vice President has died and the President is in the process of appointing a replacement. The president himself is nearing the end of his second term and wants to leave on a high note. He would like to appoint a woman as VP. He has opposition from the other side of the aisle, there is much muck-raking, and skulduggery.

A clip from the president's (Jeff Bridges) speech which brings the movie to a close:

"Understand, those of you who worked to bring Laine Hanson down that she asked to have her name withdrawn from consideration not because she isn't great, but because she isn't petty -- because those two conflicting leadership traits could not live as one within her body or her soul.

Greatness: It comes in many forms. Sometimes it comes in the form of sacrifice. That's the loneliest form. Now it turns out that Laine Hanson is a woman, an American of devout principle and she has inspired me to act alike, and I cannot accept Senator Hanson's withdrawal.

And I'm now calling for an immediate voice of confirmation of Laine Hanson. And Mr. Speaker, I would like to make this a live roll call. I want to see the faces of those of you who would eliminate the possibility of greatness in American leadership because of half-truths, lies, and innuendoes.

I will not be deterred by partisanship.

I will not be deterred by misogyny.

I will not be deterred by hate.

You have now come face-to-face with my will. Confirm my nominee, heal this nation, and let the American people explode into this new millennium with the exhilaration of being true to the glory of this democracy.

Thank you."


Remind you of anyone? A dedication at the end of the movie stated simply "For the Daughters". I discovered that Jeff Bridges has three daughters, and wondered whether this was his idea.


Jeff Bridges, someone who never fails to bring his characters to life, plays the president. Joan Allen portrays his fagile-looking yet strong and determined female pick for VP. Several familiar faces, all excellent character actors, are included in the supporting cast: Sam Elliott, Gary Oldman and William Petersen .

Jeff Bridges is one of those actors who commands respect from audience and peers alike, yet he has never become a block-busting big-name star like Harrison Ford, Kevin Costner, Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson - someone whose next movie is eagerly awaited, trumpeted to high heaven. He's as good looking as any of the fore-mentioned guys, he's a better actor than some of them. I wonder what it is that propels some to the starry heights, and others equally deserving, while not exactly ignored, remain at a different level of the public's star consciousness. He hasn't, to my knowledge, ever starred in a real wham-bam action movie in the style of "Lethal Weapon" or "Die Hard" - maybe that's the key? Too laid-back, I guess.

Jeff Bridges was born on 4 December 1949 in Los Angeles, California, Astrotheme gives his time of birth as 11.58 pm.



On-line biographies all describe Jeff Bridges as "laid back", a thoroughly nice guy, versatile, and hugely talented. In addition to acting, he paints, is a keen photographer, musician and song writer, and he is founder of the End Hunger Campaign.

In one interview he mentions that his grandfather was "a Scouser" - which, being translated means that he came from Liverpool, England. Liverpudlians are a pretty laid-back and likeable bunch, it's in his blood then! Is it also in his natal chart?

First thing - it's a strong chart, with planets on three of the four angles. Saturn/Mars on the ascendant, Sun Mercury and Chiron on the nadir (opposite midheaven), with Moon very close to midheaven, top of the chart. It's the chart of a dynamic personality, maybe emphasised further because there's more than a single planet on two of the angles.

Sometimes I find that textbook definitions of an aspect just don't fit what I feel about the person involved. This is such a case. In the chart of an actor, it's understandable. We hardly ever see "the real person" on public display. Here, for instance, we have Sun and Moon in opposition, Sagittarius versus Gemini. Cookbook (textbook) interpretation don't fit descriptions of Jeff Bridges offered by his peers and colleagues, who are in a better position to know the real man. He's described always as an extremely laid-back individual, such folk seldom have to deal with lifelong inner tensions and struggles indicated by a natal Sun/Moon opposition. Could it be, perhaps, that in the case of an actor with this aspect, tensions can be brought to the surface within his acting roles, leaving personal life calm and in laid-back mode?

A second placement and combination which doesn't quite ring true from cookbook interpretation is Saturn conjunct Mars on the Virgo ascendant. The ascendant is said to be the lens through which a person sees the world and the world sees the person. Via Virgo, a streak of perfectionism will appear, Jeff's attention to detail in every part he has played in his long career has resulted in many awards and nominations. The Virgo element fits then. Saturn and Mars conjoined on this Virgo angle are likely to be strongly evident in the personality. On first thought this conjunction would seem like a negative rather than positive pair to find in such a strong position. In some instances, depending on the rest of the chart, the same combination could produce a hardnosed, mean fighter, a strait-laced, aggressive miserable miser, or, as in this case a disciplined hard working character with energy to spare, always eager eager to accept a challenge.

Jeff's Sagittarius Sun and Mercury square (challenge)his Mars/Saturn in Virgo, which could be why the Saturn/Mars combination doesn't get things all its own way. Good natured, jovial expansive Sagittarius planets, also on an angle, also strong, largely overcome any negative energy from Saturn/Mars. Moon in Gemini at the top of the chart underlines Jeff's versatility and ease of communication, and form yet another square the Mars/Saturn conjunction, serving to lighten it even more.

Venus in the last degree of Capricorn and Jupiter in the first degree of Aquarius form a conjunction, this in 5th house of pleasures. Here's his artistic and musical talent (Venus) combined with Jupiter, his Sun's ruler, in socially aware Aquarius - his charity work. This combination also serves to underline his hardworking yet easy-going nature.

This chart is a good example, I think, of how a negative factor in a natal chart should never be taken in isolation. Here, I see good humored Sagittarius shining through, any negative aspects being allowed to play out within the native's (the actor's) career, turning a potential detriment into a boon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Collective Zodiac

Collective nouns can be fun and creative. For a collection of them, see here. From that list I like these deviations from the more common herd, flock, swarm: a congress of baboons, a scold of jays, an exaltation of larks, a nuisance of cats, an ostentation of peacocks, a murder of crows, a murmuration of starlings.

Just for fun, I've invented twelve collective nouns, one for each zodiac sign, for descriptive use in a natal chart where a cluster of planets appear in one zodiac sign, alternatively for those attached to Sun sign astrology, to describe a group of people who share the same Sun sign.

A rush of Aries

An affluence of Taurus

A chatter of Gemini

A nest of Cancer

A parade of Leo

A proficiency of Virgo

An arbitration of Libra

A collusion of Scorpio

A magnification of Sagittarius

An institution of Capricorn

A metamorphosis of Aquarius

A mirage of Pisces


And to pull together the whole caboodle:
A cadence of zodiac signs!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Masterpiece by James Michener

We've started watching again my twenty six and a half hour long VCR set of a 1970s TV series, "Centennial".
In my opinion it's the best TV series ever made, adapted from the book by James Michener, who I see as one of the best and most hard-working writers ever. The amount of research involved in his novels would cause any but the brave to falter!

I wrote about Michener and his natal chart in my early blogging days in late 2006:
"James A. Michener - Aquarian Storyteller".
Michener's style often reminds me of another Aquarian novelist, Charles Dickens (7 February 1812). Others might find this a peculiar thought, but I see the painstaking research and fine characterization, allied to subtle social comment included in their plots, bearing a striking resemblance. Naturally their natal charts contain many differences, but I see Aquarius shining through.

Most of Michener's novels are sagas, "Centennial" is no different. It traces the development of beautiful Colorado, from pre-historic times to what was "the present"-the early 1970s, at the time of Michener's writing. Fact and fiction intertwine as the story swings from days when only Native American tribes, odd-ball woodsmen and trappers inhabited the plains and mountains, to the days of early European settlers, good, bad and ugly. Onward, through a variety of adventures with ranchers, business men and politicians of the 20th century.

The late David Janssen plays the part of ranch owner Paul Garrett, descendant of the character we met in the story first of all, Pasquinel, woodsman and trapper who hailed originally from Quebec. As the saga draws to a close, the words Paul Garrett utters are even more pertinent today, over thirty years later:

"The Earth isn't something you take from without ever thinking about giving back. The Earth is something you protect every day of the year. The river is something you defend every inch of its course. We have to look to the past and get back to some basic principles if there is going to be any future worth having."


AMEN!

I've discovered that "Centennial" was released in DVD format just this summer. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't already seen it or read the book. There are countless familiar faces in the series, some sadly no longer with us, some in the intervening years have become almost household names. A reviewer at Amazon.com remarked, "No one can teach history like James Michener". I agree. He informs while entertaining his audience and, on occasion, moving them to tears.

This YouTube video is one of the final scenes from the TV series. I find it very moving. Country star Merle Haggard, who enters the story briefly in the last episode, as a descendant of one of the original characters, can be heard singing in the background.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Election 1972 - Thomas Eagleton.

The US presidential election circus drags on. Even those interested in the political scene must be feeling pretty jaded by now. For a change today I'm going to have a look at the chart of an election personality from the past - 1972.

On one of our visits to antique stores I picked up a copy of "Life" magazine dated 4 August 1972. It attracted me mainly because of the cover photograph. I didn't realise until later that, in August 1972, the USA was at roughly the same stage in an election and Olympics year as we are now, in 2008.

The big political story in this magazine is of Senator Thomas Eagleton, who after being chosen by Democratic nominee George McGovern as his vice presidential candidate, had to step down when it was discovered that he had suffered from depression, been hospitalized three times in twelve years, and received electric shock treatment. This fact had not been disclosed by Senator Eagleton. When asked by McGovern if there was "anything in his background they should discuss", Eagleton had replied, "No". Perhaps his denial proved worse than the fact he had tried to hide.
(Senator Eagleton left, Senator McGovern right, in photograph).

This tale ought to raise a warning flag for current politicians. We've already seen John Edwards lie before having to admit his affair. There may still be skeletons hiding in cupboards elsewhere! The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Senator Thomas Eagleton was born on 4 September 1929 in St Louis, Missouri at 2.50 am (Astrotheme's time)


I'm looking mainly for anything which might indicate a depressive personality, or someone who, as the magazine article describes, "had been good at almost everything he'd ever tried, except relaxing".Some brief points which could help to contribute to such a personality - in combination:

Sun, Moon and Neptune in Virgo - a perfectionist, meticulous, critical and self-critical both inwardly and outwardly.

Ascendant in Leo (if birth time is accurate) - a natural leader, with Venus just 4 degrees from the ascendant - brings in personal charm, a great advantage in a politician, and in sextile (harmonious) aspect to

Mars and Mercury conjoined in diplomatic Libra - an energetic and forceful communicator, with charm from Venus on the ascendant - excellent mix for one in public life.

So far it's all good news. Saturn though is in Sagittarius (sign of excess) and it squares (challenges) Eagleton's Moon in Virgo - his inner self. This conjures up a picture of a 6 ft6in burly police officer (Saturn) bearing down upon a rather fragile individual (Moon in Virgo) . Saturn also opposes Jupiter (sign of excess) in Gemini, a challenge between excess and limitation. Saturn's limitation and the excesses of Jupiter and Sagittarius could be said to be having a tug of war .

I'd guess that Senator Eagleton's problems stemmed from this combination : perfectionist Sun/Moon, aided by good leadership potential from Leo rising and Venus on the ascendant angle, then all the good news these factors indicate caves in somewhat under challenge from Saturn. In real life I guess an on-going feeling of challenge which works against a wish for perfection and need to shine in all areas, might sometimes lead to chronic depression.

There's one more thing to point out - Chiron, known as "the Wounded Healer", lies but one degree from the North Node of the Moon (sensitive point) and in 10th house of public standing/career. I'm not well informed about Chiron, or its significance in a natal chart, but because of its sensitive and prominent position here there might well be a connection, more especially as Chiron trines Eagleton's natal Sun.

Thomas Eagleton died in 2007.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Over My Shoulder

This post could well turn out to be nothing but one almighty whinge. What follows may or may not be linked to celestial events or planetary transits, but as the principle of astrology, "as above, so below", can often be seen working, it's worth conidering. Perhaps a connection to recent eclipses? Or to another transit to my natal chart?

Back in June, I started having some pain in my right shoulder. I mentioned in a post on 2 July that I was teaching myself to use the mouse left-handedly because of the discomfort. I kept putting off seeing my doctor because I've a routine annual visit and tests coming up late this month, and thought to do everything at once. I absolutely detest going to see the doctor, always have, from my first memories - probably always will.

As my shoulder seemed to be getting worse, and my own doctor is on vacation at present, a family member suggested a visit to a respected local chiropractor. I consulted him on Friday. I was told, after x-rays and examination, that I have what's commonly called Frozen Shoulder, correct term for the condition is adhesive capsulitis. Recovery will be very slow (months or even a year or more), and will necessitate a major, and painful, effort by me - stretching exercises. Oh joy! Believe me, the exercises are very painful, but I must do them regularly several times a day. On his advice I'll also consult my own doctor, as apparently "proper" doctors can sometimes offer helpful aids such as cortisone injection, as well as a variety of therapies, and some more effective pain killers. Over-the-counter tablets in the USA do next to nothing for me.

I'm wondering whether recent eclipses are connected to this outcome. Both linked to Aquarius, my Sun sign, and the first occurred very close to my re-located Aquarius ascendant. The pain in my shoulder first was felt long before the eclipses though. The remedy, painful as it turns out to be, was confirmed on the day before the lunar eclipse in Aquarius. I'm now wondering if it will take until the next solar eclipse, which will occur conjunct my natal Sun next January, to heal the offending joint: about 5 months, around the time the chiropractor seemed to estimate for recovery of full flexibility.

Looking elsewhere in my natal chart, I notice that transiting Saturn (rules the skeletal structure) is at 9 Virgo (Virgo = health matters) quincunx (irritable aspect) my natal Sun (6.46 Aquarius), the aspect would have been exact in mid-July. There are three other planets in Virgo now, as well as Saturn: Mercury, Venus and Mars. These will move on more quickly than Saturn, as they do perhaps the situation will ease. I can only hope so!

Washing my hair has become a painful chore, as is pulling up my jeans, sleeping on my right-hand side, and, as the chiropractor put it delicately, but to English ears hilariously - "potty stuff". English translation = "loo stuff". Potty on the other side of the pond describes someone who appears to have gone slightly mad. So when the husband announces, "I'm just going potty", it never fails to raise a smile.

Using the computer, according to the chiropractor, shouldn't make the shoulder worse, but I suspect that long hours sitting in the same position might well have contributed to the problem in the first place. I'll continue to blog, but perhaps less frequently, until I have a second opinion on the matter. Without the diversion of the internet and blogs, I could well "go potty", English style, before this exercise regime is over!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Arts Roundup


WRITING

In June I took a look at George Orwell's natal chart. This week I was interested to note from a link at Citizen Wells blog, that there is a new blogging project afoot:
The Orwell Prize - "The Orwell Diaries" .

"From 9th August 2008, you will be able to gather your own impression of Orwell’s face from reading his most strongly individual piece of writing: his diaries. The Orwell Prize is delighted to announce that, to mark the 70th anniversary of the diaries, each diary entry will be published on this blog exactly seventy years after it was written, allowing you to follow Orwell’s recuperation in Morocco, his return to the UK, and his opinions on the descent of Europe into war in real time. The diaries end in 1942, three years into the conflict.
What impression of Orwell will emerge?
"


A website worth regular visits, methinks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PAINTING


To please any passing reader who might harbour a vision of a President Obama (I try to be even handed, even when it pains me) I pass on a link from Joseph Cannon's blog Cannonfire. The link leads to the website of American artist Ron Keas, whose current offering is a set of portraits of Barack Obama. The portraits are a mix of realism and surrealism - just right for a politician as shrouded in Neptunian fog as Senator Obama.

I'd love to take a look at Ron Keas's natal chart but so far I've discovered only his year of birth, 1943, which tells me nothing at all.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

POETRY

This poem, "Applied Astronomy", by Esther B. Tiffany, raised a smile. I wonder whether it would still work if slightly adapted and titled "Applied Astrology"? As I've never, in all my life to date, met a guy with even a passing interest in astrology, even less had a date with such a mortal, I wouldn't know.

APPLIED ASTRONOMY

He took me out to see the stars,
That astronomic bore;
He said there was two moons near Mars,
While Jupiter had four.

I thought of course he'd whisper soon
What four fold bliss 'twould be
To stroll beneath that fourfold moon
On Jupiter with me.

And when he spoke of Saturn's ring,
I was convinced he'd say
That was the very kind of thing
To offer me some day.

But in a tangent off he went
To double stars. Now that
Was most suggestive, so content
And quite absorbed I sat.

But no, he talked a dreary mess,
Of which the only fraction
That caught my fancy, I confess,
Was "mutual attraction".

I said I thought it very queer
And stupid altogether,
For stars to keep so very near
And yet not come together.

At that he smiled, and turned his head;
I thought he'd caught the notion;
He merely bowed good-night and said,
Their safety lay in motion.


(by Esther B. Tiffany.)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MUSIC



Recently, my husband's son-in-law kindly pointed me in the direction of this song by Randy Newman : "A Few Words In Defense of Our Country". Text only lyrics can be read here.

The USA, over the years has been, and still is, much maligned both by a section of its own citizens and by many of other countries, mainly on the basis of its administration and/or president. The population at large is often included in the rancour, unfairly so in my opinion. Randy Newman's song isn't one of those schmaltzy flag-wavers, those don't impress me at all. Newman's song is fair, honest, and I suspect straight from the heart.



Randy Newman was born 28 November 1943 in Los Angeles, California at, Astrotheme tells us, 8.02pm. I'll add his natal chart here and point out just a couple of things, so as to prevent this post from stretching beyond reasonable length.



Randy has Sun, Mercury and Moon at 6, 16 and 25 degrees Sagittarius, opposing Uranus, Mars and Saturn in Gemini at 6, 15 and 24 degrees. This is interesting, the degrees are so closely matched! What does it mean? I'm not sure, exactly, but there's a very strong dynamic there between Gemini the sign of the communicator, and Sagittarius, the philosopher's sign. The words of the song featured above do fit that dynamic. Venus, the music planet is in Libra, one of its domiciles, so in good shape for a musician. Cancer rising represents a sensitive, thoughtful nature, though at times can seem somewhat withdrawn.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Visions

I'm using two current forecasts for my own Sun sign, Aquarius, by my two favourite Sun Sign astrologers, Rob Brezsny and Jonathan Cainer, as template to do a little odd-blogging (a close cousin of odd-jobbing). Here are the two forecasts with links to the relevant websites.

"My favorite places on the Moon are the Sea of Clouds, Sea of Fertility, Sea of Ingenuity, and Sea of Nectar. They're not actual bodies of water. The old astronomers who named them didn't know they were actually dark plains formed by ancient volcanic eruptions. But the great thing about the moon is that it piques our imaginations and massages our dreams as much as it speaks to our rational minds. And I encourage you to take advantage of that power now. Here's one possible way: Daydream a story about a heroic quest in which you acquire four magical boons, one each at the Sea of Clouds, Sea of Fertility, Sea of Ingenuity, and Sea of Nectar."Free Will Astrology week of 14 August - Aquarius

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"Have you heard of the legendary 'Problem Volcano'? It hides in some secret land, spewing forth endless new reasons to worry. Nor is it the only hidden geological mystery. We must not forget the infamous Fountains of Fear, or the mythical Marshes of Myopia. Are any of these places really located on Earth? Most definitely - for they are located within us and we are most certainly on this planet! To be sure of staying in safe territory now, exploit other aspects of the inner-landscape that you DO know. Head straight for the Rock of Realism and steer well clear of the Valley of Vulnerability."
Jonathan Cainer Monthly forecast for August - Aquarius

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It struck me as interesting that mythical-sounding locations were scattered about these current forecasts, I was reminded of John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" and his Slough of Despond, Doubting Castle, etc.

If I were to take Mr. Brezsny's challenge I'd have to spend at least a month writing a proper story. I'm not a natural fiction writer (in spite of what an anti-astrology reader might think!) Instead of a story, I'll offer a brief outline of the stops on an heroic journey. What was found could hardly be termed what Mr. Brezsny called "boons", but I'm an obtuse Aquarian, such things are to be expected.

Setting out from the Sea of Clouds.....Here I stayed a while, gazed into the surface of the Sea of Clouds and saw, far away, a blue sphere - beautiful, spinning slowly, serenely among myriad stars.

When I reached the Sea of Fertility and gazed into its depths I saw, with magnification, life, teeming and multiplying on a beautiful blue planet. In seconds I saw a thousand generations of live creatures pass through, as the planet's surface changed, and changed again, and again.

Soon the Sea of Ingenuity lay in my path. Here I stared deep into it and saw, magnified again, the skills and talents of the creatures of the blue planet. I watched in awe, as time swiftly flashed past, and noted that they were soon able to perform the most wondrous tasks, transforming yet again a large part of the planet's surface.

At the Sea of Nectar I rested, gazed languidly into its calm surface and saw, in horror, the creatures of the blue planet fighting for sustenance. They must surely have drained all goodness from their once fertile habitat.

At this point I began the second part of my journey, approached the Problem Volcano, gingerly drew near to look into its inferno and saw the inhabitants of the far away blue planet becoming troubled, worried, many were fighting.

I hurried on to the Fountains of Fear, where I hoped for brighter visions, but none were to come. Through a silvery mist caused by the sparkling fountains I saw a vision of the blue planet's inhabitants dejected, careworn, now fearful of what the future might hold.

Not far from the Fountains lay the Valley of Vulnerability, and from my distant vantage point there, I understood how weak and fragile are the inhabitants of the blue planet, how little defence against dangers facing them.

Glancing back I noticed a side track leading to the Marshes of Myopia, travelled there and stared across the steaming, stinking marshes eventually realising how it was that those on the blue planet had become so vulnerable. In spite of their skills and talents they had failed to look ahead, far enough into the future, or at all.

I strode away sadly but with determination towards my last venue - the Rock of Realism. A hard place in the near distance, but the only one from which it was possible to obtain a clear view of the future. What did I see? A vision yet part-formed, its completion lies in the hands of the inhabitants of the blue planet.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Man Catching Up With Myth


The following seems to me to be a fine example of Uranus and Neptune in mutual reception. (Mutual reception = when two planets transit each other's domicile, blending their "flavours"). Uranus represents invention, innovation. Neptune equates to fog, illusion, so therefore, I guess, invisibility.



"Scientists in the US say they are a step closer to developing materials that could render people invisible.

"Researchers at the University of California in Berkeley have developed a material that can bend light around 3D objects making them "disappear".
The materials do not occur naturally but have been created on a nano scale, measured in billionths of a metre. ..............................

"This is a huge step forward, a tremendous achievement," says Professor Ortwin Hess of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey.
"It's a careful choice of the right materials and the right structuring to get this effect for the first time at these wavelengths."

There could be more immediate applications for the devices in telecommunications, Prof Hess says. What's more, they could be used to make better microscopes, allowing images of far smaller objects than conventional microscopes can see. And a genuine cloaking effect isn't far around the corner.

"In order to have the 'Harry Potter' effect, you just need to find the right materials for the visible wavelengths," says Prof Hess, "and it's absolutely thrilling to see we're on the right track."


It seems that man is slowly catching up with myth. Below are a few examples of the latter:

The hero Perseus went equipped with a cap of invisibility to kill Medusa.

A magic cloak, made by Alberich the dwarf, granted invisibility to Sigurd.

In German fairy tales, magical caps called tarnkappes are worn by dwarfs.
The caps can make an entire village of dwarfs invisible.

In The Twelve Dancing Princesses, the old soldier is able to follow the princesses by use of an invisibility cloak.

In The King of the Gold Mountain, the hero can sneak into the home of his treacherous wife by means of a cloak of invisibility.
Wikipedia


This painting by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, "The Arming of Perseus" shows sea nymphs giving Perseus a helmet which renders him invisible, the winged sandals of Hermes, and a goatskin pouch for the head of the Medusa.
at artmagik.com

More examples of invisibility in myth and fiction here.

If and when a cloak of invisibility is perfected, the possibilities of its use would be mind-blowing.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

PLUTO and 12 August

On 12 August 1944 Pluto was in the news. Not astrological Pluto, nor Disney's Pluto, but Pluto the acronym = Pipe Line Under The Ocean: arteries which carried millions of gallons of fuel from Britain to Allied forces in France and beyond. The first line was laid on 12 August 1944.
Wikipedia - Operation Pluto

Isn't it oddly appropriate that astrological Pluto rules oil? Throughout the early 1940s when this project was developed and brought into use, Uranus, planet of invention, innovation, technology etc. and Pluto were in close harmonious sextile to each other (60 degree aspect - Pluto in early Leo, Uranus in early Gemini).

The engineering involved here boggles the mind. The video below, using film from the 1940s, is narrated in German, but illustrates fairly clearly how the pipelines were laid, by a ship pulling a huge cylinder from which the pipeline was dragged to the seabed.



Pluto Origins: ( here)

"A reliable supply of petrol for the advancing Allied forces following the D-Day landings was of the highest priority. Planners knew that the future invasion of Europe would be the largest amphibious landing in history and without adequate and reliable supplies of petrol any advance would at best slow down and at worst grind to a halt. A loss of momentum could jeopardise the whole operation as German forces would have time to regroup and counter-attack. Conventional tankers and 'ship to shore' pipelines were in danger of cluttering up the beaches, obstructing the movement of men, armaments and materials and, in all circumstances, were subject to the vagaries of the weather and sea conditions and they were easy targets for the Luftwaffe.

The idea of a Pipe Line Under The Ocean, (the English Channel), was an innovative solution. It was known that oil storage facilities located near the English Channel would be vulnerable to attack by the Luftwaffe. To reduce the risk of losses, a network of pipelines was, during early discussions about PLUTO, already under construction. This was designed to carry fuel from safer storage and port facilities around Bristol and Liverpool to the English Channel. This network would later be linked to the planned pipeline at Skanklin on the Isle of Wight and Dungeness further to the west. The terminals and pumping stations were heavily disguised as bungalows, gravel pits, garages and even an ice cream shop!
Soon after D Day, a continuous flow of petrol to meet the heavy demands of the liberation armies and air fleets was maintained by the 'Pipelines Under the Ocean.' These pipe-lines were vital arteries, which enabled the Allied Air Fleets and Land Forces to maintain the vital momentum needed to secure victory. Moreover Operation PLUTO made it possible to dispense with the fleets of tankers, which otherwise would have been necessary and spared them the ordeal of concentrated enemy attacks in congested waters, thus undoubtedly saving many hundreds of gallant lives."


Monday, August 11, 2008

Nick Nolte

Nick Nolte appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last week. I hadn't seen him for years and was quite surprised, not so much by by his appearance as by his voice which was not at all as I remembered it. He's obviously been leading life fast and hard for many years! Even so, he does looks better now than he did several years ago, according to photographs at Google Image.

I remember him best in two roles: as Tom Jordache in the 1976 TV mini-series of Irwin Shaw's novel, "Rich Man, Poor Man" and as Tom Wingo in the movie of Pat Conroy's novel, "Prince of Tides" (1986). Both performances remain etched in my memory still, after all these years. He must be one hell of an actor - though in both cases he had one hell of a story to work with.

Nick Nolte was born on 8 February 1941 in Omaha Nebraska at, according to Astrotheme, 10.40am.

His birthday is the same as my Dad's was (different year, of course), and I can't think of two Aquarians more unlike each other! I do notice a few similarities in his and my own Aquarian chart though, we are of the same generation. There are some important differences too - the ones that put him where he is, and me where I am!

There's an excellent biography of Nolte on-line, written by Dominic Wills at Tiscali.com
HERE.


His natal chart:




Positions to note:
Aquarius Sun is square it's ruler Uranus which lies in Taurus.
Also in Taurus, and very close to the Taurus ascendant are Jupiter and Saturn, closely conjoined.
Moon, strongly placed in Cancer trines to one minute, Mercury in Pisces.
Venus and Pluto are in opposition from Aquarius and Leo respectively.
Mars is sextile Sun and quincunx Uranus.

I'll pick out a few comments from the biography linked above, and match them to some of the planetary positions in Nolte's chart.

First things first: Sun in Aquarius (clever but non-conformist, socially aware, sometimes eccentric)

He was a politically active kid, a keen member of the burgeoning counter-culture of the early Sixties and by 1962 had already been busted for selling fake draft cards to underage kids who'd use them as ID. As these were counterfeit government documents he was given a 45-year jail sentence and a $75,000 fine (both suspended) and would be on probation throughout most of the decade (as a convicted felon he still can't vote). But, more by luck than design, he discovered acting before it all went utterly pear-shaped.

The Hulk was another odd move from this most unpredictable of actors. But Nolte always does things his own way. Often seen in public in a cashmere trench-coat and Calvin Klein pyjamas.......


***********************************

Sun in 11th house square(inharmonious)Sun's ruler Uranus in 1st house. Pluto opposing (challenging) Venus.

He's also said that growing up in the repressed but financially booming Fifties showed him how adults have dark secrets and compete violently - both of which contributed to a deep fear and inner anger in a boy who was already shy and alienated.

***********************************

Jupiter (excess) and Saturn (work, career) conjoined on the ascendant. Also Mars (aggression) sextile(helpful)Sun, but quincunx (irritable aspect) Uranus his Sun's ruler.

These people(his family) worked hard, and many of Nick's later problems with drink and drugs would spring from his inability to fill the time between jobs.

Weiser actually writing a book called Nick Nolte: Caught In The Act. In it he described their experiences together, and talked of the actor's obsession with perfect scenes, his bursts of rage and the verbal abuse he handed out (none of it was backed by venom, said Weiser, Nolte was just aggressively pursuing good work).

Nolte, he said, would arrive absolutely prepared and would not tolerate anything less than 100% effort

............. his only interest seems to be delivering interesting work

At this point, now in his forties, Nolte was still drinking heavily. He'd always had trouble winding down between roles and would basically stay drunk until his next film began.....


*****************************

Moon in Cancer (its home sign) trine Mercury in soft, compassionate Pisces

............ he was at his best as a tough guy tortured by his own sensitivity.

Nolte is said to work purely on emotion, all his exhaustive research being aimed at why he's feeling something and how that should be expressed. God knows where he dug up his feelings for the fraught climax of The Prince Of Tides, but his efforts were impressive enough to earn him his first Oscar nomination and win him a Golden Globe.


*************************************

His drinking and drug taking, I'd hazard a guess, are not purely Neptunian, as those addictions seem to be in most cases, but more a result of having both Jupiter and Saturn sitting on the ascendant as he came into the world.

The theme "Places That Belong To You", oddly, was not included in the movie "Prince of Tides", other than very briefly, as the credits rolled, a disappointment. It's such a lovely song. Here it is, sung by Nick Nolte's co-star in the movie, Barbra Streisand:


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Loyalty, Infidelity, Integrity.

With John Edwards' admission of his infidelity claiming large chunks of news and blogosphere, I've been pondering just two matters from what is a multi-multi-faceted subject with many grey areas:
#1 Does infidelity to a spouse automatically mean lack of integrity in other areas - in one's career/professional life, for example ?
#2 Is there an astrological signature which would be likely to produce a marital infidel ?

#1 My own opinion is that it's impossible to generalise. Individual circumstances have to be taken into account, but if asked for a blanket answer I'd have to say: yes. Disloyalty in one area of life shows character weakness, which could spill into other areas. This doesn't, though, have any bearing on skills, talent or competence in the professional sphere. A person can be a cheating spouse but still be a brilliant architect, teacher, politician, plumber, builder, farmer........the crunch might come if an issue of loyalty were to arise in the workplace - to an employer or client, then the weakness might come to the fore. My reply, by the way, is steered by my own Fixed Sun/Cardinal Moon and ascendant, and a modality balance which is just about equal, but with Fixed slightly ahead.

#2 I'm no expert, as I often point out, but I do have books. One I turn to first in matters such as this is "Encyclopedia of Astrological Psychology" by C.E.O. Carter. It's and oldie but goodie. There's no section on marital infidelity as such, but under "Loyalty" the astrologer says, among other things, that "the very mental horoscope is probably the least loyal by nature, and where the synthesis also shows much mutability.....we get something of a time-server and turncoat". So the "mental horoscope" must refer to the Air signs, Gemini, Aquarius and Libra. Mutability = the mutable signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces. The sign found under both headings is our communicative, flexible, Mercurial friend Gemini.

Of note here: John Edwards has Sun, Moon, Jupiter and Mars all in Gemini. Chart can be seen here. Now that's a really simple example. In the charts of other politicians caught with their proverbial pants down, Bill Clinton and JFK spring to mind, or, for a British counterpart, John Profumo, the planetary mix could well be far more complex.

Two other personality traits could feed in and support any potentiality to unfaithfulness: narcissism - love of oneself to the detriment of others, and a hankering for power. Astrological signatures for these have to be factored in too. There's also another very big ingredient: opportunity. Why do we hear of so many pop stars, movie stars and famous politicians being unfaithful to their spouses? Opportunity. Adoring throngs are drawn to these people, it's human nature.

I ought to add here, that not every person, male or female, with a surfeit of Gemini in their natal chart is going to be a bad bet on the marriage front. I suspect mutability will always play a part though. Additionally environment, family background, and the traits mentioned above need to be considered: whether the person in question is narcissitic, a power seeker, and whether they have many opportunities for infidelity.

The compounding of a wrong by lying about infidelity, once found out, adds another layer. Not all who stray lie about it when discovered, which doesn't excuse them but it does hint at a tad more integrity and strength of character.

"We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty." ( G. K. Chesterton )

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Philip Larkin - Leo Poet

LONG LION DAYS

Whatever conceived
Now fully leaved,
Abounding, ablaze –
O long lion days.
(P.A.L 1982)

The above was one of the last poems written by Philip Larkin, born with the Sun in Leo. It was found written on the back of an illustrated postcard, one of a calendrical set (this for July), depicting illuminations from The Book of Hours, and a representation of the zodiac sign for each -in this case Leo
(HERE)
"A man reaps wheat in a field bordered by vivid green. Above him burns an intense vermillion sky, laced with leaping tongues of gold (real gold on the real thing). To the right, separated by the master’s ruled margin and Leicester city’s postmark, is a magnificent flourishing lion: the sign of Leo, Larkin’s sign. And on the back? Carefully written out is the poet’s lyric translation of the scene."

Philip Larkin is better known for his somewhat dour poetry, often harping on death and other depressing matters. He's not a favourite of mine, though I once had 15 seconds of fame speaking to him on the telephone. My very first job was as assistant to the County Archivist in East Yorkshire, England. The Archivist was a friend and colleague of Philip Larkin, with a common connection to the University of Hull Library. I spoke to Mr. Larkin, then Librarian at the University, on the phone one day in the absence of my boss. It was quite unremarkable, he didn't speak in iambic pentameter, sprinkle the conversation with metaphor, nor did he entrance me with his charisma! Ah well, poets are just like the rest of us mortals when caught without their poetry hats on. Disappointing.

Anyway, it would have been Philip Larkin's birthday today, 9 August, born in 1922 in Coventry, UK. He died at a relatively young age, 63, in 1985. Perhaps his depressing turn of mind was born of some subconsious knowledge of an early demise. I can find no note of his time of birth, the chart below is set for 12 noon on his birth date.



Wow! Look at that - Sun sandwiched tightly between Mercury and Neptune in Leo - what an astrological signature for a poet ! Mercury is the writing planet, Neptune planet of imagination and creativity. Jupiter the publishing planet is harmoniously linked by sextile (60*) to the Leo cluster. Mars (energy, aggression) trines the cluster from Sagittarius. Uranus (change, the avant garde) in Pisces is qunincunx (a scratchy, irritable aspect) to the Leo planets, which fits with this poet's reputation as being something of a reactionary, a curmudgeon, racist & misogynist . He totally lacked charm as far as I can tell!

The Moon would have been somewhere in the first half of Pisces whatever time Larkin was born. This must have brought in a strand of compassion and softness, which seems to have been most evident in his love for animals.

"The margins of his pencil-written manuscripts are frequently crowded with mice, rabbits, sheep, and owls. And, although he himself never kept an animal, the pets of his friends would concern him as much if not more than the friends themselves did."
(HERE)

He had love for the female sex too - several at a time if some reports are to be believed. It is from his letters to Monica Jones, the woman who was his longest lasting partner (he never married, seemed to be terrified of commitment) that a clearer idea of his personality might be gleaned - and it appears he did have a much softer side. (HERE)

Venus in Virgo, and Saturn in the last degree of Libra: these two are close enough to be considered conjoined, but in different signs. Saturn (restriction, limitation) so close to Venus could well represent this man's aversion to marriage. Saturn being very close to the North Node of the Moon too - an extra sensitive point - gives Saturn's hard edge extra potency. I wouldn't be surprised to find Capricorn (rulership of Saturn) rising in his natal chart, but we can't know without a time of birth.

It appears that Larkin had no time for astrology nor any esoteric subject. Apparently he was sent a copy of his natal chart by another famous poet, Ted Hughes, just to tease, Larkin being known to deride what he called the "myth-kitty".

I started with one of Larkin's poems, so will finish with one which appeals to me as (kind of) Venus conjunct Saturn.

NO ROAD

Since we agreed to let the road between us
Fall to disuse,
And bricked our gates up, planted trees to screen us,
And turned all time's eroding agents loose,
Silence, and space, and strangers - our neglect
Has not had much effect.

Leaves drift unswept, perhaps; grass creeps unmown;
No other change.
So clear it stands, so little overgrown,
Walking that way tonight would not seem strange,
And still would be followed. A little longer,
And time would be the stronger,

Drafting a world where no such road will run
From you to me;
To watch that world come up like a cold sun,
Rewarding others, is my liberty.
Not to prevent it is my will's fulfillment.
Willing it, my ailment.


A small collection of Philip Larkin's poems can be read at Squidoo

Friday, August 08, 2008

Obama: Reflections of Neptune.

I've said this before: I can't be sure who Barack Obama is, nor what he stands for. As the weeks pass the picture becomes not clearer, as one might expect, but more clouded.

I asked myself why I feel so connected to all of this and am prompted to write about it again just now, so took a look at current transits. As I type, the opposition between Mars in Virgo and Uranus(my Sun's ruler) in Pisces is pretty much exact at 22 degrees of each sign, and my natal Mercury is at 21.58 Capricorn, in close trine to transiting Mars, and sextile transiting Uranus. I guess that's why I'm feeling tuned-in to the current push-pull dynamic.

Esteemed astrology blogger Dharmaruci at Astrotabletalk yesterday wrote of Obama as "A Hawk" - surely the exact opposite of what most peace-loving Americans hope for in a new president. He said "Does Obama's Sun in Leo square to Neptune make him an inspirational leader or self-delusional? (Actually, probably a bit of both!)" I think it also makes him an expert illusionist.

So why, when clarity about the Real Obama is so hard to come by, has he managed to gather such a huge following?

John of Liberal Rapture
wrote an excellent piece on 6 August, which has the answer.

"The Obama phenomenon is the result of a country in despair. He is not bringing hope - he has capitalized on a deep fear and anger at the loss of an idea we had about what this country was supposed to be. If Obama had a track record and ANY proven leadership skills beyond gaming the system, I might be able to get on board. He does not.

If Obama had not said almost the exact opposite of what his campaign has lead people to believe he believes - I might be able to get on board.

If Obama had not railed against lobbyists while taking boat loads of cash from the exact same GOP bundlers as Bush- I might get on board.

But he has done nothing that speaks to any kind of internal integrity."


Barack Obama has fed on, and profits from, the despair of the ordinary people of the USA, that is clear, his motivation is not. There are several theories, variations on:
a) that he is actually a rabid left-wing socialist/communist, biding his time before showing his true colours, or b) he has been financed and pushed ahead by Republican manipulation, and will be their tool, changing nothing once in power, but bringing the nation ever nearer to being a fascist state.
Two extremes with variations of them taking in everything inbetween. How many times in the history of US presidential elections has it been possible to talk in such terms about the leading candidate ? I don't know, being a newcomer, but I'd bet that this year's experience is pretty unique.

There are writers and bloggers across the internet trying to blow away the smoke, polish the mirrors left dim and murky with doubt about this man.

A commenter at Texas Darlin's blog on 5 August 7.47pm ("Flyingsongster") set out the position very well. Brief extracts:

"The crux of this and many threads is simply:
Who is Barack Obama?...............

We do know that he (Obama) does not have a moral bearing based on his mercurial stances on subjects such as FISA, and oil drilling; the death penalty and gun control. We do know that he was affiliated for 20 years with Tony Rezco, a convicted felon; that he lobbied for Almansarrae for contracts in Iraq; that Auchi, the Iraqi billionaire has been a distant supporter. We do know that George Soros the unrepentant Nazi, has supported Obama. We do know that he was a member of Reverend Wright’s church for 20 years, that his daughters and wife were members as well.
By mentioning just a few facts,
it is apparent that by what we DO know, there is the obvious need to pursue further What we do NOT know. For what we do know, is so very troubling."


Illusion. Deluding others. Self-delusion. Reflections of Neptune.

If, against current evidence, Barack Obama does have integrity and is trustworthy, then he has put himself forward too soon as a presidential candidate, having done so he has not laid before the people clear evidence of his eligibility evidenced by the current conundrum posed by what is said to be his Certificate of Live Birth, as mentioned in my post on Tuesday. But that aside, as a highly educated individual claiming to possess vision, he should have realised that thinking Americans need a solid background of trust and known stances to rely upon. These can only be bought by years of experience and example, not with millions of $$$$$. At the very least, and putting it as kindly as possible, his judgement is seriously questionable.